Daughter Left a Loser — Now What?

Reader’s Question

My daughter just broke up with her boyfriend that has most of the signs that you spoke of in the article “Warning signs that you are dating a loser.” He also seems to have a fascination with killing small animals such as chipmunks and squirrels by shooting them. He dislikes domestic animals such as cats. He has exhibited signs of having anger management problems and control problems. My daughter, who just turned 18, told me that she went to Planned Parenthood with him and has been on birth control and having sex for the past two months. Do you think I should be concerned about his personality taking retaliation on my daughter or her friends and family?

Should I consider a restraining order?

Psychologist’s Reply

The boyfriend is showing signs of an Antisocial Personality as well as meeting my Loser characteristics. Antisocial Personalities and Losers do think in terms of retaliation and revenge and often threaten, stalk, intimidate, and plot against ex-partners. For this reason, being concerned about retaliation is appropriate.

While we need to be concerned about retaliation, a restraining order requires threatening, stalking, or aggressive behavior. If he hasn’t done anything yet — we probably can’t get a restraining order. However, there are things we can do.

  1. Read and review with your daughter the techniques for detachment from a Loser in my article.
  2. Remember that he has a higher potential for aggressive behavior due to his history of violent and aggressive behavior.
  3. Your daughter’s best bet is to be a non-target. She will need to remain boring and keep her social activity at a minimum until the Loser moves on. If she suddenly begins dating someone else, he may feel entitled to retaliate.
  4. Your daughter should use a “press release” — a prepared and memorized statement that describes to all who ask what happened in the relationship. The press release should not assign blame but basically say “It just didn’t work out”. The Loser will be listening to the gossip to see how he is being represented and can become aggressive if he feels disrespected.
  5. Most importantly, your daughter must give no hints, signs, or suggestions that she’s still interested. If she suggests that maybe they can get back together in the future, the Loser will continue to contact if not later harass your daughter.
  6. Remind your daughter that when any family member brings a rattlesnake into the home — everyone is threatened. Dealing with this situation requires a family strategy and your daughter must be honest regarding contacts with him, phone calls, text messages, etc.

If he exhibits behaviors that threaten the family, you may need to contact law enforcement in your area. In my experience, if the family and especially your daughter maintain a low profile in the community, the Loser moves away fairly quickly.

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