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Fading fast

MSloan86's picture

So yesterday, SD comes to talk to her mom about taking her shopping. DW told her she could go with a friend. Then SD showers and is now ready for DW to take her and a friend. DW didn’t say she could take them. She had a ton of ingredients all over for some food prep she was doing. This turned into whining and a growing attitude. I left the room as my input will cause an escalation of any argument. I went to my office and closed the door. The volume of the conversation started getting louder and I realized the topic had changed to a new cell phone. DW and I had already spoken about the phone she wants, which requires another 2 year commitment +$100. In the 2 years she has had a phone she has been through 6 phones. All but the 1st were used phones I was able to get from various people. One phone failed that I wouldn’t put any responsibility on her for. But that makes 5 phones.
I have no intention of extended a cell contract for an expensive phone that has all the bells and whistles she doesn’t need. It has ZERO chance of lasting through the contract, and odds are it wont go ½ way. Seems that if she buys it with her money then it should be fine…
I didn’t hear every word, but I heard the tone, the entitlement and telling her mom whats what etc. I don’t think Ive liked her less. Spoiled, entitled, brat is all I saw, and its getting worse and her mom will never change.. That’s all I see anymore. DW isnt stopping it. I cant continue to be any part of it.

I called DW to talk about a few things, including the level of discomfort I have with SD’s behavior and attitude during the phone talk. DW starts with ‘shes been stressed’ ‘she has her period’ and more. She asked me that I respect her relationship with SD. She stays out of SD and my relationship. I pointed out that we don’t have a relationship anymore. Im so frustrated with her unacceptable behavior, I cant say, hey lets get some ice cream… Time we are in the same room is getting more and more tense.

I asked DW if by staying out of the relationship with her and SD means saying or doing nothing regardless of what is said, done, no matter how I feel about it. Her answer was yes. It sounds like she is saying stay out of her life.

I told her I don’t know if I can do that. I cant separate my life living with 2 families, DW and SD is a separate family. Me, DW and BD are another. BD I suppose is part of both as SD is very good with her most times.

I wasn’t looking to take the call that far. I just wanted to express how uncomfortable and frustrated it was making me. I said we could talk later, she mumbled something, and I know her well enough that she is pissed now. I ended the call with ILY, she just hung up.

I feel like I had the conversation that has solid roots in what will be the end of my marriage.

The only other option I see is total disengagement. I don’t think DW will accept that either.

I feel sick.


Amazed's picture

It seems on top of the typical "teenaged girl" attitude SD is loaded with, she's also loaded with the sense of entitlement that most divorced children have. It seems your wife is scared to upset her daughter by setting limits. You only really have 2 options at this point IMHO. 1.leave them both 2.stay and disengage as best as you can.

Disengaging is really almost impossible, you have to be a really specific type of person to be able to do it. I consider myself a hardass but even I wasn't able to disengage effectively.
I'm sure you've already tried explaining to DW that you get upset with the way SD is because you don't like to see DW get hurt by SD and I'm sure it did nothing to diffuse the situation. DW sounds really obtuse when it comes to SD. I don't know every little detail of your situation but I personally think if you're truly in love with DW and she truly makes you happy in all other aspects of life, then you should stick with her indefinitely. SD is just a pissy,bratty hornet buzzing around you and your wife. Maybe when SD is being mouthy and disrespectful to your wife you can come up with some sort of signal that it's time to stop the conversation and walk away? Have a family meeting and just state the things that make you uncomfortable...they have no choice but to listen uninterupted...set a timer for each person and give each person uninterrupted complaint time. Then address each issue...if shouting or attitudes appear,the meeting is over until the next day.

Maybe this stuff will help...maybe it won't. But at least try EVERYTHING before throwing in the towel. Just think to yourself that someday SD will be another man's problem,ie.her husband,her boyfriend,etc... THEN maybe she'll realize what a superbitch she is and she'll change. But you'll still have your wife and maybe be that much stronger for all this drama.

"We all have different desires and needs, but if we don't discover what we want from ourselves and what we stand for, we will live passively and unfulfilled.”

Last Nerve's picture

"I asked DW if by staying out of the relationship with her and SD means saying or doing nothing regardless of what is said, done, no matter how I feel about it. Her answer was yes. It sounds like she is saying stay out of her life."

If it hasn't, I'd be making sure it's on top of the agenda at your next session.

I'm at a bit of a loss Msloan... Not sure what to tell you. On the one hand, your DW says she's afraid you're going to ask her for a divorce, on the other, she seems to expect you to "know your place" when it comes to her dealings with SD.

My DH and I have this policy: WE are a TEAM. A UNITED front. Our relationship and happiness comes before the kids (mine AND his). If one of us is unhappy, sh*t flows downhill, and the unhappiness and tension WILL trickle down to the kids. Some kids (and I believe your SD is one of them) can sense the tension, and manipulate it to their advantage.

It seems to me that your DW is either WITH you, or AGAINST you. She needs to make up her mind, and get with the program, before it's too late... if it isn't already...

Sorry if I sound harsh, but I think you deserve better than what you're currently getting from her.

LotusFlower's picture

when I have to deal with SD17's attitude of entitlement....she and my DH butt heads more times than not...not that I am belittling the conflict between u, DW and SD, but I also feel that a little of it may be the "nature" of the beast..My DH too feels like he has lost the closeness the two of them shared, such as little trips for ice cream, etc....I however,can be at odds with SD17 to the point that we just cannot be in the same room, and then the next day things seem ok, which I think may be what yur DW and SD are doing...BY FAR are these teenage years the worst for me...its like a daily rollercoaster and u are just along for the what I try to do is really pick my battles...I do not tolerate the whining as it drives me absolutely insane and as far any electronic equipment...she is old enough and works so she can buy herself what she wants,of course, my house, my rules...u mess up, I take whatever I want whether u bought it or not..I can only hope that this stage wears off...but as LN*t rolls down hill and definately affects the kids...if u and DW are not on the same page...they know and then go in for the kill to get what they want....

"there are three sides to every story....your side, my side and the truth :)"

MSloan86's picture

Part of the issue is that she thinks Im making her choose between SD and me. I am not looking to deprive SD of things. If anything, if I have to leave, be it on my initiative or hers, SDs standard of living will drop considerably.

I will make sure my BD is taken care of, and plan to get as much custody as possible. But I will no longer support SD by paying for private school, or dance class, or soccer camp etc...

I dont think DW is capable of standing up to SD long term.

Im just feeling stuck. I cant see a happy future resulting in a divorce, with my BD in a broken family with I dont know what kind of dynamic. I also dont see me maintaining my cool for 8 or so years until SD would be gone on her own, or maybe matured...

I fight down anger anf frustrations about a number of things that when they start to pile up I feel like I will blow up the marriage if I dont get away. How long can I keep doing it? Not much longer, maybe DW comes around and agrees to some things, but I dont have a high confidence.

StepG's picture

was just about to post. Your DW wants you to stay out of her and SD relationship and you have no relationship with her. So although what I am about to say is way easier said than done then tell DW that if you have no relationship with SD and she wishes you to stay out of things with her and SD then you need to withdraw and monetary contribution that you provide towards SD such as private school, dance lessons, soccer camp etc...

That pisses me off to no end when the bio parents want our help monetarily to support the kids but when it come to input you need to stay in your Amen corner. That is the real problem here is that your DW has not made you, her, SD, and BD one family. It is as you stated: DW, SD, BD then there is DW, BD, and you.

My SS mom is that way with her BF. It is her and her sons even though one of them is his and then it is him and his girls. They fight ALOT over SS and how BM allows him to act. BF admits to my H that he can only do so much cause his mom throws in his face you are not his dad but funny cause BM only recognizes H as his dad when she wants something(off track) anyway you wife needs to recognize you as the daily male/father figure in SD life and if DW allows SD to treat her and you that way what respect does DW really have for you to begin with?

With H and I when SS is with us I act as SS mother while with us. I do all things mother would do and H never steps in when I handling situation with SS. I am pregnant with my first so I have no child but SS at this point but I do not see seperating me, H, and birth child from SS when it arrives.

I read your blogs and I feel so bad that your wife is allowing your SD to come btw you all. It is not you are asking her to pick you over her but she sees it that way and the truth is you just want her to parent the kid and teach her the respect of her parents. In my book parents/moms/dads come first as they are the leader of the family and if they are not putting each other first then there is no leader of the family thus there is no family and your SD knows it!

Hanny's picture

I'm sorry MSloan86 that you DW cannot see how you are in the middle on this. I personally think it would be impossible to disengage and still be living there. What kind of life is that? And your right, 8 years is a long time to go through this? I'm with the poster that said they don't understand your DW, sounds like she is afraid you will divorce her, but then she will not work toward making things workable so you won't. Do you think if you moved ahead towards a divorce, DW would see you are definitely serious, and would take some action with SD. Sounds like she is listening to the counselor, but won't do anything that he is suggesting. I wonder if SD knows if you and DW got a divorce, things would change for her as far as what money her mom would have to spend on her toys.

Sita Tara's picture

Entitlement. Ahhh.... my favorite topic.

SD will do the same regarding me usually, not DH, as in "Sita can drive us to the mall right? I mean she doesn't WORK so why not!?!?!" Or my other favorite, SD wants to call all her friends up to invite herself to the mall with them and volunteer their parent to drive b/c no other parents mind like DH and I do.

She also likes to throw out the cell phone neglect she faces in our care, as well as try to spin other arguments into that one claiming things like, "Well it's YOUR fault you didn't know where I was b/c YOU won't buy me a cell phone" or "I can't call you when practice is over b/c you REFUSE to provide me with a cell phone."

She also likes to tell us she can't call us from school if we need to know something about a sports event b/c they don't let her, yet I get at least one phone call a week from her at school asking me to run an errand over there b/c she forgot something, lost a permission slip, wants to come home sick, needs gym clothes, needs an advil, or has a sunburn that hurts could I run some aloe over?


I feel for you MS. Luckily for me DH doesn't buy into this. Though in the past he would cave on somethings that really upset me. In my opinion the worst thing you can do is set a consequence or boundary with these kids and then recant it b/c you just don't want to deal with them. They know they have your number believe me. SD even told me once, "You always say no first until I argue with you about it then you let me." I said, "Yeah I realized last week I was doing that, so bummer for you I'm not. You talked me into it yesterday, so today NO MEANS NO."

Then she even spun that into my fault-

SD- THAT's NOT FAIR! If I had known you were going to refuse to give in TODAY I wouldn't have gone YESTERDAY!

Really. And that's supposed to win your case?

"To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?" ~Hamlet Act III scene I

melis070179's picture

Sounds to me like your wife ASKED you to do it. See how long it lasts before she wants your input or help. Or see if she likes it better if you stay out of their relationship. Give her what she asked for and see what happens. I doubt it will last longer than a few months before she is asking for your input, help or advice...

"You never realize how short a month is until you pay child support"

MSloan86's picture

Actually I think she wants me to stay out of it when she doesnt like my input. She will still expect me to carry on as normal, which I cant do. If I do disengage, she will also disengage from me. We just got through that and started to reconnect. We had success as long as I shut my mouth and bit my tongue. I know there are things I need to do this with, but there are also things I cannot continue to do. I am beginning to develop more anger with the frustrations, which will lead to resentment.
I just think Im screwed. Plus I have been reviewing sites talking about divorce and specifically child custody. Managing to get 50% custody is a very tough thing to do, and most judges are persuaded that the child is best served with primary care by one parnet and visitation for the other. Also odds I got primary custody are about the same as winning the lottery given the existing circumstances.
Im feeling lower than I have in some time.

bellacita's picture

not sure what it is like in your state, and if youve researched it u obvioulsy know more than i do BUT in most states i think they like to give 50/50 whenever possible and both parents willing. when we went to court last time, the judge wanted DH to have more time w SD. he opted for less bc of a high conflict, harrassing BM. but bottom line is, the judges like to see both parents working together and having equal time w the kid(s) whenever and as much as possible. so dont lose hope.

im so sorry not much has changed for u. ur DW just doesnt get it. staying for your BD isnt the best option either...u know that. just dont let fear of losing BD keep u in a miserable home. BD will soon be old enough to pick up on that. fight for as much custody as u want w her bc i really think u would get it. best of luck in this sad situation.

"Given the right reasons and the right two people, marriage is a wonderful way of experiencing your life."
~the late great George Carlin

MSloan86's picture

There is a change in how custody is granted, and fathers are being given more than in the past, but still, the vast majority do not. In many cases its because they dont want it, or dont think they can get it.
Joint legal custody is very common with joint physical custody less common and in cases of it the mother is designated as primary. Children under the age of 8 and even more often with girls are given primariy custody to the mother. So much is stacked against me.

Add to that she has a cousin who runs a very successful family practice, thus giving her unlimited legal resources and I am pretty much screwed.

Hanny's picture

Do you think your DW would object to your having 50% custody? If you both can agree, then you can do whatever you want.

I would say I will disengage in step daughter entirely, but I will not disengage in our marriage and I do not expect you to either. Let her know, if she wants you to disengage with her daughter, okay, but you expect that both of you will continue working on your marriage, and if she is going to disengage in the marriage, then I would assume she wants a divorce. If she agrees to this then disengage from everything having to do with step daughter, everything, and see if it works, or if she likes it, and hold her to continue seeing a counselor to help your marriage. I really don't think you want this marriage to end, so what do you have to lose by trying this.

KittyKat's picture

MS, when your DW made the comment in counseling "I thought you were going to ask for a divorce", or facsimile thereof, do you think that, subconsciously, she really WANTS a divorce but hopes YOU call that shot first?

I honestly see no indication that she is looking to meet you halfway with this. I'm not sure if your SD has a relationship with her BIOdad, but if she doesn't, then you are 24/7 her "dad", step or not.

I know we would have MAJOR problems here if my BD (now 17, but still a teen) didn't give us a "break" every once in a while and go visit her dad. It really takes the pressure off my H knowing that he's not the ultimate "male" responsibility for this young woman. She has a great relationship with her dad (she doesn't see him all that much, but she is rarely here now in that she drives, is always with the friends, you get the picture)

The age of you SD is awful for all involved. She's still a young girl but not quite a woman. If there is any way to get her BIOdad involved more, I'd highly suggest it. If not, I don't get a good feeling, bud, sorry.

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."-Eleanor Roosevelt

MSloan86's picture

Do I think that she wants a divorce? Ive certainly considered it. I dont think she wants a divorce, I think she wants a family but wants it her way only, even if that means divorce.

Biodad isnt in the picture. A once a year visit and a phone call now and then. He doesnt live nearby.
I have her 24/7 but she honestly has no dad. Her biodad didnt/doesnt bother, and her mother wont let me parent. Does she see me as an authority figure? Yes, but a peripheral one. Her mother makes the decisions impacting her, and she pretty much controls her mother.