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Adult BPD Stepdaughter Destroying our marriage

Hellp's picture



In a nutshell,


My adult stepdaughter (I'll call her TJ) has wreaked havoc on my marriage. Her mother (I'll call her CT) has been diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic. CT has caused severe damage to their 4 children in forms parental alienation, false accusations of imagined abandonment by their father, as well as horrific allegations of sexual abuse, lies and manipulation as well as children witnessing symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia and finally neglect. This mental illness caused loss of child custody for my husband for his children 8 years ago.


Recently my husband won 100% physical and legal custody of his only minor child left (I'll call her L), due to schizophrenic CT's now proven neglect. However, judge ordered shared temporary physical custody between my husband and TJ, his adult daughter ( L's oldest sister) until everyone involved receives counseling to help L adjust to living 100% of time with my husband and myself.


Seems like a plan, right? Not if that adult daughter seems to exhibit same behaviors as her mother, and from what I can assess, many qualities of Borderline Personality Disorder. 


The false accusations and twisting of reality from TJ is not only making shared custody extremely difficult but is putting my family in danger.

Just last night she called the police accusing my husband of trespassing at her house and we woke up to three officers banging at our door.

I have absolutely no doubt that she will do whatever she can to "make our life a living hell" (HER WORDS SCREAMED AT HER FATHER)


3 months ago, after the final Court Order and witnessing TJ twist-off at her dad on the stand with ridiculous lies and twisted versions of stories about both of us, I finally told my husband that I NEVER want to see TJ or her family again and that I would no longer allow L to be in my home, around me or my own 16-year-old son, obviously to protect me and my son from TJ's further abuse. I have since stood my ground. (This is after 8 years of dealing with her public slander of me, abuse, legal threats and rage toward me).


I feel completely alone, I don't feel like my husband has protected me from TJ or her family. I understand he is in an extremely difficult situation of having to try to be civil with TJ in order to successfully share her younger sister, his daughter, L with him. Meanwhile, TJ hasn't even begun the process of the judges ordered therapy. My husband says he understands why I drew the line, but I believe this will be the beginning of the end of our marriage and that he will resent me for protecting my son and myself from the dangers of his horrible family.


Of course there is much, much more to this story, I just need someone out there who has gone through this same Hell...and perhaps give me some words of advice or just make me feel like I am not alone.



SteppedOut's picture

I would 100% feel exactly like you.

It sucks this might be the begining of the end. But he can not protect you from them, obviously or it would have happened already. You have no choice but to set these rules. 

Sometimes love is not enough. 

Hellp's picture

You are absolutely right! I had no boundaries, so why would he? I thought if I just love more and fulfill my step-parenting duties it all would work out.  I hope now that I have set healthy boundaries in place, I can get the repsect I deserve, from myself included.

Survivingstephell's picture

On the Adult board is a poster Ghostwhocooksdinner.  She has years of experience with her SD Twit.  Head over there  and find her stuff.  

You should not feel ashamed of putting your foot down and protecting yourself from TJ. ( SD=stepdaughter BM=birthmother.  We know those abbriviations better)   

Sounds like you have had your hands full with mental illness.  I have had my own experiences and you do have be firm and keep it out of your life the best you can.  

I would also recommend for you to read.  Its a therapist that specializes in supporting victims of BPD and breaking free from the crazy.  You might find some tools that you aren't utilizing right now.   I will say that if JT ends up at your house, don't hesitate to call the cops on her.  She needs legal consequences to force her to behave and if she doens't , that's on her.  

You aren't alone, welcome.  ((((hugs))))) 

secondplace's picture

Re:  On the Adult board is a poster Ghostwhocooksdinner.  She has years of experience with her SD Twit.  Head over there  and find her stuff.  

I think the poster you are referring to is "Shes Driving Me Crazy"

fairystepmonster's picture

I LOVE shrink4men.  The Golden Uterus article really helped me understand what was happening when I got together with my now DH and his crazy ex started acting up.  Good suggestion.

Evil3's picture

My mother was BPD, so I understand how these people can destroy lives and think nothing of it. You did the right thing protecting your DS, because I have no doubt that he would have been accused of something at some point. You do not want his life ruined before it even starts. Your DH loves his child and it likely pains him to really admit that his DD is so damaging.

It may not be the beginning of the end of your marriage. If your DH is currently abiding by your wishes and not allowing his toxic DD into your home, then he is abiding by his wife's wishes and protecting his wife and SS. Your DH is going to be distant for a while, because he has to work out in his mind that he didn't betray his DD and that he knows there are issues with her. That's a huge burden. He has acknowledged to you that he understands why you drew the line. He's likely in a sad place due to realizing just how sick his dd is and that his idea of an ideal family is never to be. Go to counselling with your DH so you can help each other through this. Also, consider an alternative interpretation to your DH's lack of protecting you from your SD. It may not be that he didn't want to protect you. It may be that he just didn't know. I'm not making excuses, but rather playing devil's advocate. I have been in situations myself where I failed to stand up for others and myself simply because I didn't know how even though I wanted to. Have plenty of talks with your DH and keep the lines of communication and emotional intimacy open. Thank him for being a good protector and husband by abiding by your wishes to protect your family and home. Your DH abiding by your wishes to support the ban of your SD from your home shows that your DH is protecting you, your DS and his other DD.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

I recently ended a friendship with a woman who is BPD. A member of a ladies sport group I belong to, she's caused upheaval with her lying, playing the victim, and learned helplessness. Several of us have taken her under our wing (she's 20 years younger), and without exception she's shat on us all.

I sought advice from another friend, a wise older woman who's worked as a psych nurse for many years. This woman has great energy; she's calm, philosophical, and non-judgemental. But her advice on this subject was unequivocal - get your BPD acquaintance out of your life. You can't help her, she will screw you, and the crazy never ends.

Your H bred with crazy, and he'll be paying for that for the rest of his life. You married into this mess, but you do have agency, the right to draw boundaries, and an obligation to protect your bio kid. The tv version of a fully blended family simply doesn't apply in situations where serious mental illness is present.

I agree with everything Evil3 said. It is possible to love and support your husband while maintaining healthy distance from his toxic baggage. But be warned - you can't fix bad genes, and all of your skids have inherited a predisposition to mental illness which they in turn will pass on. So get educated, get lots of therapy, and get a long term plan. You'll need it.