Jealousy of the stepdaughter - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 34 Old 10-17-2011, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#2 of 34 Old 10-17-2011, 08:16 PM
 
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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!

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#3 of 34 Old 10-17-2011, 08:50 PM
 
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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! 


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#4 of 34 Old 10-18-2011, 08:06 AM
 
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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.

Jeri, Natural lovin' Mama to Elijah (9.29.03), Eden (10.2.06), and a little one lost along the way (1/12)., Step-monster to Shelby (18) and Stephen (16). Celebrating 12 years together with my soul-mate, Eric. Hoping for a rainbow1284.gif someday! 
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#5 of 34 Old 10-18-2011, 08:28 AM
 
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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. 

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#6 of 34 Old 10-18-2011, 03:08 PM
 
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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.


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#7 of 34 Old 10-18-2011, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

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#8 of 34 Old 10-18-2011, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#9 of 34 Old 10-18-2011, 06:04 PM
 
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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 :(


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#10 of 34 Old 10-18-2011, 09:52 PM
 
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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.

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#11 of 34 Old 10-19-2011, 06:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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!

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#12 of 34 Old 10-19-2011, 10:09 AM
 
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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. 

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#13 of 34 Old 10-19-2011, 10:28 AM
 
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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?

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#14 of 34 Old 10-20-2011, 01:55 PM
 
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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.


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#15 of 34 Old 10-24-2011, 07:33 AM
 
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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. 

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#16 of 34 Old 10-25-2011, 12:47 PM
 
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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.


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#17 of 34 Old 12-08-2011, 09:42 AM
 
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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!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#18 of 34 Old 12-08-2011, 09:57 AM
 
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I'm so glad I found this website, even if I get no responds just knowing I'm not crazy I feel better.

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#19 of 34 Old 12-09-2011, 07:45 AM
 
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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?


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#20 of 34 Old 12-09-2011, 11:47 AM
 
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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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#21 of 34 Old 12-10-2011, 01:06 AM
 
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I'm sorry you feel that way, but I'm astonished so many people think this father daughter relationship is incestual and abnormal.  How sad.  My dad and I are very close and have a relationship just how you described. He's always been a generous person, and not just to me.

 

But here's the crux of the matter and the explanation for the limits of his generosity:  my dad has already had two wives.  Both put him through the ringer and took him to the cleaners.  So with new women? He's not so quick to 'take care of anyone' anymore.  (Thank GOD).  If he wants a partner, he wants a partner for companionship, not to be anyone's sugar daddy.  

 

If you are expecting your partner to 'take care of you' the same way he takes care of his daughter, then that is on you. You aren't his child, you are his third wife and supposed to be his equal partner.  If you want a BMW, go and buy yourself a BMW.  If you have a concern over his spoiling his children, then raise it as a concern for her well being, not as a concern about what YOU don't get and throwing a tantrum over it.  And if you are going to throw tantrums, then be very careful about calling other people spoiled. 

 

Lucky for me, my dad's partners have been mature and accepting and embrace me the same way he does.  That's because they too are grown and have their own kids, and also because they are independent and self sufficient.  When you get into situations of stepfamilies and multiple marriages, you also step into a world where two people need to come into the situation as self dependent adults (i can give you first hand experiences of why it needs to be that way, particularly when it comes down to inheritances and earned pensions), not expecting a man to take care of you.  He feels he has a life long obligation to help his daughter out when needed, which I think makes for a kind and loving father.  He does not view marriage the same way, he expects that the woman he marries shouldn't need his help the way a child would, nor is he obligated to do so.  If, fundamentally, you would prefer to be more dependent on him financially AND you can't handle him being close to his children, then I suggest you may need to move on because you are NOT going to be able to break that bond.  Or, learn to accept it.   I would be THRILLED to marry a man that holds his children in such high regard. 

 

 

 

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#22 of 34 Old 12-10-2011, 04:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amicrazy View Post

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.

 



 So it's all about the money, really. Did you tell your husband when you were getting married that you expected not to have to work and pay your own bills anymore? Maybe he had different expectations from the marriage.

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#23 of 34 Old 12-11-2011, 11:36 PM
 
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OP:

I don't think that the relationship sounds incestuous or abnormal. I do however think that it is a load of bull that OP's husband bought a BMW for his 20 year old.

 

One night a week out with your father isn't too much in my eyes. I would make sure that he spent one night out a week with me though, if I were the wife.

 

I see this as perhaps DSS has some jealousy for the OP. At her age she may think that she can run you off. I'm not in her head, so I wouldn't know but sounds like she may resent you.

 

If your DH says that you aren't involved enough in what's going on (conversations, spending time with DSS, etc) then I would BE involved. Insert yourself into the situation and make it known that you are the WIFE. If you are uncomfortable, chances are she is trying to make you uncomfortable. Go out with them Tuesday night and try to have fun. Ask her about school, life, etc. When she is talking about her day, give advice even if it is something as simple as what kind of detergent to buy.

 

I wouldn't take any of this lying down. You have a relationship with your DH and if he doesn't like you involved in this one, then THEY can take the hike, not you.


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#24 of 34 Old 12-12-2011, 02:44 AM
 
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I am really surprised at some of the responses.  I have a feeling this post will be unpopular, but here goes:

 

I think you need to adjust your expectations.  You married somebody who has kids.  I think it is awesome that he is supporting his child that well, and wish my dh and I would have had that sort of support at that age, because he is setting her up so that she doesn't have to spend the rest of her life paying back loans that it takes to get and education and get established at that age.  I hope we can support our kids this way. 

 

If this were the first marriage for both of you, and this was a joint child, my opinion probably would be different, but it isn't.  His obligation to his child does not end at 18 if he is a good parent.  It is a lifetime commitment, although the financial part will gradually fade over the next decade, in good relationships, the emotional relationship shouldn't.  It doesn't sound even remotely "incestuous" to me, it sounds healthy and close.

 

I can't understand your reaction.   You knew he had a child when you partnered with him.  Do you have kids together?  Does he treat your mutual kids dramatically different?  (There is likely some difference, simply because they would have to be much, much younger, but if you have kids together, you should be happy that he works to cultivate such a great relationship).  I can understand feeling a bit upset if you have a child separate from him, but he holds no financial obligation to your children with somebody else...that is the responsibility of you and the other child's father.  (which can feel unfair to an immature child, but it isn't, and maturity will bring understanding)

 

And, you should be paying your own bills, just as he should be paying his own bills (and it sounds like he does), unless there is a mutual, specific agreement.  Anything he gives you is gravy.  Marriage to somebody with kids means that you will always, and should always, come second to the kids already there, for both of you.  Kids are forever.  Marriage is a partnership, and it isn't fair to expect that since you are female, that you can get out of your obligations just because you are married, not in this day and age.  

 

And, for the record, I do think it is silly to give a 20-yo a new BMW, but I can understand the urge.  It is safer than a lot of other cars out there.  Of course, you don't specify whether or not it is new.  It is completely reasonable to give an older BMW to a 20yo because a lot of those cars last a long time.


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#25 of 34 Old 12-12-2011, 04:05 AM
 
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I just started reading this thread, and I have got to comment because i know exactly how OP feels. Without going into the gory details, I had a very good relationship with stbxh's daughter and ex (that is how I met him). I was impressed that he seemed to be a loving attentive father, where as the father of my children couldn't be bothered to parent at all. The girl and her mom encouraged us to get together, but then both became resentful and jealous. I bent over backwards to build a good relationship with my step daughter, but she has been bound and determined since early on to put me out of the picture (we got together when she was almost 18, now she is 23). She has been nothing but toxic to my marriage, and what i realized too late was that my husband was not a good father, he spoiled her and has a very unhealthy dynamic with her (he confided in her about ALL our marital problems instead of going to a counselor). He also treated her far more "special" than he ever treated me, and not just in a normal father/daughter kind of way. She is the only woman in his life, and always will be. Of course he created and enabled the situation too, but that is the problem. So what if I knew he had a kid? I did everything reasonable and normal to have that "child" be a part of our family, and she was a selfish, spoiled brat who doesn't even spend time with her father now, just didn't want him to be with me (or anyone really). So now my marriage is irreparably broken, stbx hasn't got the serious therapy he needs (since I'm the one who's crazy, don't you know) and my 5 y.o. has to grow up with parents at war instead of madly in love (like we very much were before my husband had a mental/emotional breakdown, which his dd won't acknowledge happened, even though I had to live with it, she didn't).


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#26 of 34 Old 12-12-2011, 08:39 AM
 
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Well I am going to say this is outrageous. The "child" is an adult. Should be working to take care of herself, and not be so spoiled. the husband should put his SPOUSE first, not his child, who is not even a child at this point. Going out on dinner dates occasionally, nothing wrong with that but buying her a BMW ??? WOW. I dont blame you OP, I would be so furious. This is just wrong, spoiling this adult child like this is not h elping her, and it s hould not be at the cost of the marriage. Sounds like your husband has his priorities in the wrong place.

I disagree with others who say you should be taking care of yourself totally, at no cost to your husband. Why even be married if you canjt count on your spouses help and protection and love?

Sorry to say, but your spouse seems to have no consideration of your feelings at all, you really need to have a talk with him and definitely go get some counselling.


Me and my wonderful husband serve God. Blessed with twin girls 2/11/11. <3

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#27 of 34 Old 12-12-2011, 10:30 AM
 
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No, it's reall not about the money. My children's Daddy is a dead beat, so I've always taken care of my kids. I love my job, and make a good living. I'm very capable of taking care of myself. I bought my own car after my husband and I married, and I still pay the notes on it. I pay all my own bills. I don't plan on quiting my job that was never a question.

 

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#28 of 34 Old 12-12-2011, 04:24 PM
 
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Plenty of parents help their adult children out financially, and I'm willing to bet that many of the same posters have accepted such help from their folks. I don't know why new spouses feel resentment because their partners are typical parents who take joy in their children. ESPECIALLY when their partners were non-custodial and hence had limited time with them growing up. Why would you believe that your spouse's children would be a miniscule part of their lives? Unless there was an estrangement? Would you really wish an estrangement between your spouse and his children?

 

Histhirdwife- (Why on earth do you want that UN?) I'm about to say something that will sting a bit.

 

He can replace you.

 

He's done it before.

 

If he says he's over you, and you think you're on the edge of divorce, ask yourself what you really want. Do you want to get divorced? Then I might start getting my financial ducks in a row. If you don't want to get divorced, statistics are not working in your favor. Step families and subsequent marriages are very vulnerable to divorce. If you want to save your marriage, you'll have to fight for it- and not against his daughter, but against yourself- your jealousy, your bitterness, etc. You'll have to make sacrifices, which sucks, but his daughter is not going away. I might still get my financial ducks in a row if I were you, because it sounds like you may have alienated your husband beyond the point of return.

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#29 of 34 Old 12-12-2011, 04:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strong Mama View Post

Well I am going to say this is outrageous. The "child" is an adult. Should be working to take care of herself, and not be so spoiled. the husband should put his SPOUSE first, not his child, who is not even a child at this point. Going out on dinner dates occasionally, nothing wrong with that but buying her a BMW ??? WOW. I dont blame you OP, I would be so furious. This is just wrong, spoiling this adult child like this is not h elping her, and it s hould not be at the cost of the marriage. Sounds like your husband has his priorities in the wrong place.

I disagree with others who say you should be taking care of yourself totally, at no cost to your husband. Why even be married if you canjt count on your spouses help and protection and love?

Sorry to say, but your spouse seems to have no consideration of your feelings at all, you really need to have a talk with him and definitely go get some counselling.



He may well view it as his money with which he can do as he pleases, like giving his daughter a gift. I don't know if the OP has a job, but as this is his third marriage, he may feel that he's past the point where he has to financially support his spouse who is also an adult. He has the right to pay for his daughter's wedding and buy her a condo if he wants. It's his child, and he can show his affection however he wants to. That's something people need to acknowledge when they marry into blended families. The OP doesn't really get to direct how her husband spends his money, particularly when it comes to *his* children.

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#30 of 34 Old 12-13-2011, 05:58 AM
 
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Somehow I doubt the people criticizing OP would be so judgmental if it were the MIL we were talking about, rather than the step daughter. The relationship dynamic we are experiencing is like the classic difficult MIL who interferes with everything and doesn't think anyone is good enough for her baby boy, while he basks in it. These are not normal father-daughter relationships.


rainbow1284.gifJess, mama to five boys joy.gif

 

 

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