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Jennifer, School Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 397
Experience:  Extensive experience fostering family relationships through consultation / counseling.
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Hi There,for about 2 years I have been tormented by critical

Customer Question

Hi There,for about 2 years I have been tormented by critical remarks made by my partner's daughter to an aunty Christmas 2008,She told her aun ty I did not do as many household tasks she thought I should do and her mother waited on me hand and foot.
It is worth remembering I had a double bypass in 2005,but I have done whatever her mother has asked me to do around the house.
When I challenged Sarah,( the daughter)by E mail,this really upset her,and replied by letter to her mother saying she felt upset at what I had said,her mother has defended her interests in her mother's welfare and it became a stone wall.
I do not know what I am meant to do to help her mother and feel guilty each daY,that I have to do something to justify my existence.
There are maybe several reasons for the criticism,I am in bed with her mother and her father died several years ago,,both her and her brother are graduates,I am not,simply a dual trained grade 1 nurse,like her parents,or I am not good enough.Thank You.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Jennifer replied 7 years ago.
Hello and thanks for using!

At the end of the day, you don't have to like your partner's daughter. For the sake of your partner's feelings, however, you may want to demonstrate respect and hope that the feeling becomes mutual. Is there anything you might do to try to foster your relationship with her? Perhaps inviting her over for coffee or lunch (just the two of you) just to spend some time together and clear the air? If that's too much, it would be perfectly appropriate for you to say something simple and clear to get the message across -- I love your mother. I'm glad we have that in common and hopefully we can build upon that.

You're very intuitive to realize all of the possible reasons she may be overly critical. She may be protective of her mother to some degree and/or this may simply be a part of her personality (albeit not a very attractive one). Try not to return the criticism and be aware of the divide it may cause between you and your partner if you criticize her daughter in any way. Best to keep the conversations about how you're feeling. Your partner may get defensive if you (or anyone) is speaking negatively about her daughter. She's more likely to feel defensive about you, however, if the conversation revolves around how you're feeling and how you'd like to feel for the sake of a happier future together.

I'd suggest you have a neutral discussion with your partner about all of this and also try the respectful (and even inviting, if you're up for it!) behavior toward her daughter. It's amazing how other people react when you make a point of behaving the way you want them to treat you. I wish you the best of luck!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hi Jennifer,unfortunately,I could never forgive Sarah for her comments and laterly I understand she was condescending in accepting that it was up to her mother what I did around the house.I do make a financial contribution and consider any helpful gesture domestically as my duty.
We have had a heated discussion since and Kay feels I have a problem that I cannot put this to bed,and have made an appointemnt with a local discuss the problem.
Although I still live at the house,I have always felt vulnerable,accepting her right to ask me to leave at any time,and now feel punished by her "deprivation" of any romance in the relationship and maybe consider myself her companion. We have had holidays together throughout the year,and together on neutral ground.
I guess I have to live with it how it is.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hi Jennifer I do not what more to say except I feel a coolness and detachment from my ?
Partner and as it is approaching 8 years since I was invited to move in express my appreciation for that and her professional intervention in enabling me to have heart surgery and extending my life,which has enabled me to travel unhindered,otherwise I would have been a permanent invalid and at worst dead.
Expert:  Jennifer replied 7 years ago.
I'm sorry to hear the situation has not changed for you and may even be worse now. How did she respond when you explained your feelings to her?? Any luck with inviting the daughter over for coffee? I'm not expecting you to become best friends, of course, just hoping the gesture would be seen as a peace offering of sorts. It may please your partner to see you make that kind of effort as well.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hi Jennifer,I'm afraid the daughter now lives in Barcelona with her b/f and I am unlikely to offer a sit and have coffee with her.She has a history of this sort of thing having been desparaging to her aunty during a stay with her during a spell at uni in London in her early twenties,even an uncle said she had always been a spoiled brat.

I guess you can never reconcile yourself to someone who you feel puts you second best to her children and fails to actively support you rather than defend their children against you.
I do not consider this a problem to me rather than an incumbrance which I guess should have been thought throughbt her daughter,and the flack to follow before making the comments.Something I will have to live with.
Expert:  Jennifer replied 7 years ago.
Have you discussed your feelings lately with your partner? It's certainly important for her to know that you're not feeling actively supported... If you have, how did she respond?

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