Not speaking to my daughter anymore, but is that wrong?

@spalladino (17921)
United States
January 29, 2010 10:34pm CST
I have 3 daughters and 1 son. My oldest and youngest daughters live down here in Florida with me but my middle daughter, who is 27 years old, still lives up north. She has been living with her boyfriend and his family for a little over 3 years now and they have, for the most part, had a good relationship. They've had their ups and downs but Theo understands Melissa, who has ADHD, and until recently she told me that she loved him. That has now changed. I suspected that something was going to go wrong when she started to hang around with a new friend, Christy. Christy lives with her mom who, according to my daughter, is "cool". She drinks and there seems to be a lot of people at that house at all times...a real party atmosphere. Melissa and Theo both have jobs and there were times when he would go out with his buddies and leave Melissa at home which is when she started to hang out with this girl. Last week Melissa started to complain about Theo...to complain about old history, fights that happened several years to one year ago. She also told me that someone had told her that Theo was cheating on her. I could feel her pulling away from this relationship and more towards this "party family" and I asked her if she had any evidence of cheating and why she was digging up these old bones of long past fights. She had no answers for me. Three nights ago she called me crying, telling me that she had left Theo and was on her way to Christy's where she could rent a room from the Party Mom. I asked her what had happened and she told me that she had started an argument about the old past history stuff...things that they had long since worked through. I told her that she was making a mistake but she kept telling me that she was "Done." Today Theo called me...in tears and completely heartbroken. Anyone who knows a 28 year old young man knows how hard it is to cry in front of anyone, much less someone's mother who you barely know, but that's how upset and hurt he was. Melissa won't answer the phone when he calls and won't return his calls even though he leaves her messages. I felt so bad for him...my heart broke. So, I called her. It was 12:30 in the afternoon and she told me that she just got up. I didn't even ask her if she was supposed to work today but I believe she was. I told her about Theo's call and asked her to call him and to talk to him. I told her that he really loved her and that she was being cruel. Her repeated response to me was "I'm done, Mom.". I tried to talk some sense into her but the longer I was on the phone, and the more I heard people laughing and having a good time in the background, the angrier I got. Yankee, if you're reading this by any chance, you know me and you know my kids. I did not raise them to be unkind, to intentionally hurt someone or to treat someone who loves them like garbage. I reminded Melissa of this and got the same "I'm done" from her again. Her "so what" attitude got the better of me and so I told her that if she was going to be so nasty and cold to Theo then I didn't want to talk to her anymore. She was righteous at first until she realized that I was serious. You want to end a relationship...for whatever reason, even a bad one...you have the decency to talk to the person you're leaving and give them some answers and some closure. You have the decency to care that you have hurt them and do whatever you can to ease their pain. You don't simply walk away and treat them like they don't exist. Nothing I said got through to her so I told her not to call me again and I hung up. A few minutes later my phone rang and it was my son...she called him because her older sister was at work. I told him what was going on and he agreed that his sister is being a putz. Since I was on the road at the time and losing my signal I ended the call and turned my phone off. I'm so angry and I can still hear Theo crying in my head. He's a nice young man and he treated my daughter well 99% of the time. His family treated her like their own, loaning her a vehicle when she had problems with her car, having birthday parties for her and being the family she missed since her two sisters and I are 1,000 miles away. It hurts a lot for me to take this stand...I'm used to hearing from her at least 2 or 3 times every day but, in reality, she hasn't called much since she's been involved with these people. My husband always says "family first" but he's been (wisely) keeping his mouth closed about this. I raised my daughter better...I raised all of them to be considerate and kind and I just can't stand by and watch this without saying or doing something. So, to make this rant into a discussion...am I wrong? Should I stand by my daughter regardless of what she does or how she treats others or should I stick to my principles? I really don't like cruel people so how can I be chatty right now with someone who is suddenly as cold as ice to someone who did nothing to deserve it? And, yes, I do know from my daughter's own lips that Theo has done nothing wrong lately.
7 people like this
15 responses
@deenaly (162)
• Malaysia
30 Jan 10
I do not really understand your culture, but I can assure you that what you do right now to clear things up is acceptable. "Family's first" doesn't mean you stand up to whatever your family members have done regardless whether they are right or wrong. It simply means to never neglect your family. I have yet to have a family of my own, but my experience with my parents so far led me to believe that it is very important to educate your children, so that they will respect you even when they have their own family. In your case, I suggest you look for your daughter. Don't just leave her be. Because when she gets into a mess, you'll be the one risking yourself to get her out of it. Prevention is better than cure. Don't let the milk spill, because when you do, there's no use crying over spilt milk.
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
30 Jan 10
Hi deenaly. I live over 1,000 miles away from my daughter so looking for her or talking to her face to face is not possible. Her brother and her older sister are going to talk to her today so we'll see if they have any luck with her.
1 person likes this
@deenaly (162)
• Malaysia
31 Jan 10
A very good move. Since she's at the age where she thinks she can take care of herself, you must be careful not to force her too much, just have some slow talk when you get any chance of meeting her in the future...
@Opal26 (17684)
• United States
30 Jan 10
Hey Spalladino! I have known you for awhile now and pretty much know what kind of person you are and know you aren't the type of person who takes anyone forgranted, as your daughter is doing! This is not anything like the person I know and love! Yes, I have grown to love you and yours, and Melissa isn't acting in anyway like someone that I would expect to be a daughter of yours, sad to say! I know she may have her own issues, but that aside, no excuses! You are such a wonderful and caring mother I can't imagine how you could possibly deal with something like this! And her boyfriend Theo, he sounds like such a wonderful and caring young man! How could she just turn her back on him? Doesn't she know that men like him only come along once in a lifetime? I hope that someway, somehow, someone will get through to her before it's too late! I am so sorry that you are going through all this pain! I really feel so badly for you and your family! Sending lots of love and hugs! Leslie
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
30 Jan 10
Thank you Opal. Melissa used to call me 2 or 3 times a day...she's a talker...so I do miss talking to her already. Melissa has ADHD and is very impulsive. I think this decision is going to turn out to be a bad one in the long run but it's hers to make since she's an adult. I just can't support being cruel...as much as it pains me.
1 person likes this
@sid556 (30987)
• United States
30 Jan 10
Hi Spalladino, From the sounds of it, I do agree that your daughter owes the young man an explanation. At least that is how it sounds. You are not wrong to tell her how you feel but to tell her not to talk to you anymore I feel is wrong. I think by doing that that you are only hurting her and yourself as well. Maybe this man did nothing wrong and maybe your daughter is just ready to move on. You can't force her to be with someone that she no longer wants to be with. I have 4 daughters and I can't imagine giving up contact with them over some guy....any guy. I don't get that deeply involved in their relationships. If one of their boyfriends called me in times of trouble (and it's happened) I'll listen to a point but then I'll remind him that there is a conflict of interest here and I won't take sides. It is ok to disagree with your daughter but I don't think you should let her decision affect your relationship with her. Your relationship with your daughter should be more important to you than her relationship with this guy I think.
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
30 Jan 10
Hi sid. I appreciate your comments...and I'm not taking sides in this as far as ending the relationship goes. If that's what Melissa wants, fine. My problem is with the way she left things. Theo does not understand what happened and he is very hurt. The only thing I asked Melissa to do was to call him back and explain it to him. Melissa is a talker...part of her ADHD...and she's never at a loss for words when it comes to talking about her feelings and her wants. If she's unhappy then that's all she has to say instead of blaming it on past history. I told her that. Melissa can be easily manipulated and I believe that her new "friends" are behind the silent treatment she's giving Theo right now. I do try to keep out of my childrens' relationships and I've also had plenty of calls over the years from one of their girl/boyfriends. Staying neutral is the main reason why I still have a relationship with the mother of my son's daughter. My relationship with my daughter is definitely more important than her relationship with Theo but this isn't about the relationship...it's about the way you treat someone who cares about you. It's about knowing that you're causing someone great pain and not caring. If she told me that she kicked a homeless man on the corner every day when she passed by I would feel the same way. Another thing to consider is this. She knows now that Theo called me and that his call upset me. She also knows that he could call me again unless she calls him. In addition, she knows that my husband isn't well and that he has a biopsy scheduled soon to determine whether or not he has cancer...so she knows that I'm already under additional stress. If she can't have any consideration for Theo, she should at the very least have some consideration for me and talk to him so that he doesn't call me again. As it is, my heart rate goes up every time my cell phone rings because I'm afraid it's him.
@sid556 (30987)
• United States
31 Jan 10
Hi Spalladino,I very much understand how you are feeling regarding your daughter's behavior. My daughters have at times behaved in ways that leave me scratching my head and wondering if it was I who really raised them. Some of their choices at times have made me angry. One of my girls went thru a spell that had me so stressed I literally was getting sick from all the worrying. All I am saying is that you should not cut of communication with her. You probably wouldn't anyway. It sounds as if you love your daughter very much. Kids don't always think real deep as to how their actions can affect others. Is she young? She sounds young. I think if this young man calls again that you should tell him what you have said here as to what you think her reasons might be and also tell him what you are dealing with with your husband. Tell him that your re sorry your daughter left him in the dark but you have to put your energy into helping your husband at this time and therefore can't get involved. I'm sorry to hear about your husband. Please keep us updated on how that goes. It sounds as if you have too much on your plate right now and this is something you don't need to be dealing with.
@gabs8513 (48708)
• United Kingdom
30 Jan 10
Hi there I can understand that you are mad at your Daughter and I would be to It sounds like she has got into the wrong crowd and she is getting a lot of attention there so of course that is great for her and she does not care who she is hurting, what she is not thinking about is that one Day these People could turn against her and then what is she going to do I would not cut myself of totally from her but I would keep my Distance until she has the Decency to speak to Theo and explain It is the most awful thing when someone does this and then does not explain why I wish you the best of luck and hope that your Daughter will come to see sense soon
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
30 Jan 10
Thank you gabs. Finding herself homeless is a big fear of mine, especially since I live so far away. I asked her about that possibility when she first left Theo and she told me that she has "plenty" of places to stay. Right now she only has a part-time job so she has no way of supporting herself if this doesn't work out. I also don't know if they're doing anything illegal over there so that worries me, too.
1 person likes this
@gabs8513 (48708)
• United Kingdom
30 Jan 10
Well I was a bit worried about that to but did not want to say as I did not want to worry you more I really hope it works out okay for her I really do I know it is no use saying to try not to worry to much as I know I would to
@lelin1123 (15635)
• Puerto Rico
30 Jan 10
I think you did the right thing by standing by your principles. If she wants to break up with him she needs to tell him the reasons and maybe they could work things out. I think this party family has something to do with it, if you ask me. For a man of 28 to call you crying he still loves her and she needs to do the right thing by talking to him and if anything giving him the closure that he needs. Don't you just hate it when you teach your kids to do the right thing and they turn around and act the complete opposite of what you taught them. I do hope your daughter comes to her senses and goes back to him. Good luck!
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
30 Jan 10
Hi lelin. I believe this party family has everything to do with this and I really do wish I was still living up north because I would have already been over there by now. I fear that one day she will find herself out on the street or suddenly wake up and realize that she made a mistake when it's way too late to fix it.
@lelin1123 (15635)
• Puerto Rico
30 Jan 10
Exactly, I think either her sister or brother need to knock some sense into her before its too late.
@dragon54u (31628)
• United States
30 Jan 10
I can't tell you if it's wrong not to speak to her because I'm not in that situation, but I think you should keep the lines of communication open as I'm quite sure she will need them! It sounds as if she's in very bad company. She's shirking her work responsibilities, partying and generally behaving like a teen. Has she always been a responsible person? If so, she may just need to get rid of some repressed teen spirit. That's no excuse for breaking Theo's heart, though. She'll miss him eventually and probably regret her actions. It's a tough lesson to learn but most of us have to do it. I wouldn't cut her off completely but I'd darn well make sure she knows that she's acting like an immature teenager.
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
30 Jan 10
Melissa has been very responsible for the past 4 or 5 years, dragon, and I've been very proud of her because she has accomplished some things on her own. She does have ADHD though and can be pretty impulsive at times which I believe is the case now. Thankfully, I have 3 other children who will keep the lines of communication open on my behalf...especially my oldest daughter who is probably the closest to Melissa.
@jb78000 (15163)
30 Jan 10
that is a tricky one. i think you should stick to your principles and not let your daughter think you approve of what she has done, on the other hand it might be possible to talk to her but keep off this subject for a while. i don't know.
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
30 Jan 10
Hi rabbit! I wish I could but I'm too angry right now. Every time my cell phone rings I'm afraid it's Theo and I can't not answer if he calls because I don't want to treat him like Melissa is treating him. My stress level is way up there so I'll let my other kids deal with their sister for awhile. They've already indicated that they will and my oldest daughter is particularly good at getting through to her.
• Philippines
30 Jan 10
ofcourse it is wrong , when you doesn't talk to your daughter you cannot communicate with her thoughts , so i cannot understand what the feeling she had and also you cannot understand her problem in life . so you better have a communication on your daughter.
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
30 Jan 10
I can't do it directly right now...but my other 3 children can. She's already talked to her brother and her big sister is planning to call her today after she gets off work. They might be able to get through to her...and to find out more information about her living situation so that they can better advise her. Perhaps she'll listen to them...especially her older sister who she's very close to.
@AmbiePam (56885)
• United States
30 Jan 10
You're not wrong. You are right. It's a hard choice, but don't let anyone convince you it was the wrong one.
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
30 Jan 10
Thanks AmbiePam, I appreciate your support.
@vandana7 (75804)
• India
30 Jan 10
You are admirable spalladino. It must feel terrible to turn away from own flesh and blood, but under such circumstances, you can't just wipe off all that you are, and you are very different from your daughter. I agree not talking to the daughter would seem to be the right thing. But that does not solve the problem, does it? Theo continues to be in pain and will continue to be in pain whether you talk to your girl or not! So it is that pain that needs to be eased. Think of ways and means to do that, instead of just stopping talking to your daughter. If you close the communication channels altogether, that kind of apology or easing out of relationship as you would like will not come for Theo. The boy will continue to be in pain, and will have tough time trusting another person! Of course, he has to move on, it cant go on like this and indeed there is too much water under the bridge now for the relationship to resume. But he does need to land softly. And only your daughter can do that! So like it or not, you have no choice but to talk to her, notwithstanding your principles.
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
30 Jan 10
I know you're right vandana but I can't talk to her right now. I'm not in the right place emotionally but I do have 3 other children who are helping me with this. My son and oldest daughter are going to work on her...to help her through the steps of how to do the right thing as far as Theo is concerned which will also bring Mom back into the picture. Breaking up isn't easy...it's not supposed to be...and if that's what she wants, fine, but she can't leave this kind of emotional destruction in her wake. She has to do it with kindness...and she can if she tries. What bothered me was that she had no interest in trying to be kind. I felt like I was talking to a complete stranger.
@paula27661 (15898)
• Australia
1 Feb 10
You know the old saying about being cruel to be kind...Just because you will not be talking to her does not mean that you no longer care but she has to learn that bad decisions have consequences and, in this case, it is the loss of respect from her mother. It is hard but I would stand by my principles if I were you. As I said, it does not mean that you would not help her if she was in dire straights; you just have to let her know that her behaviour is unacceptable and that she is hurting people who don’t deserve it.
@towongfoo27 (2989)
• United States
31 Jan 10
I feel your daughter has a right to make up her own mind as to relationships. I think family is more important than principles, too. Maybe you should not be so involved? Since you have raised her well, maybe try giving your daughter the benefit of the doubt, too. How old is she? If she is an adult, and acting like one, sometimes the best move for parents is too give their adult chidren some time and space to come to their own decision. In addition, your beliefs might end up pushing her away. Is that what you want? Pressuring people into decisions by choosing a side usually backfires, and you could end up losing her daughter. In my opinion, she needs to make mistakes on her own like any other person without mom, or anybody else, trying to sway her into something she might not want. If someone tried to manipulate me into something I wasn't sure about or didn't want by not talking to me, I would blow them off, too, but that's just me.
@Fishmomma (11362)
• United States
31 Jan 10
I think this is a hard situation to deal with when your to far away for you to see the place your daughter is living and what kind of activity is really happening there. I'm aware she is an adult and has to make mistakes just as all of us had to do at many times in our lives. I'll be the first to admit I have tried to fix problems in my daughters life, but sometimes we just have to let them learn a lesson.
@snowy22315 (99585)
• United States
30 Jan 10
I think that your daughter probably has her reasons. You weren't inside their relationship. Who is important to you your daugter or the man who wasn't even your son in law. I would take your daughter's side in a gentle way. You can get more flies with honey than vinegar.
@teamrose (1499)
• United States
30 Jan 10
This is so sad. Nothing is worse than a mother and daughter not being able to communicate.