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Parent's Dilemma: To warn or not to warn son of impending heartbreak. + Update

Parent's Dilemma: To warn or not to warn son of impending heartbreak. + Update


"My son is going to get his heart broken tonight."


My son has been dating a girl for a few months. I’m friendly with her mom and she texted me this morning, explaining that she found inappropriate texts on her daughter’s phone to another boy.

They’ve only been talking for a few days and she doesn’t even know the “boy” (I think she met him online). Her mom is making her tell him tonight. I’m heartbroken for him and I’ve already prepped his favorite dinner for afterwards.

I can’t give him a warning, right? I have to let him navigate this on his own? I’m worried that if I let on that I knew before he even went to school this morning, he will be upset with me. Man this sucks.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's initial post:


Nope your instincts are right…let him navigate this, don’t let him know you knew earlier and just be there to support him. But your obvious kindness and compassion should go a long way to towards making him feel loved and supported.


I agree. There's nothing worse than feeling like you're the last to know something. Especially when it feels like it's about yourself, basically.


you both are very good moms.


Absolutely this! Bonus points to that girls mum for putting pride and image aside to do the right thing and make her daughter do the right thing too, that must’ve been such an unpleasant conversation for them!


How old is he? Just a personal note:

Mine was 14. Puppy love is very real to the puppies whose hearts are broken.

My puppy scared us. He literally shook, trembled, and couldn’t settle. He begged us to let him go to her. Obviously, no. He was sure he could change her mind. No, son. She made her decision. You will respect that. He spent hours just walking laps around our house. Until around 3 am. We were concerned, so we were up too.

We knew he thought he was in love, but we seriously underestimated how far he had gone. Good luck with your puppy. The hardest part of them getting older is when a cute bandaid no longer fixes the boo boo.

The next day, the OP returned with an update.

"Update: My son is going to get his heart broken tonight"


I wanted to thank everyone for all of the kind words that they had for me yesterday. It was interesting to see the different responses, most of which were very positive but quite a few thought we were overstepping and invading privacy.

To expand on my previous post, our kids are both 14 and this is their first real relationship. This got longer than anticipated so I apologize in advance. My daughter, son, and his girlfriend are all on the same sports team and they had practice last night.

My daughter came out first afterward and told me that his girlfriend told him what happened before practice even started. My daughter wasn't sure what was said, so I waited for him to come out to the car.

To my surprise, he seemed completely normal. I asked him how practice went and he said something along the lines of, "Her mom told you, didn't she?" with a slight grin. I told him that I knew the gist of it, but not everything and I would like to hear what she told him.

She told him that her friend had given her number to a boy whom she met online. He started texting her and she just went along with it, then she got grounded for school reasons and her mom had her phone.

This boy texted when her mom had her phone and that's how she found out. She was crying, profusely apologizing, and asked him if he would forgive her. He did. He then asked if I was going to make them break up, to which I told him No.

It's his relationship and I'm not going to tell him what to do. After we got home, his girlfriend's mom messaged and asked how he was doing. I told her that he was doing fine and relayed what I was told, which she corroborated.

The boy was sending inappropriate messages and she just answered back innocently, but the mom was upset that she broke their "no talking to strangers" rule and didn't tell her mom what was happening when his messages turned inappropriate.

She is going to reach out to her friend's mom to let her know what is happening because her gut tells her that it's not a boy on the other end of the phone. She also told me that she did a deep dive on her phone to make sure there was nothing else, and she was delighted to see how innocent the conversations between her and my son were.

He is pretty prude and gets uncomfortable with anything remotely inappropriate. (He doesn't even like explicit language in music) When talking to him this morning, I discovered that neither one of them have had their first kiss yet, but have talked about it. They recently decided not to when she got too nervous. It's all pretty wholesome really.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's update:


This is such a good update. It sounds like your son has a lot of maturity. Kudos to everyone for talking through it!


Let me just see if I get it. Friend gave stranger the girlfriend's number (is this normal? feels weird and I'd be suspicious about that friend). Girlfriend replied back and it was innocent on her end. Didn't tell mom, though, that she was talking to a stranger.

Mom gets mad that girlfriend broke their rule about no talking to strangers. At no point did things get inappropriate on her end but the stranger got inappropriate with girlfriend. I'm sus on that friend and worried bout the seemingly naiveté of girlfriend.

The OP responded here:


My son also said he was very suspicious of the friend. He has met her before and said that she didn’t even really talk to him. I’m not so sure I would call it naïveté on the part of the girlfriend, it’s possible that she was just uncomfortable and didn’t know how to react/respond. I was also that way at 14.


I’m really glad this worked out well for your son, but I’m not thrilled about how his girlfriend was treated in all of this (not by OP, but by her own mom). If she wasn’t actually responding inappropriately to the messages, why was she forced to have a “come clean” conversation with her boyfriend?

Why was she being treated like she cheated or crossed relationship boundaries when it sounds like, at worst, she didn’t handle inappropriate overtures in an ideal way?

Like sure there’s a learning experience there and room for improvement, but it sounds more like she was shamed over a pretty normal problem for her age and developmental stage.

I get wanting her to talk to her boyfriend just in terms of having good communication in a relationship because hiding things like that is not healthy, but then the conversation is less “I did this horrible thing, can you ever forgive me?” and more “hey this weird thing has been happening and I realize I need to shut it down/handle it better, and I wanted to discuss it with you and acknowledge that.”

Sounds like her mom was punishing her for not upholding their own, separate agreement re conversations with strangers by shaming her in her relationship and potentially causing major issues in that relationship by putting the worst possible spin on what actually happened. Maybe there is nuance I am missing here, but based on my understanding of the facts I just feel really bad for the girlfriend in all of this.

The OP again responded here:


I can understand this way of thinking. When her mom initially reached out to me, she even said “she isn’t going to break up with him but he might break up with her and I wouldn’t blame him.” To me, she made it seem a lot worse than it was and now it seems like it’s not really a big deal, aside from the potential danger of internet strangers.


These were all my thoughts too. Kind of incredible OPs son is more compassionate and keen to empathize with this struggle many young women face than her own mother did. OP is clearly doing a great job raising a young man who will support his partners when they face harassment. The other mom sounds like a victim blamer.

Like wow. I can’t imagine as a mom to a daughter hoping to weaponize her boyfriend against her when she’s being sent sexually inappropriate messages and she doesn’t come forward on my terms.

So, do you think the OP made the right call here? If you could give them or their son any advice, what would you say to them?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit
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