This is Part 2. Part 1 is here
Your first priority is not to her father or his image. It’s to her. And your child looks to you for the truth.
So you will listen to her. You will sympathize with how she feels. You will reflect back to her what she is telling you, holding up each little heartache so she can see them clearly, bringing them to her conscious awareness, her intellect so that she may reason and come to conclusions…about what love is and what love isn’t.
You will not spell it out to her. Her father will. You will only help her to read what is written. And she will realize what she already knows. That what this man gives her is not love.
And you will let her know that it is not personal. Perhaps giving her examples, you will help her to see a bigger picture. Looking at what she is experiencing, gently guiding her through questions, giving her space to come to her conclusions.
And if she says, “He doesn’t love me”, not from that angry pouting kind of way a child can do when they don’t get what they want, but from the deep well of loss and sorrow that come from this kind of awful realization, you will speak the truth, in as gentle a way as you can, with no lessening of its reality.
How much of the truth and in what way you speak it will depend on her level of maturity and the depth and degree of trust and confidence you two have already created amongst yourselves.
To be continued. Final part tomorrow.