Advice/ suggestions needed. Issues with adult step daughter

[deleted account] ( 3 moms have responded )

My husband and I have two children together a 2 1/2 year old and 4 month old (both girls). He also has a grown daughter (19) from a previous relationship. His eldest lives with her mother and he and her mother have had a very strained relationship and have not gotten along for years. Recently his eldest asked him to put down new flooring in her bedroom as she was redecorating. He agreed to do so as long as she was present as he doesn't feel comfortable being left alone with her mother given their history. All was fine until the day before this was suppose to take place. His daughter advised him that her mother didn't want him putting the flooring down in her room unless he also put it down in the hallway of her house. Due to the history (too long to go into at this point) he refused and I supported his decision completely. His daughter is now very angry with him, he has tried speaking to her about it but every time, she makes very rude comments to him, some comments are also very hurtful to me. She also decided at this time to involve herself in a longstanding family dispute between all of the family and my husbands brother, siding with the brother and throwing this in his face every chance possible. She has stated that she wants to see her sisters but only when he is at work as she doesn't want to speak to him and according to her, I am suppose to tell her when this is.
A couple of days ago she emailed to ask if she could take the 2 1/2 year old with her for the day. My husband informed her that before she did that, they needed to discuss their issues. She accused him of using the children against her to get what he wants. She then emailed me to ask me to give her permission to do this.
I informed her at this time that her comments and actions have not only been hurtful to her father but also to me, that we both feel disrespected and that until a resolution between her and her father is reached and we feel confident that our parenting decisions will be respected, she will not be allowed to leave with either of the children. I assured her that as always the door to our home is open to her and she can come visit the girls here whenever she would like as long as she informs her father as I will not be made to answer questions as to whether her father is present or not as this would be disrespecting him. I told her that she needed to decide what was more important to her, staying angry at her father and involving herself in a family dispute that has never had anything to do with her or come to some sort of resolution with her father and having the relationship she wants with the girls. I reminded her that once I return to work from maternity leave in April, her father will be staying home, so speaking to him is inevitable if she wants a relationship with her sisters.
Up to this point me and his daughter have had a great relationship, she was present for the birth of both of the girls and even cut the cord for the 4 month old.
It has now been two days since I told her that my husband and I stood on a unanimous front and neither my husband or I have heard from her.
I need some advise or suggestions as to what my next move should be. My feeling is that I need to just let things be and eventually she will come to her senses, however given her recent behaviour (which is completely out of the norm for her) I'm scared that she will choose to stay angry and miss out on the girls growing up. I also feel that she is resentful of the girls (based on some comments she has made). So what do you think my next move should be.

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JAEN - posted on 12/03/2011

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hi, you are doing all the right things but I was going to say it will get worse before it gets better. Then I saw your next post about it getting worse!! Keep lines of communication open with her and make it clear that it is her behaviour that you have the problem with, not her and that you still love her. She is in a difficult position as far as trying to please her mother who is busy sl*****g you both off (probably because she is jealous) and knowing she has been nasty to you and her Dad. She will find it awkward to come back to how things were with you as she will feel she has" lost face" and will find it hard to come back because of her pride. Keep telling her by text or email that you love her and that it is her behaviour you have issues with and that you and her Dad would love to see her when she can bring herself to come around.

Tammy - posted on 11/30/2011

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At this point it seems to me that you have done the right thing for your family. Your step-daughter seems to have some issues that she is dealing with by being immature and manipulative. You can't be responsible for her behavior even if that means that she is missing out on a relationship with her little sisters. From the little bit you have shared it does sound like she is having some feeling of jealousy and resentment that she is not being honest with herself about. Even though she is technically an adult I still think it's important for your marraige that you and your husband function as a united front. Hope that helps. Being a mom is a tough job but being a step-mom comes with its own set of difficulties!

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[deleted account]

Thank you for responding Tammy. Since I posted this, things have just gotten so much worse. I finally heard back from her in the form of a very angry and berating email in which she informs me that I am a B!#$@ and her father an A#&#* that we are acting like children and keeping her sisters away from her and that it is on our heads etc.... I was horrified to say to least and extremely shocked at how rudely she was treating me. My husband has tried several times more to speak with her about her feelings but she continues to be rude and refuse to address the issues. As for me, I will not tolerate this type of behaviour and have certainly done nothing to deserve this treatment from her. I have chosen to stop communication with her until she can treat me with respect. As always, she will be welcome to visit with her sisters and we hope that she will make the right decision once her anger subsides however unlikely this is given that her mother is only adding fuel to the flames.

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