Social Question

ZEPHYRA's avatar

What would you tell your daughter who is intent on marrying a man who has been unemployed for about 10 years?

Asked by ZEPHYRA (20852points) March 25th, 2010

Supposing he was a nice person, well over 40 years old. Someone whose business failed just over 10 years ago. Since then nothing much has happened in the person’s professional life. Financial help has been coming from the person’s retired father, borrowing from friends and girlfriend and doing odd jobs to help out family and friends. There is no plan for future pension. A kind, helpful person, but seems to have no sense of responsibility, especially when he states his desire to get married and have children despite the on-going situation! He vehemently supports that love, support and companionship are what really counts!!!!! Would you happily wish your daughter the best and let her jump into boiling water, since she would be the one basically supporting the both of them?

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36 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

How old is the daughter? If she’s 18 I’d probably say one thing, and if she’s 45, something else.

nikipedia's avatar

What exactly is the problem? She wants to marry a kind, helpful person, and…?

If she wants to support her husband BFD. It’s her choice and one I’d gladly make.

davidbetterman's avatar

Sounds like a Richard Dreyfuss movie!

njnyjobs's avatar

I would probably take her on a social services/welfare office field trip. Maybe the sight of the realities of life would knock some sense in her.

dpworkin's avatar

Has she the means? If she has both the means and the inclination, it is her business. If she has the inclination but not the means, it becomes your business because you may become emotionally, if not legally, responsible for their debts.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I can be kind… well, not unkind, sometimes, if I’ve had a good rest and someone served me a decent meal and fluffed my pillow, maybe. And helpful! (At least I can stay out of the way when real work is being performed.)

wonderingwhy's avatar

love is love, so long as she understands the situation, let her live her life.

janbb's avatar

A big question in my mind is how old is she? The other question is as @dpworkin suggests, does she have the means to support them both? If she is reasonalby mature and reasonably well-off, then you should probably suck it up and hope for the best. If not, you may still have to suck it up, but I would probably be opening up my big trap if it were me.

lonelydragon's avatar

Be aware that anything you tell her will be met with resistance. It’s the Romeo and Juliet effect; the more you try to change her mind, the more firmly she’ll defend him.

The best approach you can take is to ask some thought-provoking questions about the life she’ll have with this man. Hopefully, she’ll realize that any dreams that she has (i.e. finanicial security and independence, raising a family, etc.) probably won’t come true if she marries him. If, at this point, she still has illusions that he’ll change, disabuse her of that notion. You cannot control what actions she will take, but you can make sure she goes into this marriage with eyes wide open.

Pretty_Lilly's avatar

Give me his number,he would be perfect for my aunt Becky !!

Exhausted's avatar

There is nothing wrong with the woman providing the income. If she’s over 18, it’s her choice.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

She is by no means well-off but is a hardworking, dependable person and far too old for anyone to get involved in her choices, nevertheless it is not the nicest thing for her parents to see her “rowing the boat” for the rest of her life, while he lies back and enjoys the ride.

janbb's avatar

@ZEPHYRA I feel for you. Your kids are your kids forever and it painful to see some of the choices they make.

Exhausted's avatar

Relationships are regarding two people doing what is best for them. If he makes her happy and she is willing to support him in exchange for what he offers her, then it is a fair exchange. If she were not working and he supported them, you probably wouldn’t think a thing about it. I married a man that was filing for disability. I raised two sons pretty much by myself and often said I wish I had a wife. I didn’t mind being the breadwinner, I already was in my household and having someone join me and help me was such a blessing after years of doing it all by myself. Having THAT was worth my supporting us. Maybe one day he will finally get approved for disability and his income will offer some relief, but if it never does, that’s fine too. He earns his keep, in my book.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

But he is perfectly able to work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ChaosCross's avatar

“You are perfectly free to make your own choices. If it is true love you feel, and by that I mean something that you know will last, then I will condone the way you feel. Think, pray, talk, for your own good as well as his.”

Would be close to my words.

nikipedia's avatar

@ZEPHYRA: If that pisses you off it’s a good thing you’re not marrying him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

phillis's avatar

“I thought I told you to do as I say (and not as I do)? Where in the world do you get this behavior from?”

Likeradar's avatar

Assuming your daughter is an adult, you need to trust that you raised her to make good choices. This is not your marriage, it’s hers. Express your concerns, then let it go. She is an adult, and this is her issue, not yours.

Silence04's avatar

I would assume your daughter is capable of making her own life decisions by now… Wouldn’t you agree?

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I would tell her that I’m broke ;)

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Unemployed for 10 years?
I’d have to ask her how he sustains himself. He’s either a bum, wealthy from birth or selling dope.

This one seems to be “A”: Bum.
Probably has some savings he’s living off.

I very surprised that people are so accepting of this setup. 10 years is a long time to not work at all. What’s he been doing? This would be a big concern for most people.

Supergirl's avatar

No matter the age of the daughter, parents will always be concerned about their children. I understand you do not want your daughter to be taken advantage of, but at the same time, you don’t want to push her away. I dated a guy my parents could not stomach, and it only brought me closer to the guy, and further away from them. In the end, I realized he was a douchebag lazy-ass and swiflty broke it off. But it took me four years.

Have a little faith that she will make the right decision for herself.

Pandora's avatar

You say he’s kinda a mooch. If she can support him and they want children than I don’t see a problem so long as he is willing to stay home and raise the kids. You say he really does love her and is a kind person. I would have no problem with role reversal. However that being said I would speak with him and her and ask them what would happen if something were to happen and she couldn’t work. Would he be willing to go out and help support his family in time of need?
@Captain Fantasy, You make a good point. I would be concerned about him doing illegal stuff as well and her being dragged in as an accomplice.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

This isn’t a situation where they’re contemplating him becoming a house husband and father, he’s been avoiding working to be responsible for himself for a long long time, it’s a bunch of insecurity and denial he’s covering up which isn’t right to bring to the table of a serious relationship. I’d tell my own daughter that the man has let himself wallow in disappointment far too long and over a decade he’s probably gathered some skeletons in his closet. To me, a ‘real’ man or woman wouldn’t try to sell this BS to someone they love, want to marry and make children with.

Blondesjon's avatar

What, you couldn’t find an alcoholic who beats you like everyone else?

LuckyGuy's avatar

“Sweetie, you are my daughter and I will always love you. I may not agree with your choices but they are yours to make. I have made choices too. My retirement plans do not include the support of my adult children and their families. Good luck. Are you planning a big wedding? ”

nikipedia's avatar

@Neizvestnaya: it’s a bunch of insecurity and denial he’s covering up which isn’t right to bring to the table of a serious relationship

Maybe not your serious relationship. But everyone has flaws and if the requirement for entering into a serious relationship was ridding yourself of all insecurity and denial, we’d all die alone.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Of course but in this example where the man has avoided going to back into the workplace because his own venture didn’t pan out reeks of huge ass ego indulgence and he’s getting other people to pay for it!

For my child and future grandchildren I’d rather have a son or daughter in-law willing to work jobs out of their field or less than desired in order to show they can take care of themselves and my loved ones when times get rough intead of the snivler who thinks particular jobs beneath them or the degree they went to school with. That kind of thing. And sorry but odd-jobbing it isn’t impressive to me to see my loved ones go to.

laureth's avatar

What would you say if the genders were reversed and your hardworking son fell in love with a woman who lived on odd jobs, borrowing, parental support and being nice?

editingdiva's avatar

Beginning when my children were first dating, I had a slogan in our household that I repeated every time it was appropriate: “When it comes to adding to the family, we don’t do charity cases.” It worked. In your case, it appears to be a bit late. I would not be shy about voicing your concerns not only to her but also to her boyfriend. If the marriage happens, then you have to shut up and do whatever you can to nurture/support/guide any grandchildren that come along.

Silhouette's avatar

I’d tell her “Are you nuts?’

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I would ask her (presumably before the decision to marry) if he has passions and drive – these do not have to have anything with making money – if she can support him financially and he inspires her, then so be it. But if he doesn’t have goals or ambitions or much else, then I’d caution against it being that while money isn’t important, it becomes so when one starts a family, to a degree. Passion and inspiration are even more important and if my child’s partner lacked those, I’d be disappointed.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

“Is he that well equipped?”

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’d want the same for a son of mine, to find a partner who shows resilience, responsibility and then the two of them can decide what they want to do from there. I’d choose not to see my son or daughter enter into an already dysfunctional situation like the one posted. Borrowing from other when you’re capable of supporting yourself has no excuse other then some mental issues not yet taken care of. Marriage and children will pose greater mental stresses and challenges and if he can’t hack working for “The Man” like many teenagers even do then I wouldn’t feel he’s ready for a wife and family.

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