Am I protecting daughter
My adult daughter who we believe has a undiagnosed mental issue, got out of a very physically abusive relationship a few years ago. After trespassing arrests, bailing her out of jail, suicide attempts, TRO's etc, etc. ..
Shortly thereafter, she got into another relationship with someone we believed was a decent guy and she immediately got pregnant. unlike her abusive ex, He did not have his own place to live, a vehicle or money to buy her nice things but was always very respectful and helpful if asked.
1 month after baby was born, my daughter decided she did not want to be in a relationship with this guy and decided she wanted to go back to her abusive ex-boyfriend. The baby daddy was heartbroken and begged to try and work things out, to no avail.
I told her that I was very disappointed in her decision to put herself and my grandbaby at risk and that I could NOT support her decision. It has now been 6 months that she was been back together with this abusive ex-boyfriend. since they have rekindled this relationship, Im unaware of any new abusive incidents. My problem is this..she has separated herself from myself her step-father as we are both in agreement that this guy is NOT welcome into our home. We invite her and baby over to dinner all the time as long as she does not bring him with, but she chooses to not to come if her boyfriend can not join her. Are we wrong? She wants us to let go of the past as she believes he is a changed man and wants us to allow him over for dinner with us. I believe they are still in the "honeymoon" stage of this relationship and I still can not accept her decision. With the holidays amongst us..do I need to bite the bullet in order to have my children and grandchildren with us? I am very torn. Looking for advice.
I completely understand your frustrations and feelings and your heart and assessment of the situation is spot on. I unfortunately became exposed to DV early in life and b/c it never made sense to me why victims would go back - I decided to study it. It perplexed me that much.
So here is what I want to recommend and will explain. Victims are basically "brainwashed" and "programmed" into their victimhood to their DV abusers. So LOGIC and how normal humans think will never work to get them out of it. You have to think like a victim, and know how the abuser is thinking and acting and programming the victim to be helpful. So with that said.. here we go:
The #1 way victims get out of their abusive relationships is by having a strong and wide support web outside of their DV relationship. It takes an immense amount of support and reassurances of their support outside of the DV situation to leave the DV situation. Now.. almost immediately you can see how your well intended "i do NOT support this" and "HE is not welcom in our house" goes completely against making your daughter feel like she has a support web outside of the DV situation. Adn in fact, you are actually playing INTO the hands of the abuser by sayign these things.. why? He is EXACTLY using these to further program your daughter into believing she has no support outside of him and thus further separating her from you and deeper into the DV hole to get out of it at all. Not your fault - you are thinknig like a "normal person". She is not. And he is not.
So reverse it. Welcome them into your home. Support her always NO MATTER how she wants to come see you (with him or without him, for help or not for help) and give her the full impression she is always supported and welcome. Ensure that all her friends do the same! This, over time, will make it easier for her to step away from the DV situation and not feel scared. It will also counter-balance the environment at home to show the IMMENSE differense between how family/friends treat her vs her DV bf.
Lastly.. VERY SOFTLY.. small hints about what's best for her child.. what is her child learning being in that environment, etc. that will play strong too.. BUT IT MUST BE VERY GENTLE or else it can easily be twisted by the DV boyfriend as to "see! they don't support you! they don't support us!" So be careful! If ever in doubt - show the love always to your daughter and grand daughter and accept them in regardless. Do your best to tolerate and be civil (without helping) the DV boyfriend.
Because the day she leaves - that's exactly what the scene will look like. If it's already in her head multiple times - so she knows its there. She WILL eventually leave.
Good luck and hang tough. I know how difficult it is...
I think Richiro makes a very good point. By refusing to let this guy in your house, you are making it so that she doesn't have you and her step-father to turn to. You need to be accepting of your daughter's decisions - after all, as you say, she is an adult woman. You might not like the man she is with, but you love her and your grandchild, and you need to respect her decisions. Surely, there are reasons why she likes this guy.
I also think maybe you should re-evaluate your own opinions of the man she is with. True, there was physical violence there, and that's no good. But you said it yourself, your daughter has some undiagnosed mental issues - who is to say there wasn't more to the story, and that your daughter did some pretty messed up stuff as well? It's possible that he might not be such a bad person despite bad things he may have done.
It's hard to say why she chose this guy over her baby's daddy. But as you said, the baby's father had no job. That may have been one reason for her leaving him and going back to the ex. You also said she got pregnant pretty quickly after meeting the new guy. Is it possible that the baby might not be his? Not to bring your daughter's character into question, but there is any number of reasons why she went back to her ex. I've found that a lot of women have trouble letting go of a certain ex, good or bad.
For now, just try to be there for your daughter and support her. Be there for your grandchild. And just see how things play out.
Thank you both for your responses and I believe there may be truth to both. I have spoken with my husband regarding the advise thats been given..and he is still having a very hard time with allowing this man to enter our home and pretend to be civil with him knowing he has physically hurt our daughter. All i can do at this point is pray she and baby are safe.