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I was mad and said a "wrong" thing about my SD. After that he distanced himself from my BS. I'm at a lost!

MikaLinda83's picture

Hi, everyone.

I'm glad to find a place where I can explain myself without being judged. 

My DH has a daughter, 9, and she is very, very strange.. The first time we met, she hidden herself between her father's legs, didn't talk to me at all, when her father asked her to answer one of my questions "What do you like to do, honey?", she started to cry. It was frustrating. She was 6 at time. I felt I did something wrong, but my husband said I was an adult, she didn't know me, she was a kid, she was scared, it was a stressful situation. Ok, I accepted that.

A little background. Her BM died when she was 2. Acording to DH she was in a car with her mom, dad, her sister and a cousin of my DH and a teeanger decided it would be a nice idea to drink and drive. A total lost, everyone in BM's car passed away. The teenager survived and is locked in jail. My MIL and FIl helped my DH to raise her the tragic fatality. She has no relative from her BM side. BM only had a cousin who lives in another country and an aunt with late stage dementia.  

She was always very shy and quite sad girl. I tried everything I could to connect with her. When I tried to go out with her, just two of us, she would refuse and start to cry. My MIL used to take care of her when my DH was working, I asked them to take care of her, didn't work. She would hide herself in her room and refuse anything from me. She went back to her GM. So my husband goes to work, leaves her at her school, MIl picks up her, when he's coming home he takes her. 

3 years passed and she didn't change. We don't communicate very much. She won't tell me anything, just to my DH. She got an A at school? Just my DH will know. If a congratulate her I will receive a shy "thanks" in response, and that's all. She seems to close herself in a shell around me. A shell I feel I cannot open.

If we go out me, my DH, my BS and her, she will keep herself in silence, will answer my and my BS questions quickly, like she was avoiding something.

She goes to a therapist 3 days in a week. I know the pain she feels is immeasurable, I know she will miss her mom forever, when I heard the story I was shocked, her BM was young and full of life. But that unwillingness to, at least, give me a space in her life always bugged me.

My BS and my DH got along prety well. It was hard at the start, but now the things are going well. He would take my son out, to do some "boy stuffs". And I felt pretty bad, because I couldn't do the same with SD.

When my problem started? Some months ago, with all that pandemic stuff, he decided to leave SD full time with MIL and FIL, to isolate them (he's an essential worker). He would see her wrapped in plastic to preserve her and his parents. About 2 months ago he allowed her to return to our house. They, she and him, were in a Skype call with a distant cousin of DH and she asked "Hey, SD, how are you honey? I heard you have a new mommy, who loves you very much". She screamed "I HAVE NO NEW MOMMY, MY MOMMY IS DEAD!" and went straight to her room crying. My husband reprimended his cousin. I heard everything and felt pretty sad.

She spend the next weekend with MIL and FIL and I opened my heart with my DH. But a make mistake, during the conversation i called SD a "crying bitch" who will "revolve around her mother's death forever". He just said: "You really called a 9-year-old girl bitch? Seriously? What do you want me to do? Tell her 'Forget about mommy, she's dead, time to move, I bought a new one? F*ck off! Stop being dumb." 

Next weekend would be my father's birthday. He took a shower, walked downstairs and my mother asked him "Hey, DH, where are you going? I will eat your peace of cake if you leave!". He said: "I'm going to my mom's, see the crying bitch. I come back tomorrow". I was shocked and the party was totally ruined.

He came back next day and my BS said hey "daddy DH" where did you go? Let's play some games? "From now on, DH. Mister DH" and went straight to his office. I was in the kitchen when i heard a huge noise. My BS was playing in the backyard playing with his ball and accidentaly a shelf where my husband keeps some high school trophies. DH came and said, ironically: "Oh, no, look what SD did, this is exactly the thing a crying bitch would do. Of course the 'Prince of Perfection' could do no wrong. I will ground SD for the rest of her life! What a bitch, mind you."

I made BS clean the mess and he's forbid to play with his ball in the backyard. But since that incident, he spends weekends at his mom's house (who now hates me), don't talk to my son, and we barely talk to each other. I insisted on therapy. "Sometimes a stone is just a stone. You already said what you had to say. A therapy doesn't changes feelings. Changes behaviors. You were very clear, you don't like my daughter. Wanna know something? I never liked your son, I tolerated him because of you, he's one of the most boring child I have seem in my entire and I kept my mouth shut all this time. So what's is exactly your problem with SD? If she were rude, I would quickly reprimend her. If she threw a tantrum? I would ground her. But i can't make her like or even accept you. Honestly, if a 37-year-old can't understand this, I'm sorry to say, you are the crying bitch here."

I know that probably my marriage is over, because he now sleeps in his office and barely talks with me, but, does anyone have something to say? I'm quite sad...


Peach's picture

It is really odd that her mother died when she was 2 years old and that she is still acting this way.  I am not sure how much she is able to remember from when she was two.  Either way, if she is in therapy 3x per week and still has this much of a problem, then she needs to change therapists.  I know that I am making a stretch since I don't know any of you, but it seems like she would be thrilled to have female attention in her home on a daily basis.  Something is preventing that, and that will be the key.  Is it the MIL or is it DH?  Your DH sounds nutty.  What you said was definitely wrong, and I think that calling a 9 year old a bitch is never right.  Howevever, if you haven't done so, just straight up apologize.  Just say that you were so frustrated and stressed out that you said something that you don't mean.  Counseling is the way to go.  If he can turn on your son (who has done nothing wrong), then I am thinking he may be a big part of the problem.

Cover1W's picture

I was thinking this as I was reading too - something is not right with the DH here. I wouldn't stay after his statements and throwing the statement in my face like that. He's not understanding that you were wrong, but it's how to felt at that moment. He's never going to change. Frankly, I'd be a litte scared of him and that's enough to get me out. You know he's going to keep her in bubble wrap forever.

StrawberryPie's picture

Hold up.  You said 'crying b*tch' about you SD to your DH, right?  You didnt say it to her, right?  Your DH is completely over reacting.  You should talk and share your feelings with your DH.  And someone needs to be upfront that something isn't right.  3xs a week in therapy and not much progress?  Something needs to change.  Sorry you DH is the one acting like a little baby.  Come here and vent anytime!

24 years as a SM's picture

What are the grandaparents saying to this child to drag the mourning of her BM out for so long? Do you get a long with the grandparents or is the grandmother playing mom? There is something going on here that the OP is not aware of. I know children at 2 can remember somethings as they get older, by age 9 this child should be more open, but something or someone is continuing the issue with the BM being dead.

CLove's picture

Your guy is a jerk. He is enabling the SD to be disabled. Screaming like that? Avoiding you? Excluding you from EVERYTHING? Thats RUDE.

Your H is to blame for this behavior and Ill bet the MIL and FIL are enabling HIM. Shes getting a free pass because she lost her mother at 2 years old. 

The troubling part is how your husband is punishing your bio. To punish you. If he will not go to marriage counseling these things cannot be fixed. Consult an attorney.

strugglingSM's picture

Ok, perhaps your choice of words was poor, but I agree with the comments above that if your SD can't even acknowledge you after three years and your DH is okay with that, that's a big problem. 

I know that losing a parent can be devastating for a child, but she is 7 years on from losing her mother. She can miss her mother, but letting the loss of her mother impact her life to such a degree points to larger problems.

What sort of relationship did your DH have with his daughter before he met you? Why did your DH decide to get married, if it was so traumatic for his daughter. 

It strikes me as very odd that he doesn't see this situation as highly problematic. I think he has a problem with his child (will her life be stunted forever because her mother died tragically?), but you have a problem with him. 

Movingonisbest's picture

Well, for you to get to the point of calling her a crying b--ch sounds like you were mad, frustrated, and hurt. Your dh can't understand that? So now he is behaving like a b--ch too? Once he got petty and pulled your son into it, all hell would have broke out if I were you. I would have let him know if he doesn't want her to be a crying b---ch then  he needed to grow a pair and teach her to be something better. The reason he is mad is because he knows what you said was the truth. You were the only one strong enough to say it out loud. I wouldnt apologize for anything. He has had 7 years to work on things with her, and the fact that he hasn't is his problem. You did the right thing calling him out on his bs. He just never thought you would. He needs to get out of his feelings and get to fixing things or I would move on if I were you.

tog redux's picture

Kids get stuck in grief when their parents do - my guess is that your DH has not resolved his grief about losing his former wife. 

SteppedOut's picture

Very wise statement, particularly since sd was so young when it happened. She likely does not remember her mother. 

tog redux's picture

In my many years of clinical practice, I have yet to see a kid who was stuck in grief like this for 7 years, who didn't have a parent who was also stuck. This is a family therapy issue, but clearly the 3x a week therapist doesn't see that, lol.

ETA: Could be the grandparents who are stuck in grief and want the kid to "never forget her mom", as well.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

It wasn't right to call her that but people aren't perfect and when pushed to the limit, they sometimes say things they shouldn't. You didn't say it in front of her at least. Your DH is wrong for his response. I wonder if he and the rest of the family treat her like a victim and that's why she acts like one. After all this time there is no excuse for her to act this way toward you. It's being encouraged somewhere, either consciously or unconsciously, by one or more adults in her life. None of this is fair to you or your child. 

shamds's picture

My husband is very direct and straight to the point. I have told him his 2 daughters are bitches because that is how they act and treat me and my 2 kids with hubby.

believe me i have told hubby how nasty his kids are and if he isn't happy at them not being called nice things, then it was his friggin job to get them in line and have them be pleasant.

my husband knows his kids are a joke and so pathetic at times, his own family feel the same way...

i agree with the others as a 2 yr old, she doesn't remember her mother at all, its been used as an excuse to behave this way... 

do you remember anything when you were 2? I certainly don't 

The_Upgrade's picture

What can you remember of your childhood before age 2? How much has it affected your life? We had a college boarder live with us for a year when DD was aged 1-2. She loved DD and was sort of an elder sister/extra parent. When she left us at the end of the year DD went through a phase of looking for tall, leggy brunettes when we were out in crowds and calling her name. People who looked like that girl at a glance from behind. Phase lasted for about a month then she moved on. Nowadays when we see this girl DD is always happy but doesn't shriek and run to hug her with the same enthusiasm. It's been close to a year (a third of her life) since so I'm not surprised.

It looks like your DH and MIL has deified BM and SD has been raised to worship her memory. You're competing against a ghost. What your DH should have made clear to your SD is that you are not her mommy replacement but another person important to him. Sounds like they put the wrong person in therapy all these years. Your DH was the one who should've got his head screwed on straight before he jumped back into the dating pool.

DHsfamilyfromhell's picture

Peach is absolutely right - 3 x a week therapy and no improvement, definitely change therapist. 

They may not agree at first, because some people don’t like change. 

Also, She could be over reliant on therapy, and therefore not feel the need to speak the rest of the week. 

She may be a little over attached to the therapist... 

A good therapist would see that. 

What qualifications does the therapist have it appears she may need either a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist.

thinkthrice's picture

Bail now!  Save yourself and your DS!  Start consulting various local divorce attorneys.

This guy and his clan have been psycho for a long time before you arrived   It is NO fun being married to/ dating a widower

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

You can't take back what you said. But, based on his reaction, there may be more to this than just the child grieving. It may be DH is also still grieving himself and allows his daughter to be stuck from moving on because he is. 

ESMOD's picture

The fact that his daughter is still "stuck" after 7 years is a clear sign that her therapy isn't working.  Her dad should have been looking for a new one long ago.  

And of course, there is a difference between "forcing her to love you" and "insisting that she treat you respectfully".  I do not think her behavior at 6 years old was odd at all.  I was a shy child myself and that would not have been strange when I was 6.  It would have been extremely odd for me to continue to act that way with someone I had known for several years though.  

Of course what you said was "uncalled for"... and I am assuming you have tried to apologize.  It obviously hurt your husband deeply.. but for him to treat your son like that was also a very low blow.  I am not sure what the way for ward is .... Would he go to counseling to work through this? Is he willing to understand that you were coming from a place of deep hurt yourself and resentment at her refusal acknowledge her?  

I don't disagree with her wanting to not consider you her "new mother".. I don't think she has to do that.. but you and she should be able to have more civil relations than you are now.

SeeYouNever's picture

I'm not going to repeat what all the other posters have said here. your husband is a jerk and he's holding a grudge because that's what he does. In his mind you might have well called his former wife a crying bitch.

I think that the therapy that sd9 is going to is likely re-traumatizing her every time she goes. how would you react if somebody talked to you about a traumatic event three times a week? She's obviously not learning any coping skills she's just being reminded over and over that she lost her mom.

Your husband is damaged as well and the fact that he is repeating what you said over and over again means that he enjoys holding a grudge. I do think that due to his reactions your marriage is likely over. However it sounds like he wasn't fully committed to it anyway. I would not be surprised if he began to pull out all the stops and got even nastier as this goes forward.

He and his daughter are going to use this to play into being the victims period people like this are impossible to win arguments with because they always pull the victim card. Yes he lost his wife and she lost her mother but that is no excuse to treat everyone like crap for the rest of their lives. It's okay to hurt and it's okay to mourn but it is not okay to wallow in it forever at everyone else's expense.

The_Upgrade's picture

If she were rude, I would quickly reprimand her. If she threw a tantrum? I would ground her.

Ummm but she's been rude. It was excused as shyness. She threw tantrums. She was rewarded with grandma visits. This whole time rudeness and tantrums were given free passes under the crutch of the poor little girl losing her mother and your DH is lying to himself and to you if he thinks he's done a good job addressing her behaviour. So I get why you lost it. You're not asking to be loved by her like you're her mother, just treated with the same courtesy as a stranger off the street. You're not even getting that.