Vanessa Winthrop's picture

Immature 25 year old Undermining Step-Daughter

I really could use some advice. My 25 year old immature step-daughter whose own mother enables her and lives her own lifeher to please and give to her having never moved on as this daughter has successfully prevented her from developing another relationship..and guess what..my husband and I have been married 12 years...she has always been a problem but is also trying now to come between us. She calls her Dad several time during the day..even works at the hospital where her Dad is Director of HR as a new RN grad...calls our house to his cell at least twice a day and totally ignores and undermines me as her step mom. Her Dad is aware but I don't think he knows how to handle her effectively. Should I step in and text her and tell her that she needs to call less and respect our marriage...taking the bull by the horns myself as it is impacting on my life, my home and what I consider a disruption to our privacy! She calls leaving for work and on her way home from work, no boyfriends as they could not afford her. Driving a Mercedes she leased!Help!!


smdh's picture

No you should not. It is your

No you should not. It is your dh's place to put boundaries in place. She is his daughter and she is calling him. It is affecting you only because he is allowing it. Just because someone calls/texts doesn't mean anyone has to respond. The disruption is not her calling. It is him responding. Your problem is with him. Not her.

Vanessa Winthrop's picture

THANK YOU..I SEE THE VALIDITY

THANK YOU..I SEE THE VALIDITY OF YOUR POINT BUT SENSE THAT SHE HAS HIM WELL TRAINED LIKED PAVLOV'S DOG! The phone rings, he knows it's her and feels he has to answer it immediately. What I have insisted that he does not do is keep his phone by the bed. I refuse to sleep with her per se and have her waking us at 7:00AM when she gets off work! These kids need to get a life beyond their parents at 25. When I was 25 i had two kids and live several states from my parents and had to make my own decisions, develop my own coping skills and am stronger and better able to survive on my own..amd this is how I raised my 41 y/o daughter and 39 y/o son who are both very self-sufficient and loving and respectful towards my husband.

Vanessa Winthrop

LilyBelle's picture

"SHE HAS HIM WELL TRAINED

"SHE HAS HIM WELL TRAINED LIKED PAVLOV'S DOG!"

The parent is supposed to train the child.... he allowed her to train him. He needs to man up.

~Lily

Drinking alcohol makes you an alcoholic? I drink Fanta, so that must mean I'm Fantastic!!

"I am a Bitch-- Beautiful, intelligent, tough, charismatic, and hell no you're not messing with me."

Vanessa Winthrop's picture

Yes, he needs to man up and

Yes, he needs to man up and hopefully will when I insist on this after his illness and if we can't do it together I will insist on counselling. I really want to save our marriage!

Vanessa Winthrop

Anon2009's picture

I agree, Dad needs to take

I agree, Dad needs to take the lead on this, ask her to stop calling at such an inconvenient time, and work with her to find a better time that would work for both of them and not inconvenience anyone.

Also, it might be a good idea to change your steptalk username. There have been posters here whose stepkids have found them on this site, and read their blogs.

Chapter 3, Ecclesiastes, vs. 1-8

Vanessa Winthrop's picture

How do you know this is my

How do you know this is my real name? She will never guess this in a million years!

Vanessa Winthrop

Vanessa Winthrop's picture

Thank You, I am seeking

Thank You,

I am seeking Christian counseling as well as my hubbie has been ill and at the end of treatment having done very well and the councelor is aware of this and we are trying to come up with solutions once he is feeling better but I am also looking for answers from laypersons as well who have experienced and dealt with this sort of thing. I would like to be direct with her as she needs to know that she is invading our privacy and also seems to call whenever we are out for dinner which has been rare lately. Last time she sat with her back to me and only talked to her father so this is why I don't invite her over to our home. I have the mortgage on this place and expect to be repsected and have peace in my home! My home is and should be my sanctuary!

Vanessa Winthrop

Vanessa Winthrop's picture

PS I am so sorry that you, as

PS I am so sorry that you, as well, had to experience this! It is not fun and when a vow between 2 people is made to love, honor and cherish til death do us part...I take this very seriously along with those other words of upmost importance..What God has joined together...let no man put asunder!!!

Vanessa Winthrop

Vanessa Winthrop's picture

Of course she knows what she

Of course she knows what she is doing. She wants to come between us like she prevented her Mom from devloping any relationships so she can have both her parents to herself. If he fails to call her back she just keeps trying.

Vanessa Winthrop

Superdad454's picture

I agree with the others that

I agree with the others that have said that it's not on you to tell him or her anything.
You can point out that he doesn't HAVE to reply or answer every call but pick your battles. If you are sitting on the couch watching TV and the texting or calling doesn't really interfere, don't address it, unless he is talking over a show you are into, then turn it up or ask him to go talk in another room. However, if you are at dinner on a date, or in a movie, or in bed, by all means tell him he can let it go to voice mail or respond to the text later, it won't kill her.
My SD22 does the same kind of thing, she texts all the time about random crap, and if Mom doesn't respond IMMED she starts to freak out and bomb her phone implying that Mom is "being rude" by not responding. Of course if Mom needs to contact SD22 and she is busy or chooses not to respond, she will simply ignore calls/VMs/Texts for hours and just state that she was busy or didn't feel like responding.

Baby steps, just get him used to NOT responding on occasion, and let him discover that her meltdowns over it will pass and not actually hurt him/her and he will be able to do it more often.

"My father loved us, but he wasn't IN love with us and I know he would have sacrificed one of us if it meant teaching the others a lesson for doing something tremendously stupid." Billy Gardell

Vanessa Winthrop's picture

It appears that there is alot

It appears that there is alot of long-standing guilt related to the divorce but since that time he has been a role model dad and probably has done more for her all these years than an actual live at home Dad. He has nothing to feel guilty about AND she is not the only child of divorced parents!! I appreciate everyone's commments and am still open for suggestions and will tell you that my fingers are moments away from texting her and just laying it on the line and ask that she not call our home so often and so early and request that she respect our marriage and see where that goes.

Vanessa Winthrop

Vanessa Winthrop's picture

Turning her back to me when

Turning her back to me when visiting us, and only facing and talking to her dad was NOT treating me like ////?

Vanessa Winthrop

Vanessa Winthrop's picture

I am thinking long and hard

I am thinking long and hard about this one! Thank You!

Vanessa Winthrop

Superdad454's picture

Well the "Please do not call

Well the "Please do not call before *:** because you wake us up" IS reasonable IMHO, but still better if Dad can be the one to tell her this and not you. There is NOTHING wronmg with telling someone not to call before *:** or after *:**, hell I bitch out ANYONE that wakes me up and have told both my mom and my son NOT to call be before 9AM on weekends or after 10PM on ANY night.

"My father loved us, but he wasn't IN love with us and I know he would have sacrificed one of us if it meant teaching the others a lesson for doing something tremendously stupid." Billy Gardell

LilyBelle's picture

Sometimes, men need to have

Sometimes, men need to have the tables turned on them in order to see a point.

I would sit down with him and tell him you feel his daughter's constant contact is interfering with your relationship and give your reasons. Try to set some parameters of when phone calls are appropriate, how long, etc...

For me, when I was a SAHM for a while before the divorce, I turned the phone off in the evenings.... that was family time for me, my husband, and our children. If I wanted to talk with my mom, my best friend, whoever, I did it at times that wouldn't cut in on family time.

If your DH won't agree to set some boundaries, he may need an object lesson....

you mght Get a friend or relative to whom you are close and with whom you can have lots of conversation, someone that is a totally appropriate person to talk on the phone..... NOT a member of the opposite sex. Start spending lots of time on the phone with this friend. Let him experience you doing the same kind of thing. Don't say anything about it, or let him know you are doing it on purpose.

If he doesn't get upset by it after a month, then he will not be able to see your point because he doesn't find it to be a problem. But, if it does bother him, then allow him to tell you what the parameters should be for accepting phone calls from your friend. Don't make any suggestions- simply ask him what he expects of you. Be sure you understand all his expectations clearly. Then, when he is happy with the agreed upon solution, you will have a set of expectations that are to be followed regarding phone calls. And you can say, "I'm sure you will have no problem following these same expectations with your daughter. After all, I know you are too good a guy to demand someone to do something that you are not willing to do yourself."

~Lily

Drinking alcohol makes you an alcoholic? I drink Fanta, so that must mean I'm Fantastic!!

"I am a Bitch-- Beautiful, intelligent, tough, charismatic, and hell no you're not messing with me."

Vanessa Winthrop's picture

OK!! All right, all

OK!! All right, all ready..the majority of nays win and I won't do it and have duc-tape bound around my fingers so I can't!! I know it will P/// her off and she will run right to Daddy who does not need anymore grief in his life at this point in time and realize that he has to be the one to set the limits and boundaries. We will have to talk this thru eventually but I fear the rejection that might come with his inability to hear me out. He hates confrontation at all levels but people can't walk all over us, either! I am always the one to not so courteously ~ rapidly end a conversation w/ an unwanted caller. No prob! No guilt! as my privacy is being invaded.
I am hoping also that what goes around comes around and that the little wench will have a rude awakening in life somewhere along the way. Funny though as she is saving for a wedding that will most likley never take place as long as she is still so emotionally dependent on her parents. She does not even have a boyfriend nor does her vindictive mother. The saying goes that the apple does not fall far from the tree! Why was this in the stars for me?? I bother no one!!

Vanessa Winthrop

Vanessa Winthrop's picture

Tried that one and

Tried that one and immediately fessed up as I feared in trying to silence the phone I may have deleted messages so I told him amd actually he was not mad. Better that way but what works is turning up the heat 1st thing in the morning and then the d/// phone can't be heard! I heard it and ignored it. Poor baby had to wait for 2 hours before he called her back! AWWWWWWW!

Vanessa Winthrop

Vanessa Winthrop's picture

Tried the dependency thing

Tried the dependency thing and how it is halting her ability to mature but seemingly he did not latch on to that!

Vanessa Winthrop

Vanessa Winthrop's picture

More excellent food for

More excellent food for thought. I have nursed him through a serious illness for 6 months and should I not recieve some credit and recognition and above all respect for all this 24/7 care? The doctors feel that my care worked miracles for him as my former career was that in nursing before I retired to a full time musician and teacher of music. Things are really off based and out of quilter!!

Vanessa Winthrop

Vanessa Winthrop's picture

T'is my love and passion! So

T'is my love and passion! So glad I had the opportunity to leave nursing after some 27 years to plug full speed ahead with my music performances and teaching!I am so glad in that respect that I never gave it up in the interum while working full time in my other career that was so demanding and stress provoking which at times seemed like the sane thing to do but I carried them both all these years and the music fianlly won out! Sometimes 4-5 gigs a week, and to awaken at 4:45 to get to work the the next AM! So glad that part of mt life is finally behind me!

Vanessa Winthrop

Poodle's picture

hypovic a lot of these DHs

hypovic a lot of these DHs are different from yours. I know mine is. They are unconsciously using the SD to put down the DW and they do secretly welcome and encourage the calls. For example since I put my foot down last month and led my DH to understand that SD23 is not welcome in my home, she calls him virtually daily and he goes outside the house ostentatiously to speak to her in private. I am awaiting marital counselling (I have asked him to arrange it and, as it is free with his employers, I am happy to leave him organising this for the moment) and I expect that once it commences, I will get a tirade from him about how he needs to have a relationship with her and I am allegedly preventing it etc, etc. I'm sure a lot of guys are like your DH too and have their balance right between their parenting and spousal role, but you need to know others' DHs aren't necessarily so sussed.

It's nothing personal.

sthomas3372's picture

"I expect that once it

"I expect that once it commences, I will get a tirade from him about how he needs to have a relationship with her and I am allegedly preventing it etc, etc."

Poodle - get ready for it. We've been to 4 different counselors (all Christian counselors, because DH is a pastor). It is going to be your fault - you are trying to make him choose between his family and you. OSD is not welcome in our home - DH and I agreed on it because of the trouble she's caused - but he hasn't told her yet. Why? I think he's afraid - he hates conflict.

Anyway - just be prepared. Be careful of the statement "There's a difference between parental and marital love". A counselor we saw said that, and DH brings it up just about every time we have a fight. We are even seeing a counselor that specializes in stepfamilies, and even she said that it is not right for me to ask him to cut ties with her (which I haven't done). I just want her to stop calling our house (she only calls when she needs something), and I want DH to turn his phone off when we are doing something together - there is nothing she has to say that is that important. Whatever you say to the counselor - be prepared to have it turned around into how DH is the victim. The counselor we are seeing is a SM herself, but even she doesn't get it. I think the problem with the counselors is that they aren't living in our situations. Yes, she may be a SM, but I'm sure she hasn't gone through half the crap that we have.

Poodle's picture

Gosh thanks for the warning

Gosh thanks for the warning sthomas. Sad

It's nothing personal.

Vanessa Winthrop's picture

St.thomas,perhaps you need

St.thomas,perhaps you need another counselor! Mine does seem very well to have a handle on our situation and point blank does not seem to be offering alot of hope for us. The goal will be to get him to come in once he is feeling better and during this time I am coming up with my way to approach him first and setting some deadlines for my approach times and results should they not pan out as expected. I refuse to have my SD come as an option as I know that this will just fuel the attention she is craving. I know she is vindictive and if she knows there is a problem she will take steps to personify it further in hopes of my throwing in the towel. When my DH had his procedure to determine the extent of his illness I was hoping SD and I could spend the day together to grow closer and even made her lunch. Do you know that she showed up with her BM?? Said she was sick ~ tearfully and that her mother did not think it safe for her to drive. Well, my hair stood up on its end and I left my DH side and went to the hall, was friendly, acknowledged that my SD was ill and promptly looked at her mom and said her name and told her that "you don't need to be here ,stating that SD was a big girl and that I would see to it that she got home...offerred options and let the two of them discuss it. Well, SD came back to the room crying and told me I should not have talked to her BM that way and propmtly left, with her BM and they both went home and boy was I glad!!! AN RN and all she could do was think of herself and not her sick father and all that he was going through! Her motive...for her BM to see her BD! Well, it didn't work and because I am the one to set limits and boundaries...I'm the bad guy.So these next few weeks should be very interesting to say the least. Good luck to you and seriously consider a counselor who is well versed in seeing both sides of the coin and understanding what SP go through!

Vanessa Winthrop

sandye21's picture

Glad to hear you handled it

Glad to hear you handled it as you did - good for you! It is sometimes hard to beleive these SDs have as much nerve as they do and that a person can be that self-centered but I have been just amazed with what my SD has pulled. It did not occur to your SD if she was too sick to drive she could possibly place he Father in danger if what she had was contagious, or make him miserable with her own complaints. A true narcissist in action. I hope you totally disengage from this one.

emotionaly beat up's picture

Someone said that it was not

Someone said that it was not all daddy's fault and it is not always about the parenting (something along those lines). I disagree yes when they are 25 chances of teaching them and moulding them are slim to none and the teaching days are gone, but who got them to 25 and turned them into dependent 25 year old children instead of young independent productive 25 year old members of society. Parents who indulged them and tried often for years and years after a divorce to "make up for divorcing the other parent"

I am on the side of don't text her. If dad cannot handle this alone, then HE could speak to her face to face in your prescence and say, by the way don't call me at whatever time ie: 7am it is far too early and we are busy getting ready for work in the mornings, unless it is an emergency, 6pm you interupt our dinner (unless it's an emergency),whatever you think you can handle, maybe it would be easier for him to just start by placing some boundaries on the times, and amount of phone calls, and as I said deliver this in your presence that way he has some moral support and if she starts on him in your presence, well treat her as you would any other person who is disrespecting your husband in your presence.

However while I like you felt the same urges to just pick up the phone and let SD have it, I didn't I felt it was my husband's place to set boundaries in regards to our marriage on his own daughter just as it was my place to put boundaries on my children. Now, how did that all work out, he failed to set any boundaries and after 8 years of being abused by his daughter I finally banned her from my home. So, was it successfull leaving him to do it, NOPE. I will say this for sure, if this situatin goes unchecked, it will get worse and worse and DH has to be involved in checking it.

emotionaly beat up's picture

Your parents raised you to be

Your parents raised you to be who you are. You left home at 18, clearly raised to be an independent young woman, whether by good or bad parenting. Let me explain, I married at 17 as my parents were alcholic so I wanted to get out. However, due to their parenting I was a strong independent woman. However, had my parents done as so many parents seem to do these days, never allowed me to take responsibility for my own actions, had I not learnt actions have consequences, then things would have been different. So while I do not blame the parents at all for every single action of the child, there are some occassions such as these step situations where clearly the parents are encouraging poor behaviour from the SK - as in this case. He fails to tell SD so much as 7 am phone calls unless in an emergency are not on, so SD makes the calls, whose fault is that.

I think this 25 year old has been raised in a similar fashion to my own SD - the Princess of the famiy and pretty well used to getting her own way. She according to the poster has interfered in her mothers realtionships and put paid to them as well.

However, looking at it from your point of view I am thinking that you feel the SD is responsible for her behaviour and we should let dad off the hook after all SD is 25 and she knows what she is doing. I am not condoning SD behaviour, but I honestly believe it takes two two to tango, he is the parent doesnt' matter if she is 25 or 85, and he needs to set boundaries about what SD will do in his home, to his marriage, and how many phone calls he will accept from her and at what times. SD Can ring him every two minutes if she wants to, no one can stop her - he however does not have to take every call, and in this case it is upsetting his wife, so it is more his responsibility to sort it out than SD's because it his wife and marriage this is affecting, not SD's.

Poodle's picture

I can see what you mean in

I can see what you mean in certain marriages and families hypovic, but I feel that in my family at least there is a group dynamic going on with groups joining together in complex patterns. I think Stepaside describes this very well with her RA analysis. And in my sort of situation, which a number of wives seem to have, there is a complex triangulation scenario where the skid tries to undermine the stability of the marriage (perhaps cos they saw that happening with their parents) and the DH COLLUDES with that in order to meet some immature need of his own, maybe, again, because he thrives on disharmony and undermining his wife and is repeating his game with the BM, maybe he is paying the SM back for some dissatisfaction in his marriage, maybe out of guilt to the SD for breaking apart her family as a child, who knows. But these people do collude with each other and of course, we collude too as you say. Such a lot of this is unconscious. But I do refuse in my case to project all the blame for this onto my SD. That is letting the adult man off the hook. The adult DH in this OP's situation just has to say no, doesn't he? Just not answer the phone every single time to the expense of his relationship. It's not rocket science. Why isn't he doing it a few times in a week if everything is so only the SD's fault?

It's nothing personal.

Vanessa Winthrop's picture

Sorry you are going through

Sorry you are going through this similar mess and I hope for your sake that it gets resolved real soon before you are forced to take action.I am usually very tactful when I speak and rarely lose it.I hope he will consider joint counselling when he is 100% up to par. I feel that this is the only way it is going to work.

Vanessa Winthrop

20YearsAsAStep-Mom's picture

I'm with you Poodle. My DH

I'm with you Poodle. My DH is as guilty as SD in the RA situation that I now live with. It has been going on for years but has escalated in the past 3 -4 years. There must be some sick sense of importance that they both feed off of by dissing me. Not sure why exactly, but my life is living hell right now. SD now calls every day at suppertime and DH will continue to chat with her for as long as they both want. What can I do about - NOTHING as long as DH wants to chat. If I ever asked her not to call at suppertime, sheesh I think they both would tar and feather me. It is a sick game to SD and DH is just so enthralled in the attention and admiration from SD that he can't see what is going on. DH is away right now so I am having some peace, but once he returns the war is back on. If things do not change in the coming weeks/months I will leave. His last chance is slowly running out.

So back to the OP - I like the idea of DH stating the boundries in your presence. No secrets. ONce there are secrets shared between DH and SD things go downhill fast and very difficult to undo. Good luck.