Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,
I am engaged to a man in real estate. He does well and we’ll be moving into his house.
I graduated from college and I’m a young ophthalmologist.
I live with my parents and I’m 23. My whole family is industrious and doctors or scientists. They look down on my fiancé because he has extra time to play golf and rest.
My mom has become rude about my fiancé and says he’s a couch potato and uncouth.
He may not be the most sophisticated and cultured person, and he’s opinionated about religion and politics, but he thinks my family is snobbish.
He loves me and he’s fun. This matters more to me than refinement.
I made the mistake of telling my mother that my fiancé does lay on the couch a lot. She pointed out that he’s also gained a lot weight in the two years that we’ve been engaged.
What do I say to my mother?
You are the one who, ultimately, can choose your fiancé.
However, you may want to make a pros and cons list of things that matter the most to you, for the rest of forever. “Opposites” may work for you (and we do mean work) or it may destroy you.
Your differences can become a bigger “thing” in your future. For instance, you’ve been raised to live a “couth” life.
1 – Ask yourself if “couth” is engrained in the fiber of you, and how your core values work for you.
2 – Ask yourself if you might be rebelling against your values.
3 – Ask yourself if being refined and cultured means you can’t add fun to your life — and what does fun look like to you?
Define how you see your days and what activities will be important and what will not. Be honest with your values.
Take a look at things you’ve mentioned that might be on the cons list: Being a couch potato, opinionated, and unrefined. (Studies have shown that being a “couch potato” does physiologically change fat cells in our bodies and also increases their size.)
Will you want to change your fiancé? (Be honest with yourself.) No one can change anyone else, so that option is off the table.
Include in your pros and cons list, how you’ll raise your children together and if you’ll mesh or compromise your values.
It’s imperative that the two of you discuss your differences (not better or worse) but different values, likes and dislikes.
Weigh the pros and cons with each other, in a considerate manner, and you’ll be able to make decisions about your future relationship.
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri