My boyfriend’s youngest daughter is 21; he often invites her out with us, as she doesn’t have many friends.
In public, (sometimes at home), they’re always touching each other. They rub each other’s backs, stand arm-in-arm, and sometimes she sits on his lap.
They’re constantly kissing, hugging and expressing love for each other. Or she talks to other men until he gets upset.
His ex-wife is an alcoholic and was, apparently, never there for the kids, so I don’t know if his behaviour reflects guilt over the divorce.
His longtime friend told me that his daughter always acted possessive of him, but I thought she’d outgrow it. He bought her a house, a car, and gave her a job. She doesn’t seem very appreciative, as she’s either bossing him around, swearing at him, or acting like his best friend -- but never like a daughter.
They go out to bars together, and he doesn’t answer my calls. If he and I are out, she keeps calling and calling.
She doesn’t talk respectfully towards me, or to anyone. She was always in trouble in school or gets in trouble with the police.
I don’t know how to approach this with him. I really do love him and am trying not to act selfish.
Their inappropriate and disturbing relationship will ultimately destroy yours, unless you approach it head on, and now.
Your boyfriend is doing his daughter no favour. If he truly loves her, he’d go straight to a therapist to learn how to undo their co-dependency, before he makes it impossible for her to ever have a healthy relationship (or for him, too).
Yes, he shows signs of gratuitous guilt over a divorce that had solid grounds; he’s in denial of the effects of indulging his daughter’s spoiled behaviour, rudeness, arrogance, and indifference to rules or consequences. And he has an unhealthy attachment that far exceeds the normal boundaries in father-daughter relationships.
If he refuses to get it, see the therapist yourself… you’ll need support for the break-up.
I relocated from Europe to settle in with my ex-girlfriend because I wanted to start a family. My love for her was not strong but I admired certain qualities about her, which made me decide to settle in with her. She became pregnant, we married and I got permanent residency.
However, once living together, I began to withdraw. I stopped loving her, and we hardly had sex. I don’t kiss nor cuddle, nor do I find her attractive.
She’s nice, beautiful and very kind; we have a beautiful son whom I adore. But we disagree on a lot and always argue.
She read emails I’d sent an ex-girlfriend, of how much I love and want to be with her. We’d been together for 7 years. I’d had a relationship with my current wife when we were teens; she moved here, I visited her after achieving my Masters degree and chose her for settling down - a hasty mistake.
I have to resolve this and let her be happy.
- What To Do?
Since I believe you’ve already got a foot out the door, be honest and generous. Arrange for a legal separation in which you support this woman and your son to the best of your ability, and work hard toward amicable arrangements regarding custody and access, without trying to move him away except for visits.
Repeatedly assure your wife that she did nothing wrong, that YOU made a mistake in choosing a country and lifestyle rather than a person.
My friend’s been diagnosed with advanced cancer; her adult sons don’t seem interested in visiting her. I am frustrated and ashamed of them... and she’s upset, especially about not seeing her one grandchild.
I don’t know the sons well enough to understand their reasons, though I’ve been down the cancer-to-death path, and watched the interplay with relatives.
What can her friends and I say or do to ease things?
You’ve undoubtedly seen before, how fear and grief sometime come too soon – sometimes with diagnosis – to those who don’t know how to handle deep emotions about things that can’t be “fixed.”
As a caring friend, you could write the sons expressing your affection for their mother, your awareness of her love for them. Gently note that her life still has meaning, through them; that she needs them while she’s still vital, aware, and wanting connection.
She needs such caring friends as you, too.
Tip of the day:
Inappropriate dependency between a father and daughter can impede her future relationships.