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How to advise DD over relationships

(44 Posts)
HettyMaud Thu 10-Oct-19 22:42:06

DD (40, single Mum) has no luck with relationships. I'm pretty sure this is because she's so clingy. As soon as someone shows an interest in her, she just won't leave them alone. Always texting, ringing, messaging and expecting them to do the same. She just can't be cool about it and it puts men off. I've tried to suggest this is the problem but she can't accept it. She's attractive to look at and intelligent but just can't keep someone's interest. She gets depressed and cries a lot. This has been a pattern for years. I find myself saying the same things as I've said many times before. Can anyone else advise me what to say/do? It breaks my heart and isn't doing her child any good either. I've suggested online dating but she won't hear of it. I know she's lonely and depressed but won't consider medication.

BradfordLass72 Fri 11-Oct-19 04:07:33

Oh dear, poor you, it IS heartbreaking when your child suffers.

It sounds as if you have done and said all you can - it's now up to her.

Repeating yourself will only sound like nagging.

If your grandchild has a stable, loving time with you, that should help.
Depending on the age of the child, maybe counselling for them would help give you peace of mind?

If your DD doesn't like conventional medicine, or discussing her emotional problems with a GP, there are some supplements available to help with depression.
They won't change her tendency to be clingy though; this comes from her underlyinging anxiety.

Laurely Fri 11-Oct-19 09:21:05

When I worked with under-achieving children, we had a saying: If you always do what you've always done, then you'll always get what you've always got. This helped them understand they had to change if they were to do better. I agree with BradfordLass: counselling might help not only your grandchild, but also your daughter, to build resilience. If you google this last word, there is a lot of information out there. But mothers are not ideally placed to help mature daughters change their behaviour. And you must look after yourself and your own happiness.

I wonder if, when you see each other, you drop into well-trodden paths that lead to the same outcomes - if this is so, can you change this? Could you tell her, kindly but firmly, that her happiness is her responsibility? It depends on the kind of people you are and the age of grandchild (and you) - can you think of ways that all three of you can have fun so that she laughs - silly things like games of tig, or running races, or wearing each others' coats, or having tickling competitions... We all feel better for laughing. flowers

Sara65 Fri 11-Oct-19 09:30:12

My youngest daughter got involved with the most awful man when she was very young, had a child, and too late came to the same conclusion as everyone else, that he was horrible, and left him. Almost straight away, into a much worse relationship, two more children. What worries us most, is that she knows it was another terrible mistake, but won’t put the younger children through what the oldest one has been through. She’s nothing if not a good mum.
We have had all the rows, all the tears, now we just sit back and wait to pick up the pieces.
I know the situation isn’t the same, but no matter how much the situation hurts you, there’s little you can do.

EllanVannin Fri 11-Oct-19 11:04:35

Sara65, sounds like my step-daughter, one failed relationship after another and for years I've been there picking up the pieces. Even now I had her stay with me last week for a night as at 70 ! she was still suffering from the remnants of a really evil individual she'd met online.

I've given more attention to her over the years than my own two flesh and blood and have accepted the children who'd had the misfortune to be born of these men, apart from the latter of course. Her problem now is being left alone in old age but she's got plenty going for her with the family, who, I might say lose patience with their mother at times.

There's never been a dull moment in my life I can tell you.

EllanVannin Fri 11-Oct-19 11:06:32

Sadly HettyMaud, you'll have years of it yet !!

Hetty58 Fri 11-Oct-19 22:57:04

HettyMaud, I'd be inclined to just stop the advice. Who really wants advice from their mother? Just be there with the sympathy when things go wrong.

Sara65 Sat 12-Oct-19 08:24:47


I agree, if you try and offer advice HettyMaud, you’ll find you’re just repeating yourself over and over, and she obviously hasn’t taken your advice before, so why would she now?

Daisymae Sat 12-Oct-19 08:26:39

As has been said, stop with the advice. She's a middle aged woman and is not going to change her behaviour unless she wants to. I think being overly involved in ac relationship is counter productive.

Davidhs Sat 12-Oct-19 09:04:39

A 40 yr old Single mum has baggage, which makes it difficult enough. Being clingy makes her very unattractive to men of a similar age, men like to make the running in the relationship, so make yourself “available” but don’t push yourself forward. If you have a personality that he likes the relationship will grow, let’s face it men of that age are either well established singles or been in a broken relationship so are not going to be easily won.
My advice would be wait until the kids are off your hands, then socialize as much as you can

GrannyAnnie2010 Sat 12-Oct-19 10:13:14

She sounds like a very passionate person. Is there another focus you could explore, for her to "obsess" over? I don't think you can change her behaviour, but you could change its direction.

harrigran Sat 12-Oct-19 10:26:19

I am afraid very intense people tend to frighten off would be partners, if she has always had this trait it is not likely that she is going to change anytime soon.
I wish you well in supporting your DD.

Juliet27 Sat 12-Oct-19 10:28:53

Sound advice Davidhs

sandelf Sat 12-Oct-19 10:31:53

I would get her to read
It's the one book I think would truly have changed my life had I known any of this stuff as a young person. It's not about being manipulative as is often said of it. It is about having a happy life and not getting hurt. (PS even though I missed it when I needed it most, there is useful stuff in there we all can benefit from - apart from those lucky ladies who have always known).

sophieschoice Sat 12-Oct-19 10:32:47

I've told my brood never give 100% always leave yourself with something to fall back on. It may be your pride and that gives you the strength to pick yourself up dust your self down(like that old song)and get going again. Then make a firm decision that you keep to, you'll never go back to that place again. That firm decision makes you stand taller and gives you determination.
I feel for you and your daughter I know from being in both situations how hard it is. Go girl!! X🌻

Coconut Sat 12-Oct-19 10:37:35

Single people can also have relationship counselling if you could persuade her to go ...

TommyWolf Sat 12-Oct-19 10:46:31

I know it’s hard but you just have to be there for her. None of us think when we start out that that little baby in your arms is going to be causing you problems 40 years on down the line. Once a parent always a parent their like dogs not just for Christmas. I do sympathise with you it’s so hard to see your child unhappy. I hope for all your sakes that your daughter will eventually find Mr Right.

TrendyNannie6 Sat 12-Oct-19 11:01:28

It must be very hard seeing your daughter upset but I think it’s her personality to be like that, I wouldn’t give her anymore advice as she obviously not going to take it,just be there for her and her child

MooM00 Sat 12-Oct-19 11:07:15

I really like the saying that Laurely mentioned, I have heard that many times and it is so true. If you keep doing the same thing over and over again you will get the same result. A few years ago my DD was going through a really bad time and as a Mum I wanted to fix it and make it better. One day I met a friend who I confided in and asked her advice and she said. You just but out and mind your own buisness. I took her advice although a bit harsh. Guess what everything worked out with my DD relationship without me trying to be Mrs fix it.

Molly10 Sat 12-Oct-19 11:22:02

Oh dear! Your daughter needs to work on her self confidence and self esteem. She needs encouragement to be autonomous. On the steps to achieving this she will find the admiration and true love she is looking for. Continuing the way she is and she will likely become a neurotic cling on with most people avoiding her.

crazyH Sat 12-Oct-19 11:29:04

Hettymaud, I have a similar problem with a daughter, who is heartbroken over a waste -of -space ex husband. She has been on a couple of dates, but no future plans with any. She is and has always been a difficult girl, thinks she knows it all and so I rarely talk to her about her relationships, well, we hardly talk at all, actually. She is old enough to make her bed and lie in it. If she needs me, I am here, that's all I can say or do.

icanhandthemback Sat 12-Oct-19 11:37:52

Get her to read "Women who Love too much." It does help put things into perspective if you are the sort of person to cling to the wrong type of person.

sarahellenwhitney Sat 12-Oct-19 12:23:42

Don't even think about it as you may be sure there will be a time when what ever you say, advise etc will come tumbling back on you. Do D's. ever listen or are we /you just a shoulder to unburden on? The kindest thing you can do and lets face it D is not a child is be there to pick up the pieces. She will recover but needs to stand on her own two feet and be aware mum will not always be there .

Oopsminty Sat 12-Oct-19 12:27:14

You sound like the mother of a friend of mine! Her daughter drives both potential boyfriends away alone with female friends.

We've spoken to her. She listens carefully. Takes in what we've said .

Then says that she's right and everyone else is wrong.

Impossible to sway people like that

GrannyLaine Sat 12-Oct-19 12:30:41

Some sound advice here. Close family members will not be able to help her no matter how much they love her. My DD was in a broadly similar position for years. She eventually decided to see a very skilled life coach and now sees relationships very differently and is in a stable relationship with a lovely man. I'm wouldn't think that medication would be of any use - it doesn't get to the root of the problem. She's lucky to have a Mum that cares so much about her, HettyMaud