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How do I get my daughter to see what a jerk her boyfriend really is?

Tagged as: Family, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (8 October 2010) 10 Answers - (Newest, 10 October 2010)
A female United States age 51-59, *urvivingTeenagers? writes:

I need advice. My daughter has bee dating her boyfriend for 4 months now. She thinks they're serious. He turned 21 a few weeks ago and chose to spend his birthday with another girl...."just a friend"...because she promised (after he and my daughter started dating) she'd take him somewhere. My daughter was upset but didn't let it show. The bf told my daughter the next day that he thought about her the entire time and wished he had spent his birthday with her. A few weeks later my daughter had an important test and he picked a fight with her the night before....consequently she was up all night crying.

There have been other times, knowing full well that my daughter had school commitments or obligations, he'd press her to "blow it off" to hang with him. Consequently, she'd get mad that she had something that was interfering with her social life. They would go out, or more precisely hang out here, then he'd go home and post on his Facebook that he missed being with his friends. He often left my daughter sitting at home bored while he'd hang out with his "just friend" girls. The night before he and my daughter left for a weekend vacation, he hung out with and ended up in bed with an old girlfriend.

My daughter broke up with him and took a vacation. While she was gone he called her several times a day begging her to take him back, insisting that he'd change and treat her right. She agreed. Now his friends are all busy and unavailable (my daughter is his only social life right now) so he's treating her like he should have before, except that he still lies to her occasionally. The still don't go out because, although he has a job, he never has any money and she's still in school and jobless. She doesn't trust him, but she insists she loves him and he is "the one".

He still does "little" things that upset her: standing there talking to her one min. then disappearing without a word, talking to her on the phone and letting the phone go silent (not talking but not hanging up either) while he talks to someone else, being late for "dates", teasing her about things he knows really upsets her, going to her events and then complaining that it's taking too long and he's uncomfortable, etc.

I can't forget/forgive as easily as my daughter and I'm afraid that when his friends become available again that he'll go back to the way he was. She'll let him because she'll convince herself that it's not like is was before. He says what she wants to hear when it gets him what he wants. I think he's a player, a user, an opportunist. I also think deep down she knows this but doesn't want to admit it.

This is tearing me apart emotionally. She would never have put up with this from anyone else and there are quite a few guys that would love to date her and treat her like a princess. How can I get her to see and believe what this bf really is? Am I overreacting and making a mountain out of a molehill?

View related questions: broke up, facebook, money, player, teasing

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (10 October 2010):

first of all, are you sure you have all the facts 100 percent? mothers, well everyone actually, tend to manipulate certain circumstances in order to "back up" what they believe or what they want to hear from others.

your daughter seems like a strong, independent girl who has a lot going for her. Try to ask yourself "Why is she with him?", but try to do so with no biased opinion. Maybe, just maybe things are not what they seem and she is genuinely happy. Why else would she be with him? You even said she has the choice of many guys, but she chose him. Maybe you are blinded by your own opinions of him. You sound like a very opinionated person and someone who is quick to judge. Subconsciously you, (or anyone), will manipulate facts and actions to best fit what their subconscious mind wants to think. It is hard to understand or even deal with.

some random advice: My mother once told me there are always two sides to an argument. two sides to every situation. You might want to learn more about the "good side" than place all of you money on this "bad side". who knows, but maybe there are reasons he left your daughter bored. maybe SHE was the one who didn't want to hang out that night. do you know? did you ever ask? maybe she enjoyed spending those nights at home. there are reasons for everything and to be honest, you are not very good at finding those out. you have already manipulated an opinion of someone you don't like and you eat away at every little "thing" until it makes sense to ask yourself "why is she with this loser"

maybe you don't like him and you would never date him, but obviously your daughter is. you mentioned many times how she "seems to hide" her saddness. probably for a good reason. two things 1) she might not even be upset and it is you manipulated the situation again or 2) she doesn't want to tell you because secretly she knows you have a hard time accepting it. have you ever asked her?

bottom line: she loves you and you love her. you are in emotionally agony over this and she knows it. which is why she too is in emotionally agony. she knows you are upset and she feels like she can't come to you. she knows you are biased, she isn't stupid. and it kills her knowing you are this effected by the person she loves and is happy with.

you seriously need to forgive and forget sometimes because i know as weird as it sounds some people do change. good people turn bad and bad people turn good everyday. if you want to be miserable, just keep doing what you are doing.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (8 October 2010):


This man is a flat out jerk and primarily why I always finish last therefore im automatically inclined to rather cyberly kick his ass for mistreating your daughter. He plays games...plain and simple and is thus immature, childish, AND disrespectful. Your daughter is very forgiving and he will walk all over her...he says this he says that...but im willin to bet my right half saudi testicle this (insert any demeaning phrase for a shitty bf here) wont follow thru.

My advice:

Sit her down when she's calm, not when she's emotional and been thru somethin with him. Why? cause if u approach at a time shes pissed or crying she will say something out of an emotion and thus not have a clear line of thought. You need to pull her aside even plan a nite with her and take her out to show her u care and have a nice talk. As a son/daughter this would help me greatly to open up and mor e importantly be open minded to what my mother has to say. Tell her genuinely why you dont like this guy and leave any comments about him emotion...just make sense. Chances are she hears a mean word like ive said here she will defend him. On paper, this guys a creep and ur daughter deserves better. On this message wall, ur a good mother for caring and addressing an issue. Best to you.

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A female reader, DenimandLace44 United States +, writes (8 October 2010):

DenimandLace44 agony auntI agree with the other mother's here. What Person12345 said really struck a chord when she said, " I'd imagine that's one of the hardest things about being a parent, having to watch your kids make mistakes and learn from them."

That truly is the hardest thing about being a mother. (or dad). I have a son-in-law that I love. He loves my daughter and is a great daddy to their son and makes her happy. I also have a daughter-in-law that I dearly love and who is a wonderful mother and wife. I don't like everything about them, but I love them a lot.

Now to son number 2. He is dating, (for 2 years now) someone whom I cannot hardly bear to even be in the same room with. She is little and cute, and has him hopelessly wrapped around her little finger. She is coniving, and he believes anything she says. Her family are troublemakers, but he believes she is "different."

It is a LDR, they see each other about every 3 months for 3-4 days. She spent week here in August. I was nice, and I hope she doesnt know how I feel. I am so afraid she will be my daughter in law before it is all over. And I am helpless to stop it. I have said my piece and I know there is nothing to be accomplished by saying more. So I watch quietly and hope for the best. I don't think there is anything else we can do.

My daughter was engaged to a guy at one time who was very controlling. I was able to say a little bit here and there, and she finally saw it for herself...but that doesn't happen everytime.

The problem with nagging, is they resent anything you say, and they just go ahead, (to prove they can).

I am looking ahead thinking that this may be my future daughter in law and the mother of my grandchildren~who I will want a relationship with.

Being a mother really is rewarding...I wouldnt take for my kids. But honestly there are times when it really sucks.

I think we should all just do what eyes did, and buy the tshirt. We deserve it!!!!! :)

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A male reader, ScottsCove United States +, writes (8 October 2010):

ScottsCove agony auntTime and exposure to a higher quality of men will solve it.

Don't preach just ask questions carefully and rarely.

If she is "in love" just make sure there is birth control happening. Do want this guy picking up your grandchild at your house like forever ?

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A female reader, person12345 United States +, writes (8 October 2010):

person12345 agony auntUnfortunately you have to let her make her own mistakes and discover these things for herself. It's all part of growing up. Making mistakes, getting your heart broken, etc... Unless he starts doing things that could be dangerous or tries to steal money from her or something, I'm afraid there's not much you can do. I'd imagine that's one of the hardest things about being a parent, having to watch your kids make mistakes and learn from them. The best you can do it just tell her your opinion.

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A female reader, eyeswideopen United States +, writes (8 October 2010):

eyeswideopen agony auntWell Mom, been there done that and still wearing the t-shirt. I have three kids, 2 of which are daughters. I watched the losers walk through my front door and watched the great finds go out the window many times. They are both now in their 30's and have settled down with husbands and kids and appear to be happy. One son-in-law is great, the other one bugs me but I think it's just me more than he. Motherhood can be a bitch can't it?!!!!!

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A female reader, followtheblackrabbit Cayman Islands +, writes (8 October 2010):

followtheblackrabbit agony auntI'm sorry to say there's not much you can do. You are NOT making a mountain out of a molehill, I know this guy's type. Your daughter will have to see for herself that he's no good and unfortunately, have her heart broken. As hard as it is, just let her figure it out and realize that the more you bash the boyfriend, the more she'll cling to him and make excuses for him and find it terribly romantic that they have a "forbidden love." Just let her know that you're always there for her and will always love her. Take her to the movies when she's home bored waiting on this loser. Urge her (subtly) to spend time with friends, host sleepovers, beach parties etc. In time, she might see this guy for what he is and run away (hopefully burning her tracks). If not and he breaks her heart first, be there for her and never scold/gloat/ that you were right. You're doing your job as a good mother and it will pay off :) When she's older, she'll remember how you were there for her. Best Wishes.

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (8 October 2010):

aunt honesty agony auntWell at the end of the day however hard it is for you to watch this going on am afraid there is not a lot you can do, if you tell your daughter that you dont want her to be with her boyfriend she is just going to rebel against you and push you away, so am afraid there is not a lot you can do here but support your daughter and if it does all go wrong for her then you be there to comfort her and not tell her i told you so. She is going to have to learn the hard way am afraid like so many other people and find out for herself if this guy is all the things you say he is. So am afraid there is not a lot you can do but sit back and let her make up her own mind.

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A female reader, blondebitch07 United States +, writes (8 October 2010):

blondebitch07 agony auntAhhh, I'm your daughter in this situation. With a concerned father. (literally)

He's tried talking to me about my relationship, tried telling me how things are going.

Most likely, we will RESENT you and do the opposite of what you say. Not always that we WANT to do the opposite, but were young, and stupid, and I think you might just have to let your daughter learn this lesson on her own.

It will be painful for you, and for her, but until she learns from this boy... I honestly think she will have many more poor decisions (I mean men), in her future. Maybe this one time, you should let her ride it out and learn from her mistakes.

Sorry if this is no help to you, just honest from 'your daughter's' perspective.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (8 October 2010):

I don't think you're overreacting here at all. You want the best for your daughter, and clearly this guy sounds like he isn't worth even a split-second of her time (or anyone else's, for that matter).

Being 23 myself and having listened to my mom tell me when guys are wrong for me earlier in my life, I have to say I took her advice, but only in the back of my mind. I didn't ignore her, but I also only privately considered what she was saying. Then, with time, I learned on my own that the guy was wrong for me and dealt with it myself. This is definitely a time in your daughter's life where "mom doesn't know anything," but that will soon turn into "maybe mom knows something about this after all."

There's a saying that goes, "We accept the love we think we deserve." Perhaps your daughter is afraid to get rid of this guy because she thinks he is the best she can do. If she's particularly stressed about school, her future, etc., her self-esteem might've plummeted recently, and her keeping this guy around might be the result of it.

Unfortunately, there's little you can do to help her if she doesn't want your help. But you can certainly tell her something like, "I am your mother, and I have life experience and dating experience. I know I would not like what this boyfriend is doing if I were in your shoes, and I'd unload him quickly. If you ever want to talk about it, you know I will be here." and then drop it. She knows how you feel about him, and nagging at her about how she shouldn't be with him might be making her want to be with him even more.

If she's of the disposition to accept it well, you might even tell her about your inquiry on this website. Without a doubt many others will post here with their insight, and maybe multiple opinions from not-Mom will help her see that she is being mistreated in this relationship and that this boyfriend isn't too good.

Best of luck to you!

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