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Husband doesnt wamt therapy, 18yr old step daughter does

My 18 yr old step daughter just went through cancer and getting through chemo. She just went back to school, and started therapy because of all she has been through. Now she is requesting family therapy. And she asked my husbamd and me to attend. I know we should but my husband refuses. He feels like God is all he needs. Does anyome know how i can break it to her? He has tried only for her to be upset.
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134578 tn?1614729226
Are you saying that if your "husband refuses," you feel you cannot go yourself? Or are you just saying he won't go? (Not that this is a good thing, but husbands often refuse to go to therapy.)

Go yourself with your daughter and have a helpful, enlightening time, and let your husband see how beneficial it is, and he might change his mind. It's not like you can drag him to therapy.

Getting into arguments with him (either you or your daughter) when he is hiding behind God will go nowhere. You go, and see where you get. Sometimes one shifting pebble changes the entire plank bridge, in time.
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Good afternoon, So No I am more then willing to go without him. I was trying to determine how to get my daughter to understand why he wont go. The argument last night ended with her stating that she could care less if he didnt want to go, he needed to because she said he did. My husband didnt respond.

Today though is better I messaged her this morning off that subject, just warning her to be careful with this crazy virus stuff going around. Her reply was sorry if I hurt dad's feelings, and he dont have to go if he doesnt want to. I explained that therapy just isnt for everyone and that she needs to do what is best for her, but not to take it to heart he wont attend. She seemed to get it. FINGERS CROSSED.

In addition another positive thing that came out of it. Was I let her know what did hurt his feelings was him not being updated with what is going on with them (her brother and her). She said well ya dont text much either. I told her fair enough it is a two way thing, and that we would try to do better...if she would. She said she would. I am hoping she keeps to it because it has been a hard spot for him for a while.

Last of all. I do feel that if she comes to my husband with exactly what she hopes to get out of him attending one session and why it is important to her for him to attend...he might be more open. She didnt tell him, any of that or explain herself. She just said it was to help because of all she went through. My husband has no undealt with issues when it comes to her cancer, and now her chemo. He knows God saved her and she is doing great. That was all he needed.

I believe she wants him there to talk about the issues between him and her mom. Our daughter always has had issues with the fact they dont get along. I have tried to explain that more then likely wouldnt change but that doesnt change how he feels for her or her brother. My daughter response is always the same, they need to just get over it and get along for us. I get it, but honestly I dont see that happening and the kids are old enough to where they should get that is why their mom and dad didnt stay together in the first place. Either way therapy I think would help with that issue.
973741 tn?1342342773
COMMUNITY LEADER
I feel you seizureadvocate.  First, I'm sorry such a young woman has had cancer and has to go through chemo!  My sister in law is going through chemo and it is tearing her apart.  She literally is going through H- E - double toothpicks. And emotionally, to be a young woman and all the fear that cancer can bring you and the reflection on your life, etc.   Kudos to her for taking the steps of doing therapy.   You know, they aren't going to fully analyze him.  :>)  I just went through this with my son.  Both my husband and I met with the therapist.  That's something that makes some people feel a little vulnerable.  Maybe uncomfortable. But he can sit and listen without offering up his soul until he's ready. And that would be SUCH a gift to your daughter.  Me?  I think a parent that denies a teenage child's request to work with a therapist is just saying "I don't care".  For real.  Because it's about the message we send our kids.  Denying doing something that she feels will help will never bring them closer.  And she will always know dad refused.  

My parents divorced when I was a freshman in college.  You know what?  It made me mad at them both.  I'm sure I never fully got over it or all the emotions because it ripped apart my family.  Their divorce made it more likely that I'd get one statistically!  But you know, that's just how an older teen may look at it.  If it was a good idea or not that they divorce (my parents), I have no idea. And that's not my business.  But healing my own heart and repairing damaged trust was important to me after. And your hubby could play along.  :>)  Is he worried about being told things he doesn't want to hear?
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He has had bad experience with therapy. I dont know what really is his issue with it. My husband is going through some of his own issues right now, and trying to keep from letting them get to him. Either way, I am not convincing him that he should play along easily. I know when he was getting frustrated about her texting about it he said things like I dont need no one telling me how to raise them, and I dont need a therapist to communicate with my daughter. I dont know if he meant it. I feel like there is more behind it then that.

Either way I know my husband loves his kids, but never has felt like their mom allowed him to be a father and there for him. I think that is his real concern that their mom will be there. Even when my daughter was going through Chemo in the hospital he rarely got time with his daughter without someone watching him and judging him. In addition during parts of it that were serious like her being taken down for surgery, her grandmother and mother went instead of allowing him to go. He didnt make a scene though or say anything for his daughters sake.

There was many other moments where he wasnt allowed to be a father but was made to feel like just another family member. This has been the case the whole 18 yrs, and now I find him just pulling away from trying to much. When he has tried and stepped up and fought to be the father, the mother has turned his kids against him. Between the pain of that and trying to get his emotions under control on his seizure meds I can get him desiring not to be part of the therapy. However, I see his daughters point of view as well.

Honestly when I wouldnt go through therapy for myself ever again. I was dxs bi-polar due to therapy when I was 15. In addition the psychiatrist that they sent me to told me that everything was my mom and dads fault and that we needed to focus on my relationship with them to get me to a healthier point in my life. I was so upset to hear this. Yes my mom was part of my concerns, and yes she put me through alot when I was little. However, when I started having the major concerns was when life in general came upon me. Pressure from highschool, losing my first loved ones to death and illness, and just being a 15 yr old girl. Therefore, I refused to go back.

Now, if I need someone to talk to I have a support group of chaplains and family. I know where I can turn and who to turn to. I have told our daughter we are here to talk. I also told her that she can share with her dad what she is feeling and why. I know what she is feeling and understand it is hard for her. However, I also feel that we cant make her dad go to therapy.
To be honest, your husband sounds like he harbors a lot of guilt.  That can eat away at someone and he is in the "leave me alone' phase where it hurts to much to think someone may suggest he could have approached anything at all differently in the past.  I personally think everyone makes mistakes, we're human.  We have to let our past failures go. But acknowledging them helps us grow and evolve.  And what he wants most is for his daughter to feel heard because that is where true connection happens.  

Wouldn't it be nice for HIM to be heard too.  :>)  And you.  We all long for that.

Ad I will say it sounds like you have been let down by mental health professionals in the past.  I'm so sorry about that.  My experience with a counselor is that they felt my pain when I expressed it in an empathetic way.  If you get that from your support group, that is key.  We all need it.  

I think right now, a lot of people are hurting without anyone to talk to.  

Anyway, I guess I'd say your husband should do whatever he wants except for the fact that his child is asking for him to participate and that is hard to say no to or at least it is for me.  hugs
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