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Dear Stavroula

Ask Stavroula: She Wants to Marry My Son, so She Can Get Her Green Card

Dear Stavroula,

I have a 26-year-old son who works and is a student. He has been dating a girl from Greece for six months. He met her by chance at the restaurant where she works as a waitress. This girl stuck to him from the beginning. She would call him constantly and ask him to go out, invite him to the restaurant when she was working to wait for her until she was done, and she would generally try in any way to get close to him. My son is quiet, very sensitive, and with no experience in relationships. He is a young man who loves his studies very much and has dreams of continuing on. He doesn’t like to go out much, he doesn’t like to stay out all night, and doesn’t have many friends. This girl doesn’t suit him at all, she is too worldly for him and I understood it from the first moment I saw her. She made a very bad impression on me, because from the first day she came to our house she was hugging and kissing him in front of me, as if they were married.

A few days ago, my son announced that he wanted to marry her. I was stunned. I asked him why they don’t wait until he finishes his studies first,  or why they don’t live together if she loves him so much, to get to know each other first and get married later. He told me that this girl has no papers to stay here legally and he does not want to lose her. I told him that she approached him to get her green card and he became furious. Since then our relationship has not been good and he won’t listen to anything I say. I’m sure she’s taking advantage of him. How do I separate him from her?

Martha

Dear Martha,

All Greek mothers have a tendency even when our children are grown up, to continue to want to protect them, to try to remove any danger from them, to solve their problems. In essence, however, we do not let them grow up, we prevent them from spreading their wings, taking responsibility for their lives.

Your son is an adult and has the right to decide when and whom he will marry, especially as he works and has financial independence. Indeed, this issue was the only one you should discuss with him, that is, would he be able to support a family of his own, and set your own boundaries there, whether or not you were willing to help him financially.

But when he told you that he wants to get married, the argument you used to deter him is that the woman he loves has approached him to exploit him and get her green card. In other words, you told him that he is not loveable; he is not enough to be loved by a woman like his girlfriend. Why do you exclude the fact that this girl may have fallen deeply in love with him and does not want to leave and live far away from him?

You tell me this girl is different and doesn’t match with him. Many times, however, people who are seemingly incompatible, one a social butterfly, the other a loner, or one a party animal, the other a homebody, fall in love and live together harmoniously, complementing each other. How can you, therefore, predict the future and claim that your son and this girl will not be happy together?

But even if you are right and this marriage is a mistake, all you can do is speak quietly with your son and voice your objections without offending him, without trying to convince him. The decision is his own and he will suffer the consequences of his mistake and through this process he will mature and learn.

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