18 Year Old Senior with Boyfriend We Don't Accept

Updated on May 30, 2013
K.D. asks from Chesapeake, VA
42 answers

My daughter has been a great kid until January of this year. She's a good student (senior in high school)-GPA 3.85. January she started dating a guy 5 years older than her! We have always had a rule for dating--nobody over two year older. The history with this guy is that he was attracted to her when she was 16 and he was 21! We found out and let him know we would have him arrested and contact his employer if he didn't stop contacting her. It worked but only until her 18th birthday. She broke up with her boyfriend of 8 months and started dating this 23 year old in January! When we found out we told her if she didn't stop seeing him we would take her car and sell it. She told us she would stop but then we found out she was lying to us and they were in a relationship. We took her car and sold it as we said we would! She was upset but continued to see him! We told her it wasn't allowed so she moved out to a friend's house for three weeks. Before she moved out of the house we told her we wouldn't pay for college if she moved out. She came back home and continued to see him. We've tried to look the other way but now she's engaged (with a ring)! She is going to graduate in a few weeks and wants to go to college---she was accepted into 5 universities and knows the one she wants to attend. Now she wants us to co-sign her loans since she was denied. I think she acts entitled and will not pay the loans since she feels we should pay for college. Now that she's engaged we feel she's making plans for her future against our wishes that aren't conducive for going to college. Oh yeah, this 23 year old has decided to go back to school, of course. I would bet he will move to her college and they will play house while we back loans for college and living in the dorm that she wouldn't be living in! We have told her that since she's engaged this changes everything. College is a lot of money--about $25000 a year! I want her to go to college but I also don't feel like we should back the loans when she isn't living by our rules--dating someone we think is somewhat of a stalker (waiting around for her to turn 18) and way too old for her. He has not been a good influence. We told her that they are in two different places in their lives--she is in high school and he's been working for 5 years--much more mature than she is. Any suggestions on how to handle this?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thanks for all your responses. It has really helped to get other points of view that aren't so close to the situation. We have decided to back off, co-sign the loans and hope that at college she will grow out of this relationship. It really hit home that what our goals were with our daughter and what actions would possibly produce the opposite effect. I do believe if we don't co-sign the college loans she would have no choice but to marry him. We love our daughter very much and hate to see her making poor choices but we will do everything we can to help her succeed and that means going to college. It'll be up to her from there. Thanks again!

Featured Answers



answers from Oklahoma City on

Aww Mama this has to be so hard. I would pull all financial support like you have done but still reach out and be there for her in every other way. Don't sign a loan but I would still reach out to her in other ways. She needs to know and feel you are there for her just not financially. Keep trying to talk with her. I would mostly listen and give very little advice. Blessings!

More Answers


answers from Seattle on

I dated a man 13 (!) years my senior when I was 19. We dated for almost 4 years. he was the best relationship I had, besides my husband.
Mom, if you want her to resent you then keep on fighting with her about this man. She obviously loves him and wants to marry him.
Who knows, this could be her husband for the rest of her life.
And you have already set the stage to be a horrible MIL.
She can still go to college, community college, and work. LOTS of people have done that. And it's not $25K.
And isn't it a GOOD thing that the 23 year old wants to go back to school??

17 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

Back off and accept that it is her life. She is an adult now, and there is nothing illegal or creepy about an 18 year old dating a young 20something. If you don't want to co-sign her loan then don't, but stop trying to control her life or you will end up pushing her away. You don't know this man, he may make a wonderful husband and father, but if you continue to judge him and push her away you will more then likely not get to see much of them in the future. Once she gets married she will no longer need you to co-sign for her loan anyways.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Back off a bit. You are coming down on her too hard and too fast - let the girl breathe!

If you want her to go to university so badly and can afford it, then I say you should still pay for it. Otherwise, do you REALLY think she'll do it on her own? With a new husband, playing house? I'm not saying give her the money - pay the university directly. And insisting that she maintain a decent GPA or you'll stop paying isn't totally heartless.

Aside from thinking he's a stalker and a bad influence (specifics would be helpful here btw!) what's so horrible about this guy? Yes, he's older than your daughter, but they are both consenting adults. Get to know him. Have him over for dinner. Have him come and spend the day with your family. You never know, you might just end up LIKING the guy! haha

My husband and I started dating in high school at 16. We both knew that we were IT from the beginning and have been together ever since. 9 years of marriage (15 years together) and 3 beautiful children later I can't imagine what would have happened if my parent had treated me and my relationship the way you are. Honestly, it probably would have chased me into a shotgun wedding.

She's your daughter. You love her? Support her. Even if she marries him and you don't approve you have to just suck it up. Unless he is abusive in any way, you don't have any rights regarding this relationship. And if you don't change your attitude, you risk losing your daughter.

Is being victorious in this battle worth the casualties?

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Why don't you like him besides the age difference? What do you know about him? Besides dating him what else is she doing to make her a bad kid? I think you are way off in the way you are handling this. If you agreed to help her pay for college than I think you should help her.regardless of who she is dating going to college will only benefit her. She is an adult now and there really isn't much you can make her do. Back off a little, help her make a plan, support her, and be there for her, or she'll end up resenting you. For what it's worth I got married at 18 and hubby is 4 years older. We'll be celebrating 10 years of marriage in a couple of weeks. I went to college, had three kids, we have a house, and make a good income, I am a sahm. What I am saying is she is not doomed, neither of them sound stupid to me,

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I agree with Dana and Dorris on this one, K..

I have a few things to add:
You say your daughter was a "great kid" up until she started dating this fellow. I am not sure I understand how your daughter has become anything other than a great kid. It seems that you are only unhappy with her behavior because she is dating someone who you don't approve of. From my perspective, that doesn't make her a bad kid. It makes her a great kid dating a guy her parents don't approve of.

Withholding education should be on your list of things not to do. Your daughter will be considered a dependent until she is 24 years old, married, or has a child. Thus, to pay for college (which she seems set on attending...Yay!), she will need help from her (affluent) parents, to get married, or to have a child. I suggest that if you are against the marriage, you do not actively push her towards it by making it the only viable way she is able to pursue a college education. I have known people to get married only so that they can go to school.

I highly suggest you stop using finances to control her decisions, and that you find a way to mend the rift between you. This is the type of action that can destroy a relationship for life. Your little girl is an adult now. She will make decisions you approve of and those you don't. She must follow her own path - not that that you have decided for her.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I think it is 100% wrong of you to hold paying for college as a reward/punishment for her relationship. If you gave her the expectation you would pay for her college until this guy, you should pay for it. You do want her to have a college education - whether or not this relationship succeeds.

When I was 18, I met a 23 year old at college and we started dating. We will be together 30 years next Spring.We are married, have a 7 year old child, a house and a business. Five years is just not that big an age difference. And 18 is old enough to vote, old enough to join the armed forces. You don't get to set the rules anymore. You need to trust that you have taught her well and let her make her choices.

You are pushing the two of them together, not separating them. You are also setting yourself up for lifelong resentment if they do go ahead and get married. You will be 'those' in laws.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I'm sorry, K., but you made a really big mistake and now you've painted yourself into a corner. You made the forbidden fruit more and more enticing and this is what you have because of it.

At age 18, she has a right to date someone 5 years older than her. You should have clamped your mouth shut, and she wouldn't have moved out.

What would have happened with college tuition if she hadn't been seeing him? Would you have co-signed loans for her? Probably. Now that you see marriage on her horizon, you don't want her to go to college on your dime. That's up to you. You could tell her that she will need to go to community college and work to save up money to go to a university. What may really happen is that she works to put HIM through school.

When they marry, he will be YOUR son-in-law. How will you feel if you NEVER see your daughter and her husband? Is that what you want? You don't get to control her life once she is out of the house. You can withhold money from her so that she has no secondary education, but by doing that, all you are doing is pushing her out of YOUR life into HIS arms.

I suggest that you think long and hard about how you'll feel if your daughter walks out of your life for a very long time because of your actions. When the first grandchild comes along, you may have wished that you had sent her to college where she had a lot of incentive to NOT have a child right away in a young marriage. You might also wish that you had accepted this young man so that you could see your grandchild...

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Besides his age, what else do you find you do not like about him?

Does he have a job?

Does he have his own place that HE pays for?

What is it he is going to study at college?

What is his family life like?

How does he treat your daughter?

Why does she like him?

My mother was a wise woman. She did not always care for the guys I went out with or liked.. and so she made sure they spent a lot of time with our family.

She would invite them over for meals, days that we did chores around the house. They attended church with us. Attended big family gatherings, meeting our other relatives.

They either held their own, or I would realize, they were not so great..
or they would disappear.

The good thing is they got to know me and my family. If they did not treat my mom well, I was done with them. Or they would respect my mom and so of course they respected me.

You can punish your daughter by withholding your support of her continued education. This will either drive her away. Or it will allow her to decide if she can put herself through college without your help.

Either way.. it will be a huge strain on your family. Decide if this rift is worth it to you.

I would let her know I would pay for her to live in a dorm, but I would not pay rent for her boyfriend to live off of you. It really would not make sense that he would expect that. Surely she would agree. A 25 year old man living off of any parents is just strange.

Now if he and she are going to pay their own rent and bills. Then maybe you can pay for the education portion IF she keeps her grades up. Go semester by semester.

I also would make sure she understands if she gets pregnant, that she will need to be totally financially responsible. Because if she cannot afford to have a baby, she should not be getting pregnant.

Mom, I would also be freaking out. This is very hard on all of you. But she will always be your child. She cannot help who she loves. She is now an adult. You can punish her, but then you could lose her. Is it worth it to you?

My husband and I married when we were 20. Our parents really wanted us to wait. They did not help us (except for my mom) in any way.. And so we quit college, got jobs, saved up and paid for our own Wedding. We have now been married aver 30 years. I no longer speak with my mother inlaw and my husband and daughter have to be pushed (by me) to even call her. She had also forbade us from living together and getting married. Told us she would NEVER help us or support us. We told her we were not asking her permission. She got her wish.. We never asked her for help except the one time we were completely, totally out of options.

She is the last person we consider informing about anything, except about our daughter.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

She's legally an adult mama. And no matter how much you dislike this guy or his age, she can see who she wants. You've tried all kinds of tactics to no avail.

You can choose to not sign the loans. Fine. That is only going to push them closer together. She's engaged. At this moment she intends to marry him. You can choose to hate him and ruin any remaining relationship with your daughter, or you can try to see something good in him. I know. I too was engaged my senior year to a man five years older. In hindsight, I can see that he was controlling. He had no goals or future plans other than to be with me. His talk of school and education was only talk. But at the time all I knew is that I loved this guy and he loved me. My parents let me know they weren't thrilled with the idea, but they never held my education at ransom. And trust me, they hated this guy, there was never a question about that. Now, my parents did tell me they were helping with school and living costs and car insurance. If I moved in with him or anyone else, all they were willing to pay was insurance and tuition. I knew they meant it. Shortly after fish camp (freshman tour and introduction to campus) I started to see things for what they really were. College reinforced that I wanted some independence and time to explore options. So we broke up. IF my parents hadn't given me that opportunity, I would have definitely married that guy.

I asked my mother years later what she would have done if I married him. She said she would have been disappointed, but would have dug down deep and concentrated and found something she could like or tolerate about him. I asked her why (because again, my parents HATED this guy). She told me that she would want to find something good about someone I loved so she could be a part of my life, even if it meant being an actress when he was in the room. She said life was too short to not get to spend time with her kids and possible grandchildren.

And I also think that part of my issue in high school was this was my way to rebel. I didn't party. I made good grades. I followed the rules. I did what I was asked. This engagement was my one huge statement. One way to crawl under my parent's skin. But I don't really think I was totally aware that that's what I was doing at the time...it took a long time to make that realization. But since I was such a good girl, knowing my parents couldn't stand this guy made it more interesting, exciting and inviting.

Just some food for thought. I truly understand where you are coming from, but obviously, this guy means a lot to her. She's already willing to give up so much to prove it to everyone. Are you willing to gamble her education and future just to prove that you really disagree with her choices?

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Wow, so now she's going to move in with him as soon as possible and not get any sort of education. If he can get financial aid they should get married and she'll get financial aid too. She'll be an independent adult.

Once she marries him she won't be considered to be your dependent so it's in her best interest to marry him asap so they can afford to go to college is what I'm saying I guess.

I loved my years in college. I had a daughter that was in Kindergarten and up. I was financially better off during these years than at any other time. I lived on campus in married student housing and every single bill was taken out of my money before I got a single penny. When I got my check I paid my car insurance for a year in advance, I put a chunk of the money in reserve so I could buy gasoline and food. I had no worries at all.

If I were you I'd try to get to know him and see if you can get past the fact that he saw her when she was 16 and knew she was "the one" for him. It sounds like he didn't try to go too far at that time, now she's an adult.

Several of my LDS friends were married while in college and never planned on getting pregnant until they could afford it. But then the speaker at a general conference gave a talk about having children. They each and every one made the decision to go ahead and start their families. They were fine financially. They lived within their means the best they could and if the did need help their families ALL helped out. They supported them starting a family and getting an education. They ALL sent money for bills and food storage by the truck loads.

Each of these young families have fathers that work and make a living to support their family. They work hard and do what they need to do. They know they have their families love and support no matter what mistakes they might make.

I think that if this guy loves her and treats her well then she should do what she wants as far as getting married to him.

BTW, 2 of my friends have had to co-sign for their kids to get loans in financial aid. I didn't understand it but evidently until a child is 25 or some specific age their parents income counts against them when they apply because they're not considered to be an independent adult.

So she should get married to this guy as soon as possible so she can file for her own financial aid for herself or with both of them and the parents income won't have anything to do with their income.

2 cousins and one old friend, she was in my first wedding, married guys older than they were. All of them stayed married their whole lives. My one cousin lost her husband after 40 years of marriage. She hasn't ever dated anyone since. He was that special. My friend from high school that got married at 17 to a 16 year old guy is still married 6 kids later, the death of one of their kids from falling off the top bunk brought them through the fire and they are strong and happy.

Getting married young or to an older person isn't the end of all things. It could be the beginning of the rest of her life with the person she will grow old with and sit in the rocking chair next to in the nursing home wondering who all those old people are that keep coming to visit and calling them mom and dad....lol.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You want her to go to college right? Right now you are putting up lots of roadblocks for her. She could file a FAFSA form at the beginning of next year to see if there is any financial aid available for the 2014 year. However until she is 24 (unless she is married) they will take the parents income and savings into account even if you don't give her a dime. So if you have the financial means to send her and you don't, you will effectively disqualify her for any funds she would receive on her own. The only way around that is for her to file for an emancipation of minority (that's the TX form, I don't know what it is in other states.
I hope you will rethink this whole thing. What is it about the boyfriend do you not like besides his age? He respected your wishes and did stop seeing her until she turned 18. He has been working for 5 years-sounds pretty responsible to me. He would like to go to college-sounds promising to me. She is engaged- she can go to college when she is engaged and she can go to college if she is married.
I am sorry you feel like she is not living up to the life you want her to live. You cannot control everything in your daughter's life. If you expect to have any relationship with her down the road you better rethink your position. It sounds like your daughter is doing so many things right. She is a good student, she stopped seeing him for several years, she wants to go to college, she moved back home. Now she is engaged and wanting to continue her education.
I know high school friends of mine which a similar scenario - they got married their 2nd year of college, both graduated, have successful lives, a loving marriage and wonderful kids and a grandmother who is barely in the picture.
My other suggestion would be to find an impartial third party - someone you and your daughter trust- maybe a clergyman and let him meet with the couple to see if he sees any major red flags in that relationship.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

WOW, I am so sorry for your daughter. Are you THAT skeptical of your parenting skills and how you raised her that you believe you own her.? Any child with this much pressure from a parent will run for the hills as soon as they as legally able just to get away from the controlling behavior.

Have you any reason other than his age to be so dead set against this? Hmmm I've been married 25 yrs to my husband who is 6 yr older than me. SHAME>>>>>

So has your behavior been worth it?

If you continue treating your daughter like you own her, you'll for sure lose her for good and she'll run anywhere but to you.

She could really love this guy, HOWEVER....she could be staying with him to spite you.

Back off......... you don't own her.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

My dad was 6 years older than my mom, my grandfather was 7 years older than my grandmother, my best friend is 5 years younger than her husband (they started dating when she was 14 and they have been married 20+ years). Keep in mind that girls mature much faster than boys, so an 18 year old girl is probably as mature as a 23 year old boy.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I'm not sure I'd this helps, but I met my husband when he was 19 and I was 24. He also did not have a h.s. diploma. September 2 will be our 15 year wedding anniversary. I know we are the exception but maybe your daughter is to.


I'm not sure I'd this helps, but I met my husband when he was 19 and I was 24. He also did not have a h.s. diploma. September 2 will be our 15 year wedding anniversary. I know we are the exception but maybe your daughter is to.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

So you don't want to be part of her life....

She sounds smart so she probably already knows she doesn't need you to "back the loans".

Okay, now that I read the rest of this, troll!

I just finished college a few years ago, there is no cosigners needed for student loans!

No parent would sell a car at a loss to teach their child a lesson!

My god this is going to be a long summer if the kiddies are already trolling

Oh oh!! and if you weren't a kid, I would guess freshman, you would know that the FAFSA must be filled out by March with your schools picked!! and you would have already picked your college last summer!!

Seriously grow up!

And 25,000??? With room and board!! Yeah, that is what they call the dorm room. Try 45,000!!
Gamma, that isn't considered or called cosigning and it isn't until 25. My daughter is 23 and employed full time. She no longer uses my information on her FAFSA for her masters. She is not claimed by me, has a full time income, she is an independent student.

Still using my financial information when she was my dependent was not cosigning. I am in no way shape or form responsible for her student loans.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

The more you try to pull them apart, the more you push her towards him.
Back off!
My husband of 23 years is 11 years my senior...
5 years is nothing!
Get to know this young man. Include him in your family activities. Get your daughter a car and stop all this nonsense. You are making her choose and it's not you she is choosing. Give the guy a chance -- he will either go away or end up being your son in law...

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

Well, in my opinion, you've done a great job with your daughter - that is, if the end result was never wanting to see her again!!

My in-laws made all the same types of threats and decisions you have and they haven't seen two of their five children in more than ten years; they have grandchildren they've never even met! The other three weren't really dating much so they weren't faced with as many threats, etc., they followed the rules just to be sure their college expenses would all be paid. All the relationships with my in-laws are strained because of their controlling ways.

Not sure how bad the boyfriend is, but if she's still wanting to attend college and so is he, just how bad can he be? I just hope you've talked with her about birth-control; or are you avoiding the subject thinking if it's not talked about, she won't do it? My sister was like that; she has five grandchildren now and it's anyones' guess as to who the fathers are!!!

Your daughter has obviously made some mistakes and will continue to do so; wouldn't it be nice if she had a nice place to fall when things do fall apart??!!!

Good luck!!!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I'm with Flaming Turnip on this one. Either this is a troll post or you are really making hash of this... in which case,Birdsfreakmeout said what I thought.

Did you ever think that you are putting her into a situation where she more or less *has* to stay with him? I've seen this happen before...get the relationship out of stalemate and give her an "out".... acceptance will be far more progressive in the long run.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Erie on

If you were my mother and I was 18yo:
I'd have lied to you, too.
I wouldn't care about the car.
I would find a way to move in with, then marry, this guy since he isn't trying to control my life and you are.
I'd cut off contact with you until you grew up.

That said, your first mistake was promising to pay for college. Your second mistake was thinking you could control your child with "things". Has it occurred to you that you raised a mature responsible daughter that waited TWO YEARS to date this guy (per your request) who now has to deal with your temper tantrum because you are now not getting your way?

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

The long and short of it is she's an adult. You can put stipulations on the purse strings if it's your money, certainly. But he did wait til she was 18 and she's decided to keep seeing him no matter what. If you cosign, or not, make it about her reliability and study habits and not about this guy. Maybe they will marry. And maybe they won't. But I would think long and hard about whether I wanted to ruin my relationship with my daughter over her boyfriend. Is he objectionable in any other way, other than knowing her before she was 18? If you want her to go to college, is it going to achieve your goals to make it harder?

Whether or not she continues with this guy, she is still your daughter. Is this a hill to die on? If you send her to college, you are trusting that you put enough sense in her head that she can navigate the world without you.

FWIW, my SD is turning 19 and her BF of 6 months is 23. What matters most to me is that he treats her well and she is happy. Boys her own age broke her heart in stupid and juvenile ways. This guy sat in the ER with her twice her first semester and made sure she was OK when her then boyfriend texted her maybe 8 times during her whole ordeal. And that was it. No calls, no flowers, nothing. So I'm okay with her new BF.

Keep perspective.

ETA: We told the kids we could provide a set amount. Beyond that was all on them. DH has cosigned loans but SD needs to pay them. If you/she cannot afford the tuition, then she needs to look at other schools. My SD turned down a school we could not afford without about $60K in loans. She decided not to be in that much debt. Be smart about it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I think you are overreacting.

I'm not saying that you have to pay for college or for their wedding, but I really think that you are overreacting.

My husband is 12 years my senior, and I was 17 when we started dating. We dated for 3 years before getting engaged, and have now been married for almost 1 year. We have one child together and are now expecting our second. We are VERY happily married and financially stable. Who cares if we are 12 years apart? We don't. Our family doesn't. Our friends don't.

Just because he is older doesn't mean that he is horrible, and 5 years really isn't that bad.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Bloomington on

Not sure that waiting for her for 2 years makes him a stalker AND if they did actually abide by your wishes and stopped seeing each other for those 2 years then I would say they are both VERY respectful.

Not sure why you are so against this relationship though as you didn't really give any valid reasons. My husband is 6 years older than I am and we have been married 16 years and together for 20. My sister's husband is 20 years older and they have been married 25 years. Age difference really isn't a valid reason to not like this guy.

Honestly you are doing everything possible to push her closer and closer to him. The whole idea that you would pay for college IF she does exactly what you want is really over controlling and VERY unfair. Obviously you don't believe in her and you don't believe that you did a good job in raising her to make responsible decisions.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

You are creating a recipe for a surprise courthouse wedding!! I have a 19 year old daughter and I would never put this contingency plan on her like this. You must have had some sort of agreement for college before she started dating this guy. Good thing he is going back to college...right?

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

Your resistance and threats just make the situation more enticing to her. After all, she's a teenager. An adult teenager. You are really just pushing her away more and more.
I am saying this because I dated a man 8 years older than me when I was 22. My mom hated him and the whole situation. Thought he was too old. I never heard the end of it. I just kept the whole relationship from her and never talked about it with her. It took a toll on our relationship.
The relationship with this man lasted a couple of years, ended badly, but I had to make my own mistakes.
Besides, her song may change when she starts meeting boys in college her own age. Usually does. For that reason, I would help her get there.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

"Before she moved out of the house we told her we wouldn't pay for college if she moved out. She came back home and continued to see him."

This tells me that she moved out - thus you do not pay for college. This also means that you do not sign the loans.

You can however agree to pay 50% or whatever you choose so long as she does not wed him until after graduation. So Freshman year you pay 50%, if she marries him afterwards then you pay no more. If she goes all 4yrs with you paying 50% and not yet getting married I think soon she will have moved on if he is all you say he is. You can say that her engagement and impending wedding changes curcumstances - that people who are engaged and or married should be able to care for themselves in all ways including paying for their own schooling.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

She wants to be an adult?
Adults make their own way in the world and work so they can pay for what they want.
If they last, this guy is going to be your son in law and father of your grand children.
Don't burn your bridges.
You don't have to pay for college up front but you might be able to reimburse her for grades earned.
She'll/he'll have to pay for it up front but you only pay for some of it if she makes good on earning those grades instead of just playing house with this guy.
As her husband - why won't he be footing her college bills?
He wants to get married - supporting a wife is what husbands do.
In 5 years times, their age difference won't matter so much.
She's going to have to make her own mistakes and hopefully she'll learn from them.

I decided at 19 that I was going to marry my husband (then boyfriend) who was 3 yrs younger than me.
But we went to different colleges, got our degrees, got jobs in our careers before we got married (at 27 for me and 24 for him), then bought a house, and had our son 9 years later.
We knew what we wanted but we grew up first rather than rushing into anything before we were ready for it.
We celebrate our 25th anniversary this Aug.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boise on

You need to back off. You give no valid reason for him and her not to date. An 18 year old girls is pretty much on the same maturity level as a 21 year old boy.

My bestfriend was 16 when she met a 21 year old guy. Her dad said no way, not gonna happen. When she turned 18 they met up again and have now been married 20+ years. He wasn't a stalker, they both new the other was the one for them.

You can't start taking things and selling things if you really want her to succeed. Honestly you can't think that thought process is right?

You want your DD to succeed then let go of all of your 'ideas' of what she needs to be doing, who she should be dating, and where you think her life needs to go and except she is, at least in the eye of the law, an adult.

You need to start looking at your relationship with her as parent/child, and switch to adult child and parent. You don't do that and you will puch her exactly into the very things you don't want for her.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

How to handle this? I don't think there is much else you can do! She is 18 and legally an adult and has continued to make her own choices despite you making it as hard as possible. The only thing I would say is that if she wants to attend college, she will need to figure out a way to finance it herself without you co-signing on any loans. She can get a part-time or full-time job and pay for community college classes, or see if her boyfriend will help support her financially. She can feel entitled to whatever, but that doesn't mean you have to go along with what she believes she is entitled to. You don't need to help finance a wedding either. If she wants to live like an adult, let her figure out how to get what she wants without any help from you.

Aside from being 5 years older, how else do you feel the boyfriend is not a good influence?

ETA: After thinking it over, there are many ways you can play this. If things don't work out with this guy, she is going to need her education and her career to fall back on - even if they do work out, she still be able to have an education and career/employment options. You could agree to still help pay for college if she stays enrolled, keeps grades up, and agrees to postpone any wedding plans until she has graduated. You could reimburse her or help pay back loans if she completes a program successfully. I still don't think you have to help out financially with any wedding expenses, until again, she has actually gotten her degree. Again, except for being 5 years older, you haven't explained what it is that you don't like about this guy. My husband is 5 years older than me. Granted, I met him when I was 27 already but still, the older you get, the less 5 years seems like such a huge difference. My friend started dating a guy at 18 who was 26 - they got married 3 years later and they are still married now. And my cousin at 18 started dating a man who was 32 - they also ended up getting married. When I was 18, my boyfriend at the time was only a year older, but my parents still weren't crazy about him - he was a great guy, he was just quirky and had an off-beat sense of humor and was really into Dungeons and Dragons and that whole scene, so he just seemed "weird" to them. I know you want the best for your daughter and are worried about her future, but at some point you need to let go, and let her learn from her decisions. I would agree too that everything you are doing is just making them that much more determined to be together and prove you guys wrong - teens always have that "it's us against the world" mentality.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I would decline to sign on the loans and then back off and let the relationship runs it's course. It probably won't last long; but if it does, then maybe they were meant to be together.

Bottom line, nothing you do is going to make her break up with this guy, but anything you do will make their bond stronger. Kind of like them against the world - how romantic (choke!) If you leave it alone, she may find all on her own that she really doesn't like/love him as much as she thought. She may find that she was in love with the idea of being with him, but the reality is something different. If you continue fighting it, even if she does come to that realization, she may go ahead with the wedding just because she doesn't want to hear you say "i told you so." If you act like it's okay with you, she may take a real look at the relationship and decide it's really not for her and she won't have any qualms breaking it off because she will have your support.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I'm sure I would be upset too but how much do you care about your relationship with her? Is it worth losing because you don't approve of who she's dating?
As far as the school loans I'm sure if she was accepted into five schools then she could find some financial aid/loans on her own, if that's really what she wants. If you don't want to cosign any loans then don't do it. Offer to buy her books or housing or food plan or something else to show some support for her education without going into debt yourself.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Sending her away somewhere where he is not could be a good thing. But co-signing a loan where you can stuck with the money is a problem. She has not showed herself to be reliable. On the other hand, did you not notice the more you put him down the more she wanted him? Its the normal teenager antics. I would say for first year no to the co signing a loan. I'd help her pay for one semester at local college. If she finishes with good grades you will pay for another semester. Forget about talking about him at all. Invite her out to lunch once a week or so and feed her. If she brings him up say you know I do not approve of him but you are old enough you have to make your choices and live with them. If she wants him to go to lunch with you say. No we can go another time I was hoping for a girls day out for lunch. Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Since she is 18, there really isn't anything you can do. When I was 18 I dated a guy who was 23. We were not in the same place, I was a lot more mature than he was and I ended up breaking up with him because he was a total jerk. A year later when I was 19 I met my husband who is the same age as me, and we got engaged after 1 month of meeting each other. We got married at 21 and have been married now for 11 years so far. So, since she is 18 you can't really stop her. The age difference isn't a big deal. 5 years is not that much once your an adult (which she is)
As for school, since she is engaged and planning a wedding, you should not pay for her school. That falls on their responsibility now.
I'm sorry but you will have to accept him into your family now that they are getting married.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Do NOT pay for school!! Tell her you will give her a year. And in a year if she is not dating this guy, you will help her with college. If she is still with him and engaged you will not. Take a breather and see where this is headed. It is hard to make life decisions when your in the middle. Tell her no to a car, money, late nights. She needs to get a full time job for a year also and contribute to your house hold. Believe me nothing like a hard waitress job to wake a girl up. If her choice is to stay with this guy then she has made that her choice. You cannot stop her from seeing him, but you do not have to make it easy. Good luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

Your entire approach has pushed your daughter into the arms of the man you disapprove of. You've made him the most appealing man in the world to have a relationship with, and you've done it since she was 16 years old.

Look at the here and now. Is your ONLY reservation that she's 18 and he's 23? This guy honored your demands and stayed away, and let's be honest... he waited for her until she was a legal adult. She has the right to decide who to date now. Not only that but now that she's 18, a five year difference is nothing. I met my husband when I was newly 19 years old and he was 25. My father had a huge issue with it but that's because he was a busybody and it was the easiest thing for him to pick on.

You sound a lot like my father. Controlling, micro-manager, judgmental. You need to back off. Set some boundaries and try to get to know this young man. Let the relationship run its course. Otherwise you risk losing everything that matters by insisting on how "right" you are.



answers from Kansas City on

oh man... something i fear in two years as well! i totally get where you are coming from and i am trying to think as if were ME in this situation. Well, what i would do is... let her go. She is 18 and technically of age to make her own choices even though YOU & HER know she will be making THE WRONG ONES. I WOULD NOT pay for college. If she thinks she is old enough to be engaged as a senior in high school then she is old enough to figure out how to pay for her own schooling. I mean this may sound mean, but she has to learn the hard way. Even i know this man is not good for her but when you are young and dumb and think you are in love... YOU HEAR NO ONE! I fear this as my almost 16 year old thinks she is in love. she has been dating the same boy for almost two years and soon she will have her DL and that makes me so nervous! her dad and i constantly talk to her about sex and how we want her to remain pure until her wedding day... we can only hope and cross our fingers and pray, but ..... we also have to accpet reality. Oh gosh mama, i hope she pulls her head out of her butt and realize this guy is no good! good luck!



answers from Chicago on

I can give you financial advice in this situation. For the emotional, I know it is hard to see your kids making wrong choices, most of the people advised you to back off on this site. I would advice to get clother, not back off. If she is engaged, ask her to bring him around, get to know him, I know it sounds crazy, but the only way you can control any of this if you are in the middle of it. If you just pushed her/them away - you will loose contact and loose your daughter. You can let her know you disagree, but you can also say that you will be civil with her choice of man for the sake of saving relationship with her. If she does not have to fight you every step of the way to be with him, she may start seeing him realistically, in some time.
The financial advice follows the advise of getting closer, if they want to marry, great for you, they will have to foot their own education, you are off the hook. In addition, they would have to figure out lots of other things. Your daughter has plenty of time, she is only 18, she can get married again if this one doesn't work. Stay close and use all your persuasion to prevent her from getting pregnant - that should be your main focus now. Those are my thoughts.



answers from Cumberland on

Send your daughter to college-it is your best chance to get her educated-no matter what-when she gets around cool guys her age-the 23 year loser that you have practically forced her to date, will become a thing of the past.



answers from Boca Raton on

No matter what happens I would NOT co-sign loans unless I fully intended to pay the entire bill. Even then I'd simply take the loans in my name (not saying you should do that necessarily).

Why does she need to go to a $25K per year school? Fiancee or not, there are plenty of good state schools around that cost much less.

I think I would pray on this and try very hard to NOT alienate my daughter, without being a door mat either. Do you and your husband have someone you can talk to about this? Perhaps a pastor or counselor?

I don't like the sound of the boyfriend/fiancee either, but I also don't understand why she needs such an expensive school. Maybe we can separate the two issues.

I've already told my sons - married adults aren't entitled to support from their parents.

Good luck - hope you guys can get this worked out.


answers from Washington DC on

Sorry, dont have real advice to give but I feel for ya. He's def not "mature" if he's gotta date someone younger...



answers from Richmond on

She's now legally an adult so there really isn't much you can do. You have to decide if you feel she should take on all the responsibility and go out on her own or if you want to pay for her to go to college. Those are your only 2 choices. You cannot choose who she dates even if he does seem a little creepy. You never know, it could work out or it could be a disaster and she will learn a valuable lesson! My best friend growing up married the first loser who came along (she was 18, fresh out of high school) b/c her parents were so strict and dictated everything. She just wanted to be free but she ran right into the arms of a complete loser! Something to think about. Personally, I would pay for her to go to college if that was your original plan. I would tell her she has to maintain a certain GPA or you won't pay (don't pay for her to go party with this guy). Hopefully she will see how fun college can be - how being tied down (engaged) is sort of a drag at that age and maybe she'll meet someone else or just decide to be free and have some fun!!! It's your best shot. Otherwise, accept him and try to get to know him. His allure might fade if mommy and daddy suddenly aren't so against him.


answers from Norfolk on

Hi, K.:

Let your daughter go. Let her make her mistakes.
Don't pay for her college.
She can work, pay for one or two courses
and you help her keep from getting pregnant.

Good luck.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions