How can I get my daughter to reject her lousy boyfriend? Ask Ellie
Q: My daughter dated someone who seemed a great guy for almost two years. They got along well, were in love, planned their future. They’re both in their 20s, both starting good careers.
Recently, at a house party, my daughter saw him kissing his co-worker. She confronted them both and stormed out. Her boyfriend stayed and had sex with his co-worker.
He’s tried to win my daughter back, saying that he made “the worst mistake of his life,” he loves her and doesn’t know why he did that.
He begged for forgiveness, described everything that happened, insisting he’s now repulsed by that woman.
He ensured he’d never have to work with her again, and deleted/blocked her from all social media.
My daughter was traumatized, crying daily for a month. She lost self-confidence and is battling depression. She’s talking to him again and I’m worried that she’ll get hurt again.
He called her the next day and said he’s a monster, will never forgive himself, never justify what he did, and they should just move on. He tried talking to her for a month to make up.
Now, when she can’t get over it, he tells her to stop nagging. He doesn’t want to hear about it anymore. He says he can’t take it back and can’t say “sorry” enough.
My daughter and I are both losing sleep! I’m so angry with him. I question whether we ever really knew this guy.
He says he wants them to have a future together and keep dating like it never happened.
I support my daughter. I keep telling her the pain will eventually go away, but it’s going to take time. She’s getting stronger daily but then falls apart again. Such a careless act caused so much pain!
A: Your support as a mother is essential, but you cannot control or decide for your daughter. The more you push her in one direction, the more she’ll have to question her own decision.
The facts are obvious: This guy cannot be trusted. He’s already trying to control the narrative … by describing her pain and uncertainty about him as her “nagging.” But your daughter has to be the one to recognize that.
She needs an experienced therapist’s bolstering of her self-confidence. She’s young and on her path to a good career. She doesn’t need to align herself with a man who cheats publicly, and stays to have sex with a colleague after he’s broken his girlfriend’s heart.
Tell your daughter that she’s smart and can benefit greatly from objective discussion about this event, its aftermath and what’s been revealed.
Then expect her to make the right decision for herself.
Feedback Regarding a daughter who no longer speaks to her mom (Oct. 16):
Reader: “I have personal experience with family silence and would ask those two women to reconcile.