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What can I do.

Posted by: Anonymous
Tue 13, Dec 2011 at 8:40am

I was married to a violent man for 10 years before I got the help I needed to separate. By then my daughter was 9 years old. she is now 16 and I am horrified that she has started a relationship with someone I see as very like her father...charming to everyone except her...he has massive moods and I see her worrying about the mood he'll be in before he arrives to pick her up. She is also beginning to dress only in clothes he approves of and her usually bubbly personality is subdued . Her father really rates this bf and has started asking him out for drinks and go to football matches with him. My daughter has been in regular contact with her father since the split..although she has never stayed with him. Now she quotes what he says and tells me I didn't know how to handle him...and that she loves this bf who is 19.....and that Im not interested in her happiness. I don't know what to do.

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  • User-anonymous Anonymous Flag

    I really feel for you, wanting to respect your daughter's need for her relationship with her father but also wanting to avoid her experiencing something similar to you.

    It sounds as though she knows something of your relationship with her father. Without talking negatively of him or giving more details, can you talk to her honestly about your own reactions, for example some of the things you'd tell yourself while in the relationship (which you presumably changed to be able to leave)? It may well be that you can - probably already have - given your daughter the understanding and resources to make good decisions when she needs to. Particularly if she knows she has your unconditional support as she works her way through all this.

    It takes a lot though, not telling her what to do with the boyfriend when you have these worries about her father's influence. Did you go to Women's Aid or another organisation when you left your relationship? Whoever helped you then may be a good source of support now too.

    Wed 14, Dec 2011 at 1:19pm
  • Pc Bern Flag

    You're doing the right thing to raise your worries, the problem is that, whatever the reasons, young people do not like having their relationships questioned - it's a challenge to their judgement and their growing independence. If you add in that well known fact that teenagers know everything (!) I can can see why you don't feel you're getting anywhere.

    I've done a bit of research and found this website which is aimed at young people and you both might find it helpful:

    It has a quiz to test how healthy your relationship is . I wonder if you could ask your daughter to do it on the basis that you are really worried and this would just put your mind at rest?

    Thu 15, Dec 2011 at 3:25pm