Archive for September, 2013

Dear Shelby

September 3, 2013

This seems like an odd thing to write, but my middle brother-in-law is engaged, to a girl 12 years younger than he is (does that sound familiar)?  There are so many things I want to say – but I can’t…. so I’ll put it here for myself, and for others that are in similar positions.

Dear Shelby

12 years in age difference is a long time, especially when you are in your very early 20’s.  Make absolutely certain that you want to go down this path.

Living in your boyfriend’s parents basement isn’t fun.  If he cannot provide adequately for you now, what makes you confident that he can do it in the future?

Look at his actions, do you really want to spend your life with a man who isn’t interested in helping his family?  Is it fair that your future sister-in-law is coming over and mowing the house that you are living in when “your man” has the day off work?

If he is willing to lie to your family to get his way do you think he’ll be willing to lie to you for the same reasons?

Do you want a dad or a best friend?  When he walks along behind you telling you what to eat, what to drink, what to get, where to sit, I want to jump from my chair and punch him in the mouth – do you feel the same way?  That level of control will get worse, not better!

Bringing a puppy into a relationship is like bringing in a baby, it will make life more stressful, more challenging, there will be more disagreements and more work.  You need to be absolutely certain that you are up for it.

Men can be incredibly selfish.  Sometimes they realize it, other times they don’t.  He will expect to sleep in when he wants, he will eat and drink to excess, he will make decisions for himself and not for the greater good, he will leave butt prints on the toilet and toothpaste in the sink.  I have known him for 11 years now, these things will not change overnight, if at all.  If you are willing to do extra or put up with these idiosyncracies make sure that you are getting enough in return.

He is lashing out at family members for expecting better of him.  Who goes to their mother’s 60th birthday party without a gift or a card?  Who throws a temper tantrum when asked to wear casual dress clothes to their parents 40th wedding anniversary?  These kinds of emotional highs and lows will wear on you.  They will cause you to be more defensive.  They will make you sad and resentful. 

Finally, everyone around you should be excited while you are planning for your wedding, even if you have a smidge of Bridezilla.  Your family and his family have expressed serious doubts.  They are not trying to make you miserable.  They are asking you to seriously consider the decision and it’s impact on your future.  This can be a fling.  Just because he proposed doesn’t mean you have to go all the way down the path.  People break engagements.  It is easier than breaking apart a marriage. 

Really think before you do this.  You seem strained, tired, annoyed.  Not the happy YOUNG girl we met a year ago.  A relationship shouldn’t feel like this.