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Allornothing posted 7/23/2014 18:23 PM

My 15 year old DD has just begun her first "meaningful" (to her) relationship. I want to sit her down and talk to her again about knowing her value and what attitudes and behaviours she should, and should not, accept from this young man.

Problem is, she is the one who walked in fWH having sex with OW. She's still angry and feels betrayed by her dad, and is angry at me for staying.

Knowing her, as soon as I say something to her about acceptable behaviour, she's going to ask me why I'm talking to her about what not to accept, when I stayed married after dad cheated?

Any ideas on how to broach this subject, and on what to say when she challenges me (and she will)?

Thoughts and ideas would be greatly appreciated, I don't want to screw this up.

healingroad posted 7/23/2014 18:32 PM

Hmmm. Maybe you don't need to say anything that she would challenge?

Tell her that she's got to determine what's acceptable for her in her relationships, and that you want her to have healthy relationships and avoid the pain you've faced. And you can offer to answer any questions and be open about what kinds of choices and boundaries she should be thinking about -- but in the end the choices will be hers to make.

And remind her that she's a valuable person and deserves respect and honesty.

Just a thought...

Allornothing posted 7/23/2014 18:40 PM

Thank you so much. I was so stuck on the thought of being challenged, I didn't think outside of the A box. What would I do without you guys?

krsplat posted 7/23/2014 20:02 PM

Agreed. You could even use yourself as an example of what not to do: "I don't want you to ever have to make the choice I did. Here's how to avoid it..."

ETA: Focus -- every day! -- on telling her what a great girl she is, how proud you are of her, and how proud she should be of herself. Girls with high self-esteem won't put up with boys who treat them badly. Have conversations with her as issues arise, asking for her opinion on how certain couples treat each other and what she thinks of it. Talk to her about what she thinks dating relationships should be like, and why. I know from working with middle school kids that discussions often go better than lectures.

[This message edited by krsplat at 7:05 AM, July 24th (Thursday)]

wk55hn posted 7/23/2014 22:44 PM

I don't think you should say too much.

Let her know that her actions could have lasting consequences: sex equals possible pregnancy or STDs.

Other than that, I would just sit back and keep a close eye, without her realizing if possible, as nonchalant as possible.

When you see her making mistakes, try to guide her gently and give her the wisdom of your experience at that point. I think she will be more accepting of your counsel when you offer it and it makes sense to her and she can put it to immediate use.

Trying to give her a lesson on boundaries and acceptable behavior and unacceptable behavior pre-emptively before anything goes wrong in her relationship is going to be tough.

I have a 16-year-old son. He doesn't heed warnings well, my warnings and advice given ahead of time to head off problems seem to go in one ear and out the other, or worse yet, sometimes the warning doesn't even get in his ear, just goes right over his head.

But when he has a problem and I have advice that can help, he will listen. I was the same way as a teenager.

You know your own kid, if you think she'll listen and use the advice now, then go ahead.

[This message edited by wk55hn at 10:46 PM, July 23rd (Wednesday)]

lilacs40 posted 7/24/2014 06:51 AM

One of the things you could say to her is that when you're married things are slightly different then when you're just dating someone. And the choice you made to stay might have been different had there not been things like children or finances involved.

And really in general people make decisions based on the info at hand at the time. And what works for one might not work for anyone else.

Good luck.

Allornothing posted 7/24/2014 16:34 PM

Thanks to all of you! These things are so much easier to handle when you have the perspective and experience of those that have BTDT

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