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abusive teenage relationship
August 29, 2008
6:03 pm
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momneedshelp
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My 17 year old daughter (18 in Dec) is in a relationship with a boy who is very jealous and controlling. He calls and texts her all day long asking where she is and who she is with. She has never cheated on him and he has cheated on her several times, yet he always accuses her of the very thing he is doing. His mo is usually that he does something then somehow accuses her of exactly what he has done or somehow makes it her fault. For some reason she puts up with it and it has been going on for a year now. She is a pleaser and is very tenderhearted and gives him chance after chance. She isn't listening to me but the verbal abuse she is taking is unbelievable. She assures me all her friends boyfriends treat them the same way....I know this is not true. As far as I know the abuse has not gotten physical yet but she has begun lying to me so that she can continue to see him. She also protects him at all costs saying if I want to blame anyone blame her. The relationship is sexual which is why I believe he has such a stronghold on her. She is a Christian as are we and knows that this is not the way God wants her to behave, but says she is so in love with this boy and since everyone else is doing it too that it doesn't seem that bad to her. I would love any advice or help anyone could give me.. Thanks.

August 30, 2008
3:52 am
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fantas
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(((momneedshelp))),

There is another thread on the other side just like this except that the daughter is 15. I'm really sorry about what you and your daughter is going through. Here is what I think, your daughter is displaying the classic behavior of a battered spouse. She is abused, she knows it's bad but she defends and makes excuses him while she tries to please him. In her mind, she must believe that she is responsible for making him happy and unhappy.

Your daughter needs therapy not being preached at about her Christian virtues. She is young and obviously had very low self-worth, otherwise, she wouldn't let anyone treat her this way. She must feel like a failure to herself, her family, and God. I would also say that she doesn't know how she is supposed to live because if she did, she wouldn't be living this way.

You have a few months until she turns 18 and then you will no longer have any say in her life. I would suggest letting this boy and his family know under no uncertain terms that if he abuses your daughter again, he is going to find himself with a restraining order against him. As long as the welfare of your daughter in in your hands, you can deal with this boy exactly as you wish and your daughter can make a choice between him and her family. I's suggest trying this in the few months you have left.

While this is probably not the best example, I would like to point out that Britney Spears dad was able to win over her power of attorney when she proved to be incompetent even though she was an adult...So I'd say you can start now and let her and her bf know that this is not okay with you and you will not tolerate the abuse of you child any longer.

Hang in there and keep posting..

August 30, 2008
3:53 am
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fantas
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I forgot to ask about where your daughter's father is and if he knows about what is going on...

August 30, 2008
4:34 am
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WizardofAus
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When my son was that age, an older friend told me that as a parent, what we have not taught them by 16, they are probably going to have to learn from someone else, anyway.

At that age, I did my best to keep the lines of communication open, even at the expense of staying silent on a few contentious issues.

However, I was always strong on the idea that as adults we are accountable for our decisions and the consequences that result. As a concrete example, I told him that if he got in trouble with the police, I may want to rescue him but that I probably could not; that is adult life.

I also tried to reinforce the idea that he was making a decision rather, than me trying too hard to influence that decision. As an example, I would reinforce the fact that it is your daughter's legitimate choice to love this guy; but it is equally ok not to. Then invite her to explore in all its glory the wonderful dreams that she has for this relationship. Let all that hope flow. Eventually, the energy of the conversation will allow her to speculate on the possible barriers to her dream. Let her express them. Trust her to be smart enough to have seen that his cheating has a downside, but if Mom is pushing the barrow, it is too threatening to admit the fact. Just let her talk to you about it. Your job is to reassure that if it does end up in a ditch, she has a loving home to come to.

Then just keep reinforcing that idea about adulthood that you are free to choose pretty much what you please but we all have to live with the consequences. We do not always know how it will actually turn out, but we usually have a rough idea of the risks involved. We can also plan how we will manage these risks. Maybe you can encourage her to set out what she would see as unacceptable behaviour and what she would do in those circumstances.

After about 16-18, we can no longer make their decisions for them, but we can help them to become pretty good at decision making. However that good decision making must come from within them.

My Dad told me a little story at about that age. How do you succeed in life? Make a few good decisions. How do you make good decisions? Wisdom. How do you get wisdom? Make a few bad decisions. lol

Good luck. My next challenge is the grandkids.

September 1, 2008
2:46 pm
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thewall
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One option that I tell parents of the teenagers that I work with, is to make it more difficult for her to date him.

For example, if she goes out with him, tell her to be home sooner than usual (make her curfew earlier, that way she is not exposed to him for such a long period of time, and maybe he will get sick of your rules and move on from her, since she does not have the strength to move on herself).

If he asks to come over to the house, allow him only in the house for a couple of hrs. and only if he is being appropriate with her.

She does need counseling bc her self esteem is really low to be putting up with someone like that. And it will get lower the longer she stays with him.

Encourage her to go out with other friends , which will honk him off, but she needs the support of other girls and needs role models from her friends, instead of him isolating her so that she will need him more.

also google "healthy relationships" or "identifying healthy relationships" and see what you come up with. Give her the info and let it sink in.

But definately as a mother, make it more difficult for her to date him...shorter time spans, going out with him less days per week, earlier curfews, fewer phone calls, cell phone taken away in the evening before bedtime. That way he can blame you and not her (you can handle it) and that will give her an "out". She needs your help in this. Seriously.

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