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Daughter Is Acting Like Wife

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My brother has been married 14 years and is considering divorce. He has been communicating with his wife about his feelings. She is a very jealous type of woman who has not allowed him to have female friends. He has two daughters ages 10 and 11 and recently the girls have been getting more involved questioning him about his female friendships. Recently he took both girls to a concert & his female friend came along. The youngest shared that she told her mom about the concert and mom said “She did not know” his friend would be there. The youngest then told her Dad that it is not right for him to be at a concert with his female friend and not her mom. Another time recently the oldest daughter called him to ask “Dad where are you and who are you with?” … I don’t know if this is normal behavior for young girls but I am concerned that they are adopting these behaviors from their Mom. She also shares certain things with the girls (since the marriage is having problems) like “I didn’t know your Dad’s female friend would be there” for example. Is this something we should be concerned about? I worry the girls are being brought into their parents’ marriage issues and in the process are being taught to interrogate their Dad and worry about boundaries with him and friends. (From the USA)

Daughter Is Acting Like Wife

Answered by on -


You have a right to be concerned. Each element of this sounds like it is a burden for your nieces. I would strongly recommend that your brother seek individual counseling concerning his feelings about his marriage. Ultimately, he may need to be in couple’s counseling with his wife, but before this goes any further I would hope he would get some individual counseling to address the predicament he is putting his children into.

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

Daughter Is Acting Like Wife

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

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 Is Acting Like Wife. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 30, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 2 Aug 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.