P.S. If mom wasn't in the picture, I think that would change things, because I'd be "the mom". But as long as a child has real mom - I don't think I can fill the shoes.
Poor kid. She's got relatives who steal from her telling her that her dad and stepmom are murderers and who knows what else. Dh and I grit our teeth and are probably not doing a very good job concealing our contempt for them, and we know her older brother has told her what he thinks of them. She has this romanticized memory of her mom, who in reality didn't care much about her and left most of her care to dh and her brother.
If our counseling helps and we can stop the resentment from growing and somehow heal, she might have a chance. I hope it isn't too late, and I hope I can continue to squelch the desire to spew out exactly what I know and what I think about the whole lot of them. As lousy as they are, it's all she has to hold onto. :
I think an unnatural relationship sums it up perfectly. It's work. If I didn't love her dad so much I would have walked away already, not over the relationship between dh and me, but between dsd and me. You just get so tired of But I also know that if someone doesn't keep trying, she's headed for disaster. Even just a little progress is better than nothing, and that's what we have to hold on to. I guess that's the difference between playing house and making a commitment. I can't say I always love her, but I am committed to raising her to adulthood with the right skills so she can survive and thrive on her own. With any luck and a lot of work, we can grow to love each other full-time.