26 answers

Daughter Dating Loser Boyfriend!

I have a beautiful daughter who is 24 years old and ever since high school she has dated one needy loser after another. Her heart gets broken every time and each time she meets someone new, they always seem to be nice at first but then she finds out they lie, they cheat, etc. The last guy she dated on and off for 3 years. His mother and father both have died, so I know she feels sorry for him and beleive me,
he uses the guilt trip on her and it works. This guy is 28 years old and has even admitted to her that his Dad (when alive) always told him that it was easier to lie than to tell the truth. (Great advise, huh!?) My daughter and I are extremely close and always have been. She knows and has admitted to me that she realizes this guy is not what she wants, but she said he is a comfort to her for some reason and she finds it hard to break away. He can't keep a job, he doesn't own or rent, he now lives with a cousin, he doesn't have any money, he continues to lie to her.. I mean, I asked her " what do you see in him? He can be charming but come on, you need more than a heart, you need a brain too - remember the wizard of Oz? I throw a bit of humor in there, but truly, this situation has really taken its toll on me. I want so much more for her life than this. I encouraged her to start counseling, which she has begun. I am praying so hard that this helps her and that she realizes her potential and doesn't waste any more time with these type of guys. Has anyone else experienced this type of situation with their daughter(s) and if so, did they finally come around and realize that they could do so much better and did they finally see the big red flags? I have had many talks with her and have exhausted all efforts but will never give up on her. My daughter is a very smart girl, just
not when it comes to dating, obviously. Any advise?

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HI!
I was alot like your daughter.Finally at age 27,after a string of one loser guy after another I finally made a change.I finally gave up Mr exciting- bad boy and went for a stable nice guy.I guess,I had to get in enough pain to try the nice guy. Almost 18 years later we are still married. We have two little boys 7 and 5. We started out as friends first because he was just too nice, no drama. Big change for me. Your daughter hopefully will come around.She just needs to be sick and tired of being sick and tired.Counseling will help a lot.She is lucky to have you as a mom.

3 moms found this helpful

C.,
Have you thought that she may have some underlying problems with her self esteem or lacks the confidence in herself and just does'nt want to be alone?
I have 3 daughters and each has had errors in judgement. They will come to their senses eventually, so stick with her and keep encouraging her to choose wisely. I did ask my girls why they thought they were'nt worthy of a decent man and that made them start thinking!!! Two out of the three are now married to good men. So just keep telling her she is worth much more than him and maybe she will finally get it!

2 moms found this helpful

Some of our 8 children have stuggled with this problem in the past. I also help woman like this, or their concerned parents, through the work I do. The first thing to realize is that you can never change someone else. You can only change yourself. By doing that the people around you respond differently to you and start to change also. I work with people everyday who come in wanting to change someone else. It is so freeing to them to learn to deal with the fears on their own level and to give responsibility back to the person who they wanted to change. It is good that you are close and can talk. Knowing your fears can be a important part for her to figure out this problem. But it is her problem to figure out. If you do it for her she can not learn what she needs to learn. Counseling is a good thing if you have the right counselor. There are also more alternative methods that can help speed the process along. Let me know if you want to hear more along these lines.

2 moms found this helpful

I don't think there is any real good answer or advice for your situation, not that there is not a light at the end of this tunnel. My sister is in EXACTLY the same situation and she has four beautiful girls with this idiot. She has been the soul support for her family for the 13 yrs they have been together. In that 13 yrs he has worked probably a total of 3 yrs! She was going to kick him out and then his dad got sick so she said she would wait until he was thru that to leave, then he died, he was a saint. So now his drinking probably is worse and he always using that as an excuse. So anywho there is the back story. . . The more I pushed my sister the more she resented me. She even went as far as not speaking to me for 3 yrs even though she agreed with me! She did the same to our mom. Now I have learned to be gentle in what and how I say things and now she is ready to leave him again and all we can do is be there and support her and give her whatever she needs. It is a human flaw that the more people tell is something/someone is bad for us the more we want to prove them wrong, even though we know they are horrible for us. I did the same thing to my mom growing up. Then when I pulled my head out of the sand I met my WONDERFUL husband now of 12 yrs. Sometimes the harder we push for something the more we get the result we don't want. Just be patient, supportive and trust that she is the smart and loving person you know she is who deserves better.

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I can imagine how upset you are because you want what is best for your daughter. Talking her into counseling is the best thing in the world for her. If she stays long enough, she will find out what the underlying facts are that cause her to keep picking this kind of guy, time after time. When she unlocks this emotional problem, she will start looking for different types of men.

I hope this comes soon for you and her, then she will feel strong enought to dump this current loser.

Best of luck

2 moms found this helpful

My guess is that she is/was not close to her dad. Girls that grow up longing for a relationship with their dad often date losers. If there is a dad, or an uncle, or a grandpa that can step in and mentor her, spend time with her, and tell her how special she is, that would help. Something my mom always taught me was to never be with a man that treats his mother in a way I don't want to be treated, or a man that has a father that treats his mother badly. A boy learns how to be a man from his father, and how to treat a wife from his mother. He may be able to change for a little while, but they usually go back to the bad behavior. Something I learned from almost marrying a guy I KNEW was wrong was to treat every dating experience like a job interview. If at any point you realize that you would/should not marry this man, GET OUT! Staying with someone because they are fun or comforting even though you know you don't want to marry them is dangerous because you get too comfortable to leave. It is also essential that your daughter learn how to be without a man and who she is without a man. She needs believe she deserves better.

My philosophy is that all girls need to date at least one jerk so they recognize a good guy when he comes. They key is not to marry him.

2 moms found this helpful

I don't have a daughter this age yet, but I do have 2 girls that will be this age soon enough! I have however, experienced this kind of thing with a very close friend when we were in our 20's. A lot was insecurity and self love and respect. She didn't feel like she was worth getting a man that showed some independent strength and success. The other thing was she needed to be needed and needed to have a boyfriend. I think that she equated the being needed with love. She was searching continually for a fullfillment of some type. I think the fact that your daughter is seeking counsel is great. I hope she can grow to love herself enough to expect the love she deserves from others. It is so nice that you can talk with her. I hope for the best for you two.

2 moms found this helpful

My daughter was the same way! There was nothing I could do or say. She was just an absolute loser magnet. One day she decided to join the Marine Corps which has been GREAT!! She is surrounded every day now by people who are doing something good with their lives. She is working on her education while she is learning a new career while in the Corps too. Now the guys she brings home are very nice, very well mannered and every last one of them has a good job as a US Marine! She has built self confidence she never had before and now attracks winners in the civilian world too!! It has been amazing and I couldn't be prouder of her!!

2 moms found this helpful

Counciling is a great beginning for your daughter to explore and grow in her own need to change. As a mother, being as loving and supportive as you can,(pray a lot) is all you can do. Especially at her age, she will have to choose her life choices. We as moms can influence our kids by example and loving advice. Again, I say. Pray, pray, pray over her.

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Buy her The Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives!

I got this for my sister several years ago because she was dating the biggest losers, and now she's married to a good guy.

2 moms found this helpful

First get her to write down on paper what she wants in a boy-friend. Than get her to write down the things she likes about him and the things she doesn't. Than count them. That will clear the picture in her head and may be she will realise that this guy is not for her (it might take some time). Keep the list somewhere where she can see it and keep adding stuff about him. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

I have twin 21yr old daughters and a 25yr.old daughter. All three have dated loser guys and unfortunately one is still currently involved with a man who is a potential threat. I used to voice my opinion alot but found they stopped coming to me when they needed a shoulder because of the comments or suggestions I would make. I never minced words.. I now know this was a mistake. Our place as a mother is to express our opinions then drop it,,let them fall on thier own and just BE THERE FOR THEM!! Don`t say I told you so!! Don`t bad mouth the guy even if your right, you may alienate her and thats the last thing you want. She`s 24 and you have had 24yrs to help guide her and point her in the right direction, now it`s time for her to question her decisions on her own...Kudos on her getting therapy!!!! Maybe she will learn why she gravitates towards bad boys...She may have self esteem issues and therapy will help that. In the meantime mom be supportive, be careful what you say and wait for her come to her senses on her own. Let her know your always there when she needs you though and I promise you, she will! Good Luck, you are definately not alone.

2 moms found this helpful

Your daughter has to make her own mistakes. She is just dating these boys, not marrying them, so she obviously knows that each one has not been 'the right one'.
For some of us, it takes a long time, a long and painful search to find the man we are supposed to be with.
Keep reminding your daughter she is a smart, beautiful woman who deserves the best.
Keep loving her and supporting her and eventually she will meet the right guy.
I would encourage you to let go a little bit. She is a big girl now. You can't take her struggles on as your own. You need to live a full and happy life yourself.

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Being the daughter that dated loser boyfriends I would have to say that just being a support and giving your advice when it's asked for is the best thing you can do. my mother is very controlling and did everything, and I mean everything in her power to sabotage those relationships. (Not that I think you are doing that!!) But in the end it just made me bitter and want to date them more to spite her. My father on the other hand was very comforting and kept telling me that he was very sorry for my situation, would support me in whatever i did and trusted that i would make the best decision. His approach was far more effective with me. i still tend to see the best in people no matter the crappy decisions they make, i but i am doing far better. so that's my advice because that is what helped me. you're doing great!

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Hello C. -

I find myself constantly recommending this, but it is because it is such a remarkable tool for helping us to sort out our lives - emotions, needs, desires, pains, etc. I highly recommend getting her the book "Non-Violent Communication" by Marshall Rosenberg and getting yourself and your daughter into an NVC class in your area. I believe you can locate instructors through www.cnvc.org

I know it sounds like just a communication method, but it is so much more. It is a means of examining our feelings and identifying what needs are motivating our actions/decisions. It also helps us to learn to truly hear others and thereby assist them in identifying these things AND it gives a tool for conveying what we are feeling without raising others' defensiveness. If you can find a good instructor it is truly lie transforming.

If you are anywhere near Port Townsend WA, there is a phenominal instructor there - Alex Bryan with Third Ear Project. He is worth travelling to study with and may be able to recommend folks in your area if you are far away.

Kudos to you for supporting your daughter and lovingly helping her to work through this pattern and understand it. That love and support is such a gift!

Be well-
D.

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C.: I was your daughter 13 years ago. I dated my highschool sweetheart from my Soph year in highschool until my soph year in college. My parents didn't know what to do- they knew he was not right for me and I was in danger (he was in a gang, etc). He wasn't going to college, didn't have a steady job, was very jealous.... Bottom line- he was a LOSER! The more my parents told me not to see him it pushed me closer to him. My thing was I thought I could change him for the better. Wrong! What made me open my eyes was a friend I met in college. He told me the same thing all my friends and parents told me, but he didn't know the WHOLE situation. For someone not in my inner circle to see all the red flags. So I did it, I broke it off with him, it was not pretty but I did it. I was scared that he would retaliate, etc, but he did not. I hope counseling helps your daughter because i really don't have an answer of how to make her see your point. It was my friend (now my husband) who made me see not my parents. I look back and feel awful of what I put my parents through. I now have a daughter and hope to God she does not do what I did. I know my parents felt helpless. I've been a person who always was in a relationship. I didn't like beign alone. I think it's because I grew up in a single parent family, my parents divorced when I was young and my father died at an early age.

Ask your daughter what she sees in her boyfriend? And how does it make her feel when he lies/cheats, etc? How can she give so much love to someone that does that to her? If he really loved her, he would not do those things. Maybe taking a break would be good, no phone calls nothing.

I hope sharing my story and suggestions will help this situation. I don't want to see anyone in a place I was. I really hope the counseling helps. Please take care.

-Steph
____@____.com

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It sounds as though your daughter has a bit of the savior complex. trying to save every pathetic soul that comes along. I'm happy to here that she is in counceling. that will help alot. I have a younger sister with the same problem but she thought the counceling was a waste of time and now she is 40 and on her fourth marriage none of which has lasted more than 4 years. good luck and keep her in counceling. It will help her figure out why she is attracted to these types of guys.

I'm a mom of 5 married 20 years to my best friend.

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Hi,

I think you have to be really careful, delicate and back off a bit. She is in counselling and you are praying so those seem to be great steps in the right direction. You know, the more she trys to love and help these losers, the worse they probably become. Similarly, the more you focus on helping her, the worse she might become. She needs to learn that there are consequences for her actions and that she is a separate individual to you...when you describe how you "exhaust every effort (to get her to change her choices or "see the light"), you are showing her that this is how you love someone. So, maybe she, in turn, is going ahead and and exhasting all her efforts to make her boyfriend change becasue she thinks this is what love is. If you can just back off, let her make her own decisions (and take the consequences) and pray for her, you will show her that this is what love is...allowing someone to make their own decisions. Then she might find a guy who also knows how to make his own good decisions. Hang in there with friendship and support if she asks for it or gets her heart broken, but I would stop trying to change her mind or her choices.

2 moms found this helpful

Went through the same thing as you daughter only I was a bit younger. You are doing the perfect things for her trust me. Counseling is a great thing for her. Continue to be patient with her. I ended up with a wonderful guy!!! I wouldn't change aything I went through with the string of losers because honestly, the experiences taught me alot about myself and what I was capable of. You sound like an amazingly supportive mom.........Keep it up no matter how tuff it may be at times

2 moms found this helpful

Has she asked the question, "Am I dating to date, or dating for marriage?" I am so thrilled that you have a close relationship with her. All is not lost in my opinion. This boy whom she is dating sounds like someone she should run away FROM as fast as her legs can carry her. He sounds like someone who needs that counseling in order to be a stable person. Is your daughters counselor someone whom you can trust? I'd maybe try and go with her if you're not sure. Does your daughter still live with you? Do you feel brave enough to put your foot down? I'd also suggest to her that she take a break from this guy to gain a little perspective. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Hi C., It sounds like your daughter needs a self esteem boost! I don't know if you two are Oprah fans, but Oprah's latest book is suppose to be a real life changer! Maybe you both can sign up for her live work shop thats starting on Monday night on the internet. Go to www.Oprah.com and read all about it. This book could really help your daughter find her true purpose and gain some confidence in her self and find out that she doesn't need to be with losers to feel better. I wish you the best in finding happiness...SS

2 moms found this helpful

Hi C.,
Unfortunately there are two things we don't bank on when we are raising our beautiful children. 1.) that they rarely turn out the way we thought they would and 2.) we may not be happy with their choice of mates.

The first is the easiest. Once we realize that they are who they are and not much different than they ever were we can continue to love them unconditionally as who they turned out to be. So if we thought she would be a rocket scientist we may find out we have a dancer or a chef.. We can handle that.

What really frightens us is when we find them in relationships that we don't feel are healthy for them. Then we are between a rock and a hard place. If we say too much we drive them towards the other person. If we say nothing we are abandoning them to their own choices and of course they do not have our experience so this is risky. So unless this young man is abusive.....

You have encouraged her to get counseling and she is doing so. That , in my opinion is as far as you can go. Now it is between her and her counselor or counselors (if she doesn't feel this one is working for her) and herself. As you said, she is a smart girl. She has choices to make.. and things to learn about herself. A counselor is one way to do it.

You are a very caring loving person. Your daughter takes after you in this way.It is not uncommon for caring persons, especially those in the caring professions like nursing ,social work etc. to select mates who make them feel needed and important. If this is her direction, she will need your love as always and your support......both in her career choices and her mate. I know you will be there for her....and I know you think she is a very bright and competent person. I do too. So let's think about what would happen if we stood back and let her make her own decisions and just took on the roll of supporter instead of life coach. After all, when all is said and done, all we really want for our children is that they are happy.Right? If this young man loves her and makes her happy, well good for all of you. You are better off than most. If not, then the counselor has her work cut out for her and you are still there for love and support whatever happens. So hang on for the ride!Good luck with this. Let me know how it works out.
Love,
T.

2 moms found this helpful

When you find the answer, let me know!!! Yes,I have a wonderful, beautiful 23 year old daughter (from a previous marriage, I divorced her father when she was 3 yrs old) that has done this same thing. I thought my divorce had something to do with it. I remarried when she was 6 yrs old to a wonderful man (he is a deputy sheriff, who treated her just as he does our 15 yr old daughter). I too am very close to both of my daughters and love them both dearly. I want the world for both so I feel your pain and understand fully what you are going through. But,I had to let her experience the losers (from 15 yrs old to 22 yrs old). She even married the last one but divorced after 1 year. The best thing that came out of the relationship was my 2 1/2 year old grandson. My grandson is a blessing and a love.
My daughter finally met someone decent (not the best but better than the others) whom she has been with for about 9 months. As a mother, noone is good enough for our little girls. I even went so far as to find nice men that I knew for her before she met this last guy. It worked for a while. All I can say is do not give up on your daughter, let her know you love her no matter what. After a while, she will hopefully want to be treated better and move on to someone that treats her like she should be treated. Good Luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

While reading your request, I could help buy wonder what your daughter's father thinks. It sounds like she could us a little bit of good father figure advice, love and protection...yes, even at 24 years old. Does she have a role model like this?

1 mom found this helpful

I've read your concerns and people's replies here. What I haven't seen is any advice about the boyfriend. Perhaps he needs some guidance and career counseling to find out what he wants to do for a career. Maybe your daughter should ask him, "Do you want to be a needy person the rest of your life, relying on others for everything? Or, would you like to have a fulfilling career where you can support yourself and have a place to go?" It doesn't sound to me like he's found his "niche" yet.

My 21 year old daughter has been dating a loser who I call Mooch, because that is what he does. He has mooched off of my ex-husband by living with him for 6 months rent free. He has mooched off of me, borrowed money from everybody he knows, and barely works. I recently lost it and called him a few choice words like chicken-s***, because he is spineless and a coward. He ruins everything that is good in my daughters life and is always promising to give her an engagement ring. He has continually let her down. I am so upset to see her so heartbroken every time he lies to her about the "ring". He needs to get out of her life, because she doesn't deserve this treatment. She goes to counseling, but he somehow manages to influence her to discuss a more serious matter prior to her counseling appointments. I pray for her to get out off this relationship, soon!

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