Q: As grandparents, we are concerned about the divorce rate. In our family, three marriages have ended in divorce. Last month, our youngest granddaughter, at 17, accepted a ring from a man who is 19. We like him, but we believe they are too young to marry. She is a high school senior, and they plan to marry this summer. Because of their ages, we foresee a possible divorce ahead. Should we discourage them from marrying so soon?
A: It is a tough call. Choosing to push for a delayed marriage has its pros and cons. Would a delay cause either partner to go looking elsewhere?
Have they seriously asked each other what a successful marriage actually commits them to do? Do they believe they are sexually compatible? Do they want children? Who is supposed to clean the toilet? How much time will they spend with their in-laws? Often times, marriage partners do not realize they gain not just a partner but the whole family! Do they agree on their lifetime wants and needs? Does he watch weekend TV sports or play golf, and do they agree on a religious faith? Do they maintain an exercise and healthy eating routine, do they have health of addiction issues, and have positive attitudes? Are their educational attainments sufficient to qualify for the type of work they want? Do both sets of parents like each other?
On the surface, these questions appear to be innocent enough but are often not even discussed by lovers. Those of us who are happily married know daily practical issues can affect relationships.
Both sexes can mature and choose different paths regardless of age. Only after we have actual experiences do we find our answers. Love, trust, happiness, sharing, possibly razing a family and maturing together determine whether we made the right or wrong choice.
Although few go through the process, the most valuable gift you could offer them now is to offer to pay for an experienced marriage counselor, a religious individual or other expert who counsels and has a capability checklist for them to determine if they are a match. One wise lady learned that after waking up from their marriage bed, she had married a stranger!
Q: After nearly seven years of widowhood, I find myself slipping, missing appointments and failing to pay bills. I am hiding these incidents from my adult children because I do not want to lose my privacy and lose control. What crutches can I use to stall and avoid the issues?
A: Keeping a written checklist is a major help. Purchase a large desk calendar and list the date, monthly and daily items you must do, family birthdays and anniversaries, your medications, regular appointments, exercise and religious activities, names and phone numbers of those whom you keep in contact, all bills you pay and other details which remind you to do so.
Most individuals do their best work in the morning. Listing your next day’s plans at night is a winning plan. Scheduling your day that way leaves the balance of your day open.
Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California retirement community. Contact him at email@example.com. To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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