Dear Ann Landers, My 23-year-old daughter is engaged to marry a young man I cannot stand. She seems very happy, and that is the most important thing, but the relationship worries me. "Francine" used to date a fellow I adored, but they broke up. He had all the qualities I admired. Her current beau has none of them. "Cal" loses his temper a lot and yells at Francine. I have mentioned my concerns and let her know that if he ever hits her, she can come to me anytime.
Francine is now living with Cal, and they have a joint bank account. He has a so-so job but never pays for anything if he can help it. Restaurant meals and movie tickets are always on her. He has no ambition to attend college, and I am sure Francine will end up supporting him, which galls me to no end. I am civil in Cal's presence but just barely. He constantly puts Francine down, and I invariably find myself defending her.
I have begged Francine to wait another year before making a final commitment, but she refuses. Her brother just married, and I wonder if perhaps she isn't competing with him. Is there anything I can do? -- Pennsylvania
Dear Penn., Yes, you can stop knocking Cal and do your darndest to find something about him to admire. This will baffle Francine. Do not mention the old boyfriend you like, or she will never go near him. Meanwhile, keep busy, and pay as little attention as possible to your daughter's social life. A 23-year-old woman might interpret her mother's "guidance" as interference and marry the guy to assert her independence.
Gem of the Day (Credit Sara Weintraub, age 90, Boston): "If I had everything to do over again, I would care 20 percent less."
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!
Also, any additional thoughts you might have. Thanks!
I disagree. This man sounds dangerous. His outbursts and verbal abuse will turn physical. There are too many red flags to ignore. The Mom needs to intervene. It may alienate her daughter. In the long run, the daughter will forgive her.
Please share your comments below:
Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:
Dear Readers, , My x-girlfriend who lived with my son and I for 16 years died of cancer. Prior before we knew she had cancer-she moved out because of an addiction problem. We did stay very close before she died. Her x-husband an attorney took over her finances and the burial arrangements. I being financially set was okay with that, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.