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You Love Your Son's Girlfriend, and Then They Break Up

VeryHappyVeryHappy Registered User Posts: 16,753 Senior Member
edited May 2007 in Parent Cafe
It happened to my sister, whose sons are older than mine, and it's about to happen to my son as well. High school girlfriend of a year and a half. She's a wonderful girl, we've gotten to know her very well, and she's really good for my son. I would be very happy if she were the mother of my grandchildren. They'll go off to [different] schools in the Fall, and I expect they will "grow apart." How sad. Of course he'll get another girlfriend, eventually, and I'll love her too . . .
Post edited by VeryHappy on

Replies to: You Love Your Son's Girlfriend, and Then They Break Up

  • berurahberurah - Posts: 4,560 Senior Member

    I had the same expectation that you did--but it hasn't come true. At least not yet. My son and his gf have been together nearly three years now. And he's been away at school for two. She's just graduating h.s. in a couple of weeks. We, too, really care for our S's gf, so I do know how you feel.

    Both your son and his gf will undergo many changes before it will be time to settle down. In all likelihood, they'll end up with different people down the line, as poignant as that may be. In some cases, though, that young love does hang in and persist, despite all of the odds.

    {{{{{Gentle hugs}}}}} to you from one who knows how easy it is to get attached to those special someones whom our children love and cherish.

  • bookwormbookworm Registered User Posts: 7,680 Senior Member
    Well, my niece ending marrying her first true love (got together at 16), after years apart. Happily married, 2nd baby on the way. I certainly think she apreciates him more after dating others thru college.

    I reconnected with HS b/f at much older age (less happy ending).
  • sunnyfloridasunnyflorida Registered User Posts: 4,790 Senior Member
    My D and BF are juniors in high school and have been dating just under a year. Tonight is prom. Last weekend, she got off the phone shrieking that he broke up with her. Via a phone call, no less. She had sensed that something wasn't right for a few days, and she had tried that evening to get him to come over to talk, and he had declined due to responsibilities at home.

    She was up most of the night crying. He said that maybe this was not a good time to have a GF, their schedules were just too crazy, that maybe they needed a break. They were best friends, and never really argued or fought. Sometimes there were "disappointments" and unmet expectations, but no drama. They read each other like a book, and were good kids that were good for each other. We liked him, we liked the way they treated each other. I though he was good husband material. But at 16 (D) and 17 (BF) I never really thought of him as a future husband. There was just still too much life and living ahead to think that way.

    I cried with D, sad for her. With as independant as she has become, it was nice to feel needed and to be "mommy" again. And then I realized part of me was sad for me. We really had grown to love him.

    Turns out he didn't tell his mom. He was brooding and acting like something was really bothering him, but gave mom the silent treatment. She called here and asked if I knew what might be wrong. And in a manner that was so entirely out of character for me, I burst into tears. I briefly relayed what my D had said to me of their conversation, and that it would be better if she got more of the story directly from him. I could tell she was upset as well. D was well liked by mom, a single mom who raised her only child and who was having to share him now with my daughter.

    Not sure exactly what the reasons were for his questioning the relationship. But after a call from D to plead for a talk session that he was too busy for, and then 24 hours of no contact, he called and asked to meet. They talked for 2 hours, and afterwards it was like nothing had happened. They were a couple again. The night she spilled her heart out to me over a few hours, I listened and felt closer to her. Now that they are a couple again, she is miss independant and I am again out of the loop. "We're fine now, mom."

    She went with him to pick up his tux last evening. They are decorating the hall as I type. Hair appointment is this afternoon. I'll see his mom when their group meets to take photos at the riverwalk and leave via limo. I will feel a little funny about the crying I did.

    And life goes on. I'll try not to get too attached!!
  • northeastmomnortheastmom Registered User Posts: 12,379 Senior Member
    sunnyflorida, so glad that your DD will enjoy her prom! I think that you don't need need to worry about showing your emotions to BF's mother. She probably understands how you felt.

    For what it is worth, we have a member of our family that married hs GF after 10 years of dating. They were a couple at the ripe old age of 17. After several years of marriage, they are divorced. I know that some couples that meet so early in life do go on to have a happy marriage, but so many just do not seem to stay happily married, JMO.
  • VeryHappyVeryHappy Registered User Posts: 16,753 Senior Member
    Berurah, I've been wanting {{{{{gentle hugs}}}}} from you for ages!! Thanks!!

    I guess my mourning the loss of this girlfriend, four months before they even go off to college and waaaaaaay before they've even broken up -- if they ever will -- is my way of emotionally preparing for the many many goodbys soon to take place.
  • citygirlsmomcitygirlsmom - Posts: 13,158 Senior Member
    I am of a different opinion. I don;t think it is healthy to get so attached to your teens bf or gf, it adds a dynamic to the relationship that is not needed

    If mom wasn't so upset about the breakup, an let it be, instead of getting so involved, I wonder if the outcome of the situation would have been the same if both moms stepped out it....I mean, moms all caught up like that doesn't help an already sensitive situation

    And I wonder how many teen couples "stay together or get back together" partly because the parents are so hurt by the breakup

    a 16 year old good husband material is just strange to me, why even be thinking in that way when they are still in highschool

    As far as being involved in my Ds relationships, I stay back, I want to be sure they are safe, not being hurt physically, nor abused emotionally, but I would never say, oh, you need to get back with him, and I wouldn't react in the same manner my D did....they are kids after all, and you can hurt for your child, but you shouldn't hurt so much for the relationship dying, that just creates a side to the situation that shouldnt be there

    Teens this age try to please everyone, and don't want to disappoint, and sometimes make decisions not for themselves, but to make others happy, and for keeping the peace

    And that is not always the best way to be
  • MaryTNMaryTN Registered User Posts: 648 Member
    My H and I starting dating when he was 15 and I had just turned 17. I was his first girlfriend. We got married in 1985. Sometimes young love lasts.

    That being said, I have heard from other parents that they never really express too much approval nor disapproval about their kids' bf/gf unless directly asked. You don't want a kid staying with someone just to please mom and dad. I've also heard it's a bad idea to criticize after a breakup because they make get back together and the words can't be unspoken.
  • somemomsomemom Registered User Posts: 10,441 Senior Member
    Caveat- My H had a girlfriend who was 2 years older, they began dating in HS, then she was in college, then he joined her there....later they broke up...he was away at college and she was back home and his parents were so bonded with her after several years seeing her as their daughter that they kept her involved in their life. She worked for them, she frequently stayed at their home- his room became known as her room!! :eek:

    After he moved back home, they still referred to her as their daughter. When I was dating him we went on some family trips group things like skiing or boating and she would be there too with her BF. It was WEIRD.

    To this day (25 years later) they consider her a D and hubby still hates it...they have no idea how they have hurt him over the years with this attitude. In the early years we avoided many family trips because he did not want to spend them with his ex. I was never jealous, he was soooo totally over her, it was just sick to see the soap opera level of connection.

    The ex GF is a very nice person who had a bad family life growing up so H's parents provided affection and interest she had not previously experienced. So, it was just a weird confluence of circumstances, but the result is a hurt son and a weird family dynamic.

    Stay friendly, but keep your own kid top priority.
  • ElleneastElleneast Registered User Posts: 1,236 Senior Member
    I can see how it would be hard not to let your child's longterm highschool boyfriend or girlfriend into your heart a bit. They are hanging out at your home all of the time and if they are a nice kid, how could you not? I think it would be hard for there not to be a few emotional twinges on the parent's part - heck, I was very sad initially and missed my daughter's best girlfriends a great deal when they left for school and I would have missed a big gangly boyfriend, if there had been one in the picture, just as much.
    I would be very happy if she were the mother of my grandchildren.
    I am not saying that letting yourself go this direction is the best idea in the world when contemplating a high school relationship but my mother obviously had those kind of thoughts as well. She still tells a story about when my best friend from high school sat at the kitchen table with me 35 years ago doing homework. She looked at us both in profile and amused herself with the thought that if we ever married our children better not inherit my friend's nose. We married six years later. We had a child with an absolutely perfect nose seven years after that.
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Registered User Posts: 35,861 Senior Member
    I agree with CGM
    of course neither of my girls dated seriously in high school so it is easy for me to say. ( knocking on wood)

    I have liked all their friends- some more than others & I have been very sad when there was a huge falling out ( instigated by D#2 I think- but then too big apparently for reconciliation)
    I was also sad for a boy that we had known for years, and D#1 went to the prom with- because they were such a cute couple and were such good friends, although I could tell that he liked her in a "different way".
    ( She is gay- but he is married now to a woman he met in college and they are both in grad school together- so he got over it)

    But many many couples do break up toward end of high school & in the long run, that may be much easier for the kids to deal with, than when they want to stay together in college ( to the point of attending same school)

    I met my H when I was 18- he was 21. Three months previous to my meeting him, he had broken up with his longtime girlfriend of four years.
    We went much faster with our early relationship than in retrospect was good, because his parents still held a torch for his previous girlfriend, and resented me extremely.
    ( which they still do- they started out firmly believing I broke the couple up and their dislike snowballed- that was almost 31 years ago- that also means they have the barest bones relationship with their grandkids and with their son-)

    Because he was still living at home- & I was not, we moved in together so that we could see each other without it being an issue. ( I don't know why he was still living at home, because he could, I guess)

    Not that this is at all relevant to your situation- but I do agree that parents should be friendly & polite to kids friends- just as you would expect them to be to yours, but don't adopt them ( unless they need it of course- I have known those situations too)
  • corrangedcorranged Registered User Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    My oldest sister--an adult--dated a man for about six years. He was with my family for holidays and some vacations that my sister went on with us. They broke up. My sister and her ex still stay in contact, and my dad talks to him very occassionally. I don't think parents should get involved in their kids' relationships besides giving advice if asked and keeping an eye out for physical or emotional abuse. I think that parents should pretty much let relationships run their course while making sure everyone is healthy. It's normal to miss your kid's friends or boyfriend/girlfriend, but I think it's best to keep your emotions to yourself since it's really your son's/daughter's problem.
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 17,010 Senior Member
    Corranged is right -- of course -- but life doesn't always work that way.

    My wife's oldest sister had a brief marriage to her college boyfriend. They married right after graduation, and they separated probably about 30 months later. She married her current husband and had a child (now 25) six years later.

    Anyway, it recently emerged that my mother-in-law NEVER stopped having a significant telephone/letters relationship with her daughter's first husband. (My mother-in-law is 84, the guy is probably 59 or 60.) She is now in a nursing home, and I spend a lot of time with her. She talks about him all the time, and he has called our house looking for her. She has met his kids (by his second or third marriage) and knows what they are doing. It's weird and inappropriate, but as far as I can tell it hasn't hurt anyone.
  • corrangedcorranged Registered User Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    It's weird and inappropriate, but as far as I can tell it hasn't hurt anyone.
    That's true. With adults, I think that as long as it's OK with everyone involved, relationships with ex's can be sustained and healthy. My father still talks to his ex-wife and her family, including her parents and grandparents, even though they've been divorced for over twenty years. I don't think that a similar relationship could work with high schoolers, though. A teenager will feel hurt, betrayed, and confused by a parent's sustained contact with an ex. It wouldn't be healthy for anyone involved.
  • Lafalum84Lafalum84 Registered User Posts: 7,532 Senior Member
    While I am of the (head-speaking) opinion that it is best to stay somewhat detached from my teens' romantic relationships, of course (heart-speaking) it is easy to become fond of someone who thinks your son/daughter is wonderful!

    My d and her ex-bf ended a 3 1/2 year relationship that started when they were in middle school. (VERY young - we didn't approve, but decided that "forbidding" it would make it that much more appealing). When they broke up, I was a lot more upset than I expected. Partly for d, but partly for me - over the years his mom and I had become good friends, and our families would get together for barbeques, sports events, etc. With the kids broken up it became awkward, and coincidentally some of the other links she and I had in common had changed as well. I no longer see or speak with her on a routine basis, unless one of us goes out of the way to call the other, and like all moms we're both so busy.... So I feel like I lost a friend!

    Bigger problem for us... we liked the original bf a lot more than the new bf who came on the scene a month later. (So much for d taking mom's advice to stay single for a while!!) Original bf is a top student who gets along great with his parents, and is very emotionally/mentally mature for his age. New BF isn't a bad kid - but he's all teenager. He does just what is required in school, doesn't get along with his mother (d can't figure it out, she thinks his mom is "sweet"), and has the ability to over-dramatize everything. He treats d like a yo-yo: all lovey-dovey one week, and can't be bothered to speak to her the next. It's hard for me not to yearn for ex-bf. He made life so easy! (Of course d knows we liked old bf better, and it was quite a source of resentment for her. We tried to stay neutral, but she can tell.)

    But I have learned my lesson. We are "friendly" with d's new bf's parents but we're not friends with them. When this new relationship ends (please make it soon!), I will be ready to "be there" for d without any of my own complications or involvements.
  • somemomsomemom Registered User Posts: 10,441 Senior Member
    In most of my Ds HS relationships they have remained friends with the BF, after an adjustment period and in several cases I am still friendly...not close friends, but keep in touch, how's it going, have a cup of coffee now & again friends. Of course, in those cases Ds are still friendly with those mums, too. If Ds were weirded out, I would not stay involved on any level.
This discussion has been closed.