Devastated after my daughter left us after turning 18!

Cutegal - posted on 02/04/2016 ( 19 moms have responded )

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This is an extremely sorrowful phase of our life. Our daughter, a beautiful, kind, loving, soul, inside-out, left home abruptly to be with her BF who is an extremely manipulative and ruthless guy, who has no respect for elders or any parents, including his own. She is completely under influence as this guy got to her even before she was 16, through texting an phone and told her to keep it a secret until she was 18, when she could legally move out. We tried getting help from police, and other sources as it is a case of sexual grooming, bullying and hostage, but my daughter blind in love, does not realize the reality! I wonder what we a parents can do to save our daughter from this guy. We love her unconditionally and want her to grow up into an independent, well educated, financially self-reliant woman. She dropped out of University and sacrificed her career goals to be with this guy who has brain-washed her! She being 18, we are helpless and cannot force her to connect with us. the boy is a control-freek and we are worried our daughter is not safe and will not be happy in this relationship. All we are doing is just praying to make her strong and realize her mistake. Does anyone have any advice or suggestions? Thank you

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Jodi - posted on 02/05/2016

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"I am not assuming things Jodi, it is a fact."

I actually asked how you know. You can't say something is a fact unless one or the other of them has told you that he is preventing her from contacting you. Unless that has occurred, then you actually are assuming - yes, assuming based on your knowledge of this person, but still assuming. I was just wondering if she had told you this or not.

"We did not call the police on him, we called the police to find out if she was safe, only after she left abruptly"

OK, because I got the sense you called the police on him when you said " We tried getting help from police, and other sources as it is a case of sexual grooming, bullying and hostage", which is different to what you are now saying. Couldn't you have checked on her yourselves? I find it odd to send the police to check on her safety if you know where she is....and if you didn't know where she is, then how were the police going to just check if she was safe anyway?

Anyway, I'm not quite sure what advice or suggestions you are after. So far you have shot down all the advice you have received.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/06/2016

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You're not going to like this, but:

If you were concerned about sexual grooming and bullying from this individual, the time to address THAT would have been when she was 16. Now that she's 18, unless you have SOLID, INCONTROVERTIBLE PROOF (something from your daughter stating that she's being held against her will), you cannot simply assume that HE is not allowing contact. As painful as this will be to read...SHE may have decided to cut you out.

You negated your OP where you stated "We tried getting help from police, and other sources as it is a case of sexual grooming, bullying and hostage", by stating in a response that "only when she left us, to make sure she is safe". So, you called the cops because your adult daughter left the house...I'm actually amazed that the law didn't tell you what we're saying here. She IS an adult, and perfectly capable of making her own decisions. I know this, because I've successfully raised 2 sons to adulthood, and I know that I gave them the necessary tools to make their own decisions. I'm fairly certain you did the same with your daughter.

What you have to realize, now, is that she's making those decisions. You don't have to like them, there's no prerequisite for you to approve of them. You simply have to love your daughter, and support HER. Don't naysay her decisions. That only serves to backfire on you. If you want communication with your daughter, be supportive. You don't have to like a damn thing, but if you love your daughter, you can communicate with her without mentioning the relationship that you don't approve of.

Furthermore, ACCEPTING your adult children's decisions most certainly does NOT give them "false hope", as you say. It actually shows your kids that YOU are adult enough to accept THEIR decisions without making a huge deal out of it. It shows them that you have the confidence in them to be a successful adult. By not accepting your adult daughter's choice, you are further pushing her away, encouraging her to desire more space between the two of you. This one, I'm telling you from PERSONAL experience with my own mother, who most definitely did NOT approve of my personal choice in a spouse (Who, by the way, I've been married to for over 25 years now). She could not ACCEPT that I was an adult. She could not ACCEPT that I was making my own decisions. Trust me, it wouldn't have given me "false hope" about anything. It WOULD have made me happy to know that my mother trusted me to make my own decisions. Since she did not, I cut off contact with her. For YEARS.

One last thing. STOP ASSUMING. Stop assuming that HE is the reason for no contact. Stop assuming that he will continue a cycle of abuse. Because, on THAT account, I can personally attest this: NOT EVERY CHILD OF ABUSE BECOMES AN ABUSIVE PERSON. Again, personal experience here. My husband (you know...that one of 25 years...) was SEVERELY abused both physically and sexually as a child. He has not continued that cycle. Not even a bit. So, STOP ASSUMING.

Your continued assumptions and over protective actions are driving your daughter away.

Jodi - posted on 02/05/2016

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That's interesting Michelle, because my mother told me a few years ago that she knew my ex and I wouldn't last the day we got married, but she said nothing because she had to let me make my own choice. I got through it okay!

Michelle - posted on 02/05/2016

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There's nothing you can do.
She's an adult and will make her own choices, good or bad, and will have to live with them.
When I finally left my ex husband, the first thing my Dad said was: "about time".
In other words, the family knew I had made a bad choice but I had realize that myself and leave. I wouldn't have listened to any of my family telling me he was no good.
You need to make sure that when things do come crashing down that you are there for your daughter, don't push her away now as she will need you later.
This is coming from someone who was in her position!!!!!!!

Cutegal - posted on 02/05/2016

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Thank you Raye and Jodi,

We know his family well and he has a abusive father, we also know him very well, as we went out of our way to help this family settle in when they moved, they have only deceived us and manipulated our honest and goodness. She has unfortunately taken this wrong decision, because we know them well, it is not guess work! She knows we love her very much and she does too. I am not assuming things Jodi, it is a fact. We did not call the police on him, we called the police to find out if she was safe, only after she left abruptly. Before that we actually invited him home twice and welcomed him into our house. but again he being a control freek and immature did not want this. We are being very positive towards her, but he has lured her into thinking we are the enemies here. We were in fact quite liberal and trusting with our daughter and have raised her well and given her very good values. She thought she is going to be independent by taking this decision but she has jumped from the frying pan into the fire and we wan to help her out. She will come around, but it will take time, which is hard, as she is not connecting.

Raye - posted on 02/04/2016

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Your daughter is 18 now, and is legally able to live with and/or date whomever she wants. You have to trust her to make her own choices, and if you have truly taught her well, she will be okay. If he has convinced her to push you away, then on some level she is allowing that to happen. You constantly disapproving of her will not change her mind to listen to your "reasoning".

If you want to have a relationship with her and have any further influence in her life, you should try to respect her decision to be with him, and treat her as an adult. You don't have to like it. You don't have to "support" it. But you should try to accept it, because it's out of your hands. I don't know what you mean by "giving her false hope" by accepting the relationship. It would just be a matter of changing your approach from making her feel that she's bad because of her choices, to the choices being bad and she's still valued and loved. Don't just SAY you love her... SHOW her love by not coming down on her (or the BF) so hard. The more negativity you display toward them both, the more she won't want to be around you.

I would also advise to get to know the BF more and see them together. Maybe he has good qualities. Maybe he makes her truly happy. Just because you don't like the circumstances of how things played out doesn't mean that the situation can't get better... maybe just not in the way that you want (them breaking up)... but maybe in the way that your daughter needs (a more adult relationship with her mom).

Jodi - posted on 02/04/2016

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Has she told you he is stopping her from contact you? Or are you just assuming that? maybe she doesn't want to talk to you right now because you called the police on them.

Honestly, you need to let go. I'm not being sarcastic, I'm being honest. She will come back to you if she knows you can just accept her choice and move on. But at the moment, you called the police on the man she loves and you want her to be happy about that?

False hope? Have you even tried to get to know the guy?

I will also add.......you really have no choice but to accept her decision. I think you are confusing the term accept with support.

I don't think you are quite understanding how your actions are driving your daughter away from you.

Cutegal - posted on 02/04/2016

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Of course it is not about us! We love her truely and will do anything to make sure she is safe and happy. I was just expressing my emotions, no need to be sarcastic here. Accepting it would give her false hope. She says she needs space right now, so we letting her be. It would be nice to hear from her once in a while, but he is making sure she will not contact us.
Thanks.

Jodi - posted on 02/04/2016

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It doesn't matter whether you support it or not. You don't have a say in it and need to ACCEPT it (which is different to SUPPORTING it).

I'm sorry, but even though YOU think you did the right thing with the police, I assure you, doing this further alienated her from you.

You need to STOP making excuses for the way you have handled it (ie. calling the police) and show her you have accepted her decision. I'm not in any way suggesting that you have to agree with her adult choice, but you need to show that you ACCEPT she is an adult and made her choice. If you continue with making excuses for what you did and why, she will not reconnect with you.

But hey, what do I know? I have a great relationship with my adult children because I accept their choices (even if I don't agree with them).

Cutegal - posted on 02/04/2016

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Thanks Jodi, we recognize she is an adult but we do not support this relationship, not because we want to make decisions for her, but because she she is being manipulated and this guy is causing damage to her, which she does not realize. We did not go to police now, only when she left us, to make sure she is safe. After that we have left her alone. But keep worrying about her safety as he does not let her connect with us. Unfortunately he has brainwashed her and we feel helpless!
If she would be in touch with us, it would be much easier on us. Our life is become a living hell as we keep thinking about her all the time.

Jodi - posted on 02/04/2016

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She's 18 and an adult. She has the right to make the decision she made, regardless of how it was made. Unfortunately, by doing things like going to the police you are further alienating your daughter. The ONLY thing you can do is accept her decision (not saying you have to like it), and be there for her if it all falls apart. Maintain contact with her, develop an adult relationship with her (eg, just invite her out to a coffee, or over for dinner occasionally, and INCLUDE him in invitations).

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