College Aged Daughter... need advice please

mamaggMarch 9, 2010

I'll try to give the briefest history on this. Our youngest daughter was dumped last fall. The guy in question is still very much a part of our other daughter's close circle of friends. He is now working his way back into our youngest daughter's life. My husband does not like this boy because of what he did to our daughter (breaking her heart).

Our youngest is home for spring break. The ex-boyfriend was at our house two days in a row. He came in to shake my husband's hand. My husband barely acknowledged his presence.

My husband is angry beyond belief that this guy is back around and is currently not speaking to our daughter. It's his way or the highway. I am always playing intermediary between my husband and my girls.

Our daughter is only home one week. I don't know what to do or if I should do anything. Any suggestions would be more than appreciated!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Um....mind telling us how young is "young"?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 6:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OK...never mind...I'll assume "college age" is 18/19......

If so back away. Your daughter will handle it. Your husband needs to back away.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 6:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

'Dumped' is ambiguous...

Was she 'honorably' dumped? (Guy says he's breaking up with her. He's not ready to settle down. Too young to be serious. Relationship not working. Want to date others.) Or was she 'dishonorably' dumped'? Guy acted like a snake or a jerk -- more than just immature. Did he cheat on her, bad-mouth her, etc.?

Young people break up all the time. That doesn't make them bad people. If the only reason Dad dislikes the boyfriend is that he hurt his baby's feelings, then Dad needs to get over it, and a few wise and gentle questions from you may be all it takes to make that happen.

But if the boy lacked character then, asking your daughter if he is a 'better person' now might not be a bad idea...

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 7:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

" is currently not speaking to our daughter"

This is a really immature response and certainly not helpful for you daughter to be dealing with her father this way. If anything he should be showing guidance not "telling" her what to do. This is a learning situation for your daughter, she has never been dumped before, I would assume. She must sort out what she should do, with the guidance of her experienced parents. In fact this situation will set the course for any future advice that your daughter would seek from her father. If she cannot rely on him to handle this situation, as the wise role model he should be, then she will not seek his advice in the future.

The real problem here is your husband, he needs to reflect on his responses to his daughter's love life. He should definitely talk to her, but not judge her or "tell" her what to do. In fact, the boyfriend, showed great guts and maturity offering to shake your husband's hand.

Healthy communication is the life long "gift" a father can give to his daughter..for now, he is just closing the door on that that pathway.

I know what it is like to be the 'united nations' in family disputes, you are in a tricky position.

He could start by giving her a hug, and asking her how she feels about her situation.

It is sad that all this is going on and she is only home for a week, I feel for you.

All the best

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 7:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

One caveat, before I say anything else--I'm assuming that neither child was physically abusive to the other (and yes, abuse can go both ways, I've seen it happen). Abuse is a whole different situation. I'm going to go on the premise that they had a relationship, it didn't work for some ordinary reason and they went their separate ways--leaving, as usual, some hurt feelings (but not hurt bodies) behind.

So you're saying your husband WANTS them back together, right?

Okay, I know that's NOT what you're saying, but your husband must have the mentality of a 6 year old if he doesn't understand that the when you tell a 'just barely adult' NOT to do something, they'll fight tooth and nail TO do it, just to establish their independence. So if he keeps up his childish behavior, she's likely to get back with this guy--even if she isn't that thrilled with the idea--just to prove to her father than she can. And it will be on Dad's head, in that case.

I don't think honorably, or dishonorably really enters into this--kids are kids--their relationships are (should be) practice ones at this point. They're not supposed to last, But they are supposed to be learning experiences. Even if she decides to get back with him, so what? She will learn more from the experience. Maybe she'll learn how mature adults manage to work through differences--that's a very good thing. Maybe she'll remember why they split up in the first place and learn that it's never wise to repeat a mistake in the future. Either way it's a step along the road to adulthood

Guess your husband would be really frustrated with my dd--she has ongoing friendships with MOST of the guys she'd dated in the past. I'm very proud that she's mature enough to be able to make them work. Honestly, having been in that situation as a parent, I'm at a loss to really understand what your husband thinks he has to gain by being angry at your daughter.

What should you do? Let your child manage her own social life. If we never let them make mistakes, they never learn how to fix or avoid them in the future. And you probably should have a long, long talk with your husband, reminding him how, as an older teen, when told not to do something, he no doubt rebelled and did it anyway. As the mother of a much older (29 yo) daughter, I can assure you the fastest way to get them to drop an undesireable partner is to step back and say nothing. The more you complain, the more you let them know you disapprove the more determined they are to hang onto a bad relationship, even after they've decided it was going nowhere. Your husband needs to get his act together, and soon, or he's going to alienate your daughter to the point where it may be difficult or impossible to repair the relationship. Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 9:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Azzalea put it perfectly. This is a BASIC elementary parenting principle: The quickest way to drive your daughter into the undesirable boyfriend's arms is to TELL your daughter that you don't approve. Nothing will make her want to fiercely defend him more than her parents' disapproval or criticism.

The very best thing for you and your husband to do is tell you daughter that you support her in whatever decision she makes, that you are there for her whenever she needs you and that you love her no matter what.

IF and ONLY IF she asks for advice, then you can tell her, very gently and very diplomatically that FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE he may not be the best choice for her. But even then, continue to assure her that it's ultimately her decision and that you will respect her choice.

And I agree 100% with what was said above regarding giving your daughter the silent treatment. That screams immaturity and sends all the wrong messages regarding how to handle anger and how her parents feel about her. The lesson that when you're angry you don't talk to the person you're angry with will turn around and come back to haunt you when she is the one who is angry at you and or your husband. The lines of communication should never be closed between parent and child.

Your daughter needs guidance, support and love. Like azzalea said, she needs to make mistakes and learn from them without incurring your anger for making them in the first place.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 11:01AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
mothers estranged from adult children
Hi Ladies. I'm new here and there was a post at the...
Nearly 10wks pregnant & have questions
This is my first pregnancy at 24. I don't have many...
Separating because of adult son
We have a 25 yo son. Unemployed, living at home, no...
Estrangement from adult child
I am, and have been, estranged from my adult child...
New cervical cancer vaccine - You & Your Daughter
My 16 yr old daughter & I are in the process of...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™