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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
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My parenting question concerns my daughter, recently turned

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My parenting question concerns my daughter, recently turned 21. She is a university student. She has just ended a long term relationship, her first serious love affair. This had been ongoing for two and a half years and she loved this boy deeply. I could see that there were problems from roughly 6 months into the relationship which led me to conclude that she would not find lasting happiness with this boy. I discretely pointed a few things out but left her to get on with it as she was not for giving him up. He seems to have had a lot of difficulties with honesty and commitment, even though 7 years older than herself. After trying very hard to make things work she finally called a halt to the relationship when she discovered he had gambled a relatively large sum of money (not hers!) and was making arrangements to see other women (possibly call girls) on line. She was devastated by this. She is a beautiful and talented young girl and I feel so sorry that her first major love affair has ended this way. She certainly didn't deserve it. It has only been a few weeks, but she has gone off the rails a bit since then. She's going out a lot, not always returning home (she is 21), is quite short with me, is completely neglecting her university studies (which she has been doing for some time). She is in her second year of a three year course and unfortunately she is not enjoying it as much as she hoped. I'm worried about the long term effects of all this for her emotional and psychological life, not to mention the fact that she needs to get her act together academically. I'm finding it hard to just watch her mess up, but havent said so to her as I know she is in a lot of pain about the end of her relationship with a boy I think she would have married. The one good thing to come out of this is that she found out these things about him before things got even more serious. How can I best help my daughter without being overly intrusive? I do think some boundaries around her behaviour need to be established. She is still living at home after all. Whats compounding my difficulty in handling this is that I haven't really experienced what she is going through. I did marry my first love, my daughters father, and we have a good marriage, a factor which may have influenced her in her own search for love. So I havent sustained a loss like this one.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 4 years ago.
Hello and Thank You for consulting Just Answer. Your daughter is going through an extremely difficult and painful experience. Since it has only been a few weeks, give her a little space and time to adjust to not being involved in a relationship. All you can do is to tell her that you love her, you will always be available to talk, and that you are sorry for what she must go through. She will go through stages of being depressed and wanting to feel alone. She may even lack an appetite and lose weight. If she seems too withdrawn, you may want to suggest that she talk about her problems with a psychologist if she will not open up to you. Time will heal her pain. As her mom, you want to see your daughter happy. But just encourage her with her studies without seeming too overbearing. Go out to lunch with her. Take her shopping. Maybe a mini vacation over a weekend may spread some joy in her life. This is a stage but a learning lesson for your daughter. She will look back on this experience and be glad one day that she did not marry this guy. Her prince charming is still out there. She is young and has time to find him. I went through this same thing more than 20 years ago. I was with a guy for three years. We broke up when I was in my third year of college. It was my first love...I thought. I just felt like dying and that I could not live without him. My mom really did not know what to say to me. I just started spending time devoted to my studies and friends and family. I felt really empty. However, my prince charming came into my life when I was not even interested in a relationship. So you never know what the future holds. We dated for 5 years and now have been married for almost 20. So I said all of that to say that your daughter is experiencing something that many women go through. Just make sure that she has a good support system. You were blessed to find true love with your first love. Just continue to lift up your daughter because her spirit has been broken.

:). Take care.
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