Ask Amy: Dad disowns daughter over boyfriend

Wednesday, February 16, 2011; 9:58 AM

Dear Amy:

Our sweet, beautiful 21-year-old daughter is a senior in college and will be graduating this spring. She is immature and looks younger than her age. She has not made the best choices in boyfriends in the past.

Six months ago she met a 35-year-old bartender at the restaurant where she was working part time.

This guy works part time, has no car, lives in the basement of his mother's home and has no future plans. Now my daughter has basically moved into his basement bedroom.

She ignores our phone calls, voice mails and e-mails. Her personality has changed. I can no longer believe anything she tells me.

We warned her that this is not a healthy relationship and that he is a loser. She says he is a wonderful guy who treats her well. We tried to point out that besides the age difference (14 years - a little creepy to me), he is taking advantage of her just to have a young girl on his arm and a ride to work.

This is tearing our family apart. I have told her that if she stays with him I will never accept him in our family and she will no longer be my daughter. We have sent her to counseling but I am sure she is only telling the counselor her version of the story.

I know our actions have probably pushed them together, but I cannot stand by and watch her throw her life away on this guy. What advice can you give to help us reach her?

Loving Father

You've already done your utmost to reach your daughter. Scolding, disrespecting, controlling and disowning will not deliver unto you the daughter of your dreams.

Your daughter should tell her counselor her version of the story of her life, and she might relate that she is trying mightily to get out from under the judgmental gaze of her parents. The quickest way to do this would be to hook up with a loser and get disowned. Mission accomplished.

I suggest you focus on her education and plans after graduation. She will need to find a way to support herself. Withdrawing your financial (but not emotional) support might be the best way to get her attention.

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