When this father is absolutely apalled by his daughter's behavior and not too happy with his wife's either, he asks Reddit:
So I 44m have a daughter who just turned 17. I own a caravan, which is left on a plot of land on a holiday park. I have owned it for around 5 years and we visit multiple times a year.
Last year when she was 15, she didn’t want to come down and go to the holiday park with the family, and I trusted her as a 15 year old to be okay by herself for the weekend.
Well she was caught throwing a party at which the TV was smashed and the surround sound was broken due to someone spilling wine on it and the carpet was the end of that. Now whenever we come down to the caravan she has to come with us.
At first she hated it, and it was a huge ordeal to get her to come along, with a lot of sulky teenage girl behaviour. Over time she warmed up to it though, and she seemed to really enjoy coming, even looking forward to it.
Well last weekend, while we were down we were in a sports bar that we frequent on the resort, when a girl who works in the bar asked my daughter if she would be going to “M”s (that’s his initial) House this weekend.
My daughter looked horrified when she said this and she just said “I don’t know”. She had just been outed. Well when we get home I ask who the hell the guy is and when exactly she has been seeing him.
Turns out that for the last 10 months she has been sneaking out the caravan when everyone else is in bed and seeing a guy who lives down there.
Needless to say she was in deep trouble. The next day we are in the sports bar again and I go up to order a drink and notice the name tag of a guy who’s serving me my pint. I strike up a conversation with him, and we make small talk. I ask him how old he is.
He says TWENTY FOUR!!!. I am not yet certain if it’s the same person, or just a coincidence and don’t want to jump to conclusions, so I quickly finish my drink and take everyone back to the caravan for a family meeting.
When we get in I confiscate my daughters phone, and this is in fact the guy she has been seeing. I go through their messages, and my worse fears are confirmed, they have been in a se%ual relationship for months, beginning when she was 16.
But what makes this story worse is my daughter has lied about her age. I see through their messages she has told the guy she is 20. I lose it at her and tell her how awful what she is doing is etc.
My wife is strangely quiet and I ask why she isn’t saying anything. She admits that she knew my daughter had a crush on him, and had been encouraging her crush, by pointing out the guy checking her out.
And she even knew they had been texting. However my daughter lied to my wife and told her he was 18. My wife claims that they had only spoken about the guy since this summer (when my daughter was 17).
She also says she had no idea my daughter had been meeting the guy in secret, but this part I am currently unsure if I believe. Using her phone I ring the guy and explained the truth of the situation. To say he was horrified is an understatement. He apologised to me maybe 100x and has blocked my daughter.
My daughter has lost her phone privileges, as I pay for it, and if she wants a knew one she will be getting it herself. I am also going to sell the caravan. She has so far refused to speak to me other then to say I ruined her life over and over.
I say this all starts and ends with her being untrustworthy. She lied to me and my wife by throwing a party, then she lied to the guy about her age, then she again lied to my wife about the guys age, then she again lied to both of us by sneaking out every weekend.
I told her I am ashamed and disgusted by her behaviour as I didn’t intend to raise a liar, and that she has pulled in and likely traumatised some innocent young man and could of even ruined his life by her own selfish lies.
My wife thinks I’m being too hard on her, and that she’s a teenage girl doing teenage girl things, and is worried about this permanently damaging my relationship with her. I think no way. I am horrified by her behaviour. This is too much. AITA?
The punishment of forcing her along was only until the end of the summer last year, as we would be down there a lot then. At the end of the summer last year is when she developed the crush on the bartender, and decided to keep coming to oogle at him.
We went down there again for the Christmas break and she asked for his number, and that’s when their relationship begun. I did allow her to drink wine with our dinners a few times during the Christmas break, so I wonder if that contributed to her image of being 20.
MY WIFE DID NOT KNOW HIS AGE. My wife noticed the two of them looking at each other and exchanging smiles a lot this summer, which is when she questioned my daughter about him.
My daughter then confided in my wife that they had been texting this summer, and told her he was 18. My wife encouraged the relationship, and said she was happy my daughter had met a handsome young man, and was getting to experience a holiday romance.
My wife also noticed a huge attitude improvement since they had been talking so she thought it was a good thing. My wife has been devastated upon finding out she had been encouraging the relationship, now she knows the truth of the matter.
I AM SURE THE GUY DID NOT KNOW HER AGE. TRUST ME THINGS WOULD OF GONE VERY DIFFERENTLY IF NOT. You are all free to make your assumptions all you want.
But you forget I know my daughter and what she looks like, as well as reading their conversations. My daughter is 5’8, which is tall for her age and women in general. She has a passion for make up and does hair and beauty at college. It is not a stretch to believe she is actually 3 years older.
Especially when you add the lies I MYSELF READ HER SEND TO HIM. Lying about being in university, lying about losing her ID when being invited to a club, lying about living alone at university. etc etc etc.
We are NOT American. We are from the UK. No statutory rape occurred. The guy isn’t and wouldn’t be in any legal trouble if this came out. But it would likely ruin his life regardless.
A 24 year old sleeping with a 16/17 year old is hugely not okay over here. It is generally understood that the low AoC here is so that teenagers can sleep with other teenagers. And even then a 19 and a 16 year old would still be frowned upon. A 24 year old would be seen as a predator, and ostracised for this.
Please do not slut shame my daughter. It is perfectly acceptable for a girl her age to have crushes, date, and have se%. Just with people her own age.
Please do not make the mistake of thinking for a second you know the situation better than me, or have my daughters best interest at heart more then me. Thank you.
Your not wrong. Your daughter’s actions could have sent the guy to jail, doesn’t matter if she lied about it. I believe your wife is lying about not knowing everything. I am curious why she would is trying so hard to get you to back off about your daughter’s behavior. Could your wife be cheating as well.
You are over reacting and your wife is under reacting. Yes, your daughter's behavior is disappointing, but she is not disgusting or any of the other words I bet you called her. Your wife was wrong to encourage your daughter.
She is an adult and she knew your daughter's age and she could guess his age by the fact he works at a bar. I feel your anger is misplaced and your daughter is a teenager who made a mistake and a mistake that was encourage by her mother. Now about the phone NTA but everything else YTA.
NTA. She's emotional being the center of the whole thing, your truly just parenting. Her actions have been incredibly reckless and your just trying to make sure she understands and keeping her safe. she genuinely rolled the dice in regards to her safety with her actions.
Every time she met said person and things could've easily taken a turn for the worse, not to say what happened was even slightly okay. not having a caravan anymore and losing your phone for probably a few months is nothing in comparison to what could've happened, she can't see that yet.
This is a complicated situation. I did a lot of stupid and dangerous stuff at that age. (I had very, very, very strict parents and that's why I got excellent at lying and being sneaky.) OP is definitely not wrong, his daughter cannot keep doing this stuff. She doesn't fully understand what she's risking.
But I know with me, the more I was punished the better I got at lying (and the more I was expected to be perfect, the more I went wild when I had the opportunity.) And then at eighteen I used the perfect grades I was expected to have in order to get into uni across the country, and pretty much stopped talking to my parents...
(at which point I leapt headfirst into an abusive relationship because being love bombed was really the first time in my life that I felt like someone liked me.)
And I was the good kid, my sister was the same story but turned up a notch. As an adult I can say my parents were actually right about a good many things, but the relationship had broken down to the point that I didn't trust their intentions, I didn't think they wanted the best for me.
I thought they just wanted to control me. I know why that happened with my parents, I don't know why it's happening in OPs family, but it sounds like it is.
OP, I would urge you to consider family counseling, not because you've done anything wrong, but because you only have a year or so left before she can leave your home and she needs to feel that you are on her team, and that is why you set boundaries and enforce consequences, not to ruin her life.
She needs to start making better decisions, and quickly. Teenagers are resistant to any idea that comes out of their parents mouths and a third party might be able to get through to her where you can't.
They will also be resistant to family counseling, it may help to meet a few (who have experience with adolescent/ parent conflicts) and let her pick one. Most teens realize that refusing to talk about things with the therapist or repeating "you ruined my life" over and over makes them look immature.
They usually don't like looking immature in front of third parties so they'll actually talk and try to see the other perspective instead of stonewalling you like she does at home. Again, generalizing.
It might also be worth discussing why your daughter and wife are keeping secrets from you- I don't know if that's because you react badly to things or because your wife is trying to be a friend instead of a parent, or a bit of both, and I won't guess. A therapist could evaluate that for you and hopefully get you parenting on the same page.
So I have today taken on a lot of feed back and decided to go back and talk to my wife. During the conversation my wife admitted that there was times she knew my daughter was going out and meeting him, and that she had made her download life360 to do so.
She claims that she picked up on it toward the end of this summer, after catching my daughter trying to leave the caravan in the dead of night. I told her no wonder where our daughter gets her habit of lying from.
Because of this revelation I have decided I will be giving my daughter back her phone. It is not fair to punish her for something she was actually given permission to do.
Me and my wife had a big fall out, as I said that if she is going to go behind my back and make decisions unilaterally she at least owes it to my daughter and myself to do the due diligence to make sure that everything is above board and safe.
My wife has been very apologetic but despite her pleading me not to go I have gone to stay in a hotel for a few days as I cannot even look at her right now.
My wife claims that the reason she didn’t inform me is that my daughter begged her not to, as she was embarrassed about the idea of me knowing she is having sex. I’m not an idiot.
I assumed my daughter had probably had se%, or at least experimented. Hell I was the one who suggested to my wife we look into BC for her at 16. I don’t care what she does as long as she’s safe and responsible.
I spoke to my daughter and told her that even though I’m disappointed in her, I love her. She tells me she was in love. I say love is meaningless if it’s built on a lie, which is why I’m leaving for a few days. She seemed to understand this, at least I hope. We hugged, she cried some and then I left.
Truthfully as soon as my daughters lies came out my wife seemed extremely remorseful. She was crying herself to sleep saying she failed as a mother, and I spent most the week reassuring her she hadn’t.
Now I see the real reason she took it so hard, which makes it sting even more. She thought she was enabling a cute teenage holiday romance, but actually she was letting my daughter run around with some clueless man in his mid 20’s.
Some space from her for the meantime followed by some form of marriage counselling feels like the only way forward for me.
I don’t know if I will update this again. I don’t know if there is much else to say. I’m just gonna relax and play some pool I think. I don’t have work until Monday so I will probably return some time Sunday. I feel like this whole thing is gonna give me an aneurism.
Hopefully, this moment is a wake-up call for your wife to realize what being a "cool mom" has resulted in. Your daughter is going to be off on her own pretty soon here, expected to make adult decisions.
It's better that she face consequences for her actions now and learn from them instead of making these same mistakes further down the road, when the consequences could be more severe. It's a tough situations, but hopefully it's a good learning experience for your wife and your daughter.
OP, it took me a few minutes to compose myself before writing a response. Frankly I had to pick my jaw up off the ground and process my secondary anger. I am completely flabbergasted at the choices your wife has made.
Such horrible decisions! She’s been a terrible partner and problematic mother, for what purpose? So that she gets to avoid being the bad guy with your daughter? Because your daughter is your wife’s Mini-Me and your wife doesn’t think the behavior is a problem? It’s definitely more than just embarrassment over se%.
Wow. Just wow. I’m so sorry OP. Leaving is the right choice and I’m glad you talked to your daughter about it before you left. Obviously this is a family issue; whatever happens in your marriage please consider family therapy for the sake of your children.
Your daughter needs to see her mother’s dysfunction so that she can learn to be better. For example, what seeyou said to your daughter was brilliant and could really be powerful for the process of change.
I wish you strength and peace in the upcoming days, weeks, and months. You’ll need to figure out if this is the extent of your wife’s lies, or not. Think long and hard about any situations or conversations with your wife that may left you feeling off, or confused.
Talk to your other children. If appropriate, check your financials, phone records, etc for discrepancies. You need to know how far your wife has taken the lying, and since you can’t trust her you have to do it on your own. I’m sorry OP.