what to advice adult children about relationships

finedreamsApril 1, 2009

My daughter (21) is asking me for advice in relationship. I have very hard time and don't find msyelf helpful. I don't want to advice her because she needs to do what is right for her. Normally my attitude is to not advcie anything. I tried to just listen but it is not helpful either. I find myself getting terribly upset whenever my daughter shares wiht me relationship dillemas. First of all if she is uspet i feel uspet too and second of all i have no clue how to help. Anyone has any clue how to deal with adult children asking advice in a relationship?

PS If you want to know specific issue is that DD has been in a cohabitating relationship close to two years but she knows they have no future (very different life plans after graduating college), relationship is going OK although it went a bit downhill because when one (or both) know there is no future it is hard to go forward. On one hand why spend years wiht someone you won't stay with on the other hand why fix somehting what isn't broken...

The thing is that she is getting increasingly upset over it and it makes me sad too. Don't know what to tell her.

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forgot to add thanks for listening and I appreciate any advice or sharing of your experience. Thank you

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 9:49PM
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There is a future. They can be friends. Sometimes that is much better than a relationship.

How many years until they are out of school?

What specifically does she want advice about? What to do about her boyfriend? If she should scrap her plans to be with him? If she should encourage him to scrap his plans? Do you have any more info?

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 10:54AM
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thanks silverwood,

one more year in college.

well you know what i mean by the future.

certain things just cannot be compromised. DD eventually wants children, her SO absolutelly doesn't, like ever. It is a big issue for DD, she wants a family. DD wants to immidiatelly look for decent settled type of job as soon as she is out of school, she wants to have a settled 9-5 type of job etc. her SO wnats to travel, live in different places, like join Peace Coprs, then go somewhere else, like not very settled kind of plans. As DD pointed out again, everything can be compromised but children issue cannot. She knows she doesn't have to worry about it now, but she doesn't want to spend another 5-10 years with the person until it will be too late to have children.

silverswood not like it makes much difference, but it is not a boyfriend, my DD is gay. makes no difference in a relationship with few exceptions. DD would want to live somewhere where she could be either legally married or have legal domestic partnership with all benefits, or be able to legally adopt etc. Her SO doesn't find any of that important. DD is a bit more into traditional family setting I guess.

In any case DD feels at times that if relationship is not going to be life- long, why stay together. It is just going to be harder to end it. And maybe it prevents her from finding someone more suitable.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 12:26PM
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There's a difference between you giving her unsolicited advice and her specifically asking you for it. My kids ask me for advice on lots of things (they're around the same age as your daughter) and I think carefully and then tell them what I think they should do. What I THINK they should do. Ultimately the decision is up to them and if they didn't do what I said, I'd be ok with that. But in fact, they pretty much always follow my advice.

So I think they really WANT to know what to do. They're counting on my help. In fact once my son asked me advice on a fairly touchy subject which I didn't really want to get involved with. I hemmed & hawed but he pushed and pushed till I finally said what I thought. So he said, see? you did have an opinion, you just didn't want to say it. Of course he was right. But I did say it and he did do what I said and it did turn out for the best. I was like you, I felt that he needed to do what was right for him. The problem was that he simply didn't know what was right for him. I mean, he couldn't think of all the implications of either choice, and he was very scared of the possible results of either choice.

I think there's a lot to be said for life experience which I have but which my kids have not yet acquired. Sometimes they just need to get that perspective.

You didn't ask about what advice you should give your daughter, but I'm going to say what I think anyway. My advice (if she were my daughter) would be to end the relationship and move out asap. I firmly believe that staying in a dead relationship for the sake of convenience is a mistake. The longer she stays with someone that she has no future with, the more she will miss opportunities to meet the RIGHT mate.

why fix somehting what isn't broken
But in fact, it IS broken. Once either or both come to the conclusion that they will not stay together forever, it's broken.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 12:43PM
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lowspark, thanks. yes that's exactly what she thinks, why stay if it goes nowhere. but then you know how it is when you love someone...hard to end. been there done that. lol

Overall relationship is nice and that's why she finds hard to end. she says if it would be bad or she would be treated badly then she wouldn't have a problem to leave, but when it is pretty decent then it is so much harder.

she has the same opinion on this as me and you: why stay. It is when she thinks with her brain. then when she thinks wiht her heart, she finds it hard to leave (aren't we women always this way?) She says her SO kind of feels the same way: their future plans are just too different.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 2:48PM
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Hi FD,
Doesn't make a bit of difference to me, but thanks for clarifying.

I agree, time to move on. Now, while they can still be friends. Good for your daughter to know what she wants so clearly. She has my respect! I had no idea at that age what things I wanted out of life. It's going to be hard now, but it will be harder later if she continues while knowing it won't work out in the end.

It's time to rip the band aid off. Stop worrying it and just rip it off in one fell swoop. It will hurt, but she'll get over it faster.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 10:41AM
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I dread when my kids need adult advice!

My parents were like you. They would listen to my problems and not really tell me what to do or badmouth either choice. I loved that because when it came to relationships if they would have told me to end it I may have felt distant from them if I did not end the relationship.

My friends dad once gave me good relationship advice.
Told me to keep track for a month of the good and bad. If the bad everyday outweighed the good then it was time to move on.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 1:49PM
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good advice mom2emall, the only problem is what to do when everything is pretty much good now, but you know that's not what you what in a long run.

My parents interfered in my marriage, they never inetrfer in any of my relationships since, I guess they think they influenced me in a wrong way. maybe they did.

i hate when people tell me to end relationships. i have a friend who has a very bad personal life (twice married to abusive men and long string of mess in her life) and yet she constntly tells to end whatever i have. I find it disturbing.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 10:42AM
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