Thanks so much for the responses. She is like me in that we both believe in "bibliotherapy"--reading as many books as possible on things like this so I'll definitely be encouraging her to pick up those two books, Jennie.
And I have told her exactly these things, more directly this last week. I've been trying to walk a fine line by using myself as an example but not mentioning the elephant in the room, her father. Although it's obvious to whom I'm referring when I talk about me, I'm trying to take the high road and focus on the fact that it was me that made the mistake to stay in the unhealthy relationship because of MY issues.
Of my three daughters she is the one who is closest to her father, not that he treated her any better than the others, but because she wants to give him the chance to be a stand-up guy, to have her back and to be the kind of father that every girl needs. You know--the kind that would walk through fire for her and stomp on anyone who dares hurt her. The one time in recent memory when he actually did something like this she was so grateful it nearly broke my heart. Kind of like watching someone in hell asking for a few drops of water and finally getting it.
He was (is?) a serial cheater and not really very nice to me--ever-- but when the girls were younger, he treated them better. He just doesn't know how to deal with adult women except as sex objects. Thankfully he wasn't horrible enough to cross that line with them, instead he just started treating them like he treated me. So when I caught him the last time I was done, no looking back.
A note of caution from this story--staying together for the "sake of the children" can definitely backfire when they are adults. AND--You dads whose ex-wives are making it difficult for you to stay in contact with your kids--ESPECIALLY your daughters--don't let them get away with it! Do whatever it takes to continue to be a part of their lives in a significant way.
There is nothing and no one that can ever take the place of a loving, concerned and devoted father. And for those girls who miss out on that--there is absolutely nothing that can make up for it later.
[This message edited by meaniemouse at 1:38 PM, August 7th (Wednesday)]