Giant step backwards


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daughter 28 pregnant again (third time, 3 different losers). She’s 3-4 months pregnant, staying with us again. Wife is locked in to this pattern as much as daughter is. I don’t want to even think it, but I’m starting to think the only way off the roller coaster might be on my own.

New Leaf

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Oh no. I am so sorry. I don’t understand it at all, daughter, she ended up adopting out her second baby, now pregnant with a third? We can’t seem to catch a break from the crazy choices these adult (in age only) kids. My daughter has not seen her three kids in over a year. Paternal grandparents are raising them. It is mind boggling. I am so sorry for your troubles.


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This is typical. Showing up at the door. An emergency with nowhere else to go. Right now. This minute.
This is a quote from a different thread, but it so fits. Forcing her crisis on us. Over and over.

I could be charitable and say that it is because their lives are chaotic and that they are impulsive. And that's true. But it's also true that they do NOT want to have a conversation with us. They don't want us to have a voice. They don't want it to be OK for us. They want what THEY want, when they want, how they want.
And then when you do, there is an explosion or you are labeled as a :censored2:, or difficult or problematic. You become the identified patient, and they, the innocent lamb. The victim. The martyr. Because. See. You're NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE A VOICE. There's no room here for your voice and needs. The relationship they want with us is: YES. That's it.
I call these "magic words." Sometimes I call these "keys to the kingdom." They are designed to open doors or to extract resources. And they work.
Her magic words that always work are: I’m pregnant with no where to go.

What I have learned is that I HAVE NO POWER to effect ANY change in my son. Only he does. But I can change.
This is IT. She’s going to keep doing the same thing. I’m starting to think my wife is too. But I can change.

I want my son to take responsibility, to be a problem solver, to have goals and to meet them, and to take care of his health and mental health. All of my focus on this has led to frustration, pain and struggle.

I am learning that the way I can change is to learn to accept reality, to say NO, to live in the present, and to act from love. The problem is that these are contradictory. And I get easily confused. And then I don't know what to do. Except, there is a major advantage to this paragraph. All of these results are in me, and not in him. At least there's some hope.

I don't agree with some of the posters above. I believe that talking helps, realizing that they don't listen to our conditions and they forget them the minute they gain entry or what they want. I think the talking that helps is "I statements." I need this because I feel that. Or. That won't work for me. I need xx.

In this situation, I’m going to use these I statements. Telling her, “You need to do x” is a waste of time. Wife and I are in therapy together and we go again on Tuesday. Right now we just don’t know what to do and feel defeated and trapped in the same situation we’ve been in before.

But that requires you first to think about and to anticipate your needs and bottom line, and most important, to follow through: If your needs are NOT being met, change has to happen. And that usually means that they leave.

From my experience my son will attempt to turn the tables and make the problem me. And a whole lot of the time I buy it. That is why distance has its advantages. Because with distance, they have to feel the effects of their choices and lives. They can blame us up to a point, but this gets old. Eventually they begin to see that their choices have created their reality, not their mother's choices. Hopefully.

The problem is that distance is EXTREMELY painful for some of us, namely ME. But sometimes there is no choice. I am learning the importance of having a very, very scanty bottom line. But it's hard.

I am going to see my son tomorrow (I hope he shows) and I am still not sure what will be my bottom line. What I think I will do is follow my own advice: stay in the present; act from love; don't make any decisions from pressure, etc. And another one, that I forgot. He gets to write his own life. Not me. But I get to write mine. If he wants stuff from me, it has to work for me, and he is the one who has to make it work. Not me.
Great advice. Reading this, which was about a different situation, is really helping me get a handle on what I need to do. Wife and I are seeing therapist on Tuesday, so we can start there with getting on the same page.


Active Member
I'm sorry you're going through this. My daughter is currently pregnant with her second child and not in a great place to be a mom again. It's hard to watch. I sometimes think it would be nice to have a partner to share the burden with but I never thought about a situation such as yours. I know it is all too common. I'm sorry you're going through this. Sending peace to you.

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
I'm so sorry about this. I'm glad you and your wife are going to therapy. I pray your wife will come to see that enabling is not helping anyone.
I wish you all the strength you will need to get through this.
Would your daughter consider giving the baby up for adoption? If she is using drugs, is there a way to involve children's services?
Again, I'm just so sorry!! I'm glad you shared with us. We are always here for you!!


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I’ve followed your prior stories the past years, and know this “repeat” situation is devastating. Your post above definitely sounds like you understand your situation and have strength to see it through. You and wife do need to be on the same page, and I hope your therapy offers that chance for you to use those "I" statements ( I need this because I feel that... That won't work for me. I need xx) to stand together.

You are right that it looks like this pattern may continue with daughter, and not the last time that she will likely be pregnant, as it is her pattern to force her crisis on you, as you said. How is this affecting your 4 yr old grandson with the ongoing drama? It certainly cannot be good for him.

I have no wisdom here except what is repeatedly expounded on this site about detachment. Know that we care for you and understand. Take care of yourself.


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I have no great wisdom either. Make your life the best one you can no matter what that entails. You are sadly in a lose/lose situation regarding daughter.

Your daughter obviously is not having babies for the love of raising them. Maybe you can find the baby daddy and his family and see if there is a level of interest there so that its not all on your side. Dads have as many rights as mothers these days and custody no longer favors mothers.

If something doesnt change with Daughter she could have six kids and expect you to raise them all. Hopefully the therapist can help.
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DoneDad. This is what I wrote last night but did not post it because it spoke from despair.

"I don't know what to say. I find this all unbearably sad. We are all running around like ants in a fire. To escape. And there is no place to go."

This is trauma speaking. Where we cease to exist because there are no words. As humans we need words in order to feel we exist in a way that is "being." When we are in this space we start jettisoning overboard our relationships, believing (falsely) that we can find some relief.
Right now we just don’t know what to do and feel defeated and trapped
It is our children who are defeated and trapped. And we feel compelled to enter that space with them. At once we follow them and they lure us. This becomes our addiction, and when we follow it, we are done for. For a moment we have lost ourselves.

But our relationships, our selves, our integrity and self-control, our hope and our dignity are still there. I am seeing that. It is like those figure ground pictures of the Gestalt psychologists. I don't know if you have seen them. Like the one that is at once a vase and a woman's profile? All you do is look at the image in a slightly different way and abracadabra, it's a different thing.

So it is with us. We merge with them, we allow ourselves to fall in and lose ourselves. And blink. And we remember we are still us, capable of boundaries, of self-definition, of choices, of self-efficacy.

That's why here is so helpful. We can remember who we are. Human.

Thank you DoneDad.
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Well-Known Member
It is “unbearably sad.”
And sickeningly unfair how they make repeated huge mistakes and show up for you to “fix it.”
My husband and I had to go to therapy together and I went by myself at times.
It was very comforting and helped to sort things out a little.
In our case, we learned that setting boundaries was often helpful. Not necessarily for her benefit, but for ours. We had to lower our expectations. And accept that this might not have the greatest ending.
My husband, who handles this stuff better than many, lives by the motto “it is what it is.”

As a side note: We pay our daughter to take birth control. She gets a shot. When we get confirmation from the doctors office, she is reimbursed. Interestingly and sadly, she simply would not use it otherwise. No cause and effect reasoning. No care at all of the HUGE consequences of not using birth control.

Another side note...when we adopted our daughter, the social worker told us the mothers she works with often do this repeatedly. I was aghast. They get pregnant, out the baby up for adoption and do it again. WTH? Having a baby is very painful. Giving the child up for adoption has to be very emotional. That should of been some sort of weird clue of the madness I was entering.

Please consider counseling. These burdens are huge.


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I like what Nomad said alrhough I think your daughter gets pregnant to upset you and make you work with her. After all abortions are legal and Daughter doesnt sound religious to me. She likes the power this gives her. How it melts her mothers heart. Maybe how it drives a wedge between you and your wife. The poor baby is a weapon.

But before I would consider giving her a dime or even a shower in your home I would insist she get th BC shot with me watching. A .little late now but worthy for later.

Nomad is very correct about repetition with these very unfit birthmothers. I saw the same pattern in foster care and will use Sonics birthmother as an example.

His birthmother had four drug addicted babies, all living with her impoverished mother before she had Sonic, her fifth. Then Grandma finally said "I cant anymore. I do t even want to see him so I cant bond." Turns out her last grandbaby besides having drug exposure problems was also only a year old. The other three were like 5, 4, and 2. No fathers to help of course.

His birthmother lived in a very violent and destitute part of Chicago and was an addict and we also suspect a prostitute. She had Pill options but she said she "forgot." Forgot to take them. We were told that doctors were pleading for her to take birth control. Medicaid paid for it just like it paid for the 11 rehabs she was forced into and left. They did not want her to have more children. Grandma was done taking them so they then now became a state problem.

She has custody of no kids .They took Sonic when he tested positive for crack. I bet she kept having babies.

We can only do so much but we can try.
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I don't know if your city offers this service, but we have several non profits that allow women in your daughter's situation to stay for a few months during and after the pregnancy. It's not just for pregnant teens and battered women. They can apply for public assistance. These places offer life skills and job training. It might be good to look into what kind of services your town offers.


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What SWOT said about the birth control shot is good. Women don't like the side effects (nausea, weight gain), but being pregnant causes those same symptoms! I think the risks are small, despite what the literature says. Smoking while on birth control can definitely make you more likely to have a stroke.


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Your insights are always so spot on. I learn a lot from reading your posts. I've just spent the last week "lost to myself", enmeshed in my son's problem and hoping he would relent and come here with us. He refuses. I'm so sick of him and what he has done to our lives. Right now, I hate him and I wish I had never laid eyes on him.


Active Member
Done Dad, I so relate to the repeat dysfunctional performance. My daughter, 38, dual diagnosis, did what yours did: 2 pregnancies with two losers. My only worth to her was as a rescuer, and it wreaked hell on my health and my relationship with her step dad.

When she go pregnant the second time, I told her I would not rescue her or let her live with us. I told her I would help her get treatment, which she refused. In one of her rages she said I would never see her or my two grandkids again. So far, she has made good on her word. My heart breaks for my grand kids who need positive influences.

I came to the belief that I see you coming to: THAT YOU ARE THE ONE WHO MUST CHANGE whether or not she does. I know I was trapped in a dance with my daughter because of my fear and guilt and worry. Those things never made anything better.

You deserve to have a good life and to know you are a good person, and that it is an act of love to take care of yourself. Your wife and daughter may or may not change, but you can.


Well-Known Member
Daughter is still here off and on. She spends 3-4 nights over at boyfriend’s. The one she supposedly had to get away from so we let her back in here. It is insane. Wife and I are not on the same page (really not even speaking the same language) at this point.

Of course this is negatively affecting our grandson who we have guardianship of. We got the guardianship so he’d have a stable environment, which is not mommy randomly sleeping on the floor in his room 3-4 nights a week. His eczema has been flaring up, he’s been moody and disrespectful, and his teacher at school (TK) has commented on it. He got in trouble for acting out at school for the first time ever.

I’m 63, wife is 65, when do we get to enjoy the fruits of having worked and saved and not picking up the pieces of other people’s irresponsible choices?


New Member
daughter 28 pregnant again (third time, 3 different losers). She’s 3-4 months pregnant, staying with us again. Wife is locked in to this pattern as much as daughter is. I don’t want to even think it, but I’m starting to think the only way off the roller coaster might be on my own.
I totally can relate to everything you are feeling. I am 63 and my husband is 60. Our daughter is 36 and still basically a child. I am raising two of her children and one is on the autistic spectrum. My husband and I would love to take a week for our anniversary this month, and guess what? Yep my daughter can't watch her own kids, its just to hard so she says. In forty years of marriage we have never had even a weekend to ourselves. She is very selfish. As you mentioned it is such an unhealthy relationship and seems impossible to break. I understand how hard it is for your wife, I struggle with the same feelings of wanting to help her just one last time.

I lost my mother this year and something inside me changed. My eyes were opened to how quickly things change and how a normal mother daughter relationship really is. I realized I never once treated my mother the way my daughter treats me. She claims she loves me and I am all she has. However, she is married to a bum for 8 yrs that won't work. They have borrowed so much from us and I say borrowed but they never return it. So I guess we just give it away. Oh but of course it is expected, quote How could you let my electric get shut of? I hear that every month. Along with so much more to add on more and more feelings of guilt. Tell your wife to find a good therapist because the drugs turns our children into monsters that will take everything and leave you broken.

I didn't mean to dump this on you, but I hope you share this with your wife. Taking care of a child with autism is very difficult but I love him with all my heart and the other one has problems as well due to drug use during her pregnancy. In my heart they are both my boys. I have had them both since birth. Daughter just walked off and left them with me. So I got them through the courts. I don't regret that at all and I love them more than words can say. Realistically speaking it is time to stop dealing with my daughter at all. She chose her life. I need to be making preparations for these boys. At our age, we have no other family to step in and take them if something were to happen to us. The daughter has made it clear its not her problem.

I have come to realize my daughter is living my life. She gets up when she wants, does whatever she feels like through the day and never checks on the boys or us, until she needs something. So what I am trying to say is. At our age it is time to do all the things we have thought or even said to each other one day. That day has never arrived. When you are raising two boys and taking care of an adult child, you become so physically and emotionally drained that you can't do anything well.

I am looking for some outside help now to help me take care of the autistic child and hoping and praying I find a good person they both will bond with. This is the only way I can have any peace in my life. I have to know the boys will be ok if and when the time comes. We haven't had any luck yet. I am even considering moving out of the state so the daughter just can't get to us. That sounds drastic but it is when I can't get through one day without her needing me for whatever she thinks is important. The truth is the children need me! My husband needs me! I really hope this helps you and your wife. It never ends until you and your wife end it. Your priority is your grandson as should be. I know it is very hard but the mother has to go and you all need to make time for each other. These are our golden years and we deserve them. If you both could find a good therapist and go together and then help each other to be strong cause the battle is on until you all can put an end to the mother being in the picture. I wish you all the best.

Much love and prayers


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Staff member
I'm so sorry DoneDad, I know how long you've been dealing with this. I'm now on the other side, after raising my granddaughter from 11 years old on, she is now almost 23 and doing very well, my job is over. When I look back on those years.......well, suffice to say, It was difficult.......I couldn't do it heart goes out to you, what a horrible situation to be in.......

Have you been discussing options? Is adoption back on the table? I hope you've developed some choices to consider, without options, that sense of powerlessness and being stuck is untenable. I hope you and your wife can get on the same page to protect yourselves and your grandson.

Prayers and lots of caring thoughts coming your way........keep us posted. Hang in there DoneDad........this is hard stuff.


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After couple of weeks of daughter coming and going, it was obvious it wasn’t working and was negatively affecting grandson, so wife agreed she had to go. My bottom line is that I can’t prevent wife from enabling her, but I’m not going to enable the enabling, if that makes sense.

Daughter has been gone almost a week now and it’s less tense in the house, grandson is back to his routines, and it’s just a lot better. I know there will be challenges ahead as she shows more and then gives birth, but I’m cautiously optimistic we won’t get sucked in to trying to rescue her again (so she can go out and do the exact same thing again). Adoption isn’t an option this time because baby daddy doesn’t want to do it. My take is that it’s her mess, she’s going to have to deal with it the best she can. At 28 years old, having had 2 other kids that she’s not raising, it’s time for her to wake up and take responsibility for her actions.


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Staff member
Thanks for the update DoneDad, it sounds as if you and your wife have gotten to a place of solidarity.......I'm glad for you both. And I'm happy that your grandson is back to his routine.
it’s time for her to wake up and take responsibility for her actions.
Yes, I agree.