The Ex-Boyfriend Wants Me as an Ally

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My 29-year-old daughter, Nola, just dumped her boyfriend, Geoff, with whom she had been living for five years. Geoff is devastated and looking for any way possible to win her back. He’s trying to get me to plead his case with her, but, although I think he’s a perfectly nice guy, I know the reasons she doesn’t want to be with him anymore and they’re not fixable. What’s a father to do? Should I take his calls and just make some neutral comments? Let him know the real scoop? Tell him I can’t get in the middle of this and end all contact? I feel terrible for Geoff because I know his heart is broken, but my first allegiance has to be to Nola.

The Panel Weighs In

Nick: The father should cut Geoff off. There’s nothing to be gained by his getting mixed up in the kids’ relationship.

Brian: The father has to take Geoff’s call—once—and then practice tough love. He should express sympathy and tell Geoff he’ll speak to Nola but he can’t dictate how his daughter should live her life.

Ilana: The father should assure Geoff that he’s there for him as a friend but Geoff really has to get on with his own life. If the boy is obsessed with Nola, then the father has to be firmer in telling him they’ll never get back together.

Becca: The father should run away (just kidding). Nola is going to have to fend for herself here, and her father has no business interfering.

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