Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Daughter wants to 'check the marriage box'

Daughter wants to 'check the marriage box'

Q: My smart, successful, and never-been-married 41-year-old daughter has recently become engaged to a twice-divorced man whom she has nothing in common with except a desire to not be alone anymore. I'm worried she's his "retirement plan," as he can't wait to retire early from his job and live the expat lifestyle with her overseas. They've only known each other for a year, and six months of that have been long-distance. She complains he won't stop seeing his "ex-girlfriend/best friend" who lives in the same apartment complex as him and it's making her insecure.

How do I support her? They have a 13-year age gap, and I want her to slow down and think carefully about what she's getting herself into. Wanting to "check the marriage box" off your to-do list isn't a reason to rush into this.

Just Want Her to Slow Down

A: You have a message problem, one that stems from the even bigger problem of trying to be a parent to someone who's 20 years into being an adult.

You don't have to be silent, but, if you want to avoid alienating your daughter (in most cases, straight to the altar of the person you're trying to red-flag), you do have to be mindful of her strength and autonomy.

That limits you to reflecting what she's saying — which actually isn't the worst thing. "If I'm hearing you correctly, you sound unsure." Or, "You're worried he still has feelings for this ex."

Then give her a chance to respond. Either she'll disagree and clarify what she's saying, or she'll confirm. If it's the latter, then say, "It's normal to be unsure/worry." Then, a tacit statement of confidence in her ability to handle it: "Have you thought about how you'll deal with that?" Then at the end, an overt statement: "You're a strong and capable person, and you'll figure this out. I'm happy to be your sounding board when you want one."

Isn't that what would you want your mom to say, if you were in this spot? A welcome reminder that, "Hey, you've got this"? With a side of, " . . . but I'm here if you need me"?

Where to find kid-friendly, not-so-scary Halloween fun

Where to find kid-friendly, not-so-scary Halloween fun

Spare the gore and take the kids to these family-friendly Halloween parties planned at theme parks and attractions in the coming weeks.Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writerCreatures of the Night at ZooTampa The weekend nighttime Halloween party at...
Published: 09/18/18

Tell Me About It: Parents want bully brother to be his best man

Q: Iím getting married. Thatís awesome. However, my parents want me to ask my brother to be my best man. The idea of letting my brother, whoís spent his whole life being the biggest jerk he can manage, stand up and give a speech about me makes me wan...
Published: 09/17/18

Tell Me About It: Mom is frustrated by teenís dislike of academics

Q: I have a 15-year-old son who is obviously bright but hates school. My husband and I canít helicopter him to success because (a) we donít want to be helicopter parents, and (b) he has developed ninja-like skills when it comes to evading any attempt...
Published: 09/14/18

Tell Me About It: In search of ways to stop the family over-talker

Q: During extended family get-togethers with my side of the family, there is one person who does 95 percent of the talking. When I ask someone else in the room a question about their lives, this person always jumps in and takes over the conversation ...
Published: 09/13/18
Busch Gardens reveals plans for Tigris, Florida's tallest launch roller coaster

Busch Gardens reveals plans for Tigris, Florida's tallest launch roller coaster

Busch Gardens will open Florida’s tallest launch coaster in spring 2019, company officials announced Wednesday. The triple-launch, tiger-themed roller coaster called Tigris will hurl riders 150 feet into the sky, turn them upside down and swirl...
Published: 09/12/18

Tell Me About It:

Mom-to-be decides who will join her in deliveryQ: I am six months pregnant with my first child. Iíve been fixated a bit on who to have in the delivery room with me, I think because itís one of the few elements I can control in this pregnancy. Should ...
Published: 09/12/18
Tampa’s first KittyCon is coming, and cat lovers are purring

Tampa’s first KittyCon is coming, and cat lovers are purring

Kitten Lady and the owners of Cole & Marmalade will be at KittyCon.
Published: 09/11/18

Published: 09/11/18

Tell Me About It: Momís support shouldnít sacrifice her principles

Q: My 27-year-old daughter recently broke up with her live-in boyfriend. Now she wants me to tell her Iím on her side of every dispute.Itís her life, sheís an adult: Got it. But should I really be expected to tell her she acted well when she didnít? ...
Published: 09/11/18

Tell Me About It:

Q: Iím pregnant and have come to the realization that I need to be a stay-at-home mom. My husband and I had planned for me to go back to work, but I now realize staying home with the baby is something I need to do.My husband is not being supportive a...
Published: 09/16/18