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'My daughter knows nothing about her partner. It feels like he's hiding something.' UPDATED 6X

'My daughter knows nothing about her partner. It feels like he's hiding something.' UPDATED 6X


If your spidey sense is tingling, it's best to follow that sensation toward an answer.

"My daughter knows nothing about her partner."

My daughter (21f) started dating her current boyfriend about 2 years ago. She had just broken up with her ex who she was with for 4 years, so I thought maybe it was a rebound and wasn’t too worried about it. But as time went on, their relationship became more serious than I thought it was going to be.

My daughter was happier and more energetic, started eating better and actually started to take care of her health so that she could be better for him. So I wanted to get to know him more, which in my head seemed pretty reasonable, since she is my daughter. But when I talked to her boyfriend trying to get to know him better, for whatever reason he was very vague, and even seems dismissive about the topic.

I thought that maybe he was just shy so asked my daughter about it, but she told me that he doesn’t really talk about him self a whole lot and even she didn’t know a whole lot about him.

Besides his few hobbies, the only things she really knew about him was that he is either currently serving in or working with the Military, travels a lot for his work, speaks at least 4 different languages fluently, grew up without parents as an orphan, and where he lived. And as a mother, the fact that my daughter didn’t know much about her partner was an issue for me.

He wasn’t active on social media or anything so I couldn’t go the old name search route, so when I learned that he was either currently serving or working with the military, I asked my father, a retired vet, to talk to him. But after my father had a conversation with him, he told me that her boyfriend is fine and that I shouldn’t overthink it, without any further discussion.

In fact, he supports their relationship and they seemed to have become pretty close, spending time together talking in the garage, going out for drinks and food, watching old movies and even going shooting together. I feel like I need to know more about him since he is my daughter’s partner, but I also don’t want to ruin anything because I can tell my daughter is happier with him than she has ever been.

I’ve even considered private investigator as an option, feel like that’s going a bit overboard. Should I just accept him for now and expect more details later, or what should I do?

Not long after posting, OP shared two updates/clarifications.

Edit(1): I was never going to hire a PI. I just mentioned it in my post just to show the severity of my worry. And it IS possible for a parent to be worried about their child without any other hidden agenda. I was once her age and all I want for her for her to live better life than mine.

Edit(2): I’m 46 years old. I haven’t really tried to force him to tell me everything about him to me. I’ve asked him twice over the years and both times he just dismissed the topic.

For people asking me what languages, I know he speaks English and French because those are the two I speak. My daughter has seen him speak Spanish and she has mentioned that he has been teaching her German. My father has mentioned that he thinks he might know either Dari or something else.

And for everyone saying that he is a guaranteed super top secret government person, I think chances of him being a conman with a secret family half way across the country is higher than him being Jason borne junior. My daughter has on multiple occasions expressed the discomfort of not knowing much about what he is doing, but she told me she is willing to just accept it and go with it for now.

The comments came flooding in.

Anon-Emus1623 wrote:

So you:

Don’t trust a secretive military spy sounding dude that you don’t know much about. Fair.

Don’t trust your daughter’s judgement at all. So you either didn’t raise her to think critically and can’t trust her judgment or you just have a VERY hard time letting go of control. Problematic.

Don’t trust your Dad? After you went to him for help in the first place? WTF?

OP responded:

It’s not that I don’t trust her judgment, but the fact that she doesn’t even know any basic things about him such as what school he went to or his middle name or whatever. I trust my father but re reason he simply dismissed it makes it worry more because I also don’t know what my father did in the military and I barely ever got to see him as I was growing up because he was busy with his military stuff.

IceCreamQueen42 wrote:

What DO you know about him?

Does he own a car, is it decent, how long has he had it?

Does he own or rent? Roommate(s), pets? If he says he owns, you can easily find out if that is true by calling the assessor’s office. Zillow will even tell you when and how much that house sold for.

How does he spend his days? Does he see your daughter evenings and weekends, so he might be going to an office during the day?

Will he say if he grew up in your town? Will he say if he went to college?

What are these languages that he claims to speak?

Do you live in a small town or big city? Would it be easy to find people who might know him?

There are a LOT of things you can flesh out here that will be big factors in the analysis of whether he is sketchy or might be legit.

OP responded:

He owns 2 cars, and both cars are cars that even makes my husband jealous.

I don’t know his current living situation, but my daughter told me he lives by himself and has no pets.

He is usually with her every weekend and holidays unless he is gone. My daughter told me he likes to read, work out, and watch old movies.

No and no. He isn’t from our area because we are a pretty small town. All we know about his past is that he didn’t have parents.

I know he speaks English and French because I speak them, my daughter says he speaks Spanish well and he is currently teaching her German, and my father I think once mentioned that he thinks he might know either Dari or something similar.

I live in a decent sized town but he live about 2 hours drive away.

OnePercUnderGod wrote:

In the military, speaks four languages and is vague about personal life, just throwing it out there maybe his work is security sensitive.

EDIT: just read he has no social media presence. Yeah dude is definitely doing cool government s**t lol. I had a friend who worked for the pentagon who sounded identical to what you’re describing, still don’t know what he actually does to this day.

OP responded:

Thank you honestly this is one of the few comments that makes me a feel a lot better. I don’t with to be controlling, because I’ve been my daughter’s age so I know how I felt when my mother wanted to know EVERYTHING about my life. My only worry was that my daughter knows barely anything about him.

Blue-eagle23 wrote:

I think the approval from your retired vet dad is worth a lot. Maybe the work he does is confidential so he can’t really talk about it but the words he used made your dad comfortable.

I was once part of a hiring team and hired a guy that seemed great, just smooth talker in retrospect. When I talked to a retired vet colleague I mentioned the guy was a vet so I took that as a good sign. My colleague said “but he was still a private when he got out so that should have told you everything”. What I’m getting at is he must have passed the military piece from your dad.

OP wrote:

I can accept that he doesn’t want to tell me anything. The only thing that worries me is that she doesn’t even know anything about him. As for those hobbies, she knows that he likes fishing and reading.

I also barely ever saw my father when he was in the military because he wasn’t allowed to tell us what he was doing, so my father just telling me “he’s fine” doesn’t put me at much ease. It’s it that hard to understand that a parent can just be worried about their children without any hidden agenda?

Brassmouse wrote:

Does he treat your daughter well? Is she happy? Those are the fundamental questions, especially at 21 when you’re unlikely to be talking about marriage.

You seem primarily concerned about his work- your dad talked to him and doesn’t seem to be worried. If he’s military or a contractor there’s a very good chance he either can’t talk about what he’s doing or explaining it would take hours and you probably wouldn’t understand afterwards regardless.

I’m not saying you’re not intelligent, but a lot of government work is highly technical and if you don’t have the background it all just sounds like gibberish. If he treats your daughter well and no one else is concerned I’d generally let it go. Trying to control your daughter’s choice in partners is unlikely to end well

A few days later, OP shared an update.

Screw all of you who told me that I’m a narcissistic nosy helicopter parent. I talked to my daughter last night about my concerns. I told her that I’ll always worry about her, even she does and up hating me or pushing me away.

When I told her about my concern about her relationship, I expected her to hang up or get upset at me, but instead she broke down and cried a little bit, because she also sometimes feels those worries.

She told me that although he does make her happy, she feels that they haven’t really grown any closer or made any progress in the relationship, and the fact that she still didn’t know a lot about his life made her overthink and stress herself out.

She also told me that she had thought maybe that was cheating on her or something since they didn’t have a s#xual relationship (my daughter is abstinent), but he showed no real signs of cheating. We talked on the phone for about 3 hours, and she decided that she will invite the boyfriend over to my house this Saturday and we can ask him to tell us anything he CAN tell us.

We don’t plan on forcing him to say anything he can’t. At the end of the call, my daughter told me that she loves me, and that she is lucky to have a mother like me that worries and cares about her. I also talked to my father, and told them that although I love and trust him, I still would like to know more.

He wanted to know why, and I told him just in case if the boyfriend IS a conman, what are the chances he might be able to BS his way into my father’s safe zone. He thought about it for a while, and decided that I had a point and that he didn’t want to take those chances if there was any.

So screw all of you who said that I was being an overbearing, bossy, and controlling mother who will end up getting cut out of my daughter’s life!!! Because my daughter thinks I’m being perfectly reasonable and she is glad that I care about her. A lot of people on the previous post told me that he could be a special force/operation/seal/3 letter/spy.

I honestly feel like if that really was the case, then he should be able to tell us a cover story, or just tell us that he can’t talk about it, rather than just dismissing the question awkwardly when it comes up. And he wasn’t just doing that to me whenever any member of our family or my daughters asks him a question or something to try to get to know him, he shuts it down.

And seriously life isn’t a movie. There’s a higher chance of him being a weirdo who is secretly hiding a family halfway across the county than the chances of him being Bond and borne’s love child. And to the one redditor who told me that I should try to seduce the boyfriend, No. Just no.

Right after posting, OP shared three more updates.

Edit (1): No it wasn’t my plan to interrogate the boyfriend. All I mentioned to her was my discomfort of the fact that she knew so little about her boyfriend. My daughter was the one who came up with the idea of talking to him about it because she has the right to at least try to talk to him about as his girlfriend.

And then she asked me if I wanted to be there just to support her and I agreed, since I was planning on baking cheese cake for my daughter that day anyway.

Edit (2): Some people mentioned that my attitude towards some of the comment changed compared to my first post. That’s just because I ignored it at first but I remembered that I could return the same tone and attitude I receive from others. And yes according to some comments I could definitely be a b#$ch. But fortunately for me, my father didn’t teach me to be a little b#$ch.

Edit (3): IDK like to make it clear it people that I didn’t make my daughter go for abstinence. I wasn’t abstinent and neither was my husband. We aren’t involved any religion or philosophy that promotes abstinence. My daughter decided that she wanted to be abstinent after her middle school s#x-ed because she “didn’t want to be a kid with a smaller kid”. We aren’t in any school district that promotes abstinence to kids.

The comments came pouring in.

bwompin wrote:

You know what, this is a decent update. Nobody went nuclear and ended relationships, no one made accusations. Just be civil and respectful and remember you're there to be emotional support more than to be an active player in the conversation.

SillyStallion wrote:

There is far more chance of the boyfriend being a conman than a spy. If you hear hoof beats think horses not zebra.

_mattyjoe wrote:

I agree with you. You can’t just tell your gf and her mother nothing about what you do and be standoffish about it. You have to be respectful and say something, even if it’s “I can’t talk about it.”

To me it was a major red flag that he was so standoffish and dismissive with you. You’re her mom. He has to show you respect and earn your trust. Not hard to do if you care about your gf.

Ivegotacitytorun wrote:

I used to live in a big military town and I avoided them like the plague. They’re often ‘vague’ to seem more important and interesting but they just have a family in another state.

Vivid-Kitchen1917 wrote:

You don't give cover stories to your loved ones. It feels dirty to lie to them.

"I can't talk about it" is the surefire way to get people to never stop wanting to talk about it. I wish you luck. Please provide another update after the conversation.

Hazeandgraze wrote:

Thanks for the update, keen for the next, and want to also say kudos for going about this with respect and compassion for your daughter, I'm very glad she has taken it as well as she has.

It may seem overbearing or like you're too involved, but as mothers we get it drummed into us to "trust our gut" about our kids especially, and them becoming adults doesn't turn that off but if you alter your approach to voice your concerns without being overbearing that's great, and I'd say you have.

Secondly, everyone says "oh you're being dramatic" etc up until they hear yet another instance of a woman dying at the hands of the man she thought loved her, and they remember that sometimes being dramatic can be the difference between having a daughter that's still alive or not.

Thirdly, I agree that if he was special ops he would likely have a more practiced cover story or reply to when he is asked about things he cannot speak about.

Finally, please also be delicate when talking to him, for two reasons. The first being that he may have PTSD and other issues that make talking about this stuff to you difficult. Secondly, if he does have malicious motives, things could go south and you want to be careful so as not to aggravate him into doing something sinister. Good luck!

Hopefully, OP and her daughter get some real answers.

Sources: Reddit
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