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Jealousy of the stepdaughter

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

I married my husband three years ago.  He had a 16yr old daughter now she's 20yrs old.  She lives with her mother but visited on weekends.  Everything was great at first but after the first year I noticed she was getting all this special attention and was always being given large amounts of money for things.  Every Tuesday night was their night in which I was not invited.  They would go to dinner or a movie.  I guess I was jealous because I didn't even get that kind of attention from my husband.  It caused some animosity on my part and I made a few comments or was in a bad mood every Tuesday night.  Well, a year ago she decided she couldn't get along with her mother and came to live with us (age 19). I was okay with it at first because I thought I was getting my husband back.  Oh was I wrong.  All the sudden I had another woman in the house that was the princess in the castle.  They were best buddies, hung out watching tv together on the couch (where I used to sit). They yuk it up and laugh alll the time.  He'd come home from work and kiss her and and talk about their days and I would get ignored.  I soon became very resentful of him and her. Even when he wasn't there she always was.  I felt like the guest in my own house. It got pretty tense.  She'd lay around and do nothing and I wasn't aloud to say anything.  She moved out after six months to go live with girlfriends at college even though she didn't have the grades to attend. He was paying all her rent and expenses. I had a problem with that. They blamed me for her moving out because she wasn't happy anymore. Our life did get much better after she left but the special treatment and date nights started up again.
This last week was our annaversary...I got a card....she got a new BMW convertable!  She's driving a nicer car than both me and my husband. I went crazy when I found out screaming at my husband, (she wasn;t there) now he says I'm nuts, and childish and full of drama and he's over me! I think we are the verge of divorce. Am I crazy to resent that?  Please someone help me! Where to we go from here.  I was in couseling while she lived with us.  It helped for me for a while but he wouldn't go.  It was a bandaid but not a fix.

post #2 of 34

I'm sorry you are going through this. No, you are not crazy, but I think you are the one who deserves the nice new BMW convertible!  I'm sorry your husband makes such huge decisions without your input.   Your resentments are absolutely appropriate!  You had every right to be upset! Being a step-mom is no easy task, but its even harder when you are in such a divisive environment. I hope you work things out.I really can't suggest much, but hopefully these encouraging words help!

post #3 of 34

Oh my gosh, from what you describe it sounds like a very reasonable reaction on your part! I would flip out, too!! I don't have any advice, but I want to assure you that you don't sound crazy to me! 

post #4 of 34
Wow, that sounds like what I am in the early stages of right now. My 16 year old daughter moved in with us in April and I am having the EXACT same feelings as you describe. DH and DSD are two peas in a pod. They have more in common than DH and I do (music, love of science and history, etc) and it grates on my nerves when I sit on the couch in the midst of their "talks" and everyone is ignoring me. They spend most of their time together while I'm taking care of our younger children or upstairs in our room, by myself, reading. The only time I get the kisses and cuddles I used to get ALL the time are when she's at her mother's for a visit. I'm starting to resent that more than I care to admit.

Thankfully, DH doesn't have the money to spend on DSD like your husband but I'm sure if he did, we would be right there too.

I have spoken to DH about my feelings but he says I am the one that doesn't include myself in what they are doing but every time I do, I get argued with or felt like I should just stop talking about whatever it is they are talking about.

My biggest fear is that we are on the path to what you speak of.... I love my husband with my whole heart and when it's just us, we get along GREAT and are the best of friends but I can't help missing the life we had before she moved here. I love her to death and am on great terms with her but mostly, I just miss my husband.

Anyway, I just wanted to commiserate and let you know I completely understand your predicament and hope that you (and me) can come to a place of understanding with DH and can start healing.
post #5 of 34

Oh yuck!  I'm sorry.  That isn't fair.  Yes she's his daughter but if he can't divide his attention amongst you both... that's crappy.  I wouldn't be to upset about their date nights.  It's good they have that relationship.  However the BMW vs. The Card.  That's obvious. 

post #6 of 34

Discuss your budget and make an agreement that large gifts and regular nights out need to be mutually agreed upon. Focusing on emotion while trying to reason with your husband will probably short him out. So put it in terms he can get: Money. You guys need a financial plan ... paying off loans and saving for emergencies and retirement. Also how is his daughter going to learn about money if he is throwing it at her? Does he think so little of her ability to stand on her own at this age? These are critical years for her and to be showered with $$ will give her a bad start in life, ESPECIALLY concerning her relationship with other men. Try saying it that way and see if it makes a dent. He really isn't doing her any favors. BMWs come and go but lessons about money, identity and respect stay with you for life.

 

And don't say this to him but I bet he's got some major daddy guilt he's making up for ... I hate it when men try to buy their way out of something. It is so demeaning.

post #7 of 34
Thread Starter 

I have said ALL of those things!   He thinks I'm jealous of her.  He thinks I have Daddy issues.  He doesn't listen. I have tried reasoning and trying to come to mutual agreements (which I thought we had done)  this was the second car we bought for her.  We had an agreement on $3000. twards a car and she needed to help pay for a third of it.  Well they totally disregarded that.  I tried the mature route.  But when I found out what they were buying that morning I lost it!  Drank to much screamed and cried and threatened and cussed and was childish (I was so hurt).  She wasn;t there for that.  Looking back I feel guilt now. I couldn't help it I was truely hurt  we had been looking at those cars for me earlier this summer, I felt like someone kicked me in the stomach.  I agree he's not teaching her anything and said that.  When I was twenty I was living on my own (not with my parents) I was gooing to school, had a JOB and supported myself.   ANYBODY know a good book covering these issues?

post #8 of 34
Thread Starter 

I replied above.  Thank you all for responding.  I feel a little better.  I just don't know what to say now...we haven't talked for 4 days....he left for a business trip the next day...he comes home tonight.

post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by tremama View Post

I'm sorry you are going through this. No, you are not crazy, but I think you are the one who deserves the nice new BMW convertible!  I'm sorry your husband makes such huge decisions without your input.   Your resentments are absolutely appropriate!  You had every right to be upset! Being a step-mom is no easy task, but its even harder when you are in such a divisive environment. I hope you work things out.I really can't suggest much, but hopefully these encouraging words help!



This :(

post #10 of 34

Would the presents and attention bother you if the step-child were a boy? Not trying to give you a hard time. I'm honestly really asking.

post #11 of 34
Thread Starter 

Yes it would bother me but probably not as much and I'm sure he wouldn't treat a boy the same way.  I feel like he has another woman he's spoiling. Kissing, holding hands with, "having drinkks together" staying up late together. Dinner dates. rubbing eachothers necks.   Plus they always reminise abiut times before me. She's 20yrs old hanging out in shortshorts.  Getting the attention and gifts that I want.  We do have a 16 year old son (mine) from a previous marrriage that gets treated completely differently.  Sometimes rudely and most of the time ignored.  He's forced to do work around the house yard work and interior cleaning. He has to pay for his own car insurance she doesn't.  He had to work for his car. She never had to do anything.  Yes, alot of it is that she is a girl. It's like competeing with another woman!

post #12 of 34

Google the term "emotional incest".  Your DH and his DD have some serious inappropriateness in their relationship.  Your DH is allowing her to supplant your physical and emotional position in the family and undermining you at the same time.  You are right to have a problem this behavior.  However, it is highly unlikely that he will ever acknowledge that it is a real problem and he is actually causing her (and you!) real harm by treating you both in this manner.

 

How do I know - I watched this exact scenario for years with my dad, older sister and my dad's wives.  My dad bought the moon and stars (and a brand new convertible when she turned 16) for my sister.  My other siblings and I were pretty much beneath his notice.  My first stepmother could not compete with my sister and my dad, who both undermined her and ridiculed her.  They told her she was the one with the "problem".  She put up with it for years and got very messed up.  FInally got out and was much happier. 

post #13 of 34

I would go back to counseling - what's going on is waaaay out of bounds and you need objective outside help if you're going to deal with it rationally.  Ideally, you and your husband should get marriage counseling together - but if you can't get him board, at least go by yourself.  ASAP.  You have another child to think about, and all this drama isn't good for him, either.

 

You asked for book suggestions - a couple I'd recommend are The Smart Stepfamily and Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children.  But, really, you need professional help.

 

Take good care, OK?

post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweeetpea View Post

Google the term "emotional incest".  Your DH and his DD have some serious inappropriateness in their relationship.  Your DH is allowing her to supplant your physical and emotional position in the family and undermining you at the same time.  You are right to have a problem this behavior.  However, it is highly unlikely that he will ever acknowledge that it is a real problem and he is actually causing her (and you!) real harm by treating you both in this manner.

 

How do I know - I watched this exact scenario for years with my dad, older sister and my dad's wives.  My dad bought the moon and stars (and a brand new convertible when she turned 16) for my sister.  My other siblings and I were pretty much beneath his notice.  My first stepmother could not compete with my sister and my dad, who both undermined her and ridiculed her.  They told her she was the one with the "problem".  She put up with it for years and got very messed up.  FInally got out and was much happier. 



I'm not sure that this is necessarily true. I think it might look that way from the OP's pov because she's feeling really neglected right now. But she's his daughter; she was his daughter first; and frequently I've noticed that divorced dads (especially if they were the non-custodial parent for a long time) tend to "spoil" their children out of....I don't know, some kind of guilt? But rushing to the "inappropriate" tag on their relationship is rash, IMO. I do think, OP,  that you and your husband have a lot to work out and I can sympathize for a lot of your feelings in the OP. Another vote for counseling if possible.

post #15 of 34

OP it's pretty normal to feel a bit of resentment.  My step dad and I were super close.  Mostly because he didn't have any sons just my sister and I apparently was the closest thing to a boy he was going to get.  We literally spent every afternoon playing basketball together in the summers and my mom was insanely jealous.  She didn't just tell us to stop she made us feel like we were doing something wrong.  But we weren't that's the thing.  She was at work so should we have sat in the house and watched TV?  

 

When people feel left out they assume all the wrong things and project way too much.  I'm not saying your are and I do believe that you and husband need to figure something out but it does suck to be told you don't have to be so close to your adult kid.  My step dad and I talk on the phone weekly about football and stuff like that and my mom still gets mad.  However at this point it's just stupid because she's doing her own thing and she's still projecting.  I'm thankful for the relationship I had with him.  He was a great dad and I appreciate that he's still interested in my well being. 

post #16 of 34

I'm going to have to disagree. While I understand feeling jealous, what you're describing doesn't sound like an inappropriate relationship between a father and daughter. Having a weekly date night when you don't live with your daughter -- I really don't see anything wrong with that. You're describing this father-daughter relationship using sexual language, and I really wonder if that's not you projecting something that doesn't exist. Some of the reactions that you're describing sound unhealthy -- you're making a lot of references to screaming rages, cursing, being out of control. Have you had issues in the past with jealousy or fear of abandonment that you might be carrying into this situation? 

I do agree that therapy, both family and individual, would be in order.

post #17 of 34

Reading your post is like reading into my life. If you crazy your not alone!!!!!!!! I have two of those to try and compete against. Don't you feel it's a competition sometimes? I don't have any advise other than except it or do something about it. I've moved out, it's been 4 months. I go to visit my Husband and of course one of his children needs something, and their I go to the back of the line. So even not living in the same house, we still have the same trouble. THEY NEVER GO AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

post #18 of 34

I'm so glad I found this website, even if I get no responds just knowing I'm not crazy I feel better.

post #19 of 34

amicrazy- I'm just curious: did you not know that this man had children before you married him? And that his children would be part of his life?

post #20 of 34

I was very well aware of his children. His daughter lived with us for 1 years. What I did know was four years later, he still pays her, house note, car note, car insurance, cell phone, utility bills, colledge, clothes, food, gas, and everything else. While I work and pay me own bills. It gets quite annoying. I only want my hunsband to take care of me like that.

 

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