Sunday, February 25, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It:Boyfriend doesn't want her in the military

Q: My daughter is seriously considering going into the military. She's a tough girl and I have confidence she would do well.

Problem is, her boyfriend of two years tells her that he is in full support of her but then spends mountains of time trying to convince her to do anything but the military. He has even recently had his parents talk to my daughter about the drawbacks. (Neither spent time in the military.)

As a result, my daughter has become very insecure and afraid of losing her boyfriend if she were to enter. I just want to pull him aside and strangle him, and his parents, for interfering. I'm so angry I'm at a loss how to handle this without losing my cool. Help!

Anonymous

A: I guess you'll learn how strong she really is.

As hard as it is to watch, her boyfriend has every right to lobby against her doing this. Assuming he hasn't crossed the line into manipulation, his opinion has only the power your daughter agrees to give it.

Any major decisions any of us make have to withstand that kind of pressure.

The most effective, non-homicidal way for you to get involved isn't to apply counteracting pressure. It's to say explicitly to your daughter what you were trying to say through staying out of it: "This is your decision. We trust you to make it, and we trust that if you want our opinion, you'll ask."

If she opens the door for you to weigh in on the boyfriend: "He of course doesn't want you to leave — we'd miss you too, that goes without saying. Ultimately, though, you have to do what's right for you. If you don't feel strongly about the military, then that's good to figure out now. If the military is something you do believe in strongly, then the people who love you and want to stay in your life will have to accept you and your service as a package deal."

In your words, of course.

And make them your last words on this unless she asks.

Comments

Tell Me About It: Wife blindsided by news of spouse’s child

Q: I’ve been married two years and am 6 months pregnant, and up to last week I was so happy preparing with my husband, "Tom," for our first child. Only it turns out it’s not his first child. He was contacted by the 18-year-old son he and his girlfrie...
Published: 02/25/18
Your 4-year-old daughter could land a role in ‘Waitress’ at the Straz

Your 4-year-old daughter could land a role in ‘Waitress’ at the Straz

TAMPA — Could your 4-year-old be the next Lulu? A touring Broadway show wants to find out. Waitress, which runs April 24-29 at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, is looking for a local 4- to 5-year old to play a small but c...
Published: 02/23/18

Tell Me About It: Teacher distant after co-worker’s faux pas

I am a teacher at a large high school, and typically only interact with those in my wing of the school. On the first day we returned from break, I bumped into "Polly" while signing in and cheerfully asked, "How was your [vacation]?" She glared at me ...
Published: 02/23/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Feb. 26-March 4.

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Feb. 26-March 4.

Florida Strawberry Festival and concerts: The celebration of the beloved fruit returns to Plant City on Thursday with exhibits, games, rides and food. The stellar musical lineup includes Justin Moore on Friday, Big and Rich on Saturday and Reba McEnt...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Tell Me About It: Daughter needs an ear, not to be rescued

Q: My daughter is in a relationship with her high school boyfriend. They are now living together in a different state with no relatives nearby. My daughter, 25, is a people person with a bubbly personality and makes friends easily. Her boyfriend does...
Published: 02/22/18
Plan your weekend: Monster Energy Supercross. Gasparilla Distance Classic, Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival, slam poet Neil Hilborn

Plan your weekend: Monster Energy Supercross. Gasparilla Distance Classic, Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival, slam poet Neil Hilborn

Extreme Monster Energy Supercross Championship: The action-packed dirt bike stunts and racing returns to Tampa for the first time in two decades. Each track in the 16-city series is different, so competitors will ride between 15 and 20 laps around t...
Published: 02/21/18
Updated: 02/22/18
As spring approaches, parties, food festivals bloom at Florida’s theme parks

As spring approaches, parties, food festivals bloom at Florida’s theme parks

Can you feel it? The air is gradually thickening with humidity and the layers of clothes are getting thinner. Spring has almost sprung and with it brings a bumper crop of festivals in Florida’s theme parks full of food, wine, concerts and parades. Th...
Published: 02/21/18
In theaters this week: ‘Annihilation’ based on Florida author Jeff VanderMeer’s book, ‘Game Night,’ ‘Every Day’

In theaters this week: ‘Annihilation’ based on Florida author Jeff VanderMeer’s book, ‘Game Night,’ ‘Every Day’

ANNIHILATIONAuthor Jeff VanderMeer told me at last year’s Times Festival of Reading that Annihilation (R) is going to blow everyone’s mind. The Tallahassee author is biased, of course, having written the novel it’s based on, but there’s some reason t...
Published: 02/21/18
Top things to do this weekend: Supercross Championship, Olate Dogs, Gasparilla Distance Classic

Top things to do this weekend: Supercross Championship, Olate Dogs, Gasparilla Distance Classic

BIKE RACE: Monster Energy Supercross ChampionshipThe action-packed dirt bike stunts and racing of the Monster Energy Supercross Championship return to Tampa for the first time in two decades. Motorcyclists will race at more than 60 mph and fly off ju...
Published: 02/21/18
This week’s top concerts: Willie Nelson, Los Lobos, Clearwater Sea-Blues and more

This week’s top concerts: Willie Nelson, Los Lobos, Clearwater Sea-Blues and more

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Willie NelsonI’m sure that when Willie Nelson had to postpone his recent Clearwater concert after a bout with the flu, you, like me, took the news well, spitting through clenched teeth: "OH NO YOU DON’T, 2018. YOU WILL NOT TAKE WIL...
Published: 02/21/18