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Ask Dr. Shirley Schaye Your Own Question

Dr. Shirley Schaye
Dr. Shirley Schaye, Doctor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1673
Experience:  PhD-Psych; Certif. Psychoanalyst NPAP& NYFS; Memb.APsaA;IPA; Pub.Author; Teach/Supervise Therapy
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My son is almost 21 (21 in February, college student, still

Customer Question

My son is almost 21 (21 in February, college student, still living at home), and the girl he is trying to break up with is already 21. They've had the breakup conversation more than once, but she keeps coming over to our house. They've been going together for just over two years, but recently he's started seeing another girl because he's ready to move on. My husband tells me that she's just in denial because she still loves him. Is there anything I can do to get her, help her, to move on? It's uncomfortable for my husband and me to watch the way he talks to her, as it can be harsh at times, but she just takes it, as if that's normal or ok. She just doesn't realize that it's not ok to be spoken to like that, and she doesn't seem to be able to let go. Should I, his mother, step in and say something to the girl to help her move on? I don't know if the girl's mother is aware of the situation, but if she is, either she hasn't been able to convince her daughter to move on or she hasn't said anything, trying to stay out of it. I hate to see her being treated like this, and I've talked to my son about it. He says she just still wants to be with him and he doesn't know what else to do. Hello? Is anyone there?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Shirley Schaye replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Shirley Schaye :

Thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am very sorry to hear about this dilemma. If you've talked to your son already there really isn't much you can do on that end. I understand your concern for her. Perhaps you can try once again to sit down with your son when she is not there and talk to him about the way he is communicating with her. Also, why is she still visiting? Why is he allowing her to still come over. That should stop. This way she won't get any mixed messages. In fact she'll get a loud and clear message that the relationship is over if she is not allowed to come over. This should be done by your son --- not by you or your husband.

Dr. Shirley Schaye :

If you see that that isn't working then I think you might want to talk to her mother --- in a very gentle careful way to tell her that you are concerned about her and that perhaps it might help if she ( her mother) talks to her about it.

Dr. Shirley Schaye :

I think it would be better for her own mother to talk to her than for you to step in.

Dr. Shirley Schaye :

Hi

Customer :

Hi, I'm just now reading your answer . . .

Dr. Shirley Schaye :

OK. Take your time.

Customer :

Even though they've been going out for two years, I've only met her mother once, so we've never really gotten to know each other. I would have to really dig to find a phone number for her, and I may not even be successful if it's not still stored on caller I.D.

Customer :

I can start by suggesting to my son that he tell the girl that she should stop coming over and see if that helps.

Customer :

But what if she still does? Should he/we not answer the door? We have a peep hole in our door so we'd be able to see if it's her.

Dr. Shirley Schaye :

I see. That makes it much more difficult to call her then. Very awkward, I would say. Perhaps you should start by the first part of what I said. Talking to your son again and you and your husband telling your son that he is giving her very mixed messages by having her come over to your home. You could also tell him that you don't like the way he is speaking to her. You could, too, say you understand that she is not accepting that he has broken off with her but it is not helping by having her come over. He needs to make it very clear to her that it's finished. He shouldn't go to her house and she not to yours.

Customer :

I think you made a good point that she's getting mixed messages, thank you for bringing that up, as I hadn't thought about that.

Customer :

What do you think about this: We should encourage him to bring the new girl around so that she's there if the first girlfriend comes over, even though she's been told to quit coming over.

Dr. Shirley Schaye :

Oh, I didn't see what you wrote before I wrote what I did. We are on the same page. Yes, look through the peep hole and don't answer. Believe me it is less cruel than her coming over and hanging on and being delusional that the relationship still exists.

Dr. Shirley Schaye :

That, too! Unfortunately, she is not your daughter. It's hard enough for our own kids to listen to us, let alone those that are not ours. I understand that you feel badly but she is totally not paying attention to what your son is telling her. By doing these things you are also protecting your son. It must be very hard for him. That's probably why he is talking to her the way he is.

Dr. Shirley Schaye :

She's just not listening.

Dr. Shirley Schaye :

So, the first step is she can't come over anymore.

Customer :

So should we encourage him to bring the new girl around often so that the ex-girlfriend sees that there's someone else in his life should she choose to ignore his request or orders to not come over any more? Should he, if he hasn't already, tell her that he's started seeing someone else?

Dr. Shirley Schaye :

Yes, to both. Believe me it's better for her. No matter how devastated she may be she will begin to mourn the loss and get on with her life.

Dr. Shirley Schaye :

I just want to say one other thing that you haven't asked about but since you mentioned your son's behaviour, I want to say hey, he's only 21 --- not even --- and look at her behaviour. It can't be easy for your son. He is trying all kinds of ways --- even being mean and she just chooses to ignore him. So turn all this around and think about your son and helping him and protecting him from her total lack of boundaries.

Dr. Shirley Schaye :

You there?

Customer :

Yes, just composing a response to you. I hope so. She's such a sweet girl, and she's been very loyal to him, but he's got the itch to move on. Yes, he's only 21 (not even), and he even says he doesn't want a steady girlfriend, not right now. He goes back & forth with that though. When he's not seeing anyone, he says he wants to, but the girls all want the relationship to be exclusive. He's not ready for that. He knows it and we know it.

Dr. Shirley Schaye :

C'est la vie! Isn't it Vive la difference!!! There is the difference between young men and young women. It's all part of growing up. Yes, he is very young to have an exclusive relationship.

Customer :

Even though guys are not the best communicators, do you think he needs to tell whoever he starts seeing with that he doesn't want the relationship to get serious and try to the girl to understand where he's coming from? All the girls just seem to be hopeless romantics. Maybe they aren't getting the attention they need at home, who knows.

Customer :

He's a particularly nice looking kid, and all the girls fall for the good looks and the charm. It's a blessing and a curse, poor guy!

Dr. Shirley Schaye :

You know, let him be. Let the young woman he is with take responsibility for that. Whoever she is, she should.

Dr. Shirley Schaye :

No, not poor guy. He's lucky he has good looks and charm. A more mature young woman should be able to make clear what she wants.

Dr. Shirley Schaye :

He'll be alright. He sounds like a great guy. Don't worry.

Customer :

Ok, I think you've given me some good food for thought, and I appreciate it. Thank you.

Dr. Shirley Schaye :

It's all part of growing up.

Dr. Shirley Schaye :

You're welcome!

Dr. Shirley Schaye :

If you have no more questions please click on ACCEPT and leave feedback. If you have more questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Dr. Shirley Schaye, Doctor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1673
Experience: PhD-Psych; Certif. Psychoanalyst NPAP& NYFS; Memb.APsaA;IPA; Pub.Author; Teach/Supervise Therapy
Dr. Shirley Schaye and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Shirley Schaye replied 3 years ago.
I am so very sorry. My feedback went to your slot instead of where it was meant to go. My feedback to you is that you are a wonderful and caring person. I'm sorry for the mix-up!!!

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