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Doctor Kevin
Doctor Kevin, Ph.D.
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1482
Experience:  25 years in private practice
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We believe our 25 year old daughter is in an emotionally

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We believe our 25 year old daughter is in an emotionally abusive relationship. They are planning marriage and her father and I believe it might be time for us to intervene on her behalf. Any ideas how to begin to approach this with her?

Good evening and thank you for the opportunity to help in answering your question. Please allow me to say that I am truly sorry to hear of the difficult situation that your daughter is in. The best way to approach the situation with her would be to initiate the conversation with her by telling her that you wish to speak to hear out of concern about her well being. I would further suggest identifying that you are concerned about her emotional state, especially since you've noticed a consistent shift in her personality.

My impression is such that she would be receptive to this approach given the gentle approach made and not coming right out and identifying negative traits about her boyfriend. This approach will encourage her to be more open in sharing what is actually occurring in the relationship. If she does not open up in this manner then I would suggest to you to encourage her by identifying that you recognize that her relationship appears to be contributing to her depressed state and that all you want is the best for her and you bring this up out to ensure that she sees things for how they are because when we put time and effort in a relationship we tend to grow comfortable and overlook things that are problematic and potentially unhealthy. I would further suggest that she consider seeing a therapist individually before going further in the relationship so that she makes the healthiest and best informed decision before going into a serious commitment such as marriage. I truly hope that I have been able to offer a helpful answer and suggestions.

Please let me know if you have any further questions that I can help in answering for you. I want to be certain that I have answered your question completely and thoroughly.

If you feel that I've answered your question to your satisfaction then I would greatly appreciate your clicking the ACCEPT button thereby giving me credit for the answer and suggestions I've provided to you. I hope this finds you well and look forward to your response.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks anyway. We've already figured out this much.

Here are some classic signs that your daughter is in an abusive relationship. She apologizes for his behavior and makes excuses for him. She loses interest in activities that she used to enjoy. She stops seeing friends and family members and becomes more isolated. When your daughter and her boyfriend are together, he calls her names and puts her down in front of other people. He acts extremely jealous of others who pay attention to her, especially other guys. He thinks or tells your daughter that you don't like him. He controls her behavior, checking up on her constantly, calling and paging her, demanding to know who she has been with. She casually mentions his violent behavior, but laughs it off as a joke. She often has unexplained injuries, or the explanations she offers don't make sense. You see him violently lose his temper, striking or breaking objects. Now to answer your question of how to approach her I would wait till it is just the three of you and I would go over your concerns about her in a loving positive way and avoid making any negative remarks about him. Letting her know that you are always there for her and you want to keep your relationship close and honest is the best approach. She will continue to defend him until she finally want s out of the relationship and then she will turn to you for help.

Doctor Kevin, Ph.D.
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1482
Experience: 25 years in private practice
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for the helpful insight!
Let me know what else I can do.