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Cher, Relationship Enthusiast
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 21333
Experience:  Extensive experience as Educator/Teacher, M.A., Counselor, Spouse, Parent, Psychic Advisor
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i have been married for 21 year with three teenage daughters.

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i have been married for 21 year with three teenage daughters. The question is with my oldest who is nineteen. Her and i are like fire and water although we have very good personal chats about life issues. My husband is constantly fixing all her problems if any arise. sends missed homework to school via courier (on a regular basis) sent out a massive email to finally get her a part time 2days a week job, she was kicked out of university he knows a dr. who can write a note to get her back in, she constantly goes behind my back to him to make plans or have him purchase her clothes and such, he makes her hair, dr and dentist appointments, she has had a car for two years and still has not got her license. All this has caused great arguements and i'm feeling so much resentment. She lives at home and argues and fights with me whenever i ask her to do something. She does not contribute to the household what so ever. I end up in a huge yelling match with her then she calls my husband
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Cher replied 8 years ago.

I agree with you completely, and understand your frustration and resentment about this situation.

Your husband needs to be made to understand that he is doing more harm than good, by helping your daughter in all the ways he does. She will never grow to be an independent, responsible, mature adult if she is not allowed to get herself out of her own messes, and deal with the harsh realities of life, as in: you don't do what you're supposed to, and you will have to face the consequences.

"Real" life doesn't work the way her father is making it for her, and by protecting her from these 'life lessons', from which we all learn and then 'apply' to future situations, he is really depriving her of an important facet of her life, and a survival skill. One day she WILL be ready to leave the nest and go out on her own, and she won't be prepared to face real life. She'll expect everyone to do things for her and will experience a very rude awakening.

If you ask her to do certain things around the house, run errands, do chores, etc., and she refuses, then you'll have to cut back on some of her 'luxuries', like not doing her laundry, not cooking for her, and not cleaning up after her. Once she realizes she's not getting a 'free ride' anymore, she should start understanding that she needs to change her ways. You said you've always been able to chat with her about life issues, and this is certainly an important one.

Because your husband doesn't seem to understand that not only is he inadvertently 'hurting' his daughter by taking care of everything and making excuses for her, but he's creating discord between the two of you, as husband and wife, in addition to creating additional problems between you and your daughter, because you disagree with his style of parenting. Both parents need to agree on what's best for their children and it's not a one-person job. If parents can't agree on a parenting style, the children are going to play each end against the middle, to get what they want.

Because you have tried on your own, and couldn't make either of them see your point of view, it would be helpful if you and your husband could attend in person sessions with a marriage counselor, to present your differences, discuss your opposing viewpoints regarding your daughter, and start helping her less and less, so she can become more independent. You may also consider family therapy and have your daughter come for a few sessions, after you and your husband initially present the scope of your problems to the counselor.

I hope things improve, eventually, and your daughter becomes the type of person you feel she can be.

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