How to discourage an ill-advised marriage without alienating the person?
March 9, 2014 10:53 AM Subscribe
My partner's 18 year old sister wants to marry her boyfriend of one year. They both live at home with their respective parents, are not planning to pursue post-secondary school, and are financially insecure (she does not work, he works part time). They have recently converted to a fundamentalist version of a new faith, and their plan is to rely on her disabled mother who would lose her benefits by caring for them - the mother is against this but of course loves her daughter. Their religious community is encouraging them (but not offering financial aid). What can we do to support her but not her decision?
posted by partly squamous and partly rugose to Human Relations (27 answers total)
We live in Canada and they are obviously going to do this. His parents disapprove. My partner is trying to talk to her respectfully and show they like the boyfriend and have no issues with the religion, but she is in love and feels my partner doesn't understand. Complicating the matter, her boyfriend has discovered a fundamentalist religion and she has converted so he will stay with her. Neither is knowledgeable about the faith (which I am familiar with having grown up in the culture) and to me it seems they are getting married to resume intimate relations.
What can we do to get through to her that this is a poor idea, without making her feel we are against her religion or her boyfriend (because we aren't)? We don't want her to ruin her life by rash decisions and don't want to end up financially subsidizing her decisions, but we also don't want to turn our backs on her in case she ever needs our help. Our ideal outcome is that she should wait, our logic is if he loves her he will still be there in a year or two, and also that she should at least go to college and/or learn to be financially independent in case he can no longer work, or he leaves. Finally we also feel she should learn more about her chosen religion prior to marriage. My partner is more open about it and I am open to a more progressive version of her faith (I have seen fundamentalist version first hand).
Does anyone have experience with this? Is there anything at all we can do without being patronizing? I talk to my partner about this and my partner speaks to her with what I say in mind, as I feel it is not my place to directly involve myself. If you made a similar decision to hers did it work out? Are we being too hard on her? Is there something you wish someone said to you? Please help. We love her very much. While we want her to make her own choices we don't want her to jeopardize her future. I did find this post but do not think the situation is the same: http://ask.metafilter.com/121418/Getting-married-young-What-say-you