HELP! Step-Daughter is a nightmare

Kira - posted on 04/18/2017 ( 8 moms have responded )

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Hi. My husband and I have been married for two years, together for three. He has a twelve year old daughter that lives with her mother out of state. My 19 yo son, who has Asperger's, and my 4 year old granddaughter who I have raised since birth (who we recently adopted) also live with us. He works out of the country and is only home 2-3 times per year. We have made every attempt to both give his daughter quality alone time with her Daddy as well as include her in the family. If she doesn't get her way (or even if she does), she causes drama. She is extremely disrespectful and lies. She even peed on our carpet at age 11 because we went to the park of my choice. We have separated the family for holidays and so forth to allow her time with her dad alone, but there is always an issue. Last summer, however, on a family trip, she crossed a line that I am having trouble recovering from and it is damaging our marriage.

My husband, son and I went to the state she lives in and her dad went to spend a couple days with her while my son and I remained at a separate resort. The next day, my husband and his daughter decided to join us instead. We reluctantly agreed. We had a large open suite, plenty big enough for four people so we could make accommodations. Things seemed fine for the most part. We then continued on to our next destination for two days, as planned. Due to the last minute planning of this trip, the next place also only had one large open room which we all had to share. It was not ideal, but since it was so short and super busy, we didn't think much of it. The trip went fairly well, with a few behavioral hiccups.

After dropping her off at home, however, and returning to a friend's house in another state, I received a VERY disturbing email from her mother. She said the daughter was up all night crying because she was so upset by the trauma of the trip. That she NEVER wanted to be with our family together again. That we fought constantly (lie) and cursed all the time (lie) and she had never heard so much profanity and was horribly offended. That she feared for her safety and had to "make herself small" and be quiet all the time to ensure her safety (lie). She stated that she was forced to stay in a room alone and sleep with a grown man (lie), which she is aware is wrong on so many levels, and that she was afraid of him because he was drunk (lie) and acting inappropriately (lie) and so she made a safe space in the corner to hide all night. She stated that he has extreme anger issues and other mental problems. The list goes on. Basically, the accusations were made against my autistic son, who had actually slept in our car to get away from her. She made him out to be a monster. Yes, he is a grown man, but he is less sexual than a 12 yo girl. He is extremely rule oriented, honest and does not have any anger issues. He does have depression issues, however, and her accusations triggered extreme depression and fear. My husband attempted to talk to her mother and her over the phone. The daughter said, "I am not comfortable talking to you about this, so the conversation is over." End of story. She ignored him for a couple months. Now they are talking like nothing ever happened. He told me to just let it all go. There is no accountability whatsoever. I have been to a counselor about it. She only validated my feelings and my fears that it will get worse.

So, now, the daughter is coming to visit in the summer. I will take my son and our youngest daughter and go out of town while she is here. She will be back at Christmas, so I guess we will leave then too. This is his first Christmas home since we have been together. I am not against them having alone time. He said to send my son somewhere else. I don't think my son should be punished for his daughter's behavior. I do not think it is healthy to have to completely separate a family to keep a child from making false allegations that could have someone arrested because they do not get their way. The counselor said the next time, she will likely make even worse claims, maybe even against her dad. His family feels the same way. My husband is convinced that the problem is solved. I cannot just let it go. I think she won. I am not sure we can save this marriage. Any advice? Sorry for the long post... I am at my wits end...

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Michelle - posted on 04/18/2017

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I agree with Ev. Your husband is burying his head in the sand and putting his daughter before you and your marriage.
He needs help in how to deal with a manipulating preteen (his daughter) as she knows how to get exactly what she wants, her dad to herself!
She is ruling what happens when she comes to visit and he is letting her.
I don't know all the background of the Mother and her feeling towards you (and I don't need to know) but by the sound of it, she doesn't like you and is feeding things to her daughter.
Unless it is all addressed it will ruin your marriage. He needs to realize what she is doing and out a stop to it.

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Kira - posted on 04/23/2017

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I don't know. I have tried to talk to him again and again, but he thinks the answer is clearly separating her from us and all is hunky dory. We are going to see a counselor when he is home next, but I doubt it will make a difference. His daughter will get what she wants.

Sarah - posted on 04/19/2017

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I don't know. If I only saw my spouse 2 or 3 times a year, I'd not want to chop that time up because his daughter demands it nor would I send my own son packing every time this child comes around. Life is too short.

Pamela - posted on 04/19/2017

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This is so sad but I get where you're coming from your Husband have his blinders on do what's best for you and the safety of you children

Sarah - posted on 04/19/2017

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You are in a tough spot. He is choosing her over the rest of the family. If you don't think there will be a resolution, do you think you can stick it out?

Kira - posted on 04/19/2017

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We attempted a conference call with her mother and her immediately after the initial accusations. She refused. Her mother wouldn't force her, insisting that her Dad just needed to ensure her that she is loved and not upset her more. She will never be around my son again, so there will be no further opportunities to victimize him. I do worry if she would be a threat to our four year old whom she is extremely jealous of and is unaware at this point that her father legally adopted. My husband was very supportive of me seeing a counselor to work through my issues with her, until the counselor validated my fears. He said he just has to have faith that she is not capable of doing anything worse and that our only choice is to separate the family. We have tried the laying down the rules prior to her visits, we have tried doing everything it seems, except giving her EXACTLY what she wants. He honestly thinks that if he just separates us then there is no issue and it no longer has any effect on me. He says he will go to a counselor, but I can tell you now, he will not listen to them any better than he has listened to anyone else. He said I am just having the same resentful feelings he used to have toward her mother and I will eventually have to get over it.

Sarah - posted on 04/18/2017

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I agree. I would suggest trying to get your husband to go with you to the therapist and talk this through. Then, before the child returns a conference call between her, her mother and the two of you can be made to lay out exactly what the rules will be, whom will be present and what is expected. Lay out the consequences for false accusations clearly. No matter what does happen, advise your son to stay clear of her and not put himself in any situation that could be turned on him. Sad but you gotta keep him safe. If she truly felt unsafe, she would refuse to return or mom would have called the cops. She sounds like a manipulative brat.

Ev - posted on 04/18/2017

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You guys should have discussed this and decided what to do about HER behavior when she was with you. By separating the family for her benefit to be with dad is not going to work and pull your family apart. It has already. It is time you guys got some counseling and some parenting classes where she is concerned. It appears he seems to favor his daughter than his family.

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