Hi, George! I'll be glad to help you with this issue.
I can imagine how frustrating as well as confusing and distressing this situation must be for you. George, you are clearly a loving and caring husband and father/grandfather. It comes through very much in what you write. And you're in that classic triangle, in the middle of that classic triangle.
I want you to know that age really has nothing to do with this triangle. There's the wife on one side, the children (it can be 1, 2, or more and it's the same so often) on the other. And they are each pulling you in a different direction. Meaning, they each have a loyalty to you. They love you. And they want your loyalty. And so they pull at you. And the new wife feels threatened by that pull from the other side, no matter how much you try to make it a gentle pull or hide the pull from the children. She still feels threatened.
And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. George, your wife is going to feel threatened for a while, probably quite a while, before she feels comfortable in her position as your wife but not their mother. Therefore, you're not going to find a way to ease her mind by doing more than you are in terms of your actions with your daughter. It sounds like you're being very sensitive to your wife already.
You need to instead put all your efforts into when you're not on the phone with your daughter, or interacting with her in some other way. Let me explain.
You need to put in your efforts into making your wife feel like she's the most special person in your life. That you think the world of her. That you're glad you married her. That you enjoy being with her. NOT in any way related to your daughter. That's the key.
Don't bring flowers or take her out to dinner or ask her if she wants a massage always just after talking to your daughter. She will begin to see the patter and no longer believe the sincerity. That's what I mean that it needs to be when you're not interacting with your daughter. Your wife needs to feel she's your number 1. You can't do that when your daughter is in the picture right now. So you have to do it when she's not in the picture.
This is the most effective way that husbands have to deal with this new wife vs. adult children issue. To make her feel she's the most important to you throughout the week when you're not talking to your daughter.
Okay, I wish you the very best!
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