My partner’s abusive ex is twisting their daughter against her | Dear Mariella

You need to safeguard this child, says Mariella, as well as encourage her mother to open up to her – and seek professional help

The dilemma I have been in a relationship with my partner for 10 years and she has a daughter in her mid-teens. My partner broke up with the father of their daughter due to gaslighting and physical abuse, including head-butting her and claiming it was by accident. Two years later I came on to the scene. I’ve never called him out about the abuse, and her daughter doesn’t know about it. The problem is that he has been manipulating his daughter for years. He buys her big gifts and gives her pocket money, but rarely gives my partner financial assistance. We have heard him saying negative things about my partner to his daughter.

Her daughter can be nice, but often tells my partner that she prefers her father, and is rude and obnoxious. This is more than a teenager’s sniping. We find ourselves walking on eggshells – which was just like how my partner felt when living with her ex.

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