Is it wrong for my 16 year old daughter to maintain several emotional relationships?

Rose - posted on 12/05/2012 ( 9 moms have responded )




My 16 year old daughter brought home her first serious boyfriend this year. We like the boy very much as he's very sweet and respectful. One night, my daughter fell asleep without locking her phone and I was able to read her messages.

I discovered she was maintaining "emotional affairs" with two other boys. One boy is a 17 year old friend she met in middle school (he is now home-schooled.) His parents have banned him from seeing my daughter because she has a boyfriend. He's obedient and therefore has not been over to visit her.

The other boy is 15. I used to let him visit when I thought they were just friends but no longer allow the visits since I found out their relationship goes deeper than a mere friendship. My daughter has had some physical (not sexual) contact with this boy.

In reading the messages, I found that both boys are extremely caring and supportive of my daughter and are willing to wait for her to break up with her boyfriend and choose them.

Her boyfriend is aware of her friendships and has allowed her to maintain them. He knows she's very fond of the 15-year-old yet he refuses to leave her and wants to remain with her as she works out her feelings toward the boy.

I've talked to her several times about how wrong I feel the situation is but she doesn't agree and refuses to give up her "friendships."

All three boys have contacted me at one time or another to discuss her and the situation and I've maintained communication with them ever since. I've tried to dissuade them from wanting to be with her but have been unsuccessful. Unfortunately, I've noticed a decline in the 15-year old's self-esteem as my daughter continues her relationship with her boyfriend and he remains "another option" and her "second choice" (his words).

I've limited her phone and computer usage and she's rarely allowed out aside from going to school. Only her boyfriend is allowed to visit and only a couple of times a week.

My daughter is very respectful and normally obedient except when it comes to this issue. I feel she's being extremely selfish in stringing these boys along. Should I take her to see a therapist to find out why she needs to maintain so many relationships? Should I take away all forms of communication and completely ban her from communicating with the two other boys?


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Helena - posted on 03/08/2016




I would call the 15-yo's mom, make her aware of the situation and let her worry about her boy's self-esteem. And I would also continue to talk to my own daughter about letting at least one of these boys go. It is selfish, no doubt.

Dykes Adams - posted on 10/09/2015




no just talk to her about the issue give, her your teenage story to make her respect relationship and the possible outcome of mult-relationship

Ashley - posted on 12/18/2012




she is not being sexually active with these boys, so you should be happy. they all know about each other, and they are still sticking around, so that is there problem to deal with. she is only 16, she is still learning who she is and what she wants. as long as she is not being sexually active with these boys, then there should not be much of an issue. if you make her stop talking to 2 of them, then she is going to either do it anyway, or she is going to become serious with one, and probably start being sexually active, and probably not going to pick the right one. she is still young, let her be. i was in a serious with my boyfriend at 16, and got pregnant. i dont regret it, just really hard. and im now happily married to him. but it doesnt work that way with everyone. dont make her choose, and force her to settle with one. when the time comes, she will make her choice, until then, just be there for her and support her.

TJ - posted on 12/10/2012




Dennika and Kelsey are both right. I could not have said it better if I tried. Mix both responses together like ingredients in cookie batter, and you'll have it, Rose. (Spoken by a polyamorous grandmother with no regrets.)

Open your heart to your daughter. She is a young woman now. No matter what, tell her you love her and honor her. Respect is important at this age of changing from child to woman. Make her welcome in this age of new womanhood. Google the words "Red Tent" and a movie title "Things We Don't Talk About" and read it all. This is the time to begin acknowledging your daughter's growth and participating in it with her. You are right to be concerned about how she is treating others, but it seems to me that as she is not lying or cheating, there should be no worry. Make sure that she understands and uses birth control so there are no more difficult choices to be made in the future.

I remember vividly that I was NOT respected at that age by my parents, and as I grew older, it got worse and worse. It came to pass that they chose to cut me out of their lives. Well, so be it. I tried to be better than my own mother when it came to raising my daughter (whom I adopted from my 1st husband) and I can sing from the mountaintops that I succeeded. She is 35 now with identical twin boys. She knows she can come to me with ANYTHING. I proved this to her all her life, even if she was terrified to tell me the truth about a mistake she had made, etc. I was good to my word, and you must be, too. To this day, I can say to my daughter "You know I love you, right?" and her response will be "Uh-oh, what'd I do?" LOL... And then we discuss the issue/problem, calmly and with love. There should be no insults, no disrespect, no criticism, no disparaging comments. When my husband (she calls him Pop - I am divorced from her bio-father) and I visit her home (which is a house we bought for her to live in, as she is disabled) I am always aware that this is HER HOME. She is the lady of the house, and the mother of her sons. To them, we are Nana and PopPop, and we love the feeling of welcome we receive from her family. I smile inside when I see her treating her sons as I treated her.

So, Rose, never let your daughter down. Ever. Be there for her. As she gets older a deep and abiding friendship can develop from the seeds you plant now.


Kelsey - posted on 12/07/2012




Do not butt out of this! At least not completely...I think it would be healthy to talk and be open with her there is no need to take her for therapy. She is 16 and it is healthy to have different types of relationships with people but she needs to know the boundaries and that it is wrong to cheat...but then again she may also be the type of person who feels love should be embraced and with different people. This website although you may not agree with it may explain how she is feeling and trying to do without actually realizing it :) Maybe sit down with her and talk about this after you have read it. I know that its not an idealistic way of life on an outside point of view but its no good having a closed mind

Rose - posted on 12/05/2012




Thank you Denikka. I wasn't sure if I was doing the right thing or not by allowing this continue. I feel at 16, what my daughter does is still my business, but I admit I don't know where to draw the line when it comes to my intervention. I'll butt out on this one. I appreciate the feedback.

Denikka - posted on 12/05/2012




Honestly, it's really none of your business. I'm sure you wouldn't like it if someone came along and told you how to conduct your relationship with your husband/partner. She won't appreciate it either.

She's not really doing anything wrong here. All 3 boys are aware of the others. She's not cheating or going behind anyones back. And even if she WAS, it's still none of your business. These are her relationships, romantic and friendships. If she does something stupid, most teenagers will, they will be her consequences. If all 3 boys get fed up with going along with this, they'll leave and she'll have none of them. But all in all, it's still her (and their) choices. Not your place to interfere.

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