Thursday, April 17, 2008

Q & A: "wife has blamed me for not letting her daughter live with us"

Name: David
Question: Problem, Wife's daughter, my stepdaughter who is 19 now wants to come live with us, because we are buying a home. The daughter as been living with her grandparents since the age of 8. When I married my wife, her daughter wasn't shown to respect, and when I tried to correct her, she (daughter) would tell her grandparents, the grandparents then would tell their daughter (my wife) who then would let me have it with both barrels. For the last 8yrs my wife and I have come at a crossroads because her daughter wants to live with us, because there are to many things happening at the grandparents home. My wife and I also have a 9yr old daughter between us. My wife for the last 8yrs has blamed me for not letting her daughter live with us, after two yrs into the marriage, her daughter choose to live with her grandparents, because she believed that it was easier and following no rules with her grandparents and until even now my wife treats me pretty rotten because of this. Should I now accept my step daughter to come live with us and my wife says that she now will be a better wife and do I continue to make the sacrifices and hope that my wife will be not as abusive to me verbally? I am at the crossroads and really don't know what to do. If you can shed a little light on this complex issue. Thank You.

Hi David,

Thanks for writing...This issue is very deep-seated. First off, I think that you and your wife should go to some counseling prior to the daughter moving back in as you two have a lot to work out...If she's promising to be a "better" wife that means that she probably has been holding back from you or doing things consciously that are not the best for your relationship. This means that this marriage is not as healthy as it should be - by Choice. That's not healthy for anyone. Get yourselves in front of a professional and secure your foundation before bringing in the daughter. You two have yourselves as well as the child you share to think about. Your stepdaughter is no longer a minor and if she wants to live with you, there's responsibilities she will have to bear around the house (even monetary responsibility is possible), and rules she will have to live by. On the other hand, she's not a child anymore, so your rules cannot be over-the-top either. Sit down and get things straightened with your wife. Then the two of you will have to sit down with the daughter and openly communicate as to what is expected from her and yourselves. Lay the groundwork up front to try and avoid confrontations later. Also openly discuss everything with the young daughter as well...It's her house too. Finally, this might be a good time for you to try and foster a relationship with your stepdaughter. She's a lot older now, so you have to give her respect and a chance. You guys may never be best friends, but if you two can at least establish a level of respect and decorum for each other, it makes living together a Heck of a lot easier. Who knows? You might grow closer to her than you ever thought possible...Hope this helps, and good luck to you all...

Name: Leigh
Question: I have a problem my friend was talking to my other friend on the bus about me breaking up with my boyfriend after he gives me my gift but I did say it but it was a week ago and now he heard them talking and asked me about it. What should I do?

Dear Leigh,

Hi there...The best thing to do is come clean. If you were just saying it and not really meaning any of it, then just tell him that you said it because you were "thinking out loud" and were frustrated by your recent dealings with him...But that you never really meant it and make up to him, etc. If you did mean it, then come clean on that as well. If he's doing something that makes you tell your friends that you're going to break up with him, then obviously something in his behavior is upsetting you. Use this opportunity to confront the entire issue and work on making your relationship stronger. Open communication is the only way to establish a good and healthy relationship - and that means sharing thoughts on negative as well as positive aspects of each other. Now, if he's really not doing anything wrong and you just like to hear yourself talk up in front of your friends, then watch your words and learn from this lesson...You almost blew something good by treating it with disrespect. By the Way, waiting to break up with someone until After he gives you a gift is a little subversive...It shows you are not respecting him or your relationship very much at all. Imagine if he did that to you? When the shoe's on the other foot, it's uncomfortable, isn't it? Think about that the next time you plan your actions...I hope this helps, and stop by anytime...

Name: Carla
Question: Jim and I were married 6 months when he had an affair that lasted several weeks. When I found out, his reasoning was that with me, he wanted to be and do the best at everything, but with her, he could be "sorry," and it wouldn't matter, because he didn't care if he impressed her or not. I had never tried to be judgmental towards him nor did I expect him to be perfect. I could not deal with the affair, and asked him to leave. We got back together, and to the best of my knowledge, he has been faithful ever since. He is also a lot more considerate, and obviously trying hard to make the marriage work. I have forgiven him for the affair, and have gotten to the point that I don't think about it all the time. The problem I have now is that even though I love him and want to be with him, I don't enjoy sex with him anymore. I act like I enjoy it because I know it is important to him that I do, and I don't want to hurt his feelings. I tried to talk to him about this a few times, but it seems to make him feel so guilty that I am afraid that his feelings of guilt would destroy us. He has apologized so many times and I know he is truly sorry for what happened. How do I get over feeling dirty when he touches me? The woman he was with was the town floozy, she openly states that she will leave the bar with the man who buys her the most drinks, married or not. I feel like I have been exposed to over half the men in town. Jim and I have been back together for almost two years, and I still can't get over that last hurdle. He has no idea I still feel this way. I have not talked about this with him in over a year, because he gets really depressed and says he is scared he is going to lose me over something he deeply regrets and cannot go back and change. Except for this, our relationship is great. I don't resent him. I want to enjoy every aspect of our love. How do I stop feeling like I need to rush into the shower every time he touches me? Please help!

Hi Carla,

This is more than I can assist with...You need to go and seek professional advice from a therapist on this. It does look like you've come an extremely long way, and kudos for you in trying to make things work. This last hurdle is a mental one, and it belies more deep-seated hurt than maybe you've realized...Even though you forgave him, you may very well have some unresolved trust issues that comes to the surface whenever intimacy is involved. While you think you're past his excursion, there's a part of your subconscious that still has not forgiven his infidelity. A therapist can help you through this and that will hopefully allow you to openly and honestly enjoy your time with him again. Best of luck to you, and take care.

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