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to think this is a red flag concerning my daughters boyfriend.

(51 Posts)
dontgowadingin Wed 12-Jun-13 22:06:18

Name change --- bare with me its a long one

My daughter has just turned 18, she has a boyfriend of 22. I didn't know his 'real' age until she had turned 18 by then they had been with each other around 5 months. Its about 7 months in now.

I had trouble getting my head around how old he was as I felt it was too old for 17/22 but I kept my mouth shut as she was 18 by the time I found out.

As far as I know things have been good between them, she has spent the weekend visiting his mother recently to meet her and she seemed very happy. They were due to go again this Friday for the weekend. Its a 2 hour train ride.

My DD BF is going to Ibiza to work for six weeks at the end of this month, originally it was for the whole summer but has shortened it to six weeks because he will miss DD. She is flying out to visit him in July.

He has given up his apartment share and is just crashing at his friends till he leaves.

Today my daughter came home from work, which she is doing very well at. She was ill and looked terrible. Id not seen her for a couple of days as she had been with BF. So she let me pamper her for a while and fell asleep on couch.

BF rang and asked her to go and see him, she explained that she was ill and was going to spend some time with me ( I nearly fell of chair at this point, she must really be ill and feeling sorry for her self)

He said he really wanted to see her, she said she was too tired ( it would take an hour bus ride to meet him) He asked if he could come here and sleep. She said ''no'' as I wouldn't like it, at this point he told her that she was being unfair, she didn't care about him, he feels like a spare part, that he was going to his mothers tonight and that she wasn't allowed to go Friday and she wouldn't see him till he got back from Ibiza. I could hear his raised voice on the phone.

She left the room rang him up and could hear her getting upset on the phone. She came back in the room, she had been crying. She said that it was sorted he wasn't going and she was meeting him next day.

Next min he is on bloody phone again, starts whole palava again,she ends up practically begging him to go and see him, him refusing her of course till he decides she can go up after all.

So she drags her self up and gets her stuff ready, i talked to her about how she was feeling, she assured me she was fine, she didn't know how bad he felt, not to worry.

She looked like a lost soul when she left the house.

I genuinely don't know what to do, i don't want her to not feel she can talk to me yet i don't want to sit back as i think he sound manipulative and she is too young for all this crap.

OR am I blowing this out of proportion

Good advice muchly appreciated

ImperialBlether Wed 12-Jun-13 22:11:49

Oh god I'd do whatever I could to keep her away from him!

Does she know you come on here? You have described it quite calmly and I don't think she'd be able to argue with your description. She might find it eye opening to read people's opinions. Or you could get her to put her own point of view, start her own thread.

He sounds really manipulative - really awful.

caramelwaffle Wed 12-Jun-13 22:15:44

She needs to get away from him: the sooner the better.

You are not blowing it out of proportion thanks

pointythings Wed 12-Jun-13 22:18:00

Enormous emotional abuse red flag. Not sure how you're going to be able to influence your DD, though - it may be that the best you can do is be there for her when it all falls apart. sad

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Wed 12-Jun-13 22:18:59

Definitely an emotionally manipulative fuckwit. He will not change or get 'better'. She should run for the hills.

Doubtfuldaphne Wed 12-Jun-13 22:19:55

He sounds awful. Would she tell you if she had been arguing with him over something else when she saw him last?

dontgowadingin Wed 12-Jun-13 22:21:15

If he was in his teens then I could put it down to immaturity but 22 is old enough to know better.

This is her first 'real' relationship and i don't want it to set a trend. I just don't know the best way to broach the subject with out alienating her so she cant talk to me. If i go in saying he is an ass hole she will clam up

I second the first reply. Can you get her to read the responses you get here? Maybe ask for this thread to be moved to Relationships because you will get stellar advice there. If she can see that it isn't just Mum 'wading in' and that actually he sounds like a manipulative arsehole, maybe it might sink in?

DeepRedBetty Wed 12-Jun-13 22:24:05

No, I don't think you're worrying about nothing. Does she watch any soaps? Have any of them featured emotional abuse story lines recently? I don't watch any of them myself but DM does, and I was at her house when there was an episode of Eastenders (I think) with something very like this going on. Could have been Corrie or Emmerdale though, sorry.

Anyway, a fictional story might be a place to start a conversation?

Ilovemyself Wed 12-Jun-13 22:25:24

Have you met him yet? It is difficult to make a snap decision on one call.

Is he quite young for his age? I know how I felt when I joined the Navy and had to leave my Girlfriend of a year. I was gutted and it made me act a bit shitty for a while.

It sounds like you can talk to her so do just that. Get a bit more from her and trust your judgement. I don't think the age gap should bother you, but if she says he is possessive or controlling in any way you have to say something. Do remember though, she is 18 now so she can see who she wants.

dontgowadingin Wed 12-Jun-13 22:25:25

I think she would tell me if they had been arguing, i asked her what the relationship was like normally, she said it was good, just him being upset on this occasion confused

He also text her best friend last week and had a go at her for trying to manipulate DD! I did tell DD he was out of order for that.

I cant tell her dad he would go in all guns blazing

trackies Wed 12-Jun-13 22:25:57

he's being very immature and manipulative. YANBU !

gordyslovesheep Wed 12-Jun-13 22:26:40

wow! he is toxic - yanbu x

MNBlackpoolandFylde Wed 12-Jun-13 22:27:30

I was your daughter 15 years ago, the person who left a family meal mid course because my exh who was my boyfriend at time did what you have said. He was much older than me too.

Its controlling behaviour, please talk to her. sad It got much worse for me.

dontgowadingin Wed 12-Jun-13 22:30:40

I know ilovemyself that's why I'm biting my tongue. I haven't met him yet. We were supposed to be meeting up this weekend but they are going to his mothers.

I don't know, I just have a feeling about this.

You right i think ill try get this moved to relationships.

Thanks for your responses x

marriedinwhiteagain Wed 12-Jun-13 22:30:52

All you can do is be there. Thank God he's going abroad for six weeks - it's a long time when you are 18. I guess he wanted to come tonight because he has no fixed abode at present.

Ilovemyself Wed 12-Jun-13 22:33:32

The fact he had a go at her friend as well tells you all you need to know

I wish I could give you an answer on how to deal with it but I can't. But it sounds like she will trust you and talk to you.

And I agree. Show her this thread.

McNewPants2013 Wed 12-Jun-13 22:34:53

A huge red flag.

Next it will be I shortened my summer to Ibiza for you and all the other babble bullshit these fuckwits come up with.

She is ill and I get that he may want to see her, but a normal person would go to them and ask if they needed something on the way not drag them out.

FluffyDucky Wed 12-Jun-13 22:34:54

I would talk to her but depending on what she is like, if you try to stop her from seeing him it may not go well for you.
I got my first boyfriend at 17, stayed together for nearly 3 years (he was 2 or 3 years older than me). He was very emotionally/verbally abusive and slightly physical (not hitting but rough) I could not see this for quite some time after breaking up.
My mum told me after and when I was ready to hear it how much she, my dad & brother disliked him and saw him for what he was.
If they had told me this while I was with him I simply would not have listened & probably would have had less contact with them (which he had reduced anyway)
Be there for her, support her and when it goes sour let her turn to you. x

dontgowadingin Wed 12-Jun-13 22:35:31

married I'm hoping that this break will give them breathing space. Yep I agree with staying over.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 12-Jun-13 22:41:30

She's 17! Isn't a crap relationship like this something almost everyone goes through?

He's going to be away for weeks at a time. Encourage her to go out with her girlfriends and enjoy that time, and she might realise her boyfriend isn't going to be The One. Hopefully she will learn something from this, but she has to do it herself in her own time.

I'm sure she'll be fine.

Lavenderandroses Wed 12-Jun-13 22:41:44

I think it's a really difficult age to get too involved. Maybe set up a spa day and have a good heart to heart with dd focusing more on how she feels things are going.

The age gap is nothing if she is fairly sensible and grown up. I'm assuming you had the safe sex talk years ago?

I think keep your distance but at the same time keep talking to your daughter. Be there to guide and support her but also keep things balanced so you don't push her away. She does have to learn some lessons in love herself.

gottachangethename1 Wed 12-Jun-13 22:42:35

This is how my relationship started. Bad moods when I dared to say I couldn't meet up because I was I'll, temper tantrums when I mentioned a desire to meet up with friends.
2 decades later & I'm still trying to escape from his emotional/verbal abuse. My teenage dd has sadly witnessed enough to stay far away from anyone that puts ties on her.
Please tell your daughter that no one has the right to emotionally blackmail her. It isn't a sign of being a love struck boyfriend, Its a sign that he is controlling and she needs to make it clear she is not there just to please him. If he truly loves her he will accept that. Sadly I can bet that he won't. Thinking of u both.

McNewPants2013 Wed 12-Jun-13 22:50:06


I agree that many people may have experienced this type of relationship. Many get out before it become serious with friend/ family pointing them in the right direction.
Many others don't listen due to physiological damage all ready done.

The op is right to be concerned about her daughter.

dontgowadingin Wed 12-Jun-13 22:53:25

Thanks ladies, I think I will take her for lunch when he goes and have a chat with her, gotta your right no one has the right to emotional blackmail.

squeakytoy Wed 12-Jun-13 22:54:08

I think it sounds like a typical teenage romance... he is only 22, not 32!

Men of that age are usually a lot more immature in relationships than women of 22, and it really is not a huge age gap at all.

I would leave them to it.

McNewPants2013 Wed 12-Jun-13 23:02:02


22 years of age is old enough how to treat another person.

A 22 year old is an adult, if a 22 year old female and a 22year old male committed the exact same offence the courts would punish them the same.

FairPhyllis Wed 12-Jun-13 23:04:50

In case you show her this thread:

OP's DD - your mum really isn't overreacting here. This isn't about the age gap - it's not a normal way to treat someone in a relationship. It's not a sign of someone being romantic and deeply in love with you, it's a sign of being really controlling. And controlling partners can get an awful lot worse, very quickly. It's OK to walk away from this one - it's not your job to fix him.

OliviaMMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 12-Jun-13 23:07:38

Hi there
We have moved this thread to our relationships

Damnautocorrect Wed 12-Jun-13 23:12:37

Tread very very carefully or he'll manipulate her away from you.
YANBU at all btw

Lavenderandroses Thu 13-Jun-13 08:17:41

I think 18 is an adult too (unless she is really immature). I was certainly mature enough to work these things out for myself as that age. Sometimes you do need to get your fingers burnt to learn about relationships.

Just be there in the background to keep an ear out for her and for hugs and reassurance when it all ends.

dontgowadingin Thu 13-Jun-13 09:59:19

Morning ladies, lavender she isn't immature, just a people pleaser. She is more than aware of manipulative behaviour, it was the fact that she was making excuses for his behaviour and trying brush it all of as every thing was fine and she was happy when he had got his own way.

It's not normal behaviour for any age, no one should make you feel like shit. I'm going to have a talk with her later.

Thanks for your support ladies.

caramelwaffle Thu 13-Jun-13 13:18:37

Good luck x

lazarusb Thu 13-Jun-13 18:30:06

My ds's first gf was a bit like this. I sat him down and told what I thought & why. I asked him to imagine it was a friend in that position and what he would think being outside looking in. He saw it to an extent. It got worse and eventually they split. It was a learning curve for him, albeit a painful one.

Hope all goes well for you OP. Your dd is lucky to have such a lovely mum.

DrHolmes Thu 13-Jun-13 20:09:42

I am 26. When I was 18/19 I was in a relationship with a guy who was a bit of a hermit and really tried to get me to become a hermit too. He controlled what friends I saw and when. If I was staying withhim he would go on for hours and hours about the importance of honesty and not cheating etc etc when I had never given him a reason to think I had done anything.
He lived in a town about 30 miles from my flat.
My parents live abroad and one weekend my mum came over and decided to stay with me in my flat. We were all settled in bed, watching tv and happy we were spending time together when my BF called and made me feel so guilty that I had to get on a train to see him and stay over.

When i told my mum I was going she looked so sad and hurt.

The bf was a weirdo, i finally saw the light and to this day still feel so, so stupid for leaving my mum there on her own when I hardly ever saw her.
All for what? For nothing. I really wish I had that time with my mum now. I still hardly see her sad

To the OP's daughter: You are worth more than what this guy is making you. It may feel good, and intense and exciting but from what your mother has said I really would advise you to leave. You were ill and he didn't respect that. He caused a fuss saying you wouldn't see him until after Ibiza but this was just his way of making you come to see him because he knew you wouldn't want to not see him for that long and also probably make you think he is going to get up to lots of stuff whilst he is away. It's sneaky and just not nice!

maddy68 Thu 13-Jun-13 22:08:01

I think he just sounds immature and insecure.
Tbh there is nothing you can do and if you try to intervene it will back fire on you.
Leave her to it but let her know she doesn't have to go to Ibiza if she doesn't want to.

dontgowadingin Thu 13-Jun-13 23:27:37

lazarub that's actually a good place to start, getting he to look at it as if it was a friend that was in her position.

I've since found out tonight that they have been arguing recently as he wants them to move in together when he gets back, apparently it will be cheaper? She briefly brought the subject up last week, in a joking manner and I laughed it off, saying she wouldn't have enough money for shoes and handbags.
Also I found out his mother is finding him at the moment as he is not in work, we're my dd has a fantastic job. She really doesn't need this right now

I think she was actually sounding me out, thankfully she turned him down .

utterlyconfused11 Fri 14-Jun-13 00:19:55

Talk to her before she falls in love with him, it only gets still stuck and have been for 4 years.

utterlyconfused11 Fri 14-Jun-13 00:24:21

Glad she turned him down, it will all seek up on her,controlling emotional abuse,control of money who she talks to etc.....and she wont even notice till its to late.

Hookedonclassics Fri 14-Jun-13 05:18:22

OP, many red flags i'm afraid....

1. Isolating her from her family and friends...sounds like it

2. Cocklodger potential - being supported by his mum then wanting to move in with your daughter - I bet she (or his mum) will be asked to provide the deposit, put her name on rent and utility bills. I bet it will be cheaper for him, and your daughter will be doing his laundry and cooking too (just like his mum).

3. The worst one is demanding she travel, by public transport, to see him when she is poorly. This shows he has no empathy for her as a person, just for what she can do for him.

At 18, with a good job, she should be out enjoying herself with her friends, not with this needy tosser.

Hookedonclassics Fri 14-Jun-13 05:19:49

Yes, talk to her before he talks her into moving in together and having a baby.

Mixxy Fri 14-Jun-13 05:33:57

Oh don't we all remember first love? It's a hard subject to broach with your DD because it might just look like you're raining on her parade. Maybe remind her that first love isn't supposed to make you cry with guilt.

I'm sure you've done a great job raising her with self-respect. Sometimes it is necessary to prompt family into applying it to themselves. She'll thank you for it later in life.

First love should be all swirls, butterflies and general wonderment. Not guilt, anxiety and tears with a temperature.

DumSpiroSpero Fri 14-Jun-13 06:14:07

What Hooked said.

Thank God he's going away for the summer. With a bit of luck she'll have a great time with friends and family and realise what a prat he is.

Bearing that in mind, I wouldn't have too a heavy a discussion with her just yet, in case it results in her getting a bit 'Romeo and Juliet' about the relationship.

I would insist on meeting him before she goes to visit him in Ibiza though. Is she going on her own or with a friend?

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 14-Jun-13 06:20:21

I think this is one of those occasions where, rather than doing the boyfriend down necessarily, you can build your DD up. She still values your opinion and wants you to take care of her when she's sick which is good because you obviously have a great relationship. I think she half-realises this guy is a bit of a knob tbh and is probably finding his behaviour annoying already. If you initially go for the approach of telling her how fabulous she is and how you admire her independence and strength of character (insert other attributes here) and talk to her about all the opportunities ahead of her as a young woman I think she'll gain enough confidence from that to give this loser the heave-ho. Of course, if she asks you directly what you think of him, be very honest and don't pull your punches.

dontgowadingin Fri 14-Jun-13 09:17:22

Ladies some fantastic points thank you. I was going through in my head last night what I was going to say as I don't want to come across as patronising but there are done real good points that I can steal!

She went to his mothers last night instead of today so not gone in work, which is a concern as she is usually very good.

I spoke to her briefly last night on FaceTime and asked if she was looking forward to her holiday,as she goes away with friends at the end of month, she replied she wasn't .

I could hear him in the background so I think it was for his benefit.

When I have a chat with her, I've decided I'm not going to run him down but I'm going to point out what unhealthy about the relationship rather than attacking him.

I'm actually really nervous about it as if I go over board she won't confide in me again, and that would be worse.

Hookedonclassics Fri 14-Jun-13 09:47:15

OP, I think you are right about not going overboard. He could be telling your daughter stuff like "don't listen to what your mum says, she doesn't like me, she doesn't want whats best for you" etc etc. Or as DumDum said she could get all 'Romeo and Juliet'

I think if she goes to Ibiza, she should have some emergency plan to get home. There is nothing worse, when you are young. than being in a foreign country, when things start to go wrong.

Hopefully either she will enjoy spending time with her friends when he is away, or he'll meet someone else in Ibiza, and it will fizzle out.

bragmatic Fri 14-Jun-13 09:51:00

Clouds&trees. No! No fucking way. I was 21 when a boyfriend tried that shit on me and I dumped him. I think what the OP has described is not in the same ballpark as your boyfriend getting pissed and turning up late to your birthday party. Any sniff of emotional manipulation would have me seeing red. And red flags. I'm not sure what to do though. Apart from be there.

lazarusb Fri 14-Jun-13 10:51:05

Your relationship with her is your strength here. Deep down I suspect she realises what he is doing to her, but maybe not how serious it is or the extent of it. I'm 41 and doing a degree. I'm doing it now because I let my first serious boyfriend talk me out of going to Uni at 18. I'm so glad I didn't marry him, move in with him or have a baby though. Hope your dd sees that your love for her is what is motivating your understandable concern.

AnyFucker Fri 14-Jun-13 16:45:09

< quick hijack >

laz good luck with your degree, I really identify with your situation when you were 18. My first serious (and most abusive) bf tried to put me off going to Uni. He was very clever about it, by saying things like "I don't know how we can work if you are not around every day" and "I will get lonely without you" rather than simply saying "I will cheat on you if you go"

I didn't have a mum like the one on this thread though...OP, you sound great. I wish I'd had someone like you back then (or Mumsnet, of course...)

lazarusb Fri 14-Jun-13 17:08:54

Thanks AF. I'm loving it. Unfortunately my home situation wasn't as good as OP's daughter's and I didn't have the self-esteem to fight. Then it took another shitty relationship, then a great one and 20 years later, here I am!

AnyFucker Fri 14-Jun-13 17:21:36

Best of luck x

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