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    My daughter won't talk to me because I don't approve of her boyfriend.

    Asked Jun 4, 2012, 08:02 PM 13 Answers
    My 23 year old daughter won't talk to me anymore because she knows that I don't approve of her current boyfriend. I have done this because I knew him as a friend and co-worker before they were interested in each other. They were meeting secretly since they had I had a good idea I would not approve.

    He is 8 years older than her, has been with numerous girls including hookers on a semi regular basis and is has a huge anger problem. He was also a heavy drinker but seems to have slowed down when he is with her but drinks the same way when with his friends.

    Once I found out they were dating secretly he sort of tried to get my approval but I told him it was a little late for that and that I don't think they are a good match. That made him very angry and he seems to have successfully turned her against her whole family.

    We are from a South Asian ethnic background and family approval of serious relationships between friends and family is generally considered a tradition. I feel he betrayed our friendship by his actions and with all the other negative things I know about him I think he just 'trapping' my daughter in a relationship but she does not see anything wrong with him.

    What should I do? I don't want to lose my daughter but I also need to be frank with her about who she is seeing to warn her.

    Please help !

    Last edited by talaniman; Jun 4, 2012 at 10:11 PM.
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    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 51,631, Reputation: 10723
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    #2

    Jun 4, 2012, 10:16 PM
    You have warned her, now back off, and let her use her own good upbringing to finally see the truth, and deal with it.
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    C0bra_M3nace's Avatar
    C0bra_M3nace Posts: 1,296, Reputation: 223
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    #3

    Jun 5, 2012, 04:14 AM
    talaniman nailed it on this one.

    Parents raise their children teaching them wrong from right, but it comes to a point where you must let them learn on their own. We learn from our mistakes and if she must learn the hard way that he is not right for her, then so be it. She is an adult, and can make her own decisions, you don't have to approve, yet you can't really do much about it.
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    MeganMoo13's Avatar
    MeganMoo13 Posts: 51, Reputation: 3
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    #4

    Jun 5, 2012, 06:45 AM
    I agree with you that he doesn't sound great, but the fact that she was scared to tell you says something. She knew you'd react like that, and I think you should have given him a chance, which would probably make your daughter a lot happier. He may have messed up that chance relatively quickly but at least you would have given him it then had a direct reason to disapprove.
    Now if he messes it up, she may be scared to come to you and hear "i told you so".
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    rsfh2012's Avatar
    rsfh2012 Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #5

    Jun 9, 2012, 12:23 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by talaniman View Post
    You have warned her, now back off, and let her use her own good upbringing to finally see the truth, and deal with it.
    Thanks for the advice BUT what if she gets more seriously involved with this guy and starts considering marriage. What then? I know him way to well to ever accept him into the family !
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    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 36,894, Reputation: 5325
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    #6

    Jun 9, 2012, 12:45 PM
    The more you push against him, the more you will drive them together (so your daughter can "prove" you are wrong). It may kill you to do it, but welcome him into your home and give your daughter the freedom to realize he isn't the man for her without her having to be on the defensive. Like others have said, you've raise her a certain way with certain cultural and moral norms. Now depend on them and her good sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by rsfh2012 View Post
    Thanks for the advice BUT what if she gets more seriously involved with this guy and starts considering marriage. What then? I know him way to well to ever accept him into the family !
    The longer the two are together, the more relaxed he will be and will revert to his usual behavior. If she has your values and a good head on her shoulders and values herself, she will she see him for what he is. Trust her.
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    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 51,631, Reputation: 10723
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    #7

    Jun 9, 2012, 01:12 PM
    Your way isn't working, and costing you your daughter. Try another approach, like dropping opposition and being a good loving parent. Sometimes we have to let our kids go and find out the truth for themselves and just be there with love after they screw up.
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    Jake2008's Avatar
    Jake2008 Posts: 6,722, Reputation: 3460
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    #8

    Jun 9, 2012, 01:50 PM
    He has an anger problem, and an alcohol problem, and is a known womanizer according to you.

    I would be very concerned as well. You are in a position to know him better than most parents know their daughter's boyfriends, because you worked with him, and he was a friend of yours.

    Because you are in this position, knowing what you do, I too would have not approved of him, and good for you for telling him to his face as well. Your daughter knows how you feel, and unfortunately, she will have to find out the hard way, that your opinion was correct.

    The fact that he has a huge anger problem is something to seriously consider as far as how you go about maintaining a relationship with her. Angry men are jealous men, and jealous men will typically put a wedge between anyone who stands in their way. Just the anger issue is enough to be concerned about her, regardless of anything else.

    A mature man would accept that not everybody is going to like him, and would be respectful of parents, bide his time, and hope that things would come around when they really got to know him. A mature man would not encourage his girlfriend to sever ties with family and friends, or insist that she sever ties with family and friends.

    If opportunity presents, I would not comment on her boyfriend, or be critical in any way. She needs to know and accept that you may not approve, but you accept her decision. Keep the communication open, should this turn bad, and she needs you. Try keeping in touch even once a week with email just on general things, so that he knows you aren't going away, and she knows that you are not interfering or even talking about him.

    She will soon learn, if you are right, that he is not a good man for herself.

    She won't take your word for it, so settle back, and just be there.
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    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 80,488, Reputation: 7607
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    #9

    Jun 9, 2012, 02:11 PM


    I know this is your tradition, so you have a choice, either change your tradition or stop the relationship with your daughter.

    You can basically understand she is grown and does not need your acceptance, if she marries him he is part of the family even if you don't accept it or approve of it, he will be married to her.

    Or you can be there for her, so if it goes bad she may be OK coming back for help. And be social and keep your mouth shut about your opinion of him in the future.
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    rsfh2012's Avatar
    rsfh2012 Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #10

    Jun 13, 2012, 05:08 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Jake2008 View Post
    He has an anger problem, and an alcohol problem, and is a known womanizer according to you.

    I would be very concerned as well. You are in a position to know him better than most parents know their daughter's boyfriends, because you worked with him, and he was a friend of yours.

    Because you are in this position, knowing what you do, I too would have not approved of him, and good for you for telling him to his face as well. Your daughter knows how you feel, and unfortunately, she will have to find out the hard way, that your opinion was correct.

    The fact that he has a huge anger problem is something to seriously consider as far as how you go about maintaining a relationship with her. Angry men are jealous men, and jealous men will typically put a wedge between anyone who stands in their way. Just the anger issue is enough to be concerned about her, regardless of anything else.

    A mature man would accept that not everybody is going to like him, and would be respectful of parents, bide his time, and hope that things would come around when they really got to know him. A mature man would not encourage his girlfriend to sever ties with family and friends, or insist that she sever ties with family and friends.

    If opportunity presents, I would not comment on her boyfriend, or be critical in any way. She needs to know and accept that you may not approve, but you accept her decision. Keep the communication open, should this turn bad, and she needs you. Try keeping in touch even once a week with email just on general things, so that he knows you aren't going away, and she knows that you are not interfering or even talking about him.

    She will soon learn, if you are right, that he is not a good man for herself.

    She won't take your word for it, so settle back, and just be there.
    Thanks for great analysis and advice. I have already done most of what you have suggested in terms of keeping the lines of communication open. I send her short text messages during hockey games (we are both fans), talk to her at least once every week (she lives in another city now but he actually lives where I live - so it is a long distance romance for her) and send her greeting cards on birthdays, etc.

    I also make it a point to never discuss him in any way so there is no chance of bad mouthing him. I have repeated to her ONCE that she knows how I feel about the guy and there is no point discussing him again and again.

    You are absolutely right that my major concern is his anger problem combined with the alcohol issue. She claims that he has improved in this regard but admitted that the problems are not completely gone. She seems to think her love will change him for the better but in my experience he is just controlling his behavior during this 'courtship' phase.

    I think time is on my side as long as she does not make some long term commitment. For now I will bide my time and hope that good sense prevails.
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    saddenpuppy's Avatar
    saddenpuppy Posts: 2, Reputation: 2
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    #11

    Jul 23, 2012, 06:51 PM
    I'm sorry to hear about the strain of you and your daughter's relationship. I'm in a similar situation on the other end of the rope. I'm 22 turning 23. I recently told my parents about a guy I have been seeing behind their backs. Before you come to the conclusion that I'm siding her because of our age and situation, I'm not... I just want you to understand. When I told my parents about my relationship... it wasn't because I suddenly chose to, it was because I've thought long and hard when and how I was going to do it. I love this guy. I told my parents because I wanted to stop hiding how happy I am. I know their reasons because they are quick to judge, old-fashioned, and traditional minded Chinese parents. I know, your daughter knows, WE know... that you and my parents as well, are just looking out for us and want what is best for us. What you know about the guy is from a friend&co-worker perspective. What she knows him as, is love interest. My parents can't seem to accept the guy I'm with because of his race and the fact that he can't look or be Chinese (or background experience of one). We (your daughter and I) are not staying with these guys in spite of you and my parents. We are doing this because we are old enough, raised well by wonderful parents, and want to make decisions of our own. Yes, from your experience, he isn't a great guy nonetheless a good one. But people DO change, many times they change because they realize there's someone they're doing it for. You have to realize he could have changed everything because of the GOOD influences your daughter has on him. I'm not saying he's a good or bad guy because I personally don't know him, but neither do you because you never gave him the chance to prove anything to you. He tried by trying to get your approval and you shut him down without even acknowledging him as someone your daughter chose. At 23, she's not stupid to bring home a guy, allowing a guy to get mother's approval, if she didn't think he's a qualifiable boyfriend. Now that I mention all that is to be said about the guy because I've tried explaining to my parents who probably are in the same situation as you since they and I are not on speaking terms. I just wanted to give you bigger perspective than what you're thinking. Now, the guy has not "turned your daughter against you." She chose to do this, like me, because we want to have our own ground as ADULTS. Don't think that because we are doing this that it isn't hurting us. Because we are... at least I am, I can't fully speak for your daughter. I chose to currently not speak to my parents because they haven't tried to converse with me. What I mean by that is, every time we've tried to talk, it ALWAYS leads straight to my boyfriend, and how they DISAPPROVE DISAPPROVE DISAPPROVE. I've tried really hard to not argue, and I haven't. I'm sure your daughter isn't speaking to you because she feels there's no one to LISTEN and understand her view. What's the point of us trying to speak to our parents if we know exactly what's going to happen? We don't expect you all as parents to agree on everything you do... just like how you all don't always agree with the decisions we make (this for example). But we just want you guys to TRY and realize that it's our choice, and it's up to you guys who love us regardless or not. Stuff like this doesn't change overnight... We are happy, we want you guys to be happy for us even if it means not agreeing. Please don't take what I say as if I'm trying to defend her and bash on you as a parent. Because it hurts me to be in her position and it hurts me to see what you as a mother has to go through. I sit here, taking my time from studying, away from home (living at school), crying because all this isn't easy to absorb. There's not a night that has gone by where I don't cry myself to sleep worrying about my parents. There's even days where I wish that I didn't have to wake up... ever... because I WAS happy... and I can't fully be happy because I can't please those I love. True love isn't easy to come by, and we only have a set of parents. Of all things in life to choose, why is it that we MUST have the ultimatum to choose only ONE of those in sake of the other?
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    rsfh2012's Avatar
    rsfh2012 Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #12

    Nov 28, 2012, 01:47 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by saddenpuppy View Post
    I'm sorry to hear about the strain of you and your daughter's relationship. I'm in a similar situation on the other end of the rope. I'm 22 turning 23. I recently told my parents about a guy I have been seeing behind their backs. Before you come to the conclusion that I'm siding her because of our age and situation, I'm not...I just want you to understand. When I told my parents about my relationship...it wasn't because I suddenly chose to, it was because I've thought long and hard when and how I was going to do it. I love this guy. I told my parents because I wanted to stop hiding how happy I am. I know their reasons because they are quick to judge, old-fashioned, and traditional minded Chinese parents. I know, your daughter knows, WE know...that you and my parents as well, are just looking out for us and want what is best for us. What you know about the guy is from a friend&co-worker perspective. What she knows him as, is love interest. My parents can't seem to accept the guy I'm with because of his race and the fact that he can't look or be Chinese (or background experience of one). We (your daughter and I) are not staying with these guys in spite of you and my parents. We are doing this because we are old enough, raised well by wonderful parents, and want to make decisions of our own. Yes, from your experience, he isn't a great guy nonetheless a good one. But people DO change, many times they change because they realize there's someone they're doing it for. You have to realize he could have changed everything because of the GOOD influences your daughter has on him. I'm not saying he's a good or bad guy because I personally don't know him, but neither do you because you never gave him the chance to prove anything to you. He tried by trying to get your approval and you shut him down without even acknowledging him as someone your daughter chose. At 23, she's not stupid to bring home a guy, allowing a guy to get mother's approval, if she didn't think he's a qualifiable boyfriend. Now that I mention all that is to be said about the guy because I've tried explaining to my parents who probably are in the same situation as you since they and I are not on speaking terms. I just wanted to give you bigger perspective than what you're thinking. Now, the guy has not "turned your daughter against you." She chose to do this, like me, because we want to have our own ground as ADULTS. Don't think that because we are doing this that it isn't hurting us. Because we are...at least I am, I can't fully speak for your daughter. I chose to currently not speak to my parents because they haven't tried to conversate with me. What I mean by that is, every time we've tried to talk, it ALWAYS leads straight to my boyfriend, and how they DISAPPROVE DISAPPROVE DISAPPROVE. I've tried really hard to not argue, and I haven't. I'm sure your daughter isn't speaking to you because she feels there's no one to LISTEN and understand her view. What's the point of us trying to speak to our parents if we know exactly what's going to happen? We don't expect you all as parents to agree on everything you do...just like how you all don't always agree with the decisions we make (this for example). But we just want you guys to TRY and realize that it's our choice, and it's up to you guys who love us regardless or not. Stuff like this doesn't change overnight...We are happy, we want you guys to be happy for us even if it means not agreeing. Please don't take what I say as if I'm trying to defend her and bash on you as a parent. Because it hurts me to be in her position and it hurts me to see what you as a mother has to go through. I sit here, taking my time from studying, away from home (living at school), crying because all this isn't easy to absorb. There's not a night that has gone by where I don't cry myself to sleep worrying about my parents. There's even days where I wish that I didn't have to wake up....ever.... because I WAS happy...and I can't fully be happy because I can't please those I love. True love isn't easy to come by, and we only have a set of parents. Of all things in life to choose, why is it that we MUST have the ultimatum to choose only ONE of those in sake of the other?
    Sorry for the late reply but I did not login to this website for some time. I think I understand your situation and sympathize with it. You are right in thinking why do you have to make this choice but that is the way it is in life. I know you love the guy but also remember you have loved your parents a lot longer and it would be a shame to lose that relationship - but that is decision only you can make. As I told my daughter, 'you are an adult and can make your own decisions - but that does not mean I have to agree with them'. And in that case if there are consequences for our relationship - she has to live with it since SHE is the one making the decision. Just like she has a choice so do I.

    In my daughters case I have since opened up a line of communication and we text each other at least a few times a week now. I make sure we NEVER talk about the guy and just about normal things that are going on in our lives. I know that she still feels the same about the guy but I get the feeling they have slowed down a bit - maybe she is sensing that this thing is not going to work out. You see my main concern with him has to do with his attitude and morals. He was a good friend of mine and knew I would be creeped out with his advances towards my daughter. But he did not care and went on pursuing her even when she initially resisted his interest in her. So he carelessly ended our friendship for his own personal satisfaction. Secondly he is a Pakistani muslim who claims to be not religious and has convinced my daughter as well that religion is bad. He is slowly converting her to his opinions and I find that very disturbing. I don't want her to have to convert to his beliefs but that is a possibility if she wants to stay with him. She has lost all her ambition and drive and just wants to be with him to be happy and has picked up a 'victim' mentality that is surely destructive in the long run. . But I think this happiness will be short-lived and do not want her to go through this pain once she realizes what the future holds for her. I have raised my kids to be liberal and outgoing but I had hoped they would practice caution. I am just keeping the lines open to her and hoping that good sense will prevail - otherwise I will lose my daughter!

    Good luck with your situation and I hope things work out for you.
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    saddenpuppy's Avatar
    saddenpuppy Posts: 2, Reputation: 2
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    #13

    Feb 23, 2013, 01:03 AM
    You're right; sadly, it's life. We've all made hard decisions in life. You're daughter was raised well. She learned to make her own decision and knows the consequences. Since you're a mom, I know it feels like she's betrayed you a little. Especially since you gave her life and offered her what you thought was best for her. Deep down, this man took your baby girl away... changed her ways and made her a different little girl than the one you once had. You can't fully change someone's religious beliefs, I think it's more of a spiritual connection she would have to find. You shouldn't worry too much about it. I'm buddhist and my boyfriend is Roman Catholic, even if I marry through church with him, I wouldn't convert. If your daughter is faithful to her religion she wouldn't change it, maybe make a way for both religions to work.

    Whether her situation turns out as you predict or not... I can see you still love her unconditionally even though not talking to her because of guy is quite conditional. At least you still have open arms for her to come back.

    Things have been worse on my terms. My parents are rather closed-minded and stubborn about who I see. This guy has been nothing but a wonderful boyfriend for the past 5 years. But they refuse to acknowledge he's alive. They've never met him/seen him. But they swear they know how he is. I love my parents but their ultimatum is out of line. If they don't come around (which they've already threatened they won't), sadly... they'll lose their only child. Their choice to disown (and remove all ties) me if I ever move out/ marry him obviously gives me no choice does it? :/ I have to feel miserable for them to be happy. I don't think I can live my entire life that way. Even IF one day I don't marry this guy, if I broke up with him now because of the stress my parents are putting me through... I would resent my parents for not letting me learn/ not letting me understand pain&love. In the back of my mind, I will always look back on this point in time and feel as though maybe something could have happened (maybe a better path/life).
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    rsfh2012's Avatar
    rsfh2012 Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #14

    Sep 18, 2013, 12:09 PM
    I feel your pain and hope things work out for you one day. In my case the situation with my daughter keeps swinging between good and bad. She is still interested in this guy and he in her, so our relationship has been strained now for 3 years on...

    Now she is thinking of quitting her job and moving in with him... I really don't know what to do anymore. I am tempted to give up and say 'do whatever you want' but will break off my ties because I cannot stand the guy and he will cause her trouble down the road. I cannot stand by and watch it. I knew him from before and he has many issues that will not allow me to accept him. The worst being that he used to regularly hire 'professional' women to satisfy his needs with some of his married friends. I am afraid he will likely do the same after he ties up with her after a while.

    QUESTION: From your point of view, should I cut if off with her or stay in touch for when she needs me. In the meantime I cannot meet her while she is with him without it being unpleasant for both sides. Please advise.!

    Desperately needing help...
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