Letter to my daughter

What I have here is a letter I’m thinking to write to my daughter… I thought to put it in IMHO, but I think it’s a little more emotional than that… Thoughts and input are Welcome.

Hi, my darling, my beautiful daughter. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that any child of mine could grow to be so strong, faithful, loyal, willing, wise. My hat is off to you. A lot of folks would tell you that I made you who you are. I disagree. I think you have something inside of you that many folks would be envious of. I think that I was blessed to have your star fall inside of my lap. I thank God for giving you to me. I hope that I have in my struggles given you some things for you to take in your journey to adulthood. Looking at you now , it’s hard for me to see you as less than perfect.

I know we have an issue to talk about. Please forgive me, that I can’t talk to you about this face-to-face. Part of my problem is, I feel that you are so good and dutiful that you don’t’ deserve to feel pain. My fault . Sorry . I know that you and Jon are an issue to me. And you don’t deserve a bunch of dancing around the issue. I thought that maybe my putting my thoughts down on paper might help.

Here’s my thoughts. It’s not my place to tell you who you choose to be your friends. It might be my place to tell you when you might get in hot water over it, though. Not that you are any smarter than me, but I’m twice your age (ouch!).

I don’t know how much you are willing to put up with. No woman, judging another woman’s man, can. You are what you are, and you will live with what you deem is okay. That’s fine with me. But I am through with enabling him.

You know the last straw was the Playstation thing. Let me ask you, if I were dragged kicking and screaming from my house by the cops, would you expect him to say “Oh can I use the Xbox, since you won’t be using it?” I hope not. What he did to Jaime was cold blooded. There’s no two ways around it. And you know it.

Plus when Jaime called me, wanting to know where it was. And your brother said: “should I tell him where it is?” I said HELL yea. And Jaime told me he NEVER said Jon could borrow it. So that’s why I took it back to Jamie’s grandma’s.

And then Jon had the gall to ask me where it was. Well. I like Jon, I really do. But I wonder why he can’t hold a job. When he tells me he’s “too good for Burger King”. Dumbass, when you’re starving you’ll take ANYTHING.

OK, the gist of this is: I LOVE you. And I stand by you. But if you want to keep up a relationship with Jon, I hope you can reach and teach him. You had the benefit and glory of someone who CAN teach you. He didn’t. He’s a grown man, honey.
Is he grown enough for you ?

I love you… Mom.

I would call your daughter and talk to her. It’s a nice letter, but it seems a bit all-over-the-place.

Might be better just to sit down and have a heart-to-heart, if at all possible. You obviously love her, and you express that wonderfully in the first few paragraphs; but the rest of the letter (except for the last paragraph) seems more like a conversation than kind advice. Frankly, it sounds like you have a lot to say about this guy she’s with. So give yourself the room to tell her.

Just my .02 cents…

I’m a little fuzzy on the characters here…Jon is your daughter’s boyfriend? He borrowed his brother’s Playstation without permission? Jaime is Jon’s brother? Was Jaime arrrested for something?

I don’t know how old your daughter is, but it looks like she picked a real winner with Jon. :rolleyes:

I would ask one question of your daughter, “Is this the man you want to be the provider of your children?” Maybe that will put things in perspective.

One more thing, it is not your daughter’s job to “teach” Jon anything. She deserves a man who will appreciate and love and support her, not a “fixer-upper.” Life’s too short for that kind of aggravation.

Remember that even if this doesn’t have an immediate effect, that doesn’t mean it’s useful: about all you can do for people in horrible relationships is give them support and float certain ideas. She may not take you advice now, but in six months or so things may “click” --he may do whatever it is going to take to break the camel’s back–and all your words come rushing back. That’s the value of doing this.

** leander**, I can totally understand why she doesn’t want to sit down and talk about this with her daughter: if she has the “room” to tell her everything she is feeling, it’ll be overkill, it’ll be a three hour litany of the million things she feels are wrong about the guy, and all that will do is make the daughter defensive. She’s not gonna see the light sitting there at the kitchen table with her mother. They don’t need to have a dissscussion about this. Daughter just needs to have the idea planted, so that if later she realizes that he is, in fact, an asshole, she has the words she needsto put that thought into focus.

Things like: “Not that you are any smarter than me” and “You had the benefit and glory of someone who CAN teach you. He didn’t. He’s a grown man, honey.” suggest to me that should definitley shouldn’t send the letter.

Even if the letter is perfectly well intentioned, I don’t think your daughter will respond positively to it.

Is there a mobile home anywhere in this matter?

MandaJO, I dreamed last night that you and I were discussing this! Thanks for your 2 cents.

and leander, I’m also bothered by the middle of the letter. I guess the beginning is to set the tone before I fuss at her. Is it off-point in that respect? Am I dancing around the issue too much?

Demo, thanks for catching my typo ! Shoulda been “not that I am any smarter than you”. And the other part seems smug, too. Got it. :slight_smile:

Ivy Jon is the b/f, Jamie is a family friend. I searched for the rant I did on his dad’s arrest in BBQ to link to this, but couldn’t find it.

And mods, again, if this should have been in IMHO I apologize.

Sorry muffin! No mobile home. yet.

Is this it?

Yes, bless you Rils, that’s the one. And I fixed the letter, the middle sounds a lot more sensible now:



I am about to offer advice I hope to hell I am able to take when my daughter is old enough.

Say, “I love you.”“I trust you.”“I am here for you.”“Do you realy believe he is giving you as much as you are giving him?” Then leave it alone. Don’t bring it up again. You can refuse to provide money. You can refuse to let them live with you. But please don’t nag and don’t make her feel like she has to choose between you.

My sister stayed in her mariage for 11 years to an emotionaly abusive alcoholic. It took a suicide attempt on her part to realise that she needed get the hell out. If my mother hadn’t been nagging for those years my sister might not have been anywhere near as defensive and maybe could have seen how much damage they were doing to each other before it got so bad.

Granted, my mother’s abilities to push my sister’s buttons is breathtaking, but I have honestly never seen unsolicited advice about someones significant other go well.

I agree 100% with furlibusea.

From my own experience, any parental criticism of my SO only served to make me angry and defensive towards my parents. YMMV of course.

Don’t do it.

You can’t make her decisions for her. Criticizing the man she loves cannot be constructive.

She knows his faults. She is probably well aware that you disapprove of him.

Either she’ll come to her senses on her own (in which case the last thing she’ll want to hear from you is “I told you so! Remember that letter! Remember, I told you!”) or she won’t (in which case your disapproval will have simply driven a wedge between the two of you.)

I can’t say I’ve gone through this myself (except for resenting my mother’s criticism of some of my boyfriends). However, my mom did have a similar experience to your own with my sister’s first husband, who was pretty screwed up. Mom said she bit her tongue over and over and over when she was tempted to point out his faults to her, and she knew she did the right thing when my sister was able to come to her for emotional support when the shit finally hit the fan.

Send that letter, and you’ll only piss your daughter off. You’ve vented, you’ve organized your thoughts, and I hope writing it all out in a letter was helpful to you, but, really, you have nothing to gain by actually sending it to her. Destroy any hardcopys you might have made, delete from your hard drive, and make sure she doesn’t have easy access to the SDMB.

Take the same letter, put it through 3 more drafts.

The end result should be kind, gentle, not say everything you want to say (some things shouldn’t be said), & be 2/3 the length of this letter.

Good luck to you daughter. It sounds as if she has gotten hold of a loser with both hands.

I don’t know that the letter will necessarily make the daughter angry or drive a wedge between mother and daughter. When I was in my late teens I got involved in a bad relationship and eventually, my mother made her feelings clear about it. Of course it made me uncomfortable and I wasn’t as open with her with regards to the problems I was having with him, but it was always in the back of my mind that I knew better, and I felt as though I was letting myself down and doing wrong by my family. When I decided I had had enough, a lot of it had to do with knowing how my family felt about him (and that they were right), and knowing they would fully support me when I left him. So, although it made me uncomfortable, it was actually very helpful.

She’s 17, a high school senior, living with me.

What precipitated the need for me to tell her this? He kept wanting to live with us. It would start out “oh, can I stay the night?” and then 6 weeks later I’m gritting my teeth. So, I finally worked up the guts to tell her “I’d rather he didn’t spend the night anymore”. To which she said “you just don’t like him anymore”. So, the letter was to answer her statement; explain what my position was.

I’m very aware of the danger of criticizing him. That’s why I tried to keep the focus on his behavior, not him.

Bosda, I rewrote it one more time (in longhand, on notebook paper so it wouldn’t be sterile-looking) and laid it on her pillow last nite. So far, no explosions. She seems her ususal cheerful self.

Thanks to all for comments!