The Sassy Housewife is a weekly Saturday advice column on momaha.com by Danielle Herzog, a married mother of two. She’ll cover adventures in housewifery — parenting, entertaining and the interests of a been-there-done-that and somewhat-know-it-all wife.
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Dear Sassy Housewife,
My daughter is getting married to a man she has only known for six months. He got laid off from his position last year and still doesn’t have a job. On top of that, he has two children from different women and wasn’t married to either of them. We tried to give him the benefit of the doubt many times, but it feels like he is disinterested in getting to know us and be part of the family. She has even stopped bringing him to functions because of the tension. I’m heartbroken that they are getting married and don’t know whether to share my feelings with our daughter or not. What do you think?
Mother Against The Marriage
Smile and nod. Those are the two words that will get you through this experience.
Don’t get wrong, it will be the hardest thing you will do in parenting to watch your daughter make what you think is a mistake. However, you must smile and nod.
Why? Because it is her mistake to make. It is not yours to fix or prevent.
I’m not saying that you should completely be mute and never express your feelings. It sounds to me like she’s probably aware of your feelings if she isn’t bringing him around much anymore.
Now it is your job to be the supporter. You don’t have to do a dance of marital joy, but you do need to be excited for her during this time and encourage a relationship between you all. Every daughter should feel like her mother is her biggest supporter.
The thing that stinks about parenting is you have to be the bigger person. You have to be the grown up, even when your children are grown ups themselves.
Invite the man to dinner, and keep inviting him until he comes. Find out what he likes to do and try doing those things with him. Make the efforts and you will see how far they go.
At the end of the day, you can’t predict what will happen. However, if something does happen and things go downhill, don’t you want your daughter to know she can come to you with open arms? She needs to know that there is a place without judgment for her.
By sharing any negative feelings about this man, you risk damaging that important relationship between you two. And also, rest assured, if your daughter has close girlfriends, I’m guessing she’s going to get an ear full from one of them at some point.
And then you get to sit back and… smile and nod.
Have a question for the Sassy Housewife? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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