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After 4 years stepdaughter (husband's daughter) was completely honest and now i'm hurt - NEED ADVICE - LONG POST!!!

angelique78's picture

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!

Comments

lieutenant_dad's picture

Your DH has unrealtisic expectations. She is behaving like a model, disengaged SD, and you have been behaving like a model, disengaged SM. I can understand being curious, and your DH wanting to make sure there wasn't something else going on.

However, your DH was an arse for calling his daughter out in front of everyone. You likely knew this would be her reaction. He likely knew it, too. But he did it anyway. Your hurt feelings, the hurt feelings of your daughter, and his own are HIS fault. She doesn't owe any of you anything other than civility and respect, and even in her response, she retained both.

If I were to read between the lines, your SD has some unresolved anger at her father for marrying you. Did he cheat on her mom with you? Move you in right away? Did he initiate the divorce? Is she also mad at mom? Really, though, none of this matters because she has made it perfectly clear what her boundaries are.

So, I say continue to be disengaged as you always have been. Nothing was broken except your sense of what "right" or "normal". There is nothing here to fix, or punish, or examine further. Go back to status quo and call it a day.

angelique78's picture

Thanks for the advice.

Well, as far as I know, both of them (DH and ExW) decided it was not working anymore.

I never thought about the angry issue. You may be right!

 

Thanks again!

twoviewpoints's picture

Wow. You had a well behaved, mannerly, polite, respectful. helpful stepdaughter. One who caused you no problems and stayed out of her father and you as man and wife. 

Now you don't. 

Your Dh should have known better than to push the issue in front of you and the other child. How very stupid of him. 

You have no idea how many stepmothers here would have gladly exchanged stepkids with you in an instant. 

I'm sorry your Dh put you through that. 

What happens next? 

angelique78's picture

Thanks for replying!

 

It happened in a Friday night. She would go to her mother house Saturday morning, her Grandma (mother side) birthday would be celebrated that day. She is being silent, since. I texted her and she didn't reply... 

STaround's picture

I might be reading too much into this, but it kinda sounded to me like OP nudged her DH to start this conversation.   No one seems to care about the SD.   OP is hurt, her DD is hurt, but dad said his own DD is dead to him?  The first step is OP needs to tell her DH to ramp it down.  I don't know how things work in Brazil, if the SD will be starting college soon, but I think dad needs to work on fixing this. 

angelique78's picture

About the college question.

Here in Brazil, is not common that a person have to move far away from his/her home to go to college, excepet for some poor regions. 

She wants to follow her BM profession (BM is a physical therapist) and the best college is our area.

Saint_Gus's picture

Sorry you're hurt by this. Your stepdaughter sounds very extraordinary though, i have to say. That type of ability to stay calm and articulate her feelings at her age....wow. I think its terrible for your dh to treat her that way after insisting on having the conversation. She's honest and he disowns her? That's awful. I feel for her.

MurphysLaw's picture

Soooo many well mannered robotic stepchildren post lately …

What are they putting in the Corn Flakes these days???

MurphysLaw's picture

Not everyone is going to like/love you in life.

Enjoy your life with your husband.

99.99% of the SMs on this forum would trade SDs with you in a heartbeat.

angelique78's picture

Oh. I'm sorry.

 

English isn't my first language...

 

Biggrin

ldvilen's picture

I agree.  There is being polite and cordial to a SM, truly recognizing her role as dad's wife, and then there is being robotic.  The SD sounds robotic. It sounds like she was told by some so-called professional, to do just what she is claiming she is doing to you--you don't have a have a relationship with your SM or sister, you just have to be cordial. . . .?

And, I know I've seen that recommendation on these pages before, but what is meant by cordial in this case.  Coming into the home, doing whatever chores you have been assigned, and then going into your room and locking the door does not sound cordial to me.  It sounds passive-aggressive.  You have to interact with someone and interact sincerely to qualify for the "cordial" label.  

It sounds more to me like SD has set up a happy prison for herself in dad and SM's home.  If that is what she wants, fine.  BUT, just make sure that it doesn't also become your prison and your daughter's prison.  You need to cut yourself off from this, and yes, that does mean disengage.  

Disengagement is different for a SK than a SM.  SKs can disengage, like this one apparently has, but they are disengaging from their father and any half-siblings as well.  They are choosing to cut themselves off from what could be a larger support system.  They are not necessarily cutting themselves off from being mistreated or not getting any appreciation for all of the work they are doing, etc.  When a SM disengages, she is disengaging from her SKs (and, yes, her husband to a small degree).  A SM is disengaging from being poorly treated or poorly thought of--she is attempting to remove herself from negativity that is aside from her relationship with her husband and her own children.

So, yeah, SKs can "politely" disengage like this one supposedly has, but it is not like it isn't going to cost her.  And, being as politely disengaged as she is, what happens in the future with weddings and grandkids and so on?  She says she accepts that SM is dad's wife.  Really!?  I sure hope SD remembers that!, and at her wedding, dad and SM are paired at any and all such "family" events vs. dad and BM.  After all, SD did say she accepts SM's role as dad's wife!  Personally, I don't think SD accepts much of anything.  I think she has been fed BS by a couple of people, professional or not.

But, I also feel SD has clearly made her choice.  I think you'all need to honor it and get on with your own happiness and lives.

emma5678's picture

Until the whole conversation that DH started at dinner, It just seemed like normal teenage behavior to me. When I was that age, I knew quite a few people (including myself) that would just do their chores, eat, and go to their rooms to study/do homework the rest of the night and barely interact with their family.

Disillusioned's picture

I think the advice above is good

It may hurt your DH, it may hurt you...and sounds like your SD may have been hurt all along for a long time, but at least now you know where you stand

While maybe your DH should not have called your SD out in front of everyone, I also think she had no right all those years ago to be rude to you when you were only trying to reach out and connect with her

Maybe if your DH had of adressed it then, exactly when your SD treated you that way, maybe this unfortunate episode could have been avoided

I think your SD is angry, jealous and unaccepting of you and your daugther and you know what, that's okay

You know now and so it works two ways, she can be nothing more than your husband's respectful but none the less his not your child

But don't sink to her level either

Treat her with deceny and respect as you have, be kind and tolerant but don't take rude or disrespectful behaviour from her

Sounds like she is otherwise respectful of you and your house rules, so go with it

Stop stressing about her and her issues, and simply move on with your life 

Show her that your life does not revolve around her, you are not crushed by her rejection in fact you may even have a clue where it stems from, and that you're still going to be a happy joyful person who is enjoying her life, regardless of someone's angry jealously of you

Step-girlfriend's picture

I agree, your SD sounds amazing! So many people here deal with Skids who are always hanging on them, being annoying...it can make being a stepmom very difficult. A lot also deal with lazy skids who don’t do chores, are disrespectful, always under foot. But of course, we always want what we don’t have, so you want your SD to WANT to have a relationship with you. Honestly, you have a very good situation. Or you did, until your DH screwed it up by trying to force her to think of you as a SM. 

Your DH has unrealistic expectations. Some of our DH’s expect us to love our skids as if they’re our own, which is not a realistic expectation. It should also not be expected that skids love is as their own mothers. Treating each other with respect and being polite/kind to each other is really the most you can ask for. 

Want2's picture

 I completely understand how you feel. My SOs adult daughter is very much like yours and the coldness is hard to describe but definitely there. She ignores my 15 year old bio daughter when she comes to the house, walks right past her like she's not even there and she's done it to me too except of course when her father is there.

Unlike your husband my SO makes excuses for her rudeness and says there's nothing he can do. At first it was she is just "shy" then she's not used to seeing her father with someone other than her mother and now it's just the way she is.

 I think your husband showed his regard for your feelings and that is good even though he went about trying to fix the situation in an awkward way. Mine won't even try. But I think the end result is the same, you and I both are left to deal with the coldness as best we can.

I am going to avoid it as much as possible by avoiding her as much as possible. She just gave birth to my SOs first grandson and it's going to be sad for me to keep my distance but I just don't know what else to do.

Your SD had it right when she said the children decide what the relationship will be. As parents we can try to encourage and nudge the children along and I have had better results with my own toward him  (probably because I have actually tried whereas he just thinks it will work itself out) but ultimately you can't do much if your SD doesn't thaw.

Thank you for posting. I feel so alone with this because very few people understand how the coldness feels.

blayze's picture

And at the same time, I would trade places with you in a second! Your stepdaughter sounds wonderful. To have a grasp on the complexities of family vs. marriage at her age.  I want to know her Myers-Briggs personality profile because she sounds like a precocious INTP or even an INTJ, and you are incredibly blessed to be around a young person who tells it to you straight. No guessing. No manipulation. Clear articulation of her feelings. Ahh. 

But again, I get it... if you are wanting a step-“mother” relationship, and you’re hoping to build a real “family”, a revelation such as hers probably stings. I’m so sorry you feel cheated out of the more-than-friendly-motherly relationship, and that your daughter doesn’t get to experience that sisterly bond. 

You never know though... those kind of feelings could very well develop in time. Be glad that you have an SD who will be truly loyal and loving toward you if and when those feelings grow.  Remember that most stepmothers simply want respect of their role. She’s giving you that. In another decade, she may give you more than you ever expected. Don’t lose hope... and as unfortunate and awkward the conversation was, your man bumbled his way into an honest discussion. That’s beautiful and rare. Try to be happy.

Cooooookies's picture

Isn't what your SD said...the exact same thing us SM's say on here?  Most of say: we chose to marry the man, we did not choose who his child(ren) were.  They just tag along like extras we never chose or asked for.  I don't love his kid/s, don't like them, can't warm up to them.  I love my DH/ don't like his kid/s but they come with him and it's not our choice.

Your SD is on the other side of the coin.  You are your DH's choice, not hers.  She has been polite and respectful but she hasn't/will never warm up to you.  You are not her choice.  You are around because of her father.

There's nothing wrong with that.  It doesn't fit your ideal of a well blended family but The Brady Bunch is not reality.  She is a well mannered disengaged stepkid.  You should feel lucky - most of the skids we deal with are flipping nightmares.

She feels exactly about you as most of us SM's feel about the baggage (skids) our DH's bring into the marriage.  Fair is fair and she's doing it with respect and courtesy.  Leave it alone.

ldvilen's picture

I do think there are some differences, tho.  In this case, the SD is disengaging just because she feels like it.  That is the sense I'm getting, anyway.  For anyone, SK or SM, disengaging should be a last resort and not a first line action.  The vast majority of SMs who advocate and talk about disengaging here are ones where they tried and tried and continue to get not only very little appreciation for all of their efforts, but continue to get kicked in the behind as well.

It would be very rare for a SK to cook and clean and wipe nose snot off for SM the way many a SM does for her SKs.  SMs usually aren't disengaging just because they feel like it or because they want to be passive-aggressive over what they perceive to be a lack of choice.  So, unless SM is wailing on the SK, and I fully know this can occur with some SMs, then I think there are some strong differences between disengaging for a SM vs. SK.

Having said that, I also feel SD has made her choice.  I think the OP and the rest of her family, including DH, all need to honor it and get on with their own happiness and lives.

tog redux's picture

I feel like I was fairly disengaged from the beginning.  My SS18 and I get along well, and I wouldn't say there is any "coldness", but our relationship is about 1/2 inch deep.  I knew from the minute his batshit crazy mother starting losing her mind and alienating him that it was best for me to keep my distance and keep my guard up.  I don't love him and he doesn't love me. I've never wiped his snot or cooked or cleaned much for him, except as a favor to DH.  If you asked him, he would say I'm his Dad's wife, and I'd say he's my husband's son, and that works well for both of us.  He's much, much too loyal to his BSC mother to ever have any kind of real relationship with me. 

In OP's scenario, DH owes SD an apology and he needs to let her feel what she feels.  SM needs to accept the depth of their relationship and adjust accordingly.

ldvilen's picture

I think you are speaking of disengaging in a milder sense, separate or release (someone or something) from something to which they are attached or connected.  I'm speaking of it in more in the sense of remove (troops) from an area of conflict.  For someone to just do chores and then go in their room and lock their door, they are already at the second level, feeling they have to remove themselves from an area of conflict.  I see no reason for the SD to do that, other than that being her choice.  It is not being cordial, but, again, if that is her choice, that is her choice.

tog redux's picture

I pretty much did the same with my SS and do now. I don't see the difference, honestly.  It's being polite and cordial in a situation you dislike but are stuck in.

Iamwoman's picture

I don’t see anything wrong with your SD’s feelings. Is it hurtful to you and husband? Yes. But, it’s probably also hurtful to SD that her family split apart and now she has two new families.

I am impressed with your SD’s ability and maturity in expressing herself. If I had a SD like yours, I would not expect more than what you had before your husband ruined it by making a scene at the dinner table.

It was not fair of your husband to punish his daughter for her feelings. Feelings should always be respected. You can’t make another person like you - sometimes people in this world will dislike you, and it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with what is going on in that person’s brain.

Your SD could very well be my DD. She was always a good girl at her dad and stepmom’s home, but that wasn’t enough for them. They wanted her to like them and love them too. They became so obsessed with forcing my daughter to like/love them that they forgot about how well behaved she was. 

Well in a very short amount of time, with the constant pressure from her dad and stepmom and the constant nagging: “why don’t you like me? Everyone else I know likes me! Why don’t you love me?” Blah blah blah, DD wouldn’t/couldn’t answer them at the time because she was younger and inarticulate. So then her dad and stepmom began to punish DD for not “loving” them (exactly like how your husband punished your SD by sending her to her room). Punishing a child for a certain feelings or alack of feelings can cause mental problems in that child.

DD became more resistant to her dad and stepmom because no matter how well behaved she was around them, she was demeaned and punished for her lack of feelings. Her dad and stepmom were literally obsessed with forcing her to like/love them.

Over time, the punishments became more severe and didn’t make sense to DD. She was being randomly punished for her inability to produce feelings desired by her dad and stepmom. Of course, this made her want to be around them even less, and forever ruined any chances of her ever liking or loving them at all.

Due to DD’s increased resistance, The punishments were also increased and became abusive. Very abusive. Eventually DD’s dad and stepmom were caught abusing DD after many years and had visitation rights severely restricted.

Amazingly, dad and stepmom never saw how their own actions toward DD produced the end result. All along the way, they thought to themselves that they were good people, and that if DD didn’t like/love them, it “must be because Iamwoman has alienated her” (of course I never did). Even when they got to the level of severe abusywoth DD, they never saw what they were doing as abuse. Dad and stepmom thought THEY were reacting to DD - it never occurred to them that DD was having increasingly fear-based and sometimes anger-based reactions to their increasingly intense abuse of her for something she couldn’t control: her feelings.

 

I tell you this story so that you and your husband will appreciate SD for the good, helpful person she is.

Your insecurity over her dislike of you is exactly that: YOUR own insecurity. If it bothers you so much, please see a therapist instead of making your problem into your SD’s problem.

Its obvious your husband has your back and that is great! However he is going to ruin everyone’s lives if he insists on punishing a child for not liking someone.

He asked his daughter a question and when she gave him an honest answer, he punished her. That in itself reeks of emotional abuse.

Please stop this.

hereiam's picture

The only problem here, is your husband. His daughter is not obligated to see you as a mother figure in her life. She respects that you are his wife and treats you accordingly.

I'm sorry that it hurts you and your daughter that she wants nothing more than a civil relationship with the two of you, but surely you kind of knew this when you were dating her dad? I assume she acted the same way, then?

Again, I'm sorry that your effort at a relationship with her has been rebuffed but for your husband to say that his daughter is dead to him is a little over the top. He did not handle this well.

ESMOD's picture

I don't think you have a problem other than your expectations and the expectations of your husband.  The girl was 11/12 when you and her dad got together.  She obviously still has an active mother as well as grandmother in her life.  She did not need another mother.  She treated you with respect and behaved well in your home.  I think that is a good expectation and what she did was ok.  Just because dad married a new woman doesn't mean that she has to love her and treat her as a mother. 

Now, I do see in your post, that in a way she says she DOES like you (and your daughter) just not as a loving affection she might have for bio family.  That's ok.  you can't force someone to love you and while on the face of it it feels hurtful, she has been doing the right thing by treating you with respect and being a productive member of the household.

Her mother may have pushed this idea on her that "She is not your mother" too... so part of this might be her loyalty to her mother as well.

I do think that it would be nice if you apologized to her for her being put on the spot.

I'm sorry your dad put you on the spot the other day.  I guess when I married your father, I had hopes that we might develop a closer relationship.  You are such a nice, smart young lady that I would have liked if we could have become closer.  But, I respect your feelings and I understand that your dad's marriage wasn't your choice.  I hope you will accept my apology for pushing for more than you were able to do.

angelique78's picture

Thanks for the advice.

I don't think that her mother pushed that idea. Because she said the same thing to her mother when she remarried. The only diffence is that she told her that in a private situation, she and her mom having a deep conversation weeks before the marriage. She remarried 1 1/2 year ago. 

As far as I know, her mother's husband is just her mother's husband. 

ESMOD's picture

Well, if she has the same attitude towards her stepfather then I really think this is something you should not feel hurt by.  She does not mean this personally.  Perhaps she is more introverted and prefers to keep people at arm's length.

In any case, a brief apology for her being put on the spot and maybe just say that you wanted to be sure that there was nothing specific you had done... but that you respect her feelings and wishes.

ldvilen's picture

Ding!  Another couple of ticks, going up, on the BS meter!  If she told her in a private situation, how did this knowledge happen to come your way?, and if she told her ex- (pops), who then told his wife, you, then why would pops have been so surprised when his 15 YO daughter responded similarly?

Healyourslf's picture

I have found that whenever there is hurt of any kind, there is always something we are attached to. Is it important to you that your SD love you? Is this important to DH? We'd all like to live in a world of unicorns and rainbows, but this is far from the complexities of step family reality.  I know that feeling of contrived pleasantry and coldness - they're protective constructs that people put up to prevent themselves from being hurt. 

Your SD sounds far more intelligent and respectful than most. When DH and I formed a relationship 5 years ago, I expected my SD to at least like me because everyone likes me and my family loves me (pure naivete).  For about 4 years, I never thought about or examined the conflicted place of confusion that SD chose to use as her emotional palette. Good intentions and the willingness to love are not enough when someone is hell bent on painting it black. I see it as HER issue, her lesson, her work to remove all the barriers that prevent her from loving. SD does not have to like or love me and that has nothing to do with who I am.  It's a huge burden off my back to admit that other than having DH as a common factor, SD is not someone I would seek out or choose to have in my life. 

In your case, SD has at least spoken with civility and clearly stated her feelings and intentions. Your feelings can be reciprocal and respectful. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. I wish my SD had that sort of clarity, backbone and was able to articulate her feelings. I'd respect her if she did.  Most of us on this site have experienced SD's who have to work out their angst with a host of dysfunctional, destructive, energy-sucking behaviors.  

Although SD may be cold and robotic, she is complying with house rules and behaving with common decency.  She has also spoken "her" truth. Respect it and her boundaries. This qiuzzy nonsense from DH is moot. SD has made a choice and she has been honest. 

Be civil. Be detached.  Let it go.  Focus on what is working in your lives rather on what is not working.   

 

Curious Georgetta's picture

As he had every right to do so. I would assume that he did not consult his daughter as to her feelings about you or the marriage and he had no obligation to do so. But what he assumed was that she shared his views and expectationsexpectations and only now is he learning that she does not share his views.

You are very fortunate. She sounds like an amazing young woman. She is polite, helpful,articulate, and focused.

She is not causing conflict in your home. She was not imposing her views upon you and your husband. Your husband proved and she answered honestly.

Sometimes, if you are not prepared to accept the answer, you should not ask the question.

You should not find the answer hurtful; ifanything, the answer should be liberating. You know that her reactions and responses are not personalpersonal. She acknowledg acknowledges your status and relationship with polite civility.

She is giving all that you have any right to expect and she is not asking anymore of you.

 

 

 

ESMOD's picture

The only thing I would like to add here is that while you can't expect her to "love" you or view you as a mother figure, that is a sword that cuts both ways.  If she doesn't want to view you as a mother... then you don't do motherly things with or for her.  That would include things like taking her shopping, hosting her friends for sleepovers, buying her gifts with your own money.. driving her around... packing her lunch etc...  You are simply Dad's wife.  If you choose to do something that is helpful to your husband.. like drive her somewhere... you are doing it for HIM as HIS WIFE.. not as her stepmother.  If you and your daughter choose to go make an ice cream run.. well... you don't have to take her.. you are just dad's wife and she has made it clear she has no interest in a closer relationship.  Relationships you get what you give... she gives nothing to you.. you don't give to her.

I'm not saying that you don't let her eat a meal you cooked for the rest of the house... but you don't go out of your way to cook JUST for her... she is old enough to care for her own laundry and pack school lunches.. she can ask dad for anything she needs.  That is where I would direct her from now on since she doesn't view you as a stepmom.

ESMOD's picture

Is the child doing chores for extras like rides to the mall.. or doing them because it's expected.  I think she should treat her SD fairly.. if she feels the effort she puts in means she should get favors.. fine.  But, I wouldn't be going out of my way to fix her favorite dishes or do other motherly things to someone who has made it clear that is NOT my role.

ldvilen's picture

Why does this just seem so scripted?  “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?”. . . .

“. . . 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.”

Since when do children define roles?  Maybe this all started with the Millennials, I don’t know, but nope!  I think there are either too many BMs on this topic or a bunch of shrinks got together during a boring meeting and decided to stick it to a bunch of SMs, coming up with a broken-English, out of the mouths of babes type scenario.  Probably made their day.

That ol’ BS-meter of mine.  Why is it going up so high on this one?  And, than accolade after accolade of what a brilliant child, for one so young.  Like lines such as “Philosiphically speaking, she was a choice for you and an imposition to me, your Family, her Family,” pop out of the mouths of 15 YOs every day, and someone whose native language is not English can crank that one out just from memory and capture it down to a T several days later.

Either someone is smoking weed, I’m smoking weed, or we all are.

STaround's picture

I think that the SD does accept the relationship, she just does not want to be friends with SM or her SS.   Some might regard her sentiment as correct in that most cases, SM comes into the relationship at least considering to be friends, so it is really up to the kids.  It takes both sides to be friends. As I tell my DD, you should be civil to everyone (which it seems like this kid is), but not friends.   I guess in those (IMHO rare) cases where SM comes into the relationship not wanting to be friendly, she does control it. 

ldvilen's picture

Oh, I agree with this part of it--"It takes both sides to be friends."  That is certainly true, but I don't agree that a SK has to go to disengagement right off the bat, I don't agree that disengagement is the same for SKs and SMs--there is actually very little that is tit-for-tat when it comes to SKs and SMs.  Their roles are completely different, for one thing; and, I don't agree that SKs or BMs or DHs get to have their cake and eat it too, meaning if SD doesn't want a relationship with SM, then don't ever expect SM to ever want a relationship with you.  The truth is, step-children and even many young adult step-children are just too young and inexperienced to know what they are signing up for.  A lifetime w/o a SM and, more than likely, a lifetime w/o dad.

And, SD does not accept the relationship.  I can guarantee you, with this kind of SD's wedding, she is not even remotely going to be looking at her SM as dad's wife.  If she saw them as husband and wife, then she would unquestionably seat dad and SM together, as husband and wife, just like any other husband and wife at the event, together.  But, I can just about assure you that won't happen.  Any 15 YO who has made the "cordial" decision to just not have anything to do with it, isn't going to be respectful of dad's wife now or at any time in the future.  She might as well have said, "Yeah, dad.  I know she is your mistress.  Keep her out of my way."  And, that is fine, but I don't think anyone here should be kidding themselves that she is okay with dad and dad's wife.  

And, as a full-fledged adult, I can tell you that if you flake off someone's spouse, no matter how cordial doing it you may claim to be, your relationship with that person will be impacted negatively.  And, yes, that includes children, adult or not.  So, if a child, adult or not, wants to flake off dad's spouse, fine, but don't think it won't cost you, and the next time you go to dad AND HIS WIFE's home, and wife doesn't wait on you and doesn't do a damn thing for you, just take a look-see in the mirror.  And, when SM stops showing up for events, and then dad stops showing up because, hey!, who wants to go to an event and see their spouse be "politely and cordially" ignored, then you better know how it all started.  Because the last thing any SM wants, is to give and give and give and never get.  And, SKs or other professionals trying to put some sort of forced logic to that, isn't going to make it so.

ldvilen's picture

I sure do, but none of them would act like the OP's "SD" in a million years.  They all appreciate their parents and have no problem putting in their own effort to make things work for ALL in the family.  They would also love to have a little sister, blood related or not.  They are not so caught up in their own minds and their own issues.  They think of other people and show empathy, and THAT is what makes them bright and articulate.

Look, if the OP's "SD" wants to make the choice at age 15 to disengage, even tho., from the sounds of it, she never even tried to engage to begin with, fine.  But, I just hope she realizes the decision she made and that there is sometimes no reset button when it comes to writing off family members.  And, if you write off SM, and especially for no personal reason whatsoever, you just wrote off your dad too, although you probably won't realize that for at least a few years when it comes back to bite you big time.

ldvilen's picture

But, I agree.  The OP should feel liberated.  Now, she can go about doing her business with HER family.  She can set up fun and exciting events with DH and her child and herself, of course, and not even be the least concerned about "SD."  Maybe husband could slide a Post-It note under the door to let her know where they are in case of an emergency?

SM only needs to cook for three now, never has to buy a B-day gift or card for "SD," never has to remind her husband anything about "SD" at all.  So, I would imagine SD is well prepared to receive most of her gifts at the last possible moment, unwrapped or in a brown paper bag.  I'd also suggest that SD be paid for her chores, by pops, and that way, they'll be no obligation from either party whatsoever.

After all, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. 

twoviewpoints's picture

OP says SD prepares her own meals.

The teen is also very busy between school, the many extra curriculars she participates in and volunteer work.

Doesn't sound the kid would even notice if SM, Dad and the other child were out and about enjoying themselves. She'd get home, make her meal, do her chores and quietly go off to her room to study and read per usual. 

ldvilen's picture

Sounds good!  AND, make sure at SD's wedding or any other family events that you and your husband are treated 100% like the husband and wife you are--after all. . .  supposedly SD is all A-OK with this.  But, since SD is so-o-o perfect, I’m sure she’ll have no problem getting that right.  After all, what could be simpler than mom is mom and dad is dad and dad and his wife are dad and his wife! 

secret's picture

Sounds great, to be honest.

I strive to make my kifs independent and ready to be om their own... My son is 16 and is starting to behave more and more like your SD... Polite...considerate... Clean...helpful... Mature...expressive... Obviously there is love, we talk and text and laugh and hug etc... But he's becoming more and more focused on school, football and his job... So it feels like he's more and more detached lately. Sad but good. 

Be happy... You have a dream sd. She may not love you... But she doesn't have to. Count yourself lucky she treats you like dad's wife.