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How do I mend the fence? (not really about a fence)

the relationship between my husband and his daughter is so strained. Basically her mother abandoned her and my husband raised her, I came along when she was still young. I helped him raise her and we didn't get along at first but over the course of nearly 10 years she has become like one of my own. He loves her but her mother brainwashed her into thinking all the wrong things about him (before she left), and even though he ended up with her he could never get her to understand how hard it was for him as a single father with her, he had to work to support her so left her with her grandma a lot so he could work until I came along I took care of her. she feels she just kept getting passed along. They NEVER talk. I am always in the middle, and now that she is engaged to be married I think they should repair the relationship or we won't be invited. How can I get them to repair this? or at least create a way to get it started

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Asked by Anonymous at 5:19 PM on Jul. 29, 2009 in Relationships

Answers (3)
  • Wow hun... I am so sorry. I don't even know what to tell you. It's hard when a parent says false things to a child about the other one and that's not your husband's fault. I would say maybe going to talk to somebody (maybe the pastor that will marry them if that's the way they're going). Maybe have them over for dinner and then you and the fiance leave and let the two of them talk or go for coffee. I don't honestly know. Once a child is convinced of something, it's very hard to change their mind unfortunately and so when they don't understand the truth, it breaks your heart knowing that your husband will never get a chance to have that relationship with his daughter for a reason that isn't so. I hope it gets better hun.

    Answer by TheJBug at 5:24 PM on Jul. 29, 2009

  • The only thing you can do is to share the feelings each of them has with the other so they can know why the other person did or felt the way they did.
    Usually problems like that are from lack of communication.
    I'd suggest that the daughter write a heartfelt letter to her Dad to tell him how she feels and I'd suggest that you tell her that now that she's an adult, that she should be able to see why he had to work so hard, and that he loved her or he wouldn't have kept her with him. So many parents don't bother to do that.
    He's a good guy, lots of men wouldn't take on a child, but especially a female child alone.

    Answer by lisa_ann_p at 6:07 PM on Jul. 29, 2009

  • I think that you should talk to the daughter woman to woman and let her know that she should try not to take old baggage into her new marriage. If she is upset about things that happened in her childhood (and she has a right to be) she should ask her dad some very difficult questions. "Why did mom leave? Why did you leave me with grandma? What happened when this....???" As many questions as she has until she gets to the end. Maybe not this year or before her wedding, but some time. I did this with my dad and found it very healing. All he could really say was that he was sorry, that he was doing his best to be a single dad and work 3 jobs, that he didn't always make the best decisions. I was in my late 20s before I had the courage to confront my dad about things that had always bothered me. Even though the past cannot be helped for me to just hear him say he was sorry.

    Answer by Niki_sd at 6:35 PM on Jul. 29, 2009

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