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Is it always this depressing?

pinkrainclouds's picture

Hi, I'm new to this blogging thing and letting my feelings out on the internet. I hardly ever post to my facebook page so this is a big step for me. I'm here to talk to people in a similar situation as me, get advice, give advice if I can and hopefully figure some things out. 

I have 2 step daughters, 14 and 12 and no bio children of my own. They are both totally disrespectful, rude, make (horrible) excuses about everything and just all around don't listen. I ask them to do something, no response. My husband asks them to do the same exact thing a moment later, done without hesitation. I have tried raising my voice, talking nicely, even paying them an allowance to do just normal things like put away their clothes and clean their rooms. The 14 yo, looks at me with such a searing hate filled look in her eyes that sometimes I'm scared to even ask her how her day was. 

All of this is awful but the hardest part is probably that my husband does absolutly nothing to back me up. I dont ask anything of them that would put them out or make anything difficult for them. Simple chores and small responsibilities to make everybody's life easier in the house. I tried talking to my husband about thier behavior and he changes the subject. I feel alone in my house and left out in the rain. 

So my question is, is it always this depressing and lonely? Does it get better? When? How? 



lieutenant_dad's picture

The only way it gets better is to either change your attitude or leave. I highly recommend looking up disengagement and practicing that. Your DH has made it clear that he doesn't want you to parent, as have the girls. So don't parent. But also don't help them. Girls need a ride? Guess DH needs to take them wherever they need to go. Didn't do the dishes? Sounds like DH is going to do them.

Teens are hard to begin with. When they are snotty and their parent doesn't back you, it's even worse. Disengage and just be the wife. Pretend that the girls are just extended family - an in-law. Be polite and civil, but nothing more.

Cover1W's picture

Disengagement or leave or lose your mind.  I chose disengagement and it changed everything for ME.  Take care of yourself.  You wouldn't put up with friends or other family members treating you like that so just don't engage with it.  Stop trying to make them like you, stop trying to be their parent, don't let yourself get into a situtation in which you have responsibility but no authority.  Do a lot of reading here.

GoingWicked's picture

Disengage, don't tell them to do anything, if they leave a mess in an are you use, pick it up, put it in a trash bag place it in the garage. 

Don't argue with them.  In my case I don't even talk to my SD, she is always trying to start drama with me.

Make your DH 100% responsible for them.

Find outside friends, go line dancing, find a book or fitness club, get out of the house and away from the hostility.

tog redux's picture

Yep, you aren't their parent, they don't have to listen (per your DH). So since you aren't their parent, you also don't have to cook, do laundry, drive them places, or anything else that parents do.

Leave it all to your DH and focus on yourself and your life. You will find peace. 

Kiwi_koala's picture

What is it that you are trying to get out of this situation? Do you want to help parent his girls and you're upset that your husband isn't supporting you in that? Or are you just parenting them because you believe it's expected of you? 

pinkrainclouds's picture

More so parenting because that feels like whats expected of me. I feel alot of pressure from my parents because I'm an only child and they are their only "grandchildren". 

pinkrainclouds's picture

No way! I do not want my own kids and my husband doesn't want any more kids. I want respect! I want my husband to back me up when I ask the kids to do something. I'm not asking them to move furniture or clean up after me. I dont think I ask for too much or for unreasonable things. If I ask the girls to clean up after themselves and they don't do it, I want my husband to stick up for me. And I dont think that's too much to ask for either. 

Kiwi_koala's picture

Okay. I don't think it's too much to ask but, judging from your husband's behavior it doesn't appear that he wants you involved with parenting them . With that knowledge I wouldn't help him with a thing in regards to them. No driving, cleaning, cooking, hw help etc. The fact that he won't stick up for you if they're rude though says a lot about him and how he sees you. Are you sure this is a man you wish to stay with? Especially since you've tried speaking to him about it and nothing changes.

CLove's picture

SD used to leave her dishes and messes all over.

"Sweety - can you clean up your mess? Oh it was SD's? Oh can you take care of that? Thanks love..."

If you dont have back up, you must resort to this.

tog redux's picture

Disengagement doesn't mean you can't still be nice to the kids, it just means you don't parent them.  Your parents can still act like grandparents to them.

beebeel's picture

Disengagement is good advice, but I would lose a lot of respect for him if my DH allowed his kids to be so rude to me.

captjacksprrw's picture

Take it from me ... I came in with to SS.  One just entering high school at the time and one in his first year of college. Yes, they did not help out and yes I just wanted for everyone's life to be easier.  They were disrespectful to DW, rooms were a wreck, etc etc. 

Do Not take years like I did (when you have a long time available read some of my ramblings).  The only way for this to get better is a ton of work with DH.  You two will need counseling and he will need to grow a pair, Man up and be a father.  Unless he will meet you part way and establish the two of you as the ADULTS and kids are the KIDS you might as well hang it up now.  If you are truly in love and it is worth the fight then fight hard and make it clear that you two are the adults these are the kids and boundaries/rules are needed.  If not then he obviously does not value his wife and does not care if he loses her.  This very thing has nearly wrecked my marriage and thank God we are now working together on a good rebuild.

Thisisnotus's picture

Just ignore them, period. They make a mess....step over it or throw it all in the trash when they leave. Go out and do something else while they are at your house. Don't cook for them, don't shop for them, nothing. It is hard to do, but it's either that or drive yourself crazy.

Even when I did those things, though, I was still angry and it as still hard.

StepUltimate's picture

Glad you found StepTalk. Check out the Teenager forums... 


ntm's picture

You cannot care more than the bio parents. If they get in trouble at school, simply pop the popcorn and watch the show. But don't get involved. 

The difficult thing for me with disengaging was how pissy DH would get about me making him pick up after them and having to cook and clean when they were here. He felt I was being petty. I still have a lot of resentment over that quite frankly. To him it was one cereal bowl. To me it was one cereal bowl times three times a week times 52 weeks in a year. 

This is my house and I finally banned them from it. Well, they're allowed back once they apologize for the horrible things they said to me. It'll be a cold day in hell before that ever happens. The ban is probably as much about his allowing the disrespect and refusing to have my back when they pulled crap (the old I didn't see it happen, sooo) as it is about their behavior. 

And he supposedly wanted my involvement. Nope, stay out of it. Make him 100% responsible. I wouldn't sweetie him either. This is your kid's mess, you need to take care of it.