“My daughter and my new husband have major problems.”
Dear Annie,My 15 year old daughter hates her step dad. My husband and I have been married for 7 1/2 years. This behavior really started changing when she became a teenager.
She really didn't get to know her biological father until she was about 6 or 7 years old. Their current relationship is ok. Her step dad came into the picture shortly after she started seeing her biological dad more often.
My husband and I try to set rules and boundaries without being overbearing, whereas her bio dad is very strict. We understand that she is a teenager and needs some freedom (not too much though). She really starts having problems with her step dad when he starts, as she puts It, "Getting into her business." I know that he loves her and she loves him, but they just don't see eye to eye and I am always stuck in the middle. PLEASE HELP!!!!! How can I get them to get along and respect each other?
Torn in Two
Dear Torn in Two,
The short answer is "you can't." It's their choice to make the peace and start treating each other with respect... or not. But what you absolutely can do is tell them (calmly) how it makes you feel when they start in on each other. Tell them how it's affecting you to feel like you're "always stuck in the middle" between the two people you love most in the world. Hopefully that will get their attention. These two may never see eye to eye but they can certain work together (with your help) to draw up some guidelines that can help to avoid some of the blow ups. My suggestion is that you call a Family Meeting and get this out in the open and handled once and for all. Here are some useful tips on running a family meeting.
Bottom line is this: you deserve more peace in your family. Your daughter and your husband probably want that too. Start with that common goal and work together to figure out what compromises/changes they're willing to make in order to start treating each other with more respect.
I wish you well.