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When / how do I step in to help heal a rift between Mother and Daughter? If at all...

(22 Posts)
MrsRossPoldark Wed 24-Jun-15 08:06:39

Try to keep it brief so I don't identify anyone:

A GF of mine has had a huge falling out with her daughter, with whom she was sharing a house. GF has moved out as she felt intimidated by Ds new BF. I know the BF as he is a friend of my family and we introduced him to D at a party she and GF were hosting.

D and BF have now moved to a very isolated location and D has not contacted her friends nor GF for months now, although we see BF regularly. GF is very seriously ill but has asked me not to contact D, as she feels that D must make first move.

I am torn between staying out of the situation and calling D to ask her just to contact GF as she is heartbroken. I am now concerned that GF may die (it's possible) without healing the rift, or at least knowing each other is ok.

BF tells us nothing about his personal situation and I know I can't ask him if D is OK as he has always been very private and would deem it interference. Although I've known him for 4 years now, I don't know the D, as I'm friends with her Mum.

The fear is that BF seems to have isolated D by taking her away from her friends and family and claiming they are too busy for D to keep in touch (even though he is still in touch with us). To GF (& I have to say, to me) it seems a bit sinister, or am I reading too much into this, given I don't know the other side of the story.

Do I try to contact D, at the risk of her telling BF that I've contacted her, or do I continue to bite my tongue as my GF has asked me to? Is it up to D to contact her mum and I should respect GFs wishes and stay out of it? I don't know if D is happy not speaking to her mum or if BF is controlling her and preventing her from contacting anyone.

Vivacia Wed 24-Jun-15 08:30:37

I'll be honest and admit I got lost with all of the Gs, Bs, Fs and Ds. So, on that basis I say build your own relationship with the woman who is isolated but don't take responsibility for others' relationships.

MiddleAgedandConfused Wed 24-Jun-15 08:31:51

What do think will happen if you tell D about her mum's illness? Do you think she will start contact again?
If I were your GF I would welcome any help to sort this situation out, even though I would probably still say the same as she has - i.e. that you should keep out of it.

MrsRossPoldark Wed 24-Jun-15 14:09:17

Vivacia: just think Daughter; her BoyFriend; my Girlfriend ( the Mother, or should that be a M? Oh dear, I see what you mean!) and you won't go far wrong! Although looking at it BF & GF is confusing as they don't refer to the couple themselves! Hmm.

MrsRossPoldark Wed 24-Jun-15 14:24:20

Sadly, D is well aware of her mother's illness as its long term and chronic, but has rapidly worsened, not least due to the additional stress of this falling out with the BF, who was extremely aggressive towards her Mother (who is now thinking that BF may be just as aggressive with her daughter).

My feeling is to keep well out, but it's embarrassing for me when BF comes over (always without D, don't know where she is when he's here) as I'd like to ask how things are as you would with a friend, but feel as if, for him, it's off limits. I have distanced myself from him now and don't really treat him as a friend any more. My husband is still friends with him anyway, so I'm leaving it at that.

It's also awkward when I go out with GF/Mum, as we are often in places where we might bump into them and she is constantly looking over her shoulder for any sight of her daughter, as you would I guess.

However, my embarrassment when BF is here is actually my problem, and the fact that GF/Mum is always wary of meeting them is her problem, not mine, so perhaps I just have to respect her wishes for now, say nothing to either party and hope that eventually the daughter is mature enough to just give her Mum a call, even if it's just to say "don't worry I'm fine".

Vivacia Wed 24-Jun-15 15:09:52

Nope, still lost.

logicalfallacy101 Wed 24-Jun-15 15:26:36

OP..Right , I've read it 2x and understand. If I were you I'd stay out of it. Whatever the dynamics, theyre all adults. Strange setup tho.

sofato5miles Wed 24-Jun-15 15:31:52

Why fo you see the aggressive man regularly?

CheersMedea Wed 24-Jun-15 15:34:42

If you see the daughter's boyfriend regularly, why don't you invite them as a couple round for dinner/lunch? At some point, you can get the daughter on her own and gently explore with her what the position is and how she feels about no contact with her mother. You don't have to be heavy handed about it a simple "I saw your mother last week" would do - and see what she says in response/how she reacts.

If you think it's appropriate, you can then tell her that her mother is very unwell and play it by ear.

I think you'd need to see the daughter face to face to broach any of this as otherwise you won't be able to read her reactions.

CheersMedea Wed 24-Jun-15 15:36:22

You can prime your husband in advance to distract the BF - take him down the garden to look at the lettuces, have a glass of brandy together etc etc.

Atenco Wed 24-Jun-15 15:43:48

I am very concerned about the safety of the daughter, it does not bode good.

I think someone has got to get in touch with her for her own sake.

MrsRossPoldark Wed 24-Jun-15 19:00:28

Sofato5miles: friendship with aggressive man/BF started out as a business relationship, developed into family friend - business still exists though so he sees hubby for this and often at home.

Cheersmedea: sadly, we never see the two of them as a couple. Only ever him. She is now involved in his business so I only ever see her when BF is running an event we are at & she happens to be there. As it's always in public it's not appropriate to talk to her there.

It is very complex and strange, but I think on balance, I have to leave them as they are & hope it works itself through as I am too torn between the various parties! Whatever I do will be interference to one or another o them but primary loyalty in this is to Mum/GF.

DoreenLethal Wed 24-Jun-15 20:19:48

Try putting the A into G and the DF into the DF and then once you have done that the X should fit into the P and then the GF and the PFB should also be able to be SSed into the D.


sofato5miles Thu 25-Jun-15 05:06:05

I think you should attempt to cultivate a friendship with the dd. This is to support her now, in what looks like a worrying relationship, and to help her when her mum dies. Your friend would appreciate you being there for her dd.

Not fixing the problem but providing support.

BernardlookImaprostituterobotf Thu 25-Jun-15 07:11:07

I appear to be a lone voice but your friend, who has until recently had a good enough relationship with her daughter to live together, was so intimidated by this man she moved out and yet on finding out her dd is living in the middle of nowhere, not socialising as usual and now doesn't even have a work safety net/outlet separate from him has said to you that it is up to her daughter to make the first move? Really?

I've had arguments with my dd over an abusive man, she's younger I guess than your friend's, and things were said that shouldn't have been. It was hurtful. But two things - I have been an adult for many more years than she has, I should have behaved as such and 2) the very pits of hell will freeze over before I relinquish my daughter to my pride. My concern and love for her overrode any hurt feelings. I have a chronic illness too and the upheaval and stress was awful as I imagine it is for your GF. But I am her mother. All of those years shouldn't be undone in a fit of pique when she needed me most. I couldn't have made her leave, I couldn't force her to do anything but I sure as damnit could make sure she knew my love for her was unconditional, I wouldn't make her choose and I would always be there.
If I hadn't had a turbulent relationship with an abusive child (as some parents have to deal with) but a good relationship that went so drastically off the rails like this - that is not the time I'd be making a point of principle. If I thought I may die - there wouldn't be a day that went by that I wouldn't try to get to her.
There are times it is entirely appropriate to hold firm to boundaries of respect and times you need to put that aside. Being the bigger person, seeing the bigger picture.
I wonder if I have misunderstood the situation? Your friend's reaction seems odd to me if there are any concerns for her daughter.
It could be two vastly different situations from the information given (make the first move is really twitching my antenna tbh) but is this worth it? Truly?
I wouldn't intervene but I'd counsel my friend to think hard about what is more important to her.
I've also gone NC with an abusive parent, he is still waiting for me to come crawling back. He'll die prideful and alone.
Our versions of the situation are very different beasts.

Atenco Thu 25-Jun-15 13:52:08

Well Bernard you may be the only one saying that, but you are not the only one thinking it

Meerka Thu 25-Jun-15 16:24:58

Agreed with bernard.

possibly things are more complicated than we realise but bernard's speaking some good stuff.

Also think that trying to cultivate a friendship with the daughter would be a good idea, perhaps for its own sake and not with the specific aim of bringing about a reconciliation.

MrsRossPoldark Thu 25-Jun-15 21:46:57

There is an added complication in that daughter has refused to speak to her mother unless the boyfriend is present so part of the problem between them is that communication is impossible without him being involved.

The more I post the more I think I should be worried!

Meerka Thu 25-Jun-15 22:14:04

It's sounding that way, it really is.

CheersMedea Fri 26-Jun-15 12:04:34

Cheersmedea: sadly, we never see the two of them as a couple. Only ever him

This doesn't stop you from inviting them both round for dinner/lunch. If don't invite them as a couple, then it's not going to happen. Give it a go!

buttonmoonboots Sat 27-Jun-15 06:06:25

I don't understand your posts.

I do think you should wind your neck in.

MrsRossPoldark Sat 27-Jun-15 08:02:15

Buttonmoonboots: if by 'winding my neck in' you mean 'don't interfere', then I think that's the conclusion I've come to!

(I like that term btw & am adding it to my vocabulary!)

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