It’s not control…


Question: I recently remarried after a 2 year relationship. He has two daughters, 14 and 17. His divorce has been a very difficult issue with the girls – which he dealt with in a great way.
However, this year, the regular ski-trip will include me, so, he asked the 14 yo’s permission if she will mind that I will be going too – it will be our first family vacation. The answer was, “Okay, she can go, but she must sleep in her own bed, not with you, dad” …So, he said to me, I can go, but will I please sleep in my own bed, for Jesse’s sake.

Jesse is in control of her father, and I am treading very lightly to accommodate Jesse’s wishes. Which, sadly I think is necessary for me to do in order for her to see that I am not “taking her father away from her”. Although this has been spelled out in so many words to the girls, it still seems to be an issue. What will be the best for me/us to do in these circumstances?
 

Answer: I think the best thing to do is recognize that these girls are in pain. They are tolerating you now out of courtesy to their father. Your husband probably feels guilt and wants to make sure his daughter isn’t hurt anymore by his decisions. What you say is control is actually an attempt by the daughter and your husband to reduce emotional and relational pain.

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