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Step child issues

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by RuthS, Dec 17, 2018.

  1. RuthS

    RuthS New Member

    United States
    I have had my step daughter since she was 8. I had a 1 yr old son. For the past 8 years everything has been as good as can be expected. Her mom has been a real piece of work, and made sure we did not get her very often. My husband and she were never married, there was never a custody agreement but she did have a child support order from my husband which he could contest/try to lower if he had her 1/2+ the time. We paid for all her sports, most of her clothes, despite the fact that her mom had custody. I argued with my husband all the time about going to court to try and get at least 1/2 custody. She and I had a great relationship. she had a great relationship with her little brother, my son. I always got the impression her mom never spent quality time with her and I was thrilled to have a daughter. Later on her mom really always just wanted her so she could babysit. I never ever asked her to babysit for this reason, even though it would have been very convenient for me to have her do so every once and a while. She and her mom fought constantly. When she was younger than 13 I was very involved in her sports, and went to school events I could. When she was 14 and in 8th grade she moved in with us full time because of her and her mom fighting so much. I was pregnant at the time. I drove her every day all the way to her middle school out by where her mom lived and picked her up, back and forth there for sports etc. We finally had real family time and everything was really good. There were some issues with her quinceñera (15th bday). Her mom's family is mexican, and my husband said he would only spend $2500 on his "half" of this party which I was very upset about because I thought it was a ridiculous amount considering we are not at all wealthy and have debt. We argued a lot, he ended up telling his daughter he would pay $2500 toward party OR use that $ to buy her a car. She chose the party. Long story short, the whole thing upset me greatly but my husband did not care & ended up spending $7k on this party. I was beyond upset but also was about to give birth to our son so tried to deal with it and not let my marriage end. It caused problems for my husband and I but things continued pretty much normally for our family and our son was born.

    Fast forward and after my SD turned 16 she started to really change. She got a boyfriend (she has always been incredibly spoiled and allowed to do pretty much whatever she wanted, something that has always been a point of contention for my husband and I, but at the end of the day I am not her mom. I have never been ok with her having a boyfriend) and really started acting up. April of this year my daycare lady had an emergency on a day when there was no school. She needed to leave at 1, and I do not get home from work until 4. We asked my SD to please watch the boys (9&1) for the 3 hours until I got home and she very reluctantly agreed. Long story short she left my 9 yr old home alone and took my 1 yr old in a truck with her BF (whom I had never met) without a car seat and told my 9 yr old to lie if anyone asked. I found out and called her on it, she lied to me, then lied again, then hung up on me. I was livid. I called my husband and told him we needed to get on the same page before she got home. I told him I wanted her phone taken away but I knew he would not do that (her mom paid for it, he has always claimed he cant touch it) so she needed to be grounded and have her TV taken away. He told me I was over reacting and that brothers and sisters lie for each other all the time. I was very upset. He waited until she got home to come home, she was defiant and refused to acknowledge any wrong doing and said she did not care. He said she was grounded for one week. I said it should be longer and he said no. I said I would pick her up after school and bring her home the following week and she said she did not want to do that so he said ok and she went in her room. I asked him to take her TV and he screamed at me (so she could hear) that that was stupid and I was overreacting so I went and took the TV myself. She then went to her mom's for the weekend. And every day the following week she got home around 6-7 right before her dad. So in essence her only consequence was losing her tv which he gave back to her. She never even apologized for what she did. My husband and I fought a lot about this, and since then I have gotten him to admit that him not supporting me as a parent when this happens has played a huge factor in her not respecting me.

    After that happened I still picked her up and took her to practices, etc, life was normal. In June we took her to her softball tournament out of state (30 hr drive round trip, hotel stay stays etc) and things were ok. When we got back she went to her mom's for the summer and when she came back in August for school year she was rude and disrespectful towards me. It has only gotten worse and worse. Finally she quit acknowledging my presence. The last few months have been so stressful for me. I lost a baby in August and I hemorrhaged and had to go the the ER. She was down the street with her BF and my husband asked her to come watch the boys until my in laws could get there, she said no. I thought I was going to die, we had to wait 40 min until they got there. 3 days later she asked me how I was doing after my husband said something to her. Then right back to either disrespect or ignoring my existence completely. To the point of my son's 2nd bday last month, she comes out of her room and says hello to EVERYONE but me, gets food, and goes back in her room. I have been begging my husband to make her sit down with us and talk, he always says she wont want to. Finally he did the day after thanksgiving. I told her how much I love her, and how much her behavior has hurt me. Her dad told her it was unacceptable. She basically said she did not care she doesn't like me and does not want to have anything to do with me. She said since she doesnt have a relationship with her mom she doesnt need one with me either. We told her thats crap because we always had a good relation ship in the past and she has never had a good one with her mom. She said well then she does not need a reason she just doesnt like me and doesnt want a relationship with me and does not want to be a part of our family or be in that house and will do anything to get kicked out because she wants to live with her BF. Her dad says she has to stay until her next bday (she turns 18 next Oct). Then he told her she needed to quit acting up. She said nothing. Then he wanted us to have a group hug, I declined and he got mad at me. Even more has happened and I dont even have the energy to type it all. Her BF and she did something with a bad check and now the joint acct with my husband is -$2200.00 which will go on his credit which affects both of us, he tried to hide it from me because he knew I would be mad, I am even more upset because he tried to hide it from me.

    I am at my wits end. I dont want to lose my marriage, and I am now pregnant again. I do not need this stress. I cannot take this disrespectful person living in my house doing whatever they want whenever they want, constantly lying and manipulating. My husband says there is nothing he can do, that I need to deal with it until she is gone. He hides things from me and is dishonest with me when it comes to her (just like with the $ for the quinceñera & the bank account) so I keep telling him its not just my being upset about this situation, its my knowing even if she moves out she will still be affecting us because all she has to do is show up and cry and lie and he will do whatever she wants him to. Sometimes he admits shes a liar and tells me he understands why I am upset and sometimes he gets mad at me for being upset. We started counseling but I feel like 1 hr a week does us nothing, plus we aren't going for 3 weeks because of holidays. I am constantly crying over this. This is the first Christmas I do not have a daughter and I am just depressed I hate hearing her lie to people constantly (she screams and cries on her phone, I cant help but hear!). I feel like she is a cancer in my home and I have tried everything and she does not care. My husband keeps saying I want him to chose between his daughter and me and is mad at me. I am miserable. The only advice people give me is to leave him. I have tried to love her and that does not make me feel better I cannot take this anymore.
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. John Bowen

    John Bowen Active Member Supporter

    Here what I would do in your situation . When someone was acting like that to me I wouldn't confront her alone or with your husband , but with her entire family aunt, uncles , grandparents , teachers , friends everyone and tell them what's going on how this is making "you " feel how this is hurting your new baby etc.. let them talk to her and your husband thats the role of family also .I bet she and your husband will change after that you don't want to be in a one on one downward spiral with her anymore that doesn't work . Blessings
  3. Sam91

    Sam91 Child of the Living God Supporter

    United Kingdom

    I have a 16 year old and it does tend to feel the way you describe sometimes with his negative attitude and the muttering but he thankfully isnt acting like your step daughter or I couldn't cope.

    You probably won't like me for the next bit but please bear with me. I was a really good kid, Christian too, but at 16 and 17 if you had been my step mum I would have ignored you too. I may have passive aggressively wound you up. Reason being for pushing for me to get bigger punishments from my dad. I would have felt like you were unfair, unkind and that it wasn't fair on my dad them arguing because of it. I would have seen you into the wicked stepmum. It is a fairly typical response I guess. Sorry but it is true.

    Remember the poem 'May God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the strength to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference?'

    A lot of your situation is out of your hands. You are dealing with other people. The only things you can change are your expectations, your feelings, your behaviour and your reactions.

    You can choose to not feel slighted by her disregard. You can choose to see her with compassion instead of feeling bitter. You can choose to focus on other things and trying to forgive. You can choose to support your husband through the tough time you are both having rather than battling to have him punish her more severely etc. He loves his daughter and probably understands the damage which would be done with more severe discipline and if she left home, or took drugs etc. She might already be engaging, or could engage in risky behaviours and stress at home and being told they are acting bad will make that more likely. Read up on the self-fulfilling prophecy theory.

    Christ endure so much for us before his crucifiction and then on the cross. His words? 'Forgive them Father they know not what they do.' Such forgiveness, what a humbling example.

    I understand you are in a hard situation. I do not know how I could endure it. What you need to do is find some time for you if possible and strengthen your support network. Your husband is a key part of that but you will need to call a truce in order to get your relationship back on track. The stepdaughter will leave home soon enough and then your middle child will be at a difficult age too. You don't want him to have a divorce to go through and for you to not have your husband's support during his teen years. Imagine having to do that on your own, with a possibly bitter ex.

    I really do hope you can find a way to make your life feel more harmonious you. Chatting with other parents of teen daughters who act oit might help.

    God bless you Sister. ♡
  4. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member

    United Kingdom
    You are in a horrible situation.
    May I suggest that you sit down with your husband and ask him what he thinks about this situation and about how it is affecting his sons.

    Point out if she is living in your joint house she should live by your joint rules that he should be enforcing.

    Ask how does he feel about her robbing him of your savings, is he pleased, does he not realise that rudeness to his wife is rudeness to him.

    If he is not prepared to enforce civilised behavour from his daughter, try to ignore her. Literaly ignore her. Don't do her washing etc, set up a separet saving account that you only controll and move all spare cash into it, lock all records away. ditto anything of value or of sentimental value away so she cannot get at you through them.

    Finaly suggest that if she won't be polite that she returns to her mother.
  5. JCFantasy23

    JCFantasy23 In a Kingdom by the Sea. Staff Member Administrator Supporter CF Senior Ambassador Angels Team

    United States
    It is a very difficult situation. Unfortunately there is not much you can do about how she treats you if she has chosen to harden her heart to you. Teenagers can be so moody and especially toward stepparents. I would concentrate more on the issue with your husband - to avoid conflict he's starting to hide things, which is not the right thing to do. Hopefully he realizes this soon and mends his ways with that. Especially with you being pregnant again the stress is a lot. Do you have other support groups or friends you can get away with and talk to for breaks?
  6. JesusYeshuaisLord

    JesusYeshuaisLord Member

    New Zealand
    In Relationship
    Counselling! Even if you've gotta go alone first. I'd encourage you to read The smart stepfamily marriage from Ron L.Deal and David H.Olson, I went to one of Ron L.Deal's seminars, was very good for understanding the step family dynamics and also how to stand firm but loving and supportive before the step children. Plus how to communicate within the couple. ABSOLUTELY RECOMMEND HIS SEMINARS and BOOKS!! Focus on the family is a great resource too! All the best!
  7. Andrew77

    Andrew77 The walking accident Supporter

    United States
    I've seen this dozens of times, I've listened to dozens of marriage counseling, my father is a counselor, and I've heard identical statement from other people as well.

    This is going to sound harsh.... and perhaps it is.... but I don't mean to be. I just believe telling the truth straight up, is better than sugar coating crap, and hoping you don't notice the smell.

    Here is what you need to grasp. Write a note to yourself, stick it in your mirror, and read it every single morning, and every night.

    The note should say this:

    "That girl is not my daughter. I am not her Mother. She has a mother, and it is not me. I signed up for this, when I married a man who already had a daughter"

    You need to go to your husband and say the following "I'm sorry. I'll let you handle your daughter from now on".

    You are not her mother. You trying to discipline her, will not work. He is her father, whatever he decides is how it will be. No, he's not going to discipline her, the way you would. You married a man that had a daughter out of wedlock. This is how it goes.

    You need to let this go. If you don't, you'll continue to be stressed until you divorce, which is why blended families have an excessively high divorce rate.

    Let it go.

    Don't try and discipline your step-daughter anymore. She is not your daughter. She has a mother, and it is not you.

    You need to accept your place in this family. That is your only shot.

    As for dealing with your husband who is spending money on his daughter... again, you signed up for this when you married a man with a daughter that isn't yours. I realize you didn't know what you are stepping into because our culture teaches that blended families are great. You are finding out the harsh truth. Regardless, this is in fact what you signed up for.

    Let it go.
  8. Joined2krist

    Joined2krist Well-Known Member

    It's obvious you love her but if she was your daughter will you be upset her dad is spending so much money on her? Who knows if she overheard you being upset with her dad about it or what if he told her? She's upset with you because she feels you don't love her like you do your own kids. If you weren't pregnant I would have suggested that you both went out for dinner once in a while, just the two of you for a girls night out, this should help in building a bond between you and make her feel special. You also have to be very patient because some teenagers are EVIL! She might also be jealous if she knows you're pregnant again because she'll feel if you get a girl that will take more of her dad's attention from her(princess syndrome). Continue reassuring her, her 18th birthday isn't far off anymore, good luck