After 4 years stepdaughter (husband's daughter) was completely honest and now i'm hurt - NEED ADVICE - LONG POST!!!
Hi, this my first post here. Let me start saying that i’m from Brazil, so my English may be kind broken. I went throught the forums, but I didn’t find anything related to my problem. I’m married with a wonderful man, he has a 15 yo daughter and i have a 12 yo daughter. I’ve living at the same house with him, her (50/50) and my daughter for 4 years. My main issue is that his daughter is kind cold and distant and never showed any interest in me or my DD. When she comes to our house she is just polite and civil towards me. She is not a bad girl at all, I have to say. She will greet me, she does all the chores, cooks her own food, helps me with the house chores (honestly she does more than my DD) and is Always studing or reading books. She also does voluntary work and a lot of extracurricular activities. When she comes to our house, when she’s not busy, she locks herself in her room and go read some books and/or study.
But, I can say I have a good relationship with her. Honestly, I can say I have a relationship at all. She checks if there’s anything to do, then she locks herself in her room. I never have a conversation with her all that time. She engages in small talk, but just with a word answers or short answers. I once asked her a question, just to know her better, and she got kind angry. We were dinning, me, my DH, my DD and her, and I asked how is school going. She said: “great, thanks”. I naively asked about boys to her. She calmly said: “Angelique, I not comfortable to share that kind of information, it’s personnal of none of your business”. My face blushed, I said I was sorry if I offended her and I said that was trying to know her better. Then she, calmly again, said: “Well, now you know me better. I don’t like to share my private life and I specially hate jokes and/or insinuations about it”. I blurred my face on the ground and said i was sorry again. Her dad sent her to her room and said she had no right to talk to me that way.
Well, lesson learnt. It happened 2 years ago and since then I ask her no personnal or particular question. It’s a territory that I’m not allowed to step in.
Fast forward to this year, the coldness and civilness didn’t change. It started to bother me and my daughter. I talked to my husband about it. He said he’s going to talk to her. He asked her if that’s any problem with me, she said no. Asked her if she was still angry about to boy’s stuff, she said no. He asked her if she had anything against me, she said no, i don’t have anything against your wife.
One thing that I didn’t mention before was that she ALWAYS introduced me as “my father’s wife” and my DD was “my father’s wife’s daughter”. She Always called me by my name. Here in Brazil is common to call people by their first name and also is uncommon to use the Portuguese equivalent to stepmother (the meaning is slighly different in Portuguese) in daily activites. I never cared, but I noticed that somehow it was what I represented to her.
One day, I had a small talk with my husband, after the questionning episode, that that his daughter just see me as her father’s wife and never treated me as a motherly figure, she was just civil and cold. He said that he noticed that too. He said he would ask her and I told him not to, it didn’t bother me, is just curiours. But my husband is what we call in Brazil , “cabeça dura” (means literally hard head in English). Few days later, in dinner time he decided to ask her the subject. Now the things start to fall...
“So, daughter, who do you see Angelique in your life?” She said: “As your wife”. “Nothing more?” he said. “Yeah, nothing more”. “She has been with was for 4 years, you just see as my wife???”. “Four years, four months, four decades. Aren’t you guys married? So she’s your wife”. I decided to change the subject, but my husband insisted. “So, daughter, i’ve been noticing that wore always cold to Angelique, sometimes looks like you don’t like her. Do you love her?” She replied: “Define love”. My husband got furious and said “Cut that defining BS!” (PS: when she disagrees on something a person say about her she Always brings the defining “card”: Example: I don’t think that Megadeth is a good band! She would say “define good or bad”). She with a shockling serenity said: “What do you want me to tell? Well... I will give want you want. Do I see Angelique as a mother figure? No, never did and never will. She is just your wife, that’s her role. Do I see Angelique’s daughter as a sister? No, never did and never will. Is that na excuse to mistreat they? No, it isn’t. I’m not cold or just civil, i’m just polite. I never offended your wife, never made your life hard, never had a fight with your wife, except for the personnal stuff years ago, Always did my chores and my obligations. Philosiphically speaking, she was a choice for you and an imposition to me, your Family, her Family. But. In material world, with all the subtleties and the human nature, feelings and desires, the things are not so black and White. You made a choice, and I can’t say that you imposed me anything. You made a choice to marry her. I made a choice to accept that. She’s your wife, that’s her role, defined by marriage. The “stepmother” role isn’t defined by marriage. In my honest opinion is defined by children. I decided very early that she is your wife, nothing more. You can now be wandering about the love subject, the answer is, yes, i don’t love her. I have no reasons to. Like? Depends on how you see liking a person. If you see liking as an act of constant hugs, kisses, ‘love you’ by the morning, well, no, I don’t like her. If you see liking as na act of respecting someone else, don’t cross boundaries, don’t make things difficult , so I like her, like I like any classmate. I don’t have to love them. You might be thinking right now that you had some expectations about my roles here. I’m sorry dad, i can’t fulfill them. It’s never a good idea to set expectations based on someone else’s behavior and/or attitudes. The person may not be capable or be unwilling to furfill them. We are only responsables for ourselves. Ahh... I know that this will pass throught your mind. I said the same thing to my mom. Now, let me wash the dishes. Good night”
We stand there, shocked. I was scared about her serenity. My daughter went crying to her room. My husband started to cry (I never seen that man cry) and said she is dead to him and he does not her around anymore.
What do I do now? Accept that she will never accept me as a stepmother? Disengage?
I’m honestly hurt, but not surprised...
SORRY FOR THE LONG POST!