Confront or bite my tongue?(42 Posts)
My DD is 16. She's been going out with her first serious BF now for about 7 months. I've tried so hard to like him despite some warnings from my friends about signs they've seen because I don't want to be the sort of dad who hates her BF's. I've tried so hard to include him in family activities and make him feel welcome.
But it's starting to become obvious that he's showing many signs of a classic abuser. He's constantly around. Spends every moment with my DD to the point where I lost my temper with them yesterday cos he's literally here 7 days a week. DD has already lost one close friend as a result of never spending any time with them.
On top of that he is constantly jealous and quite controlling. He's always going on about how my DD will cheat on him needing constant reassurance from her that she won't. How she can cheat on him whilst he's always next to her is beyond me.
He had a go at her a little while back because she was wearing 'revealing clothes'. Erm...i'm her father and I didn't have a problem with it. And I don't think a wooly jumper counts as revealing! It was snowing for christs sake, she wasn't walking around in a bikini!
DD has been upset over the last few days because of the way he speaks to her and the jealousy issues. Yesterday I thought she'd finally seen the light and was going to dump him but he's apologised (again), gave some stupid reason as to why he's in a bad mood and mistreating her and like a naive fool she's forgiven him.
Right now I just want to confront him and warn him to sort his shit out. Well actually I want to take his head off but I will need to resist that.
But am I better off biting my tongue? Thing is I'm not sure i can when he's constantly here until I kick him out at 10pm. He always tries to be friendly with us but it's got to the point where I just can't stand the sight of him. Yet if I refuse to let him in, she'll just go elsewhere and I can't keep an eye on things.
Aarrghhhhhh any wise words of wisdom?
IME it's perhaps too early to talk to your DD about why you feel the ex-BF is controlling etc. She'll still be missing him. It's hard for her to stop contact with him. She probably isn't ready at the moment to hear negative things about him.
I'd give it a bit more time before you discuss his behaviour with her. It's still very raw for her. You'll churn things up for her. Acknowledge her sadness and difficulties and tell her things to make her feel good about herself. Try to provide nice distractionsShe will learn from this once this intense phase is over and be glad of your support.
I'm late to this thread, but having watched a close friend go through this recently (in her late 20s) there are certainly a few warning signs, but then again he may just be very immature.
Now is the time for you to step up. Ask if you could talk for a few minutes while she listens, then ask if she wants to say anything while you listen.
Apologise for losing your temper. Tell her you love her and have been worried, and that from the outside it seemed like her former boyfriend showed some controlling behaviour. Tell her you are proud of her for how she handled herself and for making the break when she did (ignore the recent texts). Now is the time to rebuild her self esteem and reassert what a healthy relationship should feel like.
My friend has serious self esteem issues, partly from her dad's emotional issues. It took until her late 20s for an abusive idiot to find her and break down her ideas about the relationship she deserved. Her behaviour begged for help, but she insisted everything was fine.
Sometimes it's worth playing the bad cop in order to prove that you love someone very much despite them not liking you much at the moment.
Niceguy2, your her dad and a man, so explain to her how a man should treat a women and how you would never hurt someone like he is hurting her. How she is beautiful, intelligent and deserves someone who loves her and doesn't try and control her, who wants to see her succeed in life and so supports her in her school work. That is loving someone.
Good luck because teenagers are hard x
Oh, your poor DD.
This does sound like it's at least the beginning of the end of him. Try to make her time at your home as nice as possible without being too intense. Lots of TLC, laughing.
They've got to learn from own mistakes...
Just make sure she knows you're always be there to help her pick up the pieces.
Well Green, it finished over the weekend.
But after a strong start, DD is starting to crumble a bit now. She's foolishly texting him trying to talk reasonably to him and he's being an arse.
I'm trying to explain to her that she needs to leave it be and he'll eventually come chasing her. But she can't leave it alone, texts him. He'll send snottograms back, she gets upset and so on.
I'm not very good with the whole emotional thing. I am hamstrung by the need to make sense. My fiancee will take her out for dinner tonight and hopefully will be able advise her better than I can.
She gets to see him three nights a week, of her choosing
You do some fun family things with her, without him.
Arrange some fun friend time with her, without him.
Keep this up for as long as you can, hopefully she will see sense and realise its fun being with others (family and friends) rather than him, see sense and dump his arse.
That all sounds very positive. And it sounds like you're doing a grand job.
If she's anything like my DD was in a very similar situation she'll now be free to have fun with old and new friends, do normal teenager things without the shackle of a no-fun BF and just be happy again.
Good luck to her with her exams.
Yeah, we haven't spoken about him at all today and she even said to me last night that she realises she's got a lot to look forward to. And that she realises that she'll go to college and meet others on a more similar wavelength. My DD is predicted straight A's at GCSE's and determined to go to Uni. Her BF left school at 16 and has bummed around for the last 18 months and let's just say he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
I'm really pleased that she's got back in touch with one of her close friends whom (to my horror) she dropped when she met her BF. I wouldn't have blamed this friend at all had she turned round to tell my DD to sod off. But thankfully she hasn't and they're going to go into town later today for a shop since it is an inset day here.
Maybe talk about different things completely. Work on gently supporting her future to distract her, for example 6th form, career options etc. What does she enjoy generally in and out of school?
Senua. I totally agree with you and it is something my fiancee & I were talking about last night after DD had gone to bed. If I say it, I'll just get the roll of eyes. My fiancee will speak to her when she gets the right moment and given her checkered history with dating undesirables, she can make that point much easier without it sounding like being the parent IYSWIM.
Months ago he justified his jealousy issues on the fact his exGF cheated on him. And as I explained (nicely) to him, that's not my DD's fault so don't make her pay for someone else's mistake. He agreed with me and promised myself (and more importantly DD) that he'd change. Ofc he hasn't. But what I really want to say is "Get a f'ing grip...you are 17! Your exGF cheated on you. It's not like she was your wife! Get a grip and grow the fcuk up!".....but of course I can't....just have to bite my tongue and keep my fingers crossed that this relationship will implode and I can start to pick up the pieces.
Can you try some cod psychology with her?
He wouldn't let DD out of his sight because he was "always going on about how my DD will cheat on him needing constant reassurance from her that she won't." And why was this? - precisely because it's the type of thing he would do. He was projecting his poor morals on to her.
Understanding his motivations might be another nail in the coffin for the relationship. <hopeful>
Yep, that's exactly what I am doing. I've said nothing negative about him at all. Even though I am secretly dreaming of pulling his arms off and clubbing him with them.
What everyone else has said. Support her and acknowledge her sadness.
Good outcome though.
Cross posts - second mrsjay's advice too.
Don't let her see that you're delighted, just give her TLC.
Fingers crossed that he doesn't "slime his way back".
I second Maryz's advice. Be sympathetic to your DD and acknowledge that it's horrible when you break up with someone you've loved. Your relationship with her will be strengthened by being supportive.
least she has seen sense for now and no dont say he was bad news etc etc or say I told you so
Sometimes I don't know whether to laugh or cry. So after telling me Thurs that he is the only one who makes her happy etc. Over the weekend apparently he's allegedly been flirting with another girl and it's all over now.
Naturally she's very upset but to be fair she's taking it very well it seems and it's nice to have my girl back. I'm not 100% convinced he won't slime his way back but let's see.....
I feel your frustration, niceguy2.
Your DD will feel that you are criticising her and/or her BF if you make any comments IME. Part of his appeal to her is probably that she feels she is being grown up by having an intense relationship. Also she will feel that nobody understands how it is for her and her BF so she won't value any advice.
I know that these relationships sometimes last for a long time but they don't usually. It's so hard to bite your tongue, but it's probably the best thing to do.
ctually that's a good point. Her study leave is coming up. I might use that as the pretext for limiting her time with him. I might introduce it now so if she's going to resist then she'll be over it by the time she actually goes on study leave.
^ ^ this is a great idea he maynot be an abuser or anything like that but i really dont think it is healthy for them to be together 24/7 and she isnt seeing her friends,
I know that is a sign of abuse but sometimes teenagers can be intense IYSWIM
, I had to reduce dds boyfriend hours at 16 in fact i used exam time to do this it was convenient to say you need to study, but I felt they needed space they have been together for 4 years almost and they are a bit more relaxed they both work dd goes to uni has her own friends sees him, it is much more healthy than what they had at the start
Thanks all. She came home from school today and is still very angry. At least she's at her mum's this weekend so hopefully that will give her space to calm down.
Then again maybe not. The thing I haven't mentioned to her is that my actions so far have been far more mild than what her mum says I should do. According to her mum I should have laid down the law much sooner and simply tell her xyz. So if she tries to tell her mum how unreasonable I've been then she's in for a shock! lol
At the moment she wants a boyfriend, any boyfriend - I think this is true of lots of teenage girls, Maryz. I can remember waaaayyyyyyy back at school lots of the girls being like this, and putting up with lots of rubbish from boyfriends.
niceguy - I'm sure it will work itself out in time. I know it's not nice seeing your DC being treated less than brilliantly by boyfriends/girlfriends, but to some extent she has to work it out for herself and find out where her own boundaries lie. If she has had good relationships demonstrated to her as she has been growing up then she already has some idea of what normal actually is. She just has to learn how that applies to her and to put it into practice.
I'd say try not to be too heavy with her/them. Encourage them to spend time at your home so that the relationship develops, or otherwise, in a safe environment for her.
Maybe try to encourage her friends to spend time with her and him in a group situation. Perhaps suggest she has a few of them over for a BBQ? That way at least she will maintain some contact with them.
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