step daughter!!!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ann1930, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. ann1930

    ann1930 New Member

    I sound terrible for what I am going to say...I cannot stand my step daughter...she lives with us and is always making remarks to my other children..i have 2 of my own..18 and 16. my son refuses to speak to my step daughter and she gets upset and runs to her dad. Which he in turn yells at me. She makes fun of my 16 yr old. i love my husband very much but there is soo much i can take. My husband also has another daugher which is 8 yrs old and is ADD. When his kids are over..he does things with the step daughter and leaves his 8 yr old with me which makes me mad because it is his visitation!! Not mine!!!! my step daughter is 15.
  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I totally understand how you are feeling toward your step daughter.

    I don't have any answers just to say that it looks like step daughter is not happy with having two older siblings brought into her life. She sounds very insecure and her dad is feeding into that insecurity by allowing her to present her side and not asking you how you see things. My guess is the 16 yr old is your daughter - a prime target for an insecure 15 year old girl. And I would think it fine if the 18 yr old (your son?) doesn't want to talk to his step sister if her attitude toward him is also unkind. Perhaps even crude? (I know how nasty 15 yr old girls can get). Your husband needs to tell his daughter to stay away from the 18 yr old. She knows how to get daddy's attention doesn't she? She has him wrapped around her finger.

    With dad leaving little sister out of outings, he is also giving his older daughter power. Sending her the message that she is more important. Are many of these outtings by any chance 15 year old's plans and dad isn't saying, "I want to spend time with your sister also. We have to do things the three of us can do together."

    Does little sister act out? I have a neighbor down the road whose dad spends all his time with the daughter and it doesn't look like much with the much younger son. That younger son is displaying such unacceptable behaviors that SCREAM that he is looking for attention from his dad (such as wanting to wear his sister's clothes and do things that she does).

    Sounds like dad needs a wake up call.

    Has the 15 year old been tested or diagnosed with any medical problems? You didn't mention anything.

    Forgive me if I am totally off the mark here. I only know what you have typed and I know not everything can be included from you. Let me know if anything sounds terribly wrong in my reply - that will also help us to see your situation better.

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Is t he eight year old also yours? Do you not feel you should help with eight year old? Did you and hub have a clear understanding of your roles before you married?

    I've read about a lot of steps who get tired of their stepchildren and even leave because of them...or put spouse in a "them or me" situation (of course they will choose their kids).

    I'm not condemning you. I know very little about your situation. But these kids are part of the territory. If you can't work out your feelings, I'm not sure the marriage will work. Have all of you gone into therapy? Does hub maybe take out his daughter when she visits because he rarely sees her? Do you love the eight year old?

    May unanswered questions here...

    But welcome to the board :tongue:
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    MWM, as I read it, her husband is bio-dad to the 15 yo and 8 yo, and the two girls live with their bio-mother, who is NOT Ann. And what is happening, apart from all the unpleasantness to Ann's kids, is that when it's visitation, husband takes the 15 yo girl places and does things, but leaves his 8 yo with her stepmother to babysit, instead of spending time with her too.

    I agree - very unhealthy, not good for either of the girls.

    As for your kids, Ann - if your kids and his kids don't get on, these things happen. husband should NOT take it out on either you or your kids. Similarly, you shouldn't take it out on his kids. Each parent should deal FAIRLY with his/her own kids. And it sounds like he is not being fair, either to his kids, or to you. He needs to wise up or he'll lose his girls AND you.

    You are right - you are not a babysitter. If he can't spend the time with 8 yo, then he needs to arrange separate visitation so the girls take turns.

    It sounds to me like the 15 yo has problems which are not being dealt with by her dad. He needs to stand up to her and show some backbone, or she will continue to walk all over people all her life, and expect someone else to fight her battles for her and make excuses for her.

  5. ann1930

    ann1930 New Member

    Thank you all for the advice. The 8 yr old is not mine. It is his from his previous marriage. I do care for the 8 yr old and feel sorry for the child. But I work during the week and my husband's ex does not. I have the weekends off and I feel when it is his visitation..he should spend time with his kids and not have me watch them. He is upset that my 18 yr old does not want anything to do with his daughter. She is rude. Does not speak to us. And when I try to talk to his daughter..she rolls her eyes. She tells her mom that if she doesn't get her way..she comes to me. She has also made fun of me and my kids because..before i married my kids and i lived in this small house. (all i could afford) and when she came over..she called it the ghetto house. and refused to come in! It was clean..just small and older. She makes me feel terrible. i know I shouldn't let her (his 15 yr old) get to me..but she does. We are even going on vacation for spring break and talking about going to the beach and she is angry about that! She wants to go up north!!!! Sick of it!!!
  6. Rannveig

    Rannveig Member

    Can you talk about all this in a calm way with your husband? It sounds like this is a difficult situation for absolutely all involved. But, at the end of the day, you and your husband are adults, and everyone else is just a child who didn't choose to be in this situation. If your husband's ex- were out of the picture, these would be your full-time daughters, right? So you might spend all of every weekend with the eight-year-old and be all the little girl had. And you'd step up, right, 'cause you'd want someone to do the same for your bio-kids? So I think you have to look at it like that. The 15-year-old may be going through a nasty phase, but she's yours. You may work all week (and I know how that is because I do, too), but the eight-year-old is yours, too. So you spend all the time needed, even if you'd rather curl up with a book. That said, you still need to discuss what's reasonable with your husband, just as you would if these were your shared bio-kids. And, of course, you have a right to expect that your stepdaughter will behave decently toward your bio-kids, and there need to be consequences if she mistreats them, just as if she were their bio-sibling.

    I hope I don't sound too harsh. It's just that your issues sound a bit like some issues I have, with a moody teen and a husband who doesn't always do his share (in my humble opinion!). So I don't think it's helpful when things get tough to say it's your husband's sole responsibility, any more than that would be helpful in my own situation.

    All the best to you,
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Ranny, while that is a useful technique at times, the trouble is - this girl and her sister do have a bio-mum elsewhere, and so a step parent CAN'T be the one to take over a parental role, when there are other parents already in that role. It confuses things too much.

    There are other step-parents here who can really talk about this.

  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Marg, I agree with Renny. You know what you are getting into when you marry. If you choose to marry a man with children who are badly behaved (and she said this child referred to her house as a ghetto house before she married him) she knew. My kids weren't the greatest to hub when he first married me. Most kids are very upset in stepparent situations (not all, but most). husband expects his wife to help him with a bad situation that she knew about going into it.

    I'm really glad that when I remarried, he didn't have kids because if both have kids it is very difficult. It's hard enough when only one has kids, trust me. I do sympathize, however, the step is the adult in charge when his kids are over. There is nobody else. I think therapy for the entire family may be a good idea because resenting your stepchildren can only lead to one thing...divorce. Not a good situation. While I feel really bad about this teen's behavior, it is not an unexpected surprise...maybe Dad thinks he needs to be alone with her...? I guess I'd need more information.
  9. ann1930

    ann1930 New Member

    You didn't sound harsh Rann..I appreciate your help. When they are over...I hide out. Because I cant stand it when i go in the next room because the daughter rolls her eyes at me and makes comments. I have knots in my stomach and my own kids are miserable. It will probably lead to divorce. Even though I dearly love my husband. I wish things could change
  10. ML

    ML Guest

    Please consider family counseling before giving up. Second families are so hard and it's true many of us jump into them before considering just how hard (which in a way maybe is good otherwise there may NEVER be second marriages lol). You and your husband have to establish some ground rules and try to set the example for respect. Many fathers feel caught in the middle because the kids are openly expressing resentment and basically asking them to prove their loyalty while the new wife is doing the same thing. Remember these kids have been through a shattered life when their parents broke up. Try to have compassion and realize the only reason they're acting like they are is because they are insecure of their parent's love for them. Try to be the "bigger person" and cut them some slack and be patient. That doesn't mean you have to be a doormate or accept disrespect. Again, please consider family therapy. Hugs, ML
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I was thinking about your situation today, as well as my BFF's relationship. She's been in a loving relationship (but separate households) with a man for the last 12 years or so. At first she was a mistress to a married man (although his marriage was well and truly over, he and his wife just lived under the same roof for convenience sake). Then a couple of years later, his wife died, leaving him with a difficult child in his late teens who hated his father (due to the very dysfunctional relationship with the mother, who put all her emotional eggs into the basket of her son and not the marriage). So of course he kept his own counsel with my BFF to protect his son. And my BFF from the son's wrath.

    After another two years he finally told his son about my BFF. Son was initially hostile, even though he was now an adult with his own career. Dad really puts a lot of time into his son, perhaps over-protects him.

    Now - my BFF spends a lot of time over at his house, son now accepts her and they get on well. But my BFF and her boyfriend still keep separate households and still do not look like moving in together. No plans yet to get married. They've been on holidays together, friends and family on both sides recognise them as a married couple (he "gave away" her daughter when the girl married), but his son is still not ready for his dad to remarry, and so they continue to maintain their relationship physically apart.

    It works for them. The young man has needed his dad to take his time, because his mother did a lot of damage by making him the centre of her world, and now she's gone and he is still struggling emotionally to grow as a person.

    This is what some people do, in what can be extreme circumstances.

    There are other sole parents (male and female) whose primary goal, it seems, is to find a "replacement parent" for their children. They may not even realise that is what they are doing, but it is a recipe for disaster. "I love this person, my kids enjoy seeing him/her when we go out on picnics together, we'll be one big happy family," only there is a lot more to it.

    Another good friend of mine had tried to hold her marriage together when her husband's schizophrenia became so out of control that he was spending most of his time in a psychotic state and believing he had to save the world by killing his wife. There's only so long you can hold a marriage together, under those circumstances.

    Another bloke came along and they had so much in common it was almost magic. He loved the kids but did not interfere with her raising of them. She married him a couple of years after they met, when her daughter was 6 years old. They were once again a two parent family. He would mind the kids while she worked and studied, he encouraged her to undertake more study and changed his work to home-based, so he could be there for the kids. it all seemed wonderful - then when she was 16, daughter told her mother her stepfather had been having sex with her from the beginning. Stepdad had in fact married the daughter, not the mother (in his mind). He was, it turned out, a pedophile of the highest calibre, in terms of his skill at recruiting. He had my friend convinced it was all her fault, and that she had to save the marriage. There was a lot of other sordid stuff in there and as my friend began to unravel it all, she was finally able to begin to see clearly and to boot him out. Again - a marriage that couldn't be saved, because in this case the marriage had never truly existed. Not with her.

    My point - people marry for all sorts of reasons and in all sorts of circumstances. There is often a lot of history in a family, before the step-parent joins it. It takes time for this disparate history to mesh with any success, and as it begins to mesh, those gears often grind. If you don't ease the clutch as you go, those gears will grind off teeth and the machinery of the marriage can get damaged or even broken irreparably.

    It is not uncommon for marriages to begin too hastily or for the wrong reasons. That doesn't mean it is doomed to failure; but it generally means that a lot more hard work has to go in, from both sides, to save it.

    Anyone who has married expecting an instant partner and co-parent, needs to recognise that with their own kids, the bio-parent must always take precedence in their handling. There still needs to be delicate balance of involvement of the step-parent, as well as teamwork. But the buck has to stop with the bio-parent. They have to support their family, have to actively work with their children but also balance it with their newer responsibilities with their new spouse.

    It takes effort, brains, commitment and honesty. Honesty with self and with partner.

    I would suggest family counselling, especially with a view to setting up strategies to help you both work as the right sort of team, in every aspect. As well as strategies for both of you, each in your own responsibilities, to know how to handle this girl. At the moment she's being a brat and is getting away with it. She's probably also desperately looking for a father to properly parent her, to show her what is acceptable behaviour and what is not. If he doesn't do this, he is setting her up for failure in her relationships as an adult.

    Her welfare needs him to be a good, effective parent.

    As for the younger one - he should, by rights, be making sure she also gets her share of his attention. But something YOU can do while he leaves her with you - make sure you can imprint yourself on her as a good person who cares about her and who she respects. You have a chance her to make sure little sister won't necessarily follow in big sister's footsteps, at least not with you.

    Of course you shouldn't have to do this. But you have that chance, and it could be very useful for you.

  12. ann1930

    ann1930 New Member

    I appreciate all the advice you all have given me. I have gotten some counseling since I was on here last. and also have tried a little harder. Even to the point of asking her to have lunch and do some shopping. so we will see. She said that she would but she wasn't crazy about the idea. She told me to give her a 2 weeks notice. I dunno
  13. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Teenage stepdaughters are, let's face it, a royal PITA.

    Mine accepted me as Dad's girlfriend, fiancee, and wife. Bio mom however caused all kinds of provlems for husband. Still does. And due to the stories she told Onyxx, at times we had problems with her. Rarely major, just aggravations really.

    Until the kids' little sister died. Bio mom got weirder then. And about a year after that, she began dating her now husband. Who, as it turned out, had a thing for Onyxx. After this began, the behavior got truly awful. And then - bio mom lost residential, and that's when things got really really bad. I think Onyxx subconsciously hoped we would rescue her. Unfortunately we had no idea what was going on.

    After a crazy episode in which Onyxx returned from a visit with bio mom, then got horribly violent, she was arrested, released back to us, and the next day placed in a short-term facility (for less than a week). The last day - when husband was getting her out - we got the call from Childrens' Services about what bio mom's boyfriend had been doing to Onyxx. All the puzzle pieces suddenly fell into place.

    Onyxx has not been on an overnight visit since (almost 15 months now), and at the end of last February when bio mom took boyfriend's side and said Onyxx was lying... Onyxx saw what had been happening all along... And has not visited since. (Well, once last April, at which time bio mom threatened her, and agreed to go last July; I was there and bio mom grabbed her and tried to drag her off to "talk", leaving bruises on her arm. I denied that visit!)

    Jett has informed us that, at mommy's, Onyxx does not exist, she is dead.

    No wonder we have issues. But all of this is to point out - that while this is probably NOT your situation - there may be more. Bio mom may resent you - and this would translate to SD resenting you as well. Jett has developmental issues, which were originally diagnosed as ADHD; he's a few years younger and much more resilient.

    The fact is - it IS your home; she IS your stepdaughter; husband desperately NEEDS to back you up. All the rules should apply equally to everyone living in the house who is a) not an adult and b) if an adult, contributes equally.

    Sit down with husband, figure out the rules that apply to everyone, and tell him you need him at your back. Then have HIM tell his children, and YOU tell yours.

    ...Now that I know this, I wish I'd put it in place years ago.
  14. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I found that the attachment between daughters and birth Moms can cause all kinds of issues. The Mother of my step children is not a bad person but she was "joined at the hip" with her eldest daughter. Even though BM was the one who initiated the divorce (six years before husband and I met, by the way) she somehow resented that her Ex was happily married to me and lived a nice life with our family. The other two kids accepted me and we quickly learned to genuinely love one another. The eldest, after almost 34 years, still competes for her Dad's attention. Weird..but true! by the way, she also is not a bad person...just territorial.

    Trying to spend one on one time with your SD is a positive action. If it does not turn out well, however, I "think" I might say to husband "perhaps when the kids come to visit you, maybe it would be nice for you three to have the house to yourself for the day". Mind you I did say "think", lol. If your husband has both of his kids alone he would have to include the younger child. Your concern for the 8 yr. old is valid. Being left out is painful even if you do get along with your step family. Perhaps that would make the point and then all of you can share dinner and the evening as a combined family unit. Good luck. I know from experience it is frustrating. Hugs. DDD
  15. ann1930

    ann1930 New Member

    Thanks again for the advice. I did spend time with the youngest this weekend and was fun. The "difficult" one did not come over at all. Stayed at friends. Lied to her dad and said that she was somewhere else. I have decided that I wasnt going to let her ruin this!!! The last time she was here...I caught her looking for apartments in a nearby town..When I asked what was going on..she replyed..Just helping you and your kids. the thing husband and I bought a house 2 yrs ago and I know she is trying to split us up. I told my husband that I didn't like her attitude and he told me to ignore it. go figure!
  16. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Sometimes I think that we underestimate the effect new marriages have on children.I am not in any way condoning disrespect aimed at you as a step parent. I completely wouldn't be okay with that in my life. Yet some kids find it really hard to adapt. And as "daddys girl", the oldest, she may have legitimate teen angst/pain and be struggling to learn her place in dads new life. It is a ton of pressure on her as well as on you, your husband, your children. I think sometimes it is hard to see how much pain kids are in when they aren't crying about it, instead they seem angry and insulent.

    I do hope your husband talks to his daughter about her disrespect in your home. It is not acceptable. At the same time, what vibes does she get from you? You are hurt, you aren't happy around her due to her actions affects on your emotions. She surely is plainly aware of this. She may even secretly like you very much you know. How odd is that? But often true.

    I don't have any magical answers, but as i said, I hope your husband puts his foot down privately, lovingly, but FIRMLY with his daughter about her behaviours in your home. It may be that you two never really "click" for whatever reason, but disrespect from anybody in a family home isn't okay.

    I would continue to go about my business the same as when she isn't there. I wouldn't avoid her in any way. I'd smile when I didn't want to smile. If she does something hateful or hurtful, mention it to husband later on in private and have him privately address it with his daughter.

    I know step parents are often told to never step in, but I think its a load of hogwash. There are obvious situations best handled only by a bio parent, but I think it completely undermines a FAMILY to denegrate a step parent into a glorified room mate or something. As adults in a relationship holding a parental role, the roles may be redefined in step situations but I don't know why so many think that bio parents should be the only disciplinarians, ones to discuss all big issues etc. It isn't at all healthy to teach a child from the onset that the step parent has no role other than mommy or daddies new "mate". (This is just my opinion)

    I would even, while smiling and nodding and going about my business, say something at times, same as with my own bio children. If you've been seeing eyes rolling constantly, eventually calmly look over and say something when it happens again "Every time I speak I notice your eyes rolling. I know you were taught to not be so rude and you're a good kid, so I assume you are having vision problems. Want me to make a eye doctor appointment" (tongue in cheek lol).

    My difficult child is 16. He had me alone most of his life. I'm in a 6 year relationship now. difficult child has serious "daddy" issues (as in, "a dad? Whats that? Oh, the scum under my shoe"). He struggled seeing me with someone new and having a male role in his life. But after the first few rude actions, I set him right straight. Nope. Not happening. My S/O didnt push, but gave difficult child time to come around on his own. He doesn't overstep his role as a step parent, but when the circumstance calls for it, he treats difficult child the same as his bio daughter.

    My easy child never saw her dad and I together. She has my S/O as step dad role. Her father remarried and she has a step mother. She has always been told to respect both steps in her life. Period. And both do step up when needed and don't worry about not being a bio parent. They are still a parent.

    I'm so sorry it is a struggle merging your families. It is the hardest thing for many people. I do hope that something changes so that you can all enjoy your new family and comfortable in your own home.
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The girl looking at apartments - I used to do that. And even if she IS looking in wishful thinking, imagining either you or her daddy moving out - let her dream. As long as YOU can secretly smile and know there is no chance of that, how can her dreams ever hurt you?

    I think that is what your husband meant by, "Just ignore it."

    There are undoubtedly many problems you need to address with this girl, many more that her father needs to be the one addressing. If you try to address them all, none of you will know where to start and it then becomes too easy for her to throw up her hands and say, "It's all too hard, you're all picking on me."
    And indeed, it would look like that to her.

    THe issue of her dreaming and wishing about you splitting up - she needs to dream. If you were a teacher at school that she hated and she was secretly dreaming of you being tortured by the Inquisition - let her dream.

    Who knows? It is all learning and in the process, she is also learning about how to rent an apartment for when SHE leaves home.

    I'd be asking to have a look as well, and discussing apartments with her, use it to help her think about her own needs. Or if she wants to think in terms of you leaving your husband, then ask her what kind of apartment she thinks would be suitable. Make it clear it's hypothetical, but be nice about it.

    SHe's a brat, that's for sure. But a very confused one who is stuck at that difficultstage where somewhere inside she is a 6 year old wanting Daddy to make everything magically like it was before, but also an adult who wants to have a say in what she has to endure in her life. ANd you, she doesn't want to endure. That is not fair to you. But it is how she feels. She has a right to however she chooses to feel, just as you have a right to be respected in your own home.

    This is a matter of not only finding balance, but helping her see her own place in your lives, appropriately.

    Your husband has to take the lead. But when he DOES take the lead, you can't take it back from him if you don't agree with it. All you can do is discuss it with him afterwards, find out his reasoning and do your utmost to respect it. His job is to help you do this.

  18. ann1930

    ann1930 New Member

    The hits keep rolling...She called her dad the other day needing help with purchasing a brand new car. He told her that he needed to speak to me first and she was furious! She wants us to "pitch in" 500.00. towards the car. And also insurance. That is alot of money..but she doesn't even speak to me and then wants help. I told him that. And he said that he doesn't understand what is wrong with her. I told him that maybe he needed to talk to her. Whenever she is over and we are eating dinner..she yells to her dad...I need to talk to you. kids can't stand her and they are miserable. I just tell my kids to ignore her. Act like she is not getting to them. Her mom on the other hand has called me and told me all she does is run me down. Like her mom wants my husband and I to split up too. I am trying to stay positive and keep smiling. Getting harder and harder. Every time she comes over I get knots
  19. ann1930

    ann1930 New Member

    I have had it and My husband and I went to a meeting with his ex wife last night and he insisted that I went. The whole time my husband and his ex rolled their eyes every time i said anything..when we got home. I told him I will never meet with him and his ex again!! I was so humilated. What should I do?
  20. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Your husband needs to back you up. And you two need to discuss whatever you want to say - as a team - before you talk to this woman.

    WHY would he have you meet with his ex? Is he afraid she will hit on him? Needs to be him, her, and lawyers. If you are involved... He canNOT roll his eyes at you.

    husband and I have had our share of miscommunication but never where BM is concerned. I gave her the benefit of the doubt for a while till she came after ME.

    This is not appropriate treatment of a spouse in my opinion. He needs to shape up. And no, you should not have to meet with her. Not ever.