This is an update from my previous post entitled Saddened. Not two weeks after I told DD that we would never accept the BF, she called us to say that they had broken up, and it was "official and mutual." He had moved things out of her place. Of course, we didn't hold our breath, as breakups have happened many a time, only to be followed by a quick reconciliation. We agreed to get together a couple of days later. She mentioned that she couldn't have a boyfriend who we, her parents, would never accept. She also said that BFs $14/hour FT job that she had proudly told us of in December, never materialized, and he was always late with the rent and bills, never had the full amount, and only paid cash so she never knew how much he had. She said he moved back with his mom, the ultimate enabler, to "save money"....hmmm... She said she still loved him. She is stuck paying the whole rent now with a lease that isn't up till summer. He is not responsible enough to meet his contractual obligation of paying any rent at all. She does not seem to blame him at all for that, but she was stressed out financially and asked if she could move back home with us, and if we could loan her the $2000 to break her lease. We said that wouldn't work for us, or be in her best interest.
I wouldn't be at all surprised if she gets back with him, but after hearing that we won't loan her the money to break the lease and let her live here again, she went out and found herself a second job. Then she surprised me by saying she wants to get some counseling since what she thinks about her BF and what we think are very different and she wants an outside opinion. I am all for that!
I think she has lessons to learn for having stayed with an irresponsible, lazy and lying boyfriend. I am so afraid that she wants to recreate her early dating relationship with him when she lived with us and had no bills to pay and could just see him whenever she wanted without any financial pressure. But that is not reality. So I don't feel guilty about keeping that boundary. We can support her emotionally but not financially. We did offer a small monthly monetary gift for a few months until she finds a roommate or gets a cheaper place, but she declined that. She doesn't want to take our money. That was mature of her.
One thing that puzzles and troubles me is that she told us that she recently went to see the manager of the company where her BF worked to ask the manager if BF was a good worker and wondering why he didn't have more hours. She alleges that the manager said BF was a good worker but the company had just hired many new employees and had to give them training hours, so BF only got 3 shifts a week. DDs take on it was that it was just a "misunderstanding," which we have heard time and time again from her or him. Okay, beside the fact that my daughter is interfering in BFs work life, indicating that she doesn't trust BF, the other troubling issue is that my daughter told me this same exact story about her seeing BFs manager at a DIFFERENT company last summer, with the same exact details. I think she lied this time just to again not have us think the worst of her BF. Part of me thinks her going to a counselor is to try to get the counselor to tell us (and her, of course) that he is a good boyfriend and we should accept him. She is just so oblivious to reality, or maybe she just portrays herself that way around us. Could it be that she is trying to blame us for not accepting him, because then she doesn't have to accept blame herself for making lousy decisions? Green Thumb, Luise and Pooh had it right when they said DD tries divert blame from herself. Should I confront her about this latest suspected lie, or just keep quiet and let her learn from the counselor and the natural consequences? Do I dare butt in and say how irresponsible it is of BF to make her pay the full load of the rent even when his name is on the lease, or should I not interfere because anything I say could be used against me and actually impede her learning or the natural course of events?
Green Thumb, your words from my last thread about just accepting her as she is are most insightful. Thanks!
May I just add that in our last conversation DD asked if we would still be there for her, and I said we are always there for her and love her very much. And she said she loved me for saying that. We have loaned her money for a very expensive car repair recently, and she already paid us back half, before BF moved out. Also we loaned her a car one day so she could get to work while the car was in the shop. So she knows we are there for her.
It seems to me you are doing well and making choices that work for you, B. Your daughter is on the bumpy path of maturing and facing (or not facing) the consequences of her choices. Confronting her with her lies is probably getting in too deep. They are her lessons. She knows when she is telling the truth and when she is lying without needing to have it monitored. That's the tricky part, to care and be supportive but not to get into the details of her life. They are her lessons to learn when she is ready. The time of teaching, it seems to me, is when a child is still at home and dependent. Now it's more role model time. We can only hope she will learn what caring about her BF is costing her and what she is missing by focusing her life there. Sending hugs...
If it were me, I would wait and not believe anything from your daughter, which is your first gut reaction anyway. Have no hope, just let it be as it is or will be. (I say have no hope because if this is all false or she is telling a "story" to manipulate you, well when you find out the truth, you will be angry and the grieving starts over.) Having no hope just protects your heart. Not saying think the worst, just saying don't get emotionally involved.
Why your daughter tells you the story of going to visit her former BF's manager -- well, you can take it several ways but probably best to take it "with a grain of salt" meaning don't believe it totally. If she did go to BF manager and ask this, well that shows her to be a person who doesn't have any boundaries; perhaps is an enabler; or a manipulator. I don't know her but to explain so you can decide: its not her business nor her job so to talk to the manager and is putting herself where she doesn't belong; an enabler makes excuses and rescues someone else from facing their own consequences; a manipulator would do this in order to force the manager to give BF more shifts.
So your daughter is either starting to mature or she knows what to say to make her parents do whatever it is she is trying to wanting. I am sorry to be so negative, we are going through this with the stepson right now, he gave his dad a big story about having matured and is planning this great new life, with details, his dad believed it and had HOPE -- and --- what do you guys guess comes next? Yes, we found out it was all lies.
Oh and asked about saying something to her or to him.
No, keep your mouth shut to both of them. No "I told you so" or accusations. Just nod and smile and say something positive but keep your cards close to your vest (don't reveal your true thoughts). Don't believe or hope, just watch and wait. If she asks your opinion, give it in a positive phrasing. Don't mention that the manager story has been told once before. If she's a manipulator, you are better off if she never figures out what you know, this helps protect you. Your job is to protect you and your husband from future harm. Read Life Code by Dr. Phil. And I hope your story turns out better than what we are dealing with our master manipulator adult child.
Luise - I appreciate your comments about her knowing when she is lying without us having to confront her about it. It is so hard to hear, though. Sometimes she lies about silly things for no reason, which may partially explain why she has trouble keeping friends. I guess you are right that the time for teaching her explicitly is gone. Now the real world kicks in. Speaking of real world lessons, I had been on her case about her not wearing her seatbelt for a long time, and recently she was a passenger in a car that was pulled over and she was given a ticket for not wearing her seatbelt, even though she was the passenger. Thank you, police officer!
Green Thumb - Finally I have put Dr. Phil's book on hold at the library, so that will be some useful reading for me. I'd say she is assuredly an enabler with BF and most definitely lacks boundaries. As far as the manipulation goes, I think she is finding that we are holding our boundaries in place in a united way and she is not able to find a spot of daylight to creep through. The boundary of saying we will never see BF again had to be put in place, in part, to stop her lying and manipulation. Since we don't want to hear about him anymore, she has no reason to lie about him. (He misses you guys so much ... He's taking me to church .... He has changed .... He hasn't had a drink for a year). The challenge now, as you and Luise say, is to be caring and supportive without getting involved in all the details or anticipating things that may or may not happen. I found that what you said about accepting who she is now to be so powerful. Part of me thinks if only she had a different BF everything would be wonderful, but she has to be a good, emotionally healthy person herself, and I need to accept that she has issues that are not going to go away with a change in BF. They are her own social/emotional challenges to overcome, or not. It is sad to think that this lying is a part of who she is, though. I am sorry you and your husband are dealing with the challenges of your manipulating son. It sounds like you have figured out how to detach from his tactics. Good for you!
Bamboo, you are doing everything perfectly. You are holding your boundaries, not falling for the "whoa is me" things that she has created herself but yet still keeping the door open for communication.
I will just throw this out there for a caution to watch for in the future. My friend has a Daughter that was very similar to yours. Daughter told Mom after a while, that she was going to seek counseling. Mom was happy. After a few weeks, the Daughter asked to sit down and talk with Mom and very nicely told her that what she had learned during counseling was that Mom was stifling her abilities, that Mom was guilty of XYZ and that Mom blah blah blah. My friend was so upset over it. Long story short.....Friend found out later that Daughter had never even been to a counselor! This was her Daughter's new "lie" to try and get her way by making Mom think she had been going.
So watch out for that dupe when you have a child that is known to lie. Not saying she will, but just keep it in the back of your mind.
Thanks for that word of caution, Pooh. What a dupe by that daughter! Whoa! At least this daughter I am prepared for. When she said something about being able to get counseling for free, don't think I didn't wonder about that. I offered that we could pay for it through our insurance if her free opportunity doesn't work out. I have someone in mind who she could see. But I believe that any counselor worth his/her salt would call a spade a spade, so if she is feeding me falsehoods, I will see through them. The counseling isn't for me - it's for herself. I doubt she'll even go, to tell you the truth. She just wants another vote for the BF to convince us of her seriousness about him. It will have no effect. I will practice even the thought of her campaign just rolling off me like oil off a duck. Now you have me wondering if your friend ever confronted the daughter about her lies. Boy, would I want to say something!
When we confront them about their lies, they just lie more. With someone like this, we can't change them. Let go of your need to control, confront (which is both trying to change her and trying to defend oneself), change or be the authority with her. You just can't -- she is her own person doing her own thing. That is the main thing to remember. Don't enable and don't offer help and stop trying to change her. Don't give her money, don't pay for a counselor unless the payment is directly to the counselor, don't pay for anything unless you pay it directly to the person. Its time to get out of her way so she can grow up or experience the consequences of her actions, behaviors, etc. From your description of her words about how the BF misses you, he/she is going to church, etc. -- I have to say this sounds like a load of hogwash and meant to manipulate you. We have heard similar things. There is also mental illness where they have "grandiose" notions, they believe it themselves but it isn't ever going to happen. This is as opposed to just lying. Good luck and best wishes to you!
My eldest son decided at age 13 that I was the cause of every problem he'd ever had or would have in the future. He wanted me to go to counseling with him when he was in his 30s. He was overweight, not obese, and felt it came from some level of emotional insecurity that had to be my fault.
He was a wonderful father...initially a straying husband...and a successful computer whiz, famous actually. In his second marriage he got past the straying part. They had a lovely home and wonderful friends.
I told him 'no'. I told him I did my best and nothing was going to change the past to mold me into the mother of his dreams. And that any attempt to do so would be too painful for me. So, 'no'.
My view was that I gave being mom to my two sons everything I had and when they entered adulthood, it was their job, just as it had been mine, to take it from there. That made sense to my second son, who is our Webmaster here on WWU. I believe our parenting is done when they move into adulthood and the lessons that come their way after that are theirs to solve. I know many don't agree with me. It is just my take that life lessons belong to the person making the choices and what they learn from them when it is theirs to deal independently is what their lives are about. Hugs...
Your consistent love and support to your daughter speaks volumes. You are an amazing mother who understands the value of detachment. Wishing you well as your daughter continues her journey to mature.
Thanks for your kind words, Patience! I'm still a work in progress, guided well by all you wise women ;). So grateful for all your responses.
Hello. I went back and read your post titled saddened. I totally understand this situation! I have experienced the very same thing with my dsughter! I agree with your choice not to accept him after what has occured. My husband and I tried to accept my daughter's husband, now ex husband, but like in your situation he never vhamged! Horrible things then happened to my grandchildren because my daughter made the choice to stay with this man as long as she did. I agree with you not bailing her out financially also. I made many mistakes bailing my daughter out in the past...I regret it, but I can honestly say that if it had not been for my grandchildren, I wouldn't have helped her like I did. I had to look at myself and admit I had enabled her at times. I was glad to read that your DD chose to get another job to take care of her own responsibilities. That is a learning experience for her. From reading your posts, the ex boyfriend has serious issues at best, and in my honest opinion he may never change....he sounds a lot like men i have known in the past!
Thanks for your reply, JaneF. It is good to get validation from someone who has been there and known guys like this one. I know there is a chance she will go back to him, and fortunately there are no children in the picture so she doesn't take anyone else down with her if she goes back to him. There are a lot of triggers coming up soon, like today, Valentine's Day, his birthday, her birthday, etc. that might weaken her resolve, but at least she has proven to herself that she can survive this. My challenge now is to separate from her drama so it doesn't affect my daily life, not check her bank account or FB page. It's hard because I want so badly for this decision to stick! But I know I'm just creating disappointment for myself if she accepts him back again.