Home » Ask the Therapist » Daughter’s Relationship

Daughter’s Relationship

Asked by on with 1 answer:

Hi. My daughter is over 18 and she is dating a guy who is also over 18, is missing one eye, has no education, no job, and no money. he makes her pay for his lunch, dinner, etc. they spend a lot of time together. he seems abusive and does not let her hang out with any other friends. he intends to marry her but he has made it clear that he is not going to cover living expenses. My daughter has a degree and a full time job. I have told my daughter that she would be miserable in this marriage but she doesn’t listen. she just fights with me. what should I do? I love my daughter and I don’t want to see her miserable. Everyone says they are adults and I should let them make their own decisions and mistakes. I am looking for another answer. If you can offer any help, I would appreciate it.

Daughter’s Relationship

Answered by on -


There may be a wide variety of reasons why your daughter needs to take care of somebody less capable than she. From your heartfelt letter it isn’t possible to know what her motivation is. However, what is clear is your reaction and the need to take care of your daughter. This is the strongest feature to focus on.

Rather than trying to dissuade your daughter from her decision it is probably a better idea to shift to talking about your limitations with her boyfriend. Explain what you’re willing to do — and not do. Explain your difficulties in watching him treat her poorly and that you can’t accept it and won’t condone it. It’s important when you’re establishing your limits and boundaries to be clear that you love your daughter and have compassion for her, but for your own well-being, you’re not going to allow yourself to be silent or condone abusive or demeaning behavior from him.

It’s important to realize that your daughter may have to go through all of this with her boyfriend, but this doesn’t mean you have to ignore your feelings. She may not like what your limitations are, but at least you will have explained what they are.

If you have a therapist I would certainly begin talking about your feelings and reactions. If you don’t have a therapist you may want to find one to talk to as your friends are offering one perspective and it may be helpful to have another.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Daughter’s Relationship

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2019). Daughter’s Relationship. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 30, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 25 Jan 2019 (Originally: 27 Jan 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 25 Jan 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.