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Old 01-18-2006, 10:08 AM   #1
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Unhappy 18 year old in obssessive relationship

Hi. I am new here and I see that most of the questions are about younger kids. My problem is my 18 year old. He lives at home and does not have a job, go to school or drive yet. He has been a late bloomer. The plan was for him to get a job after the holidays. He has also never had a serious girlfriend. All of that changed about 2 months ago, when he met a 16 year old girl. She has dropped out of school 2 years ago (since 9th grade) and also has multiple serious issues in her family/past. At first, it seemed harmless, hanging out, going out to eat, even hanging out here at our home. It has progressed very quickly to a need for them to be together all of the time. This girl's mom does not enforce any rules or curfew upon her daughter at all. My son decided last week that he would ignore curfew and spend the night at her house, which resulted in him "running away" for 4 days! he came back, but since that time is totally uninvolved with his family. We also have a 14 year old daughter. We had been a close and happy family prior to this. We have never told him not to see her, but have cautioned him that it seems a bit unhealthy at this point. He does not care and says that he can fix her and that his only goal in life now is to make her happy, no matter what! He plans to move out as soon as he can now. Am I wrong to impose rules or curfew on a young man that will be 19 on Friday? I do feel that since he lives here and we support him that we have the right to expect some respect from him towards his own family. Since he has no car, we always have to drive him everywhere. I am worried about the fate of this relationship too. She has had serious issues and in fact has already sent me verbally abusive emails with subtle threats, calling herself "lucifer" I am freaking out! Any advice from somebody that has raised a teenage boy?? Thanks.

 
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Old 01-18-2006, 10:29 AM   #2
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Re: 18 year old in obssessive relationship

Only thing you can possibly do is have a talk with him, tell him that girl is not right for him and at this point of his life he should be concentrated on other things. I remember my parents just trying to have a talk every day, trying to stop us from making mistakes. May be you can talk to girls mother as well, tell her about e-mail.
If your son depends on you for driving you can refuse to drive him if he doesn't want to take into considerations any of your suggestions.

 
Old 01-18-2006, 10:43 AM   #3
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Re: 18 year old in obssessive relationship

thanks for the reply. We have tried to talk so many times and he says he knows she is needy and has issues, but he will fix her and as long as he tries to give her everything she needs and all the attention she needs it will be fine. We have told him all of our concerns and worries and he ignores them and says he does not care. I tried to talk to the mom only to find out that she is as sick as the daughter. She told her daughter and my son things that I did not even say! She allows guys to sleep at her house, with her daughter!! I think I have pretty good values, but I am not a prude and have always been pretty open with my kids, but I do not agree with that type of behavior. I am hurt that my son does not seem to care about his family anymore. He leaves as soon as he can get a ride to her house and comes back by curfew. He is spending NO time with his family and has not had a meal with us in weeks! His birthday is Friday and he does not plan to join us for dinner or anything. We have always taken him out in the past. I am at a loss to know what to do except let him learn from this mistake, but I am afraid she will end up pregnant or talk him into moving out before he is ready. Thanks.

 
Old 01-18-2006, 11:14 AM   #4
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Re: 18 year old in obssessive relationship

Can you tell him that now is a time to think about career so he can support himself and his gf. Hopefully if he will be busy with that this relationship will run it course. My parents would not tolerate somebody would sleep with us (opposite sex) and I think you are right.

 
Old 01-18-2006, 12:32 PM   #5
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Re: 18 year old in obssessive relationship

Thanks again. Well, he says he is trying to get a job and if he does I am hoping that he will meet new people and get some distance and perspective from all of this. He only wants a job so that he can move out though. I hope it does run its course, it is not a healthy relationship.

 
Old 01-18-2006, 07:44 PM   #6
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Re: 18 year old in obssessive relationship

It sounds like your son is spending so much time with this girl because she makes him feel needed and worthwhile. And at a time in his life where he may not have alot of things to boost his confidence, someone who acts like she needs him could seem very appealing. Being a first relationship it will be very easy fo him to get attached. I agree that best thing to do would be to help him build up his confidence and independance in other areas in his life. Helping guide him in an area of work that he enjoys and is good at, gaining his liscence etc are all things that would help. Absolutely you should demand respect from him, but also at his age it might be good for you to encourage him to make independant decisions. It sounds like you have taught him values and morals, and when he finds his feet, everything hes learnt from you will come back to him. Its wise that you havent told him not to see her or pushed him away, because that may result in him pulling away. Unfortunately, even though you dont think the relationship is a good idea, he seems to, and I believe that you will always be able to guide him much more effectively if he thinks youre being supportive of him. My mother always did that with me: she would stay positive and supportive, but plant little ideas in my head. And then I would look back on them when decidiing which course to take, and usually follow her guidance in the end even though it wasnt what i would have originally chosen myself. Im sorry if ive just repeated what everybodies already said, but im only 21 and remember how difficult it can be to transist into adult life. And there are always reasons why people choose certain paths, and determining those reasons is the key helping them change and find the right path. Just remember: he thinks hes getting something from her that he needs, so find a way to give him what he needs without her. Easier said than done I guess. Good luck xxx

 
Old 01-19-2006, 07:40 PM   #7
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Re: 18 year old in obssessive relationship

You know, what you say does make sense and I apppreciate a young person's perspective. He does have issues with confidence, since he had a rough time in school and was not able to graduate with his class. He did get the diploma, but it was a rough year with us (parents) kinda on his back alot. I really wanted him to get the diploma. I think that he probably does feel like he might not be worthwhile and that maybe we don't accept him as is. I do accept him, but have always tried to push him to try his best and set goals, which he really never did. He had a job interview today and hopefully he will get that and get out in the world a bit, then the license, etc...I am not a strict mom by the way, but I always am thinking about what is safe, what is best, etc...Thanks for your input!! It helps.

 
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