We recently heard from Not My Son-in-Law. She is the mother who is upset because her 32-year-old daughter is about to make "a terrible mistake."
The very successful never-married daughter is dating a 45-year-old widower who has a menial job, lives in an apartment above a garage and has two young sons with cerebral palsy.
Not My Son-in-Law said: "His English is poor, his hygiene worse. I'm afraid she's going to marry him out of loneliness and the fear of never finding anyone else. Should I tell her I think she's making the biggest mistake of her life or just keep my mouth shut?"
I told her to keep her mouth shut: "She loves him and he makes her happy. Be happy for her."
Today we hear from Nate, who says that potential son-in-law is him: "Except I'm 47, I got gud anglsh ... and I practice good hygiene. But parents never like me despite that fact that I don't smoke, drink, use drugs, have tattoos or any other common vices. And I'm fairly well read and am abreast of current affairs."
Then what's the problem?
He says: "I don't have a college degree. For some reason, the two and a half years of college that I do have does not count. And I don't come from a 'good family.' My dad was married five times, my mom is deceased, and there's much tobacco, alcohol, drug and ink usage in my family's background. Whenever I 'meet the parents,' as soon as they ascertain that, the claws come out!"
Nate says that despite his non-blue blood family and his lack of a college degree, "for some strange reason — such as my looks, sense of humor, and intelligence — I've always attracted good girls."
Nate's current good girl is his wife, Nanette. They've been married for 19 years, together for 23.
"When we moved in together and again later when we announced our wedding date, her parents both made her aware that they did not approve of me. They warned her that she would have a very hard life if she married me. Her brother and sister echoed those feelings as well.
"And you know what? I've never trusted them since. It's tainted the whole relationship between her family and me. This issue alone has created tension in our marriage.
"Every time I've had a failure during the years my wife and I have been together — whether it was the time I lost a job or the time my business went under — I think (or rather, I know) my wife's family felt a sense of satisfaction.
"I'm glad that they all enjoyed a 'Brady Bunch' home life and that all three children became professionals, but I'm not going to let them hold this over me and allow it to ruin my self-esteem.
"Families need to realize that love is love and if two people have a physical attraction, make each other laugh, make each other feel safe and secure, they need to welcome and accept that. And if they don't, they're the dysfunctional ones."
Nate, I couldn't have said it better myself!
Has your family rejected your partner? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to [email protected] And check out my e-books, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front" and "I'll Call You. Not."