Your Hardest Family Question: How do we help our daughter see she’s dating the wrong guy?
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JoeApril 18, 2020
With all my respects to DL Anderson, your generalization (an assumption for not "speaking English") about hispanics is a little off line. NOT all hispanics are the same, not everyone who doesn't speak english is hispanic. Besides, she could be dating an American, returned missionary and still have the same situation , if not worse. The key here is to GET TO KNOW that person, find out how he treats his parents (big sign) and follow the Spirit. Lots of prayers.
Rose C. WalkerApril 18, 2020
I think it's important to note here that the boyfriend is clearly on the autism spectrum himself, probably Asperger's, or what some call high functioning autistic. His being awkward in direct communication is a huge tip-off, not to mention having an autistic child. It's often genetic. He may well need the daughter's help with handling his child if he feels at a loss as how to take care of him. It's up to the daughter to decide if she wants to continue in that capacity her whole life or not. It's not for the faint of heart, especially when the child is non-verbal. But what if helping the neurodiverse/disabled is something the daughter has a heart for? Then it wouldn't be seen as such a burden to her after all. That would actually be a topic the parents could ask her about, if it's something she likes doing anyway. All her parents can do is calmly express concern to her, but not make her feel attacked or judged. After that, all they can do is love her, & let her know they are always there for her should she need help with this situation.
DL AndersonApril 17, 2020
2nd comment - full disclosure AND addendum: I am NOT a degreed sociologist (my studies were interrupted and never resumed - yet) AND I said "SOME SUB-CULTURES of Latinos". While true for Latinos, it is ALSO true of MANY cultures. Thanks for letting be transparent and correcting any impressions I may've given
DL AndersonApril 17, 2020
Unfortunately this IS an abusive situation. While there is no verbal or physical abuse (except possibly to the autistic son by leaving him with untrained caregivers), there IS sexual and psychological abuse either occurring or in future between the so-called adults (daughter & sex partner). That is what is distressing these parents. There are A TON of "red flags". However, like any addiction/addict, you are correct in that the parents cannot do anything for this daughter. Her choices - however hard on her parents - are hers and hers alone and she is responsible to God for them. Being kind and listening TO the daughter and her thought processes are better than any lectures. Unfortunately, it is also true that the daughter is choosing this relationship because she is receiving some form of recompense - sexual certainly - but also feeling needed, of use, "special". Generally speaking from what little is mentioned, you are correct in that both the daughter and her sex partner (he's certainly NOT a "friend" and it's an insult to the boys I do know to call him a "boy") are immature. But with the fellow, it it societal expectation and upbringing of SOME SUB-CULTURES of Latinos for males to be sexually active and unconcerned with the outcomes of their sexual activity. Thank you for letting me have my say. And yes, I'm no psychiatrist or psychologist. Only a sociologist and an astute observer of human beings and cultures; including my own family and self.
Paul HApril 17, 2020
i would carefully ask your daughter what she knows about this guy and why he is a primary caregiver for a child. Where is the child's mother in this equation? Then I'd ask her if she truly has a different standard about staying over night than what you thought you had taught her. Maybe there's nothing sinister about it. Does she have opportunities to meet anyone else or is she locked in to just this guy? At 28 she might have hit the "anyone is better than no one" stage. and finding love is something she really needs to feel. Does she have a history of breaking up with boy friends or hasn't she had a serious one before? Do you love her enough to accept her choice, even though it might be a bumpy road for her? Have you thought about taking them out to dinner and getting to know him a bit in that type of manner rather than having him look at you as being an interview each time he comes over to see her? Every situation in my family and extended family where parents weren't happy and couldn't wait to express it frequently has been less than a good result.
IvonneApril 17, 2020
There's nothing wrong with being Hispanic.
Still StrivingApril 17, 2020
Missed, it seems, are important questions about the mother of the young man's child: Why are they not together? How did that relationship end? Is she still involved? If not, why not? etc. These things may matter a great deal. Finally, the race issue seemed only pertinent because of its "first-generation" nature, where cultural differences and language barriers can be acute. One hopes it is not simply a racial bias. If it is, it is something for the parents to work on as well.
Nola HiattApril 17, 2020
I have learned by sad experience that the feeling in the gut that it is not right is not just our own not liking something. That is a feeling from the Spirit telling us that something is not right and we should listen to that feeling. This mother is being told to just suck it up and here are things you can do to improve the situation. Parents do have a right & stewardship to receive revelation about their children even when they are adults - particularly when it is a marriage and that marriage involves bringing someone new into the family. This family feels uncomfortable with the choice because the Spirit is telling them it’s not right. They need to encourage the daughter to seek the Spirit and to get direction from Heavenly Father if it really is the right choice or if there is someone else out there who would be a better choice.
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