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Is my 18 yr old being controled?

I have an 18 yr old daughter who is with a 26 yr old guy. he seems to never let her out of his sight. When he works she has to stay at their house where she can't go anywhere. She doesn't drive. He made her give her cell phone back.I'd just bought it for her 3 months ago. She can't associate with any friends she had & she had alot. Today he dropped her off to the house while he went to work . he was supposed to work 8 to 4 but back he came at 10 . Said he left early. So much for her plans. She was cleaning up some of her clothes,etc.. Was going to watch the movie Twilight she loves . I'd borrowed from the library & get on the computer for awhile. She hasn't been on since Feb 2nd.What can I do? He totally keeps her under his thumb. She doesn't say alot about it except maybe if she sees a guy friend she knows not to say anything to him. I think she's scared of him too . Any ideas? Been through this with your teen/young person?

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:36 PM on Apr. 23, 2009 in Adult Children (18+)

Answers (21)
  • Yes. She is not only being controlled but this is also Psychological abuse. Keeping people from doing the things they would normally do and being so overbearing they have to change their habits just to avoid negative repercussions (not necessarily "hitting") is absolutely psychological abuse. I'm sure she allows it to happen because he's convinced her that either "she needs him," "he needs her and not listening to him (or whatever else) hurts him," or "she'll never be able to do any better." He doesn't even have to flat out say these things. Simply making sure to criticize or correct her regularly is enough to get the point across that "she's a mess and she's lucky to have him because no other guy would." That is why so many women stay in controlling and abusive relationships because they BELIEVE their abusers and lose sight that it SHOULDN'T be that way.

    I was in a controlling relationship for 2 years.

    Answer by NovemberLove at 2:44 PM on Apr. 23, 2009

  • (cont.) it was very difficult to leave and even when I did try to break up, he kept saying "NO." He truly felt that I had no decision making capabilities in the relationship and not only would he tell me what to do, what to wear, who my friends could be, what I could say and criticize every little thing that I did, but he also never let me have any say, not even when I didn't want to be with him anymore!

    I also feared asking for help once I realised I needed it because I was afraid of looking stupid to friends and family. I was afraid they would think I was weak. To help your daughter, there can be no "I told you so." She has to feel like she can come to you for help without having to feel any lower than she already does. Boost her confidence, boost her self esteem. Let her know the things that you see and that she deserves better. Have other people compliment her and let her know she COULD do better in a heartbeat.

    Answer by NovemberLove at 2:48 PM on Apr. 23, 2009

  • Provide a place for her to go. Have an intervention.

    You can't make her decisions for her. You have to deal with this gently because you don't want to end up pushing her away and further into his arms. Just offer help and offer to be there. Instead of criticizing him all the time (which, she chose to be with him so by criticizing him, you are just criticizing her judgement which might be just another blow to her self-esteem), BUILD her up instead. When she feels good enough about herself, she'll know that what he's doing is wrong.

    Good luck!

    Answer by NovemberLove at 2:50 PM on Apr. 23, 2009

  • yes she is being controlled i went through it and it is awful i lost all my friends could not hang out with any of my sister could not go any ware she can only help her slef though

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:52 PM on Apr. 23, 2009

  • Yes. He can be very manipulative also to her. She needs to take control.

    Answer by JLynn0871 at 3:08 PM on Apr. 23, 2009

  • oh no.. she needs to get out of that relationship before it goes any farther.. does he physically harm her that you know of? men who are this controlling can easily teeter over the edge from emotional/verbal abuse into physical abuse.. i wish you luck.. she needs to get OUT of there fast!!!

    Answer by BEXi at 3:15 PM on Apr. 23, 2009

  • Wow, how old is the guy? Tell him to start helping out around the house.

    Answer by heavenbound03 at 5:48 PM on Apr. 23, 2009

  • I went through this with my daughter. Eventually she divorced the jerk. You just have to make sure she knows that she can come home to you when she's ready. Unfortunately, you can't make her leave him. I feel bad for you. It's horrible watching your child go through this and being powerless to intervene.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:01 PM on Apr. 23, 2009

  • along with what they all said....make sure you dont just bad mouth him to her. even if she is unhappy she will have a hard time seperating from him. just sort of remind her of her friends and family and keep inviting her to things and all of that. good luck.

    Answer by aly38914290 at 7:42 PM on Apr. 23, 2009

  • That sounds real to me, BUT I have been married for more than 20 yr and my mother still believes that my husband does every mean thing in the world to me (she watches Lifetime for ideas) My mother believes what she wants to believe because she needs something to worry about or her life gets too boring.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:54 PM on Apr. 24, 2009

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