My 28-year-old daughter is in a relationship with a man who is out on bail. He spent time in jail for beating his ex-girlfriend. When I asked her about this guy, she said he has anger issues but she loves him.
However, as her mother I’m worried about how he is changing my girl. Since she met him she has started to neglect her children, and she always protects him by saying he’s not a threat to her life. She seems blinded by love. How can I help her? CONCERNED MOTHER
MOVE! EXPERT ADVICE
Busisiwe Malangwane, a registered counsellor with a degree in psychology and her own practice in Midrand, says: “As parents, we worry about our children’s safety and happiness, which is normal. It then frustrates us as parents when we try to guide or warn them of things and they think we are trying to ruin their happiness.
My advice would be for you to sit your daughter down and make her see the red flags that are already there – this man physically abused his previous partner/lover to a point that he was put in prison, and he has unresolved anger issues. Ask your daughter questions such as, “If this man was able to beat his previous partner, what would stop him from beating you or, even worse, killing you?”
Make her realise and understand that a man with unresolved anger issues is a danger to himself and those close to him. Also remind her of her priorities, which are her children, and raise the fact that a good man would never allow her to neglect her kids. This proves that this man is bad for her. She is probably still in the honeymoon phase of the relationship and may not want to listen to anything negative about him, but don’t give up until she sees the light. Be there for her and be patient with her.”
MOVE! READERS ADVISE
She needs to acknowledge that her parent is worried about her wellbeing. Remember, victims of abuse protect perpetrators due to their lack of self-esteem. Take her for counselling with someone you trust.
Many women are in graves because they loved the wrong man. You can’t help her as long as she has it in her mind that she loves him. Pray that she opens her eyes and doesn’t become another statistic.
My advice is for you to be there when she needs you, because eventually he will show her his true colours. Be there to make her aware that you still love her no matter what. Best of luck. I hope she gets a wake-up call soon.
THABO SIMON BOTLHOKWANE
If you can’t make her realise that she is neglecting her kids, you should try to involve your elders. Maybe grandparents or social workers. She has chosen temporary happiness that might weaken her relationship with her kids.