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Should I answer letter from my daughter's boyfriend?

(28 Posts)
YouthsAStuffWillNotEndure Tue 07-Nov-17 18:22:26

Our daughter is in her late 20s and has been v happy in a relationship for the last 2 years. However she & her boyfriend are currently on a break due to issues of his. She is quite sad but still very loyally defends him and tells us not to think badly of him. He has now written us a letter in which he thanks us for welcoming him so warmly into our family and saying he hopes to see us again. He does not discuss his relationship with my daughter.

Would you reply to the letter? I don't really have anything to say, but am aware that no reply could be construed as pointedly & resentfully ignoring him which is not a message I want to convey. I have of course told my daughter who said he had mentioned he might write to us. She suggested that as he is not close to his own parents he might be wanting advice from us, but this would be tricky for us bearing in mind our first loyalties are obviously with our daughter. My husband is leaving it entirely up to me to decide whether to reply and if I do, to choose what to say because "you're so good at this sort of thing" (!?) but I can only think of rather banal platitudes as I in no way want to interfere in their relationship.

PurpleStar123 Tue 07-Nov-17 18:24:38

Ignore it. You don’t really say why they are on a break but this seems like a way for him to ingratiate himself with your DD’s family. She is your priority. If they get back together then you can pick up where you left off with him and if they don’t nothing is lost.

Vitalogy Tue 07-Nov-17 18:27:05

Not sure what to say. Sounds a bit odd of him to write to you really.

DearMrDilkington Tue 07-Nov-17 18:28:00

It's quite sweet he wrote you a letter. I'd probably ignore it too though.

DearMrDilkington Tue 07-Nov-17 18:28:55

vit if he isn't close to his own family then he probably started to think of op and her dh as his family. Not odd at all that he wanted to say goodbye in a letter.

Justmuddlingalong Tue 07-Nov-17 18:29:36

It depends on his issues.

Wiggles9408 Tue 07-Nov-17 18:33:49

It’s slightly odd but I think a response even just an acknowledgment would be better than ignoring it :/ if they do get back on track it could then be awkward to mention it? Could you get his mobile number from DD and just pop him a text to say you’ve received the letter, thank him for taking the time to write this to you and DH but that in regards to their relationship you are there for DD whatever she may decide and you wish him all the best? It’s a bit of a touchy one but just be civil as he’s obviously written to you for some clarification.

YouthsAStuffWillNotEndure Tue 07-Nov-17 18:34:41

I think he is hesitating on the brink of commitment....

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 07-Nov-17 18:37:09

Having thought about this I don't think I would answer it but if you choose to, then banal platitudes would be the way to go imo.

Grainfail Tue 07-Nov-17 18:44:55

When a boyfriend and I broke up his mother used to keep in touch with me. She was upset about how things had ended, it was very sad, he blamed me for his friend committing suicide and thought if I wasn’t on the scene it wouldn’t have happened as he would have been there more. He ended up cheating on me with his friend’s sister. We were young and it was intense but I always got on well with his family and his mother was sad about it all too. I remember I met her in the city one day and I mentioned my new boyfriend and never heard from her again. I still think if her and the family fondly. Sometimes it’s hard when, like you say, you’ve been part of a family and suddenly aren’t.

It doesn’t mean you’re disloyal to be in touch, but perhaps something that brings closure to your relationship with him would be fine?

NapQueen Tue 07-Nov-17 18:46:36

Maybe just send a little card with "thank you for writing to us, wishing you well".

Acknowledge without commitment.

YouthsAStuffWillNotEndure Tue 07-Nov-17 18:46:44

Yes DonkeysDontRideBicycles that's the dilemma - the choice seems to be between no reply, which might be interpreted as meaning things I don't mean, and the aforementioned banalities.

FluffyWhiteTowels Tue 07-Nov-17 18:49:48

I thank him for his kind words and hope that he is ok

Schoolchoicesucks Tue 07-Nov-17 18:51:10

I agree banal platitudes thanking him for writing and wishing him well are the way to go - do you send Christmas cards?

Couchpotato3 Tue 07-Nov-17 18:53:22

My son wrote to his girlfriend's parents after a long-term relationship. He had no agenda other than a genuine wish to thank them for welcoming them into his family and to wish them well for the future. This sounds like a similar (although admittedly not identical) situation. There was no expectation that they would intervene or respond in any way. In fact they sent him a very sweet card wishing him all the best and he was very pleased to receive it as it brought him some closure and he felt that he had ended the relationship with them on a positive note.
If your DD's ex has felt close to you, then he may be sad at the loss of the relationship with you too. He hasn't discussed the relationship with your daughter, so it's not like he has put any pressure on you. I think it would be rather rude and unkind to ignore him. Just send a brief reply wishing him well and leave the rest to your DD.

inchyrablue Tue 07-Nov-17 18:53:24

I would definitely send a thanks for the letter card. You don’t need to say anything other than thank you and best wishes.

northlondonlassie Tue 07-Nov-17 18:56:25

I think I’d be tempted to write back - not a letter, just a brief note. Just to thank him for his, and to say that you wish him the best and hope that he and your DD manage to work out the situation to their mutual satisfaction. That doesn’t mean anything apart from “whatever happens, I hope it doesn’t make either of you unhappy”.
If you don’t reply, it could read as if you want nothing more to do with him, which may not be what your DD wants. Whatever you decide, I think you should run it by your DD first.
[I too have been in the sad situation of a broken relationship leading to the eventual severance of ties between me and his lovely, lovely parents. 20+years on, I heard on the grapevine that his dad died recently and I felt so sad about it. Pity his son was an unfaithful arse though!]

NamasteNiki Tue 07-Nov-17 18:58:59

If your DD has instigated the break then that was a bit unfair of her.

Either break up with someone or dont but a break is pointless imo and leaves everyone in limbo

YouthsAStuffWillNotEndure Tue 07-Nov-17 19:20:57

As I said, they are on a break because of issues of his - she is ready to commit but he is not so sure.

NamasteNiki Tue 07-Nov-17 20:37:55

And yet he has written to you.......

YouthsAStuffWillNotEndure Tue 07-Nov-17 22:53:32

Yes indeed - as others have said above, it is odd/unexpected

roconnell Tue 07-Nov-17 23:02:55

I think this is a bit of a difficult one. I expect he will feel awkward about having sent you a letter if they do get back together. He has probably done it out of concern that you think badly of him, especially as you say the reason they are on a break is because of his commitment issues. If I were you I'd text him, or send a short informal note back. Not responding at all could be misinterpreted as anger. It is rather awkward though, and I can appreciate why you wouldn't want to get involved in adults DC's relationships

HeddaGarbled Tue 07-Nov-17 23:17:21

Hmm, I don't feel so sympathetic to him as most PPs seem to. He doesn't want to commit to your daughter, or is equivocal, which must be heartbreaking for her. Writing to you, deliberately omitting mention of that massive elephant in the room, feels rather self-serving and unfair to your daughter to me. I think I'd not respond.

Atalune Tue 07-Nov-17 23:23:07

I agree with the others and a simple reply along the lines of

Thank you
Well wishes
This is between you and Dd
No hard feelings whatever the future holds.

CotswoldStrife Tue 07-Nov-17 23:27:45

I wouldn't reply tbh. My sister broke up with one partner and he did contact my parents and tried to get them to intervene he probably knew she wouldn't tell them he was a cheating git and my mum, thankfully, refused to get involved and said it was between the two of them.

I do wonder if it is just a final message or if it's the start of some kind of campaign .... it's good to hear that you don't intend to intervene in any way,

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