Wednesday, July 7, 2010

how do you survive this?

a dear friend of mine is suffering. he is suffering with probably the biggest humiliation of his life. horribly mortified. let me tell you the story.
he is a grown man, late 40's, with 5 teenagers. 4 boys and a girl. the girl is the oldest at 18 years old. she is a nice girl, beautiful, but doesnt date. she is focused on school and her parents(now amicable after a nasty divorce 10 years ago)speculate that their divorce made her leery of getting involved in any romantic entanglements.
my friend has dated quite a bit in the last 10 years. he has had a few relationships and two short lived engagements. from what i can piece together, it seems like it was always something with the kids that ran the relationship off the tracks.
about 8 months ago he met the love of his life. i can tell just by the way he talks about her that she is THE ONE. i am envious of the relationship he describes with her. it sounds truly amazing.
they have had their ups and downs. a good portion of their relationship has been long distance. they talk regularly, but like we all do, rely on email and text messaging for communication.
just recently, they were flirting big time via text. it started going into rated r territory when by some bizarre cell phone catastrophe he sent a naughty message intended for his soul mate to his 18 year old daughter.
yes folks. his pg-13(ok maybe r)fantasy was transmitted to his young daughter. he is mortified. we spoke briefly and he is shock, so embarrassed, and inconsolable.
from what he tells me, his daughter is judging him pretty harshly.
i agree that this was a mistake. he and his girlfriend should have never allowed their texting to go that far, but as embarrassing as it might be, he is an adult, and to me, he should apologize to his daughter for the mistake, but explain that its none of her business.
am i crazy?
ps-all the people involved in this story are lds. active. my friend and his girlfriend have temple recommends.
pps-he sent me the text so i could see exactly what it said-it was mainly kissing stuff(the silly stuff we say to each other when we are in love)-which would be embarrassing to any kid- but at the end there was a reference to untying a bathing suit top. should he be burned at the stake? i am thinking no, but...


  1. He should apologize and use it as an opportunity to bring her into the process that is happening around her and allow her to talk about her concerns and thoughts. While kids shouldn't be making decisions or have "veto power" about adult things, I do think its important for kids to feel heard when they are impacted by adult decisions. I think that is not done very well at all in our society. We try to "protect" the kids and in the end make things worse because kids know way more than the parents think they know but the parent won't talk to the kid(s) about it. Kids (even at 18) are ego-centric and always think things that happen are their fault and will figure out some way to make it about them.

  2. I think she should chill out... Here were my thoughts, as I read, about this girl:

    "18 years old. she is a nice girl, beautiful, but doesnt date. she is focused on school"

    Sounds PERFECT! What can be so hard to survive?

    "from what he tells me, his daughter is judging him pretty harshly."


    Maybe it was because I was younger(6-7, though I still remember her leaving us with a babysitter for dates, as well as what I now realize were the let's-see-how-serious-you-are-after-you-meet-my-kids date) when my mom was dating, but I never had an issue with it. Sure, I'm probably paranoid about divorce, and it's probably why, at 23, I'm the oldest unmarried, non-engaged person I know. I'd say being paranoid about divorce has made me more understanding toward older divorcee's need to get back into dating. Personally, all he needs to do is say sorry, and she needs to accept that her dad is a man like any other, and needs to love and be loved. But what do I know, I'm just a kid...

  3. Eh, I would ignore it. He doesn't need to make a big deal out of it. She's 18 not 8.

  4. i agree with all that you guys are saying. he is calming down, but still a mess about this. going on about how he is a horrible example and that his daughter is "not happy" with him. its like he is allowing her to be the parent and discipline him. its ridiculous, but since i am not a parent, i thought i might be off on this.

  5. woasm-when i was describing his daughter, i was trying to say how she has no romantic experience. not that he was trying to survive her. he is trying to survive her judgment.

  6. I realized that by the end. But you have to understand that in Utah, if you have an 18 year-old daughter who's Nice AND Pretty but doesn't date you're considered a failure as a parent. My Utah-ness just started making assumptions about what he was trying to survive... haha.

  7. apologize, then move on. he shouldn't be burned at the stake (or the stake center:) )

  8. How different would it be if the daughter had met the love of her life and instead of sending a sexy text to the guy, accidentally sends it to her dad? He would probably talk to her, right, and say, "i get it, but it's inappropriate.." If he wants to be a good example, he needs to follow the same advice he'd give, right? Even if mistakes are made, which are totally allowable as a parent, in my opinion.

    So i'd say he should apologize and talk to her, explain a few things, but recognize that, though it seems like a pretty tame thing, maybe it was inappropriate. Eh?

  9. jen-exactly what i was thinking, but thats the thing. she has never dated. she doesnt get it. i dont blame him for being mortified, but i am thinking he needs to get over himself and be a parent. its like he is giving away all his authority or something. i think he should be like "i know you are freaked out, but i am still your dad. i have a right to my private life and i wont be judged by you. this was a mistake and i am sorry, but i will not subject myself to your criticism." something like that.
    anon-i think the dad is tying himself to the stake as we speak. :-/