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Feeling like the meat in the sandwich

Teddy Bear
Community Member

Hi there,

The relationship between my husband and his adult daughter has broken down.  She refuses to come around to visit him anymore and more or less has cut off contact with him.  He suffers with depression and anxiety, which has contributed to some of his behaviour which has pushed his daughter away over the last few years.  They used to be extremely close when she was growing up, so this is very painful for him.

What also doesn't help is that he cannot tolerate her husband.  He has tried to get to know him but the more he got to know him, he realised that he did not like him.  This has also contributed to the breakdown of the relationship.  She still keeps in contact with me, she is my stepdaughter, and just recently she has invited me to a baby shower as she is having a baby.  I would like to go , but I feel really bad for my husband as I know it will trigger him into a downward spiral again, and he has been really trying hard to stay upbeat.  I don't want to go behind his back because I think honesty is always the best policy, I just feel like the meat in the sandwich, as I understand his feelings but I also understand the daughter's feelings, and I think by staying away she feels that it is the only way for her to cope with the situation at the moment.  He is going really good at the moment and I am scared that if he goes down again he will start self harming again as he has done that in the past and also stops eating and drinking.  We ended up at hospital last time.

Just wondering if anyone has advice.

1 Reply 1

Community Member

Hi Teddy Bear,


Thank you for posting here and sharing your experience. I think it is fantastic that you are reaching out on behalf of your family and actively seeking advice. I'm sorry to hear that you are concerned for your husband's mental health as well as the delicate family situation at the moment. 


I myself have a step sister who doesn't contact anyone in my family due to a rift with father. It is hurtful but I understand family relationships can be complicated. In terms of the baby shower, I think it might perhaps be best to have an open conversation with your partner to seek his advice on the situation. To see whether or not he'd be comfortable with you going? I know if I were in his shoes I would prefer to know. Alternatively there are services such as Relationships Australia who can provide counselling for these sorts of family dynamics although I don't have much experience with the service. I believe they offer support within a service centre or over the phone though I might be mistaken. 


It is great that your husband is going good at the moment. I hope you feel you are well supported as a carer. If you're unaware there are services available for carers of those with mental health issues as well. You can find some resources as well available services here on this website. There is also some good information available here at head to health and on carers gateway


I hope some of the info/resources above are helpful. Please keep us updated with how you're going and I hope things work out with the baby shower. I also hope you can find some other useful information from other users on this website who might have been in similar situations. 💙