Every Son-in-Law Is Special (Really)
Everyone is special; everyone has something to offer, if you give him a chance. Haven't you been telling your kids this since they were old enough to understand what it means? Time to get back to the basics of human relationships: While you're getting to know your new son-in-law, don't draw comparisons to anyone else, especially if you already have one son-in-law who is, in your mind, the perfect addition to the family. Not fair.
Your daughter has brought home her fiancé, who is into some kind of incoherent music, who looks tired all the time (even though he apparently sleeps 20 hours a day), and whom, quite frankly, you think you might have seen on that FBI website you check all the time for just this very purpose. (Finally, this little hobby that your wife has called
On top of that, he can't seem to make conversation to save his life — so what are you supposed to think? You're doing the work; he's supposed to meet you halfway, and he refuses. So you have every right to hate him.
No, no, no. You don't.
Put yourself in rewind mode. Everyone has something special to offer — even this guy who seems to have no redeeming qualities. So he's not into chitchat. There are worse qualities in a son-in-law. In fact, you may come to appreciate his disdain for small talk one day when he's visiting and you don't feel like talking to anyone.
Do whatever you need to in order to have an open mind and give him a fair chance before you write him off. The two of you will be bumping into each other for a long, long time, and if you can make the relationship palatable to both of you, you won't have to dread family gatherings.
In addition to the fact that your daughter intends to marry a slacker, your other daughter is already married — to an intelligent, well-spoken, well-connected, successful man. In fact, he's you, just 30 years younger (no wonder you dig this guy so much). He's the ideal son-in-law; why can't your bum-loving daughter see that she should be marrying someone more like him?
Oh, Dad. You know you should never compare kids; the same goes for the mates they choose. Hopefully, you were not the kind of dad who always asked your younger daughter why she couldn't be more like her older sister — and if you were, your younger daughter might be proving her point right now. She's not like her older sister; and she has no intention of marrying a carbon copy of your favorite son-in-law. That's something you'll have to let go of, and the sooner, the better.
No one likes to have their shortcomings (real or imagined) pointed out to them. When you get into the bad habit of not only listing someone's faults, but of also contrasting them to someone else's amazing abilities, you come off not looking so great.
If you're feeling compelled to expose your future son-in-law's weak points, ask yourself why. Unless you can come up with some cold, hard facts (such as a rap sheet showing this man's history of defrauding young women out of their life's savings), you must stop. You're not going to win anyone over to your side, and the marriage is going to happen whether or not you decide to accept this new son-in-law.
Above all, give the new guy a fair chance to settle into the family and get comfortable with everyone before you start making judgments about his personality. You could possibly be right (sometimes father really does know best): He might be everything you think he is (or is not). But just like it's not fair to make a snap judgment about someone you meet in the business world, it's not fair — or prudent — to make the same kind of assessment of a young man you don't know.
You might just find out that his silence is due to shyness; you might also find out that the reason he slept the entire weekend at your house was because he had worked eighty hours the previous week and didn't want to cancel his trip because your daughter was looking forward to it. And maybe you'll find that his music is really quite good (or, at least, it's not
Maybe He's Not That Bad
Parents who come down too hard on their kids' future mates are sometimes put in an awkward position in the future when the mate's true colors start shining and everyone realizes that he's actually a pretty good guy. You'll either have to keep up the pretense of not liking him or you'll have to apologize for your behavior — or you'll have to pretend as though you never hated him. None of these are great options, and your life will be much easier if you reserve your final judgment until you really get to know him.