All Romance Is Complicated

Posted on | January 26, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My mother claims to have fallen in love with an elderly gentleman (they are both in the 70s) who she met socially at a party. Both of them lost their spouses within the last year and both seem genuinely happy to be together. Even though they’ve only known each other for about 3 months, they are planning to get married! I got a little suspicious and investigated this guy and it turns out he has NEVER worked, NEVER had a job and NEVER earned a dime in his life. He has lived off two women (his first and second wives) and now, it seems, he is planning to live off a third (my mother is pretty well off). I’ve tried to talk her into not getting married but only “living together” but she says that she’s much too old-fashioned for that. How do I stop her from making a big and permanent mistake?
Dubious Daughter

Dear DD:
People in the 70s can match, mate, and marry on whatever terms seem appropriate to them. In our experience, adult children tend to be suspicious of these liaisons and often non-supportive. You may be right that he is a serial golddigger but he obviously has other redeeming characteristics. You might suggest a prenuptial agreement which is not unusual in these circumstances. Your mom is then free to enjoy her new husband and pay for all the trips, gifts and lifestyle enhancements she desires — but she maintains the control. If she agrees, and even if she doesn’t, you have done all you can do. Try to celebrate her happiness.

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