Stepdaughter getting agressive and bitter - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 01-12-2011, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have three stepdaughters (aged 9, 13, and 16).  Their dad and I have a new daughter together along with my 9 yr old son from a previous marriage.  Quite the blended family.  His girls visit us every other weekend. 

 

16 yr old SD has always been resentful and bitter of me.  While her dad and I dated she did everything she could to break us up.  We really thought she'd settle with time.  We've been married just short of 2 years. 

 

Dh was single for 7 years before me and dedicated all his time and energy to his girls.  He was the fun single dad and doted on their every need and want.  Once we got married however he buckled down into more of the grounded family man.  SD accuses me of not letting dh have fun anymore which is not true as we have lots of fun, it's just more in a family way.  It doesn't help that during those 7 years dh treated her more as a wife than a daughter which I could write about the effects of that for hours. 

 

Anyway, it's been a strained two years when she visits.  She's worse than ever, convinced she'll break us up.  I'm sure to her it appears that I'm trying to steal her dad away.  I've tried to be patient but I'm losing it here.  She's done so much damage.  She's stolen my car (without a license), defaced my home, slandered me to my family and the newest things is threatening my life on facebook.  When I read that she wanted to slit my throat I composed a neutral kind email as a sort of peace offering which she retaliated with all the nasty vile bitter thoughts she has of me and why she thought I was bad for her father.  So writing her doesn't work. 

 

I gave up long ago on asking dh to help me with her.  In his eyes she's perfect and a victim of family difficulties with her mom.  And somehow any conversation I try and have with him he'll push all the blame onto me.  He just tells me to be patient with her but it's so hard with how intense she gets. 

 

It's hard to love her.  I do adore her sisters.  However, I do dread her coming over and I breathe a sigh of relief when she goes back to her moms. 

 

I do want to add an admission that for the first year I acted childish.  I was jealous of my husbands attention to her and not me.  He'd go to her when we were fighting and tell her everything and lean on her for support.  They had a secret language so they could communicate about me when she felt the need to vent.  She'd grin at me any time her father hugged her.  I played into all that and the bitterness and anger got into my heart.  I slapped him once and she knows about it and made sure to broadcast it to the world.  Its taken a lot of restraint, prayers and work to not let her get to me and it's getting better in my heart.  But her relationship with me is worse than ever.  My relationship with my husband is slightly better now that I'm trying to be more patient.

 

I'm sorry this is so long.  Any advice would be great. Thanks so much!

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#2 of 12 Old 01-12-2011, 11:54 AM
 
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I'm not a step-mom, but I've unfortunately had more than my share of step-parents, including a new step-mom at 13. From that, I would de-friend her on FB. If you feel strongly that she needs a parent to be her FB friend, then Dad or Mom can do it. Then she can vent on FB (though I agree that what she said crossed the line, but I know I said some fairly vile things as a teen) without you seeing it. 

 

The other things - take the car, etc. - I think are not uncommon for teens. I didn't do any of those things, but I know enough people who did to think that they're not abnormal. I would separate those out as "teen" issues, rather than "blended family" issues.

 

Ultimately, though, you only have 2 more years that she'll be on this visitation schedule, so maybe you just have to figure out some way to survive. That's not a pleasant way to live, but I've known families where it was the case.


It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
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#3 of 12 Old 01-12-2011, 02:46 PM
 
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Let her win this one. Let her dad see her somewhere else, spending time and money on her in a place where she doesn't have to deal with you. Weekly dinner out or something. She's too old and has been too badly brought up to adjust to an EOW "mom" figure, a reduced role in dad's life, and a new sibling. Don't make her. Be grateful that you can have a good EOW relationship with your DH's younger daughters. 

 

Also, don't blame her. Your DH created this situation by putting her in the wife/confidante role years before you ever came along. Hopefully, at some point in her adult life, she'll get a little perspective and you will come to have a cordial relationship as two adults who are related by marriage. 

 

Much as your DH defends her, he will probably be relieved as heck when you point out another way for him to spend time with her, because having a biweekly catfight in his house has not been a ton of fun for him either. She is entitled to regular time with her dad that is happy and stress-free, and she's not going to get that under your roof. If you can make him see that, then you can help him find a way to meet her needs without punishing you, your kids, and his younger daughters with the EOWs From Hell. 

 

 

 

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#4 of 12 Old 01-15-2011, 07:24 PM
 
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i can see why you would feel resentment and anger and hurt by your dh's behaviour. i don't know  how you managed to put up with him going to his dd and discussing your relationship and any turmoil or things that needed tweaking in the beginning. that would be a hard one for me to swallow,

 

i have to agree with the pp who recommended letting her win this one and having his access with her occur somewhere other than your home. i wouldnt opt for you and the others leaving so that it could occur there under any circumstances either. he has created this problem by giving her too much credence in his life by relying on her for emotional support. this creates a very unhealthy dynamic in any family and especially in a blended one. i would put my foot down, albeit gently and tell him that the arguments and stress that is happening when she is at your home is too much for everyone else in the home to handle or cope with and that he will need to come up with some other alternative.

 

of course she is angry and bitter, you took away her man. ooooh i am frightend for him later on when she is older and things really change as she reaches adulthood. the negative implications on what her relationships will be like with men in her own life are a little frightening to contemplate. she expects complete control over the relationship and to have the power to remove whoever she chooses from the life of her man... this has been taught to her by her father. he would do well to read some books on healthy relationships between fathers and their daughters.... preventative measures for his other children.

 

his asking you to be patient is over the line as well. he needs to talk to her about the seriousness of the things she has written down, especially about slitting your throat, she could be charged with uttering threats, a serious criminal charge here, where the recipient of the threats doesnt even have to be the one pressing the charges, rather the rcmp decide and they do the charging. asking you to accept that from a child is simply too much and he is not doing his daughter any favours by treating her as a pcod (poor child of divorce) and a victim of her mothers actions or parenting/non parenting... she is on the verge of adulthood and needs to be taught that she alone is responsible for her actions/words etc and her role in any relationship.

 

i wish i could offer you some advice, but i fear that your dh has created a monster of a girl who has been empowered to remove people from her fathers life, to have a position that no child should have which is the confidante of their parent. our children are not our equals, not until they are adults and even then, they are not our life experience equals. your dh would do well to seek some counselling and parenting courses to see the error of his ways and to hopefully be able to repair the damage he has done to his daughter by placing her in an adult role long before it was appropriate.

 

i hope i dont sound harsh. i speak only from experience, well not in the sense of letting my dd have the power or to lean on her when i was having relationship issues with my x partner, but i did lean on her and put her in a way more adult position than i ever should have. i can only blame myself and my own youth and inexperience as a mother when i acted that way. but to be completely honest, i am suffering for it now. she is very angry and has not spoken to me in nearly five years because when my marriage to her sfatehr ended, i did not turn to her as i did when i was a much younger single mom and when that didnt happen she turned the blame on my now partner and her anger at what she sees as a betrayal of our (hers and mine) relationship. all i can do is hope that she will see my mistakes for what they were and eventually want to talk to me and we can work things out. it has been  h**l to have her reject and turn her anger and hurt on me, it is heart breaking waiting for something to change things and to keep writing her emails every once in a while telling her that i still am her mom and i was the one in the wrong and i am sorry for what i caused for her. i wouldnt wish it on my worst enemy, but i can see the possibility in your dh's future for a similar thing happening.

 

{{{hugs}}} to you, you are in a tough row to hoe, i feel for you, your dh and your children. you are sort of stuck between a rock and a hard place. i wish i had some sort of comforting words for you

 

vs

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#5 of 12 Old 01-19-2011, 11:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by vivvysue View Post

of course she is angry and bitter, you took away her man. ooooh i am frightend for him later on when she is older and things really change as she reaches adulthood. the negative implications on what her relationships will be like with men in her own life are a little frightening to contemplate. she expects complete control over the relationship and to have the power to remove whoever she chooses from the life of her man... this has been taught to her by her father. he would do well to read some books on healthy relationships between fathers and their daughters.... preventative measures for his other children.

 

his asking you to be patient is over the line as well. he needs to talk to her about the seriousness of the things she has written down, especially about slitting your throat, she could be charged with uttering threats, a serious criminal charge here, where the recipient of the threats doesnt even have to be the one pressing the charges, rather the rcmp decide and they do the charging. asking you to accept that from a child is simply too much and he is not doing his daughter any favours by treating her as a pcod (poor child of divorce) and a victim of her mothers actions or parenting/non parenting... she is on the verge of adulthood and needs to be taught that she alone is responsible for her actions/words etc and her role in any relationship.

 

i wish i could offer you some advice, but i fear that your dh has created a monster of a girl who has been empowered to remove people from her fathers life, to have a position that no child should have which is the confidante of their parent. our children are not our equals, not until they are adults and even then, they are not our life experience equals. your dh would do well to seek some counselling and parenting courses to see the error of his ways and to hopefully be able to repair the damage he has done to his daughter by placing her in an adult role long before it was appropriate.

 

 


Unfortunately, the threat she poses to you is all too real.  My dad placed my sister in the role of surrogate spouse, confiding in her all the problems of his relationships, lavishing her with attention and presents.  She HATED out first stepmother and managed to make her life living hell.  I am sure that their divorce was facilitated by my sister's actions and attitudes.

 

As an older teenager and young twenty-something, my sister had very inappropriate relationships with guys, including one who was 25 when she was 17 (yes, my mom wanted to report him to police, but that is another post).  After she married, she began to cut off any relationship with my dad.  A few years later, she started with accusations of "emotional incest" (which, I do believe occurred).  As her mental and emotional downward spiral accelerated, she decided that she had been sexually abused by my dad (which i do not believe occurred), and that that was the reason for all the problems in her life.  She has been unable to be an effective wife or parent, and is not a very functional person in any way. It is a very very sad story, with an unhappy result for everyone concerned.

 

They desperately need to be in intensive counseling together, to try to establish a healthy parent/child relationship over the next two years, before it is too late.  There are a couple of books on Amazon which deal with the emotional incest issue which, I think are "must reads" for you and your DH.  Dh will likely be resistant to the idea and in denial; your SD will probably be furious at the possibility that anything is wrong  in their relationship that they must act on.  She blames you and only you for any and all problems in her life.

 

My thoughts are with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#6 of 12 Old 01-19-2011, 02:44 PM
 
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Firstly, I agree that this is DH's fault and that he should NOT have depended on his child in that way.  But secondly, you need to take this situation very seriously because regardless of what she went through with her parents divorce, her actions are NOT ok.  Actually, they're illegal.  DH needs to see that and if he can't, then how can he be a positive influence on the child that you have with him?

Not to sound heartless, because you obviously love this man, but he needs to see the situation as it is.  As for stealing the car and making threats, draw a line in the sand.  It's scary but you need to sit her down (with DH and a tape recorder/video camera for evidence) and tell her that...

-you are taping the conversation

-you love her father

-you will continue to be a family and do not appreciate her efforts to break you up

-that the past is the past but, going forward, if she does something illegal again, you will contact the police, because it is not acceptable behavior

-she will get time to be with just her father but...

-when she is in your home, she needs to respect you

 

Obviously she's jealous and she has emotional issues so it may be good to consider sending her to a pshychiatrist.  I disagree with the idea that teens do bad things, because they're teens, like steal cars.  If I had stolen a car from my parents, they would have called the police, so why shouldn't you?  Good luck and keep us posted, but don't let her be dominant, or this will never end.  You've been nice but it's a matter of 'end it now, or let it go on forever' and this may affect your relationship with DH, but that's on him.

I heard once, "your child is #1 until you get married, then your wife is #1 and child is #2"


champagne.gif Advice from your friendly newlywed and aspiring parent.  Cheers to family planning! 
Family = me + husband + step daughter 2twins.gif
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#7 of 12 Old 01-20-2011, 10:44 AM
 
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"I heard once, "your child is #1 until you get married, then your wife is #1 and child is #2"."

 

I don't agree with that, but when one of your dear ones is stealing and making death threats against another one, it doesn't much mater who is #1 or #2 or #7. 

 

I actually think that kids are always #1, but part of treating a kid like #1 is providing them with a safe, stable home environment. Being Daddy's emotional rock and confidante is neither safe nor stable. As a PP has pointed out, it's actually a very awful thing to do to a child. 

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#8 of 12 Old 01-20-2011, 02:21 PM
 
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I don't have any advice, but I wanted to say I am sorry you are in this situation, that must be so hard hug2.gif

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#9 of 12 Old 01-22-2011, 07:59 AM
 
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This is a tough, tough situation. I agree with previous posters regarding therapy. I think your DH and DSD need to go to therapy together and DSD also needs to go alone. Her issues are severe. And I'm sorry, threatening you with your life (the slitting your throat comment) makes her unsafe to be in your home. I would report that to authorities. After that comment, I would insist your DH spend quality time with her elsewhere. I would also call the police if she stole my car. (I would call the police if my bio kids stole my car, as well.)

 

Some teens have a hard time adjusting to a new stepparent. But this isn't normal adjustment issues. She's not just giving you the typical eye roll or even telling you she hates you, she's posting on FaceBook that she wants to KILL you and she's even saying how. That, to me, is SERIOUS. Your bio child needs to be protected, and your younger DSDs need to be protected from such violence and hostility in your home. Your 16 year old DSD is on the brink of adulthood and needs to be held accountable for her actions. You didn't break her, and unfortunately at this point in time under these circumstances, you can't fix her. It will take years of therapy for her to be an emotionally healthy person. I say to set your boundaries. Let oldest DSD know that while you love her, her actions and threats are unacceptable. Maybe someday she'll come around. In the meantime, continue to focus on fostering a healthy, happy relationship with your younger stepdaughters and building a strong base for your family. Boundaries are so very important. She needs to know how she CAN'T treat you. She can't steal your car and she can't threaten you with your life.

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#10 of 12 Old 01-24-2011, 06:13 PM
 
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I agree this is on your DH for putting her in a wife/ confidante role.  My father did this to my sister and she suffers the consequences to this day.  While he might think it drew/ draws them closer it really is a kind of emotional molestation, to do this to such a young child (I assume it started when she was 9?).  I hate to say this but it sounds like you find yourself in a toxic situation with toxic people.  I have found, in my life, when dealing with toxic people, you either have to leave or learn to shut down emotionally.

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#11 of 12 Old 01-26-2011, 05:54 PM
 
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Dear TrinkDea,

You post has had me upset for 2 days.  I believe that her behavior and threats are criminal and I believe your DH needs to man up and protect you.  You are the female head of the household in your home and you deserve respect.  If she rolled her eyes at you or said "whatever" it would be in line of what one could expect from an immature 16 year old, but she is way out of bounds.  The behavior between you dh and stepdaughter is toxic.  She is the oldest child and the others must look to her on how to act.  What is she teaching the other 3 children or your precious new baby and what are you teaching them by tolerating the emotional abuse.  Whatever mistakes you made as a new stepmother does not justify her treatment of you.  Stepparenting is hard, but this?  I would insist on family counseling and I personally wouldn't be comfortable sleeping under the same roof as someone who publicly threatened to slit my throat.   I hope you have a safe place to go.  I'm very worried about you and your well being.  

Janet Kay

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#12 of 12 Old 01-29-2011, 02:54 PM
 
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I couldn't read and not post, my heart really goes out to you. hug2.gif I didn't have this situation, my step children were much younger when I came into their lives but I can empathize with how heavily this all must be weighing on your shoulders. You have received a great deal of good advice here. I cannot truly know your life or what will work so I am just going to try to slip into some very limited edition shoes and see if I can't figure out what I would do.

 

First, if her mother is in her life I would have a talk with her. I would show her the emails and I would spell out exactly what has been going on. I'd be brutally honest both about her and myself. I know this might not go well. Mother might flip, accuse, defend, be generally unpleasant, but shes a mom and when she cools out shes going to see that her daughter is in a bad place and something needs to change. Or better yet, maybe she will recognize you as an ally in this all and see that you care for her daughters well being and well... only good can come from that.

 

Second after a lot of communication with the hubby I would suggest he spend some one on one time with her, just for her. Shes missing out on that attention and that might help smooth some of her ruffled feathers.

 

Lastly, I would hug this girl, tightly and genuinely each time I saw her and ask her how she is. She might rebuff and even say something nasty, but I'd do it. I'd hug her when she leaves and tell her I look forward to seeing her again. Everything in between I would ignore and/or let my husband handle and I would support him in how he handles it. (this is after the all important communication)

 

Again, none of this might work for your particular situation, just throwing in my two cents here. Just make sure, no matter what you keep in mind she'll grow up soon enough and hopefully with time and maturity this too will pass.

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