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Daughter's relationships - always end the same

(30 Posts)
Skydancer Wed 09-Jun-21 16:22:49

I'm worried about my DD (41), single parent. Since the break-up from her child's father she has had a string of hopeless relationships. I can see what's wrong. As soon as someone becomes interested in her she becomes clingy, texting and phoning constantly. Men get fed up with it but she can't see it. Her father and I parted when she was small and this must have affected her but he has always been a constant presence in her life. The problems seemed to have started at puberty once the hormones kicked in when she became moody and difficult.

She wants to meet someone to share her life with. I've suggested internet dating. She won't hear of it. I've suggested counselling. She says it's a waste of time. She won't go to a doctor. She just can't see where she's going wrong. She's pretty and intelligent and people are attracted her but they don't hang around because of the constant messaging. I know she needs help. I try to sympathise and do a lot of practical things for her but I'm getting older and can't cope with the stress of it all.

I doubt if anyone can help but am just wondering if anyone else has had this kind of problem with an AC and how it ended up. I can't bear the thought of her being alone in her old age. She cries a lot and loses interest in everything once a relationship ends. Then she picks up a bit and off we go again till the next one. The pattern is the same every time.

crazyH Wed 09-Jun-21 16:38:36

Snap Skydancer.......you could be talking about my daughter...same scenario. I worry about her so much. Since her divorce from the father of her children, she has not a steady relationship. She has 2 teenage children, who will soon be going to University. I am not going to be here forever. She is a difficult girl ...even her brothers say so.
But there’s nothing we can do Skydancer, but hope and pray that things will change.
Her dad and I are divorced and that has been hard on her. She was close to her Dad, but since he remarried, things have changed.
Let’s hope our daughters will find happiness eventually .

M0nica Wed 09-Jun-21 16:55:11

I am curious why you think your daughters happy future can only happen with a partner?

My DD decided very young that she was not suited to being in a partnership or having children. She is coming up to 50 now and has made a happy and independent life for herself. She has her own home and plenty of friends, male and female, has been able to concentrate on her career without needing to juggle it with childcare.

I have several female friends who have never married and, now heading for 80, and live independent social lives, with close family contacts with siblings and nieces and nephews.

It is time we stopped assuming that a relationship was the be all and end all of life and you cannot be happy and secure without one.

Perhaps, if you encouraged your daughters to realise that having a partner is not a sign of success, or an answer to life's problems, they have surely discovered that by now, and that, while they would prefer a partner, they should try seeing the future in terms of being proud and successful single women.

Oopsadaisy1 Wed 09-Jun-21 18:23:02

Why on earth do you want her to see a Doctor? she isn’t ill.

I echo what MOnica says.

hollysteers Wed 09-Jun-21 18:33:16

MOnica you make some good points, but you are generalising. The OPs daughter wants someone to share her life with, it is a natural human need for many men and women.
At 41, she clearly has decided that she does not want to be alone.
Loneliness is a great problem and although you paint a rosy picture of an independent old age, the truth is that that is not the case for a large proportion of the population.

BlueBelle Wed 09-Jun-21 18:49:12

Totally see what you are saying hollysteers it’s very different making a decision to prefer being alone to having lost someone and failing to find anyone else suitable and that is hard very hard on your daughter and on you I m not going into any details but I understand how worrying it is
I m not sure there is anything you can do but support her

M0nica Wed 09-Jun-21 19:19:07

No, its not generalising, in both posts the posters seem to accept that a partner is necessary for happiness and security, as well as their daughters thinking this.

My mother used to say 'happily single is better than unhappily married' but if everyone around a woman struggling is assuming that a partner is the answer to her problems, she will think that way as well.

Perhaps both these women need to contemplate my mother's saying and, at least in the short term, consider a life when they stand alone, with having a partner as an ideal situation but that it is not the end of the world if it doesn't happen.

Toadinthehole Wed 09-Jun-21 19:21:44

hollysteers

MOnica you make some good points, but you are generalising. The OPs daughter wants someone to share her life with, it is a natural human need for many men and women.
At 41, she clearly has decided that she does not want to be alone.
Loneliness is a great problem and although you paint a rosy picture of an independent old age, the truth is that that is not the case for a large proportion of the population.

Yes, agree. Of course it’s not the be and end all to be in a marriage with the house, 2.4 kids, car etc. There are other ways of being fulfilled, bit not in this case it seems. The OP’s daughter does want to be in a relationship.
These days, she’s still very young. She should never give up, but as far as the clinginess is concerned, there’s nothing you can do about that. That’s something that’ll just have to ‘click’ one day, and then she’ll be off.
Hope it works out for her.

ginny Wed 09-Jun-21 19:25:43

Does your Dd think that she is somehow diminished by not having a partner ? Do you encourage her to think of herself as a whole person rather than part of a couple ?
I have a 40 year old DD who is single. She has plenty of friends, several relationships , a career , and a good social life. She is much loved by her sisters and their families.
Whilst she says she would be happy to find someone she says that she would rather be single than with the wrong person .
I hope your Daughter will be able to come to a similar conclusion.

DiscoDancer1975 Wed 09-Jun-21 20:02:49

ginny

Does your Dd think that she is somehow diminished by not having a partner ? Do you encourage her to think of herself as a whole person rather than part of a couple ?
I have a 40 year old DD who is single. She has plenty of friends, several relationships , a career , and a good social life. She is much loved by her sisters and their families.
Whilst she says she would be happy to find someone she says that she would rather be single than with the wrong person .
I hope your Daughter will be able to come to a similar conclusion.

The OP said “ she wants to meet someone to spend her life with”. Her daughter doesn’t want to settle for being single, that’s the whole point. She may just have to go through a few more ‘ wrong ones’, before she finds her Mr. Right.

ginny Wed 09-Jun-21 21:15:37

I understand that but if it never happens she will go through life feeling that she has failed. Bett to try to make a good life for herself and who knows, what might turn up when she is not looking.

Katie59 Wed 09-Jun-21 21:57:13

I think most of us see life with a partner of some kind rather than single, finding a compatible partner is not easy for some, although you may be physically attractive sometimes personality is the problem.

One of my nieces is like the OPs daughter, can’t live with a partner, she’s got 2 boys, their father is on the scene and makes sure they are OK but doesn’t live with them. It’s hard to describe, she just drives everybody round the bend, the children are OK so that’s a plus. My brother helps out where he can but it’s hard to be optimistic of the future

Hithere Wed 09-Jun-21 21:58:41

OP

Your daughter has to want to realize she is the common denominator of the failed relationships and do something about it.

trisher Wed 09-Jun-21 22:08:50

Perhaps your DD is trying to get from her relationships the approval and support she should have from you.Maybe if instead of criticising her and telling her she needs medical help you started to praise her for the things she has acheived and helped her enjoy her single state she would become happier and more confident.

Gwyneth Wed 09-Jun-21 22:18:07

trisher ....skydancer is not criticising her daughter. I get the impression she is sympathetic and trying to help her. At 41 years old her daughter should be taking some responsibility for her situation.

trisher Thu 10-Jun-21 09:40:50

Gwyneth is it really sympathetic or supportive to say |^The problems seemed to have started at puberty once the hormones kicked in when she became moody and difficult^ or to suggest she needs counselling or medical help? or to allege that you know what goes wrong in her relationships? You may see support and sympathy I see criticism and condemnation of someone looking for some approval and support. Not getting it from one source she is seeking it elsewhere.

Gwyneth Thu 10-Jun-21 10:08:27

trisher we will have to agree to differ then. 😀

dragonfly46 Thu 10-Jun-21 10:19:06

I too do not think the OP has been criticising her daughter from what she says.

My DD was just the same. She had no confidence and it was not down to me but her personality. She built walls around herself but like the OP's daughter she became quite clingy in new relationships.

6 years ago she met a guy online who is also lacking in confidence but in different ways. They have now been married for 4 years as each has helped the other. Now in her 3rd career she has a very good job and recently been promoted. Her self confidence has grown. She will be 44 this year.

I hope your DD finds the same happiness.

Peasblossom Thu 10-Jun-21 10:31:15

I don’t quite know how to say this without sounding mean but is it possible that your motherdaughter relationships are quite entwined and that she has been quite dependent upon you over the years.

So that her view of a loving relationship is actually one of dependence. Someone who is always there for you, always available for you. Which it is is, but not in the early stages.

Is it possible to step back a bit, To show her that having a separate life is compatible with having a great relationship. That sometimes we have to deal with life without support.

It might help you too, to be a little distant from her problems and emotions. And she might then seek help of her own accord.

Skydancer Thu 10-Jun-21 11:51:46

Thank you all. Some good replies here. Just to point out I never criticise my daughter. Quite the reverse - I tell her she's talented (which she is, artistically), a good Mum, attractive... I never put her down. I've only suggested counselling etc when I'm at my wits end as to what to say next. I agree that she needs to realise she's the cause of the failed relationships but, at the moment, she just can't see it. I also agree that a single life can be a happy one but she has stated she'd like to share her life with someone. It's so difficult and I can see that some of you share the same experience. Thank you all. It helps to talk.

Hithere Thu 10-Jun-21 13:46:07

"I've only suggested counselling etc when I'm at my wits end as to what to say next."
You can also refuse to discuss that with her any longer

"daughter, you know my opinion on the subject and I am not willing to discuss this again"

geekesse Thu 10-Jun-21 13:49:06

I second what Peasblossom said.

Madgran77 Thu 10-Jun-21 13:59:32

trisher the OP is explaining her view/perception on her concerns around her daughter, thus explaing her concerns as best she can and get advice! Without a sense of why she had concerns/perceptions of the causes of her daughters approaches to relationships it would be difficult for anyone to try to advise, giving their perspective on what she describes! At no point does the OP say she has said all those things to her daughter, apart from advising counselling and her careful explanation suggests that she will not have made that suggestion unless it was relevant to whatever conversation was taking place the time.

Peasblossom has made thought provoking comments on her perceptions from the OPSs post which clearly are intended to help the OP with her thinking. Others have done the same! I hope the OP finds that those comments help her with her thinking and concerns to find a way forward!

trisher Thu 10-Jun-21 19:06:47

Skydancer

Thank you all. Some good replies here. Just to point out I never criticise my daughter. Quite the reverse - I tell her she's talented (which she is, artistically), a good Mum, attractive... I never put her down. I've only suggested counselling etc when I'm at my wits end as to what to say next. I agree that she needs to realise she's the cause of the failed relationships but, at the moment, she just can't see it. I also agree that a single life can be a happy one but she has stated she'd like to share her life with someone. It's so difficult and I can see that some of you share the same experience. Thank you all. It helps to talk.

You don't have to openly criticise to show disapproval. Sometimes your real feelings show whatever words you use. Why do you think the problems started at puberty? Aren't most of us moody and difficult then? (Isn't that criticism?) How do you know she is the cause of the relationship break-ups? have you spoken to all the men she's been with? Perhaps she's just not good at picking stayers. And why do you think she is "clingy"? (isn't that criticism) people who feel loved and valued aren't usually.

Madgran77 Fri 11-Jun-21 08:06:20

You don't have to openly criticise to show disapproval. Sometimes your real feelings show whatever words you use.

Not necessarily though, and the OP is looking for advice, based on her thoughts and perceptions! A poster looking for help has to express their perceptions!

It is certainly worth considering why your daughter appears "clingy" to you Skydancer ..working out what triggers that might help with finding a way forward in trying to help your daughter move forward and achieve what she says she wants