I've got a friend in a frustrating step-situation and I'm wondering if anyone has ideas to help her navigate it.
She's the SD. I met my friend several years ago when we both participated in a very intensive therapy program for people living with chronic pain. That's where we both met the woman who is now her step-mom. The SM dropped out of the program about half-way through.
My friend is close to her dad. She has an older sister who is a bit of a gong show, and her mom died when she was 17. She works with her dad in his shop, and has had lots of operations that haven't resolved her medical issues. She's been there for him, and he's been there for her in terms of dealing with the medical/social bureaucracy that is so frustrating and upsetting.
The SM is a self-absorbed ninny (my personal opinion) and the challenges my friend has faced are things like the SM coming into the shop and 'organizing' things. The dad doesn't want to confront his partner, my friend doesn't want to either, but not knowing where anything is costs time and money. Another colleague finally lost his shit to her dad about it because he couldn't do his job, and the dad essentially banned the SM from the shop.
My friend is newly pregnant, and told her dad. Of course dad told SM. SM has told everyone, including announcing it at a family gathering... but the SM's son's partner is expecting (due date 5 days later) and so in one breath announced my friend's pregnancy to all and sundry and in the next prevented any fuss congratulating my friend by announcing her DIL's pregnancy.
My friend was not happy about that, but it wasn't until SM called her up and told her she was a terrible daughter to her dad that my friend got really angry. She confronted the SM, of course there was a scene, and now things are strained. My friend asked her dad what was going on, and the dad said that he had told the SM that he was annoyed that my friend was having yet another surgery - it's hard on her and that's difficult for him, of course he misses her when she's not at work, plus he has to find someone to fill in for her, etc etc.
My friend is very clear that she loves her dad and wants him to be happy, and she doesn't think her opinion of the SM should matter. But the only way she can think of to prevent the SM from intruding into her life and her relationship with her dad is to not be open with her dad anymore. Her dad shows no sense by telling SM everything, but OTOH, of course we tell our partners' stuff. So if she just doesn't share stuff with her dad, then SM won't have her to gossip about anymore. But that makes her really sad, because she's been super-close with her dad for many years now. And it's not weird to want to tell your dad about being pregnant before you tell the neighbours etc.
Are there other options for her? A confrontation with the SM would just end badly, IMHO, because the SM has no idea that other people matter too (MY OPINION, I'm not sure what my friend thinks).