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We don’t approve of our son’s fiancée

Hi Achokis. My husband and I have raised our son well and he has turned out to be a responsible young man. We have always openly discussed his future plans including him starting a family. He recently introduced us to a girl whom he is dating. My husband and I are not comfortable with this girl as she seems to be older than our son; she’s also from a different tribe and looks like someone who is going to dominate our son. This thing has greatly troubled me and is giving me sleepless nights. I feel like telling my son to break off that relationship, but seeing how much he’s in love with this girl, it is going to be a tall order and yet I care so much to let him make this mistake. What should I do?

Our Take

Parents always want the best for their children. We can, therefore, understand the anguish you are going through, especially if you feel your son is not going in the right direction. When two people are in love, the emotions are so high that they sometimes can’t reason well. Trying to stop the two lovebirds or putting them asunder can be difficult and counterproductive as they can gang up against you and even elope.

As a parent, you obviously had an expectation of the kind of person your son should marry. So, when he showed up with this girl who did not meet your expectations you were disappointed. This is normal.  But in the midst of your disappointment, how you still love and support your son will determine a lot.

First and foremost, between the two of you (you and your husband), who is closer to him? Let the one closer to him talk to him and if it doesn’t work, let them involve the other. Lay down your fears and concerns. Let him know that you respect his judgement even as you raise your concerns. Realise your role here is more as a guide giving advice and not trying to impose your opinions upon him. Be careful not to pull down his girlfriend or say things that are unkind, especially about her tribe. You need to get rid of your personal prejudices against her tribe as love knows no boundaries as far as the tribe is concerned.

Ask him questions that will make him think deeply about the relationship, thus help him in his decision-making. Don’t approach with a conclusive mindset; come with an open mind realising that in all this, you could be wrong. Don’t belittle him or disregard his feelings about this girl. You also need to get to know the girl personally as well. Don’t judge the book by its cover. Invite her home, give her a date, and meet her with one of your friends or relatives whose advice and opinion matters you treasure. Sometimes, spending a little more time with someone makes one change their mind about that person.

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