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18 y-o DS in unhealthy relationship

(18 Posts)
nowheretoturnto Tue 28-Jul-15 20:59:59

DS has been in relationship with a girl for last 20 months. She has a lot of problems such as self harm, bulimia, depression etc. She has very controlling parents and she in turn seems to be controlling of my son.

He is either seeing her or is texting constantly for approx. 16 hours per day. It is all he does. He is totally love struck. She also does not sleep and throughout the night is on her phone. I make him leave his phone in the lounge at night but of course he does not want to go bed and stop texting. The trouble is he gets really tired (he always has) and looks dreadful on it.

However, that's not the real problem, just an insight as to the degree of communication between them both.

In her quest for control I am a big subject of this constant communication. At every opportunity she is bad mouthing me, criticising every single thing I do and seems to be able to twist absolutely everything to make it out that whatever it is, is detrimental to my son and I am the worse parent in the world and he is some abused child. Her parents seem to enjoy joining in with the abuse towards me. Her own parents are not included in these tirades of spite. If it was something they were both doing together towards both sets of parents I could accept it more. But it is only from her towards me.

It is really getting me down. More than getting me down to be honest. I feel my son is being manipulated and used as well as all the rest.

She has totally cut me out of their lives and refuses to come to our house. All meetings take place on her territory. There are a lot of outings in which her parents are always present and controlling everything.

Sadly it does not help that my son goes along with it because he thinks this is what she wants to hear. I feel it has got out of control and goes beyond what is normal teenage slagging off of their parents.

It is causing a rift between my son and I which is exactly what it is being designed to do. She is trying to isolate him from his family and friends and despite my best efforts it is working.

My son is rather naïve and gullible and it is his first relationship. She is a lot more worldly.

I know my son is a victim too but it also upsets that he goes along with it. He could so easily stop it. It is all so unnecessary. I just get the impression that he is turning against me too and starting to believe all this venom.

I feel bullied by them all from afar and am powerless to stop it and do not how this is as I am the adult. I am worried that it is brainwashing my son. His behaviour has totally changed. He has become depressed, withdrawn and unmotivated, as he seems to be in the role of therapist to this girl. But he would dispute this.

I have tried everything. Ignoring it, pleading my case (to my son), trying to stand up for myself, being upset, being kind (sending her presents, money to go out etc) but nothing makes any difference. In fact, I would say it is getting worse. It is getting to the point that I am not coping with it. Things die down and then something happens and it all flares up again. I cannot see any end to it, Sadly, I think my son and I are going to end before he and she does.

I am in a deep depression and as I said it is causing problems with my son. I am trying not to play into her hands but I do not see how I can stop her.

I am alone and feel if there was anyone else on the scene that this would not be happening. I am just not coping with it. I have been trying to focus on my son and I but the trouble she is causing is becoming insurmountable. \i guess there is nothing I can do but how do I switch off from it and get through it? Thank you for any advice or similar stories.

PositiveAttitude Tue 28-Jul-15 22:19:43

It sounds like a really difficult situation. I didn't want to read and not reply.
I haven't been in the same situation but Dd3 did decide to move away from home at the age of 16 and moved in with her boyfriend's family. I was heartbroken but decided that the best thing I could do was to let her go, let her know that I love her and be there to welcome her back when she wanted to.
I knew that it was not a good place for her to live.
she came home after 5 months. We now have a really good relationship.

Gymbob Tue 28-Jul-15 23:35:19

this relationship needs to burn itself out. while you continue to invest your time and effort in it, it will carry on.

I don't know how you do it because you seem to have tried everything, but you need to be supportive of your son and his relationship, and not criticise either of them, or the horrid sounding parents. he will see the light in time, but the more you fight them the longer it will take.

sending you hugs and best wishes

nowheretoturnto Tue 28-Jul-15 23:47:00

Thank you both so much. I didn't want to sound a drama queen looking for attention but "not coping" is such an understatement.
I did post on here a few months but nothing has improved. Have just had a conversation with DS (at his insistence) not sure it has made it better or worse. Worse probably. I somehow need to switch off.
I was wondering if asking someone if he could stay there for a while (although goodness knows who) just to give us both a bit of space from each other.
Would this be a good or bad idea?
I just do not know anymore.
Thanks.

BitchPeas Tue 28-Jul-15 23:53:17

God she sounds a nightmare. Is there a relative/family friend who could spell out why her and her parents are vile and the relationship is unhealthy? I personally would not ask him to leave. I would completely detach and never talk about her with him, just smile, nod and change the subject. Stop giving her any power over you.

nowheretoturnto Wed 29-Jul-15 00:11:54

No, I am on my own with him. I think that is a big part of the problem. A friend did say she would come and talk with him but so far it has not happened. But now we have had a talk not sure it would be a good idea anyway to keep going on about it. I don't want to drive him away.

I meant asking someone for a short stay just to give each other a break. For him as much as me as I feel our relationship is in danger of breaking down.

I do manage not to mention her for a few weeks and then something happens that blows it all up again,

Yes you are right I need to stop letting it upset me and reacting.

Perhaps I should get on here instead and get some perspective.

I feel so sorry and guilty for my son though as he's a gentle soul but so co-dependant. Just cannot imagine him ending it.

Is there likely to be anyone else out there willing to take this poor nutter off his hands.

sugar21 Wed 29-Jul-15 00:41:24

I think give the relationship a bit longer and this little madam will get her class into someone else. Your son soundsclike a lovely ladies who is besotted by first love.
Are both of them at the same stage in education? Perhaps when September comes they will go their separate ways. For the time being if he wants to go and stay with someone else just tell him you love him and he will be welcomed back.
I'd lay my last 50p on this affair fizzling out. When your Son realises that there are other things he could be doing instead of texting this princess 24/7 he'll move on. Until then give yourself a break, the more you say about the girl the more he'll go against you. Just go with the flow and try to stay calm

nowheretoturnto Wed 29-Jul-15 01:06:12

Thank you.
Yes they are both at the same stage in education. It has been going for 20 months now and no signs of it stopping. Although this is what I would like I also dread how he would cope with this. Or not cope to be more precise.
She is picking his uni which will be dependant on what she decides to take. He is just going along with it all, refusing to make any decisions for himself. I look at his lovely gently face and yet I want to shake him at the same time.
I recognise his co-dependency. It was how I was. Rescuing lame ducks and trying to fix them.
People tell me he is not on drugs and I should be grateful. I feel his mind is being screwed up by this girl just as much as any drug could do to him and the damages could be just as permanent. She is abusive to him too.
I feel sad, worried, fearful and angry all at the same time.

Your replies have made me feel less alone.

CamelHump Wed 29-Jul-15 01:18:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CamelHump Wed 29-Jul-15 01:20:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Athenaviolet Wed 29-Jul-15 06:46:40

You force a 18yo adult to leave his phone in the living room at night?!

I'm sorry but this is controlling behaviour.

He's an adult.

I was living with my DP when we were 18. We spent more than 16 hours a day together (worked & studied in the same place). It is intense but that's one of those things you can do at 18.

You need to let go.

You aren't the first mum to not like your pfb's choice of DP but you just have to accept his right to a choice of partner. This is a mil from hell thread in 5 years time in the making!

You haven't mentioned anything specific she's done that is unreasonable. You are the one who is coming across as being controlling. You aren't number one in your DS's life anymore. That's a normal part of growing up and you two forming an adult child & patent relationship.

Why are they having to text each other during the night? Is she not allowed to stay over at yours? An adult should be allowed overnight guests in his own home. No wonder she's slagging you off!

You really need to focus your time and energy on something else and keep yourself out of your adult DS's relationship which quite frankly is none of your business.

Fairylea Wed 29-Jul-15 06:51:34

I am also shocked that you make him leave his phone in the living room at night! He's 18! You have to cut the apron strings. He's an adult and you have to let him make his own mistakes. I can see why you're concerned but you risk losing any chance of a good relationship with him unless you let go.

SugarPlumTree Wed 29-Jul-15 07:02:20

By making him leave his phone in the living room you are playing into her hands as much as any other issuer about the phone. I bet she says you're controlling and uses the phone as an example if this.

Totally get why you're concerned but at the point you need to step right back and try to emotionally distance yourself a bit.

Step right back, find yourself a project or something to keep busy and let things play out.

caravanista13 Wed 29-Jul-15 07:03:24

This sounds very stressful, but your son is an adult and he needs to be able to make his own mistakes. Asking other people to talk to him would be very counter- productive. I do think it's very odd that he isn't 'allowed' his phone at night too. You clearly have his best interests at heart, but as a parent you have to stand back, bite your tongue and be there to pick up the pieces. If you alienate him now he won't come to you for support when he finally sees sense.

MymumisaG Thu 30-Jul-15 17:48:38

Sounds awful, you have my sympathy! My ds18 has been going out with 16 year old gf for a year and she has caused so much trouble in our family. She seems to relish anything which causes attention and drama to come her way. Like your sons gf she refused to come to our house as apparently we all hate her (well we do now but this was when we'd barely met her). She is spreading rumours about my dd16 who attends the same school, dd does not want to go to 6th form now as gf will be there. Despite hard evidence (texts and a voice recording) that gf is behind these rumours ds refuses to believe darling gf has done anything wrong and prefers to believe that everyone else is lying while she's the only one telling the truth. She is so manipulative, using tears and threats to control him that I'm worried he won't actually take up his place at uni in October. Feel so helpless.

Schoolchauffeur Sat 01-Aug-15 18:14:15

It sounds like a very difficult situation. I can't see anywhere where it says the son is 18 though? If his girlfriend "is picking his uni for him" then presumably they are more like 16/17?
It will fizzle out OP - the chances of them both being accepted on courses at same uni and both getting the required grades are not high.
In the meantime you have to let him run with it. Make it clear she is welcome in your house. If she still refuses to come then she will start to look like the unreasonable one.
I would only put my foot down over the amount of time he spends with her or texting her if it starts to reduce his school performance to the extent that he won't make the grades he needs for uni.

rogueantimatter Sun 02-Aug-15 23:34:53

The thread is called, '18YO DS.....' smile

It's so difficult when you can't talk to your DC without it making its way to the gf and being twisted.

I agree that requiring him to hand his phone over is too much at the age of 18. Does he have any siblings? Very hard and intense when you're a single parent.

Is there anything coming up soon that would be a cause for celebration that you could invite her to and kill her with kindness? Your DS will see the effort you've gone to and won't really be impressed if she 'disses' it.

Invite your friends over for fun evenings, laugh and have fun.

If it's any consolation - I hope this doesn't sound glib - it isn't meant to. It's better that he's in a dysfunctional relationship now when he's still young and will learn from it than when he's older.

When he goes to uni he'll meet loads of new people and realise how much nicer than his gf they are.

It's rare for relationships to withstand uni, even when the young people go to the same uni. The new friends he makes will soon get the measure of his gf and offer (unsolicited) advice.

Schoolchauffeur Tue 04-Aug-15 13:49:28

Oh yes- I now see the title! Sorry. I was confused about the fact they were still picking uni options as usually by age 18 they would have just finished school or be well into last year at school so applications already in.

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