My Mother is against Me Marrying a Divorced Man; I Don’t Know What to Do

The Japan News

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a female civil servant in my late 20s, and I don’t know how I should deal with my mother.

Toward the end of last year, my parents strongly opposed the idea of me marrying my boyfriend, who is nearly 10 years older than me, is divorced and has a child.

He doesn’t share custody of his child but has to pay child support. The reason he got divorced was because his wife had an affair.

I understand why my parents are against the marriage. They’re probably worried about his child and what they will think after we get married and have a child of our own. My parents probably also feel uneasy about his ex-wife and inheritance issues.

My mother told me she made a mistake in how she raised me. It’s been really difficult because she’s not only rejected my values but also the person I love.

Previously, I could always talk to my mother about anything, and she always supported me. Now, she makes passive-aggressive comments about everything. It makes me uncomfortable, so I don’t like visiting my parents anymore.

There’s no reason for me to break up with my boyfriend. Even if I did, I don’t think my relationship with my mother will ever go back to how it was. How should I deal with my mother from now on?

J, Kanagawa Prefecture

Dear Ms. J:

If I was your mother, I might have said something similar and been strongly against the idea because my precious daughter might marry a man who has a lot of baggage. I’d want you to break up before you get hurt. That’s probably how your parents feel.

It would be irresponsible of them to tell you to do whatever you want or that you can overcome anything as long as you love each other. You’re not living in a fantasy world.

It’s normal for a person in their late 20s to make their own decisions about dating and marriage, and also be able to stay strong despite opposition from their parents.

You should really think about why you’re so hurt by your mother’s cheap comments, which could be easily refuted, to the point that you are writing into an advice column in a newspaper. With values as fragile and soft as tofu, you can easily be swayed.

You will never be able to make it work with your boyfriend with that kind of mindset.

You are being tested. The bar is high, but can you get over it? Do you even love him?

Your mother’s opposition is just the first hurdle.

It’s something that will affect the rest of your life. Think about it very carefully. If your determination is strong, your relationship with your mother will naturally change.

Hazuki Saisho, writer