ASK CAROLINE: Our daughter is in danger

If you have a problem, email Caroline at Caroline reads all your letters but regrets she cannot answer each one personally

If you have a problem, email Caroline at Caroline will read all of your correspondence but cannot reply to each one.

We’re terrified for our daughter’s safety 

Q     Last year, my 27-year old daughter met her husband while on vacation. At first he seemed charming, but he has stayed with us a few times since and we’ve seen another side to him. He gets very angry with our daughter – shouting at her and calling her horrible names. He can be very scary and she’s lost all her friends because they don’t want to be around him. We’ve had the police over a few times to remove him from our house. There was even a terrible incident when the police wanted us to press charges against him, but we didn’t. I shared this with one of her close friends, who became very concerned. Then my daughter rang, and her boyfriend was yelling in the background, ‘How dare you speak about me to other people.’ It was so frightening – I was worried for my daughter being alone with him. We have since banned him from the house. We’ve told her that while she will always be welcome, we want nothing to do with him. Unfortunately, she’s taken his side and now hardly speaks to us. I’m heartbroken and scared that something really bad is going to happen. Her intention was to purchase a house that she would live in and pay no mortgage. I was going to give her a £20,000 deposit, though I’m now reluctant to do this. My anxiety is constant and I can’t think of anything else. We are both now in our 60s. This is not good news for our health. 


His fear is overwhelming and I am worried about his safety. 

    This is so distressing for you. It is difficult to support someone who is leaving an abusive relationship. Abusers can exert control over their partner and cause them to lose their confidence. One of the signs of a controlling relationship is that the abuser gradually alienates their partner from their friends – as your daughter’s boyfriend has done – to ensure they become completely dependent on them. So it’s very important that she still feels connected to you. There is a danger that she may feel more comfortable taking his side if you are very firm. Sometimes, women feel blamed or ashamed for being with a controlling partner who they know their loved ones don’t like. If she decides to make the choice herself, rather than you telling her to do so, then it is likely that she will leave him. It is very complicated in your case because she is still living at home, and it is completely understandable that you don’t want him visiting. It is important to seek expert assistance. Refuge ( and Women’s Aid ( can advise you how to talk to and support your daughter. You can ask them for advice on how to get the police involved again, if needed. Please also make your daughter aware of Refuge’s free 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247 so that she can get help if she feels threatened. You can also chat with them online if you are unable to telephone.




He was terrible for leaving. 

Q    Because of this, I decided to end my 5-year-old relationship. My boyfriend was against the idea of having children. Now I feel as though I’ve made a huge mistake. Three years on, he has met someone else and they are happy together and have just got engaged – while I am still single and childless. I’m 38 and I feel that I will never meet someone new. My ex A wonderful man. Our relationship was great, despite the fact that he wasn’t necessarily a good match for us. Never wanted to have children. I think it was foolish of me to stop. It keeps me thinking about how I could have made it more enjoyable. He is with me and he never has children. My own for a long time. It’s torturing me. 

   You did not make a mistake – you made a decision. Although it can be difficult for single parents to have children, there is no way of knowing if you’ll find your dream job. However, you should remember that when you ended it, you didn’t do so lightly, but after much agonising and soul searching. And just as you didn’t quite love him enough to want to stay without a baby, he didn’t quite love you enough to have children. It was not possible to get back together with your ex, but those are the things that remain. Your unhappiness will be perpetuated if your look back is not positive and you wonder if the decision was wrong. Moving forward is key. Look to the future, and remember that you have the potential to find a satisfying relationship. For support, please consult a counsellor.