Should I tell DD why I dislike her "uncle" so much or would it be inappropriate/breach
of confidence? Genuine dilemma here...
MNHQ have commented on this thread.
DD is 16. Her dad and I split up when she was less than a year old and he has had very little involvement with her (seen her once a year on average). However his parents, although annoying, rude and misguided, love her very much and have maintained a relationship with her and see her about 3 times a year. This is usually 2 visits to our area, when they stay locally and spend time with DD, and 1 visit by her to stay with them for a week. When DD visits them her dad will usually turn up to see her for a day visit but not always as he doesn't get on well with his parents
or anyone else really
DD also has an aunt (her father's sister) who also has a strained relationship with their parents. Let's call her Susie for the purposes of clarity. Susie left home very young and became addicted to drugs by 16, and she was a sex worker for about 5 years. One of Susie's regular clients (let's call him Steve) paid for her to go to rehab, divorced his wife, and moved Susie in him once she was clean. Steve is 20 odd years older than Susie, very well off (she's in a gilded cage if you ask me) and their relationship has never been great (can't think why). I despise Steve and always have, because IMO he thinks he's bought Susie. He thinks she should be grateful to him for rescuing her. Or at least, this was his attitude when I last saw him which was about 15 years ago. I don't think he's actively dangerous as such, but I hate his attitude and I think men who buy women to use for sex are scum full stop (especially extremely young vulnerable drug addicted women).
Ex in-laws don't know the full story. They think Steve is just a very kind man who fell in love with Susie and fixed her up for life. They think she should be grateful that she's "never had to work" etc. I only know the full story because Susie told me in confidence once many years ago when she wanted to leave him. She has tried to leave him several times but always ends up going back. We used to get on fairly well and she would tell me a lot about her relationship with Steve, and I encouraged her to try and get away and make herself a life free of him. But since I split up with XP she took a "blood is thicker than water" line and we stopped seeing each other.
DD is now 16. I've never bothered to hide my dislike of Steve when he has come up on conversation and she is now asking me why I have such a problem with him. DD also thinks he is "wierd" and "creepy" (entirely her words not mine!). DD sees him anually when she visits her GPs and I don't think he poses any risk to her, but she is very very insistent that she wants to know why I dislike him.
Should I tell her the truth? Or do I owe it to Susie to keep a long ago promise not to tell anyone?
Could you go for a partial truth OP? Leave out the sex worker/drugs bit and just say ‘Susie has told me before that he treats her badly’ or ‘he uses the fact she doesn’t work to control her’?
Oh bollocks I didn't mean to enable bloody voting, I have no idea which way to tell people to vote. Sorry.
I think you're over thinking this. If your daughter wants to know why you dislike him just say 'same reasons you do'.
That's what I think I will do jammydodger1981 - talk about coercive control etc and just say I have reason to believe things are not as they seem. But obviously DD knows I haven't seen them for 15 years and thinks I'm holding a grudge for a very long time!
I agree don’t tell her the full story but tell your DD that you know he treats Susie badly.
Agree with @Jammydodger1981
This is what I do with teen dd. Tell her some, but not all the details, especially if it’s about somebody else.
No that’s this woman’s personal life and you’ve no right to be talking about her sex work or drug past.
It also seems this couple have been together a very long time. They may have had a rocky patch, but they clearly have come through it and it’s you she’s cut loose. She has not been involved in drugs or sex work for a very long time. And whatever storms they have had, they Have weathered.
You’re clearly very judgemental and are welcome to your feelings, but do not start spouting this shit to your daughter, let her make her own decisions and not based on your biased ones.
The op doesn’t know he treats her badly, they don’t talk and she’s not seen her for years. The daughter is likely correct, the op holds a grudge for a very long time.
In addition it should be noted that susie was more than happy to get the op out her life.
No I don’t think you should tell your DD the truth. It’s a gross invasion of privacy for Susie. Please don’t break the trust Susie put in you.
As PP said just tell DD “the same reasons as you, he’s a horrible creep”.
You could tell her the truth, that you know things from when Suzie was young that the relationship was not a healthy one and Suzie was unable to leave the relationship which was abusive and he groomed her.
Also, point out to you daughter that her instincts about this man are spot on, she clearly has good instincts and should never ignore them. She's now the age Suzie was when she met this man, so should feel free to avoid any situations with him which make her feel uncomfortable, even if this means being rude. (Eg not going in his car)
Could you go with that there is something about the way he treats her aunt (try to think of example) which raises your alertness level and whilst you would always try to be civil to him if you met him again he is not someone you would ever trust/ like. Maybe discuss how he makes your dd feel and the importance in forming relationships of trusting your intuition. Do be aware that even at 16 anything that you say might be passed on.
I'd tell her. She's the age suzie was. It could be a good lesson. And more importantly, shes obviously concerned and looking for confirmation of her gut feeling. and if anything WERE to happen and she was to be in danger, than she would hate you and so would you for hiding it from her. If you said she was 10 then yeah, make it child friendly. But she's not, shes old enough to know about prostitution and drug addition.
Also, does he have her number or social media contacts? Just make sure hes not contacting her when shes not with her grandparents.
All you say is that you saw, elements of control and you don't like him based on that. Bring up that you felt that tbere was a power difference because of income and age.
You can use it as an opportunity to talk about abusive relationships.
Well I didn't really think about the privacy of suzie. So yeah maybe just say she was in a vulnerable place and he took advantage rather than "your aunt was addicted to drugs and sold herself on the streets" but your daughter does need to know what kind of person he is.
I agree with doing the partial truth and using it as an opportunity to talk to your DD about why some men are creepy, what exactly is it that sets your spidey senses going, and why it's important to trust those instincts when getting into a relationship. Don't break Susie's confidence about her past.
Absolutely not. It’s Susie’s business.
Agree with Jennifer2r. DD already thinks he’s weird and creepy and you can say you’ve always felt the same. You could add that you just have this feeling that Susie really isn’t happy with him.
As someone else said say it's for the same reasons she doesn't like him. And if she revisits it when she's older maybe say something then.
Fwiw I found out about our family skeletons in my 20s, things made sense after that and I was glad I was told.
Does your dd see Suzie?
I’d tell your dd. But maybe miss out the sex work bit. Talk about her being vulnerable and him taking advantage of her when she was low. I think his attitude is the crucial - that she should be grateful. The power thing. Then maybe talk about young women lured into situations, sex work another day and how vulnerable they are.
Only you know how much to tell your dd or if you divulge the full story. Importantly you can only tell her if she can keep this information from her grandparents. You’d be having an adult, personal conversation and sharing a confidence. Suzie was what? 22 when she left sex work to be with him. I totally get why she was groomed and backed into a corner. Her parents may not be able to understand this and if your dd tells them, it may isolate her further. So do think very carefully about what you share.
Going against the majority here, I’d tell her. Not all the detail, but enough. The fact she is asking you persistently may mean she thinks he’s creepy, or it may be that he has acted or spoken inappropriately to her. You need to validate her feelings and help her protect herself, from him and other creeps out there
I voted YANBU by which I mean she is old enough to know the truth and you should tell her
Why is she pushing this? I think that is what is most interesting.
Has you DD picked up on something that she can't explain?
I think have a proper sit down with her and ask why it's so important for her to know. "He's a creep" isn't enough. What does she mean by creep? Why does it bother her so much? Then shut up and listen.
There might be something going on here your DD doesnt know how to express and it's important to give her the chance.
Once you've talked you can just say you didn't like the relationship between susie and uncle. That he seemed to be controlling.
I'm on the fence about telling her. I'm not a big fan of secrets and I was 16 when all the family skeletons came out of the closet and things started making so much sense!
Hearing her aunt's story - if its told without judgement - might make everything fit together for her.
And make her safer around said uncle...
But find out what's going on first.
Just say you dislike him for the same reasons as DD already does. Don't break her aunt's confidence.
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