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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10584
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I am currently a widow years and have been in a relationship

Customer Question

Hi,
I am currently a widow for several years and have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for almost a year. He is the most amazing caring man in the world. He is divorced and stayed married for a long time when many others would have hit the pavement. The issue is his 21 year old daughter is moderately mentally disabled and has autism. Her Mother does the bare minimum with her and she is obsessed with my boyfriend. They go to therapy every other week and there is progress. However she has issues going to sleep, she constantly texts and asks about his well being and things that truly borderline on either highly dysfunctional or inappropriate. She tries to control him, when he goes to bed etc... He is working very hard on making changes, but with these type of children (adults) it's difficult. Any suggestions for when an adult disabled child feels that she is in control of her Dad's life. It's almost worse than how a spouse would keep tabs on her husband and she interrupts the times we are together when she is at her Mom's. Needing some advice
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

*This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice in a Q&A format. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area. Please note that anything said here is not private or confidential, as this is a public forum.

Hello and thank you for using JustAnswer. What has your boyfriend said in response to these concerns?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He is very understanding and knows that there is alot of work to do. However, this does not make it any easier. She acts very spoiled
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

With someone who has an developmental disability like this it is sometimes best to put things in writing so that the daughter can refer back to it. So if your boyfriend, his daughter, and their therapist work a bullet point worksheet (keeping it simple) and refer to what can be discussed and what cannot be discussed this may help. Also your boyfriend needs to put down curfews on when he can be reached and when he is not available, especially at night. I understand that this is a difficult situation and his daughter will be very reluctant to change since she is not as privy to social etiquette as you or I, but hopefully if there is something tangible that she can refer to on a constant basis this will help prevent this type of behavior in the future.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It's just stressful to deal with the constant questions that I don't think a child should ask a parent
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

I agree with that sentiment, but again her level of maturity is far less than her age and this is why writing something down on what she can ask and what she cannot ask is more tangible and she can reference it back more easily than opposed to a concrete thought process.

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