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I hate being a (step)parent.

StepMomandOverIt's picture

I never particularly wanted kids, but I also wasn't opposed to the concept if the timing/partner/circumstance felt right. I married my husband 3 years ago, and he has 3 kids: SD23, SS21, SD16. Within 6 months of our marriage, BM of the oldest two commmitted suicide. I met them for the first time when we flew into town the 12hrs later. It was utter chaos with gun-toting, car-stealing, hoard-cleaning, funeral-planning madness all around. When we made it through and home 2 weeks later (if that's what you can even call it... DH was cleaning up the blood himself), then the OTHER BM of SD16 decided that she'd dump SD16 on us because "she didn't even care if she knew her mom didn't want her, she just didn't want to deal with her anymore."  ... Did I mention: I never even got to have a honeymoon?

I am financially indenpendent, level-headed, and THE person you want around in a crisis. I'm emotionally present and a damn good cook. I come from a loving family with a bajillion kids, but NOTHING could've prepared me for the 3 years of soul-crushing destruction I've endured. SD16 and BM have wreaked holy havoc on our (my) life. He's "used to it" but I absolutely REFUSE to participate in the insanity anymore. 

SD16 attempted suicide in September, our wedding anniversary weekend (which is significant, because each year we say "THIS year we'll actually be able to do something because things are peaceful....), just before school started. She had been living with BM because in the previous Jan - right after I personally paid to upgrade our ENTIRE life to accomodate her: from a 2 bed apt to a 5 bed house in a prestigious gated community, in which she has her own room/bathroom... the likes of which she had NEVER had, DH asked SD16 not to ride her new hoverboard in her mother's house because BM had mentioned that she disobeyed and was disrespectfully doing it anyway, and within 2 minutes of getting in the car with her BM the hugest blowup happened. She left our house and got in the car with BM, screamed "you snitched on me" and began unsafely fighting as they were driving. DH got 3 phone calls in the next 10mins varying from "i'm bringing her back" to "you have to come get her because I'm hitting her and she's thrown herself on the ground outside the apt and I can't get her to get up"... this is a SIXTEEN YEAR OLD, mind you, not a toddler.

When DH arrived to get her, he walked up, grabbed her coat and began walking the other way. BM pushed and struck him, screaming "don't treat her that way!"... he went back to the car. We got texts later saying "big mistake. the neighbors saw everything. she's coming to live with me."

SD16 was out of our house until September, but the lovely gifts we got in her absence? A visit from DYFS, a police report, and lies told to the school. Nothing even happened, and BM specifically requested he come get her because she herself was hitting her and couldn't control her, but they figured that it was a good way to "punish" him for not doing things their way.

Fast forward, SD has been living with BM since Jan, and now BM and SD16 are fighting, even physically brawling frequently. SD16 is left alone much of the time with way too much freedom and even tells her mom what she's going to do and when she's doing it - or worse, just disappears for entire weeks at a time. (SD's maturity level is more like 13 than most other 16yo's who think they're grown.)

Well, now DYFS insists that she stay with us, because when BM took SD out of hospital right after suicide (too early, without treatment), on the car ride home SD grabbed the wheel and fought with BM because she wanted her phone back (the phone was part of the suicide trigger). They went right back to the emergency room, then straight to our house.

Now she's here, with a bunch of agencies involved trying to fix the complete disgusting mess of a life that's happening: in-home therapists, mentors, child advocates, family advocates, parent coaches, blah blah blah..... 

I advocated more than the BParents. I kicked and screamed and got people on the phone and got her treatment started - when the agencies were 2 months late in making it happen.... But the manipulation and lies are steadily ongoing. To get what she wants (to go to parties, concerts, etc etc) she's told the school she's being beaten and is afraid for her life. NONE of that has happened and we've had DYFS call/show up AND had another fun-toting cop show up at our door. AGAIN. She is extremely dramatic and says she's having anxiety attacks and is scared for her life when DH corrects her behavior and anyone is around to listen, but I've heard her responses when she hasn't known I was in the house, and she was a completely different person... cheerful, even.

I can't breathe or function in my own house, that I paid SO handsomely for. My husband is a shell of a person (understandable) and we have ZERO intimacy. I hate to even admit this, but I hate her. I really do. I am so averse to her presence, her voice, her cheap teenage body spray. I have zero trust and zero desire to build anything here anymore.... even with him, as he's made it clear that he won't have an intimate relationship with anyone who doesn't WANT a relationship with her. He keeps saying "family" and what "we" are doing. It literally makes me nauseous. I feel like a cornered animal and am desperately trying not to eviscerate this entire toxic network that's multiplied around me.

I'm starting therapy next week (for the second time since we married) in order to deal with the toxicity that is HIS baggage and his life. 

I don't have ANY of this drama personally, and I am a genuinely happy, determined, motivated person otherwise.

I want out of this marriage, because I can't stand to think of a life forever connected to her.


God bless you if you got down to the bottom of this... there are so many things I didn't even write in here, but it's honestly so much that I don't even know how I could possibly manage to fit it all in. 


CLove's picture

I understand that the child SD16 has been quite the nightmare, and for what its worth - everyone tells me that teenagers are nightmares, bio or not. I have no bio kids, and went through the teen years starting at around 15, with Toxic Feral Eldest SD now 19. 

They learn how to be from their mothers. Thats the one thing I have noticed - the learned behavior doesnt change - people are pretty set by 12. The more you can distance yourself from this toxic SD, the better. 

You have a DH problem, here, thats pretty plain. Once you said "lack of intimacy" due to your lack of relationship with Toxic SD (sounds very trailer trashy to me - much like Toxic Troll who hit and choked Toxic Feral a while back.) I thought to myself that DH really doesnt seem to have your back on things. He sounds very passive (why should YOU be the one advocating for HIS child...?) about things, just lets the BM and SD walk all over, without consequences.

You should definitely pursue your therapy - and definitely examine your marriage and if you want to stay. If things are bad now, they dont get better without your DH and marriage being solid. MY SO, now DH stood by my side as Toxic Feral said things like" your choosing your GF over your own DAUGHTER, your BLOOD" when he told her she needed to show respect and not be a jerk (shes very rude to well as disrespectful)

Your SD doesnt respect anyone apparently. And you must remember: she has two parents and you are not one of them. You must disengage, or you will fall further down the rabbit hole.

For what its worth, I cannot stand Toxic Feral either - her funk, her smell, the sound of her voice, her heavy footsteps. I dont find her jokes funny. It was the best feeling in the world when she graduated, got a job, and ghosted us, moving somewhere else. Up until just recently when she moved in with Toxic Troll her mother. They dont get better, they get more like their mothers.

StepMomandOverIt's picture

I know DH is counting down the days until he's done with his parenting obligation and he can ride off into the sunset with me... but I can't wait that long, and I have learned that I can't count on it. They create one toxic mess after another, as they do not know how to live without the drama. It's a compulsion, and they are sick.

Also, ex wife BM's suicide was the culmination of long-standing mental illness: she never recovered after they lost their first child at 7mos. (They got pregnant at 17, married to "do the right thing" and lost the baby on his first Halloween to SIDS) I think he's so "passive" because he himself is shut down since that incident - not to mention the massive amounts of cheating that ex wife BM, BM, and several girlfriends in between committed. Lunacy. So sad.


I feel for him. I love him. I've been keeping things afloat for 3 years by my very presence, much less the amount of physical, emotional, and financial labor I've contributed. He actually is my best friend, but I feel I've reached the point of no return... like, we are officially "friend zoned"..... if, and that's a big IF, we could rebuild that side of us (which I was pretty much the initiator of, most of the time, as I am a very straightforward person), I feel a little insulted that I'm not desired enough to have to.... you know?

CLove's picture

Even when things were at their worst, my DH still desired me.

I think that is a red flag. 

The toxic sludge - constant drama - I have loads of experience in this area  - my Blogs are a virtual diary of everything I went through. So many dramas, that it sucks the life out of you - and desire. You sound very strong. Hopefully you can get that spark back before it goes out forever.

tog redux's picture

You need to separate from him. If he's withholding intimacy from you because you don't want a relationship with his personality disordered daughter, then there is nothing here to save. Put your fancy house on the market (sounds like you bought it) and find another place to live.  If you guys can work it out, you can get back together, but you can't stay in this situation, that's clear. Therapy won't fix what he isn't willing to do to make life bearable for you.

Disillusioned's picture

I really feel for you, that's just so unbelivably hard. Your DH is pretty fortunate to have you. And so is your SD, if only she actually got that

Survivingstephell's picture

Where do you want to be a year from now?  In a better place or still spinning your wheels in stephell??  Use therapy to figure that out.  You can't change him, only yourself.  

Harry's picture

Then your DH is the one at fault.  Your DH is the problem NOT SD. He should put his foot down, control his SD or move her someplace else. He cares for loser SD more then you.  You can not get over that 

lieutenant_dad's picture

DH can move out and raise his daughter alone. Until then, install nanny cams around the public areas of your home, including hallways. At least then you'll have proof of SD's behavior.

Your DH had years before you arrived on the scene to fix this, or distance himself from it. Yes, he is her father, but allowing SD to choose where she is living, not seeking legal/mental health/parenting guidance, and all around just living like an ostrich with his head in the sand is inexcusable. He either needs to be giving 110% right now to make this better, or he isn't doing enough.

It's totally your call if you want to leave. You haven't helped raise this girl. She isn't your problem or responsibility. If It's too much, then give them their walking papers, sell the big house, and find somewhere quiet and small to live.

classyNJ's picture

You have just gave words to my worst fear.

SS16 just had Dyfus at our house because he was failing and we took his phone away. He lied and told someone at school that my DH beat him - you can read my past blogs - and how he is back with BM.

DH, myself, SS20 and BM herself knows it only a matter of time before he threatens suicide because he will get in trouble at her house and want to come back home.  DH told the lawyer yesterday that SS16 in no longer welcome back to live with us and it will be long time before he will be able to stay the night and that him and I will NEVER be alone together.  But if Dyfus gets involved and MAKES us take him?  What recourse do we have?

And yes - get nannycams.  They helped us tremendously in this case as we have visual and sound proof that he was never touched!

theoldredhen's picture

Hey, StepMomandOverIt,

You've stated:

~ he's made it clear that he won't have an intimate relationship with anyone who doesn't WANT a relationship with her.~

Hon, that's blackmail, emotional abuse and a deal-breaker. Thankfully, you appear to be a woman with a lot of common sense and a clear awareness of your untenable situation. You do realize that your life is miserable, with little hope of improving any time soon, and that's the first step to freeing yourself.

SupposedEvilStepMom's picture

I am sorry for what you're going thru. Sometimes (alot lately) I feel the same way. There has to be hope tho...right. I have to believe that if we just stick it out until the brats are gone, we can rebuild our marriages. The people we love are in there somewhere. I have to believe we can get back there.