Unwanted in-law


  • Winter 2019
  • Ask the experts

The eldest of my two sons has recently met and proposed to a girl I don't get along with at all. He proposed after just eight months together and I don't really think she is the right match for him. We are a close-know family and she is always sullen and withdrawn whenever we see them. When we have them over she spends the entire time on her phone and refuses to engage in conversation. I can tell my son is embarrassed by the way she acts around us but he defends her and says she has anxiety. She has moved into my son's house but doesn't contribute financially expect for buying groceries every now and then. He says she doesn't earn much, however, she somehow affords to get her nails done every week without fail and is always buying new clothes. How do we convince him to put an end to this without him turning on us?

I can understand your frustration - it's never easy when family or someone you are close to enters a relationship with a person you don't get along with. As a parent you always want the best for your children, even when they're adults, but meddling in your son's relationship is not going to do him any favours in the long run. He needs to navigate this on his own. He obviously cares deeply for this girl even if you don't, so why not make the best of the situation and support them? At least then he will see you are giving her a fair shot. Who knows, maybe she will see it too and start to open up a bit more. Start small. Ask if you can make her favourite meal next time and invite them for dinner. Hopefully she will see you making an effort and respond in kind.


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  • Winter 2019
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