Thursday 13 December 2018

Dear Mary: My daughter's choice of boyfriend breaks my heart - should I step in before they get engaged?

Engagement ring
Engagement ring

Mary O'Conor

My beautiful daughter, in her early thirties, has been living with her boyfriend for some years and I fear an engagement may be fast approaching.

She is bright, well-educated and has a wonderful personality. Her boyfriend is good looking but can be very unmannerly and has been very rude and abrupt with her on several occasions in my presence.

It breaks my heart. Must I stay silent or should I step in and voice my fears?

She already knows I have some reservations.

I do not want to break the bond between us under any circumstances, but I am so fearful for her future happiness.

Mary replies:  Engagements are certainly in the air at this time of year, so you may be proven right very soon.  As you have already let your daughter know that you are not entirely happy with her boyfriend, I don’t think that there is much else that you can do.

She has been with him for a number of years so she must be fully aware of his shortcomings, but has weighed that against his good points and decided to remain with him. If you speak further about your fears and worries do you think that it would cause her to break up with him? Probably not.

But whatever you say cannot be unsaid, and she will always remember your criticism of him which she will interpret as implied criticism of her for choosing  him.

If you say nothing you can be sure that if things go wrong — and let’s hope they don’t — she will be able to come to you and voice her unhappiness and be confident of your support.

Alison Krauss puts it very well: “You say it best when you say nothing at all.”

Sunday Indo Living

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