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I Hate My Daughter's Boyfriend!

May 6, 2008
How could you ever forget the moment your daughter was first placed in your arms? She was so tiny, so defenseless. She literally couldn't survive without your help. While nestled in your safe embrace, you instinctively made her a promise- to protect her always and keep her safe. You dreamed of the life you would help her create for herself, and the ultimate happiness and success she would find as an adult.

Now, those dreams are quickly unraveling. Your precious child has made a choice that is impacting every other part of her future. She's in love with a guy that is no good for her. Everyone seems to see the problem but her. Your pleas to your daughter to find someone else are ignored. So here you sit, desperate to keep her from throwing her life away on this guy. What can you do?

1. Allow her boyfriend to shoot himself in the foot.

If this guy is as bad as you think he is, it won't be long for him to show his true self. Give your daughter your support, and let him be the bad guy as he disappoints her time and time again. For example, a friend invited their daughter's boyfriend to dinner. He never came to dinner that night. It gave them a great opportunity to gently point out to their daughter how unreliable he was. If your daughter knows you are on her side, you are less likely to become the enemy and more likely to be heard when she begins to see problems with this guy.

2. Just the facts, ma'am.

It is so easy to get angry in a situation like this. I remember hearing of a mother ripping the phone out of the wall when her daughter wouldn't get off the phone with her dead beat boyfriend. I'm sure you can relate to those feelings! Although these actions may make you temporarily feel better, they do not help you win the war against the boyfriend. Keep to the facts. Instead of telling your daughter, "I don't like him," or, "He's nothing but trash." Try pointing out that he hasn't kept a steady job in 2 years, and it concerns you because you foresee her having to pull more than her fair share. Or you noticed that he drinks an awful lot. Emotions will often cause a power play, while facts will once again speak for themselves as you battle to save your daughter.

3. Forgive her and love her anyways.

This is probably the hardest but most important thing of all. You must forgive your daughter, for her sake and for yours. It is so hard to see your child take a destructive path. It hurts you in ways she will never understand unless some day she stands in your shoes with her own daughter. This hurt can lead to anger, depression, or feelings of worthlessness on your part. You must forgive her for hurting you and hurting herself. Only with this weight lifted can you objectively help and be able to keep your own life moving forward, no matter what ultimately happens in her life.

Also, don't forget how much you love her. You may spend so much time talking about getting rid of her boyfriend that she feels misunderstood, that you are out to ruin her happiness and that you no longer love her. Do what you can to show her that you love her, even if you don't like him. Try to spend quality time with her when she lets you. Speak kindly to her and about her. After all, she has a problem, but she is not the problem.
About the Author
Wendy Bridger, MSSW, can help you with your daughter's boyfriend through her "Is He Right for Me?" compatibility test. You know she deserves better. Provide her the gift of seeing it for herself.
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