My wife and daughter hate each other!

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My wife of 18 years and my daughter who is nearly 15 just had a horrible slap fight that I had to break up. My wife was checking her grades on line and foud that she was failing almost every subject. my daughter is a cheerleader and a freshman. When confronted again about her grades she gave too much attitude and set my wife off. She first hit her with a belt then my daughter tried to hit my wife, it escalated from there and I got in the middle and stopped the maddness.

I just built and we moved into a beautiful new home. I bought my wife a new Jaguar. I bought all new furniture and we have everything that anyone could want. I dont understand how come my daughter is so unhappy. I have always been there for both my daughter and my wife. Now they hate each other, I know 14 yr old girls are hard for a dad to understand, but she has everything, even a boyfriend, but after it was over I heard my daughter say Im going to f****n kill my self. Should I send her to live with my parents who live in the same town? or what?

A: You’re trying hard to provide a good life for your family but material things aren’t going to fix this. Why on earth would your wife think that hitting a kid with a belt is a way to handle bad grades? Your daughter has apparently grown up with a role model who uses violence to solve problems. So of course she is being violent in return.

Loving grandparents can be a great support and can give everyone a break. But sending her to live with your parents might well make things worse. Your daughter will feel rejected and it would give her the message that she is the problem. She’s not. The family has a big problem that you need to fix together or this family is going to shatter.

Please look up the American Association of Family Therapy (AAMFT) for your state and find a family therapist in your area who has experience with teenagers. Working together with a good counselor will help you and your wife learn how to handle an emerging young adult and will teach your daughter how to be more respectful.

I wish you all well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Jan 2008

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2008). My wife and daughter hate each other!. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/01/28/my-wife-and-daughter-hate-each-other/