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Couple in Their Thirties Run into Parental Disapproval

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I'm so happy I found you online. I have a big problem, and my future is depending on it.

Everything I've heard about military wives since I have been an adult has confused the heck out of me. Being raised in Alabama, I was around a few military bases growing up, but my parents forbid me to date anyone in the military. They were afraid a soldier would get me pregnant and move on to another girl. I was also raised with good morals and Christian values that I try hard to uphold.

However, the older I get, the more spiritual I have become. Not just religious, but spiritual. I hope you get what I'm saying. Now I'm 33 years old, never been married and I don't have any children. I'm the woman with no baggage. Did I mention that I don't drink alcohol and I don't use recreational drugs?

I met a great Army guy in Georgia where I work as a DoD employee. We've been dating for almost a year and, yes, I've met his parents and he's met mine.

Problem is, my parents don't approve of him because he's in the Army. They don't think he has enough status in society or that he's a top earner. He's a mid-level officer. I do earn more than he does, but I don't see it as a problem.

His parents don't like me because they think I'm not "Christian enough." When I visited them in the spring for about three days, they went to church every day for something. That didn't bother me, but they expected me to join them every time and I refused. I have been toast with his entire family ever since then, and my boyfriend is catching heat from his family because of me.

His family also thinks I'm taking advantage of him because I'm three years older than him. I would appreciate any advice you can give to help me with my situation.

-- Trouble in Georgia

Dear Georgia,

It's not too late to throw in the towel on this relationship. Just end it now. I'm serious. It sounds like that really could be your best decision.

Think about it: According to you, you're a saint and your Army officer boyfriend doesn't measure up to your standards. If I can be more honest, I think you are projecting your own concerns about your boyfriend onto your parents. Maybe you think it sounds better to say, "my parents don't approve" when what you actually mean is that you don't approve.

Moreover, you are 33 years old now. Most women your age who are not married and don't have children start feeling pressure to get married and have babies. Because of this, you may be tempted to hang on to the Army officer boyfriend who doesn't measure up because he's the only fish on your hook.

Come on, lady, you're 33 years old! Do you really need your parents' approval? I don't think you do.

The same is true for your boyfriend. I mean, he allowed his parents to badger you to go to church with them? Who does that? You may be older than he is, but he's still a 30-year-old man who serves his country. He can decide who he wants to date and when.

Personally, I think any man or woman who serves their country is a good catch, but that's my own personal bias. You and your boyfriend are like two ships sailing in two different oceans that will never cross paths in this lifetime.

You both sound very immature, especially given your ages. My advice is to just let it go. You should keep trying to find the guy who measures up to you and your parents' expectations, and he should keep trying to find the religious Christian girl who meets his parents' expectations. That's my verdict.

Let me know what you decide to do.

-- Ms. Vicki

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Contributor

Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, has been the Dear Abby for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology.

Ms. Vicki appears regularly on Military.com and in the Fort Campbell Courier. Her column has also appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

Looking for advice about your military life? Email Ms. Vicki here. Find Ms. Vicki on Facebook here.  Find Ms. Vicki on Twitter here.

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