DEAR DEIDRE: I WAS relieved my second husband got on well with my teenage daughter but it never crossed my mind that ten years later they’d be shacked up together.
I’m 50. My daughter’s 21. Her dad died when she was five. Since then, it’s been me and her against the world — until I met my second husband.
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He’s 54. We’ve been together for 12 years. We took things slowly. It took me two years to introduce him to my daughter.
I had to be certain I saw a future with him. I didn’t want her getting hurt.
She was 11 when they met and he was 44. They became so close over the next ten years. I thought I’d found my perfect little family.
He was caring and supportive, helping her daughter study for GCSEs and A-levels.
They even used to go for long walks together, just the two of them, while I stayed at home making dinner.
I was so pleased that she had a father figure in her life. And I felt so lucky to have found a man who treated her as his own. Or so I thought.
A couple of weeks ago, I came back from the shops to find the doors of his wardrobe open. His clothes weren’t there.
That was odd, obviously, but I never imagined he had left me for my daughter. She lives on the other side of town.
I only found out when she texted me later that day.
She said they no longer see themselves as father and daughter. They’re “in love.” I thought it was some kind of sick joke but neither of them has replied to my calls and messages for the past fortnight.
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I don’t even know how long their sordid affair has been going on. The pain is indescribable.
I feel so betrayed by both of them.
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DEIDRE SAYS: I am sorry. This is a horrific situation to find yourself in.
What your husband did was wrong, of course, but try not to blame your daughter. Even though she is an adult now, it is very possible your husband was grooming her.
She was vulnerable, particularly having lost her biological father. Your husband had a position of power and trust in his role as her stepfather. He took advantage of that.
You must feel so let down by him but don’t let that ruin your relationship with your daughter. She needs you now more than ever.
Though she is not returning your calls, do try to keep that line of communication open. Is there a trusted family member she would be willing to talk to?
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Contact nspcc.org.uk (0808 800 5000) which can offer understanding and advice on your situation.
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