How to help our daughter with her wierd Marine friend?

I am a mother who has been married for 30years and has a stable family life. Our daughter started dating a marine who is now 21 and she is 20. They fell fast for each other,gave promise rings,bought things for a house and lived together under our roof before and for awhile after his Iraq deployement. He was different when he came back and is now broke so he has started back up with her but wants to not have the boyfriend/girlfriend title for the time being. In his eyes she is his and does want to see her a lot and will come and stay at our house when he can/dinner/movies etc. I have to wonder though is he just using her even though he told her he isn’t? He is in Las Vegas at a Marine Ball and having a good time I am sure and hasn’t contacted her at all. She is in College and works plus they ran out of tickets so she didn’t go and since she is only 20 at Vegas would be hard with someone who is 21. She says she wants to spend her life with him and they still talk about the future but I really feel that he is just taking advantage of us and her. We have helped him out in many ways and loaned him money which he still owes and has stopped paying since he was very selfish and bought motorcycle after motorcycle and other toys and now has ruined his credit and has no extra money. His family life was very unstable so no help there. I want to just tell him to leave her alone but it’s not my place and if she could afford a place of her own I wouldn’t see this going on. So different then how I was raised and so hard to turn the other cheek. Any suggestions anyone before he breaks her heart again? I guess my husband and I will see what this week brings when he has to come back to the base and reality. He is having a real tough time at the base lately but that is the job he signed up for. We love our daughter and want the best for her…she is beautiful and so kind hearted…help!

Answer #1

You cannot say anything without her getting defensive. And the more defensive she gets, the more she’s going to convince herself that she’s right. See thing is you dont want her to stay with him just to prove you wrong. You are also not there to figure things out for her. Or to help her to figure things out (well you are, but I would not approach it in this way). The problem is that you’re the mom. Even if you asked questions in a non-threatening way, you’re still the mom. I dont know how far you can get. But it’s worth a shot I suppose. The trick here is to get her to state what the problems are in the relationship. I’d start off with you’re on her side. Not in a, I’m your mom and I know what is best for you, but in a I love you and I want whatever you believe will make you happy. And this guy is apparently making her happy or she wouldnt be with him. So let her try and convince you that he’s the right person for her. And just listen. Dont point out the negatives. She needs to do that. Remember, when you say something, the brain is going to shut down or is going to start defending it. She needs to come up with it. When she does say something negative, simply restate everything she’s just stated maybe highlighting what the negative was. Not pointing out the negative, simply say something like, so from what I understand he is really great in all these ways, but it upsets you when he does xyz. You get the idea. She needs to make the case against him. The more you listen and simply reflect and summarize what she’s saying, the more likely you’re going to get her to realize what the negatives are. It’s worth a shot… If it doesnt work, you can always go back to what you were doing before… Remember, you dont have to agree with her. You simply have to accept that she has a different point of view. Also this way, she has you to fall back on if something does happen.

Answer #2

We loaned him the money to buy our older truck and he sold his new truck that he was paying payments on. He signed a promissary note and was faithful on the payments until he started spending his money every which way he could. So my husband is going to ask him upfront again when he can start making payments. Our daughter has a very busy schedule with college and work and it just seems like he is bored (probably because of his low funds) and will want to hang out with her. He is ok if everything is going his way it seems. So it’s very hard to say much because she does start to get very defensive and does want to figure things out on her own. I just want to choke the guy sometimes especially when he wants to know why she didn’t text him but now the shoe is on the other foot. Grow up! I hope she sees through this soon before too late. Emotional abuse can be just as bad as physical abuse and he comes from a family that has been through jail time,drugs, multiple marriages and his father is overseas somewhere as a contractor and only comes to the states a month out of the year to avoid paying taxes and he is on his third marriage! So this guy doesn’t know what stablility and commitment is in my book anyways..It’s so confusing…

Answer #3

Why is it hard? Honestly, if it were my kid, I’d want to throw them on a plane, take them far far away and lock them up until they understood why this guy was bad for them. But you cant do that. The best you can do is be there and try and let her see that she’s making a mistake. I dont think you have to love the guy or even think that he is the best thing for her. Just realize that fighting her is probably not the best way to go about it. She has to realize he is wrong for her. And you have to try to get to that in the least direct way possible. Believe me, I understand where you’re coming from. But a confrontive approach hasnt worked for you, so I’d try a different approach…

Answer #4

Thanks for all the advise..I don’t know why it is so hard to accept what I should or should not do. He is suppose to come over for Thanksgiving so we shall see. She has already once told him how she felt and how much she has given up to be with him so I know she has it in her. Plus he has lots of pictures on his face book of her and I would think if it wasn’t for real would a guy have photos up of an x? He called us mom and dad in the past..that’s how close we all were so it’s hard to figure out what is going through his head. He even convinced us to let him have a small dog when he lived with us and guess who is raising the litle guy now. We love the little dog but that’s not the issue..the issue is standing by your commitments…I am going to be very supportive from now on of her and hope that only strengths her faith in herself…

Answer #5

If you start to push, you will push her away. As long as he is not physically harming her, you may just need to stay out of it. You really shouldnt have loaned him money. I’d put it down to a lesson learned and dont expect that money back. Pointing those things out to her is not going to help your cause. She’s in love. Females are stupid when in love. If you must, I’d try a very indirect route. If she brings up college and stuff, just ask her what she sees in her future. Just make it an open question. See how she has figured out living with a guy with no credit and is completely unstable.

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