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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5418
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I am married to a man who has children from OKMH(NNN) NNN-NNNN

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I am married to a man who has children from a previous marriage as do I. They are all grown and doing well except for his eldest,named Molly. She is 25 and has always been a problem,emotionally unstable, very spoiled and lazy. His ex wife was and still is an alcoholic and Molly has moved in and out from her mother's many times and lives there now. My husband owns his own business and has employed both his daughters. His youngest is doing well and will probably take over one day. Molly figured herself to be the heir apparent and is very competitive with her sister. However, she was a store manager and finally got herself fired for poor performance, poor people skills and hiring a guy who was her boyfriend who then stole thousands of dollars which she knew about.
She has never accepted responsibility for her bad choices and to this day whines about how she doesn't know why she was fired. Currently she and her Dad are not in touch but when she contacts him,she always wants something.
My husband seems reluctant to cut her off completely and has the typical divorced dad guilt even though he has done and tried to do more for her than anyone. He still pays for health insurance and tries to get together but is brushed off. He and his ex settled their divorce and property recently (it was long and drawn out) and the ex is entitled to the proceeds of two of his stores. (its a pizza franchise). Molly is obviously in cahoots with the mom because she gets money and can do as she pleases. She is not nice to her mom however and has even gotten physically rough with her on occasion.
In the last month, this Molly took it upon herself to call other franchise owners to help her mother market these stores. My husband has first right of refusal,which means he can buy back the stores if he wants to match the best bid,assuming of course that the price is a fair market value. Molly gave false,inflated sales numbers to one of the bigwig owners in our area and he submitted a bid based on these phony numbers. My husband happened to encounter him at a business meeting and inquired why his bid was so high and that's when it came out what Molly had done.
We have been advised that we cannot prosecute for fraud because a transaction would have had to go through and have monetary damage to be fraud. However,it is certainly attempted fraud and a real backstabbing move.
Like many men, my husband doesn;t like to be confrontational. It seems to me this is just going too far and Molly should be informed that her dad found out what she did.
In the meantime,she sent him an email all happy and chatty and then trying to get information out of him at the end about the store sales. Really nervy.
So after all of this introduction, is this extreme enough where the parent should confront the child? Should they be cut off? What do you see as this daughter's issues?
There never seem to be any consequences for this young woman.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
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Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 11 months ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It is difficult to know how to handle a child who acts in the way Molly does. It sounds like she has learned how to manipulate and hurt others, possibly from her mother's behavior and/or the type of environment she grew up in. Although it is difficult to tell what might be wrong without being able to talk to her, most likely she has either learned behaviors or she might have a personality disorder. And if she is unstable and does have a personality disorder, it will be unlikely that any consequences for her behavior at this point will have much effect. She has been playing her parents off each other and using her parent's situation to her advantage. Plus she is an adult so getting her to comply is going to be difficult.

Also, if Molly has been in counseling, the therapist should have diagnosed her. If your husband can get a copy of her records (if the counseling took place when Molly was under 18 years of age) you will be able to tell what her diagnosis was and may still be.

What you can do is talk to your husband about a team approach to this problem with Molly. It sounds like your husband is reluctant to put his foot down, probably due to parental guilt as you mentioned. So getting him on the same page as you if vital if anything is to be done about Molly's behavior.

Try talking to your husband about your concerns regarding Molly's effect on your family. But this time, try to approach him in a concerned way, bringing up how he might feel about Molly and what she is doing. Allow him time to vent about what he feels, even if he leans more towards forgiving her. Once he is able to talk about his feelings, bring up your side of things. However, try to approach him in a "I'm on your side" manner. That way, he is more willing to hear you out.

Make a plan on how to approach the situation with Molly. Most likely, due to her behavior, it is better to have very limited contact. Your husband can tell her what he found out regarding what she did with his business, but to what end is unclear. It is very unlikely Molly will reform her behavior based on her father knowing what she did, as she has been caught many times doing things to hurt him. A more effective approach might be for you and your husband to try to limit Molly's ability to interfere in your husband's business dealings. You can do that through your attorney. You may also be able to point out the issues through Molly's manipulation of her mother and get the courts to limit her behavior in some way.

You can also limit how much you see Molly and encourage your husband to do the same. He can talk to her but try to limit how much discussion he has about his business or anything personal. If Molly does have issues, she will use what she can to hurt her father and you. So limiting her contact helps a lot.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5418
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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