Trouble with my 18 yo daughter

OK - I have not posted about all my recent drama here, but there has been quite a lot and I finally jut have to let it out.

My DD came back from her first year of school in June. She was still 17 at the time (turned 18 in August) In mid July she indicated that she met a Japanese man who was 23. I thought that was a little old for her, but I kept and open mind. i did tell her that my BF and I had to meet him. Well, we met him and I thought he looked a little older than 23, but my BF thought it was my imagination. I actually wanted to check his drivers license, but I thought twice and didn’t. Well it turns out he was 33 - about to turn 34 at the end of July. He is 8 months younger than me! and a couple of months older than my BF (Yes I was 16 when she was born). I felt so sick to my stomach when I found this out. I cried, we argued, I told her that she couldn’t see him anymore and that I was calling the cops and immigration (ok maybe a bit overboard, but I swear I was beside myself). I came to find out that she had sent a lot of her stuff to his house while she was away and that she planned on moving in with him. Well, we went through a lot in the 3 weeks from that revelation to her birthday on August 3rd. I asked her to please not make a major decision until she knew herself better and to please not throw away her youth. Well, needless to say she has now moved out and is with this man who is my age. I don’t know how I can accept him. I think about how much I want her around for Thanksgiving and holidays and then I think “How can I have this man in my house? How can I treat him like my daughter’s boyfriend when he’s my age?”. My BF is taking this horribly. He doesn’t think we should have them over at all, but I flat out refuse to not have a relationship with my daughter.

Now she has also decided not to go to school and I just don’t know what’s going on. I’m just having a horrible time with this. I just talked to her a few minutes ago and arranged a time for her to pick up her stuff. I asked her if she wants her bed and she said to donate it to Goodwill and it just sent me into a fit of tears.

I guess I’m just ranting here. I have to get it out somewhere. I have a son that I’m trying to keep it together for and my BF is just raging at the thought that her boyfriend is older than he is so I can’t talk to him right now.

Anyway, sorry this is so long. Thanks for listening.

I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. I’ve got a 16yo, and I’ve been through a-lot with her in the last couple of years. I totally understand where you’re coming from.

Whatever you do, don’t sever your relationship with her. Keep the door open but stand your ground on your convictions.

It doesn’t sound like she’s going to change her mind any time soon, so you’ll have to accept her decisions, however hard that may be.

Her relationship with this man may or may not pan out. Time will tell. The very least you can do is continue to love her and be there for her if her world shatters.


I know it tears your heart apart. Maybe, you can be there for her and then when she knows that you will accept her, you can beg her not to get pregnant and give it some time. Reason with her about this. I think it will end sooner than you think, but you have to let her know that you know that she can make her own decisions and ASK her to think about some things. ASK her to take it slow. It is the time that you hope she remembers all that you have taught her. They all go through this.

I am So sorry you are going through this
i dread the day I have to go through the same kinda thing
if you ever get to a point you can make some points to your daughter
ask her this
If its is a healthy relationship, why did anyone have to lie about his age
it was either him lying to her, or Her lying to you
and even if he was lying to her, she must have had a clue that he was not of age to have gone to high school at the same time as her

just my 2c worth
I am no good at this
or my kid would still live with me
and not find me so stupid


Thanks so much! I do remember seeing a few of your posts about your daughter, and boy do I relate. Its been a roller coaster ride pretty much throughout high school and even now. She’s always been strong willed though - even as a toddler!

I am trying to stay strong. When she first moved out my DS, DBF and I had already planned a trip to Yosemite with my sister and some friends. A trip she was supposed to come along on, but at least it gave us a break. In the mean time I fought any urge to call her and see how she was doing. I wanted her to have some space from me since we’ve been arguing non-stop. After Yosemite she called my sister to see how our trip was. My sister thought that she really wanted to know how we were so I took it as a sign that she was ready to hear from me. Our conversations our short for now because there’s so much hurt, but hopefully they will get better.

My BF loves her like his own daughter. He’s hurt, but I know he he’ll always be there for her. I intend to have my door always open and I do plan on sticking with my convictions.

If this relationship lasts I suppose I will have to accept him eventually. I just am at a loss as to how, but I guess I shouldn’t think of that yet. For now I just shut up about him.

I;ve asked her not to get pregnant. She was on BC but I know she stopped a while ago because it made her sick. I told her she needs to find some other method. I was 16 yo when I had her and 18 when I had my DS. Although I wouldn’t trade my kids for anything in the world, I want better for them. Life has been hard for us. I didn’t choose wisely as far as fathers (who does at 16 - all that matters is that they’re cute) I raised them on my own until about 5 years ago and we are ALWAYS I mean ALWAYS broke with hand me downs from here to eternity. The only new things in my house are the things my BF bought since being with me . . .lol

Well, I think your 2c is right on the money. I think we’re all stupid to our kids. Its so hard to talk to my DD about something I’ve personally been through and that I can only hope she would benefit from learning from my experience and she just looks down her nose at me and shakes her head like I am just the dumbest thing on the planet!!! Argh!!! I know I thought my dad was dumb too. Its amazing how much he learned between my 16th and 21st birthday.

My parents had me in high school as well. I went to college far away to save our relationship because we were fighting nonstop. It saved my relationship with my parents. YOU HAVE TO CONVINCE her to go back to school and go back on birth control!!! Each year a woman puts off having children her income increases by 10%.

if I remember correctly she does not have a relationship with her bio father? this may be her way of replacing that relationship even though she had your boyfriend for the past 5 years.

She may be feeling out of place at school. I did. All these kids were so privileged and then there was me, who had to take out loans, work study and work almost full time to put myself through school, but you have to let her know that she does belong there just like those other kids.

Even if she insists on living with him while in school (as much as you don’t like it) she has to finish college. Tell her she needs a fall back option just in case the relationship does not last (or he dies) he is old. (or he should be in her eyes if he is older than you). Because she has no reason to believe he will take care of her.

Get the cost of daycare centers in the area, (because you will not be free daycare) You need to shock her in the cost of raising a child.

get the cost of formula, diapers, stroller, crib, everything needed to set up a baby if the bf drops her.

sorry for the long post but you got to show her the worst case scenario.

please feel free to PM me

I did something like that when i was younger, i was rebelling the only way i could (not deliberatly though). i was 19, stayed with the older man (who was about the same age as your daughters boyfriend) moved in with him etc.

if my parents hadnt stayed i like your new fella atc i would have moved on totally. for my 2c’s worth i would totally except this man (even though you hate him) so you aren’t the big baddy mom person.

looking back i can see what my parents did was very clever. i saw for myself what he was like. in my case i did end up pregnant and have a wonderful ds who i wouldnt change for anything. but like you i wouldnt have had kids so young as i know how much i’ve missedout on as most of my friends dotn have kids.
i am so sorry you are going through this, kids are definatly there to try everything we have.

sneding huge :hug: and hope you guys can sort her out soon

Its so hard to talk to my DD about something I’ve personally been through and that I can only hope she would benefit from learning from my experience and she just looks down her nose at me and shakes her head like I am just the dumbest thing on the planet!!! Argh!!! I know I thought my dad was dumb too. QUOTE]

Well, the clue is right there.
We can’t expect kids to learn by OUR experience. They want their own.
Maybe you can pass on learning by experience in other fields like work or buying a used car or knitting, but life experience, well that’s another thing.
Relate your experiences to her by all means, (later in life she will say you were right) but EXPECTING her to use them as her own is just asking for more heartbreak.

I would completely ignore the fact that she has an older bf for now and focus on why she dropped out of college. That for me is the biggger concern.

Talk to her about it, what where her aspirations, why didnt she like it and want to stay, what does she want to study, where is she working now etc etc. (and i meen talk not nag or argue, make a concerted effort for it to be an actual two way conversation.I only stress that because the number of times i have flat out ignored my mother because when she said she was talking to me she was actually just asking a string of questions she wanted answers too or pressing her opinions on me) By talking to her, you will get her to think about it and it will also explain some of it to you. you may not like the outcome but you will at least know the reasons she has made her choices. Sure you can offer advice but it is her decision and as long as it is well thought out then so be it. It might not be ideal, but it is her decision.

As for the birth control, i assume she is using some sort of protection. That is somthing else i would talk to her about, just to make sure she knws all the options available to her. Just because one form made her sick doesnt meen one of the others will two, weather it is one of the many types of pills available, a coil, diaphragm, injections, condoms, implants etc. lots of options … find one that works.

As for the older bloke. Yeah she lied to you about his age. Im going on the assumption that she knew his real age, but lied because she knew/thought you would react badly to the truth. and you you are trying not to, but just because he is older does that make him a bad person. Do they have a good relationship or not, is she happy or not. Thsoe or the important things, not his age.

Sorry to have gone on, they were just my first thoughts. You are the mamma, and you know your kids best.

Remeber the saying “Keep your friends close and your enemy’s closer.” You definately have to stay as involved as you can if you invite them over on holidays and any other time you get the chance you will get a better idea of what he is all about,maybe you will even like him worst case scenario you will figure out he is a total creep but you will have earned enough points from your daughter that maybe she will confide in you and be more apt to take your advice.If you ask me I think that girls raised with in single parent homes tend to mature even faster than normal,so maybe this guy isn’t the total piece of sh*& that he might seem like maybe he really loves her and respects her.But what the heck do I know I have to boys but I was 18 once.

Ok, here’s my two cents and do with what you will. I was that 18 year old daughter not that long ago. The more my mother told me not to do something or how much she disliked it the more that’s what I wanted to do rather I even wanted to or not. I’ve dated the older guys and eventually they become boring and then I run back to mom to make me feel better.
Keep the communication open so that your daughter will feel she can come back if things fall apart.
I also am a firm believer that as long as the guy is treating her with respect that age really doesn’t matter. Just for the record my husband is 8 years older than I am.
Another tidbit of information, my father’s new significant other is younger than I am. I am 34, she is only 30. My answer is if he’s happy who am I to tell him or anyone else who they can date.

I feel for you! My DD is 28 and her DBF is 50. They have been going together for a few years now and living together for just over a year now. They are now engaged and will be getting married in a year. He has bought her a nice house to live in and a huge rock for her finger. I did not like him at first because he seemed to be a very bossy and controlling man. It caused a lot of grief in my home and my heart until I learned to shut my mouth and remember that she is going to do what SHE wants to do no matter what I think. Since that time she vassilates between getting along with me and not getting along with me, depending on what is going on with her at that time. It still causes me grief but I have learned to suck it up and remember that she is and adult and has a right to make her own choices.

I can only tell you the same as the others: dont close the door on her, keep them close and watch. Dont voice opinions. Just watch! Sooner or later he will show his true colours, whether they be good or bad!

Good luck!

Hi -

To tell you the truth, age is only one thing. Its her maturity level as well. If she were 25 dating a 41 year old there would be a bit of a difference. This is not a kid she ran to; this is a man. He has had all his experiences. She has not. As far as your step mother - its the same issue. She’s 30 - she’s had a chance to do all those 18,19,20, 21 yo things. 30 is still young, but she has also presumably matured much since she was 18. Its not that relationships with such an age gap don’t last or are always wrong, but there are other issues.

I will accept him if the relationship lasts and I will say nothing at this time, but I am thinking its not love that’s driving her. She’s only known him for a few months. She met him on Myspace. He doesn’t have a great command of the English language and she knows only 1 Japanese word. Why was a 34 year old looking at a 17 yo’s profile on Myspace??? These are the things that cause alarms to go off in my head. Plus, for a while I was very worried that his intention was to bring her back to Japan where she will be stuck if there is a problem later. I still don’t know if that is or isn’t his intention. He did leave a message on my voicemail that said that he thought further contact with her family will cause her problems. But I don’t know if there’s something lost in translation in that message.

She came over and picked up her stuff last night and I talked to him a bit about that message and I asked him if he had any young relatives. he said he has a niece who is 5 years old now. I asked how his sister would feel if she got such a message from an American twice her age 12 -13 years from now. He kinda seemed to think about it and he did say something to the affect of her being able to contact me (to which I thought privately, gee thanks for the permission), but I don’t know how much really got through. I was calm with him, but I did cry and I told him I love her. I think he at least understood the tears.

Perhaps she just wants to prove she can do this on her own. For now I have to hope that I have raised her well enough for her “spidey sense” about these things to kick in when its most needed. In the mean time I will hope that the gulf of cultural differences between us and this man make things seems scarier than they really are. I am aware that might be, but it doesn’t make it easier. The cultural differences make it harder to know true intentions for better or worse I think. The fact that he can’t communicate with me very well and I have no idea what he understands or doesn’t understand makes it a bit unsettling regardless.

I am getting my passport in order though, just in case.

Thanks Knitter! That’s what I’m trying to do. I have to tell you that inside I am tearing up. My BF is having a harder time than I am though I think. He can’t understand it. I am trying not to even give advice unless asked - except that I did tell her, and have told her for some time, to find another method of BC. But I have only told her once since she has left - as a reminder.

I figure she has been told over and over again by me the importance of waiting to have a child. I was the one that took her to Planned Parenthood when the time came. I’ve been very open with her about that topic. I told her that because I brought her there doesn’t mean I think she’s ready to have a sexual relationship, but that I was not going to be naive enough to think that because I said so would be a good enough reason not to. I wanted her to be prepared and not have an “oops!” situation . . for her health, for her well being and for any potential new life’s well being.

Funny, I’ve been saying the same thing to my BF. I told him no matter how hard it is internally, if he has our daughter’s best interest at heart we need to be allies with him. If he doens’t its even more important that we keep both of them close. He’s not there yet, and therefore was not home when she came to pick up her stuff. He’ll get there eventually.

Whoa this raises serious warning bells for me. I’m hoping against hope that it was a miss translation there, but FOR YOUR DAUGHTERS SAFETY. save a copy of the message. You may need it later, especially if he takes her to Japan. Definitely get your passport in order. The myspace factor is not helping things any at all.

Do you know anyone that can run a background check on him? It might be a good idea. Just for safety’s sake. You say he is here on a visa, background check will see if its valid, if he has committed any crimes, has any restraining orders, etc

My boyfriend is 8 years older than I am. My mother was fine with it, My father hated it until he met him and now they are great friends. It was awkward at first because my boyfriend was 10 years younger than my mom and 8 years older than me. I joke he can date me or my mom.

Tell your daughter that you support her in whatever relationship choices she makes but she has to go back to school, and in order for her to finish she has to be safe and responsible. That what helped me with my relationship with my boyfriend. My mother was there for me while my father had his freak out and would not talk to me. Mind you this happened while I was already in post grad.

Tell her 18 years old is the time to be focusing on herself and not on anyone else. 18 is the only time you get to be selfish and put yourself first.

Thanks Scout. I do have a copy of the message; in my archives and on a digital recorder and on my computer.

I work for an attorney who has a regular PI friend he uses. We’ve known him for years and he’s ex LAPD. I asked him about it and he made sure neither I nor my BF intend him harm, which we never did or do, and he ran a background check on him. I know his address, his former address and the cars he drives (including two motorcycles - a Harley and a Honda - oh boy!!!) Other than that he comes up clean and his visa is valid. He did say he’s really only been in the USA for less than a year so its hard to really judge a person’s character that way. Murderers have stayed under the radar of law enforcement for longer - know what I mean? I only wanted to know where I should look if she disappeared and make sure he doens’t have a record. I am glad I did that and I owe that PI a bunch of cookies at least since he didn’t charge me.

I agree with you about school and 18 being a time to think of yourself as well. She needs to grow into her ownself. You really don’t know who you are at that age - at least most people don’t . There’s so much growth to do. I told her that even if she met the best person in teh world and he promises to take care of her forever, what if he suddenly passed away??? She needs to have the ability to take care of herself first and foremost, before she can take care of another person. Whether he leaves her by walking out the door or by passing away, she needs to be able to pick herself up and take care of herself. She can only do that if she pursues an education, does some self examination and becomes her own person. That’s the hard part. 18 is the time to do just that - not to pile on the responsibilities of an older person. IMO I think he should be aware of that and if he truly had her best intentions at heart would not want that for her either. He would want her to be an 18 year old, to hang out with her 18 yo friends and go dancing and go to parties just like the other 18yos. he would want her to go to school and talk to all those other 18 yos she meets there. I think to do anything else is selfish of him, and I think he can say he loves her and respects her all he wants, but underlying that is still a selfish part that wants her as his GF and doesn’t see her as a young woman just barely embarking on the world and deserving to be untethered from such a relationship. Even if I accept him my opinion in that regard is unlikely to change. I don’t believe that plucking a blooming flower just to put it in your vase and stick it on your table is right - even if you talk a good game about how much you love the flower, how beautiful you think it is, how nice it smells and how you love coming home to it - you still sentenced the flower to death before its time regardless.

However, I know we all have our problems and selfish tendencies, even when we think we don’t. Perhaps this is his. I am going to hope that, in the long run, she will learn well and be ok. I hope he loves her even if I do think he’s taken away her youth. I hope he winds up being a great person in every other regard or that at least if teh relationship doens’t last the revelation is made quickly and not too painfully. I hope that she returns to school, becomes a wonderful and independent young woman and proves my fears completely unfounded. I would be the happiest person in the world to eat all my words. In the mean time I hope the worst case scenarios don’t occur and she’ll be ok.

Gosh - every post I make on this subject is horribly long. I’m sorry!!! Thank you all for listening and for your advice so far. It really is a help. I’m just going crazy inside. I’m getting through and I know all the rational things to do and agree with them, but man its hard to stop hurting, worrying and wondering even in the face of all the rationalization I’ve already done.

This really helped me Scout :slight_smile: Thanks! That’s kind of what’s going on right now as well. My BF can’t even be in the same room with her right now. He refuses to engage in conversation with this man of hers. I intend to. I talked to him briefly last night and tried to make him feel like he wasn’t being attacked, but that I just wanted him to understand how I felt about that message. Eventually I will have to get to know the person my daughter is living with - I know that. I will also have to put my best foot forward in that regard for my daughter’s sake cus its not about me. I am actually even thinking about taking a Japanese class to help make things go a bit smoother. He can at least see I’m trying to accept him.

You are very welcome. I’m am so sorry you are going through this. Just keep reminding her how much you love her and that you just want her to be happy and that you just want her to be able to live a full and happy life and that means being able to support herself so live with him, but need to finish college.

My mother made me a scrapbook of pictures from all the various family albums. She sent to me a week after the fight with my father. it was beautiful. and huge. She must have been working 24/7 for 3 days straight to send it to me. we are on opposite coasts. it was the perfect way to show me that she loved me and I was still a part of the family and that she will always be there for me. During the last california Wildfire, it was the first thing I packed besides my cats. You might want to do something like that.