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Blended Families:
“My daughter hates my husband!”

Dear Annie,

I am having trouble with my 15 year old daughter. She hates her stepdad. My husband and I have been married for 7 1/2 years. This behavior really started changing when she became a teenager.

Her relationship with her biological father is ok. She really didn't get to know her biological father until she was about 6 or 7 years old. Her stepdad came into the picture shortly after she started seeing her biological dad more often.

Her biological dad is more strict than we are. We try to set rules and boundaries without being overbearing. We understand that she is a teenager and needs some freedom (not too much though). She really starts having problems with her stepdad 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 up on each other. Tell them that 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.

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 hope this helps.

In friendship,

Annie

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