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Need advice adult Step D moved to our town

GeorgiaF's picture

I need serious advice. My 36 year old Step D and her 2 kids (19 and 20) just moved, without telling her dad or me, to our town 800  miles away from where she has grown up and lived her entire life. Her mom, aunts, siblings and all her friends live in her hometown of Las Vegas.  I'm so worried she has NO support system in our town (other than these 2nd cousins she barely knows) she will be expecting to be at our house all the time and I haven't spoken to her in 3 years.  

She has NO job or money saved and now staying with 2nd cousins who she just reconnected with.  She claims they own a small family business and are hiring her and her 2 kids.  I have no idea what this Bz is but can't imagine during this pandemic a Bz can just pay 3 new people a great livable wage.  

She desperately wants to be more involved with my husband and  our family (we've been married 29 years w 3 sons 17, 23 and 26).   Our family is functioning, happy and my older sons are not in house and fully employed, etc.  Great guys. I'm launching 3rd son this year and don't want to have any more kids living with me needing a mother!  I'm 60 and ready to focus on my husband, business and friends.

Background- My husband dated Bio mom (who was "separated" and had 2 small kids) for only 2 months during grad school summer.  She got pregnant, claims my husband was dad (and not her spouse at time) but he never had paternity test.  So that's always bugged me since my SD looks just like her Bio Sibs. My husband never lived with Bio mom and she ended up moving to Las Vegas when SD was 1 years old.  My husband did not want anything to do with her but he's a good guy so did buy Bio M a house in LV wand paid child support.  I got involved when SD was 6 and she was our flower girl in wedding.  Step D got pregnant at 16 and 17 and so we've never stopped paying child support in order to help her.  But it's been 36 years and I'm now so DONE!  

This situation was almost acceptable when  she lived 800 miles away.  We didn't have to deal with her drama close up.  We just sent checks --  actually easier.  My husband would fly down to visit her once a year in last 10 years and when she was younger (6-14) we flew her up to our house as much as we could - 4 times a year.  But once she had the babies we just flew down to Las V to see them.  I didn't want my kids seeing this dysfunctional teen mom and her drama.  She was a mess for many years until her kids got into high school. 

So she's now come to our town - with no warning- and I'm so stressed. I personally haven't spoken to her for the last 3 years cos we had 2 huge fights over this money issue and I just had to distance myself.  My husband texts mostly with her and they have a good - yet emotionally distant relationship.  It's mostly about her needing $$$.   

She has been so nasty to me (and my husband) any time we put boundaries  on giving her money and just treats him like a walking ATM machine.  And he's so giving and feels very guilty for not raising her that he just can't say No!  (We are currently paying off a car loan she asked him to co sign, that she stopped paying on and just finished paying off a $5,000 loan she racked up with a dentist.  We prob help her to the tune of 7,000-10,000 every year and she's 36!!!!  She can't hold a job and was recently cutting hair at Great Clips. She's a  Very unstable person financially and mentally. 

I don't want my 17 year old to have to deal with her either now.  He's a solid kid and her kids are also train wrecks for obvious reasons. I don't want to have to be their mother now too - even though they could really use a mature adult woman taking care of them.  My youngest has never even met any of them. Just older boys have.  
My husband in denial right now and said he's thoroughly depressed she's in our town.  He has NO plan how to deal.  She hasn't asked for us to pay for a new apartment yet, but it's only been 3 days here, but I just know it's coming.  She has terrible credit too so I'm sure a landlord will want a CO signer or Guarantee too.  

I'm normally a very generous person  I love my kids so much I'd do anything for them.  But I don't feel any love for my SD or her kids   .  So don't think I can fake this if they come over.  My husband is on same page that she and her kids will NEVER live in our house even though we have 2 free bedrooms now.  That would be a disaster.   



JRI's picture

I'm thinking in her head she DOES have a support system in your town, you.  I'm so sorry,  I'd be willing to guess she had burned out all her relations in Las Vegas.  No advice. I'm dealing with a similarly dysfunctional SD.  Just all the empathy in the world.  Good luck. GeorgiaF

GeorgiaF's picture

Thank you!  Yes, that's what I fear too.  We are the "support system," but it seems so unfair to push this on us with no discussion or warning.  Thanks for empathy!  I need it right now from SPs that understand!

Rumplestiltskin's picture

So your DH is paying "child support" to a 36-year-old? I mean, i would probably be ok with him paying to keep her away too if the alternative was her trainwreck of a life at your doorstep every day. I would clearly set some limits, like she cannot just come by without calling, he is not to give her a key to your house, and you guys will not be her on-demand babysitter, if that is even still needed.

ETA i see that SD has two adult children moving with her. If the cycle repeats, make sure DH knows you are not babysitting any step great grand kids! 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Like, the first time she pops over, you and DH need to make it clear that she is imposing. Set that boundary early!

Survivingstephell's picture

Have her over, get her a glass of something then swab her glass with a dna test afterwards.  Maybe if it shows he's not the father he will close his wallet. You have my deepest sympathy for this turn of events.  The adult skid forum is full of warriors and maybe they can help you better. Some have real pieces of work  to deal with. 

GeorgiaF's picture

I'm absolutely going to do a DNA test on all 3 of them.  Thinking using Ancestory as the reason.  I tried to do a dna test when she was 9 and a therapist talked me out of it saying I'd make SD and DH both mad at me. I should not have listened!!  

Iamwoman's picture

I agree with this.

This woman is a threat to your life and happiness and she is affecting your DH too.

I believe you have earned the right to secretly do a DNA test between SD and DH.

If it's a match, keep your mouth shut and just stay distant. Maybe even possibly suggest to your DH that you are interested in having a second home and then spend most of your time away.

If it's not a match, try to find a gentle time and way to tell your DH. Hopefully it's not a match and this gives him the strength to cut ties with such a toxic, TOXIC woman.

JRI's picture

My situation is somewhat different from yours; 1) your SD is capable of working (good), ours is on disability; 2) your SD has kids with her (bad), our SD58s kids are grown.  After ske kept getting evicted from apartments, and after a disastrous 10-month stay with us, I knew we had to get her out.  I finally bit the bullet and faced the fact that 1) the wait for a Section 8 apartment would keep her in my house for ages and my health couldnt stand it.  (She was a lying, thieving druggie, I hope thats not your case.) 2)  looking at her disability income, I figured we would be subsidixing about $500 per month for a basic place in our Midwest city.  So long story short, that's what we do.  I made it clear to her and to DH that not one more penny of mine was going to her.  He and I separated finances and he pays this out of his income.  I think he also responds to some of her "emergency" requests but if he choosrs to spend his money that way, whatever.  This plan has been more successful than I expected.  He had a come to Jesus talk with her and told her this was her last chance, next stop is her living in her car.  So far, 3 years later. It's working.  Is this perfect?  No.  Are we enabling her and should we put her on the street?  Probably.  But this is working for us now.  Good luck, GeorgiaF






GeorgiaF's picture

Yes, that's a very similar situation you have and I'm fearing that's prob what my DH will do - subsidize her living in an apt nearby as he's done in Las V.  I just can't stomach having the 3 of them now coming into our everyday life! 

SteppedOut's picture

Wtf. He pay an adult child support??

Good Lord. 

Hope y'all have iron tight wills. 

Iamwoman's picture

Holy cow, stepped out - great point!!

Please OP, put any inheritance for your own children into dynasty trusts so SD can never lay hands on it. The sooner you do this, the better.

ntm's picture

Is your DH well funded for retirement? Will the both of you be able to maintain your standard of living? Does he have a long term care policy for assisted living or nursing home care? Does he have money saved to pay for home health care services out of pocket? If no, he's stealing from your future to subsidize a grown woman who is likely not even his. 
1. Paternity test NOW

2. NO MORE "CHILD SUPPORT" for an adult. That's supposed to stop at 18. 
3. You all are not her support system. 
4. Any money he gives her, you pull triple  out of his account and stash for your three bio kids. 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

I wonder if OP's SD is in the state she is in (dependency) due to al the enabling done by her DH. It's a lot easier to call in sick to work, or quit even, when you know Daddy will just keep paying you. Maybe she would have become self sufficient if she had the right motivation (eat vs not!) For God's sake, her kids are adults! This guy has paid 2 generations of CS. Where are these grandskids' dads? Has SD been collecting CS from them, too? This woman has taken enough!

GeorgiaF's picture

Rumplstiltskin - you are summarizing Exactly what I say to DH.  That he's just enabling her to be utterly dependent on him.  I tell him he  wants to be her "knight in shining armor" hero so she won't get angry at him for never living in same house or marrying her mom. He just can't stand her being upset with him.  So checks are constantly written to keep her happy.  And that generally works.  When he dares to say "no" to her - she's absolutely vicious to him (and me) and shows NO loyalty for all our help-- and that's why I dropped contact with her 3 years ago.  

Also, her baby daddy has been in jail for 15 years and lost custody of kids. SD's mom doesn't give her much, if any, financial support since her other kids are also not doing well.  Entire bio family of SD very dysfunctional - her sister was Meth addict after having 2 kids herself by age 19.   Luckily, my SD does not seem to do any drugs.  But did have mild issue with abusing alcohol for awhile.  I think she's better.  She's actually a good mom in general.  She just annoys me totally with her entitled attitude and lack of good work ethic.  

GeorgiaF's picture

Great questions and those are issues.  We have pretty good retirement and college saved, and my DH is also generous with our 3 boys.  It's not that we can't afford to help her - but it's the principle that it's just gone on WAY too long and he's creating a dependent, non-functioning adult who is teaching bad life skills to her kids too.  I'm afraid they are going to start asking for help too!!

Powerfamily's picture

Time to tell DH that every $ he gives his adult daughter he needs to match for his other DC.   He can't treat one child different to his others because she to lazy to work.  If he doesn't then you do it.

tog redux's picture

I think it's time stop seeing his behavior as "generous" and start seeing it for what it is -selfish. He's kept his daughter dependent so he doesn't have to feel guilty. Had he cut this out years ago, she might be a self-sufficient person - or at least, she wouldn't be draining your finances. He's not being a "knight in shining armor", he's being a poor father. Time for you to start really addressing this instead of throwing your hands up and feeling powerless. 

As someone else said, separate finances and let him know that you will be taking the same amount he spends on her out of his account for your retirement and your 3 boys. 

Maybe marriage counseling could help as well. 

Merry's picture

Essentially, he's buying her "love." And if he doesn't write that check, she punishes him. He's enabling her, and she's blackmailing him. That doesn't exactly shout love.

There has GOT to come a time when he stops paying for her and her adult kids. How about a deposit on an apartment, first month's rent, half of second month, a third of the third month, and then he's out. That gives her plenty of warning that she has to get an actual job and support herself, you know, like grownups do.

I know about SDs punishing their Dads. My SD does that when my DH doesn't do what she expects him to do. It's really sad, but DH acknowledges that he's paying the price for being a crap parent and giving her too much power. Now she expects it, DH generally complies, but every now and then mean old Merry objects because it impacts her life. The day I jump when a skid or my own kids tell me to jump is the day I'm ready for a nursing home.

I'm just a few years older than you are and I am so much looking forward to retirement. I have had a fantastic career, but I'm ready for the next thing. And the next thing will not revolve around his kids!

tfsimmons's picture

Best advice I read - you and DUH get to counseling ASAP - like this week since SD is already at your doorstep.  Counseling absolutely helps husbands hear the shit you've been saying for years!  You know what your SD is up to - no question bout that.  I've got similar fears about my adult SD showing up unexpected but you are streaming live with her expecting you to open doors/wallets and living happily ever after.  No way can you let her breach your threshold.  Until your DH steps up - you'll have to step up for your own damn self.  Ultimately- it's the right move for everyone.  Keep us posted - we are Secret Sisters of Step Support  caring deeply about each other.  Stay Strong!!