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My Friend’s Daughter Manipulates Him and I’ve Had Enough

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From Australia: My friend’s daughter is a nice person and I like her. We both have abandonment and reject issues stemming from absent mother. She is 31 years old married to her childhood sweetheart and has 2 little boys. But she is controlling and manipulating her dad. This behavior has been going on for a long time and has gotten worse since having the children.

Last week I blew my stack and went and saw her and screamed at her to get help. For three years I have kept silent and I totally lost it with her. We are very similar and I really like her a lot. But I hate this controlling behavior. I just cannot take it anymore. I do feel better as she now knows where I stand in regard to her getting help and to stop treating her dad like crap. No more I have had enough. She needs to grow up. I feel very very angry with her.

What should I do now though? I really yelled at her to do deal with her baggage and go and get help. She refuses any help and is disrespectful and has no honor towards her father. She believes it is her dad’s fault for all the problems she has. She overcompensates this lack in her life by indulging her own children. Yet she is a lovely person.

I have a 23-year-old daughter who is more mature emotionally than my friends daughter who is 31. I have tried to not judge, compete and compare. But I have had enough. This girl has everything going for her, a big house, money a lovely husband but who runs away from conflict, and a life of relatively ease. In terms of shelter, food, and those things, she has it good.

After the yelling and screaming match I had with her and I must admit it was me yelling over the top of her. I would like to know what it is I need to do now.

Thank you for all your help.

My Friend’s Daughter Manipulates Him and I’ve Had Enough

Answered by on -


What you do now is apologize for your behavior but not for your message. Let her know what you told me — that you care about her and that you understand her better than she may realize because you see a lot of yourself in her. Express your regret that you lost it. Then gently and lovingly ask her if she understands why she treats the father who loves her the way she does. Ask her if she needs help finding help. Be prepared with a list of therapists if she takes you up on your offer.

If she rejects your overture, you’ve done all you can do. Then it is up to her dad to confront her if he is upset by her behavior. It continues at least partly because he allows it. There may be good reasons why he does. You don’t know unless he decides to share it with you.

If he does want help with the situation, encourage him to see a family therapist for support and practical help. You can’t be the “therapist” and shouldn’t be. These two need you to be a loving and supportive friend. Let the therapist do the therapy.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

My Friend’s Daughter Manipulates Him and I’ve Had Enough

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). My Friend’s Daughter Manipulates Him and I’ve Had Enough. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 21 Jun 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.