19 yr old daughter very difficult(78 Posts)
My 19yr old is causing me and my husband a lot of grief right now. She's been reletavely good till the last year. Now she's getting to the point where we would like her to move out. She has this on off boyfriend for three years. He went away to uni and doesn't want to know her when he's away and picks her back up when he's home again. She is totally under his spell. She's wanting to stay overnight at his house and her father doesn't want her to. I think she's been looking for an excuse as the other day I was out and my husband had a massive argument with her which resulted in her running out of the house. When I came home she came back packed some clothes and went straight to him and stayed there for three days. Husband told me to tell her if she didn't come back home he would ask her to leave permanently. So she came back yesterday. Got showered and went out with this guy till 5am. I know she's 19 she's an adult but my husband is going nuts thinking the worst that he's using her. They are not talking at all. My daughter is totally avoiding her dad. They are both very stubborn so neither will give in. The house has such a bad vibe. I feel like packing a bag and going to my mother's. Anyone been through this and can give me some advice. I'm at the end of my rope with this situation now.
I think you're husband needs to let up, she's 19 she can judge her own relationships and he certainly shouldn't be dictating whether she can stay the night with him or not. Sorry, he's well out of line in my view. She's an adult, should be permitted to have adult relationships and make her own decisions, even if she does still live at home.
Your dh is trying to ground a 19yo???
As hard as it is he will just have to step back and let her get on with things.Actively expressing a dislike about her bf will just make him seem more attractive to her.At least you aware of the inevitable happening so can offer her support when the fall-out happens.
Do you belong to a culture/religion where it is seen as unacceptable for a young unmarried woman to spend the night at her boyfriend's?
Because I have a dd of a similar age living at home, and I simply don't see how your husband can think he can manage her private life by making rules about where and with whom she is allowed to spend the night. If he wants to drive her into the arms of this (possibly flaky) boyfriend and make sure she never takes his advice again, then he is going the right way about it.
And you? Why do you want your dd to move out completely simply because she goes out occasionally?
Is your dd nasty to you in some kind of way that you have completely forgotten to tell us about? Or how dominated are you by your husband? Would you be happy for your dd to move out and never come back if that would keep your husband quiet?
She's 19. Dad needs to let up. He can't ground her, she is acting very normally for her age, Dad is being an arse
Does she work or study?
Harsh. He is feeling protective and rightly so but going the wrong way about it. Legally she's an adult but has still a lot to learn . It's very hard for parents because they no longer have control. However it's reasonable to set some boundaries because it's still your house and you are paying the bills so she's not exactly living as an independent adult yet
gandalf, do you feel it is right for him to be protective of his dd in a way he would not feel protective of a son? and if so, what message is that sending a young woman? that they can't make responsible decisions about relationships on their own? how is paying bills relevant to whether you are allowed to spend the night away by pre-arrangement: it doesn't impact on the family finances in any way?
I perfectly understand the argument "I pay the bills so I decide how often you can have a hot bath/use the landline/eat everything in the fridge". Also the argument "This is my home, too, and I need to feel comfortable in it, so I cannot accept any swearing/violence/drugs". Or the argument "I am cooking dinner/locking the back door, so I need to know if you are going to be in". All those are relevant to the bill-paying, house-sharing situation.
But not "I pay the bills, so I can tell you to stand on your head every morning wearing orange pyjamas". That just tells them that their parents are on a power trip.
The example of the OP might be borderline in some respects, but it's certainly not relevant to any bill-paying going on.
If it weren't for your husband, what would the situation be?
How would you deal with it without him?
Because, if it were me, I'd accept that she is an adult who gets to make her own mistakes, but make sure she knew I was there for her, if she needed a shoulder to cry on.
Your husband is trying to shield your DD from life's tough lessons, and at some stage, he needs to let go. She is unlikely to appreciate what he is trying to do for many years, if ever, and by then the damage to their relationship will already have been done.
If you insist on siding with your DH, you will be damaging your own relationship with your DD.
You need an adult relationship with her now. She's not your little girl, anymore.
She needs to make her own mistakes now
Sometimes she will and sometimes she won't - but you'll lose her completely if you don't respect her choices
Your daughter isn't difficult, your DH is.
She is 19 not 9 and he really can't control what she does or who she sees.
If that is the only issue you have with her then you are being very unreasonable.
>>But not "I pay the bills, so I can tell you to stand on your head every morning wearing orange pyjamas". That just tells them that their parents are on a power trip. <<
This. In addition the damage that's possibly being done here , may be irreversible , which will be very sad for the parents if they end up no contact with her and any future grandchildren because they refused to accept she was an adult and entitled to an adult life so chucked her out on her ear at 19..
Basically what you're saying is we'd prefer to chuck our adult daughter out rather than accept she's an adult living at home and respect her relationship choices.
Do it. But long term, there is a very good chance both of you will deeply regret what is nothing more than seriously punitive and relafuonshol ending behaviour as you disapprove of a boyfriend.
In addition please remember nothing her boyfriend is doing is worse than what you yourselves wish to do to her. Him behaving badly, doesn't mean you get to behave even worse.
It's all very sad. I do feel sorry for her. 😞
There's no evidence of how he'd be with a son.
He's not asking her to stand on her head with orange pyjamas. He just doesn't like her boyfriend and justifiably so from the op. He's panicking and trying to control in the only way he knows how. It's not right but understandable.
She's trying to assert herself as an adult but doesn't have adult experience. Nothing to do with feminism. It reminds me of my father and it sorted itself out as we ended up having a good relationship
What jumped out for me was that your husband told you to tell her to return (and behave as he wishes)
Do both of you agree that she should leave?
Purely because she is making poor relationship choices?
I think it's also about having a peaceful house. It would be for me.
yes, but do we know why it is not a peaceful house: is it the dd who provides the aggression or is it the dh? the OP hasn't told us
Bit of both, I'd imagine , if I remember what it was like to be 19. My sister was the same. It's partly the age and the way parents handle it but I don't think it's helpful to blame it on one person.
So you want to throw your 19 year old out on the streets because she won't allow you to control who she sees? You do realise that the more you try to restrict her contact with him the more you push her towards him? Your DH's behaviour is very wrong, your DD is an adult who is doing absolutely nothing wrong. Her boyfriend may be a bit rubbish but it's up to her to find that out
As you say, she is an adult. I presume that there is some sound reason for her still living at home and that she is treated as an adult there and expected to pay her way and take her share of chores.
I do know how hard it is to stand back when you think a "child" of yours is being exploited and used; but we have all had to learn the hard way and she is no exception.
It would be entirely reasonable to express a concern that she is being used and that, as those who love her, you find this hard to contemplate. But you cannot lay down the law about where she sleeps and who she sleeps with when she is not in your house.
It does sound as though it is time she set up a home of her own so that both parties can get used to the idea of relating to each other as adults with free will.
He's paying for her to have a roof over her head, not for control of her private life. It's hard to see them making what you know from experience are probably mistakes, when there really isn't much you can do and interference would just make things worse. I'd be having regular woman-to-woman chats with her about self-respect and hope that some of it eventually registered.
WOW !! youre a tough lot !!
I just came back online and have read all the posts.
Dont know where to begin really. I suppose I could have given you all a bit more of an explanation.
My Daughter is a much wanted child from a lot of intervention and treatment for me to get her. That is no reason I know now to be so over controlling/caring whatever people want to call it. But being an only child im afraid that we spoiled her way too much. I'm not against her seeing this boy i actually rather like him, he cant help fact he went away to uni and had to form new friendship groups. My Daughter's gripe was he would almost convince himself he didnt have a gf at home and would ignore her and because she is used to attention when she wants it she got herself angry and upset. This is her relationship, she needs to hurt and be happy all by herself, but its heartbreaking when its me she comes to sobbing when he is treating her bad. I know and understand I have to be just there for her. I have had numerous chats to her about him respecting her and her respecting herself when he comes home, but its mostly fruitless as she needs to work this out on hr own.
Now i think the biggest problem is my dh. He is and has always been a control freak. I have always been the more submissive one out of the two of us for 34 years now. What is happening now is my dd is a grown up adult (physically, not mentally) and she has the same strong traits as her father and they butt horns. He has met his match regarding her, which if it wasnt so upsetting it would be amusing. I totally agree with everyones views here about me and him backing off, im much more lenient than he is. He will not back down on the boyfriend issue, but the problem is not the actual relationship but how she conducts it. For some reason he has this fury about her being at his house until 5am in the morning. He says it looks bad on us and the boy's mum, its disrespectful. I have told him if he thinks they are only doing naughty things at 5am in the morning , he's disillusioned. But im going to defend ourselves a bit here in that our main gripe which brings about why i think my dh is so angry is her attitude with us and around our home. She goes out and gets in at 4.30am she then sleeps till 3pm. Her room is a filthy tip as i now refuse to clean it, wherever she is in the house she just drops things and never cleans up after herself. Ive tried to talk to her and she just ignores me. She gets a good allowance from her father and she is a student at university but living at home. She has a car, expensive equiptment for her uni course, she has nice holidays with and without us. We [aid for the bf to go away with her last year. We honestly dont want anything in return except a little help around the house and some respect for all we do for her, but we get neither, however much we ask her. So really i think its a culmination of a few things which has brought about this awful period in all our lives. I have stood my my dh on certain oints, like the respect, help around the home. But I went against him for being so controlling and nasty to her. He was nasty to me for a day or so until he realised I was trying to just calm matters. But he wants me to back him 100% all the time and quite frankly sometimes he can be a prize twit in his views. ME and dd went out to eat tonight as dh was out and we tried to talk again but it gets a bit aggressive so i ask her to stop and we can talk again when shes calmer.
At the moment they are not talking to each other, she is saying she doesnt want to be here and around him, she wants nothing to do with him, he's being the same and its a waiting game to see who cracks first. I lost my beloved father 3 months ago and am still grieving him, and this makes it all the more difficult. Sorry for the rant.
So sorry to hear about your father user1483533879 - all of this plus your grief must be very hard indeed.
Being a uni student whilst living at home is often a volatile situation. Has she made any friends there with whom she can share a flat? She is of an age to be moving towards more independence. Heaven alone knows what mess my children lived in at uni! - but in the main I did not have to see it! I did once and opted to go out to eat!!
I know you love her dearly but maybe it is time to let go in a more concrete way - i.e. time for her to move out! None of mine were still at home at 19 - not sure I could have coped with them all there as young adults!
Can you explore other accommodation options for her?
She definitely should have to contribute to keeping the living space tidy, treating the place with respect but should be able to come and go as she pleases as an adult. Unfortunately you and DH have done her no favours by treating her like a child and spoiling her as described in your update - give her freedom but let her know you expect her to behave like an adult. Maybe it would be good for her to live independently? Your DH sounds very controlling. Are you happy with that? Is he exerting control in other ways with you and DD? Sorry to hear about your dad
She tried moving out in September. It was when I was away coping with my sick father that she let her friends choose the home. She moved in and then one of the boyfriends moved in and tried to get the others to pay three mths rent in advance. She refused and he started bullying her and excluding her. So she left and came back home. She would love to leave home and live alone but the rents are ridiculously high. Yes my Dh is very controlling which he got mostly away with with me because I back down a lot. But my dd is the mirror image and personality of dh. So he's now become very frustrated he can't lay the law down with her. It's not a nice situation. Something has to give somehow.
Join the discussion
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.