My daughter went to her boyfriends and now won't come home.(240 Posts)
My once happy, bright daughter started seeing this boy last summer and ever since she has changed. She spends every spare moment of her time with him, had stopped seeing her friends and hardly talks to us anymore. She wants to sleepover at his house and we do not think this is right. She says it is no different to staying at one of her girlfriends but we feel it is.
We have tried to be nice to this boy and he has been to our home many times and although we feel she is spending too much time with him we have tried very hard not stop her no matter how hard we have found this. They see each other at least 3 whole days a week during school time and every day during school holidays and they just watch tv and bake cakes. They don't go out anywhere only for the odd walk. He is all over her. When they do go out he has one arm around her back and the other one across her front holding her hand and they walk hip to hip (her dad calls it the crab shuffle).
Both her dad and I thought it would be a good idea to talk to his mum about the sleepovers and our worries - bad idea. I went Wednesday and she told me she didn't see the problem she let both her daughters bring their boyfriends home that way she knew they were safe and not in some park somewhere. Oldest had her first baby at 19 and has just had her 2nd with a partner who still lives at home so must only stay at her home on sleepovers. She has never had a job. Mum also told me she ran off with their dad when she was 16 and stayed in an abusive relationship for 16 years. She also said she had given her wedding ring to her son and he didn't know what to do with so he gave it to our daughter, had offered our daughter a home because we argue all the time (we hardly ever argue) our daughter has a tantrum and storms to her room. When I got ready to leave our daughter said she would be home later and his mum said she was safe there and would run her home when she was ready.
Our daughter then sent a text to say she was staying the night(had not clothes with her), then sent another text to say she won't be home she needs space and the last time she replied to our texts messages was Saturday and we have heard nothing since. Her dad thinks she will be home at the weekend as school starts on Monday so do we just let her come home like nothing has happened? She has upset me so much and we don't really know what we have done except love her too much perhaps. Please help.
Please don't tell her to collect her stuff.
Try not to interpret your DD's actions as aimed at you - she wants to feel that she's exercising her own choices - in this case by choosing where she lives. I'm sure she will come back so don't make it more difficult for her.
DD came home from school today with a tale of a boy in her class who had been living with a friend's family for several months after being expelled from school. Nevertheless he did well in his exams and is now living at home again and going to her excellent, state school.
She's also quite friendly with a girl who lived at the hostel for pupils at her specialist school who live too far from school to travel there daily - yet her family home is only a 10 min walk from the hostel! She's a very nice, clever girl who also had a BF who was a bit of a loser. She gets on well with her mum now, is doing very well at school and has a nice BF. Honestly - I'm not making up these stories.
We live in a nice suburb - these are middle class kids. I've met them both on several occasions and they're polite, bright kids. It would seem that your DD's actions are not uncommon... I know it's easy to quote tales of other people's experiences and tell you not to worry, but I hope they might be some consolation and hope for you.
As for your DD's BF's mother - you have my complete sympathy. She clearly has no respect for your wishes/values. I still feel angry with the mother of my DD's ex-BF who had no respect for anybody else's opinion apparently, told my DD I was being over-protective, told her not to call me one evening as she would 'speak to me' etc. Please remember that your DD's relationship is very unlikely to be long-lasting. I'm sure she will come back.
from me - what a horrible thing to have to go through. Hold your nerve.
Then cut off her phone, pack her stuff into boxes and store it in the loft or the garage.
Redecorate her room to your own taste and use it for something else, but keep the bed, just in case.
You need to let her go now, and not blame anyone else.
Are you sure she's actually ok? What if she's being forced to stay there, or they are not allowing her contact with you?
loopylou6 I really don't know what is going on. We have sent lots of texts, family have also contacted her either by text or called her (calls always go to answerephone) and when she does bother to reply she tells us she didn't get that text or phone message - but why would we lie and why would her grandparents etc lie that they called her.
If she won't speak to us or see us then we will never know.
I haven't read all of the thread so apologies if I get the wrong end of the stick.
I left home temporarily for about 9 months between the ages of 16 and 17. Like Viking1's friend I was privately educated and from an affluent family, however, I felt completely swamped and suffocated by my parents - I did not share their moral outlook or their world view.
I think, however hard it is, you have to accept that your daughter is telling you that she wants to be treated as an adult (I speak as a mother of a 17 yr old daughter who can be extremely challenging). Teenage love, I remember as being completely and totally overwhelming. I would try to keep communicating with your daughter - meet on neutral ground and talk about neutral things ie nothing about her coming home, only brief polite enquiries about BF and his mum (who sounds revolting and who seems to be getting some sort of kick out of the situation - don't play into her hands!).
I left home finally at 18 - I managed to get my A levels and went to uni. I wish you luck. x
I'd write her a letter/card and simply say that you love and miss her and hope she is happy, that she is welcome home for a visit or to stay whenever she feels ready.
Then you need to send a separate letter saying that with effect from her 18th birthday (can't be far off now) you will cease to financially support her. She will be an adult, she has already left home she needs to stand on her own feet.
Hi Taggert, I have just read this thread from start to finish and you are clearly in an awful situation. I don't have children so can't advise you from that angle, but I can share my experiences of boyfriends when I was 16/17.
My parents were divorced and I lived with my mom (and my sister who is 13 months older than me) and the general rule was that she accepted we would have boyfriends, she always made them feel welcome, she let us spend however much/little time with them as we liked but they were not allowed to spend the night and nor were we allowed to be in our bedrooms with them unless we were with a group of people. Ironically though she had no problems with us spending the night at our boyfriend's house (only from about the age of 17) and never tried to stop this. She lived in the real world, she knew we were sexually active and I think she realised that if she tried to stop that aspect of an adult relationship it wouldn't end in her favour. Me and my sister accepted that she didn't want us having sex under her roof and we were fine with that. Our mom allowed to us to have our adult relationships without prying and in return we were always honest with her about when we were staying over at our boyfriend's house and it was never an issue.
Your daughter needs to know that you see her as an adult and that you respect that she is in an adult sexual relationship. I don't know what the answer is but lots of mothers on here have given you fantastic advice. I really hope you sort things soon x x
I've been following this thread with some interest. As a 19-year-old law student with a sometimes-turbulent relationship with my mum, I want to provide you with some "youthful perspective". I have nothing but sympathy for your family and hope that your family survives unscathed from this issue.
1) RE. THE BOYFRIEND'S FAMILY
Their moral values seem dubious at best- the boyfriend lying, the mum & sisters' questionable habits. Your concerns are perfectly valid- from what I've read you seem to have raised her with excellent values and it would be a real shame if such a lovely girl threw all that away. My advice to you is get her out as soon as possible.
This isn't just an "intense teenage relationship"- it's an "intense DESTRUCTIVE teenage relationship". What's the background of the boyfriend's mum? To me, she seems like someone who's bitter and vengeful at having made mess of her and possibly her childrens' lives, and now wants to perpetuate the cycle by ruining the lives of others. Kind of like Heathcliffe in Wuthering Heights. As such, this isn't a normal teenage relationship- it seems more sinister than that. I repeat- get her out.
2) RE. YOUR DAUGHTER'S LACK OF CONTACT- MISSED CALLS, SHORT TEXTS AND REFUSALS TO MEET
I strongly recommend calling your daughter out on this one. It shows blatant disrespect for other people and will get her nowhere if she thinks it is OK to stomp on people to get what she wants. She is hurting people through her actions and needs to know that there are consequences for these things. This is immaturity and no one should leave home with it.
Don't be afraid to punish your daughter for this one- she will appreciate your honesty. Just be firm, keep an even tone and don't blow up while expressing your disappointment. I've been-there-done-that fairly recently with the whole "teenage" thing. Now that I'm about to leave my teenage years behind forever, I'm extremely grateful to my mum who called me out when I had made/ was making/ about to make a stupid decision. She made me consider the impact of my decisions on the short and long term and on other people. Us teens want to be treated like adults, but the catch is we aren't adults yet and some decisions we make may not be the best. As such, we appreciate brute honesty from the parents as long as it's of the "I want to prepare you for adulthood"-kind, not "I want to control you".
My parents used the benefit of their combined ages and told me how things would turn out in the bigger picture. I admit- it wasn't always easy for an angry teen such as me to listen to their well-meaning advice, but looking back, I am grateful for that as I had some semblance of wisdom with me which stopped me from making silly mistakes. Us teens do need to make our mistakes and learn from them, but equally important is learning from the wisdom of our forebears. You guys are the teens of yesteryear- we'd be interested in hearing how times were like for you.
Please don't be afraid to make your daughter feel bad for what she's done. She has done wrong- stomped on your feelings, lied and showed you blatant disrespect. She's done wrong- hey, she should feel bad and take the consequences like a mature young lady. Could you, your husband and her go see a solicitor/ family mediator/ counsellor or some trusted 3rd party? Whatever route you take, don't get emotional or yell. Just tell her bluntly at the hurt and disappointment she's caused. She will respect your honesty and not beating about the bush.
You have the privilege of being her parent. And that means calling her out on difficult issues such as this one. What's uppermost in our minds when making decisions is its short term impact- not the long term, or hurt it's going to cause. As her parent, you've got to steer her decision-making processes to include the last 2 as well. I won't deny it will be painful, but nothing worthwhile has ever come easy, not including maturity. Just because someone's reached their 18th doesn't make them mature.
I don't know you personally, but I can attest that the best relationships (even at my age) are those in which both parties actively support and encourage each other to grow. Your daughter's relationship with her boyfriend has done neither. Rather, it's threatening to tear your family apart. My advice- get her out of there. Get help if needed.
From one parent whose children have smashed her heart into a million pieces and stamped on it, I salute you. I guess the nightmare is still going on? I'm so sorry, it is clear that this is extremely painful for you.
I agree with you about the 'stealing' thing. When my eldest daughter was kicking against home etc, it was shocking how many women crawled out of the woodwork to 'parent her properly'. Shocking. They in no way pointed her back to us re reconciliation but got into some kind of mother-high with my daughter. It was repulsive. Not that I judged them, just wanted my relationship with my daughter back, even if it was tenuous.
This woman is stealing your daughter's heart and mind eg not letting your husband see her because he would 'upset' your daughter. It is not her place to take that role in your daughter's life, to be her gatekeeper and, in fact, parent. Who does she think she is?
trash . It's not for her to be pronouncing this and that. She is not the world's authority on parenting ffs. It is not her place to set the moral tone for your daughter.
HOwever, your daughter is 17. She is being exceptionally cruel, emotionally and practically... but she is 17, nearly an adult. This silly woman is leading her astray - if your daughter had nowhere to go, she wouldn't be there - but you were saying that you included the boyf in family outings... erm, at 17 they have no desire to go on family outings with their parents. If your daughter was doing that then that was not usual for a 17yo. It would have been weird for them, so in love, to be spending time with parents.
It's important that kids stretch away from their parents at this age, important for their identity. They will pull away to forge their own identity, not yours (it's called individuation). it's not personal, it's actually healthy. I know that lovely idea of them growing older and growing up and you're friends and see one another a lot and go shopping and on trips... but it doesn't often pan out like that; and neither should it imo. You have the added excruciating pain of her being hijacked by this family but it is good for her to pull away for a while.
Only she's not pulling away, is she? She's living their life, not hers. At least she's talking of going to uni, that's one saving grace in this horror.
I sincerely hope this is resolved soon. You are not the only one, as I intimated at the start of my post: there are many of us. There is no pain like it. I perfectly understand you wanting to hang that woman - I have a similar woman in my daughter's life and I have to not think about her because I don't trust myself...
Don't act on it, though. don't let this woman know how you feel - you are wasting your breath, she is ignorant, an ignorant woman. Try not to be spiteful to her or to your daughter. it will make things worse if you are - though I appreciate it's hard to imagine it could get worse than it already is.
How are you? I hope you have got some peace somehow. I pray a lot. May not be your thing, but it keeps me going.
Not that I judged them <cough>
Hi OP, the Jeremy Kyle family that your daughter has got involved in is fairly destructive. The BF's mother was in abusive relationships and her son will have witnessed this, and has no good male role models. What strikes me is the mother's lack of respect to YOU. If the tables were turned and her darling boy were shacked up at yours I'm sure she would be quick to turn up with all guns blazing. This woman wants to keep her son at all costs and your daughter is being sucked into her fucked up neediness.
This has nothing to do with the age of your daughter, it's about the vulnerability of your daughter. If you believe she is vulnerable to abuse or manipulation you should get her out of there. If you believe this man is trustworthy and will look after her (what most mothers wish for in their daughter's boyfriend) you wouldn't be on her posting, crying yourself to sleep at night.
The thing is a girl like yours, who has never experienced dysfunction and nastiness, does not have her eyes truly open to this and is vulnerable.
Trust your instinct and go as far as you need to.
X-posted with springytufty, ans saying similar things. I was wondering what the legal situation was regarding 'hijacking' someone else's child?
I went through this 5 years ago when my daughter was 18 ..the situation changed when I let go .I had to learn (and continually mumble to myself) that it's not my life .I noticed that once we stopped reacting and chasing her the thrill went away.
Our life continued.She ended up coming back and now has a great career and he's gone.
My in-laws went through a similar situation with their DD, who was attending a drama group and a straight A maths student. She got together with the 35yr old drama teacher when she was 17, and her parents watched as she dropped all her mates, lost interest in school and wanted to get engaged to this bloke. Speaking to us they were distraught about the whole situation, but acted totally unfazed and stood back (even though it was killing them to do so) in front of the couple. Luckily it all blew over and they broke up when she was 20, but not before she had missed out on uni because of the relationship. She did an OU degree whist working and is now happily married to someone nearer her own age, but I have nothing but admiration for my in-laws and how they handled the situation, not sure I would have been able to sit back as they did but that seemed to be the best solution, I'm sure she would have married this bloke if they had tried to split them up.
I tried the ignoring tactic with my DD when she had her first love just before her GCSE's (great timing) but of course when they are going through it they really are so self absorbed they really don't realise the impact the relationship is having on them or potentially their life and future. She didn't do as well as she could have done, and had to retake her maths, but a few years on she now looks back and regrets being so distracted, she even advised her younger brother to not make a similar mistake!
You must feel so helpless in your current situation. The boyfriends mother sounds like a witch who is revelling in your powerlessness and enabling this relationship, but you have the moral higher ground here and YOU, not her, are your daughters mother, she is acting like a mate not a parent. This will be easy to say and hard to do, but I would be very tempted to withdraw your financial support now. You are funding her lifestyle atm, and if she wants to be a big girl, she must accept the responsibilities of being a grown up as well. You will worry this will make her hate you, but she is not showing you much parental respect anyway, and this just might make her realise where she is well off, ie at home. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
In response to the poor mother who's daughter went to her boyfriends and then will not come home. Most replies refer to the daughter's age, I believe this is irrelevant. Every child is different with different growth rate of maturity and different levels of relationships with their parents. I expect Taggart feels like water being spiralled down a drain right now - I know I do. The last 2 weeks has been the worst time of my life since my beautiful daughter was born - which was the best time of my life. My daughter's father was persuaded to leave me when I was pregnant in order to preserve his inheritance. I was 35, he was 29 and we had been together 9 years planning the pregnancy. My life was almost over except for the wonderful baby growing inside me. My partner took everything I owned with him, including my home. I had nothing but my unborn baby. I somehow found a new home in London with no money and no job. I had no parental or family support but I built up enough money by working every day until my daughter was born. The next 21 years were a huge struggle financially but I threw my whole life into loving and caring for her and paying for a private education via loans and grants and bursaries etc. My daughter developed strong relationships with a wonderful circle of friends - both girls and boys. During the entire 21 years, we have been as close as any mother/daughter could be. I found investors who invested in a company that I ran and still run to make enough money (her father has never paid a penny despite the enormous wealth of him and his family). When it was time for my daughter to enter university, I suggested we move from London - where university fees are too high for me - to Spain where actually she could study at a university that has the best faculty for her chosen studies. She was both delighted and excited at the prospect. There has never been a serious relationship with a man in my life since she was born so it was just me who prepared to move (It's more work than you can image). I drove us both in my old car down through France into Spain in January and have lived here since. My daughter has been very excited and full of life and zest with a great deal of enthusiasm for entry into uni since then. She now speaks Spanish well and is studying the grammar, she has found her own job teaching children English and is earning 25 per hour! This is the important, relative part... she met a boy (24 but thinks he's 30!) 3 months before we left England. Instead of just saying, as her friends' parents would have, "Oh dear, that's a shame" - I stupidly encouraged her to continue seeing him saying he is welcome to come and stay whenever he wants and for as long as he wants. He has not only come to stay 3 times already and planning more (which is fine) but insists she spends all the time, on our trips back to London, with him - which is again, absolutely fine but two weeks ago when he became jealous of her time in Spain and jealous that she had her girlfriends to stay, he has changed her!!! She is a completely different girl suddenly saying she needs to go away with him and snaps at me. Her desires for study and career, to spend time with her old school friends has all changed - she is like a Zombie here with me and I am heartbroken. I actually feel as if I am water disappearing down a drain. For 21 years (and I insist that the years do not matter, her maturity and joyful love of life has always meant she is so young at heart) I have paid for everything my self and still do, I have worked insanely hard and together have had so many laughs and giggles and shopping and holidays and shared so much with her friends and their parents and now..... I am distraught. The boyfriend is very very clever... he knows just what to say to her to pull her over to him. There seems nothing I can do - I feel my life is over! I fully sympathise with Taggart and think she does not deserve to feel so unhappy. E.
Your daughter is 21 - she will pull away. It's time for her to launch her own life now and she will probably do it brutally because you and she have been so close in the past. I know that's been said upthread but it bears repeating. As long as she is healthy and on her feet iyswim, then stand back and wait. Get on with your own life.
I'm saying this to myself btw. I am in the same boat. It hurts more than you feel you can bear - it's the viciousness that is unbearably painful - but hold on. we have to. What have you got going in Spain? Maybe it's time for you now. Let her find her own way - she'll be glad of trips to Spain in years to come. We don't know what the future holds.
Taggart What is she living on? How does she pay her way? Does she work? How does she pay her car insurance, tax and petrol? Or has she sold the car?
Frankly I wouldn't blame the BF's mother for this, your DD has probably told her a pack of lies about you and your DH, she will have made herself into a proper little victim.
I work with teenagers and have seen this situation many times. Parents say but we gave them everything, they had lovely holidays, clothes and ALL have a mobile phone contract. How could they do this to us?
She knows that as soon as she's fed up with this lot or they get fed up with her (which is more likely), then you will be there waiting and sort it all out for her.
Is she still in education?
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Please ignore the crass hijacking from AmyCastingCouch and have reported the post
Oops, name predictive typo
My advise based on personal experence is to keep communicating but don't suffocate always make them both welcome in your home and im sure she will see sense. but give it time.
Personal experience from which end, hogweed ? as the child, or the parent? (if that's ok to ask)
What an awful situation I really hope things resolve. I think it may take a lot of time.
Horrible situation OP. I can see why you are understandably heartbroken and would feel the same. Most teenagers come around though eventually and stop being so selfish. I hope it is sooner than later for your DD