Adult Step Children

Rhonda - posted on 10/26/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )




I have a situation here that I really would like to know what other women would do if they were me.

I married my husband 5 years ago. Our children are grown and we now have grandchildren on both sides. I really work hard to make everyone feel comfortable and try to blend both families at every occasion. Problem is, my step daughter gives a lot of resistance. She is very selfish and really makes me feel uncomfortable. When speaking to her father, she will push her way in between us, so that her back is to me.

She has 6 children of her own and over the years I have babysat, kept the children overnight, bought them gifts and treated them like my own grandchildren. If I spend $25 on each of mine then I make sure that I spend $25 on each of them as well. I try to make everything equal.

They come to our house, if our TV is on, then she walks over and shuts it off, she is very strict about what we can and can not talk about, what we do while they are in our home and what happens when they spend the night. I grit my teeth and hope for my husband to deal with it, since this is his only child, she uses it to get her way.

Biggest example I can give is over a tent that she wanted to borrow. She did call and ask me (which I thought was very good), I told her that my son and daughter-in-law asked to borrow it for a family vacation and this was the date, so if they wanted it they could but not then. She called again and said that her husband couldn't get that time off of work and needed to change the date, once again I said anytime but that week. A couple of weeks later my husband was gathering the camping supplies for what I thought was my kids. His son-in-law showed up a couple of hours later to pick it up. When I said no I told them they couldn't have it that week because it was spoken for, he looked at me loaded it in his van and drove off with it. My kids had to cancel their long planned vacation. Needless to say I was furious! I really contemplated divorce at that time.

It is still that way today. When they brought the oldest daughter over to spend the night with us, she was in our pool. She jumped off the ladder and I said honey, grandpa and I do not jump off the ladder, you can get hurt or damage the pool doing it. They told me that I had no business telling their daughter what to do. I told them to pack her and her things back into the van, that she would not be spending the night. When the child became upset I caved and let her stay. That was 5 years ago. The kids always tell me that their mother tells them that I am not their family. My feelings have been so hurt over that. So I have stopped babysitting, the kids do not spend the night any longer but they do come out for day visits. I am not trying to be mean, just simply if I am not family, then don't expect family things from me.

Our latest was this past week, they wanted to bring the kids out last Saturday and hike in the woods and pick out pumpkins from our patch. Since they hoarded all of the pumpkins the last 2 years and did not leave any for my grandchildren I decided to make a pumpkin carving party for ALL of the grandchildren. Grab bags of candy, sloppy joe lunch, play games and everyone enjoy the day. I told them no, they couldn't get their pumpkins early and gave them the date of the party. She has thrown such a fit and is going to buy their reaction OK, I am tired of 38 year old, pregnant for 7th child temper tantrums and cancelled the party. My kids are coming this week to get theirs. Husband says he will deliver theirs. Now I say no. She caused this she can explain to her children why they didn't get any, but no today he is delivering 12 Pumpkins to them. I have to work and am trying to decide whether or not to continue this marriage, I have really had it! Of course you are just getting a few things that have happened, I have not told the stories of how I spent Holidays at home alone while he was at her house with her family and his goes on and on.

Am I wrong in feeling that I may really want out of this marriage? Don't know where my wedding ring landed when I threw it at him the other night and really don't care to find it. Don't get me wrong, I love my husband, just don't want to take that back seat any longer.


Jodi - posted on 10/26/2012




Have you ever sat down and talked to your husband about it like you just told us? Without the anger, and not while you are arguing about it, but a calm, adult conversation? And have you and your husband ever tried some couples counselling to be able to resolve the issue and get on the same page with how to manage your family?

Rhonda - posted on 10/26/2012




Absolutely I have tried discussing it calmly. I have tried ignoring it. I have begged my husband to help me resolve this. But no success. She was always allowed to control every aspect of their lives and now thinks that she can control every aspect of mine. Including my marriage. I love my husband very much, but the mental abuse that is given is more than I can bare. You only received a very small portion of the story of course. It took a very long time and many episodes for the anger to reach this level.

Every family gathering ends up in turmoil and it is usually myself and my family left to deal with the aftermath. My husband doesn't see it. She treats her husband's parents this way as well. I have witnessed it and her husband has never seen it for himself, so he doesn't believe them either.

I thank you very much for your response. But at this very moment, I would rather spend the rest of my life alone, than to put up with anymore abuse from her. It has gotten to the point that I can't sleep. It is always on my mind and I am actually starting to resent her very much.

As far as excluding your step mother, that is wrong on your behalf. She is a human being and she is your father's wife. The divorce was between your parents and they are the ones that need to deal with it. To exclude her from things is very painful for her and telling her that she doesn't matter. Being a step mother, I went through all of that in the beginning. This forum is my way of dealing with the hurt and the anger. It will drive a wedge between you and your father one day. I really hope for your sake that it does not happen.

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Kimberlee - posted on 10/30/2012




It sounds awful and very stressful !

I would try and come up with some compromises that I could live with and really sit down with my husband to hash it out . Decide what is acceptable behavior in your home and what won't be tolerated by either of you. I certainly wouldn't want to be disrespected in my home by his adult children anymore then I would except it from my own.

As for the step grandchildren and how they have repeated to you the nastiness that their mother has shared with them ( how awful , by the way!) I would try and make myself their best buddy , favorite grandma ! No-one would be able to put any nasty ideas into their head if you won them over completely . I also ( and I know this might be very hard) wouldn't want to punish the children for the actions of their mother.

Divorce is something I would try and avoid , but I can understand why you have thought about it. If you love your husband still , then its heart breaking to think this adult child could damage the relationship so fully , very very sad. I hope you can both speak to each other and come to some ground rules for all of the adult children. I hope he will see your pain and find it absolutely unacceptable , Best of luck !!

Rhonda - posted on 10/29/2012




She is a control freak. She is pregnant with child #7. She home schools her children and they are not allowed to socialize with others. They do only what they are told to do and what she wants them to do. She has their lives planned right out for them.

As far as her mother, I did not know my husband when they divorced. The divorced in 1998, I met him in 2003. I have always given his ex the respect that she deserves. She was part of his life for many years before me, they have a daughter together and grandchildren. We get along beautifully. Infact, we sit and talk about everything and there has never been a cross word or bad feeling between us. She was moving over the summer and we went to help move some heavy things for her. I made family coloring books for the kids one year for Easter. I made sure the ex was in it and I wasn't. I did this to show that there is no jealousy on my part and that the kids feel comfortable with me. They were thrown away.

I have never tried to make him choose between his daughter and myself, I would not think of that. I am simply asking for respect, peace and my place in the marriage. She tries to control my marriage as well by telling me what her dad wants. If I want red and he wants blue, then she feels that I must give him blue. I asked her why I should give up what I want, her reply was that is the way it is.

As far as the Pumpkin saga, we came home from work Saturday night to find a note in the door, that they came while we were not home and picked some. That is fine, I am glad that the grandchildren got their pumpkins. But the fact that it was done while we were not home bothers me a bit. But I will swallow that one, the bottom line is, they got their pumpkins in time for Halloween.

Roxanna - posted on 10/27/2012




Is she just a control freak or is she angry at you? I ask because my Dad left us for a woman who used to be my best friend when I was 21. I STILL resent her 20 years later, BUT, she loves my children and I treat her with respect and courtesy because she treats my girls so well. When I visit with home (My parents are in NYC, I am in Texas), I visit seperately with my Mom & Dad because they just don't get along and try to use me and my kids in my Mom's bitterness. My Dad's wife is rarely included in these activities because I want to be with MY Dad. Yes, I am selfish. I only visit once a year for 10 days max, my kids spend 6 weeks alternating between my Mom and My Day along with my sister. I don't want to share my time with my family. My girls genuinely love my dads wife and we are always on the lookout for little gifts to her.

If talking to your husband brings no resolution; You cannot make him chose between you and his daughter. YOU will have to make the decision for him. Just tell him that since he cannot respect YOUR wishes and your feelings of disrespect, YOU will have to move on with out him. Please let us know the outcome....Good luck!

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