ManUp's picture

Stepdaughters

Can somebody please explain to me why stepdaughters seem to be more likely to have these ridiculous stepmommy issues?

sandby's picture

In my case, my SD (13, almost

In my case, my SD (13, almost 14) completely sided with her BM in the divorce. There were no boundaries between BM and SD. Her BM told her at age 11-12 her side of what caused the marriage to fail and SD is more vindictive about it than her BM. I'm the woman who ruined her life according to her. I can't imagine how she'll be in 10-20 years.

The hate and spite continue to grow as she sees her mom's life continue to self-destruct (BM is living her sister's basement and on disability for depression and fibromyalgia.

Meanwhile, DH and I have a very happy family. He runs a successful small business. We have two amazing, beautiful little girls who are full of life, hope and joy. I had to make my Facebook completely private because SD was throwing online tantrums over seeing pictures of DH and our little girls. She is so incredibly jealous and can't face that her BM is an absolutely wreck who ruined her own marriage and her dad was right to want out.

I can see SS16 eventually getting over the divorce and seeing his BM as the nutcase she is. But SD will be a vindictive little jealous bitch for the rest of her life.

toywas's picture

Catmon, do you know my

Catmon, do you know my husband??? You described him perfectly!!!!!!! Guilt is not just a word anymore in my world, it's the way my life has been going for 13 years. And yes SDs are very manipulative! Each of my SK brings their dogs for the holidays and my guilty husband lets them roam through the house and of course, they mark their territory because its a new place but MY dogs are only allowed in 1 room. Figure that one out for me please. As for your remark about competitors, can you go in my detail and give examples if you can. I'm curious if maybe that's what I'm going through.

sandye21's picture

Catmom, I think your DH is a

Catmom, I think your DH is a bigamist. We both married the same man. LOL

saffron5567's picture

Well this is awkward. I think

Well this is awkward. I think I married him too.

StepAside's picture

Google the "Electra Complex".

Google the "Electra Complex". Girls go through puberty and test out their abilities to attract males on their fathers. They often compete with their own mothers for Alpha Female position. You can damn sure bet they will challenge the SM for that role.

The fathers praise their little girls, fueling their entitlement issues.

Ultimately, I think a lot of the strife comes from the fact that the wife and the daughters are competing for what they feel is rightfully theirs. My OSD was 19 when she emailed me that I just wanted all the money that was rightfully hers and her sister's. I had been married 8 years when she made that statement, and am still married 11 years later. Our family income is not hers in the least. They all feel entitled to money.

Hence, we have some huge conflicting beliefs in who makes the decisions and who gets what. They think my DH is their father first (have said so), and my husband second. They don't feel the need to reciprocate with DH or myself. He is always in the position of proving his love to them by giving them money. The second the funds ended, they had very little to do with him.

I think I'm the wife and they can take their bs, unrealistic expectations and shove them up their ass.

Since our beliefs don't mesh, neither do we.

(ღ˘⌣˘ღ)

not2sureimsaneanymore's picture

Short answer: Girls are

Short answer: Girls are catty, no matter the age.

Long answer: If you want to mix a little Freudian psychology in here, a Dad is often the first man that a girl comes in contact with. Man, not boy. He is also one of the only men who the daughter believes would love her unconditionally, either because society has ingrained the idea that parents love their children no matter what in her mind, or because of some innate, genetic bond, no matter what she does.

In a divorced home with a stepmother, the daughter who may have had her father's undivided attention for a while, sees that this new woman, who is very different from her, receive her father's attention in a whole new way, an affectionate and romantic way that she may have not seen her father give to her mother (obviously, since the last thing she saw between her parents were probably fights or disdain) and which is different from the kind of affection her father gives her. This "new" love is intriguing, and as everyone is prone to do, jealousy arises as to why she isn't also receiving this kind of love, not realizing (or even if she does, warped to not accepting it) that this is a love reserved for a romantic partner.

Now, this daughter may react in one of two ways:
1. She may choose to imitate the new stepmother's form of romantic affection for her father, and direct it towards him--hand-holding, sitting in laps, kissing, cuddling, etc. This serves a few purposes--it gives her affirmation that the stepmother is not the only woman who can receive the same kind of physical affection, thus what her father gives the stepmother is not "special," and it serves to remind everyone that she is a priority in her father's life. This can become so ridiculous that she develops "mini wife" syndrome. If she does not like her stepmother, and hopes for her to be gone, she hopes it can show her father that he doesn't need this other woman in his life, since she can "satisfy" him in the same way, not realizing that romantic love does not just end at hand holding and cuddling, etc. or hoping that it would be enough. Any time her father shows the romantic affection to his wife, she might try to preemptively initiate so that he turns his attention towards her. For example, he sits down on the couch and knowing his wife is about to sit down next to him, the daughter sits down first. Or she can see them sitting together and then interrupt and sit in the middle (or sit on his other side and try to redirect his attention) because she knows her status as a daughter affords her some innocence.
2. Testing him because she has learned, through her own experience and beliefs, that when you have two choices (she sees herself as one choice, and the stepmother as the second) and you choose one, it means that you want the choice you chose more than the other. Therefore she may give ridiculous demands and purposely put her father in a place that he must choose between his wife or her--for example, she wants to go out tonight and have him drive her when she knew his wife and him were supposed to go out. Or she might do things to instigate the wife to see whether the father would protect her or protect the wife.

Now, like a dog, if any of her techniques worked, her motives undetected, she would use them again and again in increasing length, complexity, and confidence because it gives her a feeling (her "reward") which is the affirmation that she is loved (a good feeling under other circumstances.) If anything shakes that belief, like the father no longer giving in, she will up the ante and increase the frequency and desperation. If nothing else works, she will resort to blackmail, her ultimate form of "choice", solely love her or never see or talk to her again.

Any sign of compromise from the father is taken as weakness and opportunity, including attempts to negotiate, because negotiating equals cracking/giving in.

Sorry this is so long, your situation is unique because you're separated even another degree from your daughter due to the adoption, so she is insecure in her belief as to how much you truly love her, and, unfortunately like most people, love is defined as a comparison of actions. You do more for me than her because you love me more than her.

Whew, sorry for the long breakdown.

RedWingsFan's picture

^^^This! Exactly how SD14

^^^This! Exactly how SD14 was when she was 12 and I 'invaded' her territory with her dadddddyyy. Mini wife completely and she called the shots.

"Behind every bitch is a woman who got tired of being broken"

"Wine is to women like duct tape is to men - it fixes everything"

Over_that_tude's picture

OK ladies, then what does the

OK ladies, then what does the step mother do when this SD is testing daddy and when daddy doesn't respond she thens go into full on "depressed because daddy isn't paying me any attention" mode?

I live with this and I am at my wits end. I do not want to end up in a position of competing with his kid as I am the wife yet SD is continuously testing him/us. She will elbow her way to being at his side when we are out and pout when daddy doesn't bite. She will deliberately sit on the loveseat next to daddy after I get up to get (insert beverage or snack). She will sulk when we are out so much so that he will have to stop what we are doing to ask her what her problem is. It goes on and on and I dare not say anything about every discretion lest I am now forced to have to go back and give examples of what validates my stance. He will then get into defensive mode and we get nowhere but get into an argument.

She will make it a point to ask him to "go hang out" when we are all supposed to go out together. While I get he needs to spend time with her, it seems she will ask him to exclude me and DD knowing full well we have plans.

BM doesn't help any when she is yelling in the background after SD complains to her that he shouldn't put his new family before his daughter. Daughter feeds into it and brings that negativity to our home.

I am trying to understand his position and hers but it is hard when this girl comes over and he is so busy trying to appease her until he ends up worn out by the end of the EOW.

...keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life's a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about.”
― Marilyn Monroe

sandye21's picture

I think SDs tend to become

I think SDs tend to become mini-wives more when they are teens or older. DH and BM divorced when SD was an adolescent so she worked right into the role. We met and marreid a few years later. The funny thing was, I saw this competitive behavior in SD but looked upon it as just wanting a bit of attention from Dad. Instead SD was determined to get her Dad back as she would have if she had been his ex-wife. In fact, from what I can remember at the time, SD did not particularly like BM. I can remember taking a trip to a large city with them shortly after we got married. They would walk side by side on the side walk while I trailed behind, totally unnoticed. As years went by, SDs behavior escalated to sadistic hatred while guilty DH turned a blind eye. This is where putting a stop to it early is key. It probably would have been the end of the new marriage but would have been worth it.

tufaznails07's picture

I have been the third wheel

I have been the third wheel on many sidewalks. She would keep
Him in constant conversation so I would have to trail behind.
She was 22 at that time, is now 26. I expressed my feelings to him
And asked if he could hold my hand every once in awhile.
It worked. I try to not go out with them. 3 is a crowd.

AVR1962's picture

My SS would do this with his

My SS would do this with his dad. We talk about dram queeens but he was a drama king. I told my husband that his son was seeking his attention and pointed out what I saw. I told husband he needed to spend some quality one on one time with his son but time spent with him never seemed enough. SS was clnging towards his dad. At 13 he was still sitting on his lap like a little boy, it was flat out weird. I think he saw mw as someone that was taking "HIS" time awaay from his dad and to tell you the truth I am not sure he is over it even today and the kid is 29 years old!

Most Evil's picture

I see in my SD and in a

I see in my SD and in a friend I had that was an SD, an extremely close, 'enmeshed' relationship with their mom. Like they are their mom's best friend, confidante, even for adult subjects ex. sex, dating, their divorce, discussing child support, etc. with a child?

I am wondering how much the parent's needs make the child feel important, and they are rewarded for causing problems in the new marriage, so it becomes even more twisted? That is what happened with us and with my friend from high school.

Then later I believe when you realize how your mom or whoever treated you was inappropriate and you had to be a parent to your parent before your time, I would imagine there is anger there too.

It was really hard for my friend to break away from her mom to have her own life, and then sadly, her mom died and she had a lot of guilt for wanting to be independent. Extra pressure and burden anyone? come on!

I think I am Miss Psychologist, and for Christmas I got myself several books I want to read on various topics and two are about 'emotional incest', like I am describing above.

If it gives any advice on how to deal I am hoping to subtlely feed those ideas to my SD like I have other things, so hopefully she at least can be healthier and happier than her own mom is. Smiling

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.
~ Jim Valvano

jennaspace's picture

Generally speaking, girls are

Generally speaking, girls are much more relational and therefore much more territorial about relationships. Trust me, if someone honed in on stepson's car or job he'd take it much more personally.

I just think women gain much identity and pleasure from relationships, so SM intruding in on their dad is taken as a threat. The female factor is demonstrated in in-law relationships where the problem is almost always the MIL, not the FIL.

Most guys are satisfied with a phone call every few months, or so it seems to me. We women desire much more. SM takes away instant access to dad and instead of looking at the situation objectively (any marriage decrease access to either spouse) SD's project their frustration on SM. This generally seems to be in the form of SD (and MIL in my case) seeking out and creating SM character flaws to justify their feelings of anger due to displacement. This is my take anyway.

not2sureimsaneanymore's picture

I don't doubt that SS's can

I don't doubt that SS's can be just as bad and just as cruel, but they seem to lack the... somewhat sexual display SD's tend to give. It's a difference in gender--SS's seem to be more outright aggressive and defiant and often violent. Less games, and I don't see words like "manipulate" used AS often, not that it doesn't get used as well.

ybarra357's picture

I agree hypovic. In my case,

I agree hypovic. In my case, SS had a different tactic of hate than my SD's. He is MUCH more passive aggressive and sneaky. I guess the best way to put it would be the wolf in sheep's clothing. I can see that now.

AVR1962's picture

It's not more so SD in my

It's not more so SD in my opinion. In our case, I have 2 daughters from a previous marriage and my ex remarried and did fine with his new wife. He is now divorced again and serious with somoen else and again they get along with her just fine. The boys are a whole different story. I married a man who had custody of his small sons and they could never accept me. Husband and I have been married over 20 years and it has gotten worse with time.

Shannon61's picture

Yes yes...love this!

Yes yes...love this! ^^^^^^^^^^^ My MIL told me it didn't matter who DH would have married, SD wouldn't have liked her because he and SD had been alone for so long. MIL had to call BM and encourage her to spend time w/SD (27 at the time) because she had such a difficult time after we got married. SD still needs counseling.

saffron5567's picture

Wow. That shit is

Wow. That shit is unbelievable. Your husband is an asshole. (So is mine for the same reason. He never put SD in her damn place and now she's like cellulite - wherever you look, there she is.) That apartment shit is really unbelievable, though. Maybe he's why the kid is so fucked up. I'm beginning to think my husband had more to do with his own daughter's similar bizarre behavior than I used to. I think we let the husbands off the hook way too much and always blame the mother. That's not fair nor honest.

Shannon61's picture

My SD pulled the same coming

My SD pulled the same coming out of the shower wearing only a towel trick . . at 25. I was mortified. What happened to robes? I got on DH and told him it was inappropriate. I think he's also fearful of setting SD straight out of fear she'll leave him forever as well. I think she's finally getting a life!

skeeter's picture

I had to go private on my FB

I had to go private on my FB also; SD and SGD (step granddaughter) were causing so much gossip and hate and discontent. Why do people use FB to be Bitches; guess they don't have the guts to say it to your face. I was so stressed, and didn't even realize it. I disconnected them from my FB and the world is so much brighter; I know so...so..much less about their problems and hatefulness. Also, Daddy's will always see no wrong in the daughters; I've come to accept this. Good luck. Smiling

bi's picture

i had to do the same thing. i

i had to do the same thing. i also blocked her from my phone. she decided that fb and texting was for saying demanding, rude, shitty things that she will NEVER say to my face. it's been 9 months now and to my face she has said jack shit. point proven.

"I don't hold grudges. I remember facts."

saffron5567's picture

Me too. Same thing with the

Me too. Same thing with the FB stuff. But don't be too quick to shut your SDs off your FB. My SD's FB stunt finally woke up her father to her hateful ways (after nearly a decade of me dealing with her shit and him standing there silently watching) and got her barred from visiting us for the next year and IT'S ONLY FEBRUARY!!!!!!!!!! I feel like Scrooge when he woke up and realized it was all just a bad dream!!!!!! A WHOLE YEAR, LADIES! I have new respect for FB!

bi's picture

that is awesome! fdh wouldn't

that is awesome! fdh wouldn't do that. his problem is that he doesn't see the behavior and get mad at the right person and say something about it, he sees the general drama, wants to hold me as responsible as her, and i live with him so i get to hear about it while she hears nothing.

"I don't hold grudges. I remember facts."

saffron5567's picture

Right, Bi, and I completely

Right, Bi, and I completely understand your situation because mine was the same for years. This is a very new phase for my husband and it came with a move to the other side of the world - as far away as possible from SD. I have been harping on my husband for six years. I finally got more vocal. I told him, "We can't be with your kid because your kid doesn't know how to behave, NOT because I don't know how to behave. So stop saying, 'my wife and my kid don't get along' because she's the one calling the names and acting out. I want to hear you start telling the truth and checking into reality: your kid doesn't know how to play nice with others and THAT is what you need to say."

I carped and carped on it - you don't defend me and you let her roll all over me. Then we moved and she wanted to visit. I was petrified of having to deal with her on this continent too. But that FB thing happened and I decided if I was ever going to make an issue of something, this was it because what she did was such an outright attack from left field over something totally meaningless. I would leverage it to keep her from visiting = She doesn't get what she wants; he doesn't get what he wants; but guess what? I get what I want for a change. Since they are the ones not doing what they should be doing to make this three-way marriage work, they should be the ones suffering, not me. And guess what again. All of a sudden husband put his foot down and told her she can't come, SD claims she is willing to discuss our poor relationship via Skype and I have been promised that there will be no visit from SD this year. YEAH!

It took me throwing a few tantrums of my own to get this far and I wouldn't be shocked if SD did end up here after all - I still don't trust my husband or his brat. But I am getting closer, I think. You must be clever. Play a little of SD's own game. And wait for the right opportunity. And emphasize to your FDH who the bad behavior is actually coming from - who is name calling; who is acting up; who is making demands; etc.

I really wish you luck. I hope you can get leverage. I do think it helped to have two counselors tell him the kid is out of line because he doesn't put her in line. He didn't change how he handled her, but I have to believe the counselors' words still bounce around his head sometimes.

mannin's picture

I seriously cried through

Jawdropping!

I seriously cried through half your post. Thank you for sharing...You are a strong soul. I am so sorry this story is your childhood.

I hope your life is better now.

*hugs*

StepAside's picture

I had a traumatic experience

I had a traumatic experience as a SD myself, although yours takes the cake for sure.

I found myself comparing myself to my SM, as a barometer check over the years. I'm not her. You aren't your SM.

There are rotten dynamics in blended families that make them difficult for everyone. But the other half of that coin are the personalities of the people who are in those roles. Some are fruitcakes.

"..because bottom line, he is my dad and I do not want to see anyone treat my dad badly."

I used to feel this way too. Your dad let his wife treat you poorly for years. Mine did also. I don't walk around begrudging my father for it. However, I was in my early 20's when I stopped caring what she did to him. He could leave her if he wanted to. As a kid, I didn't have that option and neither did you. Don't overlook his responsibility in your situation. He had options.

Look how he threatened her, by saying you would file charges against her on his behalf. He wanted protectors against his wife, and used you guys. My dad did the same. His wife moved out. He asked me to go speak to the elders in their church and tell them how horrible she was to live with. I did as he asked. They got back together and she chewed me out for speaking to the church. They told her everything, and of course, I was the problem. I did what I was asked to do.

P.S., please break your text up. It's hard to read in one block

(ღ˘⌣˘ღ)

saffron5567's picture

Yessenia, I did read a lot of

Yessenia, I did read a lot of your post, but frankly, your dad and mom failed you long before those women in your dad's life did. He sounds like a flake who was a terrible father. If he had raised you alone, he would have been a terrible father. That's your problem. The shitty stepmums were just a symptom.

sandye21's picture

There are narcissists out

There are narcissists out there, and they come in all sorts of packages - including SMs. You recognize your Father failed you by marrying and staying married to a woman who was physically abusive to you. There is no exuse for it - period. I think your story is not what is considered the norm. It was sad and emotionally unhealthy. Was your SM a step child herself?

When you wrote, "--- the kids are there first ---", it should not be the "bottom line" in any marriage, in most cases the marriage should be. There should be special considerations for small children of divorce. They are truly the victims. But they should never think they come first before a man's wife, because when they are adults they STILL think they, and all their needs and desires should come before the SM. Do you as an adult believe this?

sandye21's picture

"I disagree, when there are

"I disagree, when there are children involved, the woman who is Marring a man with children cannot demand the attention be placed only on her, and pretend like her relationship with the man is more important than the child's relationship with their father, they are equally important and totally different relationships."

I didn't say this. I said your situation was not the norm. I said in a normal 'marriage'(or partnership)it should be the prime focus. I still believe this. We'll have to agree to disagree.

I hope you try counselling. It sounds as if you have been wounded deep into your soul.

mannin's picture

Females are known to try to

Females are known to try to destroy each other, rather than bond together.

I had issues with my SM when she made it clear that I was her enemy and she was hellbent on destroying what relationship I had with my father.