Stepmom Feels Squeezed Out by Father-Daughter RelationshipDEAR ABBY: I think my stepdaughter "Caroline" has an unhealthy relationship with my husband. Caroline calls him several times a day and gets tattoos just like his. When she got a boob job, she wanted to show him. She doesn't talk to me much, although I have tried to be close to her.
Caroline knows I don't approve of the way she gets money. She has a job at a local store, but wants things she can't afford, so she sleeps with men for money. Her dad seems fine with it.
They seem to have a closeness that he doesn't share with me. We are fine until she gets involved. She does things to keep her dad doing things for her so he doesn't have time for me. What should I do? I've talked to him about this, but he thinks I'm crazy. -- DISGUSTED STEPMOM IN GEORGIA
DEAR STEPMOM: You are not crazy. Your husband and his daughter have a relationship it would be an understatement to call "inappropriate."
Caroline appears to be unusually emotionally dependent upon her father. That she would show him her newly acquired "boobs" may seem strange, but it's not shocking to me. Many women who get implants show them off to anyone who will look until the novelty wears off.
What I do find appalling is a father who would approve of his daughter prostituting herself. What does Caroline's mother think of all this? If she's living, she must be beside herself. If she's dead, she must be spinning in her grave.
Frankly, I'm not sure what you should "do." If it were me, I'd remove myself from the equation.
He accuses strange cars that drive down our street of belonging to my boyfriends. He even went into the exam room with me while I was having a physical. The doctor asked him to leave for my privacy.
He says this shows his "concern" for me. I'm being smothered. Please help. -- STALKED BY SPOUSE
DEAR STALKED: What your husband is doing is not a demonstration of concern for you. All the checking and accusations that there are other men in your life are symptoms of his insatiable insecurity and his need to possess and control you.
His behavior is not normal. He is sick, and he could possibly be dangerous. Please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline and talk to a counselor. The toll-free phone number is 800-799-7233. You may need to create an escape plan, and someone there can help you do it.
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