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My New Wife & My Daughters Cannot Get Along

by Anonymous

I met my new wife shortly after a rocky divorce. My daughters were 3 and 7. The woman whom I would eventually marry was the ideal companion and nurturer with a similar previous divorce with 3 boys, when they were 8 through 14.

We fell in love and slowly started blending our family while trying to navigate the challenges that we would face together. Both our ex's did not play a big role with influencing the children as we assumed the role of providers.

Over time I envisioned unconditional love for all and that would be enough to achieve contentment and peace and joy. However, early on my partner and my daughters couldn't seem to relate very well, and me and her boys related fairly naturally.

Things did improve in many areas of our life including financial and stability. I deeply love my partner more and more as well. I committed to her boys as a father figure successfully I believe. My partner and my children however have never been able to develop any time of relationship.

As an eternal optimist I continue to try and solve the problem with education and discussions but I am being faced with a terrible decision. How can I continue life with my wife with my daughters feeling I married the wicked stepmother? And with the woman I love not being able or willing to be vulnerable enough to win over my girls?

We blended our family gradually for 10 years before we married understanding that things aren't perfect but believing we could get through together.

My wife makes my girls feel like they in the way or a nuisance and the girls make my wife feel like she isn't involved with their lives. Basically they all feel like they are being abused by the other.

I've tried to explain both sides and hoped things would improve but I’ve achieved no results at this point. I've also played a big part in mentoring her boys to become how they are capable of becoming.

My girls are also very sincere and relatively successful at their stages so really all is well.

However, I see the way my wife broadcasts her disapproval and unhappiness in general and I can't fix it or understand why she chooses to be right and sacrifices being happy.

So this is my dilemma and I am reaching out to help me provide a safe comfortable environment for all to become healthy and happy.

I remain the ultimate optimist.

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Aug 29, 2019
Some Suggestions For You
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi, and thanks for your contribution.

Your situation is pretty familiar to me as a counselor, and while I certainly don't know much about you or your family specifically, I will give you some general ideas to consider that might be helpful to you.

1) I suggest that you stop trying to help. Trust your wife and daughters to work it out on their own. While I'm sure you have the best of intentions, your intervention could actually be making things worse instead of better. Try staying out of it, and see what happens. If either your wife or daughters complain to you, just say something like, "I'm sure you will work things out. I have confidence in all of you."

2) While you didn't say so specifically, it sounds like the "terrible decision" you are facing is leaving your marriage because of this problem. This reflects that you are possibly making your daughters a higher priority than your marriage. Your marriage is a lifetime commitment, and your daughters will soon be grown and starting families of their own. You need to be in a "loving and letting go" mode with your daughters, and this should be fairly natural for you, since you commented that they are doing very well.

3) You probably already know this, but it's very important that you never say anything negative about your wife to your daughters, and vice versa. Don't be their mediator, counselor or moderator.

4) Make it very clear to your wife that she is your top priority. It sounds like she's the one who is the most unhappy.

Again, I don't know if these suggestions will be relevant for you, but it's the best I have for you, based on my experience in working with step families.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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