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My son and his girlfriend - what to do(170 Posts)
Last night my dh went out, first time in ages and part way through get texts from my ds and dd begging us to come back as my son;s gf was in a state , threating suicide, harming etc. Background - they have been together a year or so and she has some mental health issues (abusive parent etc). The relationship with her dad and step mum was going ok, then something happened at the weekend with he stepmum flying into a rage at her, her dad then also started on her and she hasn't been back home since.
We got back and she was hysterical, my dh tried to talk to her (he also has MH issues from abusive parents) , but nothing we could do would help. In the end she ran out of our house in s state and ds went looking for her.
We called police as couldn't find her, after a while police did and myself and ds took her to A&E, they are now arranging help for her and she is getting a call this week.
I worry for my son (Btw they are 19) as this is a lot for him to cope with, he loves and adores her , she is now staying here a while because cant go back home. She doesn't want anyone to tell her dad.
My dh was a self harmer and had v bad issues, we met at 19 and i supported him throughout, he is a lot lot better now, its almost like history repeating itself. My dh has been amazing to her and they hugged and cried last night and he says he understands.
My younger teen1 16 did not seem affected said loads of her friends have been this way & has seen it before??
I want ds ideally not to be with her as don't want him with her out of pity, or to fix her, but he seems to be besotted, now she is here and i am not sure when she can go home either.
What do I do? I know i will get some nasty replies but I'm doing the best i can and just didn't know what to to or who to talk to.
Thanks for reading.
The thing is that, even if he wanted to split with her, he probably can’t as she’d threaten to hurt herself.
I’m not sure that having her staying with you is a good idea as he needs a break from this for his own MH.
It’s a diff icons as the more you push her away, the more he will want her.
I had a similar thing with my son so I sympathise. When he is calm and receptive, gently tell him that she isn’t his responsibility and that he doesn’t need to stay with her if he doesn’t want to.
Unfortunately you are going to have to wait for him to want to split. It took my DS 3 years.
Well I think realistically you may have to just carry on as is. It sounds like she's got some support in place and it's better than your DS and her moving out, where you're not there to help.
Unfortunately the fact that you don't want them to be together doesn't amount to much realistically. Does she treat your DS well?
That sounds hard and it sounds as if you're doing a lot to support your ds and his gf, I don't have much advice or experience of this, I'd be worried it might be hard to get her to leave yours, do you want another adult living with you, I wouldn't, but I know lots of people who wouldn't mind at all, good luck!
If someone said to you you shouldn’t be with your husband as they didn’t wish you to be with him out of pity or to try to fix him what would you habe said?
Your sons an adult. You need to let him manage his own love life. Just like you managed yours.
You supported you husband at 19, in the same way but feel your son shouldnt support his gf , the same way as you did?
It's not ideal but ultimately your son is an adult, You need to support his choice.
I hope his GF gets outside support, she is lucky to have the support from your family so far
I'm a bit worried she will become fixated on your husband as the one who understands her.
I understand why you are worried. You've taken in a vulnerable 19 year old with serious mental health issues. This is a lot to take on as a family, particularly your 16yo. You are worried that your DS could be blackmailed into staying in the relationship in case she does something silly.
You can't fix what is going on in her home, but you can strongly encourage her to see her GP for mental health support.
Why was it okay for you to be with your DH at 19, but your DS can’t be with his girlfriend because she’s too much hard work?
If this is you doing the best you can then I feel sorry for your family.
I get why you feel this way, I really do…
But it is what it is…it’s your DSs decision to make.
Looking back, would you have listened to your parents and left your DH just because your mum said so ?
Your poor DS.
It’s also not your job to fix. I’d be telling her she has a few days and then she has to go home to speak to her dad & SM.
Your DS will need a break. I’d tell him first what you are going to do.
Thanks, if someone had told me that at 19 not to stay with my dh I'm sure I would not have listened, no one knew and still don't, not even my parents.
I will be chatting to my son later and asking if he is happy in the relationship, and suggest some time apart may help etc.
Apart from this, her and ds are happy and spend all their time together, she is a kind , intelligent girl so will ensure she gets help and that's all I can do, and be there for my son , its so difficult as I cant tell him what to do, but we can talk and keep that open?
What is the difference between what you did at 19 and what your ds is doing now?
Are you in any way projecting your feelings onto your ds as you wish you’d not stayed with your dh?
Not wish i had not stayed, but seeing someone self harm and be in a distressed state is awful and I worry about him going through that. My husband is a brilliant person but had issues, they are still there but managed now, i suppose i dont want ds having to witness the distressing scenes.
Hmm you don't sound very sympathetic. Unless there's something missing from your post it sounds like she's having a mental health crisis and is now receiving help for that. It doesn't sound like she was using the suicide threats as a way of controlling your son, was she? Had he tried to break up with her? Is that why you think he is with her out of pity? It doesn't sound like her living with you in the long term would be ideal-it would put a lot of pressure on them and their relationship too, but if she's a nice girl and has no other support then helping her get back on her feet in the short term seems reasonable? It sounds like your son would want to support her anyway so you're really just supporting him to do this, and the alternative would be leaving him to deal with it himself which I think would be a lot harder on him.
The problem is that because your son lives at home then his relationship impacts everyone.
Is she banned from going home by her dad & step mum?
If not then of course she can go home-she just doesn't want to!
If he needs to call his mum & dad then your son isn't "coping" is he?
I hope she gets some help.
I don't think you will get any nasty replies. It's a sad, fraught situation.
Having her living with you is not a good idea but putting her up temporarily is fine.
Your son sounds lovely as do you and your husband.
I hope the girl gets the help she needs and you all have some peace.
It's hard, having such extreme MH issues ongoing in a family member, let alone another youngster suddenly staying with you. Plus the worry for your son. You know what it's like to be in that support role.
Your son needs support if he's supporting her. You and your dh of course have a big part to play, but perhaps getting in contact with your local Carers' Association could get him at least talking to others who have an inkling of what it's like. This link might be useful www.carersuk.org/
Wishing you all the very best.
I am extremely sympathetic i am just stressed and worried!! don't believe this was a way of controlling my son, its her not being able to control her emotions, I have told her if she hasn't had the call back they promised I will follow it up for her and make sure she gets help as she has been told before she would get a follow up and never did.
We will support her, as it supports our son yes, she cannot go home at the moment, her parent and step parent do not want her there and have been sending pretty damaging texts to her.
She is lovely in every way and I 'want' to help her, but we will see how much we can do, I just want my son to be ok x
I would be worried about the living situation too, it may force them both into a more serious relationship that they are not yet ready for. You all sound very supportive to this girl and if her staying with you short term is the safest option then you should perhaps have a chat about how long she can stay and what the next steps are. Hope she gets the help she needs
Perfectly valid feelings, your son is your priority. If it was my child I would assure him you are going to support him either way because he is your child but he must know this girl is not his responsibility. He can't be held hostage to suicide threats.
I don't think it's unreasonable for you to not want him in the relationship. Noone wants their child (19 or not) to live through distressing scenes and have that weight of responsibility on their shoulders - you have an even better understanding of this having gone through it with your husband and not everyone is cut out for bearing that load. There isn't much you can do about them staying together but the one thing you can control is keeping communication open with your son, being a shoulder to lean on and offer advice and guidance as this progresses. It's important for him to know he has someone to turn to as well and that if it gets too much for him, he doesn't have to stay with her. It would be a good idea to talk to him about the impact on the family as a whole should she have another 'episode' and if you can't have her stay in the house, he needs to accept that.
Perhaps encourage her to speak to social services and see if she can move into some kind of supported living accommodation while she's seeking help?
She's 19 so old enough to leave home but, as awful as this sounds, it's not fair on your family to be burdened with her.
Your DS can support her without the pressure of her being there 24/7 and the independence may help her.
Not sure why people are saying ..if you did it why can't he?
The whole point is probably that she has been through this and knows the toll it can take on a partner surely? Even if there is love and commitment that doesn't mean it isn't a lot to take on ? She's had first hand experience and it must bring up conflicting emotions.
OP I can't advise you because in the same way your husband can identify with this young girls situation, you can identify with your son's situation best. I don't think a long term stay is a good idea.
I don't blame you one bit, as a mother of 19 and 24 year olds. One of the best pieces of advice I ever received (from a friend's mother actually) was never hang around with damaged people. It cost me a lot that I didn't listen to this.
I would try to subtly make it clear to him that you see them as two individuals, not a unit. She is an individual you are offering temporary help to but it cannot be long term because of the impact on your younger children. The mood to convey is that you are kind, want to help her, like her, but she is very definitely not your responsibility and you are not able to fix her. Hopefully he'll absorb some of this thinking into his own situation and it will enable him to leave when he is ready to.