View Full Version : possessive boyfriend
04-11-2003, 06:42 AM
I am starting to become very worried about my teenage daughter. She and I have always been extremely close. She is 15 and has been dating her 16 year old boyfriend for 12 months. He has very engaging ways and is reliable, trustworthy and totally devoted to her. The problem is that he is extremely possessive and doesnt seem to be able to control it. He has manipulated her mind, I think. they go to the same school, spend all day together and most of outside school as well. She has lost her group of girl friends, and has no other friends besides him. He used a great deal of pressure to get her to give up all of her extra-curricular activities, using vague threats of losing him if she didnt because he hated to share her. He hates it if she is friends with or even laughs with other people, although he is getting better at coping with that. He doesnt like her going to salons, wearing make up or even getting dressed up. He would flip if she went out without him. He uses psychological pressure on her e.g. he withdraws and becomes distant if she does anything that he doesnt like e.g. sit with someone else. She gets very distressed at this and so tends to act the way that she knows he wants. He is not talking to me at the moment because I invited a young girl to stay at our house for a few nights. He told me he was mad because I didnt ask him and also because he cannot bear to have someone else living at her home, even if only for a few days. He and I were very close but I now I am very worried about him. My daughter idolises him and it would break her heart if I attempted to split them up. Unfortunately all this is affecting my relationship with her because I am very disappointed in her that she is still treating him the same even though he is being very rude to me. Am I being unreasonable expecting her to tell him to stop behaving rudely toward me?? I dont really know what to do, whether to start restricting her from seeing him, whether to act happy and hope that it will all be ok, or whether to tell her honestly how disappointed I am in her. I even worry that I am upset because I am not used to having to share her and now it is like she is just not "there" anymore. I have told her that I am not going to be as nice to him as I was because that would be as though I am legitimising his behaviour. I am divorced and in a way I think he also has sort of become a father figure to her. I would like some advice because I can see her at 15 not being able to explore her personality and not developing into the person that she could be. She seriously believes that she is going to marry him. I am pretty sure he feels the same way.
04-11-2003, 10:50 AM
Your concerns are well founded. This is a very serious situation that must be very carefully handled.
First, here's what NOT to do. Do NOT "break up" the relationship for now. Don't risk forcing your daughter to choose between you and her boyfriend. And she will learn little from this even if you successfully force her to stop seeing him. She might just find a worse controller male. Do NOT get snippy with him ESPECIALLY when he is rude to you. Be as gracious and warm as possible, and let your selfless, mature behavior contrast his self-centered, pouting insecurities as much as possible for your daughter to see with her own eyes.
DO admit to her that you can feel jealous of the boyfriend. Laugh at yourself in front of her about how hard it is to share her with other people. But add that when you truly love someone, you do what makes them happy, which means allowing them the freedom to be who they are. She will see this as courageous on your part, and might see the implications of this in her boyfriend.
DO have a series of short, calm chats with your daughter. Lay in some quiet thoughts for her to mull over. "Honey, I worry that your love may take up too much of your life. What do you think?" Just nod and accept her protests as she says that you are wrong. She will think more about that the less you press it. Another thought to share might be, "Honey I worry that you might be taking care of a "man" who has problems, rather than loving a "man" who loves you back in a healthy way." Again, just accept her protests with a gracious nod.
A final thought might be, "I worry that you've given up too much of your life for this guy. Lot's of women do that,you know."
Keep laying in these thoughts respectfully and quietly for her to mull over. The odds are she's already thought these things, but is afraid to say or act on them.
Finally, be patient. Remember the real goal here is not to get rid of this guy, but to teach your daughter how to ultimately find a man who can truly love her without controlling her. Take your time.
Please keep us posted.
Attention parents of daughters: Any other thoughts?
04-11-2003, 11:10 PM
Thank you so much for your words of wisdom. It helps so much to have your point of view. I must admit I have been snippy a bit to her about him. To him, to date, I have been extremely nice, so nice in fact that I have been regretting it. This is because I got the feeling that because I was nice to him and said that I was sorry that having the girl stay over had hurt him, I thought that it would allow him to justify his behaviour in his mind. I do have concerns though that if I am nice to him, he will not get the point that his behaviour was unacceptably rude.
What do you think if I say to him that I cant treat him the way that I used to (I used to treat him like a son) because to me that would be legitimising his right to be rude towards me, but still stay and polite and friendly. To her, I will try very hard not to make sarcastic comments about him anymore. Its just that I really freak out every time she says she want to go and visit his place, I really hate it.
I have already started to subtley (I hope) lay doubts in her mind about his controlling behaviour. I have been referring to it as emotional abuse and mind control etc. I am tempted to say to her sometimes that I am losing respect for her because she is letting him walk all over her and seems to be voicing his opinion a hell of a lot. But I have resisted saying that to date and hope I can in the future. My daughter is an extremely bright (top .05% bright) girl, and is looking at going to Uni in the next few months. She is even refusing to go to a Uni away from him, even if that means she cant do the degree she wants. I dont understand how such a bright girl cant see what is happening to her.
04-12-2003, 09:41 AM
There's another book you should read titled SAVING BEAUTY FROM THE BEAST by Vicky Compton. It will give you a lot more information to help you understand what is going on. If you are not able to have any impact with your daughter, it is time to get her to see a counselor.
Good luck and keep us posted.
04-18-2003, 01:54 PM
I am sorry to keep bothering you but things are really bad here, and I am just about desperate. I had a long talk with my daughter's boyfriend on the internet tonight with my daughter sitting with me. He asked to talk to me because I told her (calmly and rationally) that I was going to limit how often she stays at her boyfriends. (Only for a few days there and then a few days home during the holidays). I said this was because I felt she needed time to grow etc and not because I was trying to hurt him or her. Well, he told me (and she agreed with him) that my daughter spends time with only him because she does not want to do anything with anyone else (this includes me e.g. not going shopping, movies, family bbqs etc) if he cant be there. I always invite him but because he is mad with me he wont come or come to our place. So he expects her to just about live out there and she wants this too. She goes out for about 3 days, comes home for a day and then wants to go out again. He also said that she told him she isnt happy at home and feels uncomfortable there. I have even found that his parents have been criticising me to them and have suggested she can go and live with them if she wants. I am going to talk to them about my concerns but I dont know if I should enforce my rule about limiting her stay overs or not. Should I just let her go whenever she wants, or should I enforce my rule?
04-18-2003, 02:32 PM
Ask the boy's parents for an immediate face-to-face meeting. Raise your concerns about the intensity of this relationship for such young teens, and ask for their help in limiting the visits. Unless your home is abusive, your daughter should not be staying at her boy friend's house overnight at all. If the parents seem unresponsive to this, remind them that, legally, they are assuming custodial responsibility for a minor child against your wishes--in essence, harboring a runaway juvenile. Hopefully you won't have to get that stern, but don't hesitate if they seem irresponsible.
Next, tell your daughter that she has a choice. If she can agree to see a counselor with you to try to work this out, then she can continue to date her boyfriend (not live with). If not, tell her you have no choice but to insist that she not see him at all. When she threatens to runaway, don't threaten in return with police, etc. She knows your options. Just calmly continue to tell her that you worry that she's in over her head and needs to think about things a bit.
Finally, Sharon, you must immediately see an adolescent-specialist psychologist with or without your daughter. I cannot help you further without being able to sit down with you and doing a full history. Get an appointment now. This is a very serious situation and you need in-person expert help.
04-27-2004, 05:40 PM
We have a similar situation with our stepdaughter. Once her mom got her to admit that she was not totally happy with the situation (during one of their many fights), we were able to get her into counseling and it seems to be helping. But we have been unable to fully separate her from him. The male personality you describe and the personality of our SD's boyfriend is part of the abusive male package. Our SD's mom asked her friends and found out that her boyfriend has indeed hit her a couple of times. We were then able to bring that information into our discussions with her. You may wish to ask her or her friends about this too. Maybe you could get her to read some articles or books that address the characteristics of the abusive male, and perhaps she'll see some of his traits in what she reads. It is very scary; I agree with you.
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