Post # 46
I get what you are saying. Yes I have a narc parent and a couple of narc siblings, thankfully they dont live close by and our kids havent actually seen my parent or my siblings in more than 8 years. We do not have conversations about them in front of our kids nor do we bring up their mental issues to our kids.
I do have issues with a narc parent and narc siblings, but I work those out in therapy and not with my kids. However, I do make sure that my kids arent affected by my childhood. Being raised by a narc parent gives you a lot of perspective on what not to do with your own kids.
Absolutely he wanted to join the Navy. He had multiple opportunities to change his mind. We have always told him that whatever career path he chose we would be supportive of, whether it was Navy or any other career option. It was his choice to graduate early. I wasnt necessarily in favor of him graduating early because I wanted him to have the full high school experience of walking his graduation, going to prom..etc. etc.
When he did early enlistment we told him if you change your mind you can absolutely come to us and we will do whatever needs to be done.
Our son is a great kid. Really studious, has always made good sensible decisions, he is your normal average everyday kid who made good grades, did community service (thats where he figured out he wanted to go into the medical field). He wasnt perfect and could be moody like any other teenage kid, but it never lasted for very long and was usually tied to his girlfriend’s moods as opposed to his own mood.
Post # 47
I just want to make sure you know I meant that none of this is your fault. We can’t help the families we are born into, we don’t get to decide who our parents are, and we certainly aren’t given a choice if we want cancer or not. Kids tend to absorb more than they let on and I wouldn’t be surprised if your son knows things even though you only talk about your issues in therapy. Feelings come out, it can’t be helped. I have a narcissistic mother and my kids definitely know the things I had to deal with, but none of it was traumatic. On the other hand the story of your ordeal while being left alone by your mother sent chills up my spine. *That’s* trauma and it has undoubtedly marked you in ways you may not even be aware of.
Take a deep breath and know there’s only so much you can do for your son. Do something nice for yourself, your health, both mental and physical, ought to be your first priority. Wishing you strength.
Post # 48
You could be right about him knowing things that I have only talked about in therapy. I will send him a letter and let him know that as always we are here to listen to any of his feelings whatever they may be. I am going to encourage him to embrace his choice of the Navy and if he agrees to focus on his training and then engage with his fellow sailors and live a little we could be open to hearing about his ideas on marriage.
I want him to be happy, I want him to meet a nice girl and eventually settle down, just not at 18. Husband and I, while health issues have sometimes taken a toll, have a very solid marriage. We waited to have children until we were established in our careers, and we have always talked with our children about waiting to you have lived a little, established yourself in your career or job, before you take on the responsibilities of marriage and children.
I know that at some point things will be out of my hands, but hopefully I have the right wisdom to give him before he commits to such a course that could affect him for the rest of his life.
Post # 49
If he really plans to leave military, let him know that you support him, but that he should have a plan. If he doesn’t have a good one, it may be easier to convince him to continue on in the military before leaving for something he’s unsure of.
Good luck. It sounds like a very perplexing situation!
Post # 50
My son was in the Navy too so be aware of the following. He may become more savvy while he is going through bootcamp. The Navy actually warns these young men that some women will see them as a meal ticket and target them. The Navy offers great benefits. The good part is that unless they are married she would not be able to live with him on any base or anything like that. When he goes for the next phase of training and beyond, he will get more freedom and start going out with other guys. He will get perspective and his Navy friends will tell him not to get married. When he is in the next phase or training he will also be extremely busy for several months. What you are describing is actual abuse. She is controlling all his free time and isolating him from other people. The good part is that being at bootcamp and training after that, she will not have access to him. I would try to encourage him to talk to a Navy chaplain or counselor. I would even reach out to the Navy recruiter for advice. The recruiters want them to succeed. I think this relationship will actually end as he becomes more worldly in his perspective. However, like any parent you cannot prevent him from making a mistake. I can assure you though in 5 years he will have a totally different perspective so I wouldn’t worry about that.
Post # 51
He’ll be bored of her/annoyed with her before 5 years is up. Or she’ll start cheating on him.
This is going to sort itself out.
Post # 52
This is a fairly common issue with the military (rushed young marriages). I have a lot of male family members in the Marine Corp and I’ve seen this personally.
But, I think the best thing to do is trust the parenting you and your husband have done so far and trust your son. Either he’s made the decision that’s right for him (although based on your descriptor of her it doesn’t sound like it) OR he is going to make a mistake BUT he will bounce back from it wiser and better. It’s hard to watch people you love make poor choices but it’s part of their learning and growth.
I will say that there’s a strong possibility he will get married before 5 years if he’s serious about this girl since they get more money/ benefits when married and will be allowed to live on base together. And it’s very common for men in that age group and situation to say they’re going to wait and then suddenly get married. But it’s not the end of the world.
My family recently experienced something similar where we felt like someone was making a poor decision by marrying a girl (he’s also military) but so far the marriage has been okay and she’s becoming less clingy and dependent. Who knows if it’ll work out long term but maybe that’s what he needs right now while he’s enlisted. Because that’s a stressful life for a lot of reasons and having a wife is a comfort in many ways. And if it doesn’t work out, we’ll support him as he bounces back.
I wish you the best!