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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