Your Dilemmas: My daughter's boyfriend is quite possessive of her

In her weekly column, JOAN LONG, a Bishopstown psychologist and psychotherapist, answers readers’ queries
Your Dilemmas: My daughter's boyfriend is quite possessive of her

"I see her always giving into his demands rather than face the tension with him." Picture: Stock, posed by models

Dear Joan,

My 19-year-old daughter has been seeing her boyfriend for the last two years. The relationship got serious very fast and I have noticed from early on that he seems to be quite possessive of her.

When she is home with me, he is constantly texting her, wondering where she is and when she will be back with him.

If she doesn’t give a response that he likes then he will get angry and make threats about leaving her.

I have tried to speak to my daughter about my concerns but she becomes very defensive and tells me to mind my own business.

But I know that she feels pressure from him and I see her always giving into his demands rather than face the tension with him.

I feel that she is distancing herself from me and her friends also.

I’m worried that it will get to a stage where she will isolate herself completely just to avoid his moods.

This is very distressing for me and I don’t know what else I can do.


Dear Reader,

Right now, it seems that you are doing everything that you can do.

Your daughter is an adult who is making her own decisions now and though you may not agree with them and they cause you concern, for now you have to step back and let her be.

As a parent, one of the most difficult things to accept is our powerlessness over our children, especially as they enter adulthood and begin to make their way in the world.

Her defensiveness shows that she herself seems aware that this relationship may not be the healthiest but for some reason she is choosing to stay with her partner for now.

All you can do is state your feelings to her and assure her that you are there for her no matter what.

She may come to her own realisation at some point that this situation is not working and decide to leave him herself.

But until that happens, she needs to know that there is support there for her without conditions or restrictions.

It is a very tough place to be, but like I said, you are doing all you can do for now. I wish you the very best,

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