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daughter in abusive relationship? (Page 1)

My daughter is 16, a junior in high school. Her boyfriend is 18 and dropped out last year. He went to night school and recently received his diploma. he does not work and had his license taken away. My daughter drives him around everywhere and buys him food and gifts. She gets good grades and has 2 part time jobs. She no longer hangs out with her friends (male or female). He doesn't like her hanging out with other guys without him. He goes through her phone texts. She only hangs with him and his friends who also have no goals or aspirations in life. She is definitley planning to go to college.
My main concern is that I think he is controlling and keeping her away from her friends. I know he has said mean things to her and has tried several times to break up with her because he says he is "unstable" and she can do better. He's got quite a history - when he was nine months old his father, who was very unstable, came home from out drinking and doused his mother with gasoline and set the house on fire. His mother died, his older sister who was 12 at the time got him out of the house in time. His father has since been in jail. His Aunt and Uncle took him in and he grew up believing that they were his real parents until he found out the truth at age 15. Since then, he has gotten into trouble and been quite rebellious.
I think my daughter wants to "fix" him and says the good times far outweigh the bad. She knows we don't approve of the relationship - she gives 95% he gives maybe 5%. She deserves better. We would never forbid her to see him as I know that would backfire but I'm afraid that things could escalate between them. She says he has mood swings and anger issues but she just deals with it and knows it will get better.
What can I do? I don't want her to be hurt emotionally or physically and I am so worried.
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replied May 28th, 2009
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hello this is typical of an abuser. my heart goes out to you and i can only imagine the pain and worry that cloaks around you. this is how it starts with breaking away from friends, and your right he has control over your daughter.
this is good that you have picked up on this and the hardest part is all you can do is be there for her as you have done throughout her life.
its the old senario if you say don,t go near the more she will turn towards him. it could be she is also confused as when i went through this i never picked up on things as you don,t when you love someone.
this behaviour of his concerns me and his mood swings and from what you describe of his home life he may also be confused. your daughter will think she can fix him but unless he has had councelling for his own past this will happen.
I wish i could wave a magic wand for you but all i can say is be there for her.
the probability is high that she is already emotionally abused.
we are here anytime to listen to you and you are doing everything you can at present.
keep us posted on this and watch for replys from other members here.
my thoughts are with you.
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replied May 28th, 2009
wow your message was hard to read because you have truly validated my concerns. I will definitely reiterate to her that I am here for her and try to support her as best I can. I'm really sad. She's always been so strong and seems to have always been so self assured.
I will definitely keep you posted and thank you so much for responding.
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replied May 28th, 2009
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we are always here to support you and your daughter. you are strong and will get through this difficult time.
i came through it and had my family to support me too but it was hard when they never knew the reality of living through it.
here we all understand and thats why i joined as a supporter.
you will worry but if you need to talk to us about anything just post a message.
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replied May 29th, 2009
I was thinking maybe I could print one of the posts on this subject matter and have my daughter look at another person's situation from the outside so maybe she can compare it to her own and see that what's going on is not right and where it can lead to?
Do you think that might be a good idea? She tends to just shut me down if I talk to her directly about him.
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replied May 29th, 2009
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hello as you can see and probably reading alot of situations to what you are going through in this forum its worth the try. there are so many like you and sometimes its good and you can pick up on other ideas. people tried to tell me and i was in denial i just put it down to friends not liking who i was dating so i lost them. something along the way will click with her and she will say enough is enough but its a mistake you need to let her make and learn from.

this is never an easy situation to deal with and when its your loved one its worse. your motherly instinct is too protect and its frustrating as you can,t reach out to her. you can try but will she not also react knowing that you have been discussing her? your daughter at this time is in denial she is in any harm so need to be careful that you don,t push her the opposite way.
stay strong and be positive hard as it may seem and keep remembering we are here to support you too.
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replied May 29th, 2009
that was in the back of my mind - the fact that she would be upset that I was talking about her. I texted her earlier and she said he was mad because he saw old pictures of her and her ex on her myspace (which she never goes on anymore she uses facebook) and now she wont answer her phone. this completely sucks for lack of a better word. I worry costantly when she's with hin like now. I'm just going to stay positive like you said and hope she sees the light. Thanks I know I'm posting a lot but it helps.
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replied May 29th, 2009
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post as much as you like thats why we are here. i joined this site to get advice on my longterm pain and before i knew it a whole world was open to me. i now have become a supporter as many on this site have. we all have endured lifes ups and downs and can relate to so many problems as we have experienced them. I spend hours on here giving advise and love it. When things get to much and the world seems huge we all on e.health forum are one big family and welcome you. The world that was once huge is now small and we are always here.
you need our support as you are the one having to bare the heartache of this difficult situation.
you will at some point get other members giving you advice so watch your post for other replys.
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replied May 30th, 2009
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she is so young!
if you tell her she cant see him, then she would probably sneak.

she's going to change b/f like she change her underwear. just hope that this doesnt last too long.

my son is only 13, and i am submission in nature, i can be very strict when it comes to disrespectful friends. i always talk to him about a person's character, peer pressure, and hanging out with the wrong crowd.

you are still her mother, and you make the rules of the house. if it gets to bad, i would have to shut it down.
you have to constantly talk to her, not nagging.
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replied May 31st, 2009
She actualy stays in relationships for long periods of time. Her last boyfriend, who we loved and was great for her, lasted a over a yeaer. and now she's with this one going on 7 months and I honestly thought it would have died out sooner but hasn't. He has never been disrespectful to my husband or I (at least not to our faces) so we can't really use that. I will talk to her more though. Thanks and I'll let you know how everything is going!
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replied May 31st, 2009
There's a book titled "Helping her get free: A guide for families and friends of abused women" that you ought to be reading. This book will help guide your behaviors. I am learning firsthand just how powerless *I* am with someone I love who has gone back to her abuser. You will find that you cannot change their course for them, that you cannot change their feelings. Showing her this information here would likely cause her to become angry and to minimize what she is going through in order to prevent others from being concerned I think. I know that my friend has stated that she might reveal the abuse again if it occurs, this to me is incredibly heartbreaking and I wouldn't wish that on you. Make no mistake, from your description your daughter is indeed in an abusive relationship. Hopefully she will find her way out and not allow herself to be sucked dry. Getting off to college which will be an entire new world to her will likely solve this I think - I know many people I knew changed dramatically when they left for school. He will attempt to block that, to not lose his playtoy. Do whatever you can to make sure she gets to school and hopefully someplace with some distance. Short term that's the best thing I see going in your case, pray he doesn't get her pregnant in the meantime to chain her down. Child bearing seems to be one of the ways these monsters latch on.

Good Luck to you and your daughter.
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replied June 1st, 2009
Thank you I will definitely get the book. Anything that may help I'm all for. I appreciate everyone's support it does help. We'll be going over possible college choices this week - at least she's still gung ho on going and always has been. I'll definitley be concentrating on that. Wish me luck!
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replied June 1st, 2009
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I am 17. I was in a relationship like this. I was way too far into it to admit that I was in a horrible relationship. The only person that knew I didnt want to be with him was my twin sister. If she has a sister or someone around her age to talk to, thats the hest way to find out what is really wrong. Its pretty bad, but my step dad went out and found out he was cheating on me, just to show me how disrespectful and wrong for me he was. I knew I wasnt happy, but I didnt know what to do. He would spread rumors and everything if I dumped him. Your daughter may feel the same way. Introduce her to friends, take her out to her aunts and "accidentally" have a cute nice boy pop up! Let her see other people, and how a relationship should be. But of course, if the boyfriend found out he would be furious. Its just, you have to take these big steps to make her realize that Love is not what he is showing her. He is using her and all she is to him is something he has control over. I wish your daughter the best of luck. I know that she will be ok. I know I was. And going through the relationship I did go through, just made me stronger and only wanting what is best for me. I let myself stop being pushed around, and did finally, what made ME happy.
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replied June 1st, 2009
I am so happy that you are out of the bad relationship and you sound so self-assured now. You should be very proud of yourself as I know it must have been hard. i can't tell you how many times I have hoped and prayed that he would cheat on her so that she can see its not a healthy relationship. I'm always pointing out cute guys to her and she just laughs it off. I don't think she's at the point that she wants to break up with him but feels scared to - I think she truly believes she loves him and is helping him. Hoepfully that will change. I have emailed our local domestic violence center for advice and plan on going in by myself first for counsel and advice. Wow talking face to face with somebody is going to make it all that more real but it must be done. i'll let you all know how it goes!
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replied June 1st, 2009
Active User, very eHealthy
My daughter was in a relationship like this. He was a rebound after a breakup with another fellow, and this guy was a real loser. He took advantage of her at every corner. She was living with a girlfriend, and he bounced in with them, never paid for anything, and used her like an old shoe. He didn't work, but she did, and always gave him money... even bailed him out of jail once or twice. I fought with her tooth and nail at first, but the more I did, the more determined she was to stay with him. Her looks started going down hill, her friends, who hated him stopped coming around, and she was working only to pay his bills, so I told her that if she wanted to stay in the gutter with him, that was her choice. He was only going to drag her down, and would never change. I told her we would not be a party to it, that she could do what she wanted, but he was not allowed at our home, and if she got in a jam with him, she would have to suffer the consequences. Believe me, it broke my heart to tell her this, but nothing else we did was working. So we went on our merry way, and let her see for herself what a user and abuser he was. I rarely called her, just let her go with it. She soon saw for herself that there was no hope for that creep. While my husband and I were vacationing, she phoned us to say she wanted to move back home, and was dumping him. I said fine, that we were glad she finally saw the light. She has now been happily married for over ten years to a nice man, who treats her great, and they have a son. Tough love is one of the hardest things a parent will ever do, but sometimes it's necessary to make these kids see the light. No more fighting, just let them know if they want to be in control of their own life, they will have to deal with whatever aftermath comes with it. We really don't have many other choices. Be there for your daughter, but let her know you are not going to be a party to her being abused by him. She needs to have more respect for herself, because she deserves better, and while she is wasting her time with this loser, all the good men are finding other girls to marry. Good luck!
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replied June 1st, 2009
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Yeah. I was like that, laughing off every cute boy. I really liked this boy named Cory, who I am with right now, had a crush on him since 8th grade, but then the controlling guy I was with, wouldnt even let me talk to him. He made me feel so worthless. I bet your daughter has low self esteem. thats probably why she laughs off every cute guy. Her boyfriend probably makes her believe he is the best she can get, which is hardly true. He is simply in fear of her leaving him, so he will make her feel ugly, so she thinks that he is all she can get. Make sure you let your daughter know how beautiful and loved she is. It helps alot. She will not feel so low.
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replied June 2nd, 2009
OK I know its time for some tough love I just have to learn how to do that while also making her feel loved and supported by us at the same time. I think I understand but I have an appointment to talk with a professional tomorrow for more advice on just how to proceed. My sister-in-law was also in a similar relationship and she says the same things you all are saying. My daughter respects and likes her so I may have her talk to her as well. We'll see how it goes.
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replied June 2nd, 2009
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Milmom, It is heart wrenching when we have to watch our children make mistakes and learn lifes hard lessons. Bottom line you are still the parent and if things get to a point where you feel your daughter has taken more on than she can handle then step in. No we cannot control who are children see but we dont have to make it easy for them. They are still children. Its an icky situation to be in. You can alienate your daughter if you handle it wrong. My advice is start setting up one day week maybe a Saturday? Anyway let her know that day is particularly set aside for mother daughter time. Go shopping, watch a movie, walk in the park.....Find something where you two are connecting. Talk to her about your concerns without coming across demeaning. Is this her first older relationship? Also, it would be wise to make sure she is taking precautions against becoming pregnant. Let me know how things are going.
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replied June 25th, 2009
I so understand what you are dealing with, my daughter is 15 and her boyfriend of a little over 2 years is almost 18. I have been searching the internet for information for weeks. He is very controlling and he has anger issues, his dad is in jail and his mother lost custody of him years ago, he has been bounced around from family member to family member for years I know he does not feel wanted by anyone and I do understand, but I try to tell my daughter she needs to leave him he is nothing but trouble. This year in school he was still taking some 9th grade classes and some 10th grade and he is almost 18, he will never graduate. He gets mad at her if he talks to any other guy. They break up all of the time, but they always get back together, and I am like you I know if I tell her she cant see him she will do it anyway and then things will just get worse. The first 8 months they were dating I did not even know they were dating. When he was living with his last set of relatives things were a bit better, but the rules were too much for him so things went down hill now he lives with someone who really just gives him food and shelter. Oh and last month I got the text that said I think I'm pregnant, thank goodness that was not true. I'm like you how do I convince her to get this loser out of her life....
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replied June 25th, 2009
Active User, very eHealthy
You can sit her down and just ask her to think about what her goals are for her life 5 years down the road. Then tell her to take an unbiased look at her boyfriend and the way he lives his life. Ask her if she can imagine a life with this guy 5 years from now. If she is honest, she will be able to admit he isn't the greatest catch in the world, and she can do ALOT better. Girls feel sorry for these kinds of guy and want to mother them. They think they can fix them. They can't. He'll treat her later like he treats her now, only worse. Sooner or later most of them wise up, as long as you don't badger them about it. Just make sure she has birth control. Heaven forbid she should get tied to a loser for the rest of her life. Good luck.
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