I don’t know what to make of her relationship with her dad. He keeps reaching out to her, inviting us to dinner, forgiving her loans, etc. She stays in sporadic contact, but is cold and distant. She is very tight with her divorced mom.
I wasn’t there when she grew up (no abuse) and can’t judge, but my parents and I are close. Is this a character flaw that after 10-plus years she still can’t forgive him? What if I get on her bad side?
Does she turn on people lightly, arbitrarily, or only on matters of substance and only when they present her with no other choice?
Does she stoop to silent treatments, duplicity, gossip, revenge and other emotional war crimes, or is she forthright and civil in choosing to keep her distance? Does she close herself off permanently once crossed, or is she open to forgiveness?
So explore the subject by learning the answer to another key question (also better asked pre-commingling, but … ): Can you talk to each other about difficult things without one or both of you getting defensive?
Please pose it to her directly, in a dukes-down, non-accusatory way: “I notice your dad is trying hard, and that you’re not buying in. What’s the history there?” If she doesn’t think you’re close enough to ask that, then all I can say is that she moved in with you prematurely.
My stepson has a birthday coming up. My husband wants to have a formal dinner for him and, presumably, the girlfriend. I’m not sure I can play along like everything’s fine. And, frankly, I’d rather not attend at all. Both of these scenarios are going to cause me marital strife.