Who needs a degree when you’ve got love?
BY CHERYL LAVIN firstname.lastname@example.org May 23, 2012 9:10PM
Updated: July 1, 2012 12:44PM
We recently heard from Not My Son-In-Law. She was the mother who was upset because her 32-year-old daughter was about to make “a terrible mistake.”
The very successful, never-married daughter was dating a 45-year-old widower who had a menial job, an apartment above a garage, and two young sons with cerebral palsy.
“His English is poor; his hygiene is worse. I’m afraid she’s going to marry him out of loneliness and the fear of never finding anyone else. Should I tell her I think she’s making the biggest mistake of her life or just keep my mouth shut?”
I told her to keep her mouth shut. “She loves him and he makes her happy. Be happy for her.”
Today we hear from Noah, who says that potential son-in-law is much like him. “Except I’m 47; I got gud anglsh [his spelling], and I practice good hygiene. But parents never like me despite the fact that I don’t smoke, drink, use drugs, have tattoos or any other common vices. And I’m fairly well read and I am abreast of current affairs.”
Then what’s the problem?
“I don’t have a college degree. For some reason, the two and a half years of college that I do have does not count. And I don’t come from a ‘good family.’ My dad was married five times; my mom is deceased; and there’s much tobacco, alcohol, drug and ink usage in my family’s background. Whenever I ‘meet the parents,’ as soon as they ascertain that, the claws come out!”
Noah says that despite his decidedly non-blue blood and his lack of a college degree, “for some strange reason — such as my looks, sense of humor, and intelligence — I’ve always attracted good girls.”
Noah’s current good girl is his wife, Norrie. They’ve been married for 19 years, together for 23.
“When we moved in together and again later when we announced our wedding date, her parents both made her aware that they did not approve of me. They warned her that she would have a very hard life if she married me. Her brother and sister echoed those feelings as well.
“And you know what? I’ve never trusted them since. It’s tainted the whole relationship between her family and me. This issue alone has created tension in our marriage.
“Every time I’ve had a failure during the years my wife and I have been together — whether it was the time I lost a job or the time my business went under — I think (or rather, I know) my wife’s family felt a sense of satisfaction.
“I’m glad that they all enjoyed a ‘Brady Bunch’ home life and that all three children became professionals, but I’m not going to let them hold this over me and allow it to ruin my self-esteem.
“Families need to realize that love is love, and if two people have a physical attraction, make each other laugh, make each other feel safe and secure, they need to welcome and accept that. And if they don’t, they’re the dysfunctional ones.”
Noah, I couldn’t have said it better myself!
Has your family rejected your partner? Send your tale to email@example.com.