Relationship Connection: I’m not happy my son is remarrying


My son divorced many years ago. He is now getting serious about another lady. I believe in “marriage till death do us part.” His ex-wife is still alive and my son is not to remarry as long as his ex-wife is still alive. My son is committing adultery by remarrying according to the Bible. I can support him and his new wife after they are married. But I cannot support what they are doing before that day. What do you think I should tell my son if they do have a wedding and I don’t plan to be there?



I’m guessing your son already knows how you feel about marriage, divorce, and remarriage. If he doesn’t know how you feel about these topics, I’m not sure how you sharing your opinion with him will help your relationship with him or his new wife.

If your son shares your Biblical allegiance, then perhaps inviting him to take the time to visit with a member of your clergy and sort out the dilemma you see could be valuable; even adult children are more likely to listen to someone other than their parents when their wants conflict with those of their parents.

If he doesn’t share your convictions, then asking him to conform his choices to your convictions before his heart has a common foundation is rather pointless as to both your Biblical concern and his life approach.

Ultimately, though, it sounds like this comes down to a matter of “when” you are prepared to accept the reality of his choices not “if” you ever will. You say you won’t accept them before or at your son’s wedding day. But after that day you will? I wonder if you might consider whether his wedding day is the hill you want your relationship with your son and his new wife to die on? If you can acquiesce and accept them the day after, why not just accept his choice for his life before that – why would you boycott his wedding if after it you are prepared to support the marriage?

At this stage of your relationship with your son, the most important thing you can do is to preserve your connection to him and your family. Your relationship with him is bigger than your opinion about his choices.

I’m glad to hear you can support him in his new marriage. He will need that support, as second marriages are often more difficult than first marriages. Blending families requires lots of patience and understanding from everyone involved.

Your son made a choice to marry his first wife and then made the choice to end that marriage. He’s making another choice to marry and will likely make other choices you disagree with.

It’s difficult to watch our children make choices different from our own beliefs. However, if you raised him to think for himself and make his own decisions, these are the fruits of your labor.

Get to know your new daughter-in-law. Find out why she’s so important to your son. She’s a real person with real feelings, fears, joys, and hopes. She can most likely use your support and love now. What you do now will set the stage for your relationships going forward. Making a stand against the wedding will only make it difficult to be connected to your son and his new family after that day.

Do everything you can to be a friend of this new marriage and help them succeed. Offer to watch their children (if they have any) so they can work on building their union and you have opportunity to become a meaningful part of their new family, kids and all.

There is nothing wrong with you having strong feelings and beliefs about marriage. I imagine you’re working hard to keep your marital commitment to your husband, which is a wonderful thing. Your tolerance for your son’s choices will show him how much you love and care about him as an individual. It will also position you to be there for him if a day comes that he is in conflict, crisis or need.

Stay connected!


Geoff Steurer is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in St. George, Utah. He specializes in working with couples in all stages of their relationships. The opinions stated in this article are solely his and not those of St. George News.

Have a relationship question for Geoff to answer? Submit to:

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @geoffsteurer

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.



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  • Christine June 4, 2013 at 10:04 am

    I don’t understand. What part of EX-wife is hard for you to understand? At some point people need to understand that their opinions about their kids aren’t going to influence the kids. The bible says a lot of things that don’t apply to the modern world. I wish people would stop using that as an excuse to push their own agendas 🙁 Your son probably hurts enough having lost one wife and is trying his best to make a new life. People make mistakes and it is time for you to move on. I’m sure your son just wants your love and blessing for his happy future, why not try to be happy for him and try to make his life easier, not harder? Why should he even try to please you if you don’t care enough about him?

  • LP June 4, 2013 at 10:05 am

    The Bible also says if the other spouse commits adultery then the innocent spouse can divorce and remarry without sin.

    • Run Away Fast As You Can June 4, 2013 at 10:30 am

      Isn’t there also something about a rapist having to pay the father in silver and having to marry the victim?

  • Lori Smith June 4, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Well said!

  • Run Away Fast As You Can June 4, 2013 at 10:27 am

    A piece of advice to the son… Run! Run as far away from Mom as possible! As you are packed up and leaving, tell mom to live her life and quit trying to control yours.

    There are some serious religiously oriented control freak parents here. Maybe that ‘s why so many young people have suicidal thoughts. Maybe that’s why the first marriage failed, because it was a religious marriage that mom wanted, not that he wanted.

    Religious people are so weird. Some can’t grasp reality with relationships.

  • My Evil Twin June 4, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Do your son and his soon to be wife, a huge favor. DO NOT go to the wedding. In fact, stop all of your nosy interfering with his life. You obviously do not have enough to keep your mind, (such as it may be,) occupied. Take care of YOUR OWN business, and you won’t have time to be the interfering old battle axe who is trying to run your son’s life.
    Think this is harsh? TOUGH. It is the truth, and nothing but the truth. Somebody needs to slap some sense into you. Go stick your nose in your neighbor’s business, and leave your son to live his life. Sheesh.

  • Mommydearest June 4, 2013 at 11:22 am

    I couldn’t quit laughing… I don’t know how old Jr’s momma is, but she needs to GET OVER IT and move on with her OWN life!!! That is one scary woman…sounds like the crazy ‘get in the closet and PRAY!!!’ momma in ‘Carrie’….

  • Bree June 4, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Mother doesn’t like the new prospective wife #2? Hmm… Here’s a few helpful words I learned to describe my MIL:
    ultra religious
    sugar addict

    My advice to you:
    1200 miles away with undisclosed email address and a cell phone with terrible reception.

  • Maggie June 4, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    I have 4 sons. 2 of them made wonderful choices for spouses. 2 made pretty lousy choices. I treat the two bad choices the same as the two good choices. All of these women are mothers to my grandchildren and wives to my sons, sons who in spite of their bad choices ,I still love.
    Anything negative I do simply cannot make life any better for any of them. So what is the point in making life worse for them?
    I have different religious convictions than all of my children. They are also responsible for their own souls.
    Sad as it sounds ,most of us cannot and should not try to bully our children at any age. I pray for them all, and that is the most I can do other than to be there for them in this somewhat imperfect world inhabited by imperfect people.

    • My Evil Twin June 4, 2013 at 3:16 pm

      Maggie, you are truly one of the “Good Ones!” Obviously you have enough intelligence to see the whole picture here, and to take into account that fact that you are not going to be able to change someone else’s mind.
      The mother who wrote the above letter, is obviously quite different than you are. She is obviously thinking only of herself.

    • Girls leave control freaks June 4, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      So all four of your sons are angels, and the two “lousy” choices are bad? Maybe they were the fortunate ones to get out of those relationships.

  • Utah Injury Attorney June 5, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    The Bible also says “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” ( John 13:34-35)

  • San June 12, 2013 at 3:01 am

    In the words of a wise friend, to my own mom 10 years ago…you’re going to lose your son if you don’t back off.

    Adults are just that and if you are a good Christian then you’re also a kind one…you have no power over your son. If he’s smart he won’t be hurt, he’ll be furious at the level of disrespect you’re showing to his new wife, who has never done a thing to offend you. If you skip the wedding, or show up with your Bible, then I’d plan on skipping every other event during their marriage. Do you really want your unborn grand kids to hear that their grandmother was that pompous?

    He maintains ‘free agency’ . Good or bad, it’s his life. That’s it.

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