Dear Snarky – My Daughter Asked Me to Spy on Her Husband and Now She’s Blaming Me For Her Bad Marriage

Dear Snarky

I’m in the middle of a huge fight with my daughter and it’s making me so sad. A couple of months ago my daughter (she’s 28) suspected that her husband was cheating on her. He’s disgusting so I was pretty sure he probably was. I can’t tell you how many times I, along with her father, (my first husband) told her DO NOT marry him.

When my daughter thought her husband was cheating on her she asked me to spy on him and see what I could find out. I 100 percent agreed to do it because anything that would break up the marriage I was there for.

I got a friend to help and we followed him in my friend’s car and it didn’t take long to see him roll up to some woman’s house at 8 pm and not leave till midnight. I got video of this and even had another friend at the tax assessor’s office run the address and see who owns the home. Surprise, surprise it was one of his co-workers. 

When I told my daughter what I had found out she acted like she was finally ready to kick this loser out. But lo and behold a couple days later they’re all lovey-dovey and my daughter is BLAMING ME for everything.

She told her dirtbag husband that I was trying to break up their marriage and I followed him and she knew nothing about it etc. etc. Basically, she confronted him, he somehow sweet talked her and now she’s saying I’m the cause of her marriage problems and we can’t have a relationship anymore.

I’m shocked and devastated. I feel like my heart has been ripped out. I can’t imagine not having my daughter in my life. But then I’m also so angry that she’s blaming everything on me while her husband is now apparently a king among men. Do you have any advice on how to get my daughter to change her mind?

Signed, Crushed Mama

Dear Crushed,

Let’s first work our way through the whole detective scenario. Should you have involved yourself in your daughter’s marriage to this extent? The answer is a ginormous no, but that said I admire your skills. 

Now back to your feelings of anger and loss over your daughter’s most recent declaration. All I have to say is give it a month or two and she’ll be back in your life, crying about her marriage. After all this seems to be a pattern and I don’t see her not wanting to use you as her emotional support punching bag.

What I think you need to do moving forward is lay down some new ground rules for both of you. One – you need to tell your daughter that while you love her very much that she needs to find another person (#therapist) to vent, cry, and wail about her marriage with. Because moving forward that person isn’t going to be you. (And trust me your daughter isn’t going like this one bit because running to mama is easy.)

Two – You are going to have to resist every urge to get involved and offer up what I’m sure are many, many, opinions about your daughter’s spouse. It’s going to be exceedingly hard to keep your mouth shut but stay out of it. Nothing good will come from it and I think history has shown your daughter always goes back to her husband. So your thoughts and feelings on the matter carry zero weight.

Three – But while doing all of this you need to let your daughter know that you and her dad are here to help her if and when she needs to extricate herself from her marriage. The last thing you want to do is make her feel that she has no support system and her only choice is to stay with her husband.

None of this is going to be easy but I think it’s a start to laying a foundation for a healthier relationship with your daughter.


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