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I’m dubious about sincerity of my son’s older girlfriend

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a woman in my 70s, and I’m dubious about the woman who is dating my only son, who is in his mid-30s.

A relative introduced my son to the woman, who is now 40. I had asked the relative to look for a prospective marriage partner for him as I was concerned it would be difficult for him to do so himself.

As she said she wanted to marry him, I’ve been relieved and supported their relationship.

However, he suddenly began spending a ton of money. He used several million yen in just two years. I heard he spent the money mainly on clothes, jewelry and travel.

As I thought they should start preparing to get married, I mentioned marriage to his girlfriend. However, she said, “I must care for my parents, so I can’t marry him.” I was greatly shocked to hear that.

It seems she nevertheless told my son that she wanted to marry him. He has been completely bewitched by her as she is his first girlfriend. I think she is just using him for his money.

If this continues, he will probably lose his savings and may even commit a crime or do something else wrong. I’m so worried. What should I do?

Y, Ibaraki Prefecture

Dear Ms. Y:

You are concerned your son’s girlfriend may be taking advantage of him. I understand how you feel. However, let me tell you something.

I don’t know about your son’s situation, but as a man in his mid-30s, he is a full-fledged member of society, isn’t he? Even though she is his first girlfriend, he is old enough to discern whether she is suited to be his life partner as he has been with her for as long as two years.

Needless to say, whether he marries her is his own decision. So you should regard his feelings as most important. Before telling her to start preparing for their marriage, you should ask your son what he thinks about marrying her.

I have one more thing I can’t understand. If she said she wanted to marry him, why haven’t they married yet and just keep on dating?

So, why not tell him your concern about his spending too much money and your reservations about her remark that she can’t marry him, and ask about his real feelings, particularly what he will do about his relations with her?

Above all, however, this is your son’s business, so you can’t help but trust your son and watch what happens regarding his relations with his girlfriend.

Sachiyo Dohi, lawyer

(from June 16, 2015, issue)Speech

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