Distraught daughters

What if your daughter (or another young woman you dearly loved) called hysterically to tell you she and her long-term boyfriend, fiancé or husband were ending their relationship?

On one hand, you might be secretly glad because you never liked him, anyway, and don’t believe he’s worthy of her.  On the other, you might be secretly hysterical, too, because you think he’s the greatest but thought she’d screw something up because she can be difficult. Then again, you’re completely surprised because you thought they had a relationship made in heaven.

Chances are, you’ll be saying the wrong thing, no matter what you utter. She’ll need time, more than anything, to get over the shock, disappointment, trauma, hurt, and whatever else she’s feeling. I went into full hysteria mode when my college boyfriend, Douglas, told me he was breaking up. My mother comforted me with these words: “Don’t worry. You’ll get married someday.”   I did get married someday, to Douglas, so she was right, but her words were about as soothing as an injection prior to a wisdom tooth extraction. I don’t remember what she told me when I announced we were divorcing, but it was probably along the lines of: “Don’t worry. You’ll get remarried.”

“When I told my mom that Joel and I were calling it quits, she advised me to ‘take it slow, not to rush out to find someone else,’” Lina said. “I did just the opposite,” she remembered with a chuckle. FOF mom, Terry, actually cried after she heard the news because she was so fond of Joel, but Lina didn’t know about that till later. The couple reconciled and are now married and parents to 16-month old Edie. Everyone is happy.

It doesn’t really matter that our pearls of wisdom sometimes can’t comfort our daughters (or sons). They know we’re there for them. That’s what really counts.

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