23 answers

Adult Daughter's Boyfriend Is Confusing Her. How Can I Help?

My 30-year-old beautiful successful daughter hasn't had that many serious relationships but her boyfriend of 6 months has started pulling back - not returning calls, not saying "I love you" etc - plus he has a lousy work ethic, has no money and acts hot and cold. She calls me crying so often and I try and just listen but she asks me what to do. This is soooo painful. I think she's insecure, afraid to lose him but knows he's not good for her. How can I help? Thanks!!!!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you ALL so very much for these wise words. This guy is 33 so if he doesn't know what he wants to be when he grows up by now, he's trouble. Yes, I have been listening to her - a lot! But I will pull back on the criticism (even tho she's been asking my opinion), and focus more on her... Her values, her self-worth. I'm glad to hear someone suggest a counselor. I was thinking that as well. Again, thanks !!!!!!

Featured Answers

You can pass on this advice on men from my two, sweet little grandmas, both gone now, both in their 80's when they passed it to me:

#1. "Be choosy, you can find a loser any day of the week."

and

#2 "There's not a man on this earth worth shedding a tear over...."

3 moms found this helpful

Just listen and if you can remind her of how lovely and intelligent and caring she is. Talk her up on whatever good traits you can. My daughter at 27 needed to get out of the relationship she was in. I listened made a few suggestions and told her from time to time she did not deserve such bad treatment. She found someone else later on and is now a mother.

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You can pass on this advice on men from my two, sweet little grandmas, both gone now, both in their 80's when they passed it to me:

#1. "Be choosy, you can find a loser any day of the week."

and

#2 "There's not a man on this earth worth shedding a tear over...."

3 moms found this helpful

It might be hard to throw in the towel after investing 6 months, especially if she is 30 and thinking she wants to be married already and have kids of her own and has not had many "prospects" but better 6 months than years and years of marriage, kids, and then divorce. Just read all the separation and divorce horror stories that woman post on here - have her read them also and then maybe she can decide if this guy is worth it (my short answer would be "no".)

I would remind her of her own self-worth, of all the things she has to offer a someone who deserves someone like her, and that this guy is showing her right now who he is - and it's not good.

Favorite quote of mine: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." - Eleanor Roosevelt

2 moms found this helpful

How can you help? Just be prepared for it to get worst before she sees the light. I know all to well.Ive been in your daughters position a couple of times. The more my mom and friends tried to tell me otherwise the more I wanted it to work with him.Its hard to admitt to oneself that you made a poor choice especially if you are successful in most other areas in life. Looking back Im embarrassed of my behavior but Im even more thankful for family and friends that stood by my side.

1 mom found this helpful

Ask her to have a talk with herself. By 30 she should know what her Deal Breakers are and she should be able to decide what to do on her own after having that conversation with her self. She should know by now what her short term 5 are
ie: Can support himself financially, Wants kids, Has goals of his own, Simmilar interests, Relates to friends/family
Whatever is important to her when she first meets a guy. After that when you get into a long term (this is a good time), there are long term deal breakers things she CAN NOT LIVE WITH OUT, share with her what yours are and why and discuss with her what hers may be and how does this guy stack up? Are these things that can actually be obtainable by him if he does not already meet these? My bestie just broke it off with her fiance and I suggested to her to write down what she wants/needs in her mate and to determine how often those things need to happen.
Miss me when I am gone, 75% of the time is acceptable
Take me on romantic outings 50% of the time is acceptable
Returns calls, 95% of the time is acceptable
Verbally reminds me of his affection 80% of the time is acceptable
so on and so fourth and again see how he stacks up. maybe this will help her decide if he is Mr Right or Mr Right now ... and I think Mr Right now's are better than Mr Right because you Learn MORE from them and they lead you to Mr Right. Be open and honest, BUT please do not say anything negative about him to her or she will Shut Down and Close off to this conversation.

1 mom found this helpful

When your daughter calls, ask her what she wants. Does she just need an ear in order to vent, does she want you to problem solve with or does she want advise? Sometimes just a listening ear and validation of your pain is all that is needed and wanted. Unfortunately, witnessing your child (even when 30) is a painful experience for parents, so make sure you have someone to listen to you as you witness the painful experience of your daughter.

1 mom found this helpful

I wouldn't make any BIG suggestions or announcements, but you may want to say something along the lines of, "Well, unfortunately sometimes the one we think is right just isn't right. Take a step back and make a list of the good and bad qualities." Pump her up! Make sure she knows that, as hard as it is out there, no one deserves to be treated 2nd best. If he's keeping her in tears -that's her answer. Nobody needs it. GENTLY suggest to her that she deserves someone who is into her ALL the time and has his sh!t together. At her age, dating losers with no jobs or financial security really isn't worth her time. Take it from me -been there, done that -got a winner! I have many friends who didn't marry until 35 or 38 and they're all still happy because they held out for an EQUAL who appreciates them. I was 30, and I'm soooooo glad I never rushed into marriage or kids. Just keep pumping her up with anecdotes like that -especially if you can point out people you know!

1 mom found this helpful

Don't get in the middle! Be there for her, listen sympathetically. Tell her she's amazing and deserves to be happy. Tell her to listen to her intuition. But DON'T tell her he's not good enough or talk badly about him. Women do stupid things when we're in love (especially with mr. wrong). She's 30 - not 13 and hopefully she'll do what's right for her. But you don't want to be the one who told her to break up with him if they work things out and end up happily married :)

1 mom found this helpful

Eeeewww.... tis' how boys are.
And SO many of these things will happen...
Just tell her not to chase after him, to keep her identity, not to base his actions on her self-image.
He is a jerk.
They are common.... common as house flies.
She will find someone else.
This is ONLY a 6 month 'relationship" so far...

No guy, is worth... beating herself up over him.
Yes it hurts, yes its not nice, yes its sad.
But.... its not worth it.

Tell her... to just do her own thing. Do not chase after him. Do not whine/cry... to him... about it.
He is a jerk.
Is he the same age as her??? Regardless... this is an ADULT "boy"... and he is just not nice.

She will find someone else... who WILL respect her and care about her... and show it... properly.

This guy... is not worth it... not worth hoping for.

I have had those so called boyfriend types too. They are a dime a dozen. They don't care. They treat girlfriends like spent kleenex.

She will get over it... and be wiser for it.
No man... is worth.... destroying your own self-worth, for.
AND, playing games like that, with a partner... is so not nice. Thus, he is showing his 'character'... and why would she want a guy like that anyway?

This guy, is a DEAD-beat.... no money, no work ethic, a jerk, and jerks her around like a toy.... does she want to be a "toy"? I would think not.

all the best,
Susan

1 mom found this helpful

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