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I made an awful choice ...

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I made an awful choice ...

I’ve made a terrible mistake. I am so scared that I have killed my relationship with my oldest daughter. I don’t blame her if she never spoke to me again. (Yes- it’s that bad)
My teen daughter and her boyfriend were taking “a break” from dating after (another ) betrayal by him. At first , I knew only if one example, but soon learned from my daughter many examples of her boyfriend just not behaving like a boyfriend should. When I learned of all he had done to my daughter over the past 10 months. I lost control and got very upset that he could hurt a girl that loved him with all of her heart and soul.
I texted him several messages telling him based on his behavior that I question his feelings for my daughter , I asked him to be honest with himself and with my daughter, should they decide to date again, and the worst message was that I suggested he seek out the truth about his “friend” (girl) whom he can’t seem to break away from. For example, he attends parties with her, without my daughter , his girlfriend, spent my daughters birthday with her, accepted VIP concert tickets from her and never told my daughter- she learned he is going with her and his best friend. He fooled us all. It is a complicated mess because his best friend is a guy whose family is best friends with her family. They even vacationed together in the same house during spring break— that’s right, my daughter’s boyfriend, his best friend (guy) and the girl...(she does not have friends who are girls). When he hangs out with her and she posts pictures all over social media ... meanwhile-my daughter endures onslaughts of messages from classmates after each picture -asking her what the heck he is doing with that girl and asking if they broke up -which only hurt my daughter more over the past 10 months.
My daughter was patient and kind. She stepped away and refused to go out with him and the “friend” because the girl pretended to be sweet to my daughter in front of the guys and then would stab her in the back when my daughters boyfriend “wasn’t looking”. My daughter told him she would never tell him who to be friends with and she told him he was hurting her. He would apologize and cry and tell her he would “fix” it - proclaiming his “love “ for my daughter. Only to repeat the same cycle of mistakes again and again. I was furious. . His “friend” has broken up at least 5 other couples with the same tactics. Flirt aggressively, hang out with another girl’s boyfriend
as “friends”, and when the girls can’t take it anymore - they finally break up, the “friend” then dates the guy for a week or two- then dumps him. She just loves the attention she can get from another girl’s boyfriend and once they break up, she loses interest. She seems to enjoy the power.
So in my final message to my daughter’s boyfriend , I suggested he seek out the truth. I told him that his plan to ask his “friend”about her awful behavior was ridiculous and he must not want the truth. I also suggested where he could go asking (other couples- not by name, but I gave him enough info to figure it out) for himself instead of asking “the deceiver is she is deceitful”. I knew I was wrong when I texted him, but my anger took over and I didn’t want to see my daughter hurt by him ever again. I sent a follow up telling him it was inappropriate of me to contact him and that I was very sorry. It was too late.
My foolish actions have hurt my daughter more than he ever did. He told her, his friends, his parents about my text messages . I am crushed for my daughter who now has to endure more pain. I am disgusted I hurt my daughter by my actions and I am worried my daughter will never open up to me and share with me again. I feel hopeless and ashamed. I would do anything to go back and never make this mistake. I feel lost and alone. I deserve the alone part. My only intent was to protect my daughter from being hurt again and I have done far worse in the process.
Can I repair my relationship with my daughter? She and I were very close until I did this. I am sick about my thoughtless actions. Help please. What can I do?

Re: I made an awful choice ...

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@Midwestmom I’m sorry for the delay responding to you about this – it sounds like it was such a stressful situation for you. How are things going now? I really hope all has improved.

I wanted to say how impressive it is that you were able to take a step back and look at what happened and reflect on your actions, and to have the courage to say you regret your response to the situation. Please don’t be hard on yourself – everyone is capable of doing or saying things in the heat of the moment that they regret later, and it sounds like you were feeling very upset and protective of your daughter.

I think it is great you can acknowledge that with the benefit of hindsight it perhaps wasn’t helpful to your daughter to respond that way – recognising those things is the first step on the path to better things in future.

In terms of working on the relationship with your daughter, there are two lovely resources here from our website on supportive parenting and how to say 'sorry'. The second one is directed more at young people, but it has some great tips on how to apologise that might be helpful.

I’m also wondering if there’s any chance you might consider something like accessing some family counselling with your daughter if she’s open to the possibility? Or if not, whether individual counselling might offer you a chance to talk through your feelings with someone objective who can help you to work out your plans for a way forward.

I really hope things have improved with your daughter since you posted this, but please feel free to post here any time you need somewhere to share what’s happening for you.