Questions re: what seems to be a bizarre situation


I have a 28 year old son, who is very shy,very trusting and very kind. He is a paralegal who is planning on going to law school. He currently has about 2 courses left before he graduates pre law.
He met this girl originally from Haiti ( our family has never been prejudiced so this is not a problem) who seems quite materialistic.
She expressed a desire last Christmas for a very expensive hand bag which he gave her.
She is ENGAGED to another man who is a police officer and of her same race. She asked my son to move in with him as she and her boyfriend want to save money to buy a house when they get married She does not like her fiance’s mother and says that’s why she is not living with him. She had co-habitated with him originally until his lease was up at a condo he had rented.
She does not always wear her engagement ring as she says it is loose and slips off.
My son sleeps on the sofa and she sleeps in his bed in his bedroom. She did ask him if he wanted to sleep in the bed with him. He continued to sleep on the sofa and says she has not asked since.
I have spoken to a priest (not about the sleeping arrangement since that had not come up at this time) who is from Haiti and he said that I should keep the channels of communication open and be open to the girl. I feel as if my son is being used (even though I know he is an adult and allowing this to happen) but he is emotionally very immature and has never had a real girlfriend.
He is personable,dark hair and blue eyes,extremely compassionate,intelligent but painfully shy . A girl would probably have to initiate a conversation with him as he seems to have a social phobia when it comes to girls.
I am wondering if anyone out there has any input into this situation.
My daughters say it is not easy to meet nice, decent girls or men nowadays.
This situation with this girl is making our family sick. He says he would rather be hurt by her than not have her around as he feels as if he’s in love with her.
Whatever replies I get will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.


Hello Ellen :wave: welcome to the forums.

I’m sorry you haven’t had any replies yet, and I don’t know if I’ll be of much help. I was wondering if your son is practicing his faith? If so I would encourage him to spend some serious time in prayer. It sounds like he is completely blinded by love to the reality of the situation. Firstly she has promised her hand in marriage to another man…to then be spending time with your son, asking for gifts etc is a warning bell to some serious character flaws. I am also suspicious of the fiance…what man would be happy for his girl to be receiving such attentions from another man let alone move in with the competition? I smell a rat. It is such an odd situation…I can only agree with you - they are using your son.

And I also must question the wisdom of the priest’s advice…“be open to the girl”? What on earth for? She is ENGAGED to be married! What priest in their right mind (sorry Father) would encourage a young man to be open to a woman who is spoken for and is living in mortal sin? Something fishy there…

If he were my son, I would try to keep bringing the truth of the situation before him and try to gently lead him to the point where he can admit himself that there is nothing but heartbreak for him in this relationship. Doesn’t he realise that even if his wildest dreams came true and she left her fiance for him, that… well…she is not a good catch! It doesn’t matter how hard it is to meet someone…this girl is not the one! Prayers for you and your son Ellen, God bless.


Where there is one rat, there are many rats…

He is being used. Tell him to run very far away and as quickly as possible.


She’s using him for $$$. He’s using her for companionship. Been there, done that. He needs to figure this one on his own and have his heart broken the hard way. They are both building a co-dependency relationship. Family can warn him til their blue in the face, but that won’t change a single thing. Maybe the priest said to be open because then he’ll start to listen to his family because he sees that they are finally showing her and his decision making some respect (you insult her, you insult his decision making). If he’s as shy as you say (and as insecure as you imply) you’re just undermining his sense of independence and his judgement (adding to the insecurity) where she may be building up his selfesteem in some way you can’t. I agree that this is a bad situation, I’m just trying to give you the perspective he may have (and I’m not much older than he is and have made some pretty bone-headed sinful decisions myself).


Yes, he’s being used. But, if he refuses to see that, do not alienate him. We’ve all done stupid things in relationships (at least, I certainly have :o), but don’t push him away. My recommendation is something along the lines of “Son, I love you and I’ll always be here for you. I believe that she is using you, and I think you should get out before you get hurt worse. But I’ll be here for you come what may.”


I do not know what you can do besides pray. Your son is a grown man and he is in this relationship voluntarily. How you treat her? I suppose be courteous to her by saying “hello” “please” and “thank you” “how is the weather” etc. but I would not try and bond or form a warm relationship with her.

This must be so hard, I will pray for your family.


Sounds like she’s using him and hopefully it’s just for his money. He should stop hanging/living with her immediately.


At the risk of being labelled judgemental, I’m going to say that the girl doesn’t appear to be marriage material. I doubt she’s able to have a valid marriage at this point. Her actions are unfair towards both your son and the girl’s fiance.

What your son seems to need to understand is that he has no moral obligation to submit to abuse. Even if the abuser would feel very and genuinely unhappy, there’s still no such obligation.

Also, he needs to understand that the girl is not the only girl who would ever want something from him. He seems to be quite the catch from what you’ve said (and you seem to be impartial enough in your narration to infer this), so there’s no reason to think he might experience such difficulties finding a wife when he’s ready, as to justify dropping his standards so much and playing along with abuse.

Additionally, he had better understand that whatever she does to her current fiance, she is likely to do to him, should he replace that guy.

How to explain all this to your son is beyond me, but I suppose he might listen to his mother talking about women, as well as perhaps an experienced man with some authority, perhaps a priest or some family friend in a respectable position? Or someone he’s known to look up to?

I’d like to be able to offer more advice but I don’t think I am. I’ll just offer my prayers instead.


1.) Yes, it’s bizarre.
2.) He is still an adult. You can’t rescue him, and he probably doesn’t want to be rescued.
3.) The more you say anything negative, the more he is going to cling to his decision. He knows this is wrong. You did a good job of bringing him up. He might be passive, shy, withdrawn, all that stuff. But he knows right from wrong. And it wouldn’t surprise me if he was secretly enjoying your anguish- I don’t know for sure, of course, but you might wnat to think about that.
4.) The priest wants you to be open to the girl because she might end up attempting marriage with your son, and then she will be your daughter-in-law.
5.) The only advice I can offer is pray as hard as you ever did, and except when the opportunity presents itself for a real heart-to-heart, let the boy-man stew in his own juices, so to speak. He knows how you feel about the whole thing.


Thank you for your response. I know all you say is true. It is hard to step back as a parent but I realize only God can intercede in thus situation,not me.
God bless you and thank you.


Dear Ellen,
I would have a talk with my son and explain to him that it is not kind to live with another man’s fiance. It is not honest.
If he is Catholic, he should be aware that living with her is giving scandal, even if they don’t share a bed.
It is not your son’s problem that the girl dislikes her fiance’s mother. That is something for them to work out on their own. That is too weird. Why don’t the girl and her fiance just get married and get their own place to live?
We cannot always influence what our grown children do. We can make the effort to explain to them, and pray for them.


This actually sounds a bit scary. I don’t want to make things worse for you, but this does sound very fishy and could turn into something criminal. If the fiance knows about this “arrangement” then he’s in on it and your son could even be in danger.

I would talk to him about this possibility, and just tell him you’re worried about his safety. Don’t say anything bad about her, just ask him to have her move out until she “fixes” the situation with this fiance of hers. I don’t know what else to say, I am very uneasy about this, the way I see it it’s more than just the money.


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