Problem with college daughter's boyfriend

Gardener972July 18, 2008

Our daughter is home for the summer after her first year away at college. This is worse than high school by far! To make it worse, the boyfriend has been controlling and trying to tell US what to do, meddling in our affairs, and recently sent me a disrespectful, nasty e-mail in response to talking to our daughter about red flags that we saw. We had a family talk about it and told him that until he could treat us with respect, he was not welcome in our house. Basically, all communication is closed with her now. Anyone been through anything like this?

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Well, my brother in law kind of dated a girl like that. I only can say that the more my in-laws pushed against the girl the more he wanted to be with her.

At some point you hope they figure it out themselves. I'd probably let it be for now. If he is not hurting her physically or mentally that is. If so then I would feel much different.

If he is not hurting her then for the time being bite your tongue and try to go with the flow.

IF marriage comes up then I'd be worried. My parents made it clear with me that they would not pay for a wedding until I was done with school. I told my parents at one point I was going to marry my college flame. I will never forget how my mom said "Okay. That sounds fine." At that second I knew I was not marrying him and I had to get out. Reverse psychology can work.

What does your daughter say about the way the BF treats you and your husband?

I'd start with her before I got on him. If she doesn't see an issue with that then you have more problems than him.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 2:51PM
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Abusers isolate their victims from friends & family.

One of the most effective ways to do it is to convince the victim that her friends & family don't really love her, that *they* want to control her & that they resent him for freeing her from their control, that they're jealous of what she has with him, etc.

While he's pouring that poison into her ears, he's also being so obnoxious to her friends & family that friends/family cannot stand him.

If he can, he'll provoke them into an ultimatum such as...
until he can act respectful, he can't come into their home...

Then the victim gets indignant & angry & "realizes" that he's right, her family is no good, they just want to control her...
& she severs the family ties herself.

& it works great, for him, since he can't be blamed for the rift;
*he* didn't do anything, *she* made the choice to sever ties.

I think this girl is under the control of an expert controller/abuser.

If you approach her directly or if you try to address the issues, you're a goner;
she's "in love", she believes everything this guy says, & she's convinced you're the enemy of the most wonderful man in the world.

Keep sending her chatty emails, call her on the phone, don't push her at all, but make sure she knows you're still there.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 4:48PM
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You have to tread carefully here.

I think you will just have to bite your tongue. Keep it objective, like the email, you can show it to her, say how the email upset you...but don't say "he is a rotten scoundrel". Once you start criticizing her BF you start alienating her.

You brought her up, you must rely on her to make the right choices. Its a delicate balance, obviously if she is in real danger, you must step in to help her.

I would try to keep communication open, because then you know what is going on, no matter how much you hate the situation.

It will run its course hopefully, soon.

Ask you daughter to do things with you, like going out to lunch, or a movie. The more time you spend with her the more likely she will open up and talk to you about her concerns. Be wise with your words, don't criticize the BF!

Good luck with it all.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 7:02PM
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Years ago, my very nice next-door neighbor Ann told me this story about her beloved daughter:

Paula was an only child, the center of her parents' lives, somewhere between bright & brilliant, friendly, charming, got a degree in, I can't remember, French or something, decided she wanted to be a doctor, went back & took the biology & chemistry & stuff that she needed for pre-med, was doing very well...

& brought home a new boyfriend who treated her like a servant, who didn't even talk nicely to her, who came from a background in which his father ruled the roost & his mother was treated very badly.

Ann said that she had to bite her tongue, but she kept everything very superficial & friendly, never offered an opinion on Jack, & if Paula said, for instance, that Jack would be with her when she came home for Christmas, her mom would say, "that's nice" in a kind of vague way, & talk about something else.

Ann said she & her husband knew that if they said a single negative thing about Jack, Paula would defend him, & they could lose her very easily.

Eventually, Jack's character emerged, & Paula ended the relationship & concentrated on her studies.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 7:23PM
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As you've all said not to say bad things about her BF... that we haven't done at all. We haven't told her she can't see him either. We're just praying she will see his true character. Tonight she came home from a date with him and we could tell something was wrong. All she said was that they broke up, nothing more. She didn't want a hug, any type of consolation, or conversation which we respect and are leaving her alone. We'll see where this goes... stay tuned.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 1:58AM
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Well, that's good news. I am sure she will talk, in time, give her a hug, and tell her you love her.

My DD is 21 and she is going out with a 36 year old, which I am not happy about ! But I sit and wait.... He seems like a nice chap though. He's only 10 years younger than me..

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 3:45AM
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I dated a real jerk a long time ago. I actually got engaged to this jerk. A few friends expressed their negative feelings about him and I grew apart from those friends. I had told him how they felt and he made me feel bad for him. I was actually mad at my friends for being mean to him?!?

My family played it smart and put up with him so I never felt like I had to stay away from them. I learned what a controlling jerk he was and eventually broke off the relationship. My family later confessed how much they disapproved of him.

I know it was hard for them to be kind to him, but I am glad they did.

Just be there for your daughter right now and do not bad mouth the guy, she could get back together with him tomorrow. If she does then just let her learn her own lesson.

After dating my jerk I was able to see red flags in a relationship right away and end it before it began. She too will hopefully learn from this experience if you let her.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 9:18PM
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