#38 Mom should keep quiet about sex / Mom sabotages parents of daughter's boyfriend
Dear Ann Landers: Two
weeks ago, I walked in on my 17-year-old daughter having sex with her
boyfriend, "Justin." They will both be 18 in two months. They are good
kids and plan on going to college together next year. I knew it would be
pointless to lecture them, because as you so wisely said in your column a
while back, once teens begin to have sex, it’s almost impossible to get
them to stop.
I took my daughter to the gynecologist and had her put on birth control pills. I also discussed with her the importance of safe and responsible sex. My daughter was grateful that I was not judgmental or angry.
Here’s the problem. I frequently speak to Justin’s parents, and they have let me know they don’t want their son to become sexually active until he is married. I am convinced if they knew what was going on, they would demand that Justin stop seeing my daughter, or they might insist the two of them get married right away. Neither solution seems "sensible" to me.
Justin’s parents question me often about where the kids have been and what I think they might have been up to. I am having a very difficult time keeping my mouth shut. Should I tell his parents they are having sex? I would appreciate your input. UP AGAINST IT IN IOWA
Dear Iowa: The answer is a solid unequivocal NO. Under no circumstances should you tell Justin’s parents what you know about the couple’s activities. It would not help the situation. In fact it might make things worse. Also, your daughter would never forgive you for betraying their confidence—and I wouldn’t blame them. This is not your story to tell.
Whether or not you approve of what’s going on, these kids are almost 18 and no longer under your control. If your daughter and Justin are going to the same college, they may one day marry and their current sexual intimacy will not be an issue. Keep your oar out of their water and hope for the best.—ANN
Hi Iowa: You have several problems that you have not addressed in your letter.
Not to worry, these kinds of problems are desirable and required in order to guide a child through to maturity. As you imply, "good" is better than drugs or gangs. With these problems everyone learns something and therefore wins. Still, to ensure that you're not in-denial—your daughter sneaking behind your back—Justin disobeying his parents—your daughter supporting another in deceitfully disobeying his parents—all bring to mind other adjectives. Yes?
Now let's talk about your behavior. You have unconsciously trained your daughter to attract and reward a deceitful partner. You have unwittingly, unconsciously, sabotaged another child’s parents. You have trained your daughter to enroll you in deceiving his parents. As the leader you have created a conspiracy.
It's even worse; you have trained her to unconsciously support him negatively, thereby affecting his karma by adding the consequences of deceit and lies. One's support affects others either positively or negatively. This negative support (called covert sabotage) affects his grades, his health, his very aliveness. It's not exactly a gift of love. She has supported him in opting for the consequences of deceit all the while sincerely believing she has had his best interests at heart. In short, you have been unconscious. It's time for you to wake up so as to wake her up before you both do more damage.
Your daughter has seduced a boy into deceiving his parents for carnal pleasure. No matter what you or the teens think, what they are experiencing is not love. There can be no sustainable experience of love when the foundation of the relationship is based upon lies and deceit. What they are experiencing (commonly referred to as sex) cannot produce the joy and ecstasy that comes from true intercourse. Why? For one, Justin can't acknowledge his parents for their enormous gift of life and love. He even has to suppress his embarrassing after-sex glow in front of them. Because of the deceit the energy from the love that such a bond usually generates can't be fully shared back into each family. These teens can't reap the benefits that comes from having open, honest, and spontaneous communication with both sets of parents and of both families with each other, knowing they are solely responsible for the wonderful relationships they created and support.
Justin’s deceit of his parents reveals a character flaw of his that solidifies with each "success" each day he's not caught. He has a serious communication problem. He has not been taught to communicate openly and honestly with his parents. He will continue this pattern with his spouse and it will carry over into all of his relationships for life. He will hide certain things from everyone. He has no control over his lying. His deceit is a setup. He was testing you, hoping that you were as great as he believes your daughter to be. It was no accident that they allowed themselves to be caught. That was their integrity at work, unconsciously setting you up to support them in cleaning up the mess.
Justin has another unacknowledged perpetration or withhold with his parents. Children who are whole and complete, who are in-integrity, are committed to getting their parent's communications and supporting their intentions. That Justin thwarts his parent's wants, wishes, and advice about sex reveals covert sabotage and unacknowledged non-verbalized disrespect.
Now to the biggie: Why would you unconsciously mastermind this intrigue? There is a genius lurking here somewhere. Here's a tip: We set up life to get caught for earlier similar out-integrities so as to acknowledge and complete them. Until then we have no choice but to engage in, and surround ourselves with, deceitful activities. Use what’s happening (this incident you've created) as a memory-trigger to locate your incomplete. My hunch is that you engaged in similar intrigues as a teen and have yet to be caught (acknowledged it to your parents). Arrogance is—trying to make life work without cleaning up the messes. You were taught to be open and honest but have yet to commit to being so. Until you restore your integrity you can't be certain if undesirable results are a consequence of your integrity or your leadership-communication skills. All work towards communication mastery is to no avail until you've restored your integrity.
What would work is for you to share this reply with your daughter with no advice attached. Simply have her read this. She will handle the rest. And, tell her the truth, that you are not comfortable with her having sex with anyone who deceives their parents. Their relationship and life will never work the way they say they want it to until they enroll the support of both sets of parents.
Because of their present out-integrity they are karmically ripe for an unwanted accidental "forgot to take the pill," "condom broke," pregnancy. Out-integrities sap one's awareness. I'm betting your daughter is silently condoning other perpetrations of Justin's; you and your daughter are unwitting co-conspirators and supporters of his other capers.
Way before this event you were supposed to have sat down and covered everything about sex, to include when and where. If you had had an open and honest relationship with her you would have known that she was considering having sex for the first time. It's you who determines if it's an exciting joyous event shared with all or if it's done sneakily with guilt.
Another effect: Both of them have been trying to study, to comprehend complex subject matter in school, to receive communications from teachers; it's been all the more difficult because their minds have been partially clouded (occupied) with thoughts of guilt which serve as barriers to being (totally-completely) here now at any moment in time. All this because your integrity has been so out that you couldn't see (experience) the out-integrity on your daughter's face. When a parent and child are in communication with each other a thought withheld becomes as a grain of sand in the eye. It begs discussion; unless of course one has so many out-integrities, so many withholds, so many resentments, so many non-verbalized unacknowledged perpetrations that one's integrity (conscience) is so far below the surface that one more deceit is not experienced (thought about yes, but not experienced). We're talking about your integrity here. She has had no choice but to mirror your integrity, just as Justin mirrors the out-integrity of his parents,
Here's one scenario in an open and honest relationship: Your daughter would have shared that the petting was getting heavier and that she found herself thinking of having sex with him. She might have told him, "Not tonight, I promised my mom I'd talk it over with her first, and, that together you and I would sit and talk with her before our first time." Then as she talked about it with you you might have asked, "How do his parents feel about this?" "H'm, is he going to tell his parents?" If no, "How do you feel about that?" Then, no matter the answer, you would have insisted upon having Justin and his folks over for tea. With the parents and teens present you would get clear about things, especially who pays for what—for life—if they "accidentally" have a baby. You would say to your daughter, in front of Justin and his parents, "If you cause Justin to impregnate you so that you have to postpone your college plans you will have to move out—and, pay for your own college. I don't want to play the finance-your-irresponsible-sex-game." This is said so that Justin and his parents are fully aware of the consequences his actions will have on another's life if he "accidentally" impregnates her.
One last thing: This problem reveals that you have not been in communication with your daughter; it's referred to as a breakdown in communication. It causes me to wonder what other thoughts you both have been hiding from each other. A teen who withholds certain things from his/her parents will not be open and honest with his/her spouse. That is to say, what a person gets caught for is not what they really want/need to get caught for (for more about the cause of recidivism read the Community Support Group Project).
If the teens are willing to come clean you could create space for the communication with his parents to take place by hosting a dinner. You and your daughter could serve as facilitators while Justin cleans up his relationship with his parents.
Thank you for the great letter, it will be of value to many.
With aloha and appreciation, Gabby
* You would not advise your daughter to marry someone who refused to come clean with his parents.
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Check back occasionally for minor edits (last edited 5/22/15)