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snafu
September 28th, 2009, 08:56 AM
I have finally accepted that I will never have a relationship with my step-daughter. :(


At this time I rarely speak to/about her as

1) IF I say anything to/about her that upsets DH/her, DH gets upset with me - I feel that life is simpler/less stressful when I say nothing

2) she's lied about things that she's done (drinking, drugs, and sex- either she's not done these things, but claimed she did OR she's done them, but lied to my DH about doing them){btw- in the past DSD claimed she was a "cutter" to get attention - she's NOT a cutter}

3) I don't trust her - she has lied in the past about things I've said & done - if I don't say anything to her she can't twist it (I told DH about this)


I think a big part of the problem is that, in the past she's been rewarded when I hurt/"hurt" her feelings - she probally gets sympathy for having such a mean step-mother too. Had I known before DH & I got married that he'd promised her he'd never get remarried I (think) would have insisted on family counciling BEFORE I'd marry him.

snafu
September 28th, 2009, 09:06 AM
I grew up in a disfunctional home & I feel that for DSD (& myself) living this way is hellish. I'm an adult & it stresses me out when I think about it - she's just a teen - poor kid. (just posting about this has set my heart racing.... and I think "what if DH reads this & gets upset and/or angry with me ....")


I have nieces who were treated poorly by their step-moms/SM's families & MY DM & I never wanted that for DSD.

LucyVanPelt
September 28th, 2009, 09:20 AM
Snafu, without your DH's positive participation, you cannot fix this. You can be polite and distantly helpful, but anything more will be rejected. She is crying out desperately to be parented by the only parent who refuses to fulfill his duties. Refer all major things to her father and approach her as if she were your student rather than her step-mother. It's the best you can do and will-- hopefully-- keep you out of the ugliness.


(((snafu)))

Brownie
September 28th, 2009, 09:38 AM
((snafu))

I agree with Lucy. I, too, was the mean, bad step-mother to DSD2 for her years 12-17. DH felt sorry for her so he didn't disipline her and her mother was too busy running around with her friends and looking for a man. DSD2 exhibited the same behaviors you've described.

Once I accepted that I had no authority, I treated her as a student. I also wouldn't go out of my way for her. I left that to her dad. If she needed supplies from town and I didn't have a reason to go, he took her or picked up what she needed. I wasn't mean or anything, I wouldn't be expected to do it for the kid next door so I didn't do it for her.

Life was very stressful in our our house during those years.

snafu
September 28th, 2009, 09:41 AM
the disfunction affects my DS too... recently I've been wondering how OUR FAMILY'S disfunction is going to affect how our children cope with life, adulthood, relationships, children, and co-parenting (plus, how they'll deal with in-laws)

snafu
September 28th, 2009, 09:52 AM
Brownie - did it ever get any better?

KayKay
September 28th, 2009, 10:09 AM
Nothing to add... just hugs. (((((snafu))))) I know how hard you've tried, and how heartbroken you must be.



ETA: Okay, now I've got something to add. :o I'm sad that you titled the thread "bad step-mom". snafu, you are NOT a bad step-mom. You are a wonderful step-mom who is being thwarted in her every attempt to show "real" love, which includes discipline.

Brownie
September 28th, 2009, 12:20 PM
snafu, I agree with Kay-Kay...you are not a "bad" step-mom. In my earlier post, I was attempting to be sarcastic....

I have a son who is 6 years younger than DSD2 so he was 6-11 while the worst of the nonsense at home was going on. I don't think the situation with DSD2 impacted him significantly because he was busy with his own life. His few comments regarding the choices she made were along the lines of "She taught me what not to do!" Also, DSD2's went to a different school than DS and DSD1.

DSD1 who is 2 years older that DSD2 was very aware of the situation. DSD1 indicated that she could not wait to get away from home because of DSD2's choices and behavior. DSD1 did not want to get guilted into taking care of DSD2s baby so she moved 2100 miles away one month after she graduated from high school.

DSD2 continues to have problems, mostly of her own making. She was pregnant and married at 16, divorced at 18, gave up custody of her daughter when she was 8, has drinking and gambling problems, is promiscous, only calls when she wants money, etc...

Once DSD2 moved out of the house, we put up with a lot more nonsense that we should have because of the our granddaughter...

snafu
September 28th, 2009, 01:01 PM
I called myself a bad step-mom because I DON'T talk to DSD unless I can avoid it... and I feel bad because... well - picture you're a kid/teen & an adult who lives in the same house as you doesn't speak to you. Her dad rarely enforces his rules/directions (ie. see the cell phone thread; get the dirty dishes out of your room - he doesn't check to see that she's done it & she blows him off, thus we get the "science experiemnts" in her room:rolleyes:) Why if there are no real consequences to her behavior would she think that lying, etc... affects whether or not certain people want anything to do with her? (also as she's claimed to frequently smoke pot & get drunk with a certain friend - I ALMOST called that girl's parents to show them DSD's journal - if DSD's lying could you imagine how that would have affected her friendship with this girl, much less once it became know at school how other's would have viewed her)


Whenever DH backtracks/fails to follow thru with DSD it impacts (negatively) how I view him too - so I detach.

LucyVanPelt
September 28th, 2009, 02:13 PM
snafu, are you giving her the silent treatment or keeping your distance? Keeping your distance does NOT make you a bad step mom.

As far as how you feel about your DH when he doesn't do what he's supposed to-- I think that thread about a DH having honor really applies here, too. He appears weak and stupid. How can you respect a man under those conditions?

How is your DS reacting to all of this? You and he may want to do some family counseling together even if DH and DSD won't.

snafu
September 28th, 2009, 02:58 PM
I feel I'm keeping my distance, but don't really know how "keeping distance" looks different from "the silent treatment".



(btw - I know I'm not perfect - this situation is part of my own making too)

KayKay
September 28th, 2009, 05:12 PM
I have a son who is 6 years younger than DSD2 so he was 6-11 while the worst of the nonsense at home was going on. I don't think the situation with DSD2 impacted him significantly because he was busy with his own life. His few comments regarding the choices she made were along the lines of "She taught me what not to do!"


This is a very important point, IMO. I am 5 years younger than EvilSis2, and while she isn't a step-sis, she made lots and lots and lots of poor choices. :rolleyes: I developed a keen desire to *not* be like her. I tell my kids frequently "Smart people learn from their mistakes. REALLY smart people learn from OTHER PEOPLE'S mistakes." I learned a lot from EvilSis2. :(

LucyVanPelt
September 29th, 2009, 03:56 AM
This is a very important point, IMO. I am 5 years younger than EvilSis2, and while she isn't a step-sis, she made lots and lots and lots of poor choices. :rolleyes: I developed a keen desire to *not* be like her. I tell my kids frequently "Smart people learn from their mistakes. REALLY smart people learn from OTHER PEOPLE'S mistakes." I learned a lot from EvilSis2. :(
This is very true. While I wouldn't classify my older sister as evil, she sure did a lot of dumb things and I was resolved not to repeat her mistakes.

Snafu, the difference between the silent treatment and keeping your distance might seem small, but there is a difference. Giving someone the silent treatment means you don't speak to them even when they speak to you. You walk away when they enter a room. Most importantly, you do it because you want to punish the other person and manipulate them into doing what you want.

Keeping your distance means you stay on polite topics, like the weather. You don't avoid the person or snub them, but you're not getting into anything with them, either. The intention here is to protect yourself, not to punish her. This is what I really think you're doing. This would make you a very smart woman who is doing what she can to maintain a peaceful household with her DH and his daughter.

1DH+4Kids=Happyus
September 29th, 2009, 02:19 PM
Snafu -

When are you going to leave his sorry *****

You and your son deserve better.

Cremebrulee
October 12th, 2009, 06:24 AM
Snafu, without your DH's positive participation, you cannot fix this. You can be polite and distantly helpful, but anything more will be rejected. She is crying out desperately to be parented by the only parent who refuses to fulfill his duties. Refer all major things to her father and approach her as if she were your student rather than her step-mother. It's the best you can do and will-- hopefully-- keep you out of the ugliness.


(((snafu)))

I totally agree with this...adding, that your husband is a very lucky man to have married a woman who cares so much about his daughter, but, until he takes ownership...there will be more heartache...he has stuck his head in the sand and refuses to be a parent....can you get him into counciling?
Yanno Snafu, someday this girl is going to grow into a woman and be so thankful for you...

and I'd like to add, perhaps saying nothing will for her, turn things around....?

Do you think she has feelings? What I'm asking you is, that sometimes when children go through a dysfuncational childhood, they learn to adapt by turning their feelings off? They become narcissistic...
Do you think this has happened to your step daughter, or, do you think she feels guilt for her wrong doing. The fact that you said she lies...scares me into thinking that she may even believe her own lies?

marky
March 27th, 2011, 02:23 PM
How do we sort this out? All my brother and i want is to not be beaten up physically or verbally and be allowed some friends over occassionally. and before you ask, no we cant go and live with our mum as she committed suicide when we were little.
Can anyone offer us any help whatsoever?

WckdStpMom
May 30th, 2011, 09:59 PM
Have you tried asking your Dad?

Are you currently being physically or verbally abused?

snafu
February 25th, 2012, 09:42 AM
((snafu))

I agree with Lucy. I, too, was the mean, bad step-mother to DSD2 for her years 12-17. DH felt sorry for her so he didn't disipline her and her mother was too busy running around with her friends and looking for a man. DSD2 exhibited the same behaviors you've described.

Once I accepted that I had no authority, I treated her as a student. I also wouldn't go out of my way for her. I left that to her dad. If she needed supplies from town and I didn't have a reason to go, he took her or picked up what she needed. I wasn't mean or anything, I wouldn't be expected to do it for the kid next door so I didn't do it for her.

Life was very stressful in our our house during those years.


(aside: I hope Brownie pops back in sometime soon)

I'm wondering how exactly you treated her & how your DH reacted. :confused:

landonhemsley
March 6th, 2012, 10:30 AM
You HAVE to have DH do most of the parenting, which means he has to have a spine every now and again. That's the only way to get thru to DSD: thru DH.

It's also ESSENTIAL that DH unequivocally send the message that he loves DSD, but that he loves you more. Isn't that what marriage should be anyway? Caring for your spouse first and your kids second? As soon as a child is allowed to leverage a parent's emotions against that parent's spouse, the parents lose all authority and respect from the children. Not that parents should be despots, but they need to set boundaries and kids need to learn to respect those boundaries.

My DS was allowed to leverage the emotions of my DF against my DM. My parents are divorced, and she was constantly threatening to go back and forth between the two. My DF refused to discipline my DS when she acted out, and in some cases, condoned her poor behavior, completely undermining my DM. Eventually, it all spiraled out of control. My DS would act out because she didn't know anything else, and her bad behavior stressed my DF and drove him to drug use and debt.

My DF is now in prison and my DS is addicted to heroin because she never learned to control herself and respect boundaries. My DM is constantly worried, as is my whole family, about my DS.

This sounds more like an issue between you and DH rather than between you and DSD.

BTW, I'm new, so sorry if I get the DF, DS, and all those abbr. mixed up. It took me a while to catch on, and I'm not sure i really have.

KayKay
March 6th, 2012, 10:33 AM
Welcome landonhemsley. I appreciate you sharing your story.

Abbreviations can be found here: http://www.friendsandfamilyforum.com/showthread.php?t=485 and here: http://www.friendsandfamilyforum.com/showthread.php?t=484

HTH! (hope that helps!) :)

KayKay
March 6th, 2012, 10:40 AM
Oops - I just noticed that some of the common ones aren't on there!

DS = dear son
DD = dear daughter (or sometime dear dad)
DM = dear mother
DF = dear father
GM = grandmother
GF = grandfather

JoanMary
October 22nd, 2012, 04:28 PM
I totally agree with this...adding, that your husband is a very lucky man to have married a woman who cares so much about his daughter, but, until he takes ownership...there will be more heartache...he has stuck his head in the sand and refuses to be a parent....can you get him into counciling?
Yanno Snafu, someday this girl is going to grow into a woman and be so thankful for you...

and I'd like to add, perhaps saying nothing will for her, turn things around....?

Do you think she has feelings? What I'm asking you is, that sometimes when children go through a dysfuncational childhood, they learn to adapt by turning their feelings off? They become narcissistic...
Do you think this has happened to your step daughter, or, do you think she feels guilt for her wrong doing. The fact that you said she lies...scares me into thinking that she may even believe her own lies?


Great insight to the problem. My kids (bio and step) are now grown up but we went thru similar grief when they were teens. In hindsight the real problem was that my DH and I were not on the same page at the time - even after seeing a nationally known counselor!

Eventually, I learned to live by the term "healthy selfish". It is all about learning to take care of your needs first and setting healthy boundaries with those children (and DH) who will not be respectful of you. It allows you to remain sane and not get sucked into their drama and manipulation.

BTW, the counselor was a big advocate of the bio parent taking the lead and the step parent being there for support. I had to take 3 giant steps back with my DSD's (teenagers) and it left a giant hole in their lives. At first it looked like I was abandoning my DSD's or playing favorites as I did not change my relationship with my DD or DS. In reality it created a situation where my DH could fill the void with his kids (or not) instead of leaving it to me. It also gave my DSD's the opportunity to have real consequences from their poor relationship choices. I was no longer going to be their doormat for lies or manipulation.

Best of all, once you have healthy boundaries - you are much happier to interact with all the kids.

Freek
November 17th, 2012, 08:30 AM
If the behavior of your step mother is bad with you which hurts you. Then you just need to be patient and bave well with your step mother and not to claim anthing about their behavior. She will surly think about her behavior with the passage of time, and will try to change it.

KayKay
November 17th, 2012, 08:43 AM
:rofl: Did you read the thread?

(1) This thread is over 3 years old. The OP's stepdaughter has moved out for college.
(2) This thread is abuot being the stepmother, not about having a stepmother.

I'm not sure how many people just think about their behavior with the passage of time and try to change it.

snafu
March 30th, 2014, 09:09 AM
Things are improving, little by little:)

Cremebrulee
August 9th, 2014, 01:50 PM
yanno snafu, I'm so glad things are better....it must be very difficult raising a girl, especially back in 2009 when you wrote this....but honestly, I believe once she has her own children, she will realize, what you did for her....and BTW, I don't believe for one minute that you are a bad step mom.

:D

Cremebrulee
August 11th, 2014, 07:43 AM
Great insight to the problem. My kids (bio and step) are now grown up but we went thru similar grief when they were teens. In hindsight the real problem was that my DH and I were not on the same page at the time - even after seeing a nationally known counselor!

Eventually, I learned to live by the term "healthy selfish". It is all about learning to take care of your needs first and setting healthy boundaries with those children (and DH) who will not be respectful of you. It allows you to remain sane and not get sucked into their drama and manipulation.

BTW, the counselor was a big advocate of the bio parent taking the lead and the step parent being there for support. I had to take 3 giant steps back with my DSD's (teenagers) and it left a giant hole in their lives. At first it looked like I was abandoning my DSD's or playing favorites as I did not change my relationship with my DD or DS. In reality it created a situation where my DH could fill the void with his kids (or not) instead of leaving it to me. It also gave my DSD's the opportunity to have real consequences from their poor relationship choices. I was no longer going to be their doormat for lies or manipulation.

Best of all, once you have healthy boundaries - you are much happier to interact with all the kids.

boy oh boy, I wish my son's step mom would think like you....:)
great post and healthy thoughts....thank you

Cremebrulee
August 11th, 2014, 07:51 AM
so sorry I posted in the wrong thread.

snafu
October 3rd, 2014, 05:43 PM
:)

DSD has been stressed working and going to school .... so I sent her a care package ..... bath stuff from a store that's NOT in her area ... it rhymes with crush (and she Loves it).

she was really happy to get it



(:eek: I just looked back at when I started this thread ... 5 years ago :eek:!!!)

Cremebrulee
October 8th, 2014, 04:57 AM
I bet it's kinda fun, looking back and reflecting....:) or not? :o

snafu
October 8th, 2014, 05:16 PM
uh... no. (But I am glad it's getting better.... just sad that its taken so long, but that's life)