Linda in Port Orford writes:
My boyfriend of one and a half years just dumped me for a younger woman – my 18-year old virgin daughter! I feel betrayed and crushed. I lost my daughter, my boyfriend, two best friends and my “family” – all at the same time. How do I go on? How do I maintain a relationship with my daughter? They both say they still love me, but this is not how people who love you treat you.
I am so sorry for the torment you are in. Love really doesn’t have restrictions and boundaries, and that can definitely cause more than a bit of moral and ethical upheaval. Unfortunately, things are going to get worse before they get better.
Things are going to be challenging for you with your daughter over the next several months. This relationship had been brewing for quite some time, both behind your back and right in front of you. The warning signs were there, but you didn’t catch it… or, understandably, you didn’t want to believe it.
Your daughter does love you, but she doesn’t fully understand or appreciate what she has done to you. Her selfishness, romantic imagination, and emotional immaturity have really clouded her judgment. She really doesn’t fully “get it” now, but reality will eventually come crashing in.
As for your ex, he cares about you, but isn’t in love with you. He would like to convince you that at the very least, he is still your “friend.” However, he is very much in love, and lust, with your daughter. He may have her now, but he will lose both of you in the end. Just because she is exercising her adult right to have him in her life is no reason not to bar him from yours.
You are facing a long and painful path to healing. But you are a true mother, and even through your pain, you want your daughter in your life. You’ll never forget – but in time, you will forgive her. I strongly want to encourage you to see a family therapist who will work with both you and your daughter. While the relationship will never be quite what it was, the two of you will find your way back to each other.
I am so sorry.