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Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1168
Experience:  Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
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I am not sure what to do. I feel somewhat resentful to my hubby. Ok.

Customer Question

I am not sure what to do. I feel somewhat resentful to my hubby.

Ok. Here goes it. I have been married for 15 yrs. My daughter just turned 14. I have known prior to our relationship that he had a 7 yr relationship. At the time he was 21 and she was 14(eighth grade!). The relationship lasted 7 yrs. Lately I have become resentful to his stupidity. I asked him what were you thinking. He said he does not know and he was surprised he did not go to jail.However, this was in 1989. He also says she was a very experienced 14yr old and that her family did not care. Quite honestly if a 21 yr old came to my door, I would kick his a**! I d not know if it is because of my daughters age or what. I love him, and do not want a divorce. I do not know if this matters but I was 18 and he was 30 when we met 19 when we married. Like I said I love him. I am just not sure how to handle this.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. L replied 2 years ago.

Dr. L :

Hello,

Dr. L :

I would like to help you with your question.

Dr. L :

I can understand how you would question your husband's wisdom, values, and motivation when he "dated" a mere 14 year old when he was a much older 21 years old. He's right in being surprised that he was not in trouble with the law! Along with asking what he was thinking...you have to ask what this youngster's parents were thinking!..along with your husband's parents and family. I think there are many people to point a finger at...

Dr. L :

But back to you and your resent...

Dr. L :

It seems to me that the "trigger" here is the fact that your own daughter is now the same age as your husband's former girlfriend. When you see the tender age your daughter is at...it probably disgusts you to think that a 21 year would see her in a romantic and/or sexual way.

Dr. L :

I think it is quite natural for you to run through this scenario and feel upset about this.

JACUSTOMER-rmj4ogws- :

yes it does. I almost see him as disgusting for it. However, I do feel he would never harm our daughter

Dr. L :

Yes...the focus is thinking back to how he could see this girl as dating material....It is not about you feeling that your daughter is at risk.

Dr. L :

And certainly what you are feeling is a sense of wanting to protect your daughter from inappropriate dating situations...and perhaps feeling very baffled about how your husband could have conducted himself in such a way.

Dr. L :

What do you think would help you stop feeling resentful? Would it be about him apologizing for his poor behavior and agreeing that he would never,ever, ever let your 14 year old date?

Dr. L :

I ask that because I wonder if you feel that he would not say NO to your daughter dating.

JACUSTOMER-rmj4ogws- :

no to dating at this age and I think he would say no to an adult dating a child. He says he wont apologize for the past

Dr. L :

Is that the part that has you so upset...that he won't apologize?

JACUSTOMER-rmj4ogws- :

maybe. I dont care if he had a 100 girlfriends, but his stupidity bothers me

Dr. L :

I agree. It was stupid, irresponsible, and dangerous.

JACUSTOMER-rmj4ogws- :

is it more my problem because my daughters age?

Dr. L :

It is hard to make sense of this situation.

Dr. L :

I wouldn't call it a problem. I see it more as a realization on your part borne of the fact that your own child is the same age. When you look at her and think about her life...you likely say...this girl is a kid...she needs the protection of her parents...no way would dating be appropriate...especially if the person who wanted to date her was a young man...

Dr. L :

In your mind...your daughter dating someone who is 21 is unimaginable. But when you look at your husband, you see that he - at age 21 - dated a girl at 14. In a sense...it scares you...and when he won't take any responsibility...you likely get infuriated with his sense of morals.

JACUSTOMER-rmj4ogws- :

I know the past is the past, and I trust him completely...just not sure why it even matters.

Dr. L :

What are your thoughts about that...do you have any ideas?

JACUSTOMER-rmj4ogws- :

i think its because my daughter turned 14 yrs old, and I look at her and I see a child

JACUSTOMER-rmj4ogws- :

Well you left....

Dr. L :

I'm sorry ... my computer automatically refreshed.

Dr. L :

I am here...

Dr. L :

Yes...I do think that is the point...you see a child and feel awful inside thinking about her childhood being overshadow by a romance...

Dr. L :

Is there more....

Dr. L :

Do you think there is any link to your own dating history? Are you wondering if maybe it wasn't okay that you started dating when you were 18..married at 19? Are you concerned that maybe you were too young...and worried that your daughter will also marry at a tender age?

JACUSTOMER-rmj4ogws- :

well obviously I dont want that for her. I also had a child he is 17 now

Dr. L :

Okay....so you had a baby out of wedlock...and that is also something you don't want to happen for her...right?

JACUSTOMER-rmj4ogws- :

ofcourse not

JACUSTOMER-rmj4ogws- :

great education, good job everything a parent wants for their child

Dr. L :

I'm sorry...the JustAnswer system shut-down momentarily..but we are up and running again.

Dr. L :

So...it would seem to me that several things are happening...you are very in touch with the fact that your daughter is a child and is vulnerable in many ways. You want to protect her so that she is not vulnerable to guys who will rob her of her innocence. Your husband's past behavior bothers you and has you considering his actions as stupid as you realize how inappropriate it is for a 21 year old to date a 14 year old! In fact, it has you seeing red.

Dr. L :

Then...there is the reality of your own past behavior...that is, getting pregnant and having a baby in your teens.

Dr. L :

When you look at your husband's behavior and your own behavior...you feel frightened, upset, distraught, angry...at how stupid he was...and maybe even how stupid you were...

Dr. L :

While he won't apologize for his past...perhaps it would be good for you to forgive yourself for your own poor choice in being sexual before you were really capable of handling the responsibilities of a baby.

Dr. L :

And then perhaps you can let go of your own fear about her future by saying to yourself...my daughter does not have to follow the same path that I did...I am a responsible parent and I can help her make healthy choices about her future.

Dr. L :

How do you feel about that?

JACUSTOMER-rmj4ogws- :

I feel that is good advice. I want her to be an amazing women WHEN the time comes

Dr. L :

Very good!!! Exactly! It is about the timing.

Dr. L :

In a way we could say....you took on adult behaviors too soon...your husband's involvement with a 14 year brought her into adulthood too soon...There is a "right" time for one's movement into adulthood and you want your daughter to be on that "right" time schedule.

JACUSTOMER-rmj4ogws- :

absolutely!

Dr. L :

And absolutely...your daughter can proceed at the right pace that gives brings her into adulthood when she is ready and that allows her to blossom as an awesome woman.

JACUSTOMER-rmj4ogws- :

you are right thank you for your time

Dr. L :

You are very welcome!

Dr. L :

I apologize for the delays with chatting. Sometimes we are at the mercy of the computer program and its need to refresh.

Dr. L :

I will wish you a good evening.

Dr. L :

Take care!

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