Step Daughter Got Physical

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by steve2389, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. steve2389

    steve2389 New Member

    Hi All,

    I am 36 years old and married, with a 14 year old step daughter "Emily", and my wife and I have been married for 8 years. I've known Emily since she was 4 years old, and everything has been pretty "normal" until recently.

    My wife travels for work sometimes and was away one particular evening, and it was getting kind of late. I told Emily that it was time to go to bed, and she complained as usual but got up as if she was going to her bedroom, but then told me she wasn't going to bed and pushed me down. It kind of freaked me out so I just let her go and went to my bedroom, which I know I shouldn't have done but I just sort of reacted.

    I told my wife when she got home and she scolded Emily, and although she didn't admit I think she found the whole situation kind of amusing.

    Any input here would be greatly appreciated.


  2. Kate5254

    Kate5254 New Member

    I'm so sorry you are going through that,.....I am too with my 17 year old daughter. I did the same thing you did two years ago, and can tell you it will get worse. Get into counseling immediately, and get your wife on the same page with you. Discuss with both that what she did is against the law, and an arrestable offense. Document it with at least an incident report to cover what happened. Telling you this from experience, so when it does get worse and she threatens to call DCF, or the police, they will see her history and you will be covered. I feel for you.
  3. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    You are in a difficult place...and I agree with Kate5254 you have to protect yourself. Teenage girls can manipulate and triangulate the situation to their benefit.

    I would also worry about her making false claims against you so that she can get her way. How often is your wife gone for work? Overnight? Is there a female relative she can stay with when your wife is gone for the night?

    The mom and daughter need to work out a list of consequences for misbehaviors so that you are not the one "in charge". If she is wanting to stay up for TV or wifi, find a way to disable them at a specified time. It is not inappropriate for teens to be quietly in their room at a specified time.

    therapy for her, and therapy for you and your wife would be helpful...

  4. steve2389

    steve2389 New Member

    Hi KSM, thanks for the advice. My wife and I have discussed this again with each other, and we plan on discussing it together with Emily this weekend. She doesn't think counselling is necessary though, but we'll see how things turn out. My wife is a national sales manager and is away about 8 nights a month. The closest female relative, or any relative for that matter is my mother-in-law about 2.5 hours away.

    I think it shocked me more than anything, because I didn't see something like this coming at all, it was crazy. And I am worried about the potential attempts at manipulation as you mentioned, but also worried for my well being. I'm a real little guy and Emily is very big. She's got about 5" and 80 lbs. on me and could probably snap me in half if she wanted to. When her mom's away I find myself hanging out in my bedroom with the door locked more and more, so it's obviously affecting me psychologically. I want to tell the police but I'm too embarrassed.

    Anyway, thanks again and shoot me a message if you want to discuss further.


  5. JaneBetty

    JaneBetty Active Member

    Steve, I'm sorry you're going through this, and agree with the others that you need to document what happened, at least in written diary form.

    I would also encourage all of you to sit down with a counselor. Your step daughter is unlikely to see her behavior as problematic, due to her age, and it will probably require someone skilled to bring her around.

    Your wife needs to understand the line that her daughter has crossed.
    Let everyone know how things progress, and don't hesitate to seek help from your community. What she did was out of bounds.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry you are in this situation. It does not sound healthy at ALL for you. This actually sounds like it is not good for anyone, but especially not good for you. I am going to make a recommendation that you may not like.

    PLEASE call a domestic violence hotline and go to a center for some help. This sounds VERY MUCH like an abusive situation. Men CAN and ARE the victims of domestic violence/abuse every single day. I know it is embarrassing to admit, and hard to admit, but you have nothing to be ashamed of. Someone bigger and stronger is abusing you and acting inappropriately. The daughter is starting to become violent and it WILL get worse from here. I saw my brother become an abuser and NO ONE believed me. I was his primary victim and my own parents, who lived in the same house, didn't believe me. He waited until they were not around to hurt me, and then said either I was clumsy or I did it myself or we were playing or someone else did it. He was almost always believed.

    There are really excellent DV centers around, ones who truly understand that men are victims too. I live in a smallish city in OK and I know our DV center regularly has men in our groups who are victims of their wives abuse. The wives are not always larger than the husbands, often they are little petite women and the men are much larger. But the men are the victims and never strike back.

    You can reach out to The National Domestic Violence Hotline at , They also have a toll free number because computer usage cannot be completely cleared or hidden. They would be able to not only give you some help over the phone, but also connect you with help in your area.

    If nothing else, tell your wife you are unwilling to be left alone with your stepdaughter when your wife is out of town. Stepdau can stay at a friends or wife can figure something out. If your stepdau gets upset with not getting what she wants, one of the next steps int eh difficult child playbook is accusing you of abuse when her mother is out of town. Just an accusation of sexual abuse can completely destroy your life. It happened to someone I know well when the 5 year old's mother coached her to make an accusation. It was obviously and clearly coached, but it destroyed much of his life for over a year. The little girl actually asked the judge, while on the stand in open court, if she was supposed to say what her Daddy really did, or what Mommy said that Daddy did when Mommy wasn't there? Then the girl asked how Mommy would have any idea what Daddy did when Mommy wasn't there, and was that why Mommy wanted her to say things happened that didn't? It still took six MONTHS after that for the father to be allowed to be in a room with his daughter without a chaperone!

    An accusation by an older child is even harder to deal with. Keep a paper trail, refuse to be alone with her overnight, and PLEASE at least contact the place I mentioned or a similar place. It is NOT normal for a stepdau to make you this uncomfortable and threatened, or for your wife to think it is amusing. Is just is NOT.

    Therapy for all of you is a good thing, IF you can get everyone to participate honestly. I hope you can and that it helps.
  7. steve2389

    steve2389 New Member

    Thanks everyone for the input for an embarrassing and potentially dangerous situation for me and my family. My wife and I sat down with Emily and discussed what is appropriate and what is not relative to contacting another person. She said she understood but it wasn't very convincing, not to me anyway, but her mom believed her. I'm going to start document everything, and this may sound crazy but I'm considering setting up some hidden camera's in the house.

    My wife also told her that she can stay up until 10:30 (10PM was her old bedtime). I'm not sure that was the greatest idea; it almost seems like giving in to me, like Emily accomplished something by throwing me down, but we'll see how it goes. I also told a friend of mine who is a psychiatrist, and she told me a lot of what I have heard on here already (nice job folks!), especially to be very careful and not to dismiss this lightly, which is very tempting to do, ya know, like close your eyes and hope it all goes away kind of thing.

    I also thought it might be a good idea to do an activity with Emily and my wife, something that Emily really enjoys, so I suggested working out with them, as they routinely workout together in our basement. Big mistake, as this confirmed how much stronger she is than me. Evidently a 60lb bench press isn't very good for a man, especially when your step daughter can do almost three times that. Yeesh, great for the ego. She likes basketball too so maybe we'll try a basketball game next time.

    Anyway, I'll let you know how things go, and thanks again for the support.

  8. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    What about volunteering together? Plus her behavior would be better if she was in public. KSM
  9. steve2389

    steve2389 New Member

    Yeah, volunteering sounds like a pretty good idea. I was thinking of helping out at a local foodbank myself. Maybe I'll ask her if she wants to join me. They always need extra hands around the holidays. She likes the NY Knicks so I'm thinking of getting us tickets to a Knicks game. Another thing we did before that was fun was this event where local restaurants get together and have a tasting. You pay one ticket price and get to try a bunch of different cuisines, so I thought that might be a good idea.

    She also asked me to workout with her again, which sort of surprised me, but I did anyway. It was a little weird as I didn't really work out much, and spent most of the time spotting her, changing the weights for her, getting her water when she told me to, etc., but it went OK and I was glad to spend some time with her. Her mom's away for work again so I'm hoping this week goes well.


  10. steve2389

    steve2389 New Member

    Hi All, I just wanted to give a brief update.

    The big positive is that I haven't been abused by my stepdaughter over the past two months, and that's a relief. Another positive is that my wife now calls my stepdaughter when she's traveling for work and gives her instructions and tells her what/what not to do instead of me. This helps me to avoid ugly confrontations, like the one that happened a couple of months ago.

    I guess the negative is that I'm still really intimidated by my stepdaughter. I find myself always trying to do things to keep her happy and pretty much do what she tells me to do when my wife is away. I told my wife about that and she said to me "are you ok with that, because it seems like it's working out". I said "I guess" and just sort of let it go.

    Anyway that's where I'm at now. Thanks again for the support.

  11. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi Steve.

    It doesn't sound like a good situation.

    If you were a female and told us that you felt intimidated by step son/daughter, we would encourage you to leave the situation.

    I don't think it should be any different because you are a male.

    I don't think you should have to live your life like this.

    It's your decision, but I can't help but feel concerned.

    Stay with us and continue to talk this out.

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  12. Praecepta

    Praecepta Active Member

    So far as myself, I would be totally against my daughter telling me what to do!...

    But it is not my life, it is your life. So I would say if this situation is OK with you and the others in your family. And it is working. Then no problem.

    If it does become a problem. Or you become depressed or have low self-esteem as a result, then do seek counseling. And do call 911 if anything physical happens again. Don't worry about being embarrassed, the police deal with every possible situation you can imagine, so this would be nothing new to them.
  13. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I would leave. As an adult, i would find that insulting. Sorry but no 14 year old bosses me around, not my own kids, stepkids or a little prince. But this isnt about me. You have to do what you feel is best.

    Good luck!
  14. JaneBetty

    JaneBetty Active Member

    Steve, you said that she is listening to her mother and has stopped the aggressive behavior towards you.

    To be fair, sometimes step children don't want to listen to a non-biological parent, I think everyone can agree with that.

    I can definitely empathize with your lingering feelings of intimidation, since sometimes the body continues to unconsciously react to past abuse, even when there is no present threat. It will probably take a while for you to get past feeling uncomfortable around her.

    You are the one living in this situation, and it sounds as though your wife is on board with problem solving, and even though it is not an optimum compromise, it is a sign of progress.

    Fourteen year olds might have reached the age of reason, but that doesn't mean they reason well.

    Keep posting, the teenage years can be very trying.
  15. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    You know, my kids did not want to listen to their step dad either whrn I remarried and, anticipating this, mysek, ex hub and husbsnd all decided that ex and I would do all but very basic parenting. Hub was more a friend.

    Having said that, Steve, your wife is a huge part of the problem in my opinion. We have zero tolerance for any violence in our home and always did. If any of my kids had shoved my husband down it would hsve both alarmed and angered me and I would have called the cops to teach the child that this is assault, a crime. The child would have been on a serious grounding and started counseling. I don think Wife sounds like a very good spouse or parent.

    Is this a newish marriage? I hope you dont have any children with her. This teen is a bully and mom thinks its amusing. Does anyone respect you in that house? This is NOT typical teen behavior. Or in my opinion a typical spouse reaction to the shove.
  16. steve2389

    steve2389 New Member


    We've been married for 8 years and I've known my wife and stepdaughter for 10 years. I don't have any children with my wife. My wife's always been in charge of everything, that's normal for us. Respect has always been mutual, though my stepdaughter's poked fun at me for being weaker than her now and again for the past three years.