My daughter is engaged to a man she has known for 5 months

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by lizabethann, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. lizabethann

    lizabethann New Member

    My daughter is 23 years old. She joined the Marine Corp right out of high school. She was an excellent student and a great daugher. She was at her permanent duty station and after dating a fellow marine after one month she was pregnant. They married about 3 months later and she has a wonderful daughter and is now divorced (final October 2012). Her marraige was horrible, he cheated on her from day one (no surprise there). He ended up being kicked out of the Corps due to a DUI in January 2012. She filed for divorce. She was deployed to Afghanistan in August and 2 weeks after arriving she met another fellow Marine. From the first time she told me about him I had a bad feeling. As her deployment continued, she became more serious, and I became more concerned. He said he wants to take care of her and her daughter and marry her. Her divorce was final in October and she returned home from deployment in December. We flew out to meet her and picked up her daughter for the arrival. This man she met was there, but promised to stay out of the way. He was also returning back to our home with us for a week and a half. Her return from deployment was rift with anger and just a horrible time. He has visited her from the East Coast to the West Coast twice and she went to his hometown for Easter 2013. He had called my husband 2 days before he went home (she is currently attending school about 2 hours from his hometown).. My husband did not respond to his call, as his message was "he wanted to ask him a question". We had an idea he wanted to ask for my daughters hand, and we could not say yes, so to avoid a problem, he ignored the call. When my daughter mentioned the fact he was waiting for a return call, my husband told my daughter any question he has he can ask through her. We really have a very bad feeling about this guy and, as I have access to her banking records, I can see where she is spending an incredible amount of moneyh on him when they are together. I feel he is an opportunist and is taking advantage of her, is controlling and feel he could harm her. She does not. He also is divorced, it was final in July 2012. I got a copy of his divorce paperwork and his wife was pregnant with another mans child at the time of their filing, but he had to pay her $400.00 a month alimony and keep her as half beneficiary on his life insurance until their divorce was final, 2 years from the date of their filing. That just gives me rise to the question of why he had to pay her alimony. Lots of other indicators, but the truth is, I just have a really bad feeling. My daughter is very angry with us and has told me she will not talk to me until my husband and I apologize to her and her "fiance". Right now her daughter is with her father (my daughter has permanent custody, but since she is attending a military school is not allowed to have dependents with her). I want to talk to my daughter about this, but I can't apologize because I feel there is nothing good to come to this. I need to know how to reach out to her, but keep my stance on my feelings about what she has done. She is a beautiful girl, but very insecure. I just have a really bad feeling, call it mothers intuition, but she won't listen. I just need help to try to get back into her life again. I'm miserable, but I know she is making a big mistake.
  2. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    I am prior service army and have been divorced in the Army the rules about taking care of dependents. I myself had to pay my husband something you could term "alimony" until we my divorce was final which took three filings and ten months to complete. I can understand your concern for your daughter jumping into a marriage, but I also understand the way the military works, if you want to be stationed with your spouse you must be married so in order to have a relationship that is not doomed to failure through distance and hardly ever being allowed to take leave you must be married. I myself spent 6 months away from my current spouse because he had orders to PCS(permanent change of station) and I did not. So sometimes marriage is not even a good indicator that you will be stationed together or will see each other soon. Maye she knows something about his orders or her orders that you do not? I can understand why she would want an apology. While his divorce may be a matter of public record it seems a little extreme to get a copy of those records. I am very pleased for you if you have never gone through a divorce, but no one knows what goes on inside a marriage but the two people who were in it, there are three sides to every story. His/hers and the truth, and when you add the military there is an added dimension to the issue. I am truly sorry if anything I said came off offensively as that was not my intent, just my two cents.
  3. Mechdonna2

    Mechdonna2 Mechdonna2

    I was a military wife for nine years, so I know something about the lifestyle. Ask her to meet his family first and to stay engaged a long time, if she feels she must be engaged to him. I met many people I admired while I was a military wife. I worked on the base and enjoyed being part of the military. I also knew some young people who tended to be irresponsible. They move so much that there is often not much closure in their relationships.

    Maybe your husband should speak to both of them about his reservations.

    I hope you can get through to her. I would have to agree that she would be making a mistake. She must be a risk taker.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I probably shouldnt answer this because I am the mother of a Marine even if he is no longer active duty. As they say, once a Marine, always a Marine and I feel I will always be a Marine Mom.

    When your daughter joined the Marines she decided to leave your home and become one of this country's finest group of men and women. I have the utmost trust that she was trained well and she came out of that training a much finer woman with a much better sense of her own self. I do know that as young people they can make some stupid mistakes. My son also got married soon after he got to his first duty station and it didnt work out. Their marriage lasted just a hair over a year because she cheated on him. Funny thing was he was never deployed!

    But in reality, as parents we cant pick our kids spouses. Not long after my son got divorced, he met another woman and they dated just a little while and now they are married with two kids and a house. He did only stay in the corps his 4 years and got out. He is much happier in a civilian job even if it his with the county.

    I can tell you this much as the mother of two adult boys who have partners I am not that thrilled with and I would certainly not have chosen for them. You cant force your child to pick between who they want to love/date/marry/live with. If you do, you will lose your child. You have to swallow hard and just learn to get along the best way you can. You can hope she will see the light and he will go away but you cant say a thing about that. Get to know him. Ever hear the old adage about keep your friends close and your enemies closer? That is what you should do.

    I know this is so hard. You worry about her. But remember her training. She is so smart. You gave her a wonderful foundation and then the Marines finished the job. Thats the way I always say things when I talk about my son. I could have never raised him into the man he is today without the help of the USMC.
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I have no experience in this but can hear your concern and am sorry for that.

    The truth seems, as others have said here....she is an adult and will make her own choices. The military has rules and reading into why he had to pay alimony is going to be biased on your part. There is no way you can know why....sounds like it may just be military protocol.

    If you are truly concerned, be supportive. Be involved. You have no idea if he might be spending money on her too. His reaching out to ask for permission is respectful and he did not have to do that. Ignoring him is hurtful and passive aggressive. I'm not saying that to criticize you. But remember, she is not doing this to hurt you. She feels that she is in love. If you have concerns, then maybe try to put them into words that are not personal attacks, but things like, we have seen you be hurt in the past and we just feel protective. You have both had bad experiences in the past, we hope you will take some time to really make sure.....but we are here for you. An apology is helpful, you don't have to apologize for how you feel, but could apologize for how you communicated your concern.

    Because even if you are right and he is not the right guy for her, she is going to stay with him. You can be there to love and encourage her, or you can have her kick you out of their lives which would be very sad.

    It's clear you love her. I hope you can find a way to communicate that to her without damaging your relationship.

    Maybe it would help to talk to a counselor or pastor to help you develop appropriate boundaries for this stage of life (digging in her finances is not healthy at this stage of her development....having access for emergencies is fine but critiquing how she spends is not, in my humble opinion), and to learn communication skills to get through this. We are not given manuals on how to raise kids.....and this phase of life is really challenging.

    I hope you can work through this. It doesn't seem worth losing your daughter over.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, she is 23 and a Marine, which is an incredible accomplishment. I'm one of those parents who really doesn't interfer in my grown kid's choices, even if I think something won't work out or I see red flags simply because they are adults...we made OUR mistakes...and most of us made many...and it is in my opinion our job now to let them make their own choices and learn from them. You don't know for sure that this is a bad man. It's just a feeling you have. I personally would have gone along with it because I want to have good relationships with my adults kids and want to be able to know my grandchildren. I don't think grown kids like interferring parents and can backfire on you.

    Since she isn't asking you for a ton of money, but just to talk to her fiance, if this were me, I'd do it. This is not ditzy young adult, living off of you, taking drugs, getting into trouble. She is a Marine. I would respect her choices and, if it works out that way, allow her to make her own mistakes. Otherwise you may end up without her in your life. We would all LOVE our kids to marry Prince Charming or Princess Wonderful. But most of us didn't do it and most of our kids don't make that choice either.

    Since you have nothing to lose and none of your money is involved, just your acceptance, in my opinion it's probably a good idea to go with the flow. You have a daughter who has her own money and if it turns out badlyl, she can leave and support herself. I have no idea why you are looking at your grown daughter's bank account, but I would never do that. Same with fiance's divorce records. So he should have stayed with a woman who cheated on him??? Maybe he pays child support, even if it's not his child, because he wants this child to have a decent chance. I don't know. It's in my opinion none of my business.

    Welcome to the board. Others may have another opinion, but I think it's best to allow grown kids to choose their own partners unless you are positive they are getting abused...even then, what can you do to stop it, even if you know? Let go of the control that you know longer have. JMO :)
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome to the board lizabethann, I'm sorry you are going through this issue with your daughter, it sounds as if you struggling. As another parent whose grown daughter makes choices I don't agree with, I can share with you that, really, in spite of your bad feelings, in spite of the fact that you may turn out to be right, for all intents and purposes, it's none of your business. I don't mean to be insensitive, but your daughter is a grown adult woman and also a member of the armed forces, she is not a child. If she makes a bad choice, she has to live with the consequences, not you.

    It's difficult to observe our kids making choices that we don't agree with, especially if we feel it will end badly. However, at some point, you have to let go and allow them to make those mistakes and learn from them. I don't think ignoring the fiance's phone call is a good idea. It promotes a feeling on her part that you are withholding your love because you don't agree with her choices, it does feel passive aggressive and manipulative as someone else mentioned. If it were me, I would apologize to her, I would call him and I would get support for myself to learn how to detach and let go and accept her choices, in spite of my own feelings about them. It is her life. I would be as supportive as I could, regardless of how I felt, to show her that I love her and believe in her. If it turns out badly, I would be supportive then as well and I would avoid saying I told you so. At this point in time, you really have no right to be digging around in her life trying to find evidence for your opinions, that sounds quite invasive to me and if she knows you did that, she may feel the same way and she would be justified in her anger.

    Although its difficult to let go of our grown kids and allow them to make their own choices when we don't believe they are making good ones, it is essential to their growth and important for us to make a distinction between enabling and control and loving kindness. Your involvement in your daughter's life right now appears to be about trying to control her actions by withholding your love, which will of course make her angry. I believe you should apologize. And tell her you have these feelings but you love her and want her to be happy. Even if you "know" she is making a mistake, it really is her life to live, you can't control her choices.
  8. lizabethann

    lizabethann New Member

    Thank you all for your reality slap. I guess I needed it. I communicated with her last night. I sent her a text and told her I loved her very much, in an attempt to get some communication going. I'll keep you advised and I really do appreciate your words, some hard to hear, but nonetheless, true. Some times it's hard to see the forest through the trees when you feel you are in the thick of it. She's still very angry at her father and I and is letting me know. She was texting me and I finally told her to call me when she was ready to talk. (I hate texting as your words are not always interpreted in the manner which you are writing them). Hopefully we can get through this. My husband is away until Wednesday and I need to get him onbard and turned around. There is so much hurt going on right now and I know this will not be solved overnight. The best advice was to not apologize for our feelings, but our way of communicating them. Thank you all. I pray this all works out.
  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I appreciate that you received our advice in the manner in which it was intended, to help, to support, to offer our empathy and compassion and to give you our hard earned experience because we all have needed those "reality slaps" where our kids are concerned. It's good that you are open to suggestions, I believe that will make the road with your daughter more smooth.

    All of us here want to save our kids from any hurts we can, and yet, once they are grown up we really can't without sending a message to them that we don't trust them. We MAY indeed know better, but perhaps OUR parents knew better too when we were out there doing some stupid stuff as young people. And we did it anyway, and we learned too. It's the way it is, from the time they are born it's an exercise in letting them go. Sigh. All of us here are in some form of that letting go process, letting them go out the door to school can hurt our mommy hearts. Your daughter may walk into the arms of a bad dude and live to regret it AND you will be there if/when that happens to console her broken heart. OR they may surprise you and turn it all around............we never know how it will turn out.............hang in there, you were willing to listen to us......... be willing to listen to her, you will gain more in listening then you will in being 'right'.................hugs.............
  10. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I'm glad you posted, I worried that in written form you might not hear that we really do care. I have known these folks for a while now and they are the real deal.

    I hope your husband will feel the same, and I hope given anything similar, I'd be as open to sincere support as you are. You are a loving mother. Keep us updated!
  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Even without the "Marine" aspect it is really, really hard to cope with what you are sure is an inappropriate coupling. I honestly "thought" that I had provided the right degree of support to my easy child and his SO who due to an expected baby were headed "down the aisle". It has been over twenty years and somehow I "blew it". In retrospect I honestly don't think that I "blew it" was blown. I loved that son with all my heart. Circumstances came about that he evidently believed he had to choose. Sigh. She agreed to have the children that he wanted to have and to become involved in a common religion. He is still a easy child BUT his wife hs managed to keep him from having contact with his family. Heartbreak.

    Now, sigh, I have my grandson who is enmeshed with a woman who ALSO wants him to HERSELF. Based on past experience we have kept our mouths shut and "welcomed" her into the family It is not enough. Sigh. I am 72 and I still don't understand how a "lover" "mate" can undermine decades of a loving relationship. It can and does happen. It's an itch but no good comes from trying to stop the train barrelling down the track. Do your best to role may work. Hugs DDD
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This might let you know I understand better than my first post did.

    My son went into the Marines at 18. He was supposed to get married the week he got home from boot camp but his fiance had cheated on him while he was in boot camp so he left her at the alter. Now he went to his training at Lejeune for those few weeks and then went to his MOS school. That took from the middle of June until he left for MOS school on July 11th.. Then he graduated his MOS school sometime in November and ended up at his first duty station at the end of November. He met some girl at his MOS school and she followed him out to Quantico where he was stationed and they got married in January. So he went from dumping his fiance in June to marrying another girl in 6 months. Yeah...dumb. Then not 18 months later he catches her cheating on him and he divorces her. That would put him at lets see. He married her when he was 19....he turned 20, that year so he caught her cheating at 21 when he kicked her out. Took a year for the divorce so he was 22.. But he had met the new girl while he was waiting. He is now 28, and his daughter is 5...almost 6. She was born in 2007. He would have kicked his wife out in Aug 05. He was with his new wife in the winter of 06 but they werent married yet. They got pregnant in the fall of 06 and then married in Dec of 07 after their daughter was born in july of 07. son didnt take any time either. LOL.