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Will, my daughter is 19-years-old and I feel she is one of the most responsible teens I know. Recently I helped her start birth control because she is sexually active and in a committed relationship. My husband found her pills on her last visit from school, and let’s just says I have never seen him so upset. To take some of the pressure off of my daughter, I admitted to my husband that I had gotten them for her. Wrong move. Now he is furious with both of us and not really speaking to either of us. I understand being disappointed when you find your little girl is having sex, but I don’t understand the anger and as such don’t know how to bring this episode to a close so we can move on with our lives.
So, let’s see. You and your teenage daughter discussed her being sexually active and decided that birth control pills were her best option, all without even mentioning it to your husband. And then you help her obtain the pills, again without discussing any of it with her father: your life partner. Then you wait until she is caught red-handed with them to admit the truth, and you want me to tell you how to “bring the episode to a close”? Yeah… NO! That’s not gonna happen. Your husband should be furious. Hell, I’m mad at you just reading about it. Here’s why:
DADDY’S LITTLE GIRL: As a man with a daughter, I can tell you first-hand; the only day we fear more than the day that boys want to do “things” with our daughter, is the day our daughter wants those things done. It freaks us out. It literally keeps us awake some nights. After all, all we dads were boys once. We know how boys think. We used to think those same filthy thoughts about other people’s daughters. Just the idea of some teenaged version of me passing love notes to MY DAUGHTER makes go all, “accidental overdose of gamma radiation.”
BUT…. Every dad knows that day is coming. I’m sure most of us pray that our daughters are married first, but we also weren’t born under a rock. We read the papers. We know the statistics and none of us want our daughter on the bad side of them. Yes, she’s 19 and pretty much adult. Yes, she’s making her own life choices now and didn’t even really have to involve either of her parents in this decision, but the fact still stands; you knew, and didn’t tell your husband.
SHE’S NOT JUST YOUR DAUGHTER: Making this kind of a decision without your husband’s input was wrong. It says that you don’t trust his judgment, you don’t respect his opinion, you don’t care how he feels, or some combination of the three. How would you have felt if you found out that he had put her on the pill at fifteen without asking you? I’m betting you wouldn’t just want to, “bring the episode to a close so we can move on with our lives.”
“I’M SORRY” IS A GOOD START: When your husband found the pills, I’m sure he launched into a speech he’d been preparing since the doctor said, “It’s a girl!” He expected you to back him up, but instead you made him feel foolish – like the butt of a bad joke. He was left out of one of the last decisions he would have ever been a part of with his daughter. Re-read that last part until you feel guilty, and then go tell him that you know how wrong you were to do that to him. Then, I suggest you, your husband, your daughter and maybe even the boyfriend, sit down together, put everything on the table including the pills, and have that long, uncomfortable, conversation that your husband should have been a part of. If your husband is opposed to her being on birth control, then it may benefit her to hear why he thinks so. If she’s old enough to do the, “no-pants dance”, then she’s old enough to have an adult discussion on the subject. As I said: dads were boys once, and hearing some of those stories from him might open her eyes to a few things. And even if dad doesn’t change her mind about a single thing, the underlying message will come through loud and clear: I love you, and I worry, so please be careful.
William Jones is originally from the tiny town of Alton, Illinois, and now lives in the tinier town of Reisterstown, Maryland. He is a happy husband and a proud father of three, and writes as a hobby, in those few moments he finds between husbanding and daddy-ing. Follow him on Twitter @goodenoughguy1.