How do you disconnect when your daughter breaks up with her boyfriend that you really liked

Tanya - posted on 03/29/2010 ( 23 moms have responded )

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We spent a lot of time with him and now he wont be around anymore and it breaks my heart to know he is so sad. Some people say I am to involved!

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Lori - posted on 09/21/2010

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I have been where you are. I supported my daughter, and still do, in her decision - it is her life and she has to decide for herself what she wants and doesn't want and likes and doesn't like. But I am still 'friends' with her ex boyfriend - two of them, in fact, and they both call me Mom and talk to me like they always have. Just because my daughter chose to discontinue a relationship, that did not mean that I felt any less positive about or friendly toward the boy in question. I know and have socialized with his mom as well - it would be false of me to just cut him off at the knees because their relationship changed. But situations vary. And yes, I freely admit - I was too involved. But I am always going to be too involved - with anything that affects my kids. It's just how I roll.

[deleted account]

I don't know how long this thread has been here but it was great for me to read that other moms also grieved for a lost part of the family. My daughter dated her first love for 3 years starting in 11 th grade. She is 20 now,she and he are both at the same college in their sophomore year and just broke up. It is truly difficult because we have known and liked this guy since 7th grade . And we too, became close with his family. I have taken issue with certain things that young people do as they move on like post pictures on social networking sites of themselves surrounded or with other girls or other guys. I think this is very hurtful but am told by my daughter that it isn't that big a deal. I think the whole thing is painful enough without adding the torture of seeing your ex in a picture with other guys. Am I wrong? I have argued with her about this , does this generation lack sensitivity or am I missing something.? He has had similar pictures so is this just how post breakups go? I hate to see the two of them completely destroy the memories and history they have together. Help!

Maureen - posted on 09/14/2012

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Thank you for this thread. My 25 year old daughter just broke up with her boyfriend, of 6 years. I was really fond of him, and they seemed to have a good relationship. They have been talking about getting married for the past couple of years - as soon as he graduates from school. I embraced him like he was already my son-in-law and when she told me she broke up with him, it sent me into the grief cycle.



Reading all of this really helps me to put it back into perspective. It's her life. She has to make decisions that are right for her. I support her.



My heart goes out to her now ex-boyfriend, but I have to remember, he's a very likeable guy. I'm sure another girl will come along that will snap him up at the first opportunity.

Patricia - posted on 03/29/2010

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My 18 year old dated a girl for 15 months...thought they had the most awesome relationship out of all their friends...than one day, without a true reason, she breaks up with him...his first love...and she too spent a lot of time here including family vacations. As his mother, my heart sank...as mother's, we can mend a lot of things...but a broken heart is something we can not. First of all, your daughter wants to still be friends, but that is the worse thing that she can do for him right now...with him still having feelings for her, it will only make matters worse...My son's ex tried to be his friend, but all it did was bring his hopes up that they might get back together. I understand that you were connected to him as well, but until they have both fully moved on, as a parent, you need to give them that space. If you happen to run into him here and there, there is nothing wrong with a simple hug or a friendly chat. But to want to continue to have him some what involved still is truly not a wise thing. It won't be good for either of them. I understand it's hard, but it's only a high school crush..this too shall pass

SharrLee - posted on 01/01/2013

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Ugh, I hear you only too well! My daughter and her ex dated for 2.5 years. They did have alot of ups and downs, mostly because he stopped taking his anti-anxiety meds after he met her, hoping he didn't need them anymore. Long story short, after a few break-ups and hurt, I stood behind her decision to end it once and for all.

My issue is that he basically has no family stability, has done remarkably well considering (holds a job, doesn't party, etc) and basically more or less learned about loving family through spending time with ours. For him, he has lost not just our daughter but our family. So painful for him. Good news is that he finally dealt with his anxiety again and that has helped him in many ways.

Our daughter doesn't ever want to risk re-entering a relationship with him (and I do understand as it took so long for her to break it off and not go back...) because she says she would always be worried he would slip back into his darker side...and now she is dating someone else. Her ex and I / my husband remained in periodic contact, but ex has decided it is too hard for him to move on by doing that -- and I understand but it still hurts -- I hurt for him...

I keep asking daughter to not publically (i.e. facebook) display / announce her relationship because I just think it's too soon and her ex does need more healing time -- she is getting miffed with me, don't blame her, but as a mom I just feel her ex's pain too much...sigh...

Glad to have found this discussion and discover other moms who are in similar circumstances!

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TeeDee - posted on 04/29/2014

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I don't think posts about being involved or devastated are out of line at all. We all have different ways of relating after all. With my older daughter, I had three younger kids, so during her heartbreaks and breakups, I was less involved but did miss this one particular boy who had been at our house often for a couple years. But I had 3 younger children at that time, so was very distracted and consumed by taking care of them. With my youngest daughter though, I was more involved, simply because she was the only one there. I made all of my children's swim meets, soccer games, football games, etc. because these days, we need to be more involved because so much is going on. I'd get out and meet the kids and parents of the kids my children were associating with. I am a bit more involved and a bit more devastated when she is heartbroken. She's my baby girl, and I just believe some people are more sensitive than others, and some of our own children depending on birth order and personal needs, get more focus than others. We are normal concerned parents.

Stacy - posted on 04/22/2014

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Gosh I so understand this post. My 25 year old daughter has broke up with her BF quite a few times and he is like the son I never had. (They are living with me while she is in college full time) His parents are NOT there for him and I feel very sorry for him. I find it extremely hard to stay out of it and I grieve every time she breaks up and he moves out of my house. I truly hope she can stand firm this time.

Lyndy - posted on 12/16/2013

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I'm not sure we all said we were devastated, more that we can empathise with how that person must feel when they are no longer a part of your child's life. I agree social media is a big part of this. As to say we have "issues" I'm not sure how that is also a helpful comment? As I pointed out, it has made me reflect that I won't have any more children and I have missed out on having a son. Something that I will come to terms with.

Shawnn - posted on 12/16/2013

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These "how do I let go, my kid broke up with their bf/gf and I'm devastated" posts are quite disturbing, actually!

We were just as harsh and mean and nasty as kids are today, we just didn't have social media to help out. I can't count the number of times I heard "I am breaking up with you because I've been dating so&so for a week" being hollered out in the hallways of my HS when I was there, 25 years ago.

The difference is social media. Kids are allowed to put it all online now, where we had "some" level of privacy when we were growing up. After all, it can't follow you home if its not posted on FB...

And to be quite honest from the mom of a guy point of view...if you women are so attached to your daughter's boyfriends...you have issues! Not that I don't think that we should like who our kids are dating, but to be "devastated" about a breakup, but "devastated for the boy" or "upset because he won't be coming over..." That's a bit much, on my end.

Yeah, my kids have had girlfriends. They've been broken up with. I've yet to actively "miss" or be "devastated" by not seeing them.

Lyndy - posted on 12/16/2013

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I to attach far too easily and have already struggled when my daughter broke up with a boy who lives very close by. I just felt so sorry for him and he ended up asking for my advice. It broke my heart that kids today just move on, post new pics of themselves with other people on social media. I guess I know I was very different when I was younger, probably more sensitive to people's feelings. I also think it made me realise that I don't have any sons and never will have now. I hope to keep in touch with him, as he's a good kid that just needs some guidance in life. I have my fingers crossed that once they both mature a bit they may give it another try. As I know my daughter still really likes him and he her. I sound incredibly sad and over involved, I know!

Loretta - posted on 11/09/2013

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I had to learn the hard way that sometimes it's best to let sleeping dogs lie.

Jackie - posted on 05/14/2013

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My Daughter dated a wonderful young man for two years while she was in college. They were so close and she was so happy then she says that she wanted to be single and he was too serious. While I respect her decision, she doesn't seem like her old self anymore And she gets so mad when I mention his name. My husband and I liked him because he has always been so respectful and loving towards our daughter. He still keeps in touch with us, but we can't say his name without her getting so mad. Why would she act this way?

Christine - posted on 02/25/2013

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It was her relationship, not yours. You don't know what happened behind closed doors. Maybe he relies on his good looks and charm to get him out of trouble. Maybe he demeans your daughter verbally or hits her? Maybe he is a womanizer and your daughter has found a way to finally break free. For whatever reason, your daughter has decided to break up with him. Your job is to support her decision because that's what Moms do! You are too involved.

Rox - posted on 09/22/2010

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For your daughter's sake, if you love her, you need to let it go and get over it. This happened to me 26 years ago.
I went with a guy for 4 years, went through hell while I dated him, but because he talked a good game and was very outgoing (just like my Mom), she couldn't make the break with him. For years, she talked about him almost all the time, and about every six months he'd call her to ask how I was. The problem with him was that, after 4 years of dating in which he'd asked me to marry him but never bought a ring, never made plans, and then during the last year of "dating" took a job out of state so I only saw him EIGHT times that year, I had nothing to show for it except 4 wasted years and a broken heart! On the day of my first marriage (to someone else) in 1987 she said, "Are you sure you want to marry this one and not Jeff?" I was stunned! When my marriage broke up 2 years later, she wanted me to go back with Jeff, but it's like they say -- you can't go "home" again. When I got married again -- 7 years later -- she tried to do the same thing! The point here is this: WHO is YOUR child? You should only be concerned with your daughters feelings and not his. My son "dated" (went to dances, held hands in the hall, talked on the phone, etc) a girl my husband and I thought was very nice and sweet. When they parted ways we were sad, BUT we let it go because that's what you have to do in these situations. How do you do it??? You just STOP thinking about that person.

Marianne - posted on 03/30/2010

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Read this before you go through what I'm going through. We did everything for this girl just like you did for this boy. The father hated my sonand waited until he was 18 in college and had him arrested. The father runied my son's life. They were just teenagers. Let your daughter make her own decisions. Please be careful.

Dear Friends, Community members:

As hard as it is to write this letter I hope that you all we read it and seriously consider my request. As most of you know my son, has been sitting in the County Jail since August 30, 2009 because of his violation of probation against his ex girl friend. As you know, Anthony and this girl had a very unusual and stressful relationship but not any different than any other teenager, except, the family never accepted nor felt Our was good enough for their daughter. At this time I am asking you to help my son. Our son needs letters based on his character. The more letters we send to the Judge the better his chances will be. His current lawyer stated is no structured format to follow and you are free to express yourself freely. His lawyer would like letters written from the heart about our son, good times and good qualities.

These are all quotes from the father written in an 8 page letter dated November 12, 2008 to the Probation Department regarding my son and our family.

"That Anthony was a smart, intelligent, fun loving, engaging, charismatic kid that was also obsessive, manipulative, controlling and scary kid that will be anything and everything to get what he wants."

“He has no limits. He learned how to twist and turn things to justify anything and everything he does. He respects no one, not me, not his mother, not his father and least of all our daughter." "B.... was a young, impressionable, confused, young lady who has everything stolen from her by Anthony." "He has robbed her of her innocence, self-esteem, her high school senior year and more."

“From what I gather from B... and others, Anthony was bi-polar. He was great to be around if she worshipped him but was controlling and hostile if she talked to another boy." "This whole situation is typical domestic violence. The male controls, manipulates the female to think it is her fault. B... was confused and scared."

"Anthony's behavior is also very typical of steroid rage. There is widespread talk from his friends that he took steroids for years so he could get a college scholarship. "He needs help with his issues (anger, control, addition, rebellion to authority.") "We think that incarceration for a minimum of 4 years would give B... time to graduate from college and move on with her life."

Now we need letters written and sent to Anthony's lawyer by April 10th because his court date has been moved up to June 11th. Please consider writing one on Anthony's behalf he really needs them.

I hope that you will consider my request, put any differences you have aside and help my son. I know that if Anthony could ever help you he would step up and do it. Our entire family thanks you from the bottom of our hearts.

[deleted account]

I understand exactly how you feel we went through a similar situation with my son and his ex would sometimes text me, I asked him if that would bother him and he said no. After a little while the messages became less frequent and it helped her and us have space without totally being cut from each others lives. She really cared for us too and she lost everyone at once, it is really hard to not let it break your heart. As long as she wasn't trying to get info on him, and she wasn't, I was ok with texting.

Tanya - posted on 03/29/2010

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Ok, maybe i worded my question wrong, but i am considering my daughters feelings and i am not taking his side, i would never do that to her, its her choice and not mine, but after spending so much time with him am i just supposed to stop talking to him and forget about him? She has told him that she just wants to be friends and i respect that, it's just hard for me to turn everything off and act like he doesnt exist anymore. They are only 15 and I had to drive them everywhere and we do alot of things together as a family and always included him.

Lindella - posted on 03/29/2010

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How does your daughter feel? Is she sad or hurt? Your daughter is your child not her boyfriend. You should consider her thoughts and feelings.

Melody - posted on 03/29/2010

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How do you know he is so sad?? Are you talking to him?? How old is your daughter and this ex? Right or wrong, she is your daughter. And yes, it seems as though you are too involved. Perhaps all the time she spent with him, she realized a flaw in his character/moral/values that she couldn't see marrying into. If that is the case, you need to support your daughter and respect her choice. Ask her what she learned and what she would do different next time. Everyone makes mistakes, it's a part of life. Just don't make the same mistakes over and over. Maybe you could ask the same questions of yourself too.

Tracy - posted on 03/29/2010

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I can understand your position since my son broke up with a girlfriend we really liked. My husband and I thought this girlfriend was sweet and nice and had good moral values, similar to those we have instilled in our son. However, when the romance is gone, you have to make space between your child and the "ex." They both have to get over the hurt that a break-up causes and seeing the other person or hearing about them all the time won't help. They are young and will find another "love" out there soon enough!

Louise - posted on 03/29/2010

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It is a sad position to be in but for your daughters sake you need to move on. Your daughter had her reasons for dumping the guy and you have to respect that. My son has been dating the same girl for two years and we have a good relationship but if they broke up I would have to protect my sons feelings and sever all ties. That's life, harsh but true. The lad will move on in time so don't get too depressed.

Lavenia - posted on 03/29/2010

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I do think you are to involved. You Have to watch from the outside and let her make haer own decisions you are her mother not his and should not take sides. If you do it now when she is grown you will do it then. It is ok to like the young man but think of how you would have felt if your mom did that to you. She may feel that you are taking his side. Maybe she may not bring the next young man that comes along in her life for you to meet.

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