Poor difficult child-I don't know how to help

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mog, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. mog

    mog Member

    Oh my difficult child still has feelings for his old girlfriend but she just wants to be friends. He keeps trying to explain to her that he has really matured over the time he was gone but she doesn't believe him. I told him that it is going to take time for EVERYONE to believe and that he is just going to have to show her. Even when they drive us crazy its hard to see them hurting. He really is trying!!!:D
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    If she only wants to be friends, nothing he does can change this until SHE wants this to change. He may well have matured, be absolutely marvellous now, no trace of difficult child - but she has moved on. He needs to as well.

    We went through this with difficult child 1, when he broke up with his girlfriend at age 16, after being together for 2 years. difficult child 1 was devastated, really upset because girlfriend imply dropped him from her life so suddenly. She tried to stay friends but difficult child 1 was very upset and did burn a few bridges here. However, later on they were able to at least talk in a friendly way.

    It took some months (maybe longer) for difficult child 1 to finally understand that this was a no-fault break-up, sometimes people just mature at different rates. And it's a common thing in teens especially, that the girls will mature faster than boys. difficult child 1 was still a child in so many ways, while the girl was looking much more to her future.

    No matter how close the kids were, they would have had different expectations of where the relationship was going. Sometimes these expectations don't match well. For example, a girl could see a relationship as permanent, with roses around the cottage door, while the boy sees her as someone he enjoys being with for now, but in five years' time? Who knows? He wants to travel, to meet other girls, to spread his wings a bit... or vice versa. And the kids can enjoy time together but simply not realise that these deeper expectations are there pulling them in different directions.

    In difficult child 1's case I talked to him about how girls mature at different rates. He was growing up as fast as he could, but sometimes relationships just run their course. It just happens tat way. Of course she cares about him and wants to stay in touch, but in her mind she needs something more than he can give right now. Of course in years to come he will be able to give thta bit more, but she can see that right now, he doesn't have it.

    If he ever wants to get back together with her, he has to let her go for now. Being able to see this, is part of the necessary maturity she is looking for. He needs to let her go. If he wants to stay in her life in any way, then at the moment friendship is all that is on offer. And frankly, friendship is the basis for all really successful long-term relationships. He needs to really develop his friendship skills in order to be more successful in love relationships later on.

    So it's either take what's on offer, or do without. For now. He needs to find the maturity to step back and wait. Give her time, give himself time. Shop around. Stay in touch with her if he can cope with that from a distance, because as she SEES the evidence for his maturity, she may (after she's done some comparison shopping) come back to him.

    Think how bad it would be, if she took pity on him now and got back together with him, went through the whole teen romance thing, got engaged, got married, had a couple of kids, and THEN she realised (or he realised) that there are some prize bargains in the next store that never got checked out?

    That's why teen relationships, for all their intensity, tend to be impermanent.

    Mind you, easy child began going out with SIL1 when she was 14 and he was 15. They broke up when he was 17 and she was 16, spent a few miserable months apart, then got back together. Then a year later, they broke up again. Spent a few more miserable months apart, got back together again. Stayed together for the next 6 years and finally got married last May. Still happy together, looking very permanent.

    The thing is, they needed tat time apart in order to mature, both of them. It so happened that they matured at the same rate and in the same direction, so getting back together was easy. But it doesn't always happen that way.

    difficult child 1 has slowly lost contact with his former girlfriend. She was a lovely girl, but I could see back then that her interests would take her down a different life path, and it has. Since then difficult child 1 met another lovely girl who was a much better fit for him, in terms of interests in common. The new relationship was far less a parental one (former girlfriend used to "mother" difficult child 1 a lot) and this relationship is much more equal. They got married just over a year ago. He looks back to how awful he felt when first girlfriend broke up with him and realises it was something he needed to have endured, for his current relationship to be so successful.

    Tell your son - his insistence that he needs to get back together, surely he's mature enough now? is a clear indication that he very definitely is not, he still doesn't get it. But he will, one day soon. And until then, he needs to accept whatever friendship is on offer, and give former girlfriend some leg room. This is the fastest way to acquire the maturity he still needs.

  3. mog

    mog Member

    Thank you.
  4. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Mog, honey, this is just something a mom cannot fix for their child - be it easy child or difficult child.

    That first heartbreak, that first crush of love is the most heart rendering for a parent to watch. AND there is nothing you can do but be supportive & encourage difficult child to seek out friends; stay away from the dating scene until he feels strong & more in control of his emotions or he'll be hit like this each & everytime during adolescence.

    Sending your hurting mom heart hugs tonight.
  5. ML

    ML Guest

    I can't imagine how hard this will be. I already hurt when manster tells me so and so doesn't like him anymore lol. I am so gonna need help with detachment as manster goes through all this. Thank G-d I found you all now!

    I and sending hugs to your hearting mommy heart too. You will get through this.