Back to School at FamilyEducation.com
Home > Kids > Childhood Safety > Physical and Sexual Abuse > Daughter in Abusive Relationship
|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Daughter in Abusive Relationship

Toddler and Teenager Expert Advice from Carleton Kendrick, Ed.M., LCSW

Q: My 18-year-old daughter has gotten involved with a married man and is pregnant; he is the father. The wife is aware of the situation ; the couple has four children. This man is 14 years older than my daughter and he keeps making her all kinds of promises about "their future." I cannot make her see the harmful situation she is in. This man has been released from his employment because of theft, dishonesty, and corruption. He screams at her all the time, and to top it off, has moved my daughter into his home, where the wife has been abusive. My hands seemed to be tied. No matter what I say, it makes things worse and seems to push her more towards him and further away from me. She acts like she is totally oblivious to any moral values, let alone any self-respect. I can't stomach any of this and it is driving me crazy. Now she is five-and-a-half months pregnant. The thought of her bringing a child into that mess makes me ill. What do I do?

A: What a horrible situation for your daughter. Pregnant, abused, and exploited by a man to tragic ends. You understandably are sick over this and feel powerless to save your daughter from further harm. In fact, your efforts on her behalf appear to be distancing her even more from you. Your daughter is not rational: You cannot take what she is saying to you as being representative of who she really is.

Since your daughter is 18, you cannot legally force her to obey you. I wonder if this man could be legally accused of rape if your daughter were considered under the age of consent when she became pregnant or when he began having sex with her. I can't imagine how his wife could sanction your daughter's presence among her children and in her household. This is a very pathological situation.

You need to get help for yourself so you can know how best to help your daughter. Please see a talented therapist who can offer you sound advice and support during these trying times. This is too much for you to figure out alone. Your daughter does need you and will need you even more as this situation moves toward its inevitable meltdown. I'll be thinking of you and hoping for a turn in events.

More on: Expert Advice

Carleton Kendrick has been in private practice as a family therapist and has worked as a consultant for more than 20 years. He has conducted parenting seminars on topics ranging from how to discipline toddlers to how to stay connected with teenagers. Kendrick has appeared as an expert on national broadcast media such as CBS, Fox Television Network, Cable News Network, CNBC, PBS, and National Public Radio. In addition, he's been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, USA Today, Reader's Digest, BusinessWeek, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and many other publications.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

14 Back-to-School Fashion Trends for 2014
Send your kids back to school looking sharp! Check out 2014's hottest back-to-school fashion trends, from clothes to shoes and accessories.

Put a Stop to Bedtime Struggles
Steer clear of tears at bedtime with these helpful bedtime tips and this printable bedtime routine checklist for kids.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!