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stepdaughter hates me, husband has PTSD
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ipleadinsanity posted:
long-time lurker, first time poster...
so some background. my husband has pretty severe PTSD. he was in Iraq for a year, and most recently was in Afghanistan for a year. he just got back from Afghanistan in September 2012. he is still active duty army, hopefully not for long if the VA will come through and get him the disability rating he needs to be able to be medically retired (he has 17+ year in, so very close to retirement age...we don't want to lose that). his PTSD keeps us from doing normal everyday things, from eating out in a restaurant to going shopping at the mall; forget about going to a fair or concert or anywhere really crowded.
my husband and I have been married for over a year and dated (albeit on and off) for almost 7 years prior to getting married. after he got back from Afghanistan, we decided we were tired of playing games, made a commitment to each other, and got married the following February (on Valentine's Day... I know, right?! awwww).
everything seemed to be going great, until my husband "snapped" over memorial day weekend last year. he's been in the VA psych ward twice, once voluntary and once 5150. long story short, he wanted to kill himself, and I wouldn't let him. thankfully he's been in treatment ever since. much better, but still not "normal" by any stretch of the imagination.
now to the meat and potatoes. my husband has a daughter (my stepdaughter) who just turned 16 last year. his relationship with his daughter has always been strained, but it seems like it has been more strained as of late, pretty much since he got back from Afghanistan. she came to see us for Christmas that year, then has only been back once since.
SHE.HATES.ME.
I don't know what to do. based on what the rest of my husband's family has to say, her relationship issues with her father are MY fault. the only person of his family who will even talk to me anymore is his (my husband's) father, and he tends to try to stay out of the drama. however, his mother has said I'm not really a part of the family and that since I don't have any kids of my own I "don't have a dog in this fight" ... the "fight" being how to fix the broken relationship between my husband and stepdaughter.
I was adopted, and as much as I love my parents, I know how much it hurts to want a relationship with a biological parent and have them reject you. I just don't know what to do. do I try to talk to her, try to fix some of what my husband can't? should I try to talk to her on my own? and how do I deal with the other judgmental family members? this broken relationship between my husband and his daughter can't possibly be my fault, can it?
TL;DR: my stepdaughter hates me, husband has PTSD and can't have normal relationships; everything blamed on me. HELP!
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atti_editor responded:
Hi ipleadinsanity,

I am so sorry that you are struggling with this, and I am sorry that I don't have anything more to offer than words of encouragement and support. I just wanted to stop in and suggest that you post your story and questions on our Relationships and Coping Community -- those on the board are very active and always willing to give wonderful advice and support. I think that you may find some good suggestions, and our relationships expert Dr. Leslie Becker-Phelps is also very active in responding to posts.

Best wishes,
Atti


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