"My Son Had Sex Too Young"

My Teen's Relationship Mess

Dear Dr. G.,

I am so upset. I just can't stop crying. I have a 14-year-old son and I don't know how he got into this mess that is upsetting everyone. My son started to like this 14-year-old girl from his school. She seemed nice enough. I allowed my son to  go over to her house and for the girl to come to my house. Well, letting him go to her house was a stupid decision. The girl's mother, who is recently divorced, talks openly about her dating and sex life and took an extreme liking to my son. I think in some way she encouraged her daughter to get as involved as possible with my son and yes, I think they had sex. My son won't answer the question directly but he doesn't deny it either. 

Well, fast forward a month into this relationship and these two kids are talking about how they can't imagine living without each other. Then the problems get worse. My son tells my husband that he wants to get out of the relationship but feels that since he's been physically involved with the girl that he feels that he would be an awful person to break up with her. We took my son to therapy. He is working on his attachment to this girl with his therapist. I cry almost every single day worrying that my son is scarred for life when it comes to relationships. What do you think, Dr. G.? Is it possible to ever recover from such a weird relationship? 

A Scared Mother

Related: What Would You Do If You Found Out Your Daughter Is on Birth Control?

Dear Mother, 

Yes, it absolutely is possible to recover from a difficult and confusing relationship and to move on to healthier relationships. It's unfortunate that your son got involved with this girl before he was ready to and it is a shame that the girl's mother seems to lack boundaries. Yikes. 

I like to think of things this way: Every difficult situation provides an opportunity for learning about ourselves, others, and how we are in relationships with others. My hope is that your son will learn in therapy to slow down, take stock of a situation, and consider whether or not that situation or relationship will serve him well. I really like the fact that your son seems to be a sensitive young man. That is a wonderful thing. Unfortunately, this wonderful quality can also make it harder to leave relationships.

Related: Teens & Dating: Choose Your Words Carefully

Your son is very young. Try to make sure that he has enough activities and friendships in his life so that he is less vulnerable to these intense sorts of relationships. Perhaps, you can attend one of his therapy sessions with his permission, of course, to find out how you can support you son more. It sounds like you want to do that but aren't quite sure how to do that.

I am sorry that this situation happened but with enough support your son should be fine. Please take care of yourself as well.

Good Luck,

Dr. G.

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