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Adoptive Parenting/Husband obsessed with adopted daughter


We adopted our special needs daughter at age 10. She was diagnosed with ADHD, attachment disorders, and is mildly learning disabled. My husband and my daughter have always shared a special bond. After she turned 18 years old and graduated from high school, we helped her find different jobs which she was let go from, either due to her learning disabilities or she was too lazy to get out of bed on time. She is now 22 years old and is  employed at the same place as my husband, she has her own apartment in a different town, and just recently purchased a car (with my husband as co-signor). She also has found a nice boyfriend, one who isn't a drug addict or one who just wants to date her for her body.  All sounds good, right? Here's the situation: Since her graduation, my husband has become so obsessed with our daughter's welfare, it is now turned unhealthy. Examples: She attended a vocational school for young people with disabilities located about 150 miles from home. When he found out that she went off campus with a couple of boys, he pulled her out. She has brought different boyfriends home to meet us and he refuses to let her date them, always finding something wrong with them. He constantly yells at her and verbally abuses her. Six months ago, I could no longer handle the tension, so when my husband got her a job with his employer, I told her she had to leave and get her own place, she was 21. My husband didn't like it, but finally accepted her leaving. So really nothing has changed, he sees her everyday at work and tries to help her understand she needs to get to work everyday on time. He gets furious when she won't come home and help with chores, like splitting wood or painting the house. He is now threatening to have her fired, taking her car away, because he found out her boyfriend spent the night at her apartment. There is nothing I can say or do to make this better. I even threatened to leave our 37 year old marriage, if he didn't get a prescription for anti-depressants, which he did but doesn't take them regularly. I guess I feel he needs to remain in control of every aspect of her life and can't let go, and he uses her learning problems and troubled past as an excuse. Please help. Thank you, Sue

I am not certain that the issue is all that simple. Let's look at the entire picture. I have had some dealings with this behavior, I would suggest that you sit down with your husband and discuss your concern, and let me be specific, please be sure to list your concerns so the conversations does not turn to an "accusation" After you have that conversation be prepared to consider a plan for change. If that does not happen, or if your husband doesn't "see" the issues, I would HIGHLY suggest that you both meet with a marriage counselor, or a counselor that is more of an expert on special needs adults. Your concerns, provided there is no concern of any inappropriate behavior are frustrating I hope that this is a father that is worried about his only daughter. I really believe you would both benefit from speaking together with an therapist or even a family therapist that can set some boundaries. You have been married a longtime, and my praises to you both for the effort you have placed in raising this young lady. There should be more giving people like yourselves. If you would like help in your area please email me. Please take care and I am here if you need more assistance getting the information in your area

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Teri Dunbar


parenting children from abusive homes, teenagers, large mergers, multi family issues. Through the years I have assisted with behavioral issues.


I have EIGHT children ranging in ages from 19-30 I have adopted five children from DSS, I have six girls 2 boys and ELEVEN grandchildren, I have fostered over 44 foster children. I currently run a call center and have managed as many as fifty associates at one time.

St. Michaels Parish,

High School, LPG, did not get my license as a LPN instead I adopted and left school. Some college.

Awards and Honors
I have several certificates in business management. Most recent in 2008

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