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DS1 in a controlling relationship

(45 Posts)
user1471586092 Sat 12-Nov-16 07:59:16

Where to start, what to do.
Our 17yo lovely son has been taken over by his 19yo gf.
She has cut all his ties with former life and he now worships her every move. His friends were the first to go, then family and now he has left school after she told him she would split up with him if he remained.
When we pointed this out to him he said that it was ok because she said he could go back if he wanted (7 days later).
Previous to gf he was a lovely boy, he is now depressed, unhappy but refuses to face anything that may be wring and he may be in a narcissistic relationship.
What do we do? Massive pressure on home, family relationship life's.
Can anyone suggest a route?
Dp and I have been to GPs, have spoken with councilors, physiologist next step.
He openly says he will do anything for the girl. She splits up,with regularly, left school at 16 and comes from an 'Interesting' family.

Sassypants82 Sat 12-Nov-16 08:04:24

No experience, but what a tough situation. Is he living with this girl? Could you get him away for a holiday / long weekend to give him some perspective?

user1471586092 Sat 12-Nov-16 08:17:21

He is living mostly at home, lies in bed in his room. Talked to him about getting some perspective yesterday, he seemed to be considering a little time out may be a good thing until he spoke with gf, it was then angrily dismissed as a waste of time.
They gave been together 2 years but has only become like this since May

wannabestressfree Sat 12-Nov-16 08:26:24

We have just had this and son has returned home after she commanded he moved out. They went to uni together, she stopped him seeing friends, if he came round to see me and his brothers she always had to come.
I am pleased but I never ran her down and I don't know. It was his choice. Home should be his safe haven.
Big hug though it's awful to watch.

PsychedelicSheep Sat 12-Nov-16 08:34:02

In the nicest possible way, I'm not sure what seeing GPs, counsellors and (I presume) psychologists will actually achieve? He's in this relationship because he wants to be and there's nothing you can do about it unfortunately. I understand you're worried, I would be too, but all you can really do is be there for him and not shut her out because it will just reinforce their 'us against the world' belief and make it worse. If he comes to you with concerns about her/the relationship then listen and explore them with him, ask what he might say to a friend in this situation etc. But don't judge and don't lay down the law. Good luck but don't expect a magic wand from the psychologist or anyone else.

HamletsSister Sat 12-Nov-16 08:40:25

Can you find a reason to take him away somewhere for a few days? Somewhere with no phone? He might get some perspective with distance. Can school help? I know he has left but they might help him get back, if he wants to.

ajandjjmum Sat 12-Nov-16 08:44:57

Can only say my sympathy is with you. Been there with DD and we did eventually come out the other side, although it took its toll on all of us.

user1471586092 Sat 12-Nov-16 09:02:11

We are providing a safe area for him at home, as far as this is possible. Have separated behaviour and attitude (consequences for behaviour but not attidude) he left school 4 weeks ago, 4 months before A levels, gf said he had to leave or she would split with him. School b supportive but he is not honest with them as to why he left so v difficult. We went to GP after he threatened to take his life if we insisted he returned to school.. We want to try and understand what's going on, hence psychologist. Do not expect a quick fix. We have told him we respect his gf choice but she is poison to him. It's seems like a addiction.

user1471586092 Sat 12-Nov-16 09:03:35

Gf has told ds that she dislikes us, hence he now dislikes us too!

SandyY2K Sat 12-Nov-16 09:06:56

Does he have siblings that he'd listen to?
I'm sorry about your son being abused like this. Did she used to be nice? Did you like her?

I'm wondering why she's become like this?

QuiteLikely5 Sat 12-Nov-16 09:10:17

Keep your enemies close! In your shoes I'd be inviting the GF round to have clear the air talks, be very apologetic and welcoming.

Never ever criticise her to your son. Be supportive always.

user1471586092 Sat 12-Nov-16 09:15:11

His older sister does not like gf as she feels her brother is being manipulated. Younger sister very sad she has lost brother. DS would literally drive over sisters to get to this girl.
Gf is v attractive, posts on social media pics of her and her with ds every day. Not chatty. Has stayed here often but would never engage in any conversation or express thoughts etc.
She has become more controlling as time has gone on. Ds has turned from loving family member/ happy teenage boy into an unsure, angry, physical person who's life revolves round being with this girl.

oklumberjack Sat 12-Nov-16 09:21:13

I went through a very destructive relationship when I was 16/17. It was my first sexual relationship. He isolated me from my school friends and I had to spend time with him and his family. His mum was very controlling with me too.

I remember it like a fog. I'm 44 now so it was a long time ago. I knew it wasn't right but I didn't want to hear it from myself (if that makes sense?). I distanced myself from my own family, everything. I was just into sixth form and I remember the head of sixth form regularly taking me aside to ask me if I was ok. My bf and I would have screaming arguments in phone boxes. Looking back they were always when I tried to pull away a bit.

It finally came to an end when he asked me to marry him. It was like a zap of electricity in my head. I was suddenly alarmed telling myself "but you're only 17!!". Then it set off a set of thoughts that this needed to end. I finally broke up with him. He threatened o kill himself and locked himself in my bathroom. I called his bluff. It was the hardest thing I ever did but I wanted to just be free of it all by then.

My family never dissed him (although they must have been beside themselves with worry). My friends all came rushing back. Luckily I didn't leave school. Life got back on track for me.

I'm certain he WILL come back to you OP. This relationship will end. Deep down he knows he doesn't hate you. He knows it's all wrong. It just may take him time to switch on that inner voice. I'm so sorry you're going through this. I gave a ds and can imagine how awful it would be.

user1471586092 Sat 12-Nov-16 09:21:30

She will not come over anymore. She has told ds to leave school and stand up to us, she does not like us as we offered different advice.. We have tried to be normal and nice with her, but she has told our ds that he has a spoilt life as he does not need to work and does not know what it's like in the real world. We are as supportive to her as we can be but its not easy when she has turned our sons fairly normal promising life into her vision for him..

user1471586092 Sat 12-Nov-16 09:30:32

Thank you everyone.oklumberjack, that seems very close to this. Everyday is so awful and the strain is certainly showing in the family. It feels like our ds has died and been replaced with an alien. Hopefully he will realise what's going on soon.. Although we suspect it could be years. Is there anything anyone thinks we can do to accelerate the ending of this relationship (not are this is very pc)

RedMapleLeaf Sat 12-Nov-16 09:37:01

I'm not so sure about placing all of the blame on the girlfriend. She may just be a catalyst. Alternatively she may be helping him see things in a different light. I think it's in our teens that we start to get different perspectives of families and our upbringing.

oklumberjack Sat 12-Nov-16 09:37:25

User I really don't know. For me it was the marriage proposal that just woke me up to the ridiculousness of it all. Your loving, normal ds is still in there somewhere. To him this dd is his whole life and his whole future. Time will tell. He will see it for what it is. Maybe now they've left school and will spend all day with each other? Maybe it will tip the balance? Maybe now school is out of the picture and there's nothing to fight against it will go pear-shaped?

Fingers crossed for you and your ds. X

user1471586092 Sat 12-Nov-16 09:46:48

There does seem to be a chemistry between them and of course we don't just 'blame' the gf. Do we just let him get on with it, he wants to be able to. See her when ever he wants but does not seem mad keen on moving in with her now he has left school. (1.5 hours drive from gfs house so he does rely on us for lift or loan of family car). He obviously does not hate us even though he has said he would like us to die.. When he is raging. Just finding getting to any normal place is impossible at the moment.

user1471586092 Sat 12-Nov-16 09:48:10

And if we mention returning to school he just leaves the house and goes outside to sleep in a shed or anywhere he can find..

oklumberjack Sat 12-Nov-16 09:58:49

I hard as it is to watch, I think the only thing you can do is watch it play out. It's no reflection on your family. For me, the fact that my family was loving, stable and ambitious for me is the little voice that resurfaced through the madness.

The whole thing sounds like a nightmare. This intensity can't last. I just hope they're using contraception! Hopefully he can return to study at a later date being all the stronger for it.

LHilton4981 Sat 12-Nov-16 10:09:54

This has really saddened me.
Similar thing with myself, I had a relationship with a man 11 years older than me at the age of 17. Isolated, controlled me agressively, I left school to start earning for him but got in thousands & thousands of debt covering our rent most of the time cause he was self employed & was incapable of holding a PAYE job down. Believe me I could go on with the series of events but what I do know is I hid it from my family, not extremely well but they didn't know the half of it. It's good you're aware of what's going on but it took me 7 years to get out of my relationship because of his constant threats that he'd kill himself if I left him. I nearly took my own life instead a couple of years ago.

Problem is, whatever you say to him, you will be the bad guys as she'll be in his ear. Just like my mind was warped by my ex. He's at an age that I was, where you don't really know yourself, so easily influenced, the relationship you get involved in can be so crucial to the development of who you really are at that point.

The best thing you can do & like my family did in the end, was give me space & let me come to my own terms. Subtle advice may help a long the way if he chooses to talk to you but he has to decide & realise this himself. It will pain you to watch, he may push you away, especially if it goes on for years but he will get there if he has a good head on his shoulders. I nearly married this guy at 19 yrs old, my dad was petrified that I'd said yes to the proposal but when it came to it I kept postponing, knowing the sick feeling in my gut was telling me something.

Your son will learn from perhaps talking to new people he may meet wherever he works, that helped me a lot. Started working in the city, making friends at work, gaining an understanding of others people situations.

He knows, believe me, he can lie to himself for only too long until he'll break & realise.

Patience & space is my advice & don't give him & definitely her reason to be able to say a bad word about you.


RedMapleLeaf Sat 12-Nov-16 10:16:21

GPs, counsellors, psychologists... lying in bed all day and wanting to die... makes me think that the relationship isn't the root cause of his problems.

LetitiaCropleysCookbook Sat 12-Nov-16 10:26:22

Hard though it is to stand by and let it play out, like pps, I also think that's what you will have to do. It sounds like you are anyway, while being forbearing and supportive of him, which is wonderful, but very wearing on the family.

He is probably feeling trapped at the moment, among other things. He has had to choose between g/f and family/school. He probably realises, deep down, that the choices she is forcing him to make are not in his best interests, but doesn't know how to extricate himself, without losing the love of his life.

Maybe just drop in a few reassuring comments about access to higher education when he's older, if he chooses/there being different routes, other than the conventional school, then uni/it's never too late, etc. - all of which are true! Is he hoping to get a job, or has he not thought that far ahead?

user1471586092 Sat 12-Nov-16 10:34:29

Oklumberjack and lhilton thank you for your thoughts. Wise words from you both who experienced what ds is in the middle of. It sounds very similar. Initially we were so proud of how he treated his gf, loyal, charming and attentive. But somewhere along the line it became an obsession. She is very image conscious and the fact at ds is fairly handsome means he is perfect for her daily social ' media posts.
Thank you again for your time.

baconandeggies Sat 12-Nov-16 10:36:31

so he does rely on us for lift or loan of family car

So don't enable this? If he wants to see her he can find his own way there?

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