Hi, I'm new to GN, but have been lurking for a while, reading about other people's dilemmas, and learning quite a lot in the process.
I am feeling so cross about dd's relationship with her boyfriend/partner. They've been together for about 3 years. She's in her mid twenties, but he is a lot older and has been married with a couple of dc. He's a well educated man with a good job and perfectly pleasant to talk to. The problem is that dd has made so many sacrifices for him, trying to make their relationship work, but he seems to be in a co-dependant relationship with his ex. The ex simply has to crook her little finger and he comes running, no matter what he has arranged to do with dd.
It's becoming increasingly obvious that the b/f will not ever feel able to put dd first. They will never get married apparently because he can't do that to his dc. I don't think he has any plans to have any dc with our dd either. Why does she put up with it, and how can a mature and allegedly intelligent and sensitive man take such advantage of a much younger girl? We are sure she would love to be married and have dc in due course and it nearly broke our hearts when she announced that she didn't think this would ever happen. She's so young to give up her future in this way.
Of course we all accept that the b/f has a duty towards his dc and must put them first at the moment, and that is not a problem at all for dd, but it seems that he has not been able to break his emotional ties with his ex and always prioritises her needs, even in front of those of his dc.
I know that compared to some of the problems I have seen on here, this is not such a big deal. DH and I keep saying to each other "at least there are no grandchildren to worry about" and "lots of people make mistakes, especially when they are young" but we are still hurting so much for dd. We keep hoping that she will have the strength to walk away from this man as he is plainly in a total emotional muddle and really has nothing to offer dd except sadness.
We keep wondering how this happened, what we did when dd was young to make her feel that she needs to sacrifice herself in this way. She is a lovely, attractive, intelligent and caring girl who is deeply loved by us and the rest of the family and she has always seemed so strong and capable. Maybe she is just too nice and too ready to help lame ducks over stiles?
We really don't know how to help her. We don't think it would be productive to just advise her to walk away and to criticise the b/f too much. So far we have just listened and we always tell her we will support her decisions whatever. Also that we love her and are proud of her. She has always been very stubborn and hangs onto her dreams long after everyone else has realised that they are never going to come true.
Any advice from anyone who has seen similar situations would be much appreciated.
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