Dear Annie: I have been married for 28 years to a hardworking man. We have one teenage daughter. “Kara” is very smart, and my husband spoils her rotten. Kara has her own car, and my husband gives her money whenever she asks for it. We have some money saved in a college account for her, but she wants to attend an elite school that is more than we can afford. We won’t qualify for financial aid.
I think Kara needs to take the money we have saved and figure the rest out, but my opinion doesn’t matter. My husband will now delay retirement in order to pay for her to go to the school of her dreams. I think this is wrong, and it’s causing much tension in our household. What is your opinion? – Annoyed Mom
Dear Annoyed: Your husband is willing to do whatever he can to give Kara what she wants. You don’t think an expensive school is worth it (probably isn’t), and you were looking forward to his retirement. We also suspect you harbor resentment toward your husband, as well as Kara, for his indulgence of her.
This isn’t so much about “winning” the argument as it is about accepting whatever decision is made. We suggest you and your husband sit down with an unbiased third party and speak openly of your concerns. If Kara doesn’t go to her expensive college, will she use it as an excuse to blame her parents if she isn’t successful? Will your resentment boil over and create a permanent rift? Would your husband be willing to have Kara take out student loans for a portion of the cost? Hopefully, your discussion will allow for some kind of agreement so that each of you can let go of whatever resentment currently exists.
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