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I don’t know what to do

abenny's picture

Making a long story short, I married my husband 13 years ago. My husband had been previously married to a woman who had 3 children from another man and got pregnant of him when they had been together for 4 months. Fast forward a few years, my husband got out of the military while they were still married. He raised her 3 other children plus the child they had together. Then she was unfaithful to him, claimed he hit her and put him in jail with false accusation, but the judge dropped the charges. His life was destroyed. Six hrs after he left the house, she put another man in the house. Fast forward 3 years I came into the picture. We got married and I became a stepmom of a 9 years old girl. The back and forth was awful. We had our daughter 42% of the time, and my husband was hopeful I was going to offer the girl the love and structure her mom wasn’t offering her. However her mom was a swinger, and was just concerned in hurting my husband and I through our daughter. We then had a don when she was 14. Things were ok for the most part. We had intense fights at times. Then after four months my son had been born, we discovered our daughter was cutting herself. Her sister whom ran away from home at some point when she was only 17, encouraged her to move in full time with us and allow us to help her go through the custody change. Her sister ran away from home because her mom locked her up at a psychiatric institution and tried to deem her crazy so she could take her own daughters son away from her so she could collect child support money. After the longest 9 months of custody battle, my husband and I had full custody of her. I didn’t know how to handle a depressed teenager who was glued to my hip. Her mom told my husband that she did not want her own daughter visiting her over the dummer because her daughter hurt her family. My husband took her to CA to visit family so I could breathe for a moment. We had lots of ups and downs, fights and all, but we also had wonderful moments as a family. Knowing my daughter missed her mother and knowing she wrote a suicidal song, we confronted her. I didn’t know what to say. I asked her if byvwanting to commit suicide was the best way to handle her problems and that by commuting suicide she would be  running away from her problems, in that at the end of the day our lives would MoveOn and she would no longer be here to leave her life. Fast forward a couple years, my daughter decided to move back in with her mom when she was 18 years old. She wanted to go to nursing school just like me, but neither for dad  or her mom ever plan for college funding, and I couldn’t sign loans for her to go to school and accumulate another $100,000 in bills for her, while I myself was going to nursing school and accumulating that kind of that for my own schooling. Her mom wasn’t going to help. Then my daughter wanted to join the Marines  so she could get college money at the end of her time. One year after she joined the Marines she decided to marry the boyfriend she had from high school. She just wanted a courthouse wedding, but I offered with my son-in-law‘s mom to put together wedding at his parents house. My daughter wore my wedding dress that I got married a.m. and she had a beautiful wedding. After that time things got so much better, and I visited her in Disneyland and took her my son to Disneyland, I sent her gifts, I try to be encouraging and try to do anything and everything a parent could do for her despite the fact that her years as a teenager leaving In my house you were very rocky. We have fights. But every parent told me that fights were normal between teenager daughters and moms, even more so with stepmom’s. So I knew that things will get better at some point.. But then last year something happened in the military  that shook us up. My daughter was raped. She tried to commit suicide. But nobody told me this until most likely in August of last year. We had a family reunion here in my house in July of last year and my daughter came. She barely spoke with me and she never wanted to spend any time with me. I couldn’t understand. Then I learned about everything and try to be more sympathetic toward What she was feeling. Then we went to Disneyland at the end of September and my husband told me how much my daughter was having a hard time with me and all we went to do when she was a teenager even though that had been a long time ago. My daughter decided to move back to Oregon When her time was up from the military nothing happened to the guy who raped her. She came to my house for Christmas which we celebrated on December 23rd, I gave her and my son-in-law wonderful gifts and they came to my house at 10 o’clock in the morning and didn’t leave until almost 11 o’clock at night. But and then my 40th birthday came around in January which she went to the birthday gathering in a restaurant with all of her friends. She never spoke with me more than just saying happy birthday. But then I learned that she’s in a very dark place and that she doesn’t want anything to do with me anymore because how much she hurt from what we went through when she was a teenager.  I gave her in my son-in-law wonderful gifts and they came to my house at 10 o’clock in the morning and didn’t leave until almost 11 o’clock at night. But in then my 40th birthday came around in January which she went to the birthday gathering in a restaurant with all of her friends. She never spoke with me more than just saying happy birthday. But then I learned that she’s in a very dark place and that she doesn’t want anything to do with me anymore because how much you hurt from what we went through when she was a teenager. She doesn’t remember that a lot of what she went through was due to what her mom did by cheating on her dad, putting him in jail, leaving a life of exchanges sexual partners. Not only that her mom wanted to use her to hurt my husband and I. I try to doThe best that I could, but nothing made a difference. It’s been five years that our relationship has gotten so much better and to my daughter she doesn’t want anything to do with me. She just now told me two days ago that she never wants to see me again and then she hates me more than anybody in this world. I am Understand she is hurting and she doesn’t understand how big of a mess The divorce of her parents affected her. However yes we fought,  yes we both said things that we shouldn’t have said to each other, but to be honest with you every person says things that they shouldn’t have said from time to time. We then met up on Friday and after she asked me why did I hate her, why did I resented her, why did I tell her that we were going to MoveOn if she committed suicide, and all I told her was that honey I love you, our situation was very stressful, and a lot of times  My lack of knowledge and experience with her situation and specific didn’t allow me to do what I should have done for her and I ask for her forgiveness. She then at 8:31 in the morning Cut me off of her life. I still haven’t talk to my husband about it as I know he is very confused about everything that’s happening and feels a lot of guilt for what she went through even though it wasn’t his  Fault the fact that he’s ex-wife cheated on him and did everything she could to destroy him. Now I honestly don’t know what to do. My daughter has so much anger in darkness inside of her and she blames everything on me even though the events that she remembers didn’t quite happen the way that she says they did as I am as we know every story has two sides. My husband now he’s confused, and he says that we are never going to get the  fault the fact that he’s ex-wife cheated on him and did everything she could to destroy him. Now I honestly don’t know what to do. My daughter has so much anger in darkness inside of her and she blames everything on me even though the events that she remembers didn’t quite happen the way that she says they did as I am as we know every story has two sides. My husband now is confused, and he says that we are never going to get Divorced because our son is not going to go through what his daughter went through. But now there is this division and I know because she has so much anger she’s going to try to poke me and try to get a reaction from me so the drama can perpetuate. I wasn’t perfect as I know I am never perfect. I try to do the best that I could with the little knowledge I have and with the best intentions to raise her to be a decent adult, not be pregnant as a teenager as pregnancy during the teenager years  was a common A common thing and her mom side of the family as every woman in that family got pregnant while they were teenagers. I honestly don’t know what to do. I want to confront my husband but I need to understand his side and be compassionate that his daughter is in a very dark place. Can anyone give me an advice?

abenny's picture

Forgot to mention that  my daughter got married wearing my own wedding dress. I was there for her first period, prom, military swearing day, when she fell apart when she found out she wasn’t going to get deployed I was there also giving her TLC, Christmas presents, trips and so much more. 

tog redux's picture

Can you edit that and put in paragraphs? No offense meant, it's really hard to read a wall of text.

abenny's picture

I need to log in through a computer to edit. Thank you for your feedback. 

Too old for this's picture

   People on this site are truly interested in helping you see your way clear.  But they need your help to understand.

abenny's picture

Absolutely. Thank you. I am not familiar how forum works, but I am now logged into a computer (before I typed up everything on my phone) and I am trying to find the editting button so I can edit my original post. 

tog redux's picture

I kind of muddled through, but first off, GAH, she is not YOUR daughter.  That's not just splitting hairs, a lot of this is because you see her as YOUR child, and she's not.  She's her mother's daughter.  She may have cared about you, you may have raised her, but she isn't your daughter and she will never be.  She has a connection to her mother, however toxic, and now she blames you for all that's gone wrong in her life. Unfairly, I'm sure.

Just let her go. Own what you need to own in terms of what part you might have played, but let her go and let her decide if she wants anything to do with you. This is why it's not wise to get so involved with stepkids or see them as your own.  They often take the path of their least healthy parent.

If your husband divorces you after all you've done for his kid, just because she's angry at you, he's an asshole. His daughter is damaged and he doesn't have to let her destroy his marriage.

ldvilen's picture

Very profound and I agree: "This is why it's not wise to get so involved with stepkids or see them as your own.  They often take the path of their least healthy parent."

theoldredhen's picture

Aw, Hon,

You're discovering what so many of us stepmoms have learned to our peril; biomom, no matter how despicable, will always take precedence over the most sterling of stepmothers. It's simply biology.

Using stepmom as a handy target of all familial woes keeps the 'first family' safe from having to examine their own hearts. On some level, those awful people do realize the injustice of their behaviour but, like all disordered personalities, refuse to accept blame.

Having raised your SD as your own makes her misdirected cruelty even harder to endure. How sad, that we SMs who danced into our 'blended' families with high hopes and love to give, learned just how fickle and heartless stepkids can be. 

((((HUGS))))

 

abenny's picture

My huband now is not talking with me or showing any affection towards me. I mentioned to him that it is hurting the fact that he is withdrawing from me and withholding affection, and he simply looked at me and walked away. I honestly don't know how long I can take his cold shoulder when I know I did the right thing and asked for his daughter's forgiveness even though her side of the story is not really quite what happened. Our best friend is deeply involved in helping us and our spiritual leader is now getting involved too. I'm just not sure how long I can handle this. 

sandye21's picture

I agree with Tog - she is not your daughter.  It sounds admirable that you would want her to FEEL like your daughter but with skids it rarely works.  Are you really going to allow your DH to manipulate you by rejection?  He's holding your marriage hostage instead of placing it as top priority.  Let DH know you are not putting up with it.  Period. 

Perhaps your spiritual leader will help.  Please --- do not ever apologize to a skid for something you didn't do -- ever.  You've been a doormat for some time so it is going to take a bit of time for it to sink in to your DH's head that things are changing.  If he continues to punish you because YOU don't want to be a scapegoat anymore, save up and formulate an exit plan.   Do you own at least 1/2 the house?  If you do, you can kick him to the curb.

ldvilen's picture

Here is a link to a site on how to deal with betrayal (of any kind): https://www.aconsciousrethink.com/7338/dealing-with-betrayal/

Note that #9 is Cut Ties with Repeat Offenders.  I found it interesting in reading your post that you barely mentioned your own son.  Of course, right now you are feeling betrayed and lost and the loss of your "daughter."  But, whatever you do, don't forget your own son.  If anything, you need to look at this as your SD is now an adult and capable of making her own decisions, right or wrong.  Let her go.  In some ways, your DH has the right idea--let her go and focus on your marriage and especially the son you have together.

It sounds like you are in the early stages of dealing with the reality of this situation and the betrayal.  You feel, like so many SMs do, that you gave so much to your stepchild and got so little or even pissed on in return.  The sad truth is, you will never get any sort of reimbursement or even much acknowledgement for what you have done for your SD.  StepTalk is pretty much about the only place I've seen where a SP can get any sort of empathy for simply being a SP and struggling with that.  Most, unfortunately, tend to think that regardless of what the bios and SKs have done, the SP is solely to blame if all don't get along.

It might be best to work with a counselor well experienced in blended families on this, but start by pinpointing precisely what you are feeling betrayed by?  Is it your SD you feel betrayed you or your DH or ___?  Off hand, it sounds like you are feeling betrayed by your SD and your DH is somehow not supporting you in reference to your feelings, but maybe your DH wants you to move on, and you're unwilling.  I don't know.  I'm just saying that since you are in the early stages, things are very confusing and complicated for you right now.  I know this is difficult to do, but focus on advice on how to let your SD go vs. all of the raw anger and feelings of betrayal.  You need to grieve your loss, but you also need to live in the present and start to deal with how to move on, positively.  In that sense, it doesn't matter if what your SD did was right or wrong.  What matters is letting her go and moving on with your husband and son in a good direction.

abenny's picture

Thank you for your insight. My son is the most loving, caring child I have ever met. In our home we love all things Disney, and once a year we go as a family to either Disneyland or Disney World and focus just on us. I work in one of the biggest level 1 trauma center operating rooms in the state I live in, so the stress I experience daily is a lot. But my son is my angel. He is pure, polite and even though he’s only 8, he asks me how my day is going and tells me I am the love of his life. I have to stay strong for him. 

StepUltimate's picture

Off-topic but my sister-in-law got flown to a trauma center this weekend - I am so grateful for the stress you endure in helping save lives! Her surgery is in a few hours & I'm so thankful for all the medical personnel and everything you guys do for your patients. I am thankful for all you do. God bless you.

/veryEmotional

abenny's picture

Thank you so much for your kind words! I love what I do and I could never do any other job. I love working behind the scenes and still making a different in our patients and their families lives. Thank you for blessing me as well. 

justmakingthebest's picture

The big thing for you to do here is get counseling for yourself. You need to make sure that you are ok.

Is she still married? Does she have a good man for a husband? Is she still talking to your DH?

abenny's picture

yes, she is still married and I feel for the poor guy. And yes, she’s still talking with my husband. However, yesterday when he left to church with our son and his mom (well, I’m a nurse and I worked until late Saturday night and I woke up with a tremendous headache and couldn’t handle leaving the house), his had a great attitude. But then when he returned from church he avoided at all cost. Would not show any affection towards me or even directly talked to me. He slept on the guest bedroom and when I went there to ask what was going on he told me to get out. I’m still wondering what happened st church between our best friend and the minister and what they said to him. I also wonder if my step daughter is pressuring him some way some how in the sense that she will only keep a relationship with him if he leaves me. I couldn’t sleep the whole night long. I have a meeting later this afternoon with our church minister and wife so they can hear my side of the story since they already heard my husband’s side of the story. I’m certainly not pressuring him. But I wonder if SD is. 

CANYOUHELP's picture

You would be the blame regardless, SM's always are.... or at least 80% of the time, research indicates. Welcome to the club of unwanted-daddee imposed "family." If your DH is going to treat you poorly as a consequence of her "dark place"then you might wish to rethink this marriage, regardless of how long you have been married.  Seems he is letting her darkness destroy his marriage, as well. If he is playing games with you, based upon her feelings about you.....think about if you want to stay with him.

ldvilen's picture

Yes, a big heads-up on this from me too--even so-called professional counselors and esp. clergy, who seem to think that all women even in the year 2019 are supposed to be submissive to their man, no matter what, will think that SM is basically an intrusive lot and is supposed to stay out of the REAL family's business.  They think that SM is supposed to suck it up and take any which way for the poor ol' divorced family.

Sometimes the more I think about this, I get so frustrated that our society appears to give a pass to any divorce and the fallout from that.  I've never been divorced, but the "this excuses everything!" attitude that so many appear to accept along with it almost wants me to get one just so I can get some empathy.  As a SM you certainly get none.  But, once I divorce I can go on and on about what a butt-wipe my husband is and the toady children and so on.  I can booze it up with the rest of my GFs, and we can all group hug and talk about how screwed we all got.  But, as a SM, I have no where to go, other than on these pages or other similar blogs.

Best of luck to you, but, don't let anyone try to tell you you are wrong for not doting on your ho step-child.  I'm sure you've done some things wrong, but the bulk, I can assure you, was done by bio-mom and bio-dad.  Regardless of what went on with their marriage or you, they have 99.9% of the responsibility to raise their own child.  If you don't think you are guilty of something, don't accept that.  Really!  Tell the lot of them to bug-off, too, if they keep trying to nail you for it.  Since SMs have such little support system, they make wonderful scapegoats and targets, and unfortunately, many in our society have no problem jumping on this bandwagon too.  They'd much rather beat SM into submission and make her literally sacrifice herself for THEIR family, rather than have to take any responsibility themselves for how they messed up.  Be careful--that's all I can say.

Rags's picture

This is tragic.  My key point of advice is to stop chasing the kid and your DH. That he is behaving as a juvenile, sleeping in another room, demanding that  you leave when  you are trying to work through the issues, tells me more than I need to know about this butthead.

Take care of  you.

Good luck.

ldvilen's picture

“Then she [BM] was unfaithful to him. . . Six hrs after he left the house, she put another man in the house. Fast forward 3 years I came into the picture. We got married . . . However her mom was a swinger, and was just concerned in hurting my husband and I through our daughter [SD].”  With a bio-parent like that, what's missing?  What's missing is a medal the OP deserves for all of the self-sacrifices she made in a attempt to give someone else's child a chance in life--a chance that her own mother certainly didn't have any interest in giving her.