How Older difficult child's Cope With boyfriend/girlfriend Breakups?


New Member
My older girls rolled with the punches.

I know it's a little early for me to start worrying about this :frown: because my DS is only 6. But I have some questions.

If your difficult child has intense emotions (not necessarily reactions to go with them) and/or is prone to obsessions .. how did your difficult child (or difficult children you know) react to someone breaking up with them?

I worry a little about this with my son for when he's older. When I was a teen, I had 3 boys break up with me and I had a LOT of trouble getting over it. But I worry more about my son because he does have an intense personality (he is not violent but is quite easily saddened ... and quite easily pleased too though) ... and if he's interested in something he puts his "all" into it and then some.

Thanks in advance -

hearts and roses

Mind Reader
I think it's important to remember that just because he's a difficult child, it does not mean he will have trouble with break ups as a teen. He may be okay with it and be able to detach and move on fine. on the other hand, I think it's great that you're even thinking about the future in that regard. Something to keep an eye on for sure.

From what I've witnessed with my own difficult child and her difficult child boyfriend's - they do seem to have a tendency to be more obsessive with one another and there often are miscommunications between them. difficult child and her first real romance lasted for almost 2 years and it was a sweet relationship, though a little too attached at the hip for my liking. When things started going sour it was mostly due to the fact that they were constantly connected somehow. I mean, they would sit on the phone and have nothing to say and then boyfriend would get annoyed with difficult child because she wasn't talking and he'd keep asking her if she was mad at him!! Well, if she wasn't before, she'd wind up being mad then - lol - seriously p'ed off!

When the break up finally happened, it wasn't enough that difficult child told him that she just wasn't in love with him anymore - he needed a REASON - something for him to really latch onto and understand, but difficult child didn't have any other reason other than she simply didn't want to be his girlfriend anymore...she'd lost interest and liked someone else (or perhaps she was needing a little spark in her life and what better way to do that than to create a crisis?) It got so bad that and he called and called, probably like 22 times one evening. difficult child wouldn't even answer the phone - finally, we had H get on the phone with the boyfriend and try to reason with him to give difficult child space and time and to stop calling. Then he harrassed her on line, it was awful. He yelled at me, he sent me creaming fits in IM's. I finally had to call his dad and I was very surprised that his dad didn't know anything about it at all - talk about clueless. Anyway, within a couple of weeks he had fallen in love with another girl! And then, of course, difficult child was devastated!

I was just telling a friend of mine to not let his daughters go soft. Toughening them up for life's disappointments is a good thing. I mean, when they fail as kids, such as when their team loses a game, their dog dies, or they miss a flyball or the tooth fairy forgets to put a bill under his pillow - teach them to let those small disappointments to roll off. Teach them that life is filled with disappointments and that things don't always go our way. When they make a HUGE deal out of a small thing, teach them to not let it ruin their whole day. I did this with my easy child, but with difficult child her reactions to everything were so intense and it was such a long time before she was diagnosed that we over reacted along with her so I don't think we ever really taught her to 'get a grip', if you will.

When she doesn't get the attention she thinks she's supposed to from any number of people in her life, she resorts to making up or creating crisis that isn't necessary.

Again, keep in mind, however, that this isn't a definite of the things to come.


(the future) MRS. GERE
Unless the breakup is Rob's idea, he takes them very hard and for a very long time.


timer lady

Queen of Hearts
Let's see - kt must breakup up with her "boyfriends" 2 to 3 times a week. Anyone of the opposite gender who shows kt the least amount of attention is her "boyfriend" - the love of her life.

And each breakup is traumatic. There are tears, drama & a feeling of rejection.

I'd like to offer that your difficult child is still very young - now is the time to teach him to deal with disappointment. That life isn't always fair. Self respect & relationship skills.


New Member
JoG - thank you ever so much for your reply. I found it most helpful!

Fortunately, I know what the typical age-appropriate pitfalls are ... but adjusting to the difficult child stuff takes quite more than the typical parental effort as you well know.

I recall being like your daughter's boyfriend in that I needed to know the reason why I was broken up with! I did not torment though like her boyfriend - it just ruined my self-esteem for a while.

Part of my reaction may have been exactly what you eluded to. My mother always over-reacted to things and also went out of her way to absorb punches I should have taken and brushed away. It was my husband who straightened out my view of things - and we do exactly what you describe about facing tough situations in a calmer way. It worries me though that DS's not catching on to that as fast as the easy child's seemed to. Perhaps because he's a boy and he's only 6; perhaps it is part of the difficult child thing ... I still worry about it.

Thanks again -


difficult child is only 12, although he has "girlfriends". they talk on the phone and on line. He has had "breakups", didn't bother him. He is really to young. But easy child...OMG..First serious relation ship of two years ended. he was in college. he didn't eat for a week (he tells me now), He didn't sleep. He came home and I sent him to Texas to visit his best friend who just moved there.
(this girl went away second semseter for exchange student...My easy child cheated on her with her best friend) Here I was feeling so bad for him until I found out what he did.
After two years of being a roommate to this girl (5 roommates) and doing everything in his power to win her back, he moved home (2.5 hours away).
Second love of his life. Also two years. she came here to go to college. when she graduated she moved back to her home town 3 hrs away. Promised she would come every weekend. lol. that lasted about a month. She said she couldn't worry about him and what he is doing. (he bought it) then she would call and tell him she spent the night at a boys house..(stab him and twist the knife). i couldn't say anything because he would defend her. Then she would call, and call, and call. He finally told her the SHE broke up with him. It has been 10 months. He is still very sad and we try to avoid the subject. Still has her pictures up in his room.
I would much rather have a "dumper" than be with the "dumpee".
Very worried about difficult child. He just blows it off and continues on. But..I am very worried about his reactions since they are so intense. Never know if he is going to be ok, or if he is going to lose it. Surprises me at times.


Well-Known Member
difficult child shows anger toward them - loudly tells them what she thinks of them on the phone. Moves on quite quickly - much to my dismay!


Well-Known Member
"I did this with my easy child, but with difficult child her reactions to everything were so intense and it was such a long time before she was diagnosed that we over reacted along with her so I don't think we ever really taught her to 'get a grip', if you will."

That's it! Thanks for giving me a piece of the puzzle I've been missing. I have tried for years to "soften" the blow for difficult child. I've always allowed him to suffer the consequences, but then tried to console him when he did. At 19 he still expects that mom---she has moved on and detached. I see what my role was in all of this madness that he has lived!


Active Member
Our son had a what he considered serious girlfriend two years ago who then broke up with him - long story, lots of drama. He was terribly hurt and spiralled downward for about one year. Then...he met older girl (2 years older than him) and we really liked her. She is the mother of his son. He split with her the day before his son was born.

He is not currently dating anyone.


Active Member
When difficult child 1 broke up with his first girlfriend after two and a half years, he was devastated and began cutting. He spent all his time with the really weird kids at school because that way there was nobody around to remind him of girlfriend. We talked as much as he could handle it but it was over a year before he began to climb out of a suicidal depression. The pediatrician was very worried about him and upped his Zoloft. He is only now coming off it, years later.
When he broke up with GF2 they hadn't been an item for very long. They met on the film set so it was already a rather unreal romance. She was a psychology student at uni and was attracted to him for his brains, I think, as well as "exhibit A". She had a lot of problems herself and he only spiralled down for a few months with her. I think what brought him out of that depression was meeting GF3, who he was very good friends with for a few months before they got more serious.
I sincerely hope THEY don't break up.

easy child 2/difficult child 2 - BF1 barely counts, I think the guy wanted arm candy for the prom, nothing more (maybe "f*** buddy", but they never got close enough for her to find out). He texted her in class to ask if she wanted to be his girlfriend, she said OK, but they never actually got to go out together anywhere. On graduation day he didn't come and introduce himself and she tried to find him but he'd gone off with his mates. They were supposed to meet up later on at the beach but he never showed - he DID text her an apology, after she texted him with a "where R U?", to say he and his mates were drunk and stoned and playing video games so he wouldn't be turning up after all.
She tried to telephone him to talk but he was never available; finally she broke up with him via text message since there really seemed to be no alternative. She was not upset in the slightest. neither was I.
BF1 for real - a long streak of misery she met at an animé convention. They were an item for two years, we were the only family he'd ever really known but due to his appalling upbringing (what can you expect when a kid has to bring himself up?) there were insurmountable problems in the relationship. Unfortunately, it was his first major relationship and his mates objected. They were doing their best to break them up and eventually succeeded. He blogged all about her on their favourite, very public website the night he broke it off, and then regretted it a few days later and rang her to ask her to have him back. By then she'd read the blog and told him that since he clearly felt that way, he had made the right decision to break up with her. She was upset, but there was already BF2 in the wings - a good friend prepared to be just a good friend, but definitely hoping for more. Which he has got. He has since moved in with us. We prefer him to her first boyfriend (just) and so does she. Like a lot of first relationships, it taught her a lot, including how to NOT ever be a doormat again, and how to stand up for herself sexually. I'm not happy that she was sexually active but she now understands why it was not a good idea. He was very manipulative and would expect her to be totally accommodating sexually without making any concessions in return. What really hurt about the blog of his, and taught her to be prepared to say no, was after all she gave in to, he still blogged about their sex life in a very negative way. She was about to blog back but we stopped her. She is now very glad we did. In the process she told me a few things which reinforced for me that she should never get back with him again. Unfortunately for him, the eventual break-up hurt him far more in the long run as he realised just how badly he'd loused things up and just what he'd lost.

easy child broke up with her boyfriend (BF1 in my sig) twice. Each time it was ghastly. Each time they got back together after a few months, with him sending her maudlin poetry he'd written and her sobbing down the phone to him, or worse - me talking to him on the phone while she sobbed in the background. Apart from those two short break-ups, they've been together for over ten years.

I will say - the first serious girlfriend/boyfriend break-up is always the most tragic.
And also, the first break-up after becoming sexually active - same story.

The best thing you can do is raise your child to have sufficient self-respect to not be used by a partner, either sexually or emotionally. Teach them to respect other people and themselves and you've given them the best start you can. if you can postpone them becoming sexually active it is better, because it gives the relationship a chance to develop emotionally, instead of the kids just short-circuiting the whole process by jumping into bed together. When kids go straight to sex, they often bypass a lot of valuable relationship-building, and end up with a shallower relationship. The pattern then continues with each successive relationship. Some call it free love - I call it stupidity. The problem isn't really extramarital sex, it's sex too soon in the relationship. Way too soon. People say that being too free and easy with sex cheapens it, but it's actually the relationship it cheapens, with kids. You need to know how to manage a relationship first, before you move to the next level. Move too fast and you never learn. Or you learn much slower, over the next few years, if you realise your mistake.