March 05, 2008,
M.P. asks from Eastpointe, MI on September 27, 2006
Son's New Girlfriend Causing Chaos. Sarrow and Sleepless Nights
my son has always been great even during those so called "teen-rebellion" years. during his senior year he had to be home by 10 week day and one on the weekend ... which of course i stayed up to know that he was safely home ... he has now met this girlfriend of 4 months and argues that he should be allowed to stay out until 4 am ... ARE YOU KIDDING ME! honestly i do not think it is my son that is the problem or even honestly wanting to stay out until this time ... my real question is how do you get rid of the girlfriend without hurting your son's feelings or having to watch him be unhappy? my son just left for college and so far he has been home 3 out of 4 weekends ... the one weekend he stayed ... the girlfriend ... went up to spend the weekend with him. i know my son is growing up and i want him to live life to the fullest but not with her ... there is just something about her that is WRONG ... she is sneaky and she puts pressure on him that he has to come home or they are breaking up ... she only sees him 3 days a week and that is not enough! i can't sleep because i worry about him ... what do i do ... i want him to be happy and full of life like he use to be not depressed and sad all of the time ... ANY IDEAS?
So What Happened?™
UPDATE: son called from school upset because his girlfriend has his password for his email and he has just found out that she has not only read emails sent to him but she has responded pretending to be him ... he has changed his email and would like to be picked up so that he can come home for the weekend and sort this all out! could this be the straw ... could this be the ray of light ... or will she figure out a way to bs her way through this one too ... pray for him to be strong!!! i will attempt to keep my mouth shut and ears open while inside i will be doing river dance! i know he trusted her and thats why he allowed her to know his password but it is controlling, immature and rude to answer someone else's mail regardless whom it is from. he's tooo bright to be this stupid ... is love really this blind?
K.C. answers from Detroit on February 12, 2007
I've been through this with my own parents, not to mention all four of my brothers have too. I'm now 28, married with a two year old. My brothers are 30, 25, 22, and 21. I've seen a lot of people who said it's ok to have a "my house, my rules" concept and I don't agree with this. There comes a point in time when you have to let your kids be adults.
If you want your son coming home at a decent hour, don't make it about YOUR rules. Make it about courtesy for others who live in the house. For example: "I'd appreciate it if you came in the house by 1am because it wakes me (or the father) when you come in. If you can't be home by that time, I'd appreciate if you spent the night elsewhere and called to let me know so I don't worry that the reason you're not home is because you've been in an accident."
Telling them they have a curfew because you're their parent and it's your house is pretty ridiculous if he doesn't live there full-time, or even half-time. If he's living on his own elsewhere, then you have to trust that he knows how to get himself home to bed without you telling him so why would you feel the need to "parent" him when he's home? Again, it shouldn't be about what you think is best for him, but about what you think is courteous to the others. HE has to decide on his own what is best for him. It's part of being an adult.
By saying "my house, my rules" you're telling them that it's not their home and that they're only welcome there when they're willing to do what you want. That might not be what you meant, but that's the way they take it. So, my advice, make it about being courteous of others. My youngest brother's gf lives in my parent's house, along with the bro, but they don't share rooms and they aren't allowed to sleep in the other's room. This is courtesy for the youngest siblings (age 12 and 13). It's a "bad influence".
Sometimes you just have to let go. Understand that your son is now an adult and needs to learn to solve his own problems. Your role is to be supportive and give a helping hand only when asked. Otherwise, he needs to stand on his own two feet. I wouldn't worry so much about the gf. Trust me on this, there are thousands of girls at his college that are going to have much more in common with him that the old gf doesn't. The other girls will have common professors, common studies, common friends, common school interests, common college-related problems, common goals. He's going to grow apart from her and want a gf who is closer and has more things in common with him.
Long-distant relations are difficult to maintain. She already complains about seeing him only 3 days a week. It's going to become less and less until one or both decide it's just not working and they want someone who is closer and more convenient to see. She's been checking his email and interfering with his relationship with others. That's a HUGE sign that she already knows he's growing apart from her and has a life separate from her. Too bad for her. She should have known from the minute he said he was going away for college that their relationship was doomed. Happens nearly every time.
I'm sorry you have trouble sleeping because you worry so much about your son. Sounds to me like you're a caring mother who loves her son very much and only wants what's best for him. Though I'm not the oldest of my siblings, I was the oldest in the house (older brother lived with out father). Our mother had to go through just what you are going through, minus the gf/bf. She held on too tightly and I felt I had to force her to let go so I went to college on the other side of the country and stayed away for a year. It took a very long time for her to adapt to her little girl being an adult who makes her own decisions. But once she adapted, she was fantastic. I tell everyone that I have the best mother in the world. She's raised 8 kids, four of us in/finished college, three are too young for college, and one has a very good job with a very wonderful wife with twins on the way. And none of had a curfew after turning 18. Well, except me, but I moved away so I could learn to be an adult without another adult telling me how to do it. :)
Good luck. Being a parent is the hardest job in the world, no matter what age your kids are. It's a full-time, permanent position. Just keep in mind, once they reach adult-hood, it's time to go part-time and let them start doing some of the work to raise themselves.
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M.N. answers from Columbus on September 28, 2006
OK so you don't like the girlfriend - it happens - if he really is depressed and she is the reason, the situation will work itself out on its own. Just be there to support your son, if he asks you what you think about things partaining to his girlfriend be truthful, but not hurtful and then let it go. Like other have stated trust that your son has the tools to make good decisions.
Encourage your son to not come home every weekend also. My freshman year I had a job on the weekends so I missed out a lot and my friends at school stopped asking me to do things because I was never available on the weekends (my college was 10 minutes away from my parents house). It really sucked. Trust me, I'm sure that his girlfriend isn't the only reason he seems depressed and sad. Find out way he's depressed before you assume that it's all his girlfriends fault - it's been my experience that one is never depressed just for one reason.
As for the curfew 1:00am isn't so bad - I remember coming home from college in the summers to a 2:00am curfew and I thought that that was just crazy, I'd been on my own with no curfew and now I had to have a curfew again - but stick to your guns, parents have to be in control, remember your house, your rules. My parents used to say all the time, "My house, my rules when you have your own house you can make your own rules." I see the wisdom in that now - I respect my parents for giving me stability and loving me enough to worry about me. You can compromise with him though, maybe extended his curfew until 2:00am after all he's probably over 18 now or close to it, that way he'll feel like you trust him a little bit more.
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T.S. answers from Cincinnati on September 28, 2006
Wow I can not say I fell your pain my little one is only 12m old (god help us when she gets to this age:)
HOWEVER only being 30 I can say just a little over a decade ago I was this girl you are speaking of on the other end. I thought I was totally in love and never understood why my boyfriends mom hated me. I considered my self a pretty nice girl I had alot of friends and was like by pretty much everyone who met me. She always was "so" rude to me and tried everything to break us up. My parents were also more leanient and his more strict. Looking back now I see that I guess she just "knew" I was not the one for her son because eventually we broke up. (not because of her)I am married now to a wonderful man for 5yrs now who's mother LOVED me instantly and is more of my friend than my mother in law.
So all you can do is just wait it out:) Try to include her more in family functions maybe that will scare her away LOL
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H.H. answers from Columbus on September 28, 2006
You specifically asked how to get rid of the girlfriend.
Yes, you'll worry. Yes, you are uncomfortable with the girl he's chosen, but sadly, the more you try to control the situation, the more you damage your relationship with your son.
T.G. answers from Youngstown on September 27, 2006
My short and simple suggestion: Invite her over more. That way, you get to see your son more, and you get to check her out also. See where her head is really at. And your son will appreciate it. Eventually, he will see greener pastures and move on.
P.G. answers from Dayton on September 27, 2006
me and my mom went through a similar situation a few years ago. from your sons point of veiw the more you push the more he will push back. he is "on his own" he is now an "adult".thats what he is thinking. what he needs from you is to know that you are there for him regardless. what i told my mom was that i need to make my own mistakes. this wont be the last girlfriend you dont like. but remember let him no your feelings on her then let him no that regardless hes your son and you will love him and always be there for him.
P.J. answers from Columbus on September 27, 2006
First thing you need to realize is he is an adult and he has to make his own mistakes. If you try to run his life then he is going to rebell. If he likes this girl you need to let him date her the more you stress that you don't like her its only going to push them closer. Let him live his life and make his own mistakes. You lived yours and I am sure you have your fair share of mistakes now its his turn. Unfortunatlly we can not prevent our kids from making mistakes.
C.J. answers from Youngstown on September 27, 2006
You have been very lucky. I have been through 3 teenage daughters. And I'm on my forth right now, she is 12. My oldest I adopted at the age of 15, she is 29 now. Girls are rough. Boys seem to be more honest.
It seems to me your son has probably had very good friends up until this point in life. Start noticing if his friends statis has changed? Or even if he has alienated alot of friends, now that he has romance in his life.
What does his dress look like? Has it changed? Maybe to all black? Does his skin and hair look different? Is he grouchy and irratiable? Has his music changed? Does he openly offer you information on his where-a-bouts?
Or it can also possiably be that he is being controlled. It seems she uses the, "I'll brake up with you, if...".
Or there may be nothing to worry about at all, and your son is just testing his adult ground.
If he is under 18, you have the law on your side. Most cities have curfews. If he is over 18, you can pull the, "this is my house, if you don't like it, get out, or pay rent."
I know from personal experience, if you and this girl do not get along, she may win. He may take off with her and live in a dump.
My daughter who is now 21, use to have a grade point average of 3.95. She was co-captain of her basketball team. Didn't smoke, drink or use drugs. She met a boy in 12th grade, that did all of the above. She dropped out of basketball started using drugs and drinking, and was so in love with this kid. She would sneak out of the house in the middle of the night to see him. She learned to steal, lie, sneak and do everything I did not raise her to do. She had colleges all over the country who wanted her. She ended up getting caught with drugs on her at school. She was expelled for 180 days. It almost destroyed her. She managed to get back in school the following year and graduated 3.75, but her mental state had changed. She no longer was with this loser, but soon found another one. I kicked her out of my house, because she could not follow rules. That guy dumped her, and she found another loser. She thinks she can change these guys, but they end up changing her. Now I do not know my dauughter anymore. She doesn't drink or do drugs and goes to meetings, but she is destroyed inside. She has no ambition left anymore, like she use to. The only thing I can do now is pray for her.
We raise them the best that we can. Provide for them all their needs, and wants. And its still the luck of the draw. They find others that have more input on their life in a couple months, and forget what we taught them for 18 years. Because they think this is what love is. Now she is under the thumb of a control freak. She hasn't gone to college and doesn't even work now. He works and tells her that he doesn't want her to work. Depression is all over her.
I wish you all the luck in the world and you will be in my prayers. God Bless