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The Light at the End of the Tunnel: Mini-wife Fate

JRI's picture

I'm the veteran BM & SM of 5 reliving my steplife as I read the posts.  Many of you have mini-wives, i have one, too.  Only difference is mine is 58 years old.  This is a cautionary tale about how that dynamic can end up.

DH & SD were always close.  She was his first, looked like him & is his only daughter.  They bonded more closely when BM left.

SD was always indulged more than the other kids, her own horse & new sports car at 16, for example.  But it went further than objects.  She lied, manipulated & got the other children in trouble.  He'd yell & threaten but never follow thru with any consequences.

In her teens, she moved back & forth between BM & us.  Now that I'm on Steptalk, i realize that this was just another instance of no consequences.  She never had to come to terms with a parent's boundaries, she'd just move.  We were mistakenly in rescue mode, "Poor SD". She moved in here 3 or 4 times, each time bringing chaos, disruption & trouble.  Of course, she resented me & did whatever she could to cause trouble between DH & me, often successfully.  She was sly, cunning & stteet-smart.   Part of me hated her, part of me pitied her.  In good moments, I'd think, "She's our survivor daughter".

We sent her to cosmetology school & she got her license.  She married twice & had 3 kids.  Both husbands divorced her for infidelity.  She's always in "grass is greener" mode, looking for a man with more money.  I think she keeps looking for a new "Dad", a man who will indulge her & expect nothing in return.

After her second divorce, things went downhill.  She was barely working, using drugs & acting like a zombie.  She was down to 100 lb.  We had an intervention - didn't help.

As she moved from apartment to apartment, we ended up paying more: car payments, utilities, insurance, etc.  We weren't the only ones, she " borrowed" from siblings, her own kids & friends, too, using guilt trips, pity parties, whatever worked.

The situation became more dire.  She has some physical issues & was able to get disability.  I went to one doctor appointment & testified that her comprehension, judgment & memory were severely impaired ( imo from drugs). Our survivor daughter was gone.

She was homeless & ended up.moving back here, a nightmare of drug use,  lying, theft & "night creeping".  DH could see it, we were living it, but he couldnt/wouldnt stop it.  We finally decided on a plan to subsidize her living elsewhere.  I told him if he ever let her move in again, id l eave him.  We separated our finances.  I told him what id pay & not a penny more.  This agreement has been a godsend.

So now, SD is 58.  She has poor physical & mental health, no job, no money.  She has no teeth (dentures) & her looks are gone.  She has used every human she ever came in contact with so has no friends or family who will take her calls but DH.  My 82-year old DH worries, what will happen to SD?  He has stage 4 prostate cancer, he should worry.

He's a responsible & generous man.  BM had good intentions.  But BM taught SD to exploit him & he taught SD to respect no one but him.

Do I think SD is evil? No, inside, i think she's still the waif- like child I met long ago.  She seems confused by the turn her life has taken.  She just does not get it that her actions have long- lasting consequences.

If you have a mini-wife wife, i feel sorry for you.  If you are counting the days until she ages out, think about it.  The mini-wife dynamic is bad for everybody but especially the girls.




JRI's picture

She's on disability, gets her $ on the 1st.  We help subsidize the housing expense.  Theoretically, she could make it but can't manage money so she calls dear ole Dad beginning about the 10th of the month.  It's always an emergency, they're turning off her cell service, turning off her electric, etc.  She needs her medicine & has  i don't believe any of this, she is such a liar, i wonder how she can keep all her stories straight.  He deals with it.

advice.only2's picture

So your DH has enabled his daughter her whole life and even you "pity" her. Sometimes you have to let a person go and pretend they have died.   Will you continue to enable her once your DH has passed?  Sorry I refuse to feel sorry for drug addicts.  She made her choice and it's not a f@cking disease. 

JRI's picture

I agree, he enabled her big time.  I did, too.  We were doing the blended family thing and it took a long time for me to see the light.  The enabling I'm doing now is to get her out of my house.  

Kes's picture

I am sorry about your DH's cancer - but as you say it is slow growing and the doctor has told him he may live to 100 and die of something else.  But he is 82 and in anyone's book that is pretty old and none of us live forever. I have seen friends and relations start to go and I am only in my early 60s. It's good that you have solid wills and plans for whatever may happen.  If I were in your shoes I too would move far away if and when DH passes.   Your SD58 sounds like a complete nightmare, so if you do ever move, don't give her your new address!  

JRI's picture

I have a 97- year old mother in a long- term home here so as long as she is here, i stay.  But once she & DH were gone, I'd be moving out of town to be near one of my bios.  And, you are right, i won't leave forwarding info!