Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Carolyn: My 25-year-old daughter is successful, owns her home, recently finished her masters degree. Soon after she bought her house, she moved in her new boyfriend of three months. Hes a nice guy, good-looking, but not much else.
In the months since, he has been unable to keep a steady job and has spent months unemployed, sitting in her house while she goes out to work.
He has a high school education only, and while he talks of college, nothing has come of it. It drives me crazy to the point where I dont speak to him anymore.
Although it bothers her, she doesnt see the problems I see ahead, always being the main breadwinner, the lack of financial security, etc.
He recently got a job and will start it soon. Whenever she talks of the next step, either marriage or buying a bigger house together, my jaw clenches. How do I make her see the light?
Mere generations ago, plenty of men married women with the full expectation of being the sole breadwinners; did the parents of these men see the brides as freeloaders and fantasize about exploding heads?
These are different times, obviously, and maybe this guy is an albatross after all but you squander any right to protest your daughters choices when you bring such clear biases to the table. You also havent made any distinction between trying unsuccessfully to find work and sponging. The latter is a jaw-clencher, but the former says nothing about the character of this man.
If you value your relationship with your daughter, then I strongly suggest you throw away your visions of the right mate for her and start looking harder for what she sees in this one and, specifically, what he brings to the relationship that isnt in paycheck form.
Hard-chargers can often benefit from having a partner with modest ambitions, since two people chasing their own big dreams, agendas and schedules are a reliable source of business for divorce lawyers. Good partners come in more than one shape and size.
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