My Husband and His Step Daughter
The biggest issue is that my husband and my teen from a previous marriage do not get along. Teens are usually difficult to some degree. At this age, kids are still developing emotionally, so I expect my husband to take the lead, and make an effort to build a relationship. He tries sometimes, but I'd be willing to bet, if I got obsessive and kept track, 9 out of 10 things he says to her and negative; criticisms, telling her to do something, or telling her she did something wrong.
Every time I try to talk to him about it, we get into a fight. He says that he tries, and I don't see all of the positive exchanges that happen between them. But honestly, I have a hard time believing that I am missing a bunch of harmonious interactions, and only seeing the negative stuff. She is, of course, negative about there relationship, so I would expect her to say that he doesn't try at all. Still, I don't think that he is trying very hard.
It feels like I am forced to choose between the happiness of my youngest children and the happiness of my oldest. It breaks my heart. If I leave the relationship to protect my oldest daughter, the youngest get hurt. If I stay to protect my youngest, my oldest get hurt.
We've tried counseling for this, but it just made my husband sullen and resentful. He didn't feel that it was appropriate to share our relationship with a stranger. But, as far as I am concerned, we don't seem to be doing a good job working this out on our own.
As far as this problem relating to my bipolar, I just always want to be careful not to make any rash, decisions, influenced by my being hypomanic or depressed. And I want to take care not to say things in anger, and then find that I feel very differently later. So nothing happens. We argue, it blows over, nothing changes. We argue, it blows over, nothing changes. Etc.
Physical and Verbal Affection
The other issue is that I feel lonely a lot. There is not enough physical (hugging, touches) and verbal (saying appreciative, loving things) affection. Some of this is my fault as well. I could reach out more, and make sure he knows how very much I appreciate when he does sweet things. Today he picked up the Vanity Fair with Marilyn Monroe on the cover as a surprise, and that was really sweet and thoughtful. I know that when I am resentful about how he treats my daughter, I feel less inclined to be affectionate, so these two problems are related.
Don't know what to do at this point.
- Level of Mania (on scale of 1 - 10, with 1=none, 10=practically levitating): 2
- Level of Depression (on a scale of 1 - 10, with 1=none, 10=can't get out of bed): 4
- Medication Compliance (0 = not taking, 5=taking some, 10=taking all): 10