Step Daughter

Q. My husbands daughter from his previous marriage came to stay with us recently and I hated every minute of it. Shes a young woman but I feel her love for her father is very immature, based mainly on self-gratification. Ive never cared for her much but would not hurt my husband for the world so I put up with her. However, on this last visit, it all got too much. She was fawning all over my husband and he lapped it all up. I actually felt quite jealous. Now that shes gone, Im feeling a bit stupid but mostly confused. Why on earth did I react that way?Please advise.

A. Of course, you have every right to dislike your husbands daughter or any other member of his family for that matter. However, in the interests of your marriage and family relationships generally, I recommend that you try to hide your hostility because you are placing your husband in an awful position. Obviously he loves both you and his daughter but they are totally different relationships and he shouldnt have to choose. You say you dont wish to hurt him but he wouldnt sensed your discomfort on his daughters recent visit and that mustve spoilt the pleasure of her trip.

Resolve to deal with your feelings on this issue. Own them and find the source of them. If you feel they go very deep then seek professional help. Jealousy is always about us and never about the other person. Its based on personal insecurity. What was your relationship like with your father and have you got a daughter yourself that you perhaps wish you were closer to?

These are good starting points. Write to me again if I can offer further advice.

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