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Dear Mary: My daughter’s boyfriend is a layabout. I don’t like him and I think he’s after her inheritance

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"He doesn’t have a job, is a bit of a dreamer, and seems to drink quite a bit."

"He doesn’t have a job, is a bit of a dreamer, and seems to drink quite a bit."

"He doesn’t have a job, is a bit of a dreamer, and seems to drink quite a bit."

My daughter is in her early 30s and is the apple of our eyes. She is our only child — not for the want of trying, but it just didn’t happen for us. She did really well at school and college and has a fantastic job that she loves.

She had very few boyfriends. I’m not sure why, because she is really attractive and has a great personality. She always seemed to prefer going out with her girlfriends and having fun. And then she met someone and seems to have fallen in love with him. She eventually moved in with him and assures my husband and myself that she is very happy.

But here is the problem. I don’t really like him, and neither does my husband. I feel she could do a lot better for herself in every way. He doesn’t have a job, is a bit of a dreamer, and seems to drink quite a bit. At least he does when they are having a meal with us and she usually has to drive home as a result.

I don’t want to intrude too much and so I’ve said nothing. She is paying all the bills in the apartment that they rent. Because she has no siblings, she will inherit quite a sizeable amount of money and property when we die, and my worry is that he knows that and it is at least part of the reason why he is with her.

Mary replies: You must have had lots of hopes and dreams for your only child, and indeed she has fulfilled most of those for you. By excelling in school and college and then getting a great job she has, no doubt, already given you both great joy.

It is a pity that you don’t like her partner and I can understand your reservations, particularly when he doesn’t have a job. But if your lovely daughter has chosen him then he must also have lots of good points, some of which you may not be aware of.

Perhaps he makes her life easier by being the person at home, doing all the things that have to be done but that she doesn’t have time for. Perhaps he is a great cook, hopefully he makes her laugh, and maybe he takes care of her in ways that you haven’t even thought about.

I have seen cases where couples are both very involved in their career development, which brings its own problems and stresses to their relationships. Your daughter doesn’t have any such problems.

As your daughter was very popular and went out frequently with her girlfriends it would be very interesting to hear what they think of her boyfriend. Girlfriends tell each other things that they may not want to hear because they are watching out for, and love, each other.

So you can be sure if they don’t approve of him they will have, in some way or other, let her know this. Maybe you would get some peace of mind if you were to ask about this, either by asking your daughter directly what her friends think of him, or by asking her close friends if your paths cross.

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Anybody who is leaving an inheritance to a loved one can only hope and trust that it will be spent or invested wisely. Instead of worrying what will happen to your land and property, why not rejoice in the fact that you will be allowing your daughter to live very comfortably after you have gone? It is somewhat of an insult to them both to think that he is even partly with her because, at some time in the future, she is going to be a fairly wealthy woman.

So try to adopt a more positive frame of mind, be glad that she is happy and try to be more aware of his good points. You were wise to have remained silent about your concerns — she would not appreciate you telling her about them, and it would change nothing.

You can contact Mary O’Conor anonymously by visiting dearmary.ie or email her at dearmary@independent.ie or write c/o 27-32 Talbot St, Dublin 1. All correspondence will be treated in confidence. Mary O’Conor regrets that she is unable to answer any questions privately.


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