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Husband And Daughter

Question:

My husband and daughter always play around physically. I have been telling them to stop because it could get out of hand one day. Well that day came. She was in the shower and he went in the bathroom and played around opening the door asking to see her. She thought he was playing at first but because of the way he said it, she was scared and yelled at him to leave. He claims he was and did not mean to scare her. He said it got out of hand and now I am stuck with this situation. Do I throw him out of the house? Or being she is 19 do I let them work that out themselves? Keep in mind the type of horse playing they have done in the past have been pinching each other,pulling down their pants and running, slapping each other butts, things like that. Regardless how much I have told them to stop, they both said I worry about nothing that it’s playing around.

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Answer:

In reading your E. Mail I could not help think to myself that Sigmund Freud was really not the fool that some people today believe he was. It is natural that there is sexual attraction between daughter and father, son and mother. It is what Freud referred to as Oedipal Strivings. However, it is equally true that there are powerful boundaries in families. Among these inflexible boundaries is that once daughter became pubescent a lot of the old and childhood types of play with their fathers come to a complete halt. It is the same with sons and mothers.

You son and daughter each flirted with crossing those boundaries with the types of physical play you describe. At 19 years of age your daughter is no longer naive and within her mind there had to be some awareness of what she was doing. This is equally true for your husband and, when he opened the shower, though he may have been “kidding around,” there had to be some awareness of the inappropriateness of what he was doing.

I know that, when the engaged in this flirtatious play behavior you ordered them to stop but to no avail. What I am asking myself is whether or not you sat down and privately talked calmly to each one of them, away from the other.

I believe that, whether you have done this or not in the past, you must do it now. As the wife, mother and senior woman of the house, it is appropriate and necessary that you set boundaries with each one. Please not the use of the word, “each.” To repeat, it means that you speak to your daughter, then, to your husband, separately, privately and without anger. In that talk you need to emphasize the importance of this type of thing never happening again.

In talking with your husband, it is going to be important for the two of you to discuss your sexual life. Many couples, after years of marriage, fall into a sexual rut in which the frequency they find that the frequency of sex diminishes due partly to their experiencing it as routine and dull. There is noting inevitable about this. It is possible that the two of you need to find ways to reenergize the sensual and erotic side of your marriage.

I am pointing this out because it does happen that family boundaries can be crossed if one or both parents are not being attentive to one another. This does not in any way forgive your husband’s behavior but it does explain it. In addition, it explains the necessity of your seeing to the sexual needs of both your husband and yourself.

Please understand that I have no way of knowing the nature of the marita intimacy between the two of you but am simply discussing something that frequently has happened in these types of situations.

Good luck with your marriage family.

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Comments
  • Cathy

    I probably couldn't discuss this calmly. Those sort of boundaries should have been in place a long time ago. I know I didn't understand for years why there was a point that my father, physically withdrew - not in an unhealthy way but no horse play way but as I became an adult I understood. I have a friend with 3 daughters and she told me once that she had to speak to them when they were older and tell them that going around in t-shirts and underpants was not acceptable around dad anymore - they said "But it's Dad" and she told them that didn't matter and didn't have to say anything else because they respected her judgement. I saw my husband's father flirting with his adult step-daughter - way obvious - with me, my husband and his wife in the vicinity - they were both guilty - my husband was embarrassed and if that would have been my father, I would have stopped it immediately and not in a calm manner either. I think they are both guilty and maybe it is time for the 19 year old to have her own place?

  • Jenn

    Wow, I can't believe they are trying to pin this on the poor wife or teenage daughter! The husband is a PERVERT who seems to have some sort of sick sexual attraction to the daughter. I'm not sure if he is the real dad or the stepdad. But either way, his behavior is wrong and completely unnaceptable.

    The 19 year old daughter is still young and immature, which is why she may have not detected the innapropriateness of their rough play. Or perhaps she sincerely thought nothing of it since he is her father. But atleast she went and told the mom that his behavior of trying to get into the bathroom while she was shower was creepy. This proves she IS NOT interested in anything sexual with him - she is not the problem here. The dad or stepdad who is much older and should be wiser and more responsible should have known this was wrong. Why would he want to see her in the shower?! It's extremely creepy what he was doing and this is 100% HIS FAULT. If he's unhappy with his sex life with the mom, then he needs to fix that. But it's no excuse for his sick behavior. That's something else entirely. How many men and women aren't unhappy with their sex lives after years of marriage? That's completely normal but it doesn't mean dads go around acting sexually with their daughters just because they're unhappy.

    I'm in my 20s and still live at home. I'm hispanic and it's very common for adult children to still live at home through adulthood. Many children don't move out unless they get married. I've never had any problems like this with my dad. Both my dad and mom are very affectionate with me. But never ever in a sexual way. I never ever have to worry about how I'm dressed, what I'm wearing, or if the bathroom door is locked. Because my father is normal. My parents have been married for over 20 years and I'm sure they have a boring sex life - and that's if they even have a sex life - but my dad has never once acted in an innapropriately sexual way with me ever. He sees me as his baby.

    The problem here is the dad/stepdad and his behavior. Not anybody else's. The daughter/stepdaughter needs to STOP with the playing around with him because she now understands this man doesn't have regular father feelings towards her. He has sexual feelings. The horseplay was probably initiated by him to get physically closer to her. The mom needs to keep a very watchful eye on this man and if this continues she needs to leave this man who might just be a pervert.

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