There are definitely lines that should never be crossed between parent and child. Dating or having a romantic or sexual relationship is at the top of the list — that's sexual abuse, no matter what age.
We trust parents to set up boundaries for their children. They have more power in the relationship and must be held accountable for their actions more than the child.
However, one father who goes by "Dave" decided to admit online that he abused his pregnant 19-year-old daughter by having a sexual relationship with her.
"Her mother died in labour, and I have been her sole caregiver, and she, my sole companion, until she was 18 years old and left the house to move in with her steady boyfriend. We have an excellent father and daughter relationship," he writes on Reddit.
Sounds more like a grooming situation than a "companionship." But there's more: Her relationship with her boyfriend didn't work out so she moved back home. She then found out she was pregnant.
Three months into the pregnancy, her father installed a surveillance camera in her room after he noticed she was spending a lot of time alone in there.
(Because talking isn't an option?)
He then saw her masturbating. Instead of respecting that she's a normal human being who should have her privacy, he started abusing her by initiating a sexual relationship with her.
"We had a mutual agreement to have a long-term sexual relationship with each other for as long as we were contented with it. She told me that having sex with me felt no different or more perverse than having sex with her ex-boyfriends. In fact, she had never felt safer and more loved," he continues.
He also writes that she's mentioned wanting to have a child with him one day, to which he responded, "We'll see how it goes after she has delivered her baby."
The only selfish concern the abuser seems to have about the situation is that he'll lose his daughter if the sexual relationship ends.
The sickest part of it all is that he seems to be asking for advice on how to prevent this, not what he should do for her well-being or the effects this relationship might have on her. How thoughtful.
"Even the most loving of couples may one day split and go separate ways. If that should happen to us, I fear that I will lose my little girl. I would be happy to let her pursue a new life if she leaves me for a better man. But if she decides to erase all the memories by disregarding my presence, I will be crushed."
He goes on: "I see myself as a father before her lover, and I would do anything that is best for her. I have spoken to my daughter on this matter, and she resolutely says that Daddy is all she ever wants."
This is definitely NOT love by any means; this is a seriously gross abuse of power by a parent, and a reminder that there are truly gross people in the world.
As a parent, your job is to protect your child, NOT exploit them. And this father more than crosses that line between parenting and abuse.
Hopefully, his daughter gets the help she needs.