Dear Ms. Vicki,
I'm not in the habit of seeking advice like this, but I really thought you were writing about me in your recent published response to the older woman who is dating the younger Marine and his mom is getting upset.
My son is one of three children, 22 years old, and in the military. He began a relationship with a woman who at the time was dating his married friend. When that man's wife found out, he dropped her and my son, the super hero, swooped in to rescue her.
She is 44 years old, divorced three times, is a grandmother and is estranged from her adult children, who even have a restraining order against her. She has no job and limited means of support.
During a very nice, 10-day holiday visit with my son, he never once even hinted that he was considering marrying this woman. In fact, he gave us several indications that the relationship was rocky at best. But then he returned to his base after leave, and not one hour later, his lady posted on Facebook using her new last name ... Ours!
The lies hurt, but I'm also concerned for my son. He now thinks of us, his family, as the bad guys. He won't talk to any of us. We are just shocked and want to know what is going on. We accept that this is his life, and he's surely old enough to make his own decisions.
But if he is secure in his choices, then why didn't he share them with us? We'd appreciate any advice you can give about what we can do for our young son.
-- Reluctant In-Laws
I'm sorry this happened to your son and in your family. It sounds like your son fell hard and fast for this woman. Please excuse me for saying this, but it sounds like she had "mad skills" and she used them to dupe your son into marrying her.
Honestly, women like this one sometimes hang around military bases and prey on young men who are away from family. They (the women) put it on these young guys hard and heavy, and the next thing you know the young service member has married the woman.
As you obviously already suspect, these marriages always end horribly. I hope your son doesn't end up losing his career over her. She sounds like a real loser, a woman with a bad history and nothing at all going for her. However, with your son she will get health care, housing and a military ID card, which is a lot more than she had before she married him.
Now, in the meantime, I know it will be tough as nails for you to keep out of this and keep your mouth shut, but that's what you're going to have to do. This is your son and you love him, and it's hard to stand by and watch a sinking ship, especially when that ship is your child. However, staying out of it is the only way you will be able to keep a relationship with your son and keep communication with him.
I know it will be hard, but you have to act like you love your daughter-in-law (that phrase probably makes you cringe!) just to stay close to your son. Eventually, he will start talking about how miserable he is. After all -- and you probably already know this, too -- she won't be faithful to your son. She is probably already eyeballing another young Marine as we write.
All I want is for your son to be safe and for you to maintain communication with him. As much as I hate to say it, eventually, he's going to need you to help him pick up the pieces of this major fiasco. It's a train wreck in progress.
Please keep in touch with me and know that I understand your frustration and your concern for your son.
-- Ms. Vicki
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