March 26, 2023

By Caroline West-meads For You Magazine


Q Our son got married eight months ago after a whirlwind romance, but his marriage already seems to be in trouble. He was devastated when his previous ten-year relationship ended and I had feared he might be on the rebound. 
Although his new wife seemed charming at first, I was concerned that she might turn out to be a gold-digger. Now, unfortunately, that seems to be the case. 
Our son was made redundant from his well-paid job two months ago. He is 35 (she’s 33) and has had a lot of success. 
An anonymous parent has expressed concern about their son’s new wife. They say that he was devastated when his previous ten-year relationship ended
But he hates the City treadmill and wants to use his payoff for a career change. That would mean tightening their belts – fewer holidays, no new cars. 
His wife is fuming, saying it’s not what she expected and that he must get a new job. She points out that they couldn’t afford to have children if he’s not earning as much (he’s really keen to be a dad). 
I think he needs to end it, but our son keeps making excuses for her and says she’s in shock and will calm down. I think he’s only staying because his previous break-up was so painful and he doesn’t want to go through it again. How can I help him see sense?
A Unfortunately, it does sound as though your son went into this marriage a little hastily. As you rightly suggest, perhaps he was so keen to have a new relationship after the pain of his previous one that he saw only what he wanted to see in his new bride. 
You could possibly give her the benefit of the doubt and believe that, underneath her rage, is the real fear that bringing up a child would indeed be difficult without a more reliable income. At 33, her body clock may well be screaming at her to have children. 
However, that might be showing more kindness than she deserves. Because I agree that it does sound as if she was partly (at least) attracted by your son’s success and the lifestyle it would buy. 
While practicalities do matter on one level – it might not be the ideal time to retrain – ultimately marriage is meant to be a partnership. If he hated his job so much, she shouldn’t be so keen for him to do a similar one. 
Instead, she should be helping him to find a compromise. A little more understanding might not go amiss either, as redundancy can be a huge blow to self-esteem. 
If this relationship is so rocky early on, it doesn’t bode well for the future. So talk to your son and ask him very gently and subtly if he really thinks he would be happy in the long-term and if breaking up now, however painful, might be better than doing it a few years down the line. 
If she really is a gold-digger, then the chances are she will make the decision for him and leave before too long if she doesn’t like the changes to her lifestyle. 
Q A new employee, a young man, recently joined the small company where I’ve worked for many years. He seems pleasant enough, perhaps a bit anxious, and has fitted in well. 
However, recently he made a small administrative mistake and when our boss came round to check what had gone wrong, he didn’t own up that he was responsible but implied it was one of our other colleagues (who wasn’t in that day) – someone with whom I’m really friendly. 
Luckily, it was nothing major and our boss is a reasonable woman so we just corrected it – and nothing more was said. However, I feel really bad for not speaking up for my friend – she has no idea that the new guy blamed her. Should I let her know what happened or say something to our new colleague? I hate confrontation. 
A I know you feel bad for your friend, but telling her may make the situation worse. She could be upset, and it might sour relations between her and your new colleague, which would create an uncomfortable working environment for them – and you – in the future. 
However, you do need to say something to him. Don’t think of it as confrontation but an opportunity for him to learn an important life lesson. 
So explain kindly that you know he was probably anxious about making a mistake in his new job, you understand that and don’t intend to tell anyone. But make it clear that he can’t blame someone else. 
Tell him that it’s OK to make mistakes every now and then – everyone does – but that people will respect him more if he owns up to them. Also let him know that you would have to say something if he does it again. 
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group


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