Need help adult daughter wont talk to me.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by dotty, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. dotty

    dotty New Member

    My daughter is almost 22 .We've never had the best relationship.Whenever I tried to give her good advice she would always do the opposite of whatever I said.probably just to prove me wrong which didn't happen often.She's been with her current boyfriend almost 2 years and living with him the past 4 months.Needless to say I don't like him.He is disrespectful to me, has been in recent trouble with alcohol and drug abuse.he's 23 with many psychological problems.When she was living at home he would sneak in her room stay night leave before anyone woke up til he was caught.I can accept him;never will.She's been in legal trouble w pot since being with him as well.She's beautiful straight A student looking to b xray tech.I worry he will ruin that for her and I tried to talk to her about it.says she hates me and loves him.I try to call text or reach out to her and she won't acknowledge me or meet me for a cup of coffee.she is very disrespectful and swears it me calling me names constantly.Her dad and I still pay her school car insurance and cell phone bill.still talks to daddy and tells him she hates me and he's okay with this because he hates me too and our relationship is over because of the problems with my daughter.I'm crushed and cry constantly.this is not the relationship I wanted.She is beautiful and can have any wonderful guy she wants but she chose a loser pothead. the names she's allowed him to call me and the way she's allowed him to speak to me says it all I guess.she made the choice to be with him and keep me out of her life.her boyfriend has alienated her from all of her friends and family this is how he controls her.I see what he is doing but she cant. what do I do to get my daughter back? I've lost her in more ways than one. I don't even recognize her anymore. she's as cold as ice. Any advice please. I'm devastated.
  2. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Dotty,

    Hi and welcome to the board.

    First thing I want you to understand about the board family is that we are just that. And like any family you are going to get varying degrees of advice because we all have walked in different shoes at one time or another, but with this section of the board? Most of us have had it UP.TO.PAST.HERE (makes hand wave over top of head standing on tip toe) with our childrens behaviors. Notice I said OUR children's behaviors. Not most of us have had it up to here with their FRIENDS behaviors -which I'm sure if we took a poll - it wouldn't even register because we mostly focus on OUR kids, THEIR problems, and how WE react orbetter still - do NOT react to them.

    There is not really one simple solution, one cure-all for badly behaved kids. MOST of the disorders we're faced with each day are a cumulation of quite a few things. Some children come from homes where there are three siblings, two wonderful parents - both successful, both prominent members of the community - two of the three kids are just like the parents and then there's that black sheep kid that just does seemingly everything it can to prove to you aliens landed in your backyard and swapped babies at some point after it was born - and left you with a child you can't possibly parent; or parent anywhere near like you did the other two. That is frustrating for parents that already have success in their lives, in the lives of their other chilren and then have bad little joann. WHERE did we go wrong? What didn't we do with you that we did with the other two? Why are your sisters so successful and you love a looser pot head? There really isn't any rhyme in that logic. She is who she is. But admitting that is often harder for parents than it seems.

    Then there are families that are quietly dysfunctional - The Mother and Father may have had problems, not been the best parents but tried their hardest - and eventually didn't realize that their arguing and problems trickled down to the child's cognitive level, and eventually they divorce, and figure now that their problems are over? So should the childs problems be over. Even harder yet - are the kids that come from broken homes, divorced families with violence, drug addiction, abuse - and sometimes the parents are hurting so badly themselves or are actually victims themselves of a cycle of abuse that they don't see what or how their lives are impacting their childrens future. Sometimes they do, get them into counseling and STILL - the child tears the house apart like an F4 tornado.

    I also see kids that for years are quite, positive, good healthy kids and then high school hits and WHAM - you think your kid is on drugs, and booze -and guess what? Probably is. It's not unlikely to think that if your daughter is hanging out with a pot head that she may or may not be smoking pot or experimenting with drugs, but if she's under your roof? You're still her parent - and you CAN make some rules that stick - for your beneift.

    Why do I say YOUR benefit? Well in a nutshell - YOUR life - is (guessing you're about 40ish) 1/2 over if you manage to live to 80 years old right? I mean think about it for a minute. Her life at 23 is just beginning and she's CHOOSING to live her life - HER WAY. Notice I didn't say THE EVIL ROTTEN HORRIBLE BOY FRIEND IS BENDING HER ARM TO LIVE HIS WRETCHED LIFESTYLE - because - there IS something wrong with your daughter to make her think, or choose that kind of a man. WHAT is it? Only she could figure that out - and the only way she's going to figure it out - is either to stand up today and say "MOther you are right, I believe every single word you say - my life is CRUD and I'm going to therapy to find out why I choose LOOSER guys, so I'll have a happy life for myself, and I do NOT think that what you are saying is trying to controll my life in one little way at 23 years of age -I love you Mom for caring, thanks.' or....she's going to get a hard knock in the head one day - wake up, and realize that EVERYTHING SHE COULD HAVE HAD? Is gone. Then maybe just maybe she'll have someone in her life to say "You really need to figure out WHY you keep going for LOOSER guys....there is a reason your self ESTEEM (not your self confidence) is so low that you think HE is wonderful." a man that disrespects your parents, a man that introduces you to drugs, a man that has no future, no provisions for you, no job, no life......no ambitions. BUT in all of this - my words to you Dottie - are SHE HAS TO REALIZE - NOT you (you get it) but the idea that shes going to turn to you at this point and thank you for your advice is nill. NADA zip - zero.....

    So how do you or can you make this happen? Good question. ESPECIALLY since she's SO smart - and has already begun to play CONQUER and DIVIDE the parents. ie: DADDY I NEED, DADDY I WANT, DADDY MOM IS MEAN TO ME...DADDY BLAH BLAH BLAH. Yeah that's got to stop NOW. Daddy is your Husband and if he continues to help her, pay for her, get her, loan her.....he's only prolonging her misery and taking away her chances that your tough love program will work - because the way it works for us? BOTH parents have to make a UNITED front - and STICK TOGETHER on their decisions - and trust me - IT GETS WORSE before it gets better. WAY WORSE - so batten down the hatches....she's going to blow - trust me.

    Next - after a united front - The TWO of you should get into some therapy for family - and talk about your daughters behaviors and HOW to better solve issues - instead of - crying all the time, crying to him, talking or complaining to him about it....complaining to family, friends, co-workers - Eventually if you're doing that or have DONE it? No one is going to want to talk to you, take your calls and will flat ignore you - so if you get this therapist to talk to and blow it out your nose once a week - and RESOLVE issues instead of just COMPLAIN about them? It begins a series of healing - and progress. Again - I say all the time - if HE won't go - then you go and learn all you can. You may even learn MORE about yourself than you wanted to - but it's worth it in the long run - I swear it - I'm proof. I went in to prove that my x was ALL the problem in the world and came out 15 years later with a brand new plan, much happier personally and more enlightened with tons of patience I never had.

    The other steps you can take at this point - and I mean this from the heart - are TOUGHEN UP. Every time she sees you crying? She wins. She's not sitting somewhere feeling OH SO SORRY for Poor Mom....trust me. Not until she wants something THE NEXT TIME - will she bring up how badly she made you feel THE LAST TIME - and then she can really be a charmer can't she? Bet that horrible boy friend put her up to that! See where I'm going with this...HER personality isn't ALL his fault. And how YOU react to her or DON"T react to her is going to make a GREATER impact on her than crying. We cry because we feel hurt, we continue crying some times because maybe we'll be consoled or MAYBE we just feel so badly we need to get it out. Kids like ours? Can tune that out like turning off a radio. WHAT THEY CAN'T tune out - is......

    Effective communication - Learn how to fight fair. Learn what to say - WHAT NOT TO SAY - SEE OUR DETACHMENT 101 in the PE ARchives - it's wonderful short answers help a lot.

    NOT SUPPORT HER ANY MORE - as in - YOU ARE PAYING FOR WHAT????? OMG are you serious? Not any more - You'd better get a job and some Orbit gum for that filthy mouth. You're on your own - I'm taking the money I used to put towards your schooling and buying myself (something frivilous) and enjoying my life.

    LIVE YOUR LIFE - emphasis on YOUR - NOT HERS........she's 23 - she's going to make mistakes - she is GOING to make them HER way - YOU need to learn how to LET her. And when I say that I do NOT mean - DO NOT be there to support her when she straightens up - BUT while she's being RUDE? and OBSCENE and disobeying? WHY IN THE BLUE HELL would you want to keep doing and doing and doing and doing for someone like that? If she were NOT your daughter......but a person on the street that you took in? And treated you the way she does? HOW LONG would you put up with it? THINK of her like that for now - until you get a little stronger to deal with this. Because technically? She is NOT your daughter - YOUR daughter would not treat you like this - and she's in there somewhere.

    CUT HER OFF FINANCIALLY - and give her a move out date. YUP - write it down, put it on a contract - tape it to her door.........YOU'RE OUTTA HERE.

    WRITE OUT THE HOUSE RULES - and give her a copy - She can have imput - but limited......and consequences - like - MOUTHS OFF - (is she on YOUR phone plan? Well not after that - GONE)

    THEN lets see how she operates in her world with out all the accessories of MOTHER dearest. And if she goes to Daddy? He should now be on the same page of saying "YOu should NOT treat your MOther like that and until you begin to treat us nice sweetheart - there won't be any privleges for you. " AND NO SORRY- beacause neither of you should tell HER you're sorry - not for a long long time. Get out of that bad habit.

    THIS is tough love - and if you have any chance of getting to her? Unless she's willing to sit down in family counseling and triangulate with a therapist? I see very limited ways of ever having a relationship with her.

    You want her to behave, be nice, be civil? Get tough. Pretend like you don't care because right now? She knows you do. When you stop acting like you do? It's going to make her wonder. She'll try to push buttons but that won't bother you either - just like her - I mean it's working on you isn't it - she's cold as ice........and it's making you nuts. So give her an adult dose of her own medicine - but cut the purse strings and take the roof, the car insurance and anything else you pay for. YOU disrespect ME?????? This is what happens to you - and NOW you can get Captian marijuana to support you...and we'll see how long he likes supporting her in the fashion to which SHE IS accustomed. Trust it won't last very long .........he's living off you too - you just haven't figured it out.

    That's my advice - harsh as it is.......and It is ONLY my thoughts - others will be along here to tell you other things and give you other great advice - and from all of it - you can read over and get a plan together - but for now? I really think a first step would be - therapy. A professional that can help you level the playing field with a very adept player. and give you insight.....is going to be invaluable in helping you. and your husband and thus - your daughter and in a couple years or sooner - maybe you'll have a relationship you can brag about.....once again.

    Hugs to your hurting heart
    Star
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Dotty. Glad you found us. Obviously you need alot of support and I hope we can help. Have you reached out for help in your community? It sounds like it would help you to have a therapist to discuss these problems with in person. I really recommend it although I understand any hesitancy you may feel.

    Based on my experience you are fighting a losing battle. Sorry. I'm sure that's not what you want to hear. Many of us have btdt and the more you try to talk some sense to her...the further she will remove herself from you. Two of my daughters derailed in a similar way. One of my son (who truthfully was the one I never ever imagined not staying close to the family for life) has pretty much isolated himself from the family due to his wife's influence and refusal to share time with his family. Btw, two out of the three were very bright and unusally attractive...plus "connected" to the family unit.

    On the Board we very often talk about the necessity of detaching. It does not mean that we don't love our children. It means that we recognize that they own their choices and any possible consequences that result from those choices. I'm sure others will explain more about the process. It is painful but it is the best way to regain a health relationship in the long run. You won't find any magic answers here but you have a found a very caring supportive group. Welcome. DDD
  4. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Moderator Staff Member

    Hi and welcome to the board!!

    Now I hope that you are ready for some advice . . .

    Stop paying for anything for your daughter!! You do not pay abusers to abuse you and that is exactly what she is doing. If she hates you, then why are you paying for her school, car insurance, and cell phone? She is cursing at you with the phone that you are providing.

    I'm not clear on whether her dad and you are together. If you are still together, then he needs to support you and stop talking with your daughter while she is verbally trashing you and tell her that he will not tolerate it. If you are not still together, then let dad pay for her school, car insurance, and cell phone since he is her best buddy.

    I know that you love her but you are not getting love in return. If you daughter is living with her boyfriend, then she is considered an adult and treated as such. No financial support. Period.

    Personally, I would take a break from her. Let her know that you are breaking off contact until she can treat you with the respect that you deserve. It may take a while but she will figure out that she can't treat you like that anymore. In the meantime, you are being abused. Eventually, she will break up with the loser boyfriend and find her way back to you.

    You need to have the strength and patience to wait it out. She will cling to the boyfriend out of spite as long as you are pushing her to get rid of him. Once you stop, you may be surprised.

    I hope I didn't come across too harshly but I hate seeing parents being treated badly by their grown children. There is simply no reason that you have to tolerate that. One more thing . . . . people can only treat you like you let them treat you.

    {{{Hugs}}}

    ~Kathy
  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Moderator Staff Member

    Fabulous post Star, you've done it again, hit the nail right on the head.

    Welcome to you Dotty. I am glad you found us, but sorry you had to. I believe what Star and DDD and Kathy813 have already told you is lots of information in a nutshell. It will help you in many ways if you follow the advice that feels right, it's a very, very hard road, going against our visions of motherhood and parenting and of our dreams for our children, I know. Take a deep breath, read on, make a plan and stick to it. Get help, get support, get tools, get tough. We are all doing it too, you're not alone. Hugs and blessings to you sweet Mom, hang in there, it will get better.
  6. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Hello Dotty,
    You sound so down...it's no wonder. You've found a great place. If I were you, I'd heed Star's reply and buy that girl 2 packs of Orbit gum for her dirty mouth - one for her, and one for the boyfriend. That's just abuse, she's a full grown adult, and there's no excuse for that. Cut her off if necessary, and expect things to get uglier in the short term before they get better.
  7. MidwestMom

    MidwestMom Well-Known Member

    Hate to tell you this, but there is nothing you can do to make your daughter talk to you or respect you and it wouldn't surprise me if she is with a drug user because she is doing that as well. I had one son check out and nothing we did helped, so finally we just decided to treat ourselves respectfully, stop trying, and concentrate on ourselves and on those loved ones who do value us. Looking back, I realize that my son has a lot of problems that, like your daughter, did not show up until he was older.

    I think you need to step back and stop telling your grown daughter what to do (and, yes, agree that since she is living with a boy she is cut off financially). But don't voice your opinion about him...she already knows. Not worth fighting over. You will make her think that she and boyfriend are Romeo and Juliette! I don't like my daughter's long time SO, but I never said a word. Now SHE is starting to see it without my help. I knew she'd figure it out one day.

    Daughter's father sounds awful for listening to her talk disrespectfully about you. My ex and I don't allow that from our kids. Are you still married?

    WE are here for you and have been through the same stuff, so you are not alone anymore.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Moderator Staff Member

    Hi there. Welcome to our corner of the universe. You have already received some great advice and I agree with all of it.

    Once our kids become adults there is precious little we can do to get our kids to act the way we want them to. I wouldnt take her abuse anymore either. Since she is so enamored with Sir Potsalot, let him support her. She can figure out a way to pay for her life at her age.

    None of this is easy of course. We want to have these wonderful relationships with our adult children. I have found that once I did put my foot down and refused to engage in the drama that things have become better.
  9. dotty

    dotty New Member

    Thank you. It makes me feel better to know I'm not alone. I know what you are saying is true in my head; my heart just won't stop trying to get her back in my life. I feel like it's my fault and I did something wrong. She says it's all my fault. I'm not perfect. I've been riding her the last two years on this Bozo boyfriend of hers, but out of love. : (
  10. dotty

    dotty New Member

    I want to thank all of you for your honest answers. Deep down I know each and every one of you are right. I know what I should and shouldn't do in my head. My heart just can't accept the fact that I've lost her, maybe just for now, maybe forever. As for my husband and I, we are still "together" and married only because we can't sell our house and finances keep us tied together until that time. We fight constantly over our daughter. I tell him he can't give her everything and we must be united. He has his own ideas. He meets her for lunch, coffee, etc. She talks with him, answers his calls, answers his texts. I asked him to cut off the money supply until she promises to respect me, but doesn't matter how she treats me, she has daddy wrapped around her little finger.

    Funny I was a stay at home mom to always be there for my kids, never wanting to miss a thing, while my husband worked, traveled, and lived his life. I have three children. A son, 24, another daughter 17, and my middle one almost 22. I was there for every school function, head room mom, active in the schools and their classes, and helped them with homework every night. Sure, I wasn't a perfect mom. I made mistakes, but I did the best I could and none of my children will ever tell you I don't love them. They know it and each and every time in their life that they needed me, I was there, and they know that too.

    My daughter has changed since this boy entered her life. She has lost lifetime friendshps because others don't like what he is or what she is when she is with him, so I'm not alone in the way I feel about him. I've actually never hated anyone so much as this terrible boy who has alienated her from everyone who loves her. Sure I realize he is not holding a gun to her head, but she joined up with him right after a difficult breakup two years ago. He took advantage of her vulnerability and I believe he has her believing he needs her and possibly guilt and her hatred for me is keeping her there. I will admit to riding her constantly for the past two years with this boy, asking her what she sees in him, how she could be with someone like that who brings her down. She feels I am too involved in her life and too controlling, but I have never been able to control any part of this girl. No one ever has until this terrible boy. She seems in a trance that no one can break through. I'm told he wants to marry her; not sure what her feelings are on that. I pray that never happens. He has no family ties. His father is a drunk, wife abuser; his mother left him when he was 10 years old and had countless abortions in her life. He reunited with his mom a few years ago and he is more respectful to her than my daughter is to me. I can't help but feel perhaps her anger and resentment of me and the treatment I am getting now is my fault....that I somehow caused her to feel this way and hate me. I guess that is why I beg, plead, ask for forgiveness and cry for her to return home even if she still wants to continue a relationship with this boy. I just want to know she has a safe place to be away from him. She tells her dad that she loves this boy. I don't think what they have is love. She doesn't seem happy for someone who is in love.

    My husband says he is going to pay for the remaining year of school so that she has the tools to do something with her life. I will admit that I don't want to take that away from her because she is doing so well, but I don't even get a thank you. We bought her the car she has; a very nice car. We pay the car insurance still, all her school/books, and her cell phone. The boy pays the rent on the apartment. She pays for any other expenses or he does. He has a job, but is living off of money he won in a lawsuit when he was involved in a car accident that was someone else's fault. He broke his arm and was told he could "win" big if he sued simply because it wasn't his fault. He broke his arm and the insurance paid for all his medical, car, etc. and most people would be happy they were alive. Incidentally my daughter was in the car at the time of this accident. Fortunately she was not hurt. He had more fun with a broken arm than most do with both arms. He was in no pain and laughed and bragged how he was going to make out on this accident...and he did. No wonder insurance rates are so high with such frivilous lawsuits where people actually make out. In any event, it has been 24 hours since I've tried to call or text her. I never get a response, but I normally continually text her and ask to meet for coffee, or to call me, etc. Of course, she NEVER responds, and/or if she does it is always a very disrespectful manner where she swears and calls me names.

    Thank you so much for giving me a place to vent and get support. Is this my fault? Am I a bad mother because I rode her about this boy, perhaps a little too much? And actually drove her into her arms? Can this be the guy she will marry just to spite me because she knows how I feel? I worry all the time because I have no contact with her. I wonder if she's ok, if she's safe, if she's happy. I know nothing about her, her feelings, her life,and there is nothing worse than being totally cut off from a child you'd die for. Again thanks for your help each and every one of you. Please pray for me, my daughter, my family. God bless you all :)
  11. dotty

    dotty New Member

    Thanks for your advice. Yes I am still married, but only because we can't sell the house and are stuck in this living arrangement until it does. I was a stay at home mom and did all I could for my children; would take a bullet for anyone of them. They know I love them with my whole heart and was and always will be there for them when they need me. Perhaps that's why she feels she can treat me like this; she knows I love her unconditionally and thrashes out at me because she feels she can. No excuse though; it hurts me. I've thrashed out at her too because of what I see and know about the boy; not going to lie. That's probably pushed her closer to him and with my luck they will get married just to spite me. But I've apologized and begged and simply won't be acknowledged or forgiven and I don't feel I deserve this at all. My husband feeds into this process, so I don't really have a support group. My other kids are out living there own lives, so they don't really seem to care what she does. I wish my husband would be united with me and I've asked him several times to do just that; but he has his own relationship with her and says he's not going to rock the boat and have her not talk to him either, so he walks on eggshells. Whatever. I guess it's better she have contact me someone at least....just wish it was me. As for the drugs, I'm not stupid and am sure she has or is doing pot with the loser, and I worry the path she is taking with him. She continues to be at the top of her class with straight A's so I'm hoping that means it can't be too bad of a problem...at least not yet, but I can't help but worry what her future is with this guy. And yes, I realize he isn't putting a gun to her head, but he is very good at what he does...control and manipulation. And he's got her hypnotized. Pray for us.
  12. dotty

    dotty New Member

    Do you think we will ever have a relationship? Or is that over forever. I've never seen so much hatred in her eyes, and I simply can't understand why. All I ever did was dislike the boy she is with, but for good reason.
  13. dotty

    dotty New Member

    I like the idea about the Orbit gum :) Might just try that.
  14. dotty

    dotty New Member

    Thanks Kathy you are right. I just want her in my life so bad, but with this boy in her life, that's just not a reality I don't think. She's chosen him and turned her back on her entire family, except dad because he still paying for school and he enables her to treat me as she does. Unfortunately, nothing I can do about what he does. I've tried to talk to him and be united, but our relationship is pretty much over after two years of this, so nothing I say gets through.
  15. MidwestMom

    MidwestMom Well-Known Member

    You are not a bad mother. You love her. But I learned the hard way that not accepting or criticising a SO, even if you are right about everything, alienates our grown kids. You are assuming your daughter is a victim of him and he talked her into thinking this or that about him. She is 22. She made a decision to be his SO and she knows what he is and obviously loves him. Yes, I'm sure the idea makes you sick, but I feel it is best to keep thy mouth shut because it causes kids to bond even more with their SO and against you. I suspect your best bet is to say you support her decision to be with sO (I know, I know) and to act nice to him. Let HER find out about him. If he is that bad, she will. If not, she may even marry him and as long as she is with him, they will probably make you the bad guy. She must know you are trying to influence DH to cut off the money supply.

    One thing I learned from years and years of therapy: You can control only one person in this world: YOURSELF. You can not control your husband, your daughter, your cousin, your neighbor, anyone else. My son, who we adopted at six from Hong Kong, walked out of our lives. I sent begging, pleading letters followed by frustrated letters that were not so nice. I did not like his wife, but he is crazy about her. I finally, after five years, talked him into meeting me at his church and he was so arrogant and vile that I made my own decision to let him go and never demean myself with the pleading and begging bit again. Frankly, I didn't even like him, although I will always cherish our memories of when times were good. But he is different now and she has a lot to do with it.

    I have four other kids and I focus on them, my husband, and my grandson. I realize there is nothing I can do to "get him back." Nor do I want him to laugh at my attempts to try to see him. I need to be able to respect myself. If he wants a relationship, he will come to me. I don't expect it and it has been so long now that I am used to it.

    This is my .02, which could be wrong.

    I would stop begging her for any crumbs. I would stop telling husband what to pay for...you can't control it. It's a waste of time, no matter how upset you get. I would focus on YOU...maybe find a therapist to help you. I needed one. I still see one.

    In our case, son's wife is Chinese and culturally different and took a disliking to us right away due to things she perceived as slights (they were definitely differences in culture there) and there is nothing we can do about it. So it's pointless to try. There are so many other things to focus on that are good. You have two other kids. I would stop trying to get other people to do things you want them to do, no matter if it is out of love or because you are sure you are right. Bite your tongue and let it go.

    Hugs...I know how you feel. Hang in there and keep us posted.
  16. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    You're not a bad mom...stop thinking like that. What you want is a loving relationship with your daughter, but she basically "broke up" with you. Stop crying to her, stop begging. Take a step back and collect yourself. For whatever reason, your daughter sees you as a "trigger" - she may be spiting you, who knows? If her dad, who walks on eggshells and has a "relationship" with her can't make her come to her senses, then you certainly cannot make her come to her senses. Stop all the negative self-talk, first of all. Words have power, and do not allow yourself to think about yourself in that way. Model the behavior of a competent, self-confident person - even if it kills you! You must do this for yourself and your other kids. Look - if any man left you for another woman and both he and this other woman cursed you and disrespected you in such a vile manner, would you crawl on your knees to him? Of course not! Your may think your daughter is under a spell, and she may be, but the fact is, she must be held accountable for her behavior - you simply must respect yourself beginning now. Children are to honor their parents - do you call what she's doing honoring? A HEALTHY relationship goes 2 ways. Respect goes both ways. You're modeling victimhood for your other family members and that's not healthy. Please take care of yourself. If your daughter is a straight A student she is not stupid!
  17. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure how long this situation has gone on but it sounds like it has been lengthly enough to have changed the communication patterns enough that you've gotten into a "rut". Although I don't think I have ever suggested this to anyone before (and Lordy, I do hope it doesn't sound negative) perhaps it would change your perspective a bit if you try to "see" the current status. Hmm...I'm hoping it might help a bit with the beginning steps of detachment.

    Personally I'm big on using notes on paper because it is more consise than conversations with myself.
    Here's the experiment. On the paper write down her birth year and write down the year the problems began. Then draw a smiley face or write success or great or something positive so you can see that most of her lifetime everything has been good.

    Then write down the beginning of the problems. Make little notations like, met X, stopped coming home at night, moved in, stopped listening, cut off communication etc. Visually you will see that the majority of her life has been positive and you have every reason to feel proud of your parenting.

    You still with me, lol?? Here comes the hard part. Describe your shared time with her since she chose the loser bf. Try to estimate how many "fun" times you've had that did not include discussions about bf, unsolicited advice, perhaps flat out criticism of her choice, perhaps comments like "how to H can you throw your life away!" etc. I'm betting that the negative has far outweighed any positive. Let me insert right here that I have btdt when my adult daughter hooked up with a newly released convict. Don't want you to think that I don't understand. Darn it, BTDT.

    OK, here's the last of my unsolicited Motherly advice to another experienced Mother. Once you've taken a complete look at your situation, ask yourself what can I change. The answer is going to be "I can change me. I can find a new hobby, new volunteer work, new job that will alleviate my stress and give me something postivie to do and think about. I have said everything I can say to her and she has to make her choices. Otoh, if I become focused on other positive things then eventually she may choose my company w/o fear of criticism or advice giving."

    Regardg your DH, I would suggest that you not even engage him in conversations about her. It will be like a knife in your heart each time he shares "his" talks. You can not change him, either. Then as often as necessary I suggest that you repeat in your head the Serenity Prayer. It wraps it all up in one long phrase. It has saved my heart and soul thru many years of stress and pain. Hugs DDD
  18. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Sometimes we just have to vent. This stuff is so very hard. I agree, it is probably a good idea to pay for the remainder of her schooling to give her the tools she need to find a job (and to leave any inappropriate or even abusive relationship with a guy!).
    However, you do not have to put up with an adult child who treats you poorly. Try to look at it from a different perspective. What are you saying to her or even teaching her when you do? It is probably best to detach from her as best as you can. Certainly, remove yourself pronto from any of her abuses. Limit paying for anything for her (with the exception of her school). And when school is over, if she continues to treat you poorly, don't pay for anything for her. She should know better to treat people in such a shabby fashion now and certainly by then if she continues to treat you in such a manner after her parents have paid for her education...well, then that is all on her. If this continues, consider going to a Family Anonymous Meeting or see a counselor for yourself. You can let her know that you love her, invite her out for her bday and/or the the major holidays (IF and only IF she is acting appropriately), let her know that you love her, but that it is NOT OK for her to treat you in a shabby manner. Try to do this without showing your emotion. Perhaps in tme, things will change. Try to stay unemotional and find things you enjoy to do and DO THEM. Keep hope quietly on the back burner that things will be better in the future. It is up to her.
  19. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Dotty,

    First as others have said this is not your fault... she is an adult and she is making her own choices right now. That is part of being an adult, making your own choices. It is unclear to me if she has a substance abuse problem after being with this guy... if so then all the advice about not giving her money is very important.

    I am going to look at this from a different angle and that is the real possibility that this loser boyfriend is abusive. He sounds controlling and like he is trying to isolate her which is pretty standard for abusive men. I work in this field so this is something I do know about.

    So if we assume she is in an abusive relationship then tough love is not the answer in my opinion.. You need to get tough in dealing with drug/alcohol abuse but with abusive relationships it is different. The reason being one goal of an abuser is to isolate their partner to cut them off from family and friends, because it is much much harder to leave if you are cut off from your main support systems.

    It is also true that people need and want to make their own choices about who they are invovled with. It just plain doesnt work to talk to her about how her bf is a loser and why you don't like him. She wont listen to you while she is still in love with him... and any sense that she has to choose between you and him, will drive her closer to him and farther away from you. So my advice is don't talk to her about him at all. Don't bring him up and if she talks about him just listen and nod your head and say mmmm.

    If he is abusive, and my guess is that he is, then she needs to find her own way out when she is ready. It has to be on her time table. However it will be much easier for her to do if she knows she has the support and love of her family.

    My suggestion is to back off on any discussion about him or her relationship to him.... try to slowly build a relationship with her by going out for coffee... or going shopping or something. I agree you probably don't want to spend a lot of money on her... but I say keep supporting school especially if she is getting good grades. Anything that helps her feel good about herself will help her eventually leave this loser.

    This is going to be hard for you. Your tongue will get bloody from having to bite it so much.... but the important thing is to find little ways to connect with your daughter. If you can find a local DV program near you that has community services... see if there is someone you can talk to to get some support.

    TL
  20. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    You can do nothing about her choices. This is not your relationship, it is hers. As hard as it is, you have to accept that she is choosing this. Let her know you love her and then let her come to you. I have been there with this type of situation and I do understand how you feel. If you want to be part of her life, you have to accept her choices ... this does not mean you have to support her financially or enable her in any way ... it only means that you accept her free will. Start small. Invite her for coffee and keep the conversation light. Invite her to take a walk with you. Take her to lunch or a movie. Keep the door open, and maybe she'll come to you when she needs you.
    Dash