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Norman M.
Norman M., Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 2536
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DHP, ECP, UKCP Registered, 10 years in relationship counselling, over 2,000 satisfied mental health customers.
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My partner and I have been in a relationship for 5 years. We

Customer Question

My partner and I have been in a relationship for 5 years. We have both been married before and have children to our first marriages. He has 3 daughters and I have a son and a daughter. He is very close with his youngest daughter. She and her older sister live with his ex wife. His eldest daughter is married and has a child. He has very different relationships with each three girls as they all have very different personalities. The youngest one is now 22. She is a very emotional person and is very dependant on her parents.

I get along well with the three girls except for the 22 year old. Right from the start of our relationship she has always made a point of trying to make sure that when she was visiting us or if we were at a family function she would take her father (my partner) and have to have talks with him in private for lenghty periods of time leaving me alone with the rest of his extended family. Or if she came to visit us at home she would need to go outside to talk to him about her problems and make it quite clear that she was there to visit her father and for me to keep away. I have been very patient with it and have even gone out for a couple of hours to accomodate her need to be "alone" with her father.

For his last birthday she organised a surprise outing for him for the day (which I have no problem with) but she had no intention of telling me anything about what time they would be home or what she had arranged. I don't need to know but I would have thought that she would at least say something to me about the outing and explain that she and her dad would not be home for dinner or be home late that day so I could make my own arrangements.

My partner and I fought over this for a week. He said he understood my point of view but I am sure he realy couldnt see anything wrong with it and when it comes to his children I understand his loyalty to them.

Now the same thing has happened again except this time it's for fathers day and this time she has arranged an overnight stay somewhere. She knew I was upset the last time she did this and didnt inform of anything. Now she has just done the same thing again as her present to him for fathers day. She did have the opportunity to tell me what she got him or what she arranged as we were at fathers day lunch and I was talking to her and I asked her what she had gotten him for a present and she looked vague and said it was on its way. I thought she must have ordered something and was waiting for it to arrive.

Then a couple of days later my partner told me he had spoken to her on the phone and she had told him of her plan to take him away somewhere for the weekend.

I have three issues with this. My first issue is that she seems to purposley keep me uninformed of her arrangements or plans when it comes to her father. That is fine, but since we live together I think it would be common courtsey to let the other person know at least something of what your plans were to be.

My second issue is and this is the one that I am really struggling with is that I find it odd and strange that a 22 year old girl and her father go away together for the weekend. I am sure they will be sleeping in the same hotel room as she would not afford seperate rooms and I am quite unnerved about what the sleeping arrangments would be.

My third issue is that I feel unsupported my partner through all of this. When I try to discuss it with him he gets deffensive and just says he understands but doesnt see what the big deal is.

I was close to leaving him yesterday as I dont feel I can keep dealing with the issues we have in our relationship. There are intimacy issues which I have alread written to your colum about previously. There are trust issues on both sides, his are more financely based and mine are more based on his fidelity to me.

Please help me I am getting sick with stress of it all and I am very close to leaving him. He says he loves me and I love him but I can't talk about it to him anymore and I dont know if I am the wrong one for thinking these things or if my concerns are founded.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  SLREED replied 1 year ago.
I understand your frustration in this situation. However, perhaps you can take some steps so that this situation can easily be resolved. First, why don't you try to have a heart to heart with your partner's daughter. Do not be mean to her, or come off in a rude way. Instead be nice, and make conversation with her... in the politesse way possible.

You can then bring up the fact that as her father's wife that you would like to be included in her plans from now. You can also suggest that you would like to assist her in planning these things for her father when she does something. You can tell her that by working with her, that you know that it would make her father happy. Try to be as nice as possible.

The thing about it, is that you are not going to win fighting with your partner over this topic. He is going to feel like he has to choose between you and his children. Therefore, it is better to make nice with her and work with her as oppose to working against her so that your partner does not feel like he has to chose. What she did was not right, maybe she feels that on some level she is fighting for her father attention. Or may be she feels that she is in competition with you.

If you ever heard the expression, that if you can't beat them then join them. I think that this works in this case. If you try to talk to her and be nicer to her, then hopefully this will open up the line of communication between you two, and she will not feel the need to keep you out of the loop, and she may not feel so competitive toward you, if she feels like she knows you better.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I need more clarification regarding this problem. As I stated I do not feel comfortable with the idea that my partner is going away for a weekend with his 22 year old daughter. As I said I am certain that they will share a hotel room as she will not afford separate accomodation. I do not feel that this is appropriate. I won't know if there are single beds or if they are sharing the same bed. I just dont think it is right. She is not a child but a grown woman.


 


THey are both affectionate towards each other. Once we were out and she was sitting next to him he was holding her hand. Or if he see's her he will put is arm around her. She will hug him when she see's him but its not just a hug its a long hug. It all makes me feel very uneasy. I dont know if its because i am a woman and his partner or what ?


 


Can you please tell me if this is normal behaviour from a father/daughter relationship or should i be concerned

Expert:  SLREED replied 1 year ago.
I understand that you do not feel comfortable. Perhaps some things that you can try are to ask if you can go with them on the trip. You can also asked if there are separate beds or rooms, before getting yourself upset and assuming that they are staying together. You can also asked your husband to purchase a separate room for her, or as a sign of friendship, you can offer to pay for her a separate room. Although you do not feel comfortable, I fear that arguing with him over this issues is not going to have a positive outcome.

If you look at it this way, his daughter is 22, do you really feel like something inappropriate is going to happen between your husband and his daughter. If so then perhaps you should evaluate if you want to be with someone like this anyway. I understand that you are concerned about them being affectionate toward one another, but do you really feel in your heart of hearts that something is going on between them.

As far as what you mentioned. I have seen daughter and father have interactions like this. Perhaps not so much as holding hands. But from what you have mentioned, it seem like they are hugging and he is putting his arm around her, if I saw this, I would consider this to be normal. I would get concerned, if you observed them kissing on the lips or touching each other bodies in not so appropriate areas. As far as them sleeping in the same bed, this is not appropriate at all. Them sharing a room with different beds, is not an ideal situation, however it may be acceptable among some people, but it is more uncommon.

I guess what I am trying to get at, is that you really do not want to make a mountain out of a mole hill. You and your husband are already having conflict. The last think you want to do is start putting stipulations on his relationship with his daughter. I fear that you will lose.

From what you have told me, about their interaction no I do not think that it is inappropriate. I do think the sharing a room is, though. However, you are not entirely sure about them sharing a room so asking first, may be better before getting upset.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I can assure you that they will be sharing a room as she is taking him away and she does not have the money to pay for two rooms. And yes knowing her the way I do and observing her with him I dont think either of think it is inappropriate to share a room or a bed for that matter. I was the one who asked the questions about the sleeping arrangements. He got upset and said he didnt know because "its a surprise" she hasnt told him anything about where they are going or where they are staying. I have to leave it up to her to have the good sense to get a room with two single beds.


 


And yes he has sat there and held her hand when we were out and I was sitting there next to him feeling very weird indeed. We were standing in line waiting at a restaurant and he was putting his arm around her and standing with her as if you would with your partner. I find it all very upsetting.


 


I dont know if something inappropriate is going on I have never been faced with this kind of situation before. That is why I am asking you !


 


And you are right I would not want to be with someone like that if that were the case. So what do you advise I do. How do I approach this subject with him and what do I say ?


 


I am at my witts end with this and am feeling quite sickened by the thought of it all.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Answer came too late.
Expert:  Norman M. replied 1 year ago.
BotXXXXX XXXXXne? Tell him that you simply will not accept him going away and sharing a room with his daughter, that it is inappropriate, and that you are no longer prepared to accept being left out of arrangements.

From what you describe, their physical contact is approriate and natural. However, I think you would be within your rights to demand to be included in weekends away or whatever, so long as you are prepared to accept the consequences of his possible reaction.
Norman M., Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 2536
Experience: ADHP(NC), DHP, ECP, UKCP Registered, 10 years in relationship counselling, over 2,000 satisfied mental health customers.
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