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Doctor Kevin
Doctor Kevin, Ph.D.
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1482
Experience:  24 years in a private practice
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Hi. I was a single father to a 6 year old until 8 months

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I was a single father to a 6 year old until 8 months ago (bio mother deceased). I met a wonderful lady with two gorgeous children 10 and 11. Their dad abandoned them completely 9 years ago and my partner has done a magnificent job with them whilst finishing uni and becoming a a high school teacher.

Recently we have moved in together and are trying to meld our familys. My partner has always been very good at teaching her kids to help around the house, I have not. I'm learning fast and it's been a rough road for my 6 year old daughter because her new mum has limited patience with her and she is testing. You ask her to do two things and she'l do one. I can see a great improvement in her but it's not happening fast enough for my partner. She seems to think that she should be capable of the same things that her older children are.

Anyhow, we had an argument yesterday morning because I've been a little concerned that she is not being patient enough. I love all three of our children and have been trying to reinforce all my partners wishes in terms of disciplin of our youngest but also must look after her phycological welbeing.

I went to work. During the day, my mother visited my partner and proceeded to tell her all about my previous borderline abusive realationship, my daughters loss of her mother etc etc and that she needs to be patient.

I never spoke to my mother as what is between myself and my partner is private. Because she visited with bad timing and spoke about similar things that my partner and I had discussed in the morning, my partner thinks I sent her around to speak to her.....

To worsen matters, I came home early from work to talk to my partner and she went for a walk. Whilst she was on her walk my mother sent her a txt message to apologise for the poor timing and that she should have rang before visiting.... Now she thinks I rang my mother and asked her to apologise! I have not talked to my mother at all in the last few days and would never involve her in our private discussions. My partner does not believe me. I talked to her for 2 hours last night and this morning woke to find her still not convinced that I didn’t ask my mother to get involved. She says that what my mother talked about was too similar to be a coincident.

I understand her being upset about a visit from her inlaw, I’m upset that she came around unannounced and even more annoyed that she thought that I may not have talked to my partner about my girls bio mum and our relationship before. My problem now is that my partner thinks I’m lying about not sending my mother round to talk to her.

I’m hurt that she doesn’t trust me and I don’t know how to fix it. What started as a disagreement in disciplinary differences between our children which could be discussed and sorted out, has turned in to direct accusations that I’m lying and indirect accusations that I’m incapable of dealing with my own relationship challenges. I left home 13 years ago at 17 and my parents have only moved to the same city 12 months ago. I have never involved my parents in any of my personal life and I’m not about to start. My parents have never been the interfering type and they appear to love my new partner nearly as much as I do.

What the hell do I do??? I’m doing the time without the crime and I’m concerned with her mistrust and reactions – its reminding me of the way my physco ex wife behaved and I went through lots of counselling after she died to put the pieces of that together.

Advice Please?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Doctor Kevin replied 5 years ago.

Kevin Kappler :

Thank you for chosing JustAnswer!

Kevin Kappler :

Sorry to hear that your wonderful partner does not trust you but I think there is more to it than that. She has high expectations of herself and I suspect is taking your daughter's not accepting and obeying her as a personal failure. Her internal conflict is making your mother's visit be blown all out of proportion.

Kevin Kappler :

You need to let your partner know that you have decided that you will only talk to your mother with her present. This achieves two things.It proves to her that you are not using your mother to make her understand that your daughter has a rough hiistory and it shows her that you wil value your partner over your mother in raising the children.


I have already suggested that we talk to my mother together about her visit, she is not interested. I even suggested that she calls her to discuss her reasons for coming around. I beleive its my partners opinion that I would have asked my mother not to tell her that I asked her to visit.

Kevin Kappler :

I understand her reaction and this conferms the fact that your partner is takinng your daughter's lack of acceptance of her personally. Her problems with your mother are a smoke screen. You can put her at ease by saying that in the future you want to work as a team and you will only have contact with your mother in her presence. This will assure her that you value her over your mother and may eventually end this conflict.

Kevin Kappler :

Secondly you need to stear this discussion in the right direction. You need to start an open dialogue with your partner about what you can do to support her in assuming the role of the "mother" to your daughter and have her suggest ways to have you help her so that you work together to get your daughter to accept the fact that she has a real live mother in her life who is going to be consistent and there for her.

Kevin Kappler :

Let me know your feelings about my suggestions. I really think it is the way to go and will deal with the problem directly and not obliquely through this discussion about your mother.


I'll give it another go. I've already tried to open a dialogue regarding our teamwork as parents but it is quickly pushed to the side because she thinks I'm lying to her.

Kevin Kappler :

Then you need to regain her trust. She does not trust you and you need to start on that discussion. You restore trust by doing what you say, standing up to what you have offered and accept responsibility for any discrepancy between what you said and what you do. Only a lyer will plead and wine. A truthful person stands by what he says and his word becomes to be respected.


Yeah I've tried to tackle that. I said last night that "she can ask the question as many times as she likes and I'll give the same answer and until she can trusts me that I never contacted her that its hard to move forward."

Kevin Kappler :

That may be an honest answer but she is already convinced that you are in cahoots with your mother and there is no convincing her otherwise. That is why I suggested to work from now in attempting to reestablish your integrety and switch the discussion to your daughter which is her real concern. Talking about what you did say and didn't say to your mom is only taking the course most liers would take, pleading and whining.

Kevin Kappler :

I see that you are currently off-line. I have responded to your request as best as I can. If you have more to add about the situation feel free to do so. If you have already received a satisfactory answer to your question, click the accept button. Experts are paid only for each accepted answer they provide.

Kevin Kappler :

I will be online for another hour and then return in the late afternon till midnight. I am interested in your reaction to my interpretation. If you are satisfied please remember that I don't get paid nless you click the accept button.

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