How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dear Debra Your Own Question

Dear Debra
Dear Debra, Advice Columnist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1852
Experience:  I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Dear Debra is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Am I being unreasonable to expect my husband (of 2 years) to

Resolved Question:

Am I being unreasonable to expect my husband (of 2 years) to consult with me about when and how how long my step-daughter, son-in-law and grandbaby come to stay at our house? BTW, this is not the house where my stepdaughter grew up, but a house that my husband and I purchased together. There are 2 other sets of parents in this same town, but since we married, they have always stayed with us. The last time it was for 3 weeks. My 10-year old dog is nervous around the baby and had to be cared for by another family member while they were here. (Though he has never bitten anyone, it would only take seconds for a tragedy to occur. I love my step-daughter, but I feel like the odd man out. They do not pitch in when they are here and I feel like a servant. I want to work this out, but my husband becomes intensely angry at the suggestion that I have some input on their visits. PLEASE HELP ME.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 5 years ago.
You and your husband have a house you purchased together. It's no the house your step-daughter grew up in. But she asked to stay at the house. It is both your house and you should be consulted when someone is coming to stay because you might need to get things ready. You had mentioned your dog had to be moved from the house. That is one thing you need to prepare for. It is important that you and your husband communicate about who will be staying at your house. Husband figures this is his daughter and she is always welcome to stay at the house. I understand that he doesn't want to say no to his daughter and grand baby. But it's not about that, it is discussing things together and not making decision without each other knowing. I know it is his daughter, but you should be told in advance so you can set things up for them to come stay. She has a baby the house needs to make sure it is all set, like you had mentioned the dog. I would say to your husband that I understand that you want your daughter to stay that is your daughter, but I would like to be notified in advance for when they are coming. It is him just understanding where you are coming from, there needs to be more communication when it comes to who is coming to stay at the house. He can't just assume that everything will be ok with her staying, he needs to make sure that everything is ok with you first. It is both your home, not just one.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

EXACTLY! He sped from A to Z screaming obscenities and saying I wanted him to disown his daughter. (she and I get along quite well). He is obviously not reating to what I said but maybe something from his past? It is scary


BTW, she lived with us the first seven months of our marriage b/c she was pregnant and her husband was in Afghanistan. We had been married 3 months when I asked him to please ask her to replace the toilet paper when she used it all ( Because he is so defensive, I did not feel comfortable asking her myself). He blew up, first that I was uncomfortable asking her without talking to him, then that I made such a big deal of it. He said "F you, I want a divorce."


Yesterday, I said I didn't feel like he was treating me like a partner. He said "She's been with me a lot longer than you have." I was shocked. I think he must feel guilty about something. He is obviously having trouble balancing his roles of husband and father. He will not go back to counseling b/c he felt like the counselor and I just picked on him.


We are educated. professional church-going people. I do not intend to be "in competition" with my step-daugher, but his statements almost sound like he thinks he must choose between us. (And it is clear that he would not choose me). Am I over-reacting?

Expert:  Dear Debra replied 5 years ago.
You asked me if you are over-reacting? No, you are not. The problem is your husband feels like he needs to protect his daughter. It sounds like he thinks she should be taken care of. Is there something in his past that makes him feel like he needs to take care of her and protect her? Because he was screaming obscenities he is not reasonable when it comes to his daughter. He's yelling which he should not be yelling, he should be respectful and discuss things calmly with you. But he is yelling because he can not communicate how he feels in the right way. All he knows how to do to try to make you understand is yell. But that is not helping you understand. That must of been very difficult in the beginning of your marriage. Your step-daughter was pregnant and must of been constantly worried about her husband being in Afghanistan. That would be a very difficult situation. I'm sure your husband was very nervous and worried about the feeling of his daughter and what she was going through. I agree with you not intending to be in competition with his daughter. You are his wife who loves him and he loves you, but he will always have a different love for his daughter. You need to point out that he doesn't have to choose between you both, that just because you wanted your step-daughter to help a little bit around the house doesn't mean you should get a divorce. But lets take a look at why he lashed out in that way. You asked if his daughter could do something, you didn't want to ask him, so you discussed it with him. This was the right things to do. He yelled because he feels like his daughter should not be doing these things because she is going through a tough time. He figures she has enough to worry about with her husband and being pregnant. So he thinks that you should take care of her as well and be understanding to his daughters needs. But your step-daughter is living with you and could help you out and think of your needs. It's thoughtful and considerate to help others out, even if it is just picking up after yourself, so someone else doesn't have to do it.
Dear Debra, Advice Columnist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1852
Experience: I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
Dear Debra and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Previous | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX

Meet The Experts:

  • Kate McCoy

    Kate McCoy


    Satisfied Customers:

    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
< Last | Next >
  • Kate McCoy's Avatar

    Kate McCoy


    Satisfied Customers:

    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
  • Rafael M.T.Therapist's Avatar

    Rafael M.T.Therapist


    Satisfied Customers:

    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
  • Ms Chase's Avatar

    Ms Chase

    Life Coach

    Satisfied Customers:

    Over 20 yrs experience with Relationships, Sexuality, Friendship, and Family Issues
  • Alicia_MSW's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Specializing in relationship/family counseling
  • Dr. Norman Brown's Avatar

    Dr. Norman Brown

    Marriage Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    Family Therapist & teacher 35+ yrs; PhD research in couples
  • Dr. L's Avatar

    Dr. L


    Satisfied Customers:

    Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
  • Suzanne's Avatar


    Therapist, LCSW

    Satisfied Customers:

    Experienced in treating trauma, relationship issues, co-dependency

Related Relationship Questions