I need stepmother advice for 17 stepdaughter!!

Shelly Jean - posted on 09/21/2015 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Before anyone reads this I want you to know I do care that's why I am here and I need help! I have a 17 year old stepdaughter. I am 29 years old and I have an 8 year old from a previous relationship. I recently got married to my husband who has the 17 year old daughter. I have known her since she was 12, my daughter and I have been living with my husband and her (she resides with him not biomom) for over 3 years. We have had our many ups and downs. But right now, it is a bad situation. My stepdaughter ran away from home twice (one month after our marriage) she has never acknowledged me as her stepmom. Over the years she has done several things to me. Stealing, lying, constant eye rolling, ignoring me when we're in the same room and just talking to her dad, making her friends who come over not acknowledge my existence, being rude to my 8 year old, hardly ever cleaning up after herself and I'm left doing it all. I'm here because I don't know what else to do. I have had many conversations with her and her father about her actions and behavior but it just seems to be getting no where. I feel like she ran away mostly because of me. My husband tells me he doesn't think so, but I think he's trying to protect us both. I have NEVER been rude to her or ever really told her to do something. (I had a step dad growing up so I do understand) I always include her when I'm taking my 8 year old out. I even take her to the mall or out to eat just the two of us, I've taken her to the movies, pick her up from school, friends houses, hair appointments, from her work, to the doctors and dentist. She usually always does say thank you and is genuine about it. But it's like the very next day she throws all that out the window and here I am again walking on eggshells. It's getting to the point where I'm done trying with her. I'm so tired of sucking up to her. I have had talks with her about it such as "you need to meet me halfway I can only go so far and the rest is up to you, if you want to." She says yes she will meet me halfway and then no results are made. After her running away for the second time now (she's still not living with us, it's been about a month) and I see how it has broken my husbands heart, it deeply upsets me. I feel like I'm starting to resent her from her actions and behavior now. She has completely given up on us and sadly my feelings are starting to feel mutual. I know she will come back again one day after she realizes how hard it is out in the world and when she realizes how good she had it over here. I know my husband will let her back in with arms wide open, I do want her back too of course. But I want her to respect me and my things and her step sister. I feel like I will resent her when she comes back. I don't know what to do when she does come back knocking on the door. Any advice or similar stories? I feel so alone and that nobody understands me. I talked to my husband last night about it, but I could tell it was starting to upset him and then he gets defensive. I would greatly appreciate some feedback. Am I being unfair and should I just bite my tongue and know she's just an immature young adult like how we all were?? Or is she to the age and point (she will be 18 in less than 6 months) where she's old enough to know right from wrong. Thank you for listening.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 09/21/2015

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What kind of counseling has this child been in? Her parents are divorced, and from the sounds of it, BM isn't around much...You're only 12 years older than she is (which probably is a HUGE source of resentment, speaking from experience). You have known her for 5 years, and 3 of those you've been living in her home...Was there ever any therapy? Any blending counseling?

When my dad married my first stepmother (10 years older than myself), I was about your SD's age now. I did NOT like the woman, I did NOT respect her, nor did I really care if she cared. In my eyes (and truthfully) she was the one that broke my parents up. (Well, that and a lot of other things that an ever so wise teen didn't know...LOL) She didn't push. We actually became great friends...after she and my dad divorced! Back in those days, counseling wasn't as prevalent as now, and it wasn't as highly recommended as it is now. Perhaps, with that, we'd have been a better family unit, and they'd still be married. (No, it wasn't the kids that drove them apart...it was those same circumstances as with my parents)

Depending on age of majority in your area, she may be old enough to be emancipated, and if so, you and her father (mainly dad at this point) need to let her know that, if that is her choice, fine, but if she wants to ever come back home there will be conditions. I do recommend that counseling is sought, for all of you, to help with the blend.

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Shelly Jean - posted on 09/22/2015

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My husband has told her that if she does come back she will abide by the rules and respect everyone in this house, otherwise she will not live here. And also if she comes back he told her she will have to apologize to me (when she ran away and came back from the cops the firsr time, my husband took her phone so when she ran again she stole my old cell phone that I gave to my daughter for her to play games and listen to music with). So whatever her reason is for not coming back, I feel like she doesn't want to apologize to me. I feel like the wedding was the icing on the cake for her (and at wedding she didn't seem very happy)
Her father and mother have never been married. My husband was young when he had her and didn't love the mom but he always took his role as a parent. They haven't been together for over 10 years. And according to my husband she just isnt the niceset person. That shes a liar, manipulater, loser and self centered. So that's why I feel like she is not happy with me being her step mom because her dad never married her mom. I'm sure her mom doesn't give her any positive feedback about me, so unfortunately there's no hope. As far as emancipation goes, she has requested that from both parents but both denied it.
We have never had any counseling in the past unfortunately. I don't see her being willing to do that, unless it's a rule in the house which could potentially work. I just feel bad because my husband knows how I feel about her and my opinions and it's breaking his heart again knowing that were not getting along. They have always been super close just the two of them for years and then in her eyes here comes the evil step mom with her daughter, therefore not leaving her the "baby" anymore. I guess I will just have to wait and see what happens. My mom says maybe it's a good thing that she's gone right now in order for us to collect our thoughts and let tension die down. (She has dealt with 2 stepdaughters as well) I just want the four of us to be your average family. I guess only time will tell.

Raye - posted on 09/22/2015

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I would not take her behavior personally. Sounds like me as a teen and how I treated my mom (biological mom). I don't think it all has to do with you or because you're a step-parent. It is hard to live with that behavior when it's your own kid, and even harder when it's not your own blood. I agree with Shawnn, that if she does come back there needs to be conditions on her living at home. You need to sit down with her dear old dad and make sure you're both on the same page and are being fair about what should happen. She's almost an adult, and needs to learn that her decisions have consequences. And counseling might be a good idea if all are willing to try.

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