Monday, January 6, 2014

In-Law Week, Day 1: Mother Doesn't Approve Of Remarriage After Divorce

[Ed. Note: Tazi has had a large influx of letters from men complaining about their mothers and wives complaining about their in-laws. I have decided to make this "In-Law Week" in an effort to let Tazi make the world a better place!].

Dear Tazi:

My mother is driving me nuts and has crosses a line that I don't know can be uncrossed! I am a divorced man in my late 20's. I got married while still in high school (the Memorial Day weekend before graduation) and then went straight into the military and then shipped overseas shortly thereafter. I realize now that I should never have gotten married when I did and was doing it for all the wrong reasons. A lot of soldiers get cheated on by the woman they leave back home, but I was still surprised and hurt to find out that my wife had found herself a boyfriend. She tried to blame it all on me - saying if I hadn't joined the military I would never have been called away and she would never have cheated, forgetting that if I hadn't joined the military we would not have gotten married so young!

Anyway, all that is behind me now. I have been divorced for about eight years and have been dating a wonderful lady for two and a half years. I am much more mature than I was when I first got married - the military and war will do that to you - and my lady friend is just a peach. She, too, is divorced due to infidelity, but in her case it was her husband who cheated on her while she was working the night shift. She left him when he wouldn't give up his girlfriend (who he claimed was pregnant, but no baby was ever born. That's another story altogether and not mine to tell).

My mother does not want me to marry "Sally" because she is divorced. When I point out that I am divorced, too, Mama says that my case is "special"; that my wife cheated on me while I was "away being a hero for our country". When I point out that Sally's husband cheated, too, she says that's her point - that a satisfied husband will not cheat on his wife, and what kind of woman is willing to work third-shift when only undesirables and the disrespectful are out and about the town. Tazi, Sally is a nurse! She works at a hospital, saving lives! It's not like she is hanging out on a street corner looking to pick up men!

Mama has told me that she will not give our union her blessing, and my father just goes along with whatever Mama wants because he doesn't feel like having to deal with her. He has told me to just ignore Mama and do what I want - that she will come around, if only for the sake of appearances at first and then because of any grandchildren we might give her. Tazi, I want my mother to accept my wife and our marriage because she loves us, not because she wants to keep up appearances or is hoping for a grandchild. Truth be told, I am not too sure I would allow Mama to come around my children knowing she does not approve of my wife!

It's not that I am not a good decision maker - I am; it's just in the military most of the hard decisions were made by commanding officers and handed down to me to obey. Mama went and compared herself to my commanding officer and I just about lost it on her. At least when my commanding officers told me to do something I knew it was for the good of everyone, not just themselves. Did I forget that Mama has always hoped I would marry her best friend's daughter? Well, she has.

Boots Off The Ground

Dear Boots Off the Ground:

Thank you for your service to our country and the sacrifices you made - both overseas and in your personal life - to fulfill your commitment of service to our country. The price you paid was high, but you do not need to continue paying it. It is time you start living the life of a private citizen, and one of the advantages of being a private citizen is the right to exercise free will!

You did forget to mention that your Mama has a special interest in who you marry, one that goes beyond the whole mother-daughter-in-law relationship that forms upon marriage. With appearances being important to your Mama, I can only imagine the fantasies she has created that revolve around you marrying the girl next door. Try to understand that your Mama is suffering her own kind of loss that she will have to learn to deal with because you are not hers to control.

I suggest that you have a sit down talk with both of your parents present and call out the complaints and double-standards your mother is holding against Sally. Tell them both that you plan on asking Sally to marry you and that you are not asking their permission or for their blessing, that this is just a general for-your-information announcement. Soften your tone and tell them that you would appreciate it if they could accept Sally for the wonderful woman she is and work with you in the planning of your wedding; tell them that you want them to be a positive influence on your marriage, since they have handled their so well for so many years. Finally, tell your Mom that children don't always marry the one their parents hope for, but things work out in the end just the same! (Those words of wisdom are not mine; the father of a son spoke them to my Mommie many, many years ago when his boy, a dear friend of my Mommie and never anything more, married the love of his life!).


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

1 comment:

  1. Great post!! I also got married while I was in high school and my husband went away for the Army. Needless to say we got divorced shortly after his departure (due to him not loving me anymore) but my lawyer Marshall Davis Brown from TX gave me great advice. He told me that what is meant to be will be and to never do what others say just to make them happy. Do what you have to do to make yourself happy. I think your mother will come around. She should just want to see you happy.