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18 year old's boyfriend is putting a strain on our relationship

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18 year old's boyfriend is putting a strain on our relationship

Active scribe

18 year old's boyfriend is putting a strain on our relationship

Over the past two years in particular, I have allowed some of my daughter's friends to come and stay for a few days here and there because of family issues. I did the same for this 'friend' of hers in February and he has never left. 

His back story in summary:

His mother asked him to move out following an incident with his younger brother that got violent. He has had a number of medical issues including: 

- severe eczema

- anxiety

- some form of blood or skin disorder related to eczcema where lumps form on his skin and get infected

- apparent depression


The idea was that he would stay until he could find somewhere to live. He sort of tried, but didn't. I was ok at first. I wasn't THAT keen on him living with my daughter, but we had just come out of a rocky two years of her being at college and we were getting on well. She was home more often etc. 

She was working about 20 hours a week in fast food, but she and he spent the rest of the time in bed. All day. But then claimed to not be able to sleep at night. 

For the first 5-7 weeks I was cooking meals most nights. He would eat them sometimes, but other times he was too sick to come upstairs. 

During the first 4 months he was not paying any board, despite him receiving Newstart Student (apparently he was going to university, but never went. They would buy food and not share (after i had previously told them to NOT eat in her room).

Eventually a few weeks ago I lost it after saying to my daughter that she and her partner spent all their time in the bedroom and only came and saw me when they wanted me to take them somewhere. My daughter apologised and said she would do better. 

Two weeks ago I had had enough of asking my daughter when her boyfriend was getting a job. Everytime I would ask she would get angry. So two weeks ago I spoke to his mother. We had coffee and I said that he couldn't live with me. She said she had asked him if he wanted to come home but he never responded. 

I had told him kindly a few days before he needed to get out of bed and get a job as it would help his mental health a bit. 

So he agreed he would go in on a Monday (the first week of my annual leave). The morning came and I was taking my daughter to her new job (she now has two new jobs that she really likes). I asked if he was ready and she said that he wasn't well. I angrily got him out of bed and told him to go and speak to centrelink and to hand out resumes. My daughter told me I was mean and unfair to him as he wasn't in a good headspace. I asked her what about my headspace. 

She had, a number of times over the past few months told me about situations where he had gotten angry with her about the littlest things. Skirt too short, not home quick enough etc. 

I now try not to talk to her about him as it makes her angry and we fight. 

All of her friends think he is controlling and selfish. 

I want him to move out for my mental health and his mother has said he could move home but he won't. My daughter has accused me of making him feel unwelcome. 

For the first few months I am fairly sure I was pretty tolerant. He stayed without paying ANY MONEY at all. 

I would (and still do) pick them up from town. 

I have had a talk with him about respecting me and my house and trying to get a job and sort his life out and start eating healthy etc. I can tell he isn't that interested. 

I want him out, but I would also feel guilty if he was homeless. 

When my daughter started her new job and told him she would spend some of her first paycheck on buying new clothes, he told her she shouldn't be spending her money on that, she should be saving for a car so they had more freedom and occasionally he would chuck her $20 if they wanted to go for a long drive. 

I have stopped being so accommodating and she sort of gets it but she feels sympathetic to his cause and is basically making me feel like I am being mean and horrible to him.

I know I have made a mistake by letting him ever stay and I am at the point where if I ask him to leave and she goes too, then our relationship will be broken permanently. 

Sorry this is such an essay, but I am trying to fit 5 months of stress into one post. And this is the abridged version. 

Star contributor

Re: 18 year old's boyfriend is putting a strain on our relationship

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Hi @grownupkids - thanks for sharing.  What a stressful time it sounds like you have been having. Appears that you have been very generous in allowing your daughters friends to stay at your house, however things don’t seem to be going too well and I can sense your frustration.  If I understand correctly, your daughters boyfriend does not contribute, help out or offer to cover any expenses, and even after you talked to him he doesn’t appear interested in what you have to say?  Your daughters friends think that he is controlling over her and selfish.  Your daughter has she said he gets angry with her over little things. 


Has his mum offered for him to move back home?  If he has a home to move back too, he wouldn't be homeless?  You said that he did not respond to her. Did he get the message from him mum?  Does he understand the strain he is placing on you, and how is this affecting the rest of the family?


It sounds like you able to talk to your daughter, and that she sort-off gets it but feels sympathetic to him.  

If you ask him to move out do you think your daughter would leave too? Perhaps ask your daughter what she values in a relationship?


ReachOut Parents offer fantastic free Coaching for parents, that is very practical and offers tips that you can use straight away. The link is here if you'd like to check it out. It's done online and over the phone so it is very flexible.  They may be able to help you come up with some other ideas.


Please let us know how you go?

Star contributor

Re: 18 year old's boyfriend is putting a strain on our relationship

Hey @grownupkids wow yes this must be stressful for you and huge WELL DONE on thinking about your own mental health through this. As a parent self care is super important and it's sounding like the current climate isn't providing a lot of that for you.


Hmmm. Have you had a sit down chat with the three of them at the table? Perhaps offering two or three different options about what needs to be done. Let me know Smiley Happy

Active scribe

Re: 18 year old's boyfriend is putting a strain on our relationship

Hi All,

Just an update on the situation.

Firstly thanks for your replies. So last week, I wrote up a 'contract' which basically stipulates that he is required to move out by 1 September. However, there are a number of conditions which include: 

- keeping the room tidy

- providing proof of applying for jobs

- making an effort to sort out living arrangements 

- increase in board etc

I sent him the contract on Tuesday, but he has yet to return it to me. One of the stipluations was that he was to read it, sign it and return to me. If he doesn't agree then he is to move out immediately. 

I feel like I am being harsh, but I spoke to his mother and sent her the contract. She was in agreement. I feel so much better now that I have done it. I don'


My daughter told me last nigt ht that he doesn't want to be here anymore and I told her, that whilst I don't want him to never come back, that he definitely wasn't welcome to live here anymore. I told her that unless he is pushed things are never going to change and that he isn't my responsibility. 


It is stressful and my daughter said she doesn't want to get caught in the middle, but it's difficult when he doesn't even come out of the room and doesn't try to actually have a conversation. 


Anyway, thanks all for the support and hopefully he will move out sooner rather than later. 


I will have a talk to him tonight and discuss with him what needs to happen. I will explain that I should have set ground rules when he moved in initially and that I would take responsibility for that, but that he is 19 and needs to understand that he is in the real world now and needs to grow up. Whilst he may not want to move back home, he can no longer stay here. So it is now up to him. 


I thought parenting would get easier once they finished school....apparently not!


Re: 18 year old's boyfriend is putting a strain on our relationship

Good on you @grownupkids

You have definitely done the right thing and a contract is a great idea . The very fact that he has not signed and returned it shows he is trying to manipulate the situation to his advantage . It is showing disrespect for you and your home . 

Where he has a home to go to or not , on Sept 1 make sure he is out . If you get a sob story  don't buy into it . Pick his stuff up and drop them outside the house , if he refuses to leave call the police and get them to escort him off your premises . 

He is not entitled to use you up . Your daughter is not entitled to use her feelings  about him and his " sickness " to emotionally exthort you either . If she gets angry - let her , she'll  get over it and whatever she threatens - " I won't come back blah blah " ignore that too . She will eventually when the emotions have  receded and she realises she can't get her own way . This is emotional manipulation and it is very unfair to you , you have been more than accomodating and helpful but you are not the hired help or a local half way house . I am sure her love and appreciation of you runs much deeper than this issue . 

If he stays you are enabling him and crippling from learning the life skills to be on his own two feet . You are not helping you are hindering no matter what your daughter says or how much you don not want to see him on the streets . A couple of nights out there he will  soon go back to Mum quick smart or find himself temp accom . 

So sorry to hear this is happening to you , your kindness has certainly been taken advantage of . DONT CAVE IN WHAT EVER THEY SAY you will lose credibility if you do and they will take advantage of you more . 

Best of luck ! 


Super contributor

Re: 18 year old's boyfriend is putting a strain on our relationship

Hey @grownupkids I just wanted to agree with the others and commend you for being such a kind soul.

Having your kindness taken advantage of is only proof of his short-comings. You did great.

I have always loved parents that let their kids' friends come and stay when things get tough. It's a lovely attribute.

I hope you don't lose it.

And your response to his manipulation is still generous. There are lots of people who would have him escorted out the door by police but you've continued to show him compassion and kindness.


Which makes me wonder if your relationship with your daughter will be as wrecked as you fear it will be if you follow through on your boundaries with her bf.

She sounds pretty reasonable, is it possible that she sees your side more than you think?

Active scribe

Re: 18 year old's boyfriend is putting a strain on our relationship

Hi All,
I had disappeared for a few weeks as I was trying to work through things with my daughter. The boyfriend has moved out, but my daughter had a lot of resentment towards me because of it. I told her that he was not welcome in my house anymore but that she was free to go and see him as that was her choice.
However, she started lying to me and her best friend and then bought a terrible car and when I say terrible, I mean I don't think it should be on the road, and we fought about insurance for the car.
Last weekend after him telling her that soon she wouldn't have to worry about him we ended up in a confrontation and have since had a falling out with her with him accusing me of controlling her life.
The day after she sent me a message that was ok and just said she needed a few days. I contacted her on Friday and she basically told me that she was hurt and that it had a huge effect on her and that it wasn't ok what I did. She wants to be with him and if I can't accept that she can't live at home. She wanted to meet in a neutral place. I suggested we do counselling, but she hasn't responded to me. I messaged her again last night to say she was welcome home and what about counselling, but she still hasn't responded.
She isn't staying with him, she's staying with friends which I at least feel ok with.
I do recognise that I upset her, but she sees that me going to talk to her was controlling her life. I didn't tell her she had to come home with me. I was concerned for her safety. I don't know if it was the right thing to do, but he has also been telling people that I made her choose between him and me, which I DEFINITELY didn't do.
Anyway. I guess the ball is in her court, but it's hard when I feel like she's making this all my fault.This was just a build up and probably a symptom of other issues we already had which is why I want counselling. I am also scared of saying the wrong thing or losing my patience with her.
I'm mentally tired and it has affected my ability to do my job (I started a new job a week ago). I hate what this has done to us as a family as we were really close - most of the time - before this. 

Star contributor

Re: 18 year old's boyfriend is putting a strain on our relationship

Hey @grownupkids I am sorry to hear about what you are going through with your Daughter, especially whilst transitioning into a new job. I really applaud you for suggesting family counselling with you and your Daughter, and even though she is resistant at the moment I think this is still a good one to keep at... That really could be a positive safe space for both of you to hear each other. Would you consider meeting her in a neutral place still, even prior to counselling or not just yet? Glad to hear she is staying with friends at least, sounds like that's a load off your mind. Can I ask, how long has it been since you've last spoken to her?


Would you consider doing some counselling for yourself at the moment whilst you navigate through all that is happening with your daughter in addition to new job? I am keen to hear what some of our parents have to say, I am really glad to hear an update on how you are, even though it's during a stormy time for your family - we're all here to listen Heart

Active scribe

Re: 18 year old's boyfriend is putting a strain on our relationship

Hi Breez-RO


I got home last night and she was there. I had to take a minute to collect myself, because I was hurt that she hadn't even responded to my texts. I said I wanted to speak to her as she was getting into her car as i was getting out. 

I suggested counselling and she was all for it. I told her that we both needed it and both needed to accept some responsibility for how things currently are. 

I don't think I am mentally up to meeting her without someone there. She really hurt me and mentally I am just one biting comment away from tears with her so I don't want to do that and it took me a week to be able to even talk about what had happened and then she sent me the awful text. 

So I am booking a joint session for both of us to talk to someone. 

I had actually booked for a counselling session for myself this Thurs, so I will go to that and then organise one for her and I. 

Thanks Breez-RO Smiley Happy

Active scribe

Re: 18 year old's boyfriend is putting a strain on our relationship

I went to counselling yesterday and they confirmed my fears that my daughter is in an abusive relationship. I am ok for a couple of days. Then not. I was hoping she would come to counselling with me on Monday but she said she's working. I asked her if she'd be willing to meet but she hasn't responded.
I feel sick and I hate that this has taken over my every waking thought. I go from worry to being ok to being angry. I hate not knowing what she's thinking. Everyone tells me she will eventually leave him and she will come back. But right now it feels lime that will never happen. I make up scenarios in my head of her just cutting me out of her life and never speaking to me again. Then I get angry because I think how dare she treat me lime this. I feel like I am going insane. I get 4 free counselling sessions with work but I can't afford any after that. I'm sure tomorrow it won't look so bad but I just feel sick and sad. I don't know if she even cares what she is putting me through. Sorry if this seems a bit disjointed and ramble I just need to write it down.