Problems with Older Stepdaughters - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 01-14-2012, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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I am new to this forum but not new to step parenting. DH and I have been married for almost elven years, and together for about seventeen. He has two children from his second marriage, SD1 and SD2 who are 21 and almost 19. We have two children DD1 and DD2 who are almost nine and three.


DH's children and I have not always had the best relationship, and that is especially true with SD2. When SD1 left for college when SD2 was 15 she stopped following the custody arrangement and refused to sleep over anymore. At the time she was in therapy for clinical depression and we thought that once therapy started going well and she started getting better she would resume the custody schedule. That never happened.


Flash to now and both girls are in college. This is the first year of that so it has been quite the adjustment for DD's. DD1 and SD2 have always been very close. They have a special relationship because they are both very similar. When SD2 did come to our house her and DD1 would hole up in her room and read together for hours. DD1 adores her.


We always get the girls for Christmas because their mother is Jewish and DH is Catholic. This year they spent less than a week with us for Christmas. When they left DH suggested that they stay another weekend later on. He brought this up again the other night while with SD2 and she claimed that her going revolved around SD1's work schedule. SD1 agreed to spend the night this weekend and SD2 suddenly turned around and refused. SD2 and DH got in a big fight over it. She claimed that it was her birthday celebration with her mom's side tonight and that she had already told DH this and that she wouldn't come because of that and the fact that she leaves on Monday to go back to college.


DD1 answered the phone today when SD1 called to talk to DH. She asked her if she was coming tonight and SD2 just kept replying 'I'll see you on Sunday at your birthday party. SD1 is coming tonight. I am not.' She did not give DD1 any reasons beside that and repeatedly asked to speak to her father. When they hung up DD1 began hysterically crying and saying that SD2 PROMISED she would sleep over. I texted SD2 and told her that she had severely hurt her sisters feelings and made her cry. SD2 did not text back but called her father and told him that I was 'interfering in her life and she would not stoop down to her (my) level.'


I am at a completely loss at what to do and to tell my DD1.

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#2 of 3 Old 01-15-2012, 06:53 AM's Avatar
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Sorry you are in the middle of and dealing with these troubles, mama!


I dunno if I have anything good to say to help you.  But some things came into my mind that -might- help.  Then I read your post again to be certain I was understanding the info, and it became a little more clear.  I may not be understanding this correctly though.


OK.  So it looks like your problem right now is not with your SD(s), but with your DD.   One thing is, your daughter is learning and must learn about life, and other people.  Other people often disappoint us and we cannot always get our way.  At first I thought you were going to have to help her to see about selfishness, and how often other ppl act in ways that are only in consideration of their own selves; ppl often simply do not consider the feelings of other ppl in making decisions.


But as I said, I re-read your post, and...

Actually, it sounds like this problem is between dd1 and ds2, not your problem at all.


Unless you partially caused it and so now need to make it better by apologizing to everyone!  You said SD2 shared with your DH her valid reason for not coming this time.  She is having her birthday party with her mom/ family (and seeing friends as she is leaving back to school after the weekend).  She's coming to your party, but otherwise busy busy this weekend and made that clear. I am sorry your dd is disappointed, but it sounds as if it should have been explained to her already, and that SD was perhaps unfairly pressed into a position of being guilt tripped abt it on the phone from dd and then texted shamingly abt it by you.    


I could be wrong, and whether I am or not, I am not judging you!  You were asking for help and no one replied yet, and so I read to see whether I could help.  And this is what I see from reading that!   It sounds like a stressful situation for you to be in the middle of all these dynamics; I am sorry it is hard!  I hope you all have a great weekend, though!

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#3 of 3 Old 01-16-2012, 10:55 AM
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I'm confused, your sds are adult women now and there is no longer any custody arrangements.   They are free to stay where they want to and if they feel guilted they may entirely avoid your place.  It's time to let your dd and your dsd develop and maintain their own relationship.  You may also need to prepare your dd for a very changed relationship now that dsd is off to college.


Good luck

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