My daughter has been dating the same guy
for a year now. While he is very nice, he has had his share of issues.
He moved out of his house when he was 15 because he didn't get along
with his step dad. He dropped out of school last year and was arrested
twice on minor charges. He is now 18 and working a full time
construction job and just purchased a car.
My issue is that he is in
constant need of help. My daughter and myself have helped him with
everything from posting bail to medicaid applications to finding cheaper
car insurance. He got in over his head with this car, even though I
encouraged him to find a car he could pay cash for. He has called in
sick to work so many times that he may not have a job much longer. I am
all for helping someone that needs help, but I feel like she is now
enabling him. I will still help him if he comes to me, but not
financially. She works a lot even though she is still in school, and
never has any money which tells me that she is supplementing him. I
don't want her to be taken advantage of.
My husband thinks the guy is
total looser and does not want him around. It has caused many, many
fights between us because she is never home when he is here. When he is
out, they come here for dinner. I have a very good relationship with my
daughter, but she wants me to like this guy so much that she will not
tell me the negatives or ask my advice when he does something to upset
her. She has a few girl friends, but fewer than she did before they
started dating. She has dropped all extracurricular at school (she
used to a cheer leader and very active in school clubs) because she is
working so much and he is taking up so much of her time. He will not do
anything without her help ( I think this is a self esteem issue.) He
has a lot of self esteem in dealing with other kids but is very
uncomfortable around most adults.
My question is, how do I convince her
to stop giving him money and how do I convince my husband that his
actions are very immature and that it is he (and not the boyfriend) that
is hurting his relationship with his daughter (and me).
You are so not going to
like my answer. You really missed an opportunity to teach your daughter
what healthy appropriate boundaries were in a relationship when you
joined into this co-dependent relationship.
I don't know if you
thought helping him was somehow emotionally supporting your daughter but
you were wrong to post his bail and to become this involved in his
life. She may have lost interest on her own or realized that her
relationship was not remotely healthy if you had not become so
involved in this situation.
I would have backed off and just
focused on her and her behavior and consequences for her behavior. I am
wondering if you confused pity for compassion in this case. Let's look
at the list.
You says he is very nice.
1. he left home at 15
2. dropped out of school
3. Two (2) arrests on minor charges (what were these charges)
you help him with bail and filling out papers he should be filling out
on his own or seeking assistance from the agency he has to turn them
5. He is in debt (money problems)
6. He calls in sick to work and isn't responsible
doesn't just sound immature it sounds like he has issues with authority
and is narcissistic. She will probably marry him and end up supporting
him for the rest of his life.
Help people who want to help
themselves. Someone who is working and trying hard and has financial
difficulties is deserving of help. Men still make more on the dollar
than women so he has an advantage in any job he goes to work for and his
problems are all of his own choosing only he doesn't have to face the
consequences because he has two women who feel sorry for him and are
enabling him. Where do you think she learned this behavior?
with your husband. I wouldn't want him around either and I bet
eventually she would have figured this out when she was meeting with so
much disapproval from both of her parents. Support her decisions when
she is making health decisions and tell her when she has made a decision
that is not in her best interest. So she gets mad! Part of parenting is
being there for your kids and that means being honest and real with
them. Risking their anger when they don't like your answer. I bet in the
long run she has more respect for her dad because he knows she doesn't
deserve this treatment.
If this guy loved her he would be
treating her well and wanting more for her. He would be concerned about
doing more for her and wanting less from her. I would bet that if she
stopped giving him money he would move onto the next girl with low self
esteem who would support him.
Now having said all this where to
go from here. Spend time with your daughter ALONE. Focus on her and
having good times with her. What is past is water under the bridge. You
need to focus on building a good solid relationship with her and
building up her self esteem. She needs to feel so good about herself
that she dates guys who will show her a good time and respect her! Same
for your husband tell him to stop focusing on this guy and just focus on
her. Find time even if she will only give you moments to just be with
her having fun and LISTENING more than you talk. If you do this slowly
things will turn around. Please do before children come into this
relationship and she really has her hands full.
M Kay Keller