Worried sick about my daughter

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2014
Worried sick about my daughter
Fri, 02-14-2014 - 9:19am

I am concerned about my 21 year old daughter, who is in a relationship with a 37 year old man.  Their relationship began last spring right after she went through a very bad breakup of a two year relationship. She was also being treated for depression at the time and quit college shortly after meeting him.  At the time we all felt that he was taking advantage of her vulnerability.  She now lives with him, has not returned to school, is working a dead end job, and is constantly worried about money (his bills, not hers). SHe works during the day and is at home with his two children (10 & 12) each night while he works, instead of out doing the things 21 year olds do.  He is confrontational, sometimes overbearing and I find their relationship to be more father-daughter like, than a partnership.  My main concern is that he has had an opportunity to live life and she has not.  They don't do anything unless it is what he wants to do, and she has made his interests her own, abandoning the things she has loved to do in the past. I tried to be open-minded until he tried to tell me what I could and could not talk to my daughter about.  She says she is happy, but we are seeing less and less of her and she works constantly.  I don't discuss him with her anymore because I am afraid that she will cut off contact altogether if she doesn't  like  what I have to say about him.  My husband, son and parents refuse to have anything to do with him, so I really was the only "gateway" into our family, until he burned that bridge.  My husband feels he is trying to alienate her from the family in order to have more control - seems to be working, sadly.  I am just unsure of how to deal with this situation.  I want to be a part of her life, but what we have now is not a normal relationship. I am also afraid of what will happen if she has children with this man, because I can totally see him forbidding contact with the grandchildren.  Any thoughts or advice  from anyone who has been there? Thanks for listening!

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Fri, 02-14-2014 - 12:48pm

Hi, and welcome to iVillage.

I wish I had some advice for you.  I mostly wanted you to know as a mother, I really feel for you.  

All I can really say is to always be there for your DD.  My first DH was abusive and although my parents didn't really know the whole story, they knew enough to know things weren't good.  My parents never lectured me, etc.  They knew that I would have to be the one to make the decisions.  And, when I finally did leave, they were there for me without any judgement.  Oh, I had two little ones, to boot at the ripe old age of 22.  

Just make sure she knows that she can knock on your door any time day or night and you will be there for her.  (Don't get me wrong, not saying you should financally support her, etc.  But she needs to know you would help her get out, move out, or what have you, until she got back on her feet)

For what it is worth, I would also be concerned.  Not about he age difference, but the isolation.  Not trying to freak you out, just validating your concerns if anyone is making light of them.  


Serenity CL making a second marriage work

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Sun, 02-16-2014 - 1:01am

  There are several considerations.  1st the age differance is  a red herring.  2, what a 21 year ls(in your imagination should) be doing is another red herring.  Those two thoughts could have clouded perception. 

   The isolation?  Well, that could be a defense mechanism.  For him to protect what he has in a hostile world.  From your description he is not an Alpha that is recognized to have the right of choice.   In social dynamics gamma males are not accepted.  That may play a part.

   Wheather she is actually "under his control" or not is moot from your stand point.  As it seems even though your H and other family members and you disapprove of this man you want to keep the channel open.

  Being disapproved of usually brings those under attack closer together to fight off the disapproval from with out.   Yes, in other words drive them into each other's arms.   

  Try to seem neutral and say nothing negative about him and see what happens.

demon lover


Community Leader
Registered: 10-22-2001
Sun, 03-30-2014 - 9:52am

Just be there for her...
As long as she has your Support she will know that she can come to you...
I had issues in the beginning with someone my dd was with but she let him know if push came to shove I was her Mom...<3
You d's man makes me very leery because of wanting to isolate her...Red Flags..."Abusive"...just keep lines communication open, let her know she is loved...<3