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INCOGNITO

A Strange Fiancé

19 posts in this topic

I'm writing for a friend who is distraught. Her 38 year old daughter, via Facebook, told her that she was engaged.  This was at the same time everyone else found out. This relationship has been going on for a few years-- on and off. This was a man who was told last year by her mother that she didn't think that he was a good match for her daughter. He never asked her father for her hand in marriage. He doesn't have a job, he's very strange, does not have social skills and a long list of other negative traits. He was supposed to go to a family celebration of Christmas Eve-- he never showed. I have never met him BUT with what I'm learning from different people, there is definitely a problem with him and I don't think it's drugs or alcohol I think it's a head problem. Tonight they are supposed to go out for her 39th birthday and no one knows if he'll show.  I personally think that she feels she can't get anyone else and "40" is around the corner.  She's smart, attractive, great personality, has a very good job and now owns her own home. I told her Mom that after this dinner to go back to her home and along with her father sit face to face and go over all the things which will make her unhappy with him. Then tell her that her and her husband do not want him for her-- at all.  However,  after all is said and she still wants to be with him and that she's sure she will be happy that she should do what she wants since she is a 39 year old woman. I hope I told her right. 

Anonymous poster hash: a0173...1c4

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She is a 39 year old smart, attractive woman with a great personality, has a very good job and owns her own home.

I'd keep my nose out of my daughters business and pray she makes the right choice.

There are plenty of 39 year old attractive men who are smart, have a great personality, a good job and own their own condo or town house but are really the scum of the earth.

Appearance doesn't mean everything will be diamonds and pearls.

Once a person has put something out there, they can't take it back.  What if this man is just an absent minded professor type?

 

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I think you gave your friend poor advise. Mom and Dad can ASK their daughter what she sees in this man, why she loves him and wants to marry him if they are respectful of her and listen carefully with an open mind to her answers. But that is going to be hard to pull off since Mom has already told her daughter that the man isn't a good match. As for the asking for her "hand in marriage" from her father? well my DH didn't and I would not have wanted him to. The only one whose answer matters is the woman and her choice, good or bad.

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At the risk of being cliche....the heart wants what the wants. It's a bad idea to have a "he's not good enough for you" talk with anyone, let alone a nearly 40 year old woman.  It is sure to get the exact opposite reaction from what they want.   After our children hit a certain age we have to step back and let them make their own choices...even if we know they are the wrong ones.

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I wouldn't have told her to fill her daughter in on what they felt were this man's faults. Her daughter will probably get defensive. And there's no unringing that bell.  Once they sit her down and tell her all the reasons they don't approve of him, they can't turn around and sincerely say but if you're happy we'll support your decision. She will never, ever believe that. 

She's a 39 year old woman, and if the marriage is a mistake, it's hers to make. It's hard to sit back and watch someone you love do something you feel is deeply wrong, but making mistakes is what makes us grow and learn in life. 

ETA: I was 28 when I got engaged. My DH didn't ask my dad first, and I would've been indignant if he did. It's not my father's decision. 

Edited by NewMama
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7 hours ago, INCOGNITO said:

I'm writing for a friend who is distraught. Her 38 year old daughter, via Facebook, told her that she was engaged.  This was at the same time everyone else found out. This relationship has been going on for a few years-- on and off. This was a man who was told last year by her mother that she didn't think that he was a good match for her daughter. He never asked her father for her hand in marriage. He doesn't have a job, he's very strange, does not have social skills and a long list of other negative traits. He was supposed to go to a family celebration of Christmas Eve-- he never showed. I have never met him BUT with what I'm learning from different people, there is definitely a problem with him and I don't think it's drugs or alcohol I think it's a head problem. Tonight they are supposed to go out for her 39th birthday and no one knows if he'll show.  I personally think that she feels she can't get anyone else and "40" is around the corner.  She's smart, attractive, great personality, has a very good job and now owns her own home. I told her Mom that after this dinner to go back to her home and along with her father sit face to face and go over all the things which will make her unhappy with him. Then tell her that her and her husband do not want him for her-- at all.  However,  after all is said and she still wants to be with him and that she's sure she will be happy that she should do what she wants since she is a 39 year old woman. I hope I told her right. 

Anonymous poster hash: a0173...1c4

Everyone needs to keep their thoughts and opinions to themselves in this. ^^This will only cause trouble from the get go in the marriage. IF they get married they both will now know the brides parents thinks so negatively of him and it will not help the relationship at all. He won't ever want to be around those parents knowing how much they dislike him and I wouldn't blame him one bit. It's her decision, alone. the parents do not have to like it they only need to be there for their daughter good or bad.

My DH did ask my dad's permission for my hand in marriage. The final decision was still mine to make. I thought it was very respectful of him to do that, toward my dad and toward myself, but I understand it doesn't happen that often any more.

I think, often, part of the problem with hearing, giving ear to, negative things about a person, is when you (general) actually meet the person you now have all those negative feelings, ideas, thoughts about the person, warranted or not. I have met folks I only heard negative things about and when I actually met the person, I saw none of the things I had heard about them. Not saying this is true or not in this case as I don't know. Just sharing my experience.

Edited by Cupcake55
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Hi Incognotio!

It's very kind of you, IMO, to ask this question for your friend. And, IMO (in my opinion), you're right to advise your friend that, in the end, whether or not she goes through w/ marrying her fiance is their DD's (dear daughter's) choice.

However, I agree w/ PPs (previous posters) that it's not such a good idea for her and her DH (dear husband) to sit down w/ DD and tell her all their objections to him. And I agree w/ all the reasons they gave. Just want to add that I'm afraid it would end up sounding like this: "He's a lazy bum w/ no job and no social skills. But if you wanna marry him, go ahead - it's your funeral." (I know that's not what you said - I just think that's how DD will "hear" it.)

Besides, your friend has already made it clear that she doesn't think this man is a "good match" for DD. So they know how she feels. Also, apparently, her opinion was ignored. And chances are strong anything she and DH say against this guy will be ignored again. So what's the point?

As for his not asking for DD's hand, etc., well, I don't know too many people who do that today. And while some women are charmed by it, others resent it. Maybe DD didn't want him to do that. Besides, I imagine that, if anything, they both thought her dad would say "No." Then they would be put in the position of going against him - b/c my guess is they would get married, anyhow.

Maybe he didn't show up on Christmas Eve b/c he knows the family dislikes him and sees him as inferior. Would you want to go somewhere you really weren't wanted? If he doesn't join everyone to celebrate DD's birthday, it may be for the same reason. In fact, if the family can't bring themselves to warm up to this man, I have a feeling that, once he and DD are married, they will be celebrating her bday, etc. on their own, as a couple or w/ friends, etc. But if DD has any issues w/ his not coming to this/that event, IMO, that's between her and him.

I personally think that she feels she can't get anyone else and "40" is around the corner.

Maybe she does feel that way. Will tearing this man down change any of that? Or perhaps she sees something in him that her family doesn't. Perhaps she doesn't even mind that he doesn't have a job - maybe she even likes the idea of being the "breadwinner" and having him as a "househusband" or whatever. That's also between him and her, in my view. As a "smart, attractive" mature adult woman, etc., chances are, she knows what she wants and this man is it. As PPs have said, her opinion of him is really the only one that matters.

Don't get me wrong. I understand the concerns your friend and her DH have about this guy. But, IMO, they need to begin to try to find something to like about him or they are likely to lose their DD. They can't change their relationship w/ him overnight, I realize. But this would be a good time, I think, to make a start (if it's not too late already).

Worst case scenario, your friend will be proven right and DD will end up divorced - like many people. Best case, your friend will be proven wrong and DD's marriage will be a happy, long-lasting one. I sincerely hope the latter comes true.

 

Edited by RoseRed135
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Your learning from different people what this man is like, even though you've never met him.  So would you find it fair for someone you're just meeting to actively dislike you based on what someone else has said about you?  Is "everyone" the family where the Mum and Dad have run around telling everyone that this man is no good?

I'm not sure why you would expect this man to ask the father for permission when they have already made it clear they wouldn't grant it.  That information would have gotten back to this man.  Knowing this I'm not sure why you would expect him to come around on Christmas Eve to a bunch of people that don't like him. Although that's me assuming, it's also possible that he had his own family/friends commitment on Christmas Eve.

You say this daughter is smart but somewhere you must not really believe that because you are doubting her ability to trust her own judgement.  This is  her decision to make, she's an adult.

Has he never had a job or is he in between jobs at the moment.  He is strange/lacks social skills or is he just shy and reserved and around a bunch a people he knows don't like him so that makes him nervous.  I think the family is going to have to trust the daughter and her decision and hopefully it will turn out the best for her.

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I have always wondered about the 40 year old, smart, attractive, self sufficient, owns a home, great personality, who has never met the right man/woman in all that time.  Never, ever???!!!  They may have some issues of their own.

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Maybe her issues are her parents?

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On 12/29/2017 at 2:21 PM, INCOGNITO said:

I'm writing for a friend who is distraught. Her 38 year old daughter, via Facebook, told her that she was engaged.  This was at the same time everyone else found out. This relationship has been going on for a few years-- on and off. This was a man who was told last year by her mother that she didn't think that he was a good match for her daughter. He never asked her father for her hand in marriage. He doesn't have a job, he's very strange, does not have social skills and a long list of other negative traits. He was supposed to go to a family celebration of Christmas Eve-- he never showed. I have never met him BUT with what I'm learning from different people, there is definitely a problem with him and I don't think it's drugs or alcohol I think it's a head problem. Tonight they are supposed to go out for her 39th birthday and no one knows if he'll show.  I personally think that she feels she can't get anyone else and "40" is around the corner.  She's smart, attractive, great personality, has a very good job and now owns her own home. I told her Mom that after this dinner to go back to her home and along with her father sit face to face and go over all the things which will make her unhappy with him. Then tell her that her and her husband do not want him for her-- at all.  However,  after all is said and she still wants to be with him and that she's sure she will be happy that she should do what she wants since she is a 39 year old woman. I hope I told her right. 

Anonymous poster hash: a0173...1c4

Well, given that her mother has already taken the time to tell the fiance that he's not good enough for her daughter, I can't *imagine* why her dd didn't tell her earlier about the engagement. *snort*

She's an independent adult. Why on Earth would her parents need to be consulted, or asked permission, for her to marry?

If I were him, I wouldn't show at anything that involved her parents. Why would anyone want to spend time w/ppl that obviously dislike him so much?

And, there's no good way for the confrontation you've encouraged to end. Once her parents are through putting down her fiance, chances are high that daughter will tell them that since they can't accept him, she's out.

He may be a total loser. You don't actually know, since you've never met the guy, only info filtered through her mother. Even if he is, she loves him, intends to marry him. She's an adult, and has the right to make her own decisions without her parents trying to control that.

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Hi, this is Incognito, I appreciate all of the replies I received. I did take everyone's advice. My friend did not sit down with her daughter to have the talk of telling her his faults. I told her maybe she's better off letting her do what she wants to do and hope for the best. 

Anonymous poster hash: a0173...1c4

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Sounds like a good option.  At the end of the day they have already had a chat with her and raised their concerns, now it's time for support.  Arguments around weddings can sometimes lead to estrangements and long term problems and who wants that.  I hope it all ends well for everyone. :)

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22 hours ago, INCOGNITO said:

Hi, this is Incognito, I appreciate all of the replies I received. I did take everyone's advice. My friend did not sit down with her daughter to have the talk of telling her his faults. I told her maybe she's better off letting her do what she wants to do and hope for the best. 

Anonymous poster hash: a0173...1c4

The saying love is blind is true.......she loves him she won't see the faults...........mamma pointing them out will bring about nothing good...........

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Posted (edited)

I'm glad you rethought this, Incog, and got a chance to speak w/ your friend again before she decided to have that talk w/ her DD. Also, I'm glad your friend listened to your new advice. And I hope all works out for the best!

Edited by RoseRed135
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56 minutes ago, JustaGrandma said:

The saying love is blind is true.......she loves him she won't see the faults...........mamma pointing them out will bring about nothing good...........

True...which includes those who seem to have unrealistic perspectives when it comes to someone being 'good enough' for their AC.

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Reflecting on this again, I was reminded of a conversation that I had with my mother after DH and I got married. My parents LOVE DH. However, prior to DH, I dated my high school sweetheart for a long time. We actually got engaged. I have racked my brain for any memory that my mom was anything but happy for me. I cannot find a single memory or indication that my mom felt anything else.  We dated for several years and were engaged for a year. In that year, I began to see what I hadn't before. He was a nice enough guy, but we didn't agree on much. BUT *I* often went along to get along. More than anything else I began to see issues in MY behavior with him.  I'm normally very outgoing, social butterfly, pretty strong minded, but while I was with him and particularly after we got engaged, I became reclusive with everyone but him and his family. He was never abusive or mean, not physically or mentally. He was actually a pretty good guy. But it was how I interpreted the way I needed to behave to make him happy that was the problem. How I changed who I was to make him happy. That was on me.  

I would find out later, after I really opened my eyes and saw that we were wrong for each other, and broke off the engagement, that my mother was biting her tongue constantly, never telling me that she didn't approve or that she thought I was making a mistake. Because she knew the surest way to push me towards him was to try to pull me away. But allowing me to come to the conclusion on my own and make my own choice was exactly what I needed to do. 

Love is blind, and when you think you are or you actually are, someone saying something against that person is going to pit you against them. Every time. 

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I can understand your friend's concern for their daughter - i guess how she should talk to her daughter about it, for me anyways, would depend on the relationship she has with her daughter.  Finding out that your daughter is engaged via facebook seems a bit odd if they have a really close relationship...however i know it's not unusual for people to find things out via facebook.  Chances are high that this young woman is already aware of everything that may be a little off with her fiancé - she sounds like an educated woman so it's possible she is able to look past those things and maybe sees a different side to him that others don't see.  She's an adult, so i feel her parents should largely stay out of it.  If they want to express some concern, i suppose ok but it should stop at that.  if they were to try and dissuade her from marrying him, it likely wouldn't work and that may create more unnecessary tension.  maybe they can plan to try and spend a weekend with him or something to try and get to know him better?  Just a thought.

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A friend's DD, a successful ad executive, age 40, never married....brought home a commercial painter free spirit, twice divorced with two adult DD....parents saw all sorts of red flags...blue collar/lack of education, family baggage...etc, however a very likable guy...he & DH hit off because both worked in "the trades".

Fast forward....the wedding took place when the bride was 42, groom about the same age...she became pregnant on their honeymoon (said she planned to do that)...their DD is now 7...Mama works full time racking in big money...Daddy is a SAHD who picks his painting jobs carefully (no shortage of offers apparently)...they are happy, dd is thriving, they live well in a clean house with clean laundry & good meals. Case closed...

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