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Worried about daughters boyfriend

(23 Posts)
Vazzy Sun 10-Nov-19 23:11:23

Hi, my daughter is 14 she has been seeing a lad from school for about 6 weeks. He has always been polite and funny with us and seems to really enjoy spending time with our family. This past week has been very difficult for her. A girl has been spreading a rumour that she has also been seeing him, one of her friends told my daughter she saw them kissing. My daughter fell to pieces. He got into a stupid fight at school with the girls brother and has completely denied the whole thing. My daughter arranged to meet him on Thursday night to get to the bottom of it and had decided if she still wasn't happy she was going to break up with him. I went to get some shopping while they had a walk and she called me an hour later and said could I take him home as it was raining. He asked to speak to me on the way home and got upset and said he would never cheat on my daughter. She now says she believes him. I was smiling and trying to support my daughter while actually wanting to sit him down in front of a bright light and interrogate him.

She invited him to come to her sporting activity yesterday with us. It's a distance away and meant him spending about 4 hours with me on our own. I think we were both dreading it.

Anyway after about an hour or so we were just chatting and he started to open up to me. He has a very difficult home life. He has been physically and sexually abused by people he should've been able to trust, he has no memories before the age of 9. He has been told that his mum has an illness that could mean she would die early. He started to self harm at 12 (although assured me he had stopped) he isn't allowed to go to the gym as he over trains, he has an eating disorder and he showed me marks on his arms where someone had extinguished cigarettes on him. He said school know and he can escape classes if he needs to and is getting support for anger issues. He said he is terrified in crowds of people and never goes out unless it's with his mum or my daughter. He begged me not to share any of this with her. I still don't know if he cheated or not but now think that's the least of our worries.

I told my husband last night and he thinks I should speak to school. I'm not sure how they can help if he is already getting support. I do t want to come across as a gossip or cause any further problems between the pair of them. Everything stopped 4 years ago he said and it's just him and mum now. My daughter has her own issues through being adopted and I think she might be out of her depth here. My husband is scared I will decide to adopt him too. I'm a wee bit worried that after yesterday I may already be there. I'm a bit worried though that he will adopt me and my daughter and him will stay together even if things aren't working out.

Can anyone give me any advice on what they would do here. At the moment the pair of them seem all loved up but they are only 14 and things can change very quickly at this age.

OP’s posts: |
habipprtyh Sun 10-Nov-19 23:19:23

My very first thing would be to try and get them apart. He has obviously many problems but they are not things your 14 yo daughter needs to be mixed up with.

Adopt him? Sorry but that’s a bit of a leap from a conversation is it not ?

Vazzy Sun 10-Nov-19 23:37:09

I didn't mean I was actually going to adopt him. I was just meaning that I. was going to start mothering him.

OP’s posts: |
habipprtyh Sun 10-Nov-19 23:48:41

Well don't. The further away from your DD he is the better. It might sound bad but it's not down to you to 'fix' him particularly as it will without a doubt be to your child's detriment

rookjayy Mon 11-Nov-19 00:31:36

I wouldn't try and split them up,just watch over them and make sure its a healthy relationship and have lots of conversations with your dd about such...could be a good thing that theyre together,if he is getting support and is getting better with your dds support also.She will be an adult in 4 years and have lots of big decisions ahead so it might do her the world of good for her to become more emotionally intelligent. (Aware that im probably being far to positive.)Also banning her from seeing him wouldnt work shed just do it behind your back and its especially important she has an open dialouge with you.

rookjayy Mon 11-Nov-19 00:33:46

Also sorry if my sentence structures are awful I'm dyslexic.

Vazzy Mon 11-Nov-19 07:41:09

Thanks rookjay don't worry. My daughter is also dyslexic. You have actually reassured me that what I have been doing is right. I have no intentions of splitting them up. He is actually a nice boy and it is not his fault that he has had these terrible experiences. I think banning him from seeing her a couple of days after he opened up and shared his story would be a terrible thing to do. It would send him totally the wrong message. He would be trusting another adult who then happily turned their back on him. Not to mention the fact my daughter is 14 and knows her own mind and it would just cause arguments here and potentially push them further together. I am keeping a very close eye on things and that will continue. I dread to think what the fall out will be for both of them when they do eventually split up but hopefully they have a positive effect on each other while they are together.

OP’s posts: |
habipprtyh Mon 11-Nov-19 08:05:44

I'm not saying ban her but I would certainly be discouraging this.

You say it's not his fault, that is true, but prioritise your DD here. She is 14. He has many issues and that's a mental load she doesn't need.

The fact that you want to 'mother him' over seeing how awful this relationship can be for your own child is really worrying.

They have been going out for a few weeks. If you decide to get close and 'mother him' you are potentially extending this relationship past it's natural end.

Winterdaysarehere Mon 11-Nov-19 08:09:31

Wow so no badly 'damaged' dc should have a nice life...
Just wow.

habipprtyh Mon 11-Nov-19 08:30:22

No, I didn't say that at all.

I'm saying it wouldn't be at the expense of 14 year olds happiness.

Don't go making shit up

I hope the lad goes in and had a very happy and successful life, but it's not down to the DM of a 14 year old he has been seeing for a few weeks to implement things to enable that to happen.

I would be horrified if my 14 year old had that level of emotional baggage out upon her.

But no, I definitely did not say he doesn't deserve a nice life.

Vazzy Mon 11-Nov-19 09:08:45

I'm sorry this has caused a disagreement. This is my first MN post and I hadn't meant to cause an argument. My daughter doesn't and won't have to deal with any emotional damage. However I think that by knowing his story helps me help her when things come up. To be honest I'm also a wee bit surprised by your comment. Some would say my DD also has a significant amount of emotional damage having been adopted. I would be so upset if someone who didn't know her banned their child from seeing her because of a difficult start in life. From experience it can take just one person to make a huge difference in a child's life. Maybe I have answered my own question. Thanks everyone for your replies

OP’s posts: |
habipprtyh Mon 11-Nov-19 09:14:47

To be honest I'm also a wee bit surprised by your comment.

I don't know why? Were you expecting everyone would encourage this?

Some would say my DD also has a significant amount of emotional damage having been adopted.

So prioritise her and don't add to it by taking on this boy.

I would be so upset if someone who didn't know her banned their child from seeing her because of a difficult start in life.

That's not the reason I gave though. It's how he is affected NOW by his start, not the fact that it happened.

Vazzy Mon 11-Nov-19 09:42:55

You know what. As I said this was my first post and I am annoyed to have come across someone who appears to generally be angry at life. You are implying I am a bad mum (I'm not) you are implying I am irresponsible (I'm not) and the whole time you are showing yourself to be a very cold hearted person indeed, Please don't comment on my post agaiin go and be judgemental and angry elsewhere

OP’s posts: |
egontoste Mon 11-Nov-19 09:50:29

That poor boy. Actually, in your shoes I'd ignore the fact that they are boyfriend and girlfriend because that's clouding the issue. Just think of him as being one of your dd's friends. I'd be wanting to mother him as well. He has opened up and poured his heart out to you. He needs all the support he can get, and he clearly trusts you otherwise he wouldn't have told you.

MoodLighting Mon 11-Nov-19 09:57:57

I think you need to have clear boundaries for your relationship with him, and his relationship with your DD. I can see how you would want to 'mother' him, but that would really alter the family dynamic, and I can't see how it would be in anyone's best interests.

Help your DD to understand she doesn't need to 'fix' anyone, and nor does she need anyone else to 'fix' her. Plenty of kids that haven't had challenges in their childhood don't get this important message, and get into problematic, co-dependent relationships. All kids deserve a fair shot whatever their background, so I couldn't agree with PP about trying to end the relationship, unless things really do become unhealthy between them.

habipprtyh Mon 11-Nov-19 10:00:04

As I said this was my first post and I am annoyed to have come across someone who appears to generally be angry at life.

I'm not angry at life 🤷‍♀️

You are implying I am a bad mum (I'm not)

No, I am not. Quite the opposite. The fact that you have the mother instinct for this boy says you have a lot of empathy. My suggestion was simply not to get too involved because you will create a connection between this troubled buy and your 14 year old which may otherwise naturally dwindle.

you are implying I am irresponsible (I'm not)

No, I am not.

and the whole time you are showing yourself to be a very cold hearted person indeed,

I genuinely don't understand this.

Please don't comment on my post agaiin

You don't get to decide that.

go and be judgemental and angry elsewhere

I'm not being either of those things.

Just to be clear, I haven't called you any names or said anything remotely bad about you, so how about maybe not doing it to me

Eventrider1 Mon 11-Nov-19 10:09:04

Firstly - teenage girls, like everyone, can be horrible if they really want to be. It will probably come to light that one of them likes this boy and is just saying these things to break your daughter and him up or it is just a cruel game they are playing. Given the fact he has opened up to you and got so upset about the accusations would make me give him the benefit of the doubt.

Secondly - this poor boy sounds like he has had the most horrendous childhood. Given that the school is aware and helping him, I certainly wouldn't be trying to get him away from your daughter, that will just make things worse. Chances are, this relationship won't last forever anyway (let's be honest, how many people have been with the same person since they were 14?) You don't have to tell her what he has told you, but just let her know that you are always there for her should she ever want to talk about her relationship if she is worried. I would be letting the boy know the same, that you are always there to help should he need it or if he just wants to talk. It is a huge thing for him to have opened up to you and he obviously feels he can trust you with this information. I think in your position, I would probably end up mothering him as well.

mcmen05 Mon 11-Nov-19 13:48:14

@Vazzy you sound such a caring mum.
I would contact school tell them what he has told you just to be on the safe side that this is not made up.
Then if it is true help this young boy as much as you want.
I would tell him he has to tell your daughter as you can't help him without your daughter knowing. She will find it strange you talking to him if she doesn't know about his problems. It is then her decision if she wants him as a friend or a boyfriend or not at all.

AlternativePerspective Mon 11-Nov-19 13:58:13

Am a bit hmm that there are people on here who think that a child with emotional “baggage” should be kept away because it’s not fair on the other child. Seriously? If we took that attitude to all children who have any kinds of issues then there would be huge divisions across society and intolerance would be on the increase.... oh... wait....

OP, it’s clear that this boy has chosen to trust you with this information. I wouldn’t be keeping him away from your daughter or vice versa, but I wouldn’t necessarily be taking him on either. He has told you about his life. You don’t have to do anything with that information other than to keep it safe.

He trusted you enough to tell you about his life. But did he ask for your help? Because if not then it’s not for you to assume he needs it. With that kind of emotional past he will be used to people making decisions about what he needs on his behalf. Don’t be one of those. You’ve heard him, now continue to treat him as you always would have. That may in fact be all he needs, someone who listened impartially. flowers

habipprtyh Mon 11-Nov-19 14:31:06

Am a bit that there are people on here who think that a child with emotional “baggage” should be kept away because it’s not fair on the other child.

It's a bit more than emotional baggage. He is actively self harming. Not something I would want my 14 year old to be expended to, to potential fee she has to prevent etc

Seriously? If we took that attitude to all children who have any kinds of issues then there would be huge divisions across society and intolerance would be on the increase.... oh... wait....

I'm not saying that people should not care, I'm saying getting over to invested in a self harming emotionally traumatised 14 year old who has been seeing your DD for a few weeks is not a good move. This has the potential damage the OPDD. Yes look out for the kid, make sure school are aware, call SS, whatever, but don't be 'adopting' and 'mothering' him to the point he becomes dependent on both OP, because normally 14 year olds don't actually stay together that long. Getting close is inviting trouble.

I would 100% prioritise my own child here. I don't want my kid to be exposed to self harm and mental health problems, eating disorders etc. When you are 14 you should be carefree not worried about what your boyfriend is going to do next, add to that your mum making a big effort to help him so you can't even pull back if you want to?

Vazzy Mon 11-Nov-19 15:15:05

Thanks to those who have left constructive help with this situation. I have decided to just continue doing what I am doing. My main/only priority is my own daughter. As long as she is happy and being treated well I am happy. I agree with what was said about him perhaps just wanting someone to listen but not do anything. I hadn't thought about it like that before so that is really helpful Thankyou. As I said my daughter has her own attachment issues after being adopted, I hope that by knowing and understanding where he is coming from when my daughter is struggling I may actually be able to help her. We are extremely close but she hasnt always been very open so it is amazing that she has been asking for advice and really listening to me for the past 2 months.

I don't expect it to last very long, although the pair of them are already discussing their futures together, but hopefully while it does he might enjoy what being part of a regular (I won't say normal as we are FAR from that) family when he is here.

Thankyou

OP’s posts: |
SpoonBlender Mon 11-Nov-19 15:21:22

Good for you Vazzy. As a kid who grew up in a weird home situation and hung around with lots of even more damaged kids (goth/emo crowd so mixed damaged/showing off really), my own mum was exactly like you and we all benefitted hugely from her presence. Thank you on behalf of both your DD and her bf.

Arewedone Mon 11-Nov-19 18:20:01

It’s early days but I think at some point, given their ages and if they are spending a reasonable amount of time together I would want to meet his Mother. Maybe invite her to meet for lunch with Dd and her BF. Given his background I would want to know my Dd is safe if she was spending time at his. I wouldn’t discuss his issues with Dd as it’s for him to tell her when he’s ready but equally I would be observant in any changes in his behaviour, language and signs of self harm etc that might suggest there is abuse occurring.
I would casually keep checking in with Dd that she is happy and equally watching for any change in her behaviour suggesting any issues.
The other girl thing is so typical of many teen girls, jealousy and competitiveness that I wouldn’t worry. It sounds like your Dd has enough self esteem to deal with it. 💐

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