At a loss.....stepdaughter and husband issues

Allison - posted on 10/19/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )




I have read ALL of the advice...I have read ALL of the books...but it doesn't matter what I do, at the end of the day, if I EVER tell my stepdaughter what to do or correct her for something done wrong...then it's my fault.

My husband and I have been together since his daughter was 4 and my boys were 5 and 6. We dated for almost three years and then got married and moved into a home built for ALL of us. We paid close attention, making sure that our relationship was a good example for the kids and that we followed the values that we wanted to instill in our children, in spite of the fact that divorce was part of the picture on everyone's end.

Fast forward three years...I am a monster! My stepdaughter (11) refuses to follow the household rules - she is with us 3-4 days a week and often more...I consider it 50/50 realistically. When she is asked to do anything, she does is (with attitude) but only half way. For example...I ask her to put her multiple pair of shoes that are all over her bedroom away in her closet, and she moves them to just in front of the closet. If I ask her to please NOT put wet towels and her wet hair on the couch - it is IGNORED...especially if she is watching TV with her dad. And these examples apply to absolutely EVERY aspect of our daily lives. If I ask her to take her dirty clothes to the laundry takes an act of congress!!! She will hide the dirty clothes in her closet instead. If she is told to brush her teeth before school, she will respond..."I already did", yet her toothbrush will be BONE-DRY. Her excuse? "Well, I forgot, but I thought I did ". Her dad, by the way, thinks that she never does anything wrong. It doesn't matter what the issue...HE stands up for her and blames ME for barking at her or better yet...picking on her.

Here's the kicker...if I STOP correcting her or expecting her to follow the same rules in the house as everyone else...then I am not proving my love for her - by having LOWER EXPECTATIONS! He says that I am the adult and that I should demand that she does what is expected of her!!! WHAT?!?!?!?!?!

Please, Please, Please!!!! If anyone can offer some sane advice, I would love it. I am totally confused as to what I should do.


View replies by

Michelle - posted on 10/20/2012




You and your husband need to get on the same page. You either need to sit down together without the kids and have a discussion about house rules and punishments that both of you are going to stick to or get a 3rd party involved.

Everyone in the house should have the same rules and punishments (age appropriate of course) and they should be stuck to. Sometimes it helps to sit down as a family and all contribute. Write then down on a large piece of card and hang it where everyone can see it. That way everyone can see the rules and knows the consequences for not following them.

Ariana - posted on 10/20/2012




I would seek a couples councellor who can help you and your husband get on the same page. Nothing you do will work unless he's on your side. It's his daughter and if he doesn't want to discipline her then of course you will end up looking like the bad guy.

If you get on the same page I do less talking and more action. So if you ask her to move her shoes into the closet, and she doesn't, don't ask her again, take the shoes away. If she puts wet towels on your couch, go put them on her bed. If she 'forgets' to brush her teeth she doesn't get treats in her lunch or the rest of the day until she decides to go do it herself. Arguing is useless with some kids.

You really do need to have your husband on your side with this. If he refuses to back you up then I would tell him that from now on it's up to HIM to tell her what to do. Unless it has to do with something with your children (her hitting your kids or something) let him be the disciplinarian. If she doesn' brush her teeth or clean her room or listen don't say a word, and don't act irritated when nothing happens. After a couple weeks of her doing whatever she wants maybe your husband will start realizing his angel isn't very 'angelic'.

I would definitely seek a couples councellor for this though, and if he refuses to go find your own councellor who can give you some advice on how to make this situation workable for you.

Carri - posted on 10/20/2012




have patience she is still a child. I had step kids. yes they were monsters. I got divorced. they never cleaned. they had parties when I went to work and their friends ate up the food i bought with my overtime money. I had one step son he was getting paid to watch my 4 year old son. the step son was 17. he was upstairs having sex. he fed the food I bought to his friends and did not feed his own brother. which was my son. so I know about step kid hell. one time the 13 year old step son threw a steel train at my 5 year old daughters head. it hit her. I called the cops. My husband said I was nuts. Now his two step sons say I am crazy. well so does my ex husband. but my ex husband ran off with another woman finally. and draws social security for bi polar disorder and his two sons who were my step sons are now parents themselves. Erik the step son who ate up all the food. He is now living with a woman who has 3 kids and they never have enough food. Ha ha has two work a lot to feed his common law wife's kids. also the other step son works a hard labor job. and has a real monster of a wife. who is pretty but treats him like a piece of garbage. so all three of them got what they had coming to them. I guess I do believe what comes around goes around. I am a witness to that.

Lanie - posted on 10/19/2012




My only advice for you to tell him that if he can not co parent with you , and respect you as his wife and as a parental figure ..then there are issue's ...and you wont put up with it anymore.

Sounds like , he feels bad about the marriage between him and his ex splitting up ..and doesn't want to do anything for the daughter not to like him.

My ex did the same thing ....whichever way i turned , i was the bad guy....difference with me is ...the child ...was MINE and not his.

If i punished her ..i was being too harsh ...if i stopped doing things with her because of her attitude ...i was being mean and not paying enough attention to her , if i was having a hard time with her ..i would be told i needed to be harsher...

I could never win ....

Sounds like its the same thing you are going through.

I think for your own sanity , it may be time to really step back and look at your relationship and if you either 1. want to try to work through it , or 2. want something else in life for you and your children ....

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms