Difficult stepdaughter, we just can't get it right

[deleted account] ( 2 moms have responded )

Hi, I'm a mature woman with two grown up, out of the nest sons. I just married my significant other that I have lived with for over 6 years. When we started living together he had a daughter then aged 13 and a son then aged 8 (with high functioning Autism and behavioral problems) living with him as the birth mother had left the marriage and left him looking after the kids.

At first it went ok, I was treading carefully and trying to not force myself on the kids, let them just get used to the new situation and my hopes were that we could form a bond almost like a special aunt or something. I never ever wanted to be their mother. The boy took to me immediately and has become very attached. His father and I have worked on his problems (his mother was very unhelpful and in the end I had to join with his father and work towards improving his behavior as he was becoming very aggressive) and he is much happier, healthier and doing very well. The daughter is another story.

At first his daughter was all sugar and spice nicey nicey. Butter wouldn't melt and all that. Slowly it started to unravel. She was causing a lot of the trouble in the house. She would wind her brother up then walk away and enjoy him getting into trouble. The arguments between them were horrendous. After we addressed the issues with the son it became obvious to my DH just who was the actual instigator. The daughter had put her brother into 'the bad one' role whilst she was the 'angel'. Finally the penny dropped for her father and he started to tackle some of the issues with her. Histrionics, crying, lying, passive aggressive behavior. Her personal hygiene was awful and her room really smelled bad. She was throwing using sanitary items into the bad of her wardrobe!! Amongst a lot of other problems.

To cut a long story short, she blamed me for the fact that her father tried to address these issues. i was the bad guy. I had taken her father away from her. She regularly behaved as if she was married to him. Took my place at his side when walking, wanted to sit in the front of the car next to him and a lot of other ways to say 'he's mine'. I tried to stay calm and neutral whilst all this was going on. I ignored the constant black looks, staring and ignoral of simple requests. She threw the clean clothes I had laundered on the floor, walked into the bathroom whilst I was taking a bath and coolly went ' oh yeah, soooooorrrryy!' but still took the time to retrieve the item she wanted from the cupboard whilst im sat there with my arms around my body covering up! She felt it was ok to go into our bedroom and take pictures of herself in our closet mirror (which showed all of our bedroom) then set it on facebook. It goes on.

Of course, all the time she was running to BM (she went on eowe) with stories of how terrible we were and how she suffered so much. Eventually she went to live with BM once she was over 16. BM wouldnt want her before that as she couldn't leave her alone at home whilst working and at 16 the girl could be used to do jobs etc. Since then she has continued to wage a campaign of hate at me and woe at her father. She wrote an email saying how awful I was, I was controlling him and that she would never accept me. Cut to now and the problem. The daughter is now 20. We just got married. Before the wedding he met with her for a coffee which only happened if he asked her, she never visits now. He told her that we were marrying and the date. She went 'oh congrats' then started talking about something else, she didnt really seem interested he said. He told her that we were not having an actual wedding with guests etc just going to the registry office.

We tried to keep the wedding that simple but we had his son with us of course, can't really leave him at home and then DH's family wanted to come to the registry office and see it and his father wanted to go for a drink and something to eat after. We didnt really have a choice as it seems rude to say no. My family all live too far away and my parents are not well and cannot travel so we planned to go there and have a small celebration with them after.

The day came, all went fine, some of the nieces turned up out of the blue with some flowers and watched the ceremony. We had no idea they were coming. Photos were taken of the nieces and DH's son standing outside the office. Of course, the usual happened and someone put it on fb the next day (how I hate that thing). Then DH got a text from his daughter all angry that she had not had an invite to the wedding.

Well, to be truthful we didnt actually invite anyone. If she had shown any interest he might have suggested, after his father proposed going for a drink and eats after, that she come too if she wanted. She knew the date etc, we received no card or anything from her but she is full of drama over the fact that she wasn't there. This is the girl who hates me, refuses to accept me in his life and has even quite recent made it quite clear how she feels. Should we feel bad? I do think that as his daughter she should have been there but under the circumstances he really didnt want her drama.

DH has also received and email from one of BM's flying monkey's but he just deleted it without opening. This has happened before when Bm was angry with DH and she dragged her friend ( a man) in to attack DH by email including a threat against him. Now we have it all again because SD's upset. So? Should we feel bad?

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[deleted account]

Indeed I should have said that she is now 20. But actually I did include the time frame.
' perhaps you feel that you need judgement' really?

'my dear - this is just patronising.

'I see that you apparently misread ans misinterpreted the entire thing, so I'm letting it go'. - I really must have.

If he wants to include you, He'll ask her' - He will ask her if I am allowed to be included??? pffft I think not.

but, despite our differences, I think I got my answer. Even if it was in a topsy turvy way.

[deleted account]

Shawnn - You have taken a very judgmental view. Yes, we did take her to see a counsellor/therapist. She wanted the Bm to go in and have therapy with her daughter. Bm ignored it. A few weeks after this the daughter decided she wanted to live with the BM !??! Personally, I think she is desperately seeking attention from a narcissistic and self serving mother. Going to live with her was another attempt to get her time and attention. It does not seem to have made the daughter happy. The boy has AS and has regular psychiatric check ups, they have said he is doing fine and they are very happy with him.

No, I did not spend more time bonding with the son. I spent just as much time trying to bond with his daughter but what I was trying to convey was that I did not force it. I wanted it to come naturally. She borrowed my clothes, shoes, jewellery. When we went to visit my family I always brought them gifts back, clothes, toiletries, scent etc and equivalent for the boy.

As for the CO or divorce agreement, the girl is 20. When she decided to go live at BM's my DH and the Bm made an agreement between them over it. Previously she had paid him CS for the kids. She did not pay the right amount in the end and caused trouble when he asked for the correct amount etc. There is no issue over CS and I don't know what you mean by ' are any of her actions causing him to be in voilation of court orders' - no she is 21 in december. Maybe I did not make her age now very clear.

I am not present at his meetings with her now. I myself suggested this as I thought she might want to have time alone with him.

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