still learning's picture

Slighty O/T Dealing w/your Adult Bios

I have 3 adult bios now and 2 minor children. DS21 recently moved back in w/me, dd22 lives out of state, ds18 is going to college out of state. For the most part they are doing well. I'm having a hard time knowing where the boundaries are when it comes to their personal relationships. When they were minors I had no problem speaking my mind and telling them that so and so may not be the best person in their life right now. As adults though it's different since they can shut you out if they don't like your opinions.

The issue, dd22 is dating a guy who has been in and out of jail a few times (non violent crimes). Basically he's just stupid. The guy doesn't work and dd is basically supporting him while struggling herself. I think it's a terrible situation for dd and this guy is dragging her down instead of supporting her and building a life w/her. I told her exactly what I thought of her dating Mr. Jailbird and she didn't talk to me for weeks. Did I overstep? Should I just keep my mouth shut and let this guy drag her down? I know realistically I can't do anything but as a mother I feel that I should say something if my daughter is in a trainwreck of a situation.

The other is ds18 who is away at college but still pining over his high school sweetheart. Mean old me told him to go out w/other people and have fun. Apparently his now ex gf has already dated 3 of his friends so he should move on too. Oh how horrible I am for suggesting such a thing and I don't understand!!! Nope, guess I was never young or in love.

How do you all deal w/your adult bios and their dramas. Do you give advice? Steer clear and tell them they're on their own? Bite your tongue? Say your piece and then step back? What works for you? How can I be supportive but not overbearing? But also caring if I see something off?

SacrificialLamb's picture

My bios are in their mid

My bios are in their mid 20's. I tend to not give advice as much as I ask questions that hopefully make them think. However, if one of them were dating a jailbird, I would have no qualms about telling them that there are millions of eligible singles in this country alone. Surely there is a better option?

If they get mad at me for voicing my opinion, remember we parents are not our children's friends. My kids value my opinion and always come around.

But the older they get, I find myself less and less offering unsolicited advice....I do tend to say "I have an opinion on that subject if you want to hear it." But jailbird? They are going to hear my opinion regardless.

still learning's picture

Asking questions to make them

Asking questions to make them think is good advice. I'll switch to doing this rather than telling them my opinion. Though she will still get my brief opinion about Mr.jailbird along w/some thought provoking questions Smiling

When people CAN walk away from you...LET them walk! T.D. Jakes

StepRightOff's picture

It doesn't matter if they

It doesn't matter if they don't like your advice or opinions. It's still your job as their mother to advise and guide them. It's not your job to supportive of their mistakes nor to want them to like you. I knew as a teenager not to date a guy who had been to jail. I was told, and therefore taught, that is not a desirable kind of mate. You might have missed it in her younger years, but you can't grind it into her head enough now so that she will hopefully not make the same mistake again. I know they make you feel bad when they reject your opinions, but you can't let that stop you. Often times, it's the way you say something, so don't offer opinions. Instead, offer advice by means of instruction and guidance. So keep yourself and your feelings such as "I think" or "I don't think" out of it. And don't say things like "Why would you be with this guy?" because that is criticizing. Tell your daughter things like "You have to want more for yourself" and "You have so much going for you, don't let anyone drag you down. You should only date guys who value you and want to build a life and future with you." Build her up and express yourself in terms of helping her understand what she should want for herself as opposed to what you want for her or what you think of how she is living her life. She doesn't know these things to think about. She doesn't know the type of men to reject. So when she makes her choices, she doesn't need you cricizing her choices. She needs you to help her learn how to make the right choices. Of course, after she's made bad choices is not the ideal time to teach her, but it's never too late.

When talking with your son, telling him to move on is also not ideal. You might highlight the fringe benefits and advantages of doing things to make himself feel better. Let him know you understand how he feels but that his best course is to get himself out of this funk because the longer he pines for her, the worse he is going to feel and it will affect him in other ways. So then try to explore things he can do and places he can go that will help him discover life without her and maybe meet someone else. Tell him "This is what people do when they are in your situation" so that your words are instructional because what to do is what he needs to know. Consider his interests and maybe help him get signed up on some teams and clubs that support his interests. Remind him that people break up all the time and give him examples of couples who are together that found each other after a heartbreaking split and felt the same way he does, and that they never would have found each other if they never gave themselves the chance to meet. Perhaps have your friends or his friends share their stories with him. He needs encouragement and a how-to instruction guide because he's not able to carry himself over the hump. He doesn't know how. He needs to be able to see the light at the end of this tunnel he's in. You're not wrong in what you said to him, but it comes off to him as criticism even if it's her (that she's dating others) you are criticizing. He doesn't like that because it's hard to hear, so he was right that you don't understand. It must come to him as a shot through his heart, so keep your opinions and criticisms to yourself.

And sometimes advice isn't needed at all. He may just need to talk and have someone listen but if you must say something, then build him up to remind him of how strong and indestructive he is.

There might be some pointers here that you or he can glean from:

still learning's picture

I guess it all comes down to

I guess it all comes down to how it's said. I've definitely got to switch from "I'm mom, I know what's best and you will listen" to a more adult level relationship w/my grown kiddos. It's just so hard to watch them continue in relationships w/people who I know are not right for them. Anyone could see the issues in both of these situations.

I tried to teach her when she was young but with the extremely dysfunctional relationship between her father and I it probably seemed hypocritical me telling her only to date nice men. I'm hoping time and distance will solve the issue with ss18 and his senior in hs gf. They'll be in college in different states and 4 years is a long time, especially for a girl who's already dated 3 of his friends! They'll see each other over xmas break this year but next year I'll be in a different location so if they want to rendevue over break they'll have to do it on their own dime.

Thanks for the link. Some of the advice for getting over a breakup:

Don't talk to your ex (Gawd I wish I didn't have to)
Don't stalk your ex
Dont Facebook stalk your ex

No stalking or talking.

When people CAN walk away from you...LET them walk! T.D. Jakes

Acratopotes's picture

oh hell... how do you deal

oh hell... how do you deal with your adult bios.... well not like they are children any more that's for sure lol...

I do not get involved in Deigma's friends, love life or anything, not even work life, he's 21 and capable of handling it himself.
At a stage he dated a couple of dodgy girls, I simply put his ass down and said - are you sure you want to marry that? He would look at me puzzled and tell me I'm not going to marry her mum, it's just fun and I would reply, remember what I told you, if you are not planing on marrying that you do not sleep with it..... You do not want to have a baby right now and paying CS etc....

Normally his true love girl friends would be gone after a month, cause he has no car, not enough money and sure as hell not a Disney Mother.

I'm sorry my house my rules, I do not allow them to be in the bedroom with a closed door, yes I know stupid, they can hanky panky any where but to me it's a simple rule in my house, why would you want to hang out in the bedroom behind closed doors if you can sit at the lapa or in the tv room? What's the point of dating if you are not talking and getting to know each other.....

It's tough with boys 15-... Hormones are ruling lol and to keep that in line is a battle , but I think Deigma is getting it, do not have sex unless you are prepared to marry the woman, and do not tell the girl you have your own car, if she's there after a year then she's a good girl and likes you for you, not because you have a car and spends money on her...

I never told him he can't date a certain girl or she's not welcome at my house, I simply asked him, do you think you have a future with a woman, who has 2 kids from 2 different fathers age 17, no education and jobless... do you think your salary is enough to support a family of 4?
He thought he was clever and said, her mother has her children, I looked at him and said, ok so it's only the 2 off you, then she gets pregnant and she sends your baby to her mother as well, are you okay with it... he dumped her a week later....

I simply decided years ago, I will never get involved in his life unless he asks for advice, which he will not take 70% of the time...
and I can only hope and pray that he remembers his upbringing... if you are not prepared to marry a girl don't have sex with her..

Blended family life turned me into a pirate....
All I want to do is drink Rum and stab people

still learning's picture

"if you are not planing on

"if you are not planing on marrying that you do not sleep with it."

Excellent advice. Reminds me of the other one popular around here, "Don't stick it in crazy!" He knows what I think about the whole gf situation. I've said my piece and will now step back and do my best to keep my mouth shut.

My daughter has a car and job. She is basically supporting Mr. Jailbird who is so helpless that he can't keep track of his court dates or go apply for a new ID. DD has taken it upon herself to keep him out of jail. Last I talked to her I said that he is the one who needs to keep himself out of jail. I wonder if he'd stick around if she was carless and jobless like him? Don't worry I'm not going to ask her that but sheez,she really can do so much better if she wanted to.

When people CAN walk away from you...LET them walk! T.D. Jakes

2Tired4Drama's picture

I'd bet there are some

I'd bet there are some statistics out there about women who are in prison, and what percentage of them are in there because some worthless man got them involved in some criminal activity.

It can be a very slippery slope for your daughter from wanting to "help and fix" the Jailbird, to finding herself on the wrong side of the law, too. Sometimes it can be unintentionally. But she'd have to tell that to the judge.

I hope she comes to her senses and dumps this guy. Are there any other family members who she might listen to besides you? Sometimes it helps if it comes from a third-party who is more neutral.

still learning's picture

Her friends are telling her

Her friends are telling her the same things I am and she's mad at all of them too. I'm hoping she's smart enough to avoid getting in trouble w/him. His issues have mainly been petty theft and not following through w/showing up to court. Luckily DD loves her job and doesn't want to do anything to jeopardize that.

When people CAN walk away from you...LET them walk! T.D. Jakes

blueskies4me's picture

This is in my future and I’m

This is in my future and I’m not especially looking forward to it. I agree with Acra for the most part. I would be horrified beyond belief if my DD took up with a worthless jailbird. Makes me sick thinking about it. Hopefully she inherits my sensible, rational, practical nature. Jawdropping!

Post-Traumatic Skid Disorder

still learning's picture

For yours and your daughters

For yours and your daughters sake I too hope she makes sensible and rational choices in men! It is maddening to see DD date someone so helpless and stupid. I hope she get tired of his excuses and him leeching off of her. She and her father had a falling out and then she hooked up with this guy. I know her self esteem is pretty low right now and maybe in her mind dating this man baby will in some way fix her relationship w/her father. Who knows.

I've dated (and married) some real winners in my time so I haven't been the best example oh how to choose a great man. Guess we all have to learn the hard way.

When people CAN walk away from you...LET them walk! T.D. Jakes

mtnwife530's picture

Yes, we all do! DD (22 at

Yes, we all do!

DD (22 at the time) Met a guy in another state, feel"in LOVE" and got married all in 3 months! I knew the harder I fought against it, the harder she'd fight to do it! She had kept certain red flags to herself. She ended up supporting him, he didn't have a drivers licence, then came home for lunch from work, lets just say "got her feelings hurt Jawdropping! . Thank GOD she was smart enough to walk away , and no babies!
I have had the Luck of actually hearing "Mom, you were right" from her more than once. We do the best we can, and trust it was good enough. Good Luck

SM of 4 adult skids- 10 SGKids
I MUST be Crazy!!

still learning's picture

Thank you. That's great that

Thank you. That's great that your daughter was wise enough to walk away. What happened? Was her DH cheating on her during lunch? I used to have neighbors where the wife was in the military and the husband was a stay at home loser druggie in charge of their infant. This guy always had a female *friend* over when his wife was away. Last time I saw the guy he was being carted away by paramedics because his wife *accidently* shot him in the leg with an unregistered gun.

And these are the days of our lives...

When people CAN walk away from you...LET them walk! T.D. Jakes