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I'm worried about my DD's relationship

(17 Posts)
fightingfog Mon 28-Jan-13 19:19:48

Not sure where to post really, here or in relationships.

Any way. My DD is 17 and came out last year. She has been with her GF for about 3 months, GF is 21 and lives quite far away but near to my DD who is at college during the week.

DD has been a confident, happy and gregarious young person until recently. She was a star when her DF and me separated 2 years ago and we worked through it all together. But this relationship, her first 'serious' one really concerns me.

Her GF is extremely jealous and controlling and my DD is turning herself inside out trying to do and say things to keep her GF happy. She 'fails' constantly and is miserable for much of the time. GF constantly accuses my DD of fancying other people (even boys!), checks DD's Facebook messages and then rings her (Saturday at 3.30am in the morning to accuse DD of changing her relationship status, which DD hadn't). It goes on and on I am increasingly at a loss as to what to say.

Should I stay out of it (I find that very hard to do when DD confides in me). I know from personal experience that this isn't going to change, that it will get worse as each time my DD accepts responsibility for her GF's feelings she is giving permission for GF to demand even more of her. DD's studies are, for the first time, suffering and she has been given her first ever warning for non submission of work.

Advice, thoughts, anything would be appreciated. Thank you.

SandyMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 29-Jan-13 12:45:05

Hi there,

At the request of the OP we've moved this thread to relationships.

Dozer Tue 29-Jan-13 12:54:15

Tricky. Do you know what your DD's friends think or are likely to say to her? If they are sensible, they might well say she seems unhappy, her GF is unreasonable, controlling etc.

The risk of saying something is that she may withdraw and not tell you stuff, but hard to stand by.

Could you encourage her to focus on the studies? That is more obviously parenting territory!

BertramBertram Tue 29-Jan-13 13:59:01

It might be worth asking your DD what she would advise one of her friends in the same situation. Then it won't seem like you are telling her what to do/how to run her life. Ask your daughter how she would feel if you had a partner that did the above & what she would advice.

Your DD may aslo feel under a bit of pressure to make her first relationship since coming out work. You need to reassure her that just because this GF is not 'the one', it doesn't undermine her sexuality.

HardlyEverHoovers Tue 29-Jan-13 14:07:55

I was in a similar sounding relationship (with a guy of 21) when I was 16-18. I can imagine my mum writing your message at this this time!
I do remember my mum once trying to stop me driving over to his (2 hours away) because he said he was going to kill himself if I didn't. It made me even more upset because then I felt like 2 people were unhappy with me.
When I moved away and started Uni it suddenly occurred to me that this was not a great relationship and the only way it would change was if I ended it. At that point in my life that took more courage than I had ever needed, as he was my first love. I never looked back!
I suppose the lesson from my own experience is that perhaps she needs to work this out herself, believe me, she'll never let anyone treat her like this again. But every situation is different. Is she due to go to uni or any other big life change? That might be a catalyst for her to make a change.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 29-Jan-13 15:21:55

I don't think you can stay out of it really. It's not the usual thing e.g. Mum disapproving of boy/girlfriend for fairly irrational/minor reasons. This is an emotionally abusive relationship and your DD is being manipulated and is suffering as a result. When she confides in you, therefore, I think it's important to keep turning the conversation back. 'How does that make you feel?'... 'Do you think that is the right way to treat someone you love?'... 'If your Dad treated me that way, what would you be saying to me?' Also reassure her that she is very much loved by you... unconditionally.... and that you're always there.

You can't live her life and you can't end this relationship for her. But you can hold up a mirror for her, get her to see what's happening and offer her an alternative. Good luck

lemonstartree Tue 29-Jan-13 16:28:09

please DO NOT offer advice. Just listen, ask neutral questions, offer support - if you are critical she will feel she cannot turn to you if/when things get worse....

Don't make her feel she is disappointing you if she cant end this yet...

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 29-Jan-13 16:36:04

The OP has to be critical. They don't have to be unkind or combative - has to be sensitively handled - but how can a mother watch her child being bullied and abused and say nothing critical?

gwenniebee Tue 29-Jan-13 16:41:14

I agree with what cogito said.

Could you write to her? Or at least write it down and let her read it when you are there? That way you can phrase things exactly as you want, and you can make sure that what you say is couched in the terms of concern, not criticism, and that nothing unfortunate is said in the heat of the moment.

Naysa Tue 29-Jan-13 16:46:22

I was in the same situation as your daughter when I was her age.

I really do advise that you just listen to her.

Anything naegative/critical will be taken badly and it is more than likely thay she will go into her shell and not want to discuss hings with you further.

Relationships are personal things. You choose the person you want to share intimate moments with. If someone is critical or questions something you have developed or "grown" yourself it can make you feel like you have to justify the choices of yourself and your partner. Especially when you are young.

When I was having issues in my first serious relationship I was incredibly embarrassed. In my head he was everything. My world, stupidly, revovled around him. If it wasn't working or if someone was critical then I would feel like a failure. It would make me try harder to please him so it looked like our relationship was working.

When you're young relationships get intense quickly. When I was your daughter's age, ending a relationship would have felt like the end of the world.

I hope I'm explaining myself properly, I think I'm just rambling blush

Naysa Tue 29-Jan-13 16:47:27

Just to add, if she asks for advice, give it but what I mean in don't just wade in telling her how bad her relationship is.

fightingfog Tue 29-Jan-13 18:28:11

Thank you all.

Dozer its me Wisey. DD is at the college her DF DID eventually arrange without my knowledge. But that's a side issue really.

DD says all her mates tell her to dump and run as they can see she is unhappy. DD says she feels unable to focus as her mind is constantly full up with all her worries. She rings me a lot, feeling sick, headaches, can't concentrate and so on.

Bertram yes, I think she feels like she HAS to make it work and even more so when her GF ups the ante by telling my DD to just end it with her because GF is "shit GF" and DD will end up cheating on her or leaving. DD doesn't understand how she is being manipulated she just feels dreadful. And then GF does something lovely and then it all starts again.

Gwennie and Cog. Increasingly I bite my tongue but on Sunday morning when DD said she had been awake arguing with GF since 3.30am (and she had to go to work) I said that any relationship which makes her feel bad about herself cannot be a good one for her. I will keep trying to, as you say, mirror what she says.

Thing is, I'm not even sure that she even wants to be with GF any more but is being held to ransom by GF's' emotional blackmail and DD's desperation not to 'fail'.

It's a very fine line to tread.

FredWorms Tue 29-Jan-13 18:36:16

One way of looking at this, ff, is that it's valuable experience in this sort of relationship/this kind of person gained at a young age. She's still at home with you and you can be around to help her when it all ends, as I'm sure it will. At some point, hopefully in the not too distant future, she will look back and wonder what on earth she was thinking of. It would be much, much worse if she was older, independent, possible dcs etc.

I think you should continue to point out the unreasonable-ness of the GFs behaviour, and tell your DD over and over that no-one is responsible for another's happiness. A crucial lesson best learnt young, I think. At the same time, as other's have said, don't come down too heavy or she may turn away from you.

It's a tricky one, but I bet she'll be fine.

FredWorms Tue 29-Jan-13 18:37:08

gasp. rogue apostrophe. sorry.

Fred is right - when i was your DD age i had a boyfriend like this for about 2 years too long and it taught me a lesson or twelve about what not to put up with jealousy-wise.

my mum tried to stay out of it but i do recall a time she snatched the phone out my hand and screeched that if he didn't stop making me cry she'd come over and sort him out herself (soooo not my mum's style)

i seem to recall being rather relieved she'd done it - it ended not long after that.

freeandhappy Wed 30-Jan-13 00:01:31

You should show her the red flags page. I do t have a link tho.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 30-Jan-13 07:28:58

I point a lot of people to this article.... Are you dating an abuser? Would suggest it's something you should read for inspiration on how to frame your comments rather than putting it in front of her and expecting her to soak it up.

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