AIBU to not allow my DD1's (19ish) partner to sleep in the same bed as her?(117 Posts)
So, this is complicated and I will try to sum up as briefly as I can without the need to later drip feed. We have 4DCs and DD1 is the oldest so we're kind of setting a precedent here (unfair for first borns I know). My eldest is a high functioning autistic that is in a gap year before going to uni in September. She's also LGBT+. Both those elements were not anticipated when we were planning to become parents and it has been wonderful, amazing (sometimes v. traumatic) learning curve for us both, but whilst at 19 (in a few days hence the 'ish') she is the embodiment of know-it-all pre-adult, that drives us daily to despair, we couldn't be more proud of her. I've put that she's LGBT+ because I'm not sure she's yet decided what category she wants to place herself in, but has for the last 5 years (at least) been trying to shock us with her sexual or even lack of sexual preferences and whether she's ever going to give us grandchildren etc. We have equally provided a united front of being unshockable with the general response of, 'as long as you're happy and safe we are happy'. We have been strict elsewhere, like clothing and no tattos etc so she's had plenty to rebel against, but in terms of her sexuality we have determinedly taken the stance of ensuring that in the end she's felt supported and loved.
So, just before Christmas, my daughter announced that she was planning to marry her friend. Importantly, both for back ground info and for my dilemma this friend is female, lives in the US and the two have never physically met. They talk for hours on end on skype daily. Anyway, I then said, "so you feel at the moment that you are Lesbian"? Her response was to scathingly say Typical I knew you'd react like that. No we just have a very deep Platonic friendship". I remember the word Platonic in particular because to me that seems at odds with wanting to get married (or am I being a bit 'old generation'). Anyway she finally got the reaction she'd been seeking of me telling her that she was crazy. Fast forward 2 days and I finally got her to sit down and explain that in this day and age there is no reason to rush into marriage regardless of how you identify be that hetero, bi, trans etc and that it was a legally binding set of documents that shouldn't be rushed etc etc etc. She seemed to hear me.
Move forward to today (at last). So her friend/Partner is coming to stay next week. My daughter has suddenly tidied her bedroom, gone shopping etc etc etc. But when offered a mattress for her partner/friend to sleep on she's refused and nope, she'll be sleeping in my bed. So I said where will you be sleeping? She pretended not to hear me and has gone off. This is my problem! They've never physically met, my daughter has never been in a relationship since a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship at the age of 13 which was no more than holding hands. If this friend were a male I'd have no problem with insisting that he slept in the guest room!
Not only do I wish to treat all my children as equals, I also feel that my daughter is still emotionally v. young and wish to protect her where I can. The young woman (same age as my dd1) is coming over for a fortnight, during which time they are going away for a couple of nights. I have no worries about them sleeping together for this trip away because its short etc but feel that home is not the place for experimenting. If these two stay together and see each other more regularly then yes of course, but right now it feels wrong and that if its ok for a same sex relationship to sleep together at 18 (19 in a few days) then it should be the same for a hetero relationship?? What do you all think?? How do I protect her, enable her and treat her and her siblings equally????
My parents had a rule that I wasn't allowed to share a room with any romantic partner until marriage. I think it's fair enough to set that out early if that's what you want to do. Equally, I don't think there's any harm per se in letting her share. Your house, you make the rules.
Your daughter is a young woman not a child and it’s not really for you to say when she’s ready for sex.
Treat her partner how you would treat any partner. You say if the partner was male your rule would be that they would be in the spare room. I think you have your answer right there.
Erm, I’d have more of an issue with a random stranger from the internet coming to stay in my house for 2 weeks, when I have other young kids at home. Totally wouldn’t be allowing it at all.
ReaganSomerset, yes that's always been my view, but feel that marriage is now longer a foregone necessity for a life long wonderful partnership. So a friend suggested when they are living together instead, but that's really expensive.
PinkHeart5914 I hear you, but also feel that home is not the place for random strangers that are not well known to the siblings who are only 15, 12 and 9.
If she were not on a gap year, she would be living away from you and university and could let whomsoever she chose share her bed and you wouldn't be able to control it. It depends on how you want your relationship with her to develop, I suppose.
I would say by 18 she is allowed to share a bed with her other half.
However, if you are saying that you’d refuse to let her share a bed with a male other half then I think that’s your answer- regardless of gender, under your rules the girl has to sleep in the guest room.
I think you sound controlling if I’m being honest. The part that mostly got me was you saying you’re strict about tattoos and clothes. She is an adult so it is entirely up to her what she wears and whether she is tattooed or not .
I don’t blame you for being worried about her wanting to marry someone she’s never physically met, of course but let’s face it, they probably won’t get married... The separate mattress thing is a little daft, I’m sure if they’re sharing a room they wouldn’t choose to sleep in separate beds.
I presume she will be moving away when she starts uni? I kind of hope so for her own sake, she needs some freedom.
Are we all ignoring the fact there's a syringe American teenager coming to your house for TWO WEEKS?
I totally agree with @Cheby
No way would a random stranger (regardless of sex / sexual orientation / gender identity / whatever) from the internet be sharing a bedroom, let alone a bed, with anybody in my house if they hadn't met them before! Jeez.
Maybe have a rule that only long-term partners can share a bed? Up to you whether long term means six months/a year/however long. Same rule for all siblings and partners no matter what the sex and would help reinforce the message of it's fine whomever you choose but that it's important not to rush relationships?
Cheby - I'm with you on that. But have managed to talk to her and correspond with her parents who are equally scared (though whether they know that they plan to sleep together I'm not so convinced about). Her father transferred my daughter some money for his daughter and on it he's asked her not to 'catfish' her. I don't know what 'catfish' means, but she thinks that's hilarious. She has tried to explain but any of it just makes me go cold. Think I should ask for her parent's email address and talk to them???
She’s 19. Even if they are partners, what’s the worst that can happen? They have fun? It’s not like she’s going to get pregnant is it.
And it's x months from meeting face to face, contact over phone/media doesn't count
I have no worries about them sleeping together for this trip away because its short etc but feel that home is not the place for experimenting.
I don’t get this. It’s a short trip so they won’t have sex? It doesn’t take that long! If she sleeps on a mattress on the floor how does that stop them having sex if they want to? Ditto for spare room. The only way you’re going to be able to enforce a “not under my roof” situation is not to let the friend/girlfriend stay with you at all. As for home not being the place for experimenting - yeah, the backseat of a car, a cheap hotel or behind the bikesheds sounds much safer.
Honestly, I doubt they will actually have sex. Firstly, this is supposedly a deep platonic friendship. Secondly, her bravado about it will probably slip when confronted with the flesh and blood girl in her bedroom. Especially if you act like you don’t mind and don’t give her something to push against. But even if they do...at least she’s not going to get pregnant. Limited long term consequences really.
Actually yeah.... the internet friend bit is sheer madness. That I wouldn’t accept
She is 18 so clothes and tattoos should be up to her. If you treat her like a child then she will behave like a child.
I would not be happy with a person my adult child had not even met staying in my house.
19 year olds living at home do not autuomatically get to have people share their beds in their parents homes. If they want to pull the ‘I’m an adult’ routine, they can...in their own accommodation, not the family home.
Plus your DD has Autism, is confused sexually and so is likely quite vulnerable.
I would say that if she wants to stay here she sleeps in the guest room. If her retort is that it’s plutonic - great, adult friends can stay in the GUEST room (hence its name) if she says she’s her girlfriend - great, boyfriends & girlfriends stay in the GUEST room.
- people you have never actually MET sleep in the GUEST room
...rinse & repeat.
Apart from anything, this visiting girl should not be ‘made’ to share a bed. None of you have met. Your DD is vulnerable. This girl is most likely vulnerable.
Your other children also need to know that bringing people into the home that you have never met requires more care and consideration that having long standing friends stay. Especially when those people are adults.
No, it's not really on, is it? She doesn't actually "know" the friend; she hasn't even met her, and she's planning on sharing a bed with her. Not only that, but you've got younger dc who don't necessarily need a stranger plonked in their home for 2 weeks.
You need to dicuss safe sex with her - consent and STIs.
My parents stopped me having boys over until I was 18. (I met my now husband at 14 and started dating at 16)
They never allowed him to stay past 10pm, until I turned 18. At that point, I asked if I could stay at his (he would take me to college and pick me up from my house on an evening when he had finished work) and asked if he could stay at mine.
My parents agreed to the sleepovers at his place, having raised me with plenty of common sense and told me he was welcome to stay at ours but they would not be buying a new bed for the room, and that it was up to us to be sensible and safe.
I left for uni in the July.
I guess what I’m saying is, your daughter is a year older than I was, she is clearly bright enough to get into uni and if she were living in uni flats she would be able to invite whomever she liked over. It’s different in that it’s your house, but at 19 she really gets to choose if she’s ready for sex or not. However if you feel that strongly about it, I would suggest you inform her gently that said friend is welcome to sleep in her bed, but that she needs to sleep in the guest room or vice versa, as although you understand she is old enough to make her own choices, you also understand that she is old enough to respect your wishes in relation to guests in your home.
I think it’s perfectly reasonable for you to say no to having a stranger (to everyone) coming to stay in your home. Your home, your rules about who stays there.
But - you seem controlling and over invested / interested in your daughters sexuality and love life. Plus the bit about tattoos and clothing is ridiculous! She’s an adult, she can do what she likes.
outpinked, the mattress was because it has taken until this morning's 'mattress' for me to even conceive that she might be wanting to share her bed. Until recently she was still v.v. I'm never sharing a bed with anyone ever, so I supposed I've just had time to think! So this is just me trying to sort my head out. Everyone's comments are really helpful. As for controlling I suppose its because I believe (its my belief) that children need to rebel. But I also believe (as in the tattoo) that such things should be wanted for a while so that a design is chosen that can be liked for the rest of their lives and I'm not convinced that at 18 she's yet there.
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