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Old 09-22-2003, 04:15 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: South Dakota
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Running on empty

Help! I have been married 5 months. This is my second marriage. I have raised twin boys successfully by myself who are now 21. My husband has an 11 year old girl I will call Z. He has been divorced about 1 and1/2 years and seperated for 2. During the time he was married (13 years) he and his wife were estranged. After the birth of his daughter the wife was relieved to find that there was someone in the family who would be her husbands companion and give him affection so that she didn't have to. My husband "R", and Z became inseperable while "mom" stayed in her room and was aloof and uninvolved except when there were blow-ups.
During the seperation and year or so of being divorced "R" looked to Z for support. R was devistated, having not initiated the divorce and fought for 1/2 time custody of his daughter. He now pays $1000 in support and also has the responsibility for raising her 1/2 time.
The rub comes when he and I are alone 1/2 time things have been great! Then when Z is here she plays on his guilt and manipulates. She is used to having him 24/7 when here. I am the "wedge". She insists on us entertaining her when here. The universe revolves around her. She had one friend over, one day, during the last 5 months. The phone does not ring for her and she does not call other friends. This tells me that the fact is that her dad discourages any interaction with friends her own age because he is used to having her all to himself. He has used her for his own personal and intimate needs. His daughter saw him cry daily and be so depressed. And she was there for him. He slept with her nightly (I had no idea before marrying him) up until I moved in and married him. She sits on his lap regularly, and when we go out on family events he "holds" her and and she clings to him and I stand there like a bump on the log.
She wets and poops her pants still regularly. I don't know what this means other than there is some emotional issue.....probably the enmeshment issue???
I do not believe that my husband has fondled my step daughter or anything like that. But he does not understand appropriate and inappropriate behavior both publically and privately. He does not understand that he is hurting her more than he is helping her. He sees this as affection that she needs. I see it as his need. How can I help to encourage other behavior from both of them? What should I do. Divorce is not an option.
Today the mediator between his ex and he told then to knock off the pettiness and told them straight up that he has other clients who bring up Z name and how he has heard what a problem child she is in school etc. He told them she is a prime candidate for real teen problems and even suicide if her parents don't get it together. The hardest part for me is that I have become more of the problem rather than the solution in that my husband cannot align himself with my ideas and understanding therefore we fight when she is here alot.
What to do?
We are in Christian Counseling right now and haven't gotten to the heart of the issue yet. But is there a book or anything more I can do. I was a minister and have some counseling skills etc I read alot an am willing to do whatever is necessary.
Thanks
Jilli
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