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I am jealous of my step-daughter. Help!!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Dh and I have been married about eight months now. I have a 4 yr old ds from a previous marriage and dh has a 11 yr old dd from a previous relationship, he gets her every week for at least a couple days. Our marriage has been *very* rocky and hard so far...

DSD is a sweet girl. She's beginning to go through the hormonal teen times and this scares me senseless (I've never had a teen before) but she has a heart of gold. She and dh have a very close relationship. Its always been just them together alone. The thing is that he spoils her excessively and never sees a thing she does as wrong. She's perfect in his eyes. When I come to him with an issue dsd and I are having ( for example, she's been challenging my authority lately) he usually makes excuses like I misunderstood or that I am against her.

There are also things that are making me jealous of dsd. She gets all her fathers attention. If she is upset he will go out of his way to make her feel better, but if I am upset he will ignore me or get angry with me. He compares us a lot and that makes me hurt because he often tells me that I need to be more like her. He thinks of her first and then everyone else comes later.

He treats my son differently. He is harder on him (not harshly and it doesn't bother me) and acts like an equal parent when it comes to parenting him. This is fine with me because the plan is for him to adopt ds eventually. But it just bugs me that she is considered perfect and he often comes down on ds when she deserves it as well, if not more.

I am trying to find it in my heart to get past this and not let it ruin our relationship. I have been finding myself resentful of dsd and I know its not her fault. The other day dsd and I were both hurt over something and dh told me that he "had to go make things right with HIS daughter before dealing with me" and that really hurt. I was suprised to find myself wishing she wasn't in his life at all. Thats just so wrong and sad of me. I know kids need to come first sometimes, but I am jealous that she and her feelings are ALWAYS so much more important to him than mine. Talking about this doesn't resolve anything, we both see differently. We are also going to a counselor and that is not working either.

I just was hoping I could get some advice here. Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 9
I could've written this post nearly word for word. (except the step-child is a boy, and he's 10, and mine's a DD and she's 5)

I have no advice, as I'm sitting right there with you. But support and *hugs*
post #3 of 9
my stepmother was this way with me. before she came along with was just me and my sisters and my dad so we were his primary focus. changing that wasn't possible without a major upheaval of our family dynamic and we ended up very neglected by the end. i think children should come first no matter what. you're the adult, you can handle things differently.
post #4 of 9
oh - the joys of what I have ahead of me......

DH and I have been married a month but still long distance *2 yr relationship* - we will be together finally at the end of the month! the Step kids will spend every other weekend with us and 1/2 their summer vacation. my kids with ex will travel to see dad 3 times a year for a couple weeks at a time, so DH will be parenting them with me most of the time.

DSD 13
DSD 11
DSS 6
DS 5
DS 3
DS 8 mo (together)
D? on the way 10/06
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by mothragirl
my stepmother was this way with me. before she came along with was just me and my sisters and my dad so we were his primary focus. changing that wasn't possible without a major upheaval of our family dynamic and we ended up very neglected by the end. i think children should come first no matter what. you're the adult, you can handle things differently.
I'm sorry, but as a step-child, you have NO CLUE what it's like being a step-parent, and honestly I don't think you have any right to criticize step-mothers for trying their hardest for EVERYONE to get their needs met.

Why is it only the children should have NEEDS met? Why, since we're adults we're expected to ignore our NEEDS for ourselves as well???? That's ridiculous!!

She said she's looking for help, she realizes she's not acting rationally, she's TRYING, give her a break!! Ugh!!

I hate that since we're step-mothers, we're obviously evil, even when only wanting our partners help to meet our NEEDS as well.

Ugh, really, 'no matter what'? So your child's wants come over your basic human needs? Would that be any different if it was your step-child? Of course not, HOWEVER, as a step-mother you'd be EXPECTED to give up your NEEDS for your step-child's WANTS or you're just assumed to be evil!!

THIS attitude is why step-mothers get such a bad wrap.. We're expected to not need anything and give up EVERY LITTLE THING for our step-children. But our own children, well, it's okay to need or want a break... Ummm... Hypocritical??

rant over!
post #6 of 9
I think you need to talk to your dh about this issue, not his daughter but your issue with HIM and his treatment of you.

Becuse I think you are 100% right when you ID'd him as the problem not her.

I think you must resist all efforts by him to make this about her, it isn't.

I think you also need to understand that he may well be "over attentive" to her to fill in a void he feels from you- like he thinks you dis his girl so he is extra attentive to her. May not be the case but just be ready that this maybe one of his reasons.

Good to talk about this now as it will only get harder as she sexually developes and begins to feel like a threat as a woman not just a girl.

You can do this, you have the perfect attitude to get over this.

In the meantime I suggest disengaging from any discipline of her at all. Let him deal with her becuase if she won't obay you and he wont' back you then you can't discipline her anyways so all I am really saying is admit you are beat and drop that rope. Now this means making stuff be his job so he either has to figure out how to get her to obay you OR get himself to do the job. So say if my dh won't support my work with my skids I won't be alone with them. I simply wont' take responsibilty to watch kids who won't accept my authority as the adult in the home. I have boundaries for what is acceptable in my home such as clean and so forth and I insist my dh make it so- I don't care if he or his kids clean up but it must be cleaned and I expect him to mkae sure it is. I go to him to discuss the issues. I let him deicde how to fix it.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies everyone. And thank you MomBirthmomStepmom for saying what I bet a lot of us step-parents were thinking.

My post wasn't about me trying to get my way, it was about me trying to find advice on managing the feelings that can come up in a blended family environment. I never said that sd did not deserve to come first, I simply stated that at times I felt jealous that she did come first every time and I wanted advice on how to get over that.

Mothragirl, I take offense to and disagree with just about much of what you wrote. For one you are implying that if step-children don't come first for every single thing, they are being neglected. Am I neglecting my own son right now when he wants to ride his bike all day and night (in the cold of WA) and I am getting too cold and feel its best we stay inside for now?

There are NEEDS and there are WANTS. A person's wants should never come before someones needs, no matter the age, IMO.

If we raise our children with the belief that no matter what they come first in absolutely everything then we are setting them up for some major dissapointment and difficulty when they reach the adult world.

You are also implying that children's wants come before a step-parents (or all adults??) needs. That to me, seems unbalanced. For example, lets say a step-parent is very ill and needs to stay bed-ridden to ward an awful case of the flu. Step-daughter wants to go the mall. If step-parents did what you implied should be done then the step-parent would ignore her/his own health to appease the childs wants. Hunh. Or what if the step-mother had to pick up her important medication from the pharmacy in town before it closed and her young step-daughter didn't feel like going anywhere. Father was at work and there was no babysitter available on such short notice. Is the step-mother in the wrong insisting step-daughter accompany her to the pharmacy?

There is also an underlying connotation that a step-parent is somehow inferior to a birth-parent but maybe I am just reading too much into it. IMO if a step-parent is taking on the responsibility of caring for the child just as its birth-parent does then she in absolutely no way inferior.

I do not know the specifics of the family you grew up in and I could be totally wrong, but have you maybe even thought of the possibility that your step-mother was feeling the same feelings if neglect that you were?

I *do* agree that childrens needs should usually come before adults needs, but not every time, no matter what. But thats just me.

Anyway, I didn't want to turn this into a debate about whether adults or children should come first, I was just wanting advice on how to stifle human emotions when families are blending. I care deeply for sd and I want our family to become united much like families with no step-parents.

Thanks again for the replies. MommyMine, you've given me lots to think about.
post #8 of 9
I think that, although you disagree with Mothragirl, what she said is an indicator of how step-children feel and what direction the family relationship can go in.

But, I agree that both relationships are equally important. DSD should not always be put ahead of you. That sends a really bad message to everyone. And, sorry if this offends you, but how can a marriage last like this? As the teenage years approach, it will only get worse. She will realize the power she holds in the household and use it to get her way. I'm not trying to demonize her, but teenagers can be this way, yk?

I don't really have any advice for you, but I don't think you're being irrational at all. Your husband needs to get on board so you guys can create a family. Maybe you also should try to establish strong ties with DSD, spending time with her, just the two of you.

I'm sorry if this was all over the place. I'm tired. I don't know what it's like to be a SM. But my husband is my daughter's SD, so I sort of know how things have to work. I had to tell DD a while back that my DH was an adult in our house. She would tattle on him for stuff or try to play us against each other. Once I set it straight, things went better. She's not resentful at all. They have a great relationship. She's only 7 though, so big difference to 11, right?

Anyway, good luck to you.
post #9 of 9
Hugs mama..

I could've written this myself but my sd is 6 (we've been together since she was 2)....Mine isn't a jealousy issue, mine is a respect issue....Her mother has told us (dh and i, and others) that the only ppl that sd has to listen to are her mother and her father. Her sd (dh ex best buddy) hasn't taken any kind of role in sd life and I feel like that will backfire when she's a bit older....

I've taken an active role in her life.....her memories are full of me there from the beginning..she used to listen and be polite but when her mother told her that new rule 2 years ago it went downhill fast.....she respects no authority...not even her fathers most of the time.....

It's just a very hard situation.....dh treats OUR dd together harsher at 2 years old than he has EVER with sd with super high expectations put upon her in his mind and no expectations for behavior on his first child and that's just not right....If you continue to let a 6yo act like a 15 month old, nothing is ever going to change.....he knows the stress it's put on our relationship.....

I wish I had advice for you...I've gotten some good advice from other sm's here before........I haven't always liked it, but I've taken it to heart....Just couldn't read without posting something to you bc it sounded like my life...

I am a stepchild...I was 7 when my parents divorced and when on visitation with my dad we always seemed to "run into" our sm (before they were married) and she was VERY PREGNANT........She was the kind of stepmother that puts the evil tinge on it....she tossed her kids down the stairs if they didn't get A's, she just wasn't a very nice person.....my father told us once when he came to visit for a christmas (when it was mom's turn) and I asked him to stay for dinner (I was 8 I think) and he said he couldn't...he had a new family now and kids there he needed to take care of....I haven't seen my father since I was 15 years old (I am 31 now) and have tried to make contact over the years to no avail...He knows about his grandchild but has never acknowledged her.......I vowed my whole life never to be that kind of stepmother....

I love my sd. I have loved her from the very beginning....she is the one that changed my mind about wanting children.....I am just now treated, along with my dd, like an outcast in my own home bc sd's needs AND WANTS come before everything and everyone else but dh's and that's just not right...to the point that when dd had her birthday party last week mutual friends of ours asked how things were going bc from the way it looked at the party, it looked like dh and sd and his family came to MY house to visit for the party.....all this bc sd gets what she wants, when she wants, no matter what.....no consequences for any kind of bad behavior, misdoings, actions...nothing.....

I just have to take it day by day....DH and I have had some very long talks over the last week....some in circles but still talks.....There is a light at the end of this tunnel but it will take some time to get there...I can only hope we are both strong enough to weather it.....

Hugs mama...


Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyMine

In the meantime I suggest disengaging from any discipline of her at all. Let him deal with her becuase if she won't obay you and he wont' back you then you can't discipline her anyways so all I am really saying is admit you are beat and drop that rope. Now this means making stuff be his job so he either has to figure out how to get her to obay you OR get himself to do the job. So say if my dh won't support my work with my skids I won't be alone with them. I simply wont' take responsibilty to watch kids who won't accept my authority as the adult in the home. I have boundaries for what is acceptable in my home such as clean and so forth and I insist my dh make it so- I don't care if he or his kids clean up but it must be cleaned and I expect him to mkae sure it is. I go to him to discuss the issues. I let him deicde how to fix it.
I wanted to post to you mommymine and say that this doesn't work for everyone...If I did this in my house, dd's things would be broken, I would be scowled at constantly bc I asked her to say please and thank you (not too high an expectation for a 6yo, I think), bc I asked her to be nice to her sister, simple things......My discipline isn't smacking on the hand, spanking, go to your room and sit there and think about what you did kind.....I redirect her, try to, I ask her to sit for a few minutes until she can compose herself....If things get bad and she's almost hurt dd or just out of control, I let her know we aren't going to do the fun thing we had planned (the only thing dh backs me up on)...If I disengage completly, I'd be living in a roomate situation instead of a marriage......I'm not evil, totaltarian, my way or the highway kind of woman...I have GREAT patience.....SD just acts 180 degrees different when she is here alone with me......others have seen it and after a few times have mentioned it in passing to dh when the topic of kids comes up in coversation and he blows it off bc they are wrong BECAUSE HE HASN'T WITNESSED IT....so it must not have happened.....that's where I am with that....All of our situations are going to be different.....I don't think asking a child to be polite with thank you, please, basic human niceness is too much to ask from someone that age.....Her mother thinks so....but I don't and neither does DH, but his follow through is horrible....SHe is sometimes rewarded for her behavior, he doesn't see it that way but it is that way....

I don't know..just my 2 cents.....
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