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Daughter Hates Step-father

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My first husband and I had a daughter together. He passed away when she was 5. I remarried when she was almost 11. We had a son and twin girls together. She is now married for 2 months. We got together to exchange gifts for Christmas. My daughter and son-in-law got everyone a gift except for my husband, her step-father. I want to say something because it hurt my feelings as well as his, but don’t know what to say or if I should leave it alone. What is your opinion?

Daughter Hates Step-father

Answered by on -


Thanks for your email. Yes, say something. The goal is to express your disappointment and sadness and to explain that it is hard for you to accept gifts when she engages in such a targeted act of exclusion. Speak about your feelings because these are always true and accurate. This isn’t a time to shame or blame. Rather it is a time to talk about your feelings of frustration. Beyond this I would encourage your husband to open a discussion with her. Let them have a direct conversation about the relationship privately without you monitoring it.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Daughter Hates Step-father

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Daughter Hates Step-father. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 22, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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