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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5515
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Is anyone there?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you.

 

Can you tell me what you need assistance with?

 

Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I just somehow sent a detailed description of my situation. Looks like it was sent as an entirely new question with a new fee. Please advise, I do not want to be charged twice. :) thank you.
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

I am sorry, but I did not receive your response. You can contact the moderator on Just Answer about your fee situation. They should be able to help you.

 

Can you re post your response on this thread?

 

Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is there anything I can do to get through to my daughter who has a boyfriend who is manipulative? They've been dating for 2 years now. She is 19 (they both are), this is their first relationship with anyone. She has always been, and still is, very caring, considerate, trusting, nieve and giving to the extent that she is being blinded by love. In the beginning, he would come over and do strange things in our house that would intentionally irritate me knowing that I would confront her, which possibly would drive her and I away from eachother and closer to him. He would always push the limit. Anything he has done has been very out of the norm and very vindictive. He would be disrespectful to me and to her younger sister. There is just so much that he has done to manipulate situations to benefit himself. I, myself, am a very open minded person and give everyone the benefit of the doubt and never have conflicts with anyone. In the beginning, I told him that they were good together because I did see some give and take and compassion or considerate acts. It took about 4 months or less that he started to show a certain control over her. BUT, the entire time, he smothers her with his love and that is all that she sees. She has ALWAYS tried hard to do the right thing, because I raised her to know that when we make good choices our life is much easier and it comes together in a good way. She does not drink or do drugs. When they first started dating, 3 months into it, we took them to florida along with their two other friends. Once they got settled into the room, I said 'what are you all going to do today?" He said "Whatever we want...." very cocky response. That was the first incident of disrespect. That summer, she asked if it was okay to go camping with him and our campsite (an hour away), of course with me not liking his attitude, I disapproved. So then, they planned a 3 day camping trip that was 4 hours away. (these are examples) She came home one night and said, "I'm gaining weight, I need to watch what I eat." I said, in front of both of them, "Try not eating so late at night, that would help." The next four days he took her to dinner late each night. He seems to knowingly go against my wishes to gain control. She went to Florida last year with her girlfriends and their family, when she made plans he came over and said 'I'm going to florida too... how much are you paying?' He went at a different time, two weeks apart. He went with two guys, one was over 21 to buy his alcohol. He is competitive with her because she does do the right thing. Our cell phone is on the same plan, so I looked at the records and they texted every minute, literally, when she was in Florida. His best friends are 3 guys who are much into drugs, one even went to jail because he did exstacy and destroyed his mothers house. He hangs with these guys every single day (without her) while they continuously text every minute. He drops her off at home, then goes to party. She comes home to go to bed to wake early for work and/or school (college). He is a computer wiz, his parents told me that he can retrieve their passwords when needed. My account was hacked last year, my daughter walked in the door and I pulled up the site that was charged (Xbox), she said "thats the site where he buys his game credits"... hmmm. She didn't put it together. There is a chance of course that it wasn't him. There is so much more to this.... too much to list. He lives at home with his parents, his mother is a pure example of manipulating her husband, but they cover it up with supposibly a perfect life (husband is an alcoholic), live in a big house, go to church and put on a front. My daughters bf is truly perfecting manipulating everyone to think something other than what it really is. His bedroom is in the basement at their house, I told his mother that I do not like them laying on his bed watching a movie (at 17 yrs old). About that time, is when he got up in her face and yelled at her to stop talking to me (she told me). So, he rules the house there it seems. I've tried everything from talking to my daughter, telling her exactly how I feel and how this is damaging her. We also tried the mother/daughter day out, fun stuff. I've cried multiple times to her about it. I've told her how can a mother be okay with this unhealthy relationship that I see. He has not been to our house for about 7 months now, supposibly because of our animals and his allergies, but I'm sure its because I don't approve. Now that he doesn't come here, she only goes there, likely now for sex. I'm fine with that now, because I don't want to see his face and she is on the pill now, thank GOD. He tells her anything she wants to hear and knows exactly how to manipulate any situation to benefit himself. She now covers up for his stupidity to me. In front of me, he has belittled her, made her cry by hurting her feelings, and worst of all I truly believe he is not honest with her about what he does.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: No answer yet.
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for re posting your response. I appreciate it.

 

It sounds like you have good insight when it comes to your daughter's boyfriend. He does indeed sound manipulative. He also may have some anti social traits and/or narcissistic traits. Hanging around drug users, using himself and possibly hacking into your passwords are all anti social behaviors. Manipulation is part of narcissism.

 

It also sounds like he has learned these behaviors at home. He probably did not have controls put on his behaviors and was allowed to push until he got his way. So he has turned out acting this way because he feels he can get away with it.

 

Your daughter is probably caught up in his charm (which he turns on for her), what appears to be self assurance (which is manipulation and narcissism) and his lack of boundaries with his behavior. She may also be pulled in to co dependency with him. He may threaten her if she leaves, manipulate her into feeling she is not worthy, and generally trying to keep her under his control. If so, then this may be an emotionally abusive relationship.

 

Since your daughter is 19, legally you cannot force them to stay apart. But since she does live with you and you support her, you can set some house rules she needs to follow. This can include a curfew or other house rules that restrict her ability to see her boyfriend.

 

But even restricting her is not going to prevent her from seeing her boyfriend. Realizing that she is old enough to make her own mistakes is very difficult for a parent. Given that, you can still try to help her. Here are some things you can try:

 

Realize that she made this choice based on her perception of this boy and what she felt he could offer her. She may be fearful of stepping out on her own as a young adult and he may represent a carefree life, seemingly high self esteem, and answers to all problems. That is what she might see. You are telling her something different, which she does not want to hear right now and may scare her. Instead, telling her that you love her and want the best for her will help. You want her to see you as someone she can turn to when she realizes that her boyfriend is not so great.

 

This does not mean you are not honest with your daughter about your feelings. But make them your feelings and don't try to convince her. She will be more willing to listen to you if you are not trying to change her.

 

Support her. If she is hurt, stay with her. Let her talk about this boy even if you don't want to hear it. The point is to let her know you care.

 

Set boundaries. Tell your daughter that although you respect her, you do not respect her boyfriend's behavior. And make sure you make it about his behavior. It makes a difference. If you tell your daughter that her boyfriend is fine, but his behavior is out of control and you will not allow it in your home, then she cannot be upset because you don't like him. You just do not like his behavior. You are still showing respect to everyone (a good example to her) but you are pointing out his behavior as wrong. This may help her see how he acts rather than thinking this is just you having an opinion because you don't like him.

 

Allow her to make her own mistakes. Let her know you care but that you realize that she needs to learn on her own what makes a good or bad relationship.

 

Also, if you have other family members or even friends of your daughter's who agree with you, encourage them to talk with your daughter. She may be able to tune out one opinion, but if several people say they are uncomfortable with her boyfriend's behavior, then she may be able to hear it.

 

You can learn more about manipulative and narcissistic personalties and co dependency so you are better able to understand the hold this boy has on your daughter. Here are some good resources to help you:

 

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/narcissistic-personality-disorder/DS00652

 

http://www.nmha.org/go/codependency- this may help you to understand your daughter's relationship with her boyfriend.

 

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/high-octane-women/201108/toxic-relationships-health-hazard

 

http://helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm-

includes emotional abuse

 

I hope this has helped you,
Kate

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Did you feel I addressed your question or do you have further questions?

 

Kate

 

 

If you felt your answer was helpful, please click ACCEPT so I can be paid for my work. Thank you!

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you Kate. Just one more thing; Your information was right on with every aspect and believe it or not, we have already taken all the action that you had mentioned. I will definately read the links that you sent. I have been supportive to her, and I remind her that I want 'good' (some normalcy) with mine/his relationship. I am easy to get along with and she knows that. She has friends that tell her he is rude, then she automatically shuts them out on the subject of him. Her grandmother, who is close to her, told her that she doesn't like his attitude. We have always said 'attitude' and have said that I do like 'him' as a person, how can I not - he is just a kid who is also learning. He has made her feel sorry for him, to pull her closer. Her attitude has changed, but I see her fighting with herself to do the right things and be herself. He is going into debt from school loans, she received financial aid for the most part, then I paid the rest each semester. He encourages her thinking and some bad choices, which she had always in the past listened to our advice. She asked her dad and I if she should take out a school loan to pay for her rent so she can move out. She is well aware that we encourage her to be on her own, given when she can work enough and go to school, and pay her own rent/car pmt/etc. We clearly was against her taking out a loan for living expenses (since she can live at home), but she did it anyways - comparing her finances with every other person her age.Now that she is older, I've told her that she is the ultimate decision maker - take what I've taught you, make good choices and fly.... lol. I do realize that she needs to see all this for herself. But, I guess I need to know how to possibly react if this relationship continues. I would like to see it end so she sees other opportunities, but who knows. And what else can I do if he continues emotionally controlling her and she avoids the truth?? I don't want to think (as her mother) that I am helpless at helping her. At this point, since she isn't listening to our advice at all, I'm anxious for her to move out and learn for herself (I don't tell her like that). I just don't want her to get damaged, of course, in the process but unfort I think that is possible. I've told her recently to stand up to his stupid behavior and if he really loves her, he will do what it takes to make things right. I've said, of course he loves you (how could he not, and he wants to keep you), but it is more of a 'love to control' rather than loving someone to bring the best out of eachother. I've thought about spying on him to catch him in a lie, but he will get caught sooner or later himself. The problem now is that she avoids the truth. If it comes down to someone (me) finding out or telling her something she doesn't want to hear, she avoids it because she doesn't want a broken heart. She is VERY sensitive, mostly in good ways. I do have to remind myself of what I went through at her age.....completely different; partying, wild, broken heart, rape, physically abusive step dad, much different lifestyle. That is likely why I care so much and am protective of her feelings. She sees no result of any of my past (on the surface), or doesn't know details of my past. With our kids, we have lived a very normal, healthy life with great moral values and respect for one another. I'm just not sure where to go from here. Thank you very much, I really appreciate your advice.

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

You have excellent insight into the situation with your daughter. If you have already tried most of what I suggested, then you are way ahead of most people in similar situations.

 

You are handling this very well. You have given your daughter all she needs to cope well with her life. It may be a matter of her making this mistake and realizing it on her own, which is, as you said, just as you had to do. I understand that it is extremely hard to stand by and watch your daughter make these mistakes with this boy. You can clearly see him for what he is. But keep in mind, this is because you have life experience that lets you see him and what he is doing. Your daughter does not. And experience is what prevents you from repeating mistakes like she is making now. She just needs time to have the same experiences.

 

If this relationship continues, the best thing to do is to keep the lines of communication open with your daughter. You want to be a part of her life and you want to be available to her when she does realize that this relationship is a mistake. You want her to feel she can come to you anytime and you will be there for her. Try your best to make your time with her about her and not so much about her boyfriend. Talk to her about what she feels, her insights and her dreams. Make her aware of other positives in her life that she can focus on. If she has other dreams and goals, she may see that her boyfriend is not compatible with those dreams and goals.

 

Also, keep an eye out for the relationship possibly escalating into abuse. It is already showing signs now. Even though it may not get worse, there still is the possibility that it might. If it does, you need to be aware so you can help. Be prepared with resources, support and a way to keep your daughter safe.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5515
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you so much!! I needed this reassurance from an expert. Wasn't sure if I could say thank you after accepting your last answer, so I replied. That is all for now. Your advice has truly been a big help to me. Thank you again. If you have to reply for me to accept, I will accept. :)
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

You're welcome! It was great talking with you. I am glad I could help.

 

I also wanted to say thank you ahead of time for when you accept. I don't need to reply to get the accept, but I do appreciate hearing from you and I wanted to say so.

 

Just click the green button on your answer and the accept should come through. Thanks!

 

Take care,

 

Kate

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