What do I do about my daughter who’s seeing a lying womaniser?



Dear Coleen

I’m a widower in my 60s and last year my daughter got together with a local man I know who’s much older than her. I was devastated as this man has a reputation as a womaniser, a liar and an all-round dodgy character.

We drink at the same pub, so I’ve seen him in action over the years and don’t like him at all.

My daughter, who’s in her late 20s, has been a bit directionless over the past few years – she ended a long-term relationship with a really nice man and, since then, she’s been in and out of various jobs and hanging around with a local crowd who leave a lot to be desired.

I tried to talk to her about her partner, but she wouldn’t listen. She kept telling me I don’t know him and I don’t know what I’m talking about.

Last week, I went to the pub for the first time since lockdown and he was in there, getting drunk and being aggressive with a couple of the other punters.

I can’t believe my daughter likes this person and feels someone like him is all she deserves. It’s heartbreaking. If my wife were still alive, she’d know how to handle things. Any advice?

Coleen says

This is a horrible situation for any parent. It’s not guaranteed that you’re going to get on with or even like your child’s choice of partner, but I think when you have evidence that they’re not the nicest person and you’ve seen them behave badly, then it’s really tough.

But although you don’t like this guy and don’t want to be around him, he’s in her life and I think, unfortunately, you have to accept that.

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You’ve tried warning her and you can try again, telling her what you know and what you’ve seen with your own eyes, but I think the most important thing to do is reassure her that you love her and that you’re there for her, no matter what.

If things do go pear-shaped with this guy, then be there to pick up the pieces and resist the urge to say, “I told you so”.

I’m afraid it’s up to her – she’s old enough to make her own choices. Maybe she’ll realise what he’s like
in time.

Perhaps if she had greater self-esteem she wouldn’t have been vulnerable to the charms of this ­character, so you can help by building her up. Remind her of what she’s worth and what a great future she could have.

Check in with her and plan things to do together, so your relationship is strong and she feels able to confide in you.

Urge her to see her good friends and have a social network outside of this guy and the local crowd you mention.





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