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TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3134
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
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I have a two-fold question: 1) Can I try to convince my 18-yr-old

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I have a two-fold question: 1) Can I try to convince my 18-yr-old daughter that her new relationship with a 33-yr-old separated father of 2 is not a good idea; and 2) if not, how can I handle my anger and disappointment so I don't destroy our relationship? I am so angry right now I don't even want to be in the same room with her. Thank you.

CoachJenK :

Hi. Welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families on a variety of issues.

Customer:

Hello

CoachJenK :

I can certainly understand how difficult this is and you are right to know that it could damage your relationship with her. but it is so hard to sit back and watch her make a choice that you believe is the wrong one.

CoachJenK :

there is no great solution here but I would pull back as best you can so that your daughter can still come to you if and when she needs to around this

CoachJenK :

you run the risk of losing her if you continue to push.

CoachJenK :

so what to do with your feelings?

Customer:

That's what I'm afraid of. Also, if I draw a hard line and tell her to move out if she doesn't stop seeing him, she will run right to him...

CoachJenK :

allow them to come up and find your palce to work them out and deal with all that you feel.

CoachJenK :

you are entitled to your feelings and so you must let them come out

CoachJenK :

yes you are correct and you dont want to lose her

CoachJenK :

you are in a no win situation here so the best you can do is hope that in time she realizes that this relationships isnt the best for her but she must come to that on her own

Customer:

How do I get these feelings "up and out" so I can stop feeling so angry?

CoachJenK :

great question...sometimes just allowing them to be and not trying to force them away can help

CoachJenK :

in those moments I want you to breathe and practice some self talk....

CoachJenK :

she is not being harmed and I know she will make choices that work for her. my goal is to love her and not lose her and this is how it has to be

CoachJenK :

that kind of self talk can calm you

CoachJenK :

tell me about the anger..what is it you are angry about...go a bit deeper than the facts you mentioned

Customer:

OK...I am a single mother ans she is the youngest, and a product of a 2nd marriage. Her father is absent at best, XXXXX XXXXX at worst. He has repeated hurled accusations at me that I have not raised her right; now I feel like there is a grain of truth in it. I also feel like my daughter is choosing this man over the close relationship we have had, and I feel abandoned and "dissed"...wow, I sound awful!

CoachJenK :

no you dont and I am glad you are able to get all of this out.

CoachJenK :

this isnt about anything you did wrong and in fact may have more to do with an absent father.

CoachJenK :

but she needs to play this out and the hardest thing we do as parents is watch our children become independent and develop other relationships that we feel arent right

CoachJenK :

it is not a choice between you and him so as best you can dont make it one for her

CoachJenK :

support her, love her and let things play out.

CoachJenK :

if he isnt harmful to her and loves her and cares for her then so be it.

CoachJenK :

if things dont work out then your relationship will be intact where she can come to you for the support that is needed.

Customer:

That is what I hope...and as soon as possible!

CoachJenK :

keep loving her. you sound like a great mom so try not to beat yourself up

Customer:

I have such high hopes for her. She is so smart, she's on a path in college. I don't want to see her derailed. I realize their relationship looks like a cliche: he's looking for a young thing and she's looking for a daddy. I'm embarrassed for her.

CoachJenK :

so hard but let it be and let it play out...she still may stay on the right path that she is.

Customer:

OK...deep breath...I like what you said about positive and calming self-talk. My sister calls it prayer! Thanks.

CoachJenK :

whatever works! practice it often. you are doing a great job. come to me anytime for support

CoachJenK :

when you feel the anger rising, walk out of the room and go breathe

Customer:

Thank you. Goodbye.

CoachJenK :

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