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Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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My 16 year old daughter asked my husband (step father) not

Resolved Question:

My 16 year old daughter asked my husband (step father) not to open her door after she had just taken a shower. He tried once and then did. She and I are angry.
Last year, she accused him of looking in her window. She was really misbehaving and he said he was looking out for her. The psychiatrist and counselors believed him. After months of counseling, we reconciled.
I can't leave him for financial reasons. HELP!
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 5 years ago.
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue.

Obviously, anyone observing this situation would agree that this man is a voyeur and has in inappropriate interest under aged girls. And of course he is 'looking out for her' (I'm sure he didn't realize what an unconsciously driven 'pun' this was when he said it)

I doubt most women would agree to stay in a relationship with a guy who had sexual interests in her daughter; you certainly didn't 'sign on' for this when you agreed to marry him. The rehab rates for things like voyeurism and pedophilia aren't that great but what is really a problem here is that even if your husband stopped his peeping behavior with your daughter, he has probably permanently damaged his relationship with her (even if she forgives him, she will hold an image in her mind of him leering at her and a mental representation of him as a 'dirty old man'). So I don't know that mileage there is to be had in having a family relationship situation like this, going forward. You can insist that he go into therapy for his psycho sexual problems and even marital therapy, but the outcome will be uncertain; and this won't work if he remains defensive and denies his behavior (which speaks for itself). So you can stay and work on this situation via therapy etc., if he is willing. On the other hand, if you decide to leave, you should do so plan fully, carefully, and according to YOUR time line. For example, you would systematically take the time you need to find out about all of the divorce laws in your state if you don't know them, you'd slowly save money through an account held by a trusted parent or relative for your divorce transition and tiding you over while you get your earnings up. And then you'd ask him to leave on a specific day (e.g., we'll be out of the house all day and you need to be gone with all of your stuff by 8 p.m. when we come home); or you have movers come in and pack his stuff and put it in a storage unit you've rented. Whatever you decide of course, you remind yourself, you will do according to your time line, at the pace you wish to move it.

What do you think?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Something was wrong with the computer and I couldn't see your reply.
You are right.
My husband is wonderful when it comes to being a provider. Unfortunately, I have become to reliant on his income. I now find myself under a huge financial burden.
Though I love him, I love my daughter more.
The really hard thing is trying to let her understand that I just can't leave him right away, that I need to be somewhat financially stable. The harder thing is to look in her eyes and realize that she is hurt. The hardest thing is to realize that I had something to do with this pain.
Well... I am a strong woman and have to move past this.
Thank you.
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 5 years ago.
Your first responsibility is your daughter; I see too many women sacrificing the welfare of their kids to sustain a dysfunctional marriage or 2nd marriage. I strongly applaud your priorities here. The more you can give her insight into what your plans are, when you hit upon a time line for any particular events. She will be better able to understand not leaving right away if you continue to reassure her that you'll protect her and that leaving plans are in the works, and they consist of X, Y, Z. You are a good mom!!

Let me know if I can be of further help. Please click on the green Accept button at the bottom of the screen. Thanks.
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