Q: My husband (26) and my daughter (14) were caught exchanging sexually explicit text messages. My daughter admitted to having sex with her step-father and of course he is denying it. DCS and the police are investigating and they have removed him from the home since we have a 1 year old daughter together. This is very difficult for me to deal with and I have started seeing a counselor.
When the text messages were discovered, my daughter was out of town for the summer and will now be staying there with her father. If it is proven that my husband is guilty, I can no longer support him and I believe he should get whatever is coming to him. My problem is how do I mend the relationship with my daughter? I feel betrayed by her because she is at the age to know what was going on was wrong! She felt comfortable talking to me about everything else under the sun, but I had no idea this was going on right under my nose. Everyone looks at me as the big bad mother because I agree that she was a “victim” only because of her age.
I have dealt with my daughter’s ADHD, dishonesty, self-mutilation and absent daddy issues for far too long and these new allegations just pushed me over the edge. I talk to her on the phone, but the conversations are very short as it is hard for me to hide my disappointment and anger. I haven’t been “home” because I’m just not ready to face her and know that I will act different towards her. I am trying to stay strong for the baby, but I’m facing becoming a single mother again which is a bit much. I waited to have another baby after I got married and several years of being a single mother.
Is it so wrong to harbor these feelings against my daughter? How can I overcome them to have a relationship with her? I am a young woman and plan on moving on after the divorce if he is convicted. How can I trust HER around male suitors? What else could she quite possibly be capable of??
A: I think these are very good questions so I am posting them on the site, however, I also must say that I feel they are too complicated to answer in this forum. You need to be talking to your therapist about the feelings you are having. They are all understandable and justified. It will take some time to sort through all the events you have been made aware of. But I must say that your husband is the adult and your daughter is still a child. Maybe a 14 y/o child who has already put you through a lot, but she is still a child. She IS the victim…but so are you. Your husband violated both of you.
I hope that in addition to your individual counseling you will attend counseling with your daughter. I’m sure she is confused and it may take years for her to realize that she was victimized. Be patient with her and yourself. Surround yourself with loving, caring people, not those who like to gossip and pass judgment. This is a very bad situation that unfortunately happens all too often. I wish you all the best of luck.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 29 Aug 2007
Counts, H. (2007). Husband accused of sexually abusing daughter.. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 12, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/08/29/husband-accused-of-sexually-abusing-daughter/