Ending an unhealthy relationship - FamilyEducation
Ending an unhealthy relationship
10/05/2010 at 10:00 AM

This is a long one, but please be patient, I really need some advice here.
My daughter is 14 and in her 1st year of high school. She's popular (although I hate that classification), smart, and very athletic. She's not allowed to date yet, but was allowed to go to the homecoming dance this past weekend with a boy. They were in a group and some of the girls had "dates". The problem is, she's been interacting with this same boy for about 15 months (June of 2009). Again, since she's not allowed to date or be alone with him, the relationship basically entailed talking on the phone, texting, and seeing him at football games, etc. I realize, "if there's a will, there's a way". I'm smart enough to remember when I was her age! He is however, one year older than her. The longevity of the relationship concerns me at such a young age. As well as a laundry list of other issues. They always fought & argued when they were together. You could always tell in our house if they were fighting, because the entire house suffered. I don't understand all the drama at 14 (just over 13 when they met). The fighting & argueing is not what kids at their age should be doing. They broke up somewhere around April, and let me tell you, she was in a state of depression for about 2 months. Prior to the break-up, this boy stopped over our house twice at 11:30 at night. What 14 yr old boy does that? And what parent lets their kid out that late? Then high school starts. I was excited for her to meet alot of new people and move on from him. NOPE, she started talking to him again a couple days before school started. He's anti-social and NONE of her friends like him. I could see her friends start to distance themselves from her a couple of weeks ago, because she's always texting this boy, having lunch with him, etc. She noticed it herself and it did bother her. I told her she needed to split her time between them. That's it's just constantly her and this boy. There are no phone calls/text to her friends. ONLY HIM over the course of 3 days. I explained that she needs her friends to be there for her. She did talk to one of them and apologized. She told her that she was going to work on spending more time with the girls. I'm not one of those moms that think NO boy is good enough for my daughter, but he is NOT! He seems very possessive and wants to keep her to himself. Her friends told me that he's always trying to pull her away from the group. Her friends have also told me that he's basically a loner and is very clingy with my daughter. I see this going both ways though, based on her cell phone calls & text messages. She's calling & texting him just as much. They are both obsessed and I don't feel it's healthy. I found a note recently dated from this past June. They were broke up during this time. Saying how much he's changed for her and stopped all his wrong-doings.The note also stated how he is dealing with so much stress as it relates to his parents and court. COURT???? That's not someone I want my daughter to be around. Then he goes on about how he can't live without her and he tried to kill himself and that he's on anti-depressants and cries himself to sleep at night over her. Is she with him out of guilt for what he may do? A conversation was brought up with another parent at one of my daughter's recent volleyball games. She asked his name and I told her. Her words were "RUN". I pressed her for more information relating to her comment. You can't say that to a parent and not explain why. She was not able to share, as she is a counselor at one of the local middle schools. A different middle school from where this boy attended a couple of years ago. My question is, how does she know about him when she's at a different school. Same school district, but I'm troubled at how the word has travelled about him. I've heard from another parent that it was drugs he go into trouble with. I don't know the specifics of if he was using, selling, etc. This is certainly not what you hope for your child. We are a close-knit family, go to church, attend all of our kids sporting events, both my husband and I have very successful careers. Well.... my daughter and I WERE close before she went back to him. She is completely aware that we do not approve of him and it has put a wedge between us. Luckily, her grades do not appear to be effected yet, but she's not as happy as a person as she used to be. She always seems so crabby & distant. I'm sure part of that is knowing that we do not like this boy. It saddens my heart where her & I relationship currently sits.
Then the most recent note I found was yesterday. It was him going on & on about how sexy she looked at the dance and how he wanted to rip her dress off so they could have some real fun. Her father, step-father, and myself have all decided that it's time for us to step in. My husband (her step-father), feels I should share the notes with his parents. I know how some parents can take that though. It's not pointing the finger only at their son. If my daughter was threatening suicide, I would expect a parent to share that with me. I don't believe they're aware of how obsessive these 2 kids are. I met his mother in the driveway when she picked my daughter up for the dance. I have no knowledge of how strict they are with him or if they monitor his calls, online social networks, etc. I said all along that I was not going to forbid her to see him, as I only know what that will do; push her to him even more. The sneaking & lying will start. I wasn't aloud to date until I was 16, and I snuck around.
Now, we're in the holding pattern, trying to decide the best way to do this. There is no good way.

You are the adult, your daughter is the child. Keep this at the front of your mind and act on this situation accordingly!! Yes, go to this boy's parents with the notes. They may or may not know the extent of their son's issues. All the adults need to be on the same page in order to deal with this situation. NEVER allow your child to spend time with anyone unless you know all of them well and are certain their values match the values of your family. My daughter (who as an adult has thanked me many times for setting this boundary) was not allowed to have a boyfriend until she was 16 or date until 18 and there was no "sneaking and lying". It is possible to monitor your child in order to prevent negative behaviors, which is a major part of your job as a parent. DO NOT assume or expect the worst from your child. Your daughter may know she is in over her head and may be looking for an excuse to end this toxic relationship.

I agree, we are supposed to be the adults. However, I agree with this mom. "Where there is a will, there is a way." My daughter is seeing someone we absolutely do not aprove of. If we forbid her to see this boy (alternative school, arrested for selling drugs, just got out of jail, works in a motel about 20 hours a week, his parents have been drinking and smoking weed with this boy for many years, they have had no running water in the house, he claims to have sold drugs in order to get their water turned on,....and the list goes on and on)what then? She claims that she is the reason he wants to stay clean. He still lives at home. I just found out about this last night. I was in shock. She hung out/liked this boy a few years ago and we made her break it off. I am a teacher and I know this is trouble. For some reason she feels she can rescue and she almost sounds like she is in love with him. I am so afraid for her future. Recently, the past few weeks, we have caught her in several lies, found cigarettes in her purse, and she is not always where she is supposed to be. She is a pretty good student but I know she does not particularly like school. I don't know what to do!!!!

oh my! we could be writing this for each other! My 16 yo's b/f got kicked out of school.. (btw it wasn't his fault - he 'smelled' like weed - he wasnt doing it! Dear God! ).. doesnt work - family background was not great - i wouldnt have a clue what to do - but know that there are others out there in the same boat!!

2xstepmom great post