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My daughter is in a relationship that scares me. What can I do?

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Our daughter is in a relationship that scares us (parents, siblings, friends, coworkers).

This young man is educated, holds a position in which he is respected, and has many friends who will vouch for him. We actually enjoy his company.

Our problem is that he appears to have complete control over our daughter. She has stopped an exercise program that had been extremely helpful to her. She has taken on debts that she didn't need to (can elaborate, but in a further email perhaps).

He happened to be married to a good friend of our other daughter. We had gotten warnings about what kind of a person he was from his former wife and we chose to draw our own conclusions. We still enjoy his company, but are frightened by the changes in our daughter that we do not feel are positive for her.

We don't want to interfere if our feelings are unwarranted, but we're now losing sleep over signs that spell trouble. We just want to know if we're being unreasonably worried or if we should relax. My feeling is that relaxing would spell disaster for our daughter. Please advise.

This question was submitted by 'Michelle'

mark tyrrell

Mark says...

Hi Michelle and thank you for writing in.

It certainly can be a worry when children or anyone gets into a relationship that concerns us. On the 'outside' he might seem wonderful - and who knows, maybe he is - but you have got alarm bells ringing and intuitions do, sometimes, need to be heeded.

Of course, your daughter is a grown woman and it's up to her whom she dates. I wonder what exactly your concerns are about this young man. Do you fear he is a charming psychopath or perhaps a well-meaning control freak?

Do you feel he bullies and gets his way through charm? Or do you have information that might lead you to believe there may be something more sinister in his makeup? Remember, all bullying works by blocking the completion of someone else's primal human needs. A question to ask yourself and your daughter, perhaps, is does this young man help your daughter meet all the needs contained in this article or does he control the supply of them or prevent her from meeting any or many of them in an ongoing way?

Charming and exciting company do not a good person make. But it's easy to get drawn in. I can't tell you categorically whether you are being unreasonably worried and sometimes when you have doubts it's good to err on the side of caution. I don't know how amenable your daughter is to discussing her relationship with you, but I suggest you could subtly express doubts here and there.

You'd need to be subtle at this point so as not to have her run in the opposite direction and start protecting him or making excuses. She should be okay and hopefully it's a healthy relationship, but if it isn't and she can retain some perspective, then you can help her keep her self-esteem strong and, if need be, put some boundaries on this relationship.

So many people have no one watching their back in these types of scenarios. The fact you are there to monitor things is, in itself, a good thing.

Sorry I can't be of more specific help.

Mark

watch icon Published by Mark Tyrrell - December 19th, 2014 in

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