By Andy Weddington
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
No one can drive us crazy unless we give them the keys. Douglas Horton
One of the joys of writing and publishing for the public arena is hearing from folks who actually take the time to read and consider what you wrote.
This morning arrived a note from a stranger who read an article (co-authored) and published in Leatherneck a few years ago.
Not always do I have inclination nor time to respond. This morning I made exception on both accounts - more so to offer thoughts for all who may be in similar straits.
The letter (with some non-essential content deleted to absolutely ensure privacy) ...
"Dear Colonel Weddington,
Thank you for your service and your article, 15 Habits Of Highly Effective Marines. I have a problem and I hope you can help.
My son-in-law served in the USMC and was released with an honorable discharge because of an injury after basic training. He married my daughter and since then he is driving me crazy.
My complaining will be quick. He is the least "Marine-like" person I know yet acts like Lee Marvin. He is lazy, sloppy, never cleans up after himself, un-ambitious, 100 pounds overweight, irresponsible with money, neglects his kids, dumb but a know-it-all. Everything in his house, car and clothes is all about the Marines. To me he is a pretend-Marine. He likes to talk the talk and doesn't walk the walk at all. I am very resentful. He never ever put himself in harms way but acts like Captain America.
He says there is no such thing as a former Marine. He is a Marine for life. I think that is BS. I was a marathoner. I was in great shape. Today, I can only run 10 miles tops. I'm still in great shape but I'm NOT a marathoner. In my book, he is NOT a Marine.
Your article is great but I don't think he will listen to me. Do you have any suggestions how to get him to listen? Is there any chance you would contact him to set him straight? How do I stop resenting this pseudo-patriotic BS that he uses to make himself feel good? These are serious questions and I really appreciate your feedback.
Thanks, ... "
In reply ...
Dear Going Crazy Reader,
Sir, I decided to not publish your name and contact information and to remove some non-essential content to ensure identity not compromised. As I am certain brother Marines would not be as sincere nor as tactful as what follows. And you'd get bombarded, too I am certain.
Thank you for reading the Leatherneck article and your kind words. I will pass along your sentiments to my accomplished co-author, Robert Hall (AKA: Tartan Marine - who blogs under the header The Old Jarhead: tartanmarine.blogspot.com), USMC Retired.
Interesting situation. At first I suspected a Marine pal pranking me for witty repartee. You seem sincere so I'll refrain from being snarky and sarcastic.
There's multiple ways to view any problem. The simplest one(s), without fail, the most accurate and best and most effective for proposing remedies.
Analysis: Your daughter chose to marry him.
So, to your closing serious questions, serious answers ...
1. Perhaps your daughter, if too going crazy, will listen to you (or a close friend of your or hers who shares your perspective). With a possible positive after-effect being your son-in-law (if not ex), honorably discharged so enjoys the title Marine for eternity, pursues the professional help he seemingly needs (based on your summary);
2. No, as to contacting him for I am retired from the counseling business and quite frankly too busy painting, playing music, reading, and contemplating that which is driving me crazy: Why the treasonous within our DOJ/FBI have not been waterboarded - to quickly discover truth and scope of damage - and either hanged or shot;
3. Accordingly, hobbies and volunteering, and immersion therein, are wonderful productive outlets to distract from troubles, stimulate positive thinking, boost personal fulfillment, and elevate happiness while thwarting resentment and general states of going crazy.
In summary, it sounds like your son-in-law has fallen into a rut of bad habits and self-pity. You being an example, through good habits, may be effective changing his attitude and behavior. And, your daughter, if sharing your frustration and is paying attention, will reconsider her decision from four years ago.
On a sunnier note, congratulations on your marathons. Each an admirable achievement. I never attempted one. And do not regret that decision.
To close, if nothing else, consider the sage key advice of Douglas Horton in the opening quote.
A long drive is refreshing. Crazy how that works.
So get going!
A. F. Weddington
U. S. Marine (Retired)