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Daughter's relationship: red flag?

(64 Posts)
LoisPuddingLane Sun 15-Sep-13 14:59:27

I was (am) a single parent, so my daughter and I have always been very close. I'm not sure if I'm too close. What I mean is that I think I am seeing red flags in her relationship with her boyfriend, and I'm not sure if they are genuine red flags, or just me being over-protective.

Whatever it is, I know there isn't much I can do, and I certainly won't say anything to her because it would really not go down well at all. I just want to see what others think, I think.

Daughter has been with boyfriend for just over three years. He's younger than her, and has just finished his studies. I've always had the slightly uncomfortable feeling that she is more in love than he is, although I have never been able to pin it down to anything - just a gut feeling.

Today is her birthday - she's 27. I sent her a couple of small gifts which I knew she would love, and she did. I asked did she get anything else. No. Boyfriend bought her nothing. But he did pay for dinner last night. She sounded ok about it, but he was in the same room as her.

Earlier this year, to celebrate his birthday, and the end of his studies, and their being together three years, she surprised him with a week's holiday abroad. I was quite surprised at that - we've always done "nice" birthdays, but nothing wildly extravagant. Also, I know she can't really afford that sort of present. I wondered if it was too much - both financially and in terms of the emotional weight of such a big gift.

Before they went on the week's hol, they spent three weeks with his relations in a country some distance away. When they came back after both the hols, boyfriend then booked tickets back to distant family for a wedding.

So on the phone today I had to hold my tongue. He had had enough money to book himself tickets back to "distant family place" but could not afford to buy her a birthday present.

I've had a funny feeling all year that something is about to happen, and I can't shake it. She would be utterly devastated - she told me she wants to spend her life with him.

I'm not going to intervene, obviously - she's a big girl. But if I was going out with someone and he didn't buy me a birthday present I would not be able to see for red flags. She is so completely in love I worry.

Renniehorta Sun 15-Sep-13 15:08:45

Has he bought her presents before for Birthdays/Christmas?

You may well be right about the relationship. However men can just be so insensitive about birthdays etc. After all in families it always seems to be the women who remember special dates and buy cards etc.

LoisPuddingLane Sun 15-Sep-13 15:11:43

Yes I think this is the first time he's bought nothing at all.

I suppose I'm hoping someone will come up with a strategy to stop me worrying myself silly... smile

LemonDrizzled Sun 15-Sep-13 15:14:26

Lois I think you have to keep quiet and wait in the wings. If you are right she will need your love and support when he decides he isn't "in love" and ends the relationship. And if you are wrong she will be happy with him anyway! Saying something is going to fall on stony ground isn't it? She will just think you are being critical of him.

I do know how you feel though. My DD has moved in with her BF after graduating and while I was helping them move I couldn't help noticing he does big sulks and stonewalls quite a lot. He has been though big family upheaval so he is upset about that, but I couldn't help having a conversation with her about it which went down like a lead balloon!

LoisPuddingLane Sun 15-Sep-13 15:19:52

I don't intend to say a thing to her as it will just create a lot of bad feeling. This isn't the only red flag, I have to say. There have been a couple of other things - I was with her just before they were going away and for a full two days she just couldn't get hold of him. (He was supposed to be bringing her plane ticket round). The excuse he gave was quite a poor one and I had bells going off all over the shop.

God, it's a worry isn't it. Doesn't matter how grown up they are.
I said nothing...

Renniehorta Sun 15-Sep-13 15:19:55

That is very good advice. Just bide your time and be there if it all goes pear shaped.

Did he buy tickets for them both to go to the wedding?

LoisPuddingLane Sun 15-Sep-13 15:21:07

Did he buy tickets for them both to go to the wedding?

Nope, it was just for him. My D had to go back to work.

IKnewHouseworkWasDangerous Sun 15-Sep-13 15:23:51

It depends where they went to dinner. If it was a nice place that would suffice as enough of a present for me. If it was mcds he is a twat

LoisPuddingLane Sun 15-Sep-13 15:26:37

Haha. I doubt it was MacDs. I dunno, I'm not sure I'd be ok with just a dinner. I'm not saying I want LOAD OF PRESENTS but having a little something to open, that someone has spent time looking for, is nice.

For example, I didn't spend loads but I found a really nice bracelet on Ebay with 27 stones - one for each year.

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Sun 15-Sep-13 15:29:14

No it's not right, and I think a mother's instincts are rarely wrong. However one might try to justify it, I just don't see how he could NOT have bought her a birthday present after what she did for him!?
Just read about him being uncontactable for 2 days before going away! I am not surprised you are worried about her ;(

LoisPuddingLane Sun 15-Sep-13 15:32:40

Am glad to know this isn't an unreasonable feeling. But at the same time not glad at all.

I don't see how he could have justified it either.

LoisPuddingLane Sun 15-Sep-13 15:37:58

On the way home last night, he picked some flowers for her. That is, did not buy some, but picked them from the municipal flower beds along the way. Daughter has chosen to see this as romantic. I see it as cheap.

happycrimblechuckie Sun 15-Sep-13 15:45:51

If she is happy with him, irrespective of how he treats her that would be good enough for me as a mother, I do not expect anyone to show their love for me by buying anything for me and picking the flowers was romantic. If he is a twat she will realise in time if you have brought her up as a confident young lady which I am sure she is, just be happy that she is happy and don't expect her to have a relationship that you would like, everyone is different.

sneezecakesmum Sun 15-Sep-13 15:46:33

I think picking the flowers himself is romantic. To me it does show thoughtfulness rather than some ornate bunch from the florist. Maybe he doesnt have a lot of money?

Bluestocking Sun 15-Sep-13 15:48:57

He stole flowers from a public flower bed? hmm Red flags all over the place. He sounds as though he's passing the time with her. All you can do is nod, smile and be there for her when he decides the costs outweigh the benefits. I feel for you both.

LoisPuddingLane Sun 15-Sep-13 15:59:23

If she is happy with him, irrespective of how he treats her that would be good enough for me as a mother

Really? Irrespective of how he treats her?

I like to think I've brought her up to be strong and independent and all that sort of thing. Sadly I cannot do much about the relationship she has with her father, which has been a bit lacking, shall we say.

happycrimblechuckie Sun 15-Sep-13 16:07:51

Yeah lois she is after all 27 she is not a child and she must make her own decisions on who she is happy with, you will know if your daughter is unhappy and then I would talk to her but if she is happy then leave her to make her own decisions in her own life. What I am trying to say is she would be glad of the intervention if she was unhappy and had no idea how to get out of a relationship, but he is not hurting her is he? then she must be left alone she seems happy with what he does give her in the relationship, I think you just don't like him much and you wouldn't want to be in a relationship with him well you are not her so just relax and let her enjoy her boyfriend.

ImperialBlether Sun 15-Sep-13 16:11:06

I'm in a very similar position. My daughter is in her mid 20s and has a boyfriend that, I have to say, I don't think is right for her. At the moment he is behaving himself but I do feel there will be trouble in the future. I am finding it hard to say nothing. My only hope is that she planned to spend some time abroad in the future and I know he won't do that so I'm hoping that she will do that anyway and that will be an end of it. It really is the hardest thing to think of somebody hurting your child, no matter how old she is.

ImperialBlether Sun 15-Sep-13 16:12:13

Happy, there is a massive difference between not particularly liking somebody and thinking they will hurt your child.

happycrimblechuckie Sun 15-Sep-13 16:14:51

But he is not hurting her, she loves him and he just didn't get her a friggin' birthday present he has not done anything wrong, lois just wouldn't want a boyfriend like that even though her daughter is happy, lois cannot be happy for her, I think she is just a bit jel.

LoisPuddingLane Sun 15-Sep-13 16:15:23

Sorry the site is playing silly buggers. I was just about to post this:

I know she's not a child. You don't stop worrying just because a child passes the age of 18.

And, as I have said, I have no intention of intervening.

As to whether I like him - I don't have strong feelings about him one way or another. Except on days like this. And yes, it's more about knowing that he has enormous power to hurt her.

LoisPuddingLane Sun 15-Sep-13 16:16:04

You think I'm a "bit jel"? Right, ok. Thanks for your contribution to the discussion.

LemonDrizzled Sun 15-Sep-13 16:21:11

I know in the back of my head is a script running that blames me for staying with her EA DF for so many years and letting her think crap treatment is acceptable. I have tried to highlight some of the things that I now realise were unacceptable but at the time I swallowed while in surrendered wife mode. My DD is very feisty and will stand up for herself and doesnt accept emotional blackmail, so I hope she won't go down the same path I did. Arre you doing the same Lois ?

happycrimblechuckie Sun 15-Sep-13 16:21:40

When you read ALL of your posts Lois, yes I do, you are clearly cut up about her dad not being any good, so you think she should be more careful about who she gives her heart to, but doesn't anyone in a persons life have power to hurt them, she may well get Hirt emotionally by this man if he leaves her but that is life and we all get hurt sometimes and most of us bounce back, you seem to be trying to protect her from the hut you suffered, but again SHE is not YOU she is her own person and needs to make her own decisions, the bloke hasn't actually done anything to upset her as I can see from your posts.

MissStrawberry Sun 15-Sep-13 16:22:43

Ignore, Lois, it is obvious you love your daughter and are concerned for her.

Was he unavailable for two days as he was trapped under another woman?

Is he treating her mean to keep her keen? hmm.

Ask you DD is she is happy. If she says yes, 100% and you believe her then all you can do is remind her she always has a home with you and you will always be there for her if ever she finds herself not happy.

If she says no, then go in calmly and see what she thinks she would need to become happy.

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