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Casual scribe

Need advice

I am the father and got custody of my daughter about 4 years ago now, she is now 14. My ex had several suicide attempts and a she is a severe alcoholic. I found out later that she was locking my daughter in her room when she was younger and she had to pee in a cup. I found out several things. This went on without my knowledge. My daughter does not get alone with her stepmom at all!!! My wife is ready to give up on the situation and is ready to leave. Not sure what to do with this one. I feel that my wife picks at small things and I let Things go a lot or just handle them myself. My daughter tells me that she wants it to be just me and her. They are so resentful towards each other. Any suggestions ?
Prolific scribe

Re: Need advice

Hey @Tapco2020,


Thanks so much for posting here. It sounds like you're in a really difficult situation at the moment, and are forced to play mediator between your wife and daughter. This can be exhausting at the best of times, let alone in a situation where everything is feeling quite amped up and stressful. I was wondering if you had spoken to your daughter about the specifics as to why she doesn't like her step-mother? It could be a good place to open up the dialogue, and see if you can work on improving or changing her mind on some points. It also sounds like your daughter is having some trouble adjusting to having 2 parents around, and the need to "share" time between everyone. It might be a good idea to potentially do some whole family activities, where both your daughter and your wife can spend some time together and work on getting to know each other in a context outside of the house. It would also be very important to sit down with your wife and speak with her about how she is feeling. It's important to empathise with the effect of this situation on her, but it's also vital that she respect you and your daughter, and the importance you play in each others' lives. I hope this helps!

Community Manager

Re: Need advice

Hey @Tapco2020  just wanted to check in and see how you are going? Sounds like such a heartbreaking situation to be in and hope you were able to read the  support given above. 



Casual scribe

Re: Need advice

Thank you very much for checking in. My wife and I are trying to work together and she stated that she was not going to give up on our family. I have been talking with my daughter more and she seems to be opening up a little more. I am also stepping in more with any discipline that needs to happen with her. ( Taking her cell phone and electronics is the extent of discipline). That’s like the end of the world. I would like to start family counseling with her but right now, no one is taking any patience. It does seem like it’s just day to day right now and I am doing a lot more praying and trying to find guidance in the Bible as well as listening to Loving Logic. I purchased all of the audio and it has a lot of great material. If anyone sees this, please pray for me and my family! Thank you very much!!
Prolific scribe

Re: Need advice

Hey @Tapco2020


I am so glad to hear that you've found the forums to be a helpful and supportive place to talk about what you're going through, and I am also really happy that you're daughter is opening up a little more Smiley Happy

It's totally ok to take each day one at a time. Progress can be really slow sometimes, and so it's important to celebrate our victories when they come, now matter how small they may be! I am sure with your love and support your family can grow to love, support, and accept each other

Active scribe

Re: Need advice

Your daughter may be feeling resentful toward your current wife because of her mother's treatment of her when she was younger.
In a way, your daughter may be expressing the anger that she harbours for her mother and 'taking it out' on your wife. Your daughter may have been very deeply affected by the mother's treatment and her behaviour may be the result.
Being just you and your daughter will mean - for her - a feeling of stability and safety as she seems to only trust you. There's also the opportunity for your daughter to bond with you and she may feel that your current wife (her step-mother) will interfere with that.
You could arrange for your daughter to see a counsellor. It may appear a lot for a 14 year old to undergo therapy and face her past childhood traumas. However, your daughter will be able to explore and come to some understanding with professional help.
Your ex-wife's behaviour towards your daughter will have been a result of her own psychological issues. You mention your ex-wife's alcohol misuse, which seems to have been ongoing for many years.
Although a separate situation. Your ex-wife does appear to be in need of psychological support herself. Her alcohol misuse and suicide attempts will need to be addressed. This will be essential if she wishes to re-connect with your daughter.  
Although your daughter is only fourteen years old, she will need to accept the harsh reality of what has been happening in her own life. At the same time she will need to accept and understand the difficulties that you and your current wife are facing.
Your present marriage is under immense strain because your daughter and her stepmother are in conflict with each other.  
You say that you let things go a lot of the time or just handle situations by yourself. In all fairness, you are doing your best to try and 'keep the peace'. You say that your present wife 'picks' at small things which - in all fairness - doesn't help your situation.
You can continue to handle certain aspects of this by yourself. You can explain to your present wife the difficulties that your daughter has experienced during her young life. 
You may want to look into couples counselling or even family counselling. This may help you all to live together more peacefully and enable you all to resolve any conflicts more amicably.
Your daughter needs to understand that your present wife is a valued part of your life.
However bad her mother treated her, your daughter now has the opportunity to re-build her life in a healthier, more secure environment.

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