When one of our loved ones is in a relationship that isn’t good for them, it can be really hard for us to keep our opinions to ourselves.
Fortunately, there are times when speaking up is actually a great favor to them, stressed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor throwae_69 had mixed feelings after seeing her daughter’s reactions to her concerns about her boyfriend.
But when she knew it would hurt her daughter’s dreams otherwise, the Original Poster (OP) knew she had to speak up.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my daughter she can’t use her college money on her boyfriend, which caused her to break up with him?”
The OP’s daughter recently got into an esteemed college.
“I know that the title paints me as the total AH, but please hear me out.”
“My (47 female) daughter Sara (18 female) is a very smart girl. She has a 4.0 GPA, she’s valedictorian of her class, and she’s just gotten word from her dream college that she has received a full-ride scholarship.”
“We have a college fund for her of about 250,000. When we found out about the scholarship, we agreed that we would still give her the money to pay for other things that she would need in college, such as housing, food, etc.”
Sara’s boyfriend had other plans in mind.
“Well, she came home yesterday kind of sad. I asked her what was the matter.”
“She said that she was not going to go to college anymore. Apparently, her boyfriend Bryan (19 male) told her not to go anymore.”
“Some background on Bryan, his family is VERY well off, and his parents have never issued discipline on this child. I mean, he is very rude and disrespectful.”
“Although he seems sweet to my daughter when they are alone, she’ll complain that whenever they’re out with friends, Bryan is constantly putting her down and comparing her to Instagram models.”
“Bryan is currently enrolled in college, but he has no set course for his future. He’s just ‘rolling with the cards,’ as Sara says.”
Bryan knew what he wanted for Sara, though.
“Some other background info is that my daughter is going to school for marine biology.”
“Well, with what my daughter told me about their conversation, she was telling Bryan about her full-ride scholarship, and how excited she was to finally go to school for marine biology (he’s never supported her dream of being a marine biologist and has always told her to go to college for a ‘REAL’ job) when he sat her down and told her to not go to college at all.”
“He told her to wait for him here in our town, and don’t worry about getting a job even, because his parents will support her, and that he didn’t feel comfortable with her going to college out of state and so far away.”
“He also said that it made him feel unmanly when she has a set course for her future which will give her a good life, while he has none.”
The OP tried to give her daughter helpful feedback.
“After she told me what was going on, I didn’t make a decision right away, but I knew that I wasn’t going to just let my daughter throw away her future like this.”
“She then asked me for her college fund so she could help support Bryan’s dreams(?). so I took time to think, and I sat her down today.”
“I told her that she can not have her college fund to spend on Bryan.”
“She started freaking out asking why, and it was her money, and I asked her to listen. I asked her if she actually could see a serious future with Bryan in it.”
“She said nothing the first time, and then started crying. I asked her again more gently this time, and she admitted no while still crying.”
“I pleaded with her to please not throw away her future for someone with who she can’t see herself having a life.”
“She then nodded and went up to her room for some time to think.”
“From what I’ve learned, she broke it off with Bryan and he has been calling non-stop, crying and begging to speak to her.”
“I feel very guilty, and sort of like an AH. Am I?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some thought the boyfriend sounded controlling.
“Not only that, he was basically trying to tell her to retire. At 18. On her parent’s dime, and his parent’s supposed dime. While he goes out with any qualifications to bring in any outside money. No wonder he’s crying and begging, he might actually have to consider supporting himself and his egregiously outdated mindset.”
“Definite NTA. Your child dodged a bullet, and her future has quite likely been saved from unnecessary hardship by ending this doomed relationship.” – RedditKentiar
“He told her to basically do nothing at all with her life because he was insecure she knew what she wanted to do in her life and he didn’t.”
“I don’t think it’s crazy to think he would ask for that money at least indirectly.” – Medium-Ad6932
“It’s more about financial control than taking her money and running. If OPs daughter maintains control of her money then she can just break up with him and go to college (which she did so wise decision on her part).”
“Whereas if her boyfriend had control of her money then he gets to control how/when she spends it, what she spends it on etc, which would have furthered his goal of making her completely dependent on him.”
“OP NTA, you saved your daughter from a relationship that would have been a nightmare for her to get out of in the long run.” – danigirl3694
“You saved your daughter from what was clearly an incredibly abusive relationship. Your daughter is a high school student who was having her self-esteem chipped away and her aspirations manipulated by her college student boyfriend.”
“Who clearly was trying to use your daughter to get an easy 250,000 to spend on whatever before he dumped her.”
“And you’re on here wondering if you’re an AH, because he’s doing what abusers do – crying, trying to manipulate your emotions so you’ll let your daughter give him her college fund.”
“Respectfully, you need to get a grip and get it together. Your daughter needs you. You need to report this guy to the police for harassing your house.”
“Maybe send him a formal cease and desist letter to scare him away. Then block his number from being able to call your house, you, or your daughter.”
“And then both you and your daughter could benefit from reading Bancroft’s book, ‘Why Does He Do It,’ so you can be more knowledgeable and better prepared for the emotional manipulation tactics of abusers and how to spot them.”
“NTA but come on. Questioning yourself because you’re putting the feelings of a random abusive boy over your daughter isn’t right. You’ve got this mama bear.” – excel_pager_03
Others agreed and said the OP did the right thing.
“That’s honestly the roughest part about that age, when you fall you fall hard and at that point that’s the hardest pain you think you’re going to experience in your life.”
“Years later, you’ll look back and cringe about it but right then it hurts like a b***h and a good parent tries to comfort their kids.”
“I pray I’ll be the kind of parent that understands that just because we know they’ll get through it doesn’t mean the journey’s not hard.” – 3milyBlazze
“‘Stay here and wait for me broke. When we get married I’ll give you a money allowance but not allow you to do anything.'”
“Control. Control. Control. Good on the mom for picking this up and helping her daughter realize she deserves a bright and healthy future. Without the deadweight.” – muddhoney
“You said, ‘I know that the title paints me as the total AH, but please hear me out.'”
“No, no it does not. It paints you as a responsible parent, and the first thing I thought was ‘absolutely not.'”
“But then, I read about halfway into your post, and I realized that I was right. You’re absolutely NTA.”
“The truth of the matter is that Bryan is toxic and abusive. She absolutely loves him, but he clearly doesn’t love her, because he’s willing to wreck her future in order to feel in control.”
“You did the right thing. You’re a wonderful parent. At the end of the day, most men will come and go in her life, but you’ll always be there.” – SpookyArmadillo
“That was the most disturbing part of this post, he didn’t need her money, it’s that he didn’t want her to have it. He basically wanted her to stay in her hometown and depend on him and his parents for the rest of her life.”
“OP managed to get her daughter to see that she was about to throw her future away. She’ll be thanking her mother every day in the future, especially when she reads stories about Bryan’s f**ked up life.”
“Wow OP, you just saved your daughter. Best of luck to her marine biology studies, that’s a great subject, as are all fields of science.” – yesboss2000
A few also suggested therapy for the daughter.
“The daughter is still in danger!”
“He’s going to persist until he gets control over the daughter again.”
“OP, consult domestic abuse specialists, get your daughter help. She’s been deeply manipulated and will need support to get control of her laugh back. She will feel a lot of shame and grief, loss, longing. Get help for all of you. Good luck.” – No_Performance8733
“She’s vulnerable if she can’t recognize the signs of love bombing, gaslighting, blame-shifting, and economic abuse, and could be manipulated again; by this guy, or someone else. Definitely seek some professional support.”
“You did good, Mama. NTA” – UnicornBoned
“This young girl sounds like me in my early 20s. I was abused for 1.5 years. Kept trying to get out but kept getting roped back in. I was so ashamed.”
“OP, Your daughter is going to need a lot of support during this time. Whatever she’s told you, it’s so much worse than that. She will be ashamed about what she’s let herself go through and will want to hide it.”
“Having domestic abuse specialist to help her process/retrain her brain all is essential to her healing.” – sydneyannebristow
While it was likely hard to see her daughter going through a breakup, the subReddit insisted the OP had done the right thing by speaking up for her daughter, and her daughter’s future.
Expecting someone to give up their dreams in favor of someone else’s is selfish and surely wouldn’t lead them anywhere happy.