Straight Talk Advice

Apr 05, 2006

Time to trust that son has own “inner voice”

Dear Straight Talk: The first time I married I was 20 years old. I’ll never forget a little voice inside that said I shouldn’t marry this man. Not that he wasn’t a wonderful person, we just didn’t bring out the best in each other. I’ve talked to other people who heard a similar inner voice but went to the altar anyway.

Our son is 21 and he’s getting married to his girlfriend of two years. They met in college and live a few hours away so we don’t see them much. The wedding is set for August and her family is handling the preparations. How can I get my son to recognize and listen to his own voice? I’m worried he’ll make the same mistake I did.—Mother of the (potential) groom

Dear Mother: To question your son’s judgment at this juncture could readily be misinterpreted as your doubt about the marriage. That’s not to say a marriage announcement doesn’t warrant a serious conversation between the betrothed and his parents. But the conversation should be about “releasing” him (to his new wife) and telling him how much you respect that he is ready to experience the full weight of his decisions. (If anything’s going to amp his inner voice, it’s feeling this weight.)

Here’s more from the teen staff:

From Farren, 18: I’m sure your son has experienced that inner voice and thought about what it’s saying. I was once in a relationship that I knew wasn’t right for me—even my parents tried to tell me he wasn’t right. But I didn’t need my parents or anybody telling me! I knew it already. I wanted to test the waters, to experience it for myself. Being able to figure things out for yourself is very rewarding and I think in the end it is what your son needs.

From Ashley, 16: Maybe his little voice is telling him to marry her. Maybe not. This is something he needs to go through himself.


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