Open communication with DH or not?
DH and I are lucky to have found a good sensible counsellor. Think we may not have made it through some of the rougher patches with SD18 without one. However there is many a time when I ask a question here and get a far better and more experienced response. truth is if you have not lived this you will never get it. I love also being able to support other people.
OK so I would appreciate advice and am about to go trawling to see who I can offer some to, to pay it forward.
DH and I have made some great progress together and whereas the whole thing used to be a nightmare. We have closed the gap on the SD18 manipulation except for a few areas.
SD18 (soon 19) plays him like its her primary skill and hobby. He is a good man so there are two main themes "oh poor me" which brings out his protective instincts and "oh thankyou daddy for x, y and z" which brings on expensive stuff.
SD18 has multiple personalities and one that she saves especially for her dad. When he is not in the house, she is quite glum and either treats me like I do not exist or with mild disdain or when she is lonely is quite happy to accept snacks and sit and tell me about her day. Her personality is such that she does not show interest in me however I do not mind that she talks about her study etc. When her dad is in the house she scuttles to her room if I appear and sort of skirts around me and looks a bit fearful. It is such an act. When DH, SD and my six year old son are in a room together (without me), she is happy, sweet, motherly and effusive (not her natural state at all - in fact it sounds like me and she even uses same phrases - probably flattering really).
So it all feels like acting to me. The most normal state i think is the lonely one where she wants company and to chat about her study and uni. I think she is a bit low on friends even though she tells her dad she is popular.
He feels protective of her and I know he buys the "poor me, I am so afraid of this woman, look at me I am cowering." act.
Recently I said all of the above to him but more diplomatically.
My question. Was that a mistake? I feel better saying it but he has clammed up on the topic.
Why did I say it? Because all the acting makes me tense in my own home. I am an open, honest and transparent person and could not manipulate someone even if I tried really hard. My family and friends say to just ignore it and I really try. It just puts me on edge.
Should I raise it with him and the counsellor?