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Norman M.
Norman M., Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DHP, ECP, UKCP Registered, 10 years in relationship counselling, over 2,000 satisfied mental health customers.
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My husbands 37 year old single (never been married) daughter

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My husband's 37 year old single (never been married) daughter is trying to break up our marriage. She has a BS in psychology is tall slim and quite sexy. She has a doctor boyfriend who is quite a bit older, not very good looking, but performs cosmetic surgery for which she is an active participant. She has a vile hatred for me for marrying her dad. Her father is torn because he loves his daughter but her animosity towards me is pitifully evident.

From her perspective, I am dead and I don't exist. I am not allowed anywhere near her especially when she's with her father. She tells him how much she loves him, rubs his chest and strokes and kisses him all over his face. She invites him to parties and get togethers with her friends. She oogles over him and runs her fingers through his hair, fusses over him and it is sickening to watch. She acts like his escort service date. He thinks she's just playing and loving her dad but it's constant and appears extremely abnormal.

His bipolar ex wife was extremely difficult to live with. When she was growing up, his daughter sympathized and consoled her father through those difficult years. He saw her as his salvation and spoke to her on the phone 4 to 10 times a day. He's finally realized what she's evolved into and sees her far less than before. I can, however, see her using her sex appeal to step up the interaction and lure him back into the web more often to try to incite animosity between us. She makes him ride with her so he can't control the time and she keeps him away from 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM or later, ON THE WEEKENDS!!

He's afraid to say anything because he thinks it's too late to try and thinks she will cut him off permanently (which would be fine with me). How does he handle a middle aged woman and prevent her from controlling him? Is it too late for tough love on a woman this age?

No, it's NEVER too late, but your husband need some tough love too.

We humans only indulge in behaviour that brings reward of some kind. Only when that reward (whatever it might be) disappears, or the consequences of our behaviour promise to be unpleasant do we consider changing what we do. Like a child, your husband is going to have to learn to accept boundaries, and you have to give him reason to change.

He needs to know that if he does not change his ways, there will be consequences, and also how his enabling her is very hurtful and humiliating to you

The important point is that this is NOT blackmail – it is giving him a chance to change and grow emotionally, to the benefit of both of you. He needs incentive to change his ways, or he will not – why should he? If you want to continue like this, do what you are doing. I not, have the strength and maturity to give him some tough love and allow him to grow.

There is an old saying that "If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got", so if he will not change, your future with him is going to be just like your past.

You need to tell him that you are not prepared to continue to allow him being controlled by his daughter, and discuss with him what strategies you can both put in place to prevent that happening. For example, using his own transport so that he has control over his time, and telling his daughter that he is not going to go to parties with her or her friends if you are not invited.

I’m going to suggest too that you would benefit greatly from a course of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It is a form of therapy that addresses problems in a direct and targeted way and is brief compared with most other therapies.

You need to be able to see your situation more objectively and rationally, so that you can make good, balanced decisions about your future and how you are going to handle this issue

CBT is based on the fact that what we think in any given situation generates beliefs about, and reactions to that situation, and also causes the behaviour and feelings which flow from those beliefs and reactions.

These ‘automatic thoughts’ are so fast that generally, we are unaware that we have even had them. We call them ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) for short.

If the pattern of thinking we use, or our beliefs about our situation are even slightly distorted, the resulting emotions and actions that flow from them can be extremely negative and unhelpful. The object of CBT is to identify these ‘automatic thoughts’ then to re-adjust our thoughts and beliefs so that they are entirely realistic and correspond to the realities of our lives, and that therefore, the resulting emotions, feelings and actions we have will be more useful and helpful.

Cognitive therapists do not usually interpret or seek for unconscious motivations but bring cognitions and beliefs into the current focus of attention and through guided discovery encourage clients to gently re-evaluate their thinking.

Therapy is not seen as something “done to” the client. CBT is not about trying to prove a client wrong and the therapist right, or getting into unhelpful debates. Through collaboration, questioning and re-evaluating their views, clients come to see for themselves that there are alternatives and that they can change.

Clients try things out in between therapy sessions, putting what has been learned into practice, learning how therapy translates into real life improvement.

Please visit this website for much more detailed information on CBT:

If you cannot afford to see a therapist, there are good free CBT based self-help resources here:

Best wishes,


Norman M. and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hello Norman,


What can I do (or say to him) to be more specific about letting him know the change begins with him? I have told him that I don't want him to go to events or parties with her unless I'm there too. He listens, but he doesn't hear.


He'll surprise me and say "oh, by the way, I'm leaving to meet Lisa and we're going to a ballgame today" just like it's perfectly normal. Well surprise! Now if I had plans for us to do something, that's too bad because Lisa wants him ALONE! I am never told in advance or asked if I would mind if he went with her.


I've always been puzzled at how he would allow her to interfere with his relationships, both before and during ours. He thinks it's his duty, but In my opinion, he must be masochistic! I think her objective is divide and conquer, create dissention and make us fight.


When we were dating, she called in the middle of our dinner date and wanted him immediately because she had an emergency! He would leave me at the restaurant to run to her need. One in particular, was to drive her to a party because she would be drinking and couldn't drive herself home! Emergency? I couldn't believe my eyes! She is extremely adept at making her father feel like he should do as she asks because she needs his help.


My first husband passed away in 1998 and I dated John for eight years before I agreed to marry him. It wasn't until he stood up to his daughter and said something she didn't like, ( which included the words, I want to marry Carol) so she cut him off entirely for over a year. During that estrangement, I finally agreed to marry him and life was great until she slowly and methodically weedled her way back into his life. Their conversations were always private so I didn't know they were communicating again.

I think you have to try to be firm, and tell him that his continued behavior is putting such a strain on your relationship that if he does continue to go events or parties alone with her, or fails to give you reasonable advance warning that you will have to think hard about your future together. Make it clear to him that you are not asking or expecting him to cut his daughter off, but that you are going to expect him to change sis ways a bit.

Also that what is good for him is good for you if he can just go off to social events without you, then you can do the same thing.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you Norman, you have basically reinforced my assessment and opinion of what I should do! I needed confirmation from an outside source because this is treading on delicate territory. The sad thing is that he adores his daughter but to me, her objective is blatantly evident!


Here's a little chuckle for you....I haven't seen her for more than five years, but he has allowed these clandestine meetings to continue. (With exception to the estrangement) To me it's absurd! She has told people awful things about me that are brazen lies. She justifies the lies with a tiny element of truth but the original story is so far removed, it's unrecognizable! I could go on but I won't bore you.


Thank you again, you've given me the courage to confront the problem!

Glad to help!