I am 56 years old, separated for five years now, and living with my two unmarried kids.
My daughter, who works at an international institution, is 28 years old and a career woman. Her European boyfriend of one year has asked her to move in with him in his condo after their trip abroad last month. He is a pilot with our local airline.
How should I react? My conscience repels the idea, not only because I am a Christian, but I fear that my daughter will be on the losing end if ever the relationship goes sour. I would prefer they continue the girlfriend-boyfriend thing until they are ready for the big leap. However, my daughter is inclined to move in with him with or without my approval.
Help me see the rationale. Is it really the new trend? Would a live-in arrangement be better than to suffer a costly annulment later if things don’t workout if ever they marry now?
At 28 and with a career that can, in all probability, allow her to live independently, your daughter has enough respect for you to even contemplate asking for your permission to do something that doesn’t warrant your approval anymore. Clearly, you’ve brought her up well enough to care about your feelings and family values.
If she can travel alone with her boyfriend, what’s the difference between that and them living together? It’s not like she’s a minor and will suddenly lose her virtue, having an old ogre suddenly living with her.
The operative word here is maturity. She obviously has the wherewithal to decide what’s best for her at this stage. Trust enough in her judgment that there is something she finds worthy in this guy that is making her throw her lot, sans marriage, with him.
What is marriage anyway if it’ll crumble subsequently because of the immaturity and selfishness and mental unpreparedness of those who enter it without giving it much thought? Or doing it for all the wrong reasons, like unwanted pregnancy or intimidation?
Why should couples be beholden to the wagging tongues of family and friends and be pushed into something against their belief? Look around. There are more enduring happy partnerships, which is more preferable than being in some rotting marriages.
Give more credit to this daughter of yours who must be taking into account your own failed marriage. She’s probably thinking one doomed relationship in the family is enough—and is making sure she has covered all bases in her decision.
Swallow hard, breathe deeply, and thank the heavens for the wisdom of this daughter. Not all mothers can be this lucky in having a sensible child.