family advice (post new situation)
"Can't agree on this!"
My husband and I have a 22 year old daughter. She is a wonderful young woman and has never caused us any problems. She has been dating a very nice young man for 4 months now. My husband and I like him very much. The problem is that my husband wants to set limits on them. He wants the young man to leave our home by 10:30pm and not to come over very much. My husband feels that he is invading his privacy. Although when he does come over to see our daughter they go to the basement and watch tv, talk, call friends, play board games etc. She has never done anything to lose our trust. It's not like he stays until 3 or 4 in the morning. He is usually gone within a reasonable time. I feel that since she has proven to be responsible in every area that she has earned the right to have the luxury of making some decisions on her own. My husband feels he needs to still set these limits for her and we are disagreeing and neither one of us is budging. Please help!
posted by Tammy (age 50) on 1/21/2011 @4:18:30 PM •
I am completely on your side. Putting limits on her could easily make her rebel. I had a situation very similar to this...I was 20 years old and a really good kid. I went to college full time as well as worked and paid for everything I had (and my school stuff). I met an amazing guy and my parents immediately gave me lots of rules. This was so confusing to me since I hadn't done anything ever to lose their trust. This led to lots of problems in my family as I was angry for strange curfews and hostile parents. This led to my moving out and a very rocky relationship with my family. I know it sounds like parts of the story must be missing, but they just aren't. A curfew from my parents led to so much more in my life because it meant lots more than that to me; it meant they didn't trust me. That was a HUGE problem for me.

I hope your husband understands that a simple curfew can translate to much different things to your daughter. And there are much worse places for them to hang out than in your own home.
posted by Sarah (age 25) on 1/23/2011
It's a power play with your husband. He doesn't want to give up full control or reign of his home to her boyfriend. Plus, I'm sure he is a little anxious about eventually losing "his little girl" whenever she decides to get married, which very well could be to this guy. If it truly is the privacy thing, then your daughter and her boyfriend should respect his wishes. Maybe if they did start spending time outsidethe home, your husband may change his mind and let him stay.
posted by Denise (age 41) on 1/28/2011
It sounds as though there is an underlying issue that he is not acknowledging. To say that having her boyfriend over, invades “his” privacy, yet the young couple is downstairs and out of his way usually, sounds like an excuse. Gently ask your husband if there are any other reasons besides that, and truly what his main concern is. At 22 years of age, and needing a sense of trust and freedom, setting these limitations could cause her to rebel and make choices that aren’t best suited for her, such as spending time with him in an environment that is not as safe as home. Helping him to see that he should be grateful that she is trustworthy and wanting to spend time at home and not in undesirable places, may help him to see what a good thing it actually is. So that it transitions from a battle of who wants what or who’s right or wrong, but to a perspective of what is actually positive about it being a certain way, and how there can be a compromise made so that everyone is happy. - Alisa Kalina, Advice Columnist for "The Movement Within"
posted by Alisa on 2/1/2011

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