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Teen daughter drama

No_Drama_Lama's picture

This is a very excruciatingly long back story but I will try and keep it brief.

My husband and I have 6 children between us. I have 3 adult children from a previous marriage, 19 20 &23, who have moved out of the home on their own accord. Their father has not had contact with them in over 8 years, however they are all doing extremely well in the real world. 2 step daughter's (more on that below), and 1 daughter, 9, that we have together.

My husband has 2 daughter's, 14 &16, from his ex. We have had consistent fortnightly court ordered shared care for over 10 years. We have also had consistent unnecessary drama caused by the mother throughout this time. She has slowly over the years manipulated her own daughter's to believe that their father is and always wil be a piece of s#%@.

SD16 started to rebel when she was 13, and 3 years of consistent hellish drama that almost ruined my marriage has ended with her deciding that she no longer wants to have a relationship with her father and only live with her mother.

We are now starting to see the same pattern emerge rapidly with SD14. Her overall attitude toward us is very poor. She is disrespectful, unthankful, says how much easier they have it at their mothers because they dont have to do as much and is always comparing how much materialistic "things" they have at their other home. She is blaming her father and I for things that never occurred. It is clear that her mother is continuing the same manipulative tactics.

Whilst my husband and his ex have a less than amicable relationship, we do know that she does raise her daughters, with her new partner (who from all accounts is a decent step father), in a reasonable manner (manipulation and materialism aside). SD's are doing well at school and we don't hear anything about them getting in any sort of trouble. They have everything they could possibly want and need at their mothers.

My husband is a calm, level headed and kind hearted soul who even in the worst of moments did not bad mouth his daughter's mother to them, even though I felt that at times they needed to know certain facts about their mothers past and current toxic behaviours. He is always looking for the good in people and believes time will reveal all lies.

My husband and I both agree that putting our 9yr old daughter through the same cycle again is not acceptable and I am not sure how another round of the same inevitable  drama will affect our marriage.

So, my question is... can my husband and I tell SD14 that she is not welcome in our house until such time as she adjusts her perspective and respects our rules and boundaries knowing that all her needs will be met at her mothers?

My husband and I have discussed this, and other options, at length. We are not taking this lightly or looking for the easy way out.

Is it naive to think that SD's  would be better off, atm, in 1 stable household rather than having to live 2 separate lives that do not merge?

Please no negative judgemental comments. If I had the time to tell you the whole story you would probably wonder how we managed for this long.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts



JRI's picture

It may be more correct to say that SD needs dad, to make her come over no matter what but I'd be inclined to let it go at this point.  She doesnt want to come over, BM obviously is PASsing successfully, and her visits are stressful to everyone.  I dont think Id say she is not welcome.  I would just let her stop coming.  Im assuming your DH is paying CS and that will continue regardless.

Perhaps as she and her sister mature, they will gain understanding, maybe not.


No_Drama_Lama's picture

Thanks for your response.

Yes DH has always paid CS and in the beginning he was paying a lot more than he needed to because he didn't want drama. CS has never been a problem for us. 

I do see how saying your not welcome could make it worse. Hearing it from someone else puts a different perspective on it.

Thanks for your advice

notsurehowtodeal's picture

It is ok to not insist that she come over, but I don't think I would tell her she can't come to visit. If negative consequences are consistently applied for bad behavior, she will probably quit coming on her own.

If she lives full time with BM, will that affect child support in your state?

Very few people on this site are going to judge you for making this decision.

No_Drama_Lama's picture

Thanks for your advice.

We have never insisted that she come over to visit. We gave her that choice late last year after a few outburst. Another problem is that now she thinks it is acceptable to tell us the night before that she will not be coming and on 2 occasions now this has affected our ability to plan trips. 

I get that the more negative consequences she receives the less she will want to come over but every time I take something away from her it seems she doesn't mind. DH has disagreements which end in her screaming at the top of her lungs at him but when she comes back it's like she has forgotten about it. 

So hard to think about what is the "right" thing to do but I feel anything that we do is going to add fuel and make things worse in any scenario... 

I will talk to DH about what is said here. He has not acted yet as he likes to make sure he is doing the right thing by everyone involved, not just 1 person.


notsurehowtodeal's picture

I think it would be ok to tell her she can't come if you already have plans that you would have to change. If she wants to only come when she wants to, and not on a regular schedule, she will need to learn that that has consequences. One of which will be sometimes she won't be able to come.

You have my sympathies - this sounds like an awful situation. You and your DH can only do so much. Try and not second guess yourselves. I think with a girl like this, nothing you do will ever be enough - so make the best decision you can and then stick with it. Don't blame yourselves if things get worse. Honestly, they probably will no matter what you do. You already experienced that with her sister.

futurobrillante99's picture

Exactly this. If SD decides she doesn't want to follow a regular schedule but come over periodically, you should plan your weekends accordingly. If she decides she wants to come over and you've already got plans.......oh well. Maybe next time. Never drop plans to accommodate her.

stepper47's picture

This is a tough one and I really feel for you, no judgment here.   I have similar experience with my SD17, and she has been at her mother's full time for almost 2 years now.   She was catered to and allowed to believe things revolved around her by both BM and my DH, and the issues started showing up around 13 with her also.  The attitude and demands started, and also her opting out of things we may be doing in favor of being with her mom.  Things escalated around 14 when I asked DH to have the kids let us know before they stopped over when they were with their mom. SS had no problem, but SD lost it, cursing DH out and saying she was unwelcome here.  Then started the pattern of not coming over and sometimes flat out ignoring DH for periods of time.  At the same time, DH and I were having problems in our marriage, mostly due to me feeling like my home was being run by a teenager and he let it happen, and she picked up on those troubles. So that just contributed to the unwelcome feeling, and she seemed to look for reasons to feel that way and throw them in DH's face.  And when  I say that, I mean putting him down and cursing him out.  DH and I went to counseling and he started trying to be more consistent in his parenting, but by that time it was hard to make changes with SD and after a lot of mess, she moved in with BM full time almost 2 years ago. 

That's not what DH, or even I, wanted, but at the same time with all the stress and drama, he thought it would be best not to fight that.  She claimed to feel better in 1 house, which we understood.  But she has continued to have periods of hatefulness in the last 2 years, and currently is not speaking to DH after showing herself again a few times last month.

With my experience, I would say that if we had told SD she was not welcome here, it would have fueled the fire to a level that I don't think would ever be recovered from.  I am not sure if we will recover from where we are now, and at no time has anyone said or meant that she is unwelcome here (although after the most recent events, I have decided I will not be around her until there is a discussion about what has gone on.  For my own sanity).   I think in your case it sounds like it is heading the direction of your SD staying at her mom's.  The best advice I can give is to try to leave the door open, but do clearly communicate the expectations of behavior in your home - and probably best if DH does that delivery.  I think one way we failed is that we buried our heads - I thought I should stay out of things to avoid being the "wicked stepmother", and DH just  ignored what was happening in hopes that tomorrow would be better.  But by avoiding addressing the behavior, we allowed it to grow and we didn't take an opportunity to talk through some of her mistaken perceptions - which have been fanned by BM.  Our BM has given SD freedom, a newer car, the master bedroom, and the idea that she is queen of the castle.   We can't compete with that, nor should we - and by going along with what she and BM decided, it brought peace to our home.  Our SDs are still young, so I don't think it's time to shut the door yet, but I definitely think it is reasonable to have boundaries and expectations in place, to benefit all parties in the relationship.  I feel like it has been damaging for my SD to have been allowed to behave this way.    I hope everything works out in your situation! 

No_Drama_Lama's picture

Thanks for the perspective. 

Sorry to hear that you have had the similar issues. But glad someone else understands our situation.

All the comments so far have said that telling her she is not welcome is probably not the way to go and I am leaning to that too. Just feels like too much to process sometimes.

I guess staying consistent with boundaries and expectations is the biggest thing. Who knows she might be the opposite of SD16 and find more stability in it over time... time and consistency will tell I guess.


1dad4kids's picture

I agree with the PP saying don't tell her she can't come, but don't make her come either. 

If you are making plans that involve her, let her know when you're making them and let her know you need her to commit to them. Do you think she would intentionally sabotage your plans, or was it more along the lines of her not knowing about them? 


Wicked stepmo.'s picture

If SD is planning an exit that is what she is going to do. It happened here. I feel I made some mistakes when I saw it coming and if I could go back the I would have changed some of my actions.

I knew she was acting out in an attempt to severe her relationship with SO and I because she wanted to go live with BM. SD played on the fact that I was the one who called her out on her behavior and backed SO in enforcing rules and used that as a way to place a wedge between SO and I. She started to blame me for her behavior and use my actions to whisper to him how I didn't like her.  Which caused confusion for SO because she was using me to gaslight him and take the focus off if her behavior and play on his emotions. 

It was too late by time I realized what she was doing and when she did finally leave she had SO so confused and twisted it caused significant issues in our relationship.

If I had it to do over again and they way I handle her now. Is I do not get involved. I have disengaged from her and I leave SO to handle his relationship with her as he pleases without any input from me. As the parent it's something they have to figure out for themselves. Even if your intentions are good and you are only trying to be helpful. Even if they ask you. I advise staying out of it and focusing your efforts and time into your relationships with DH and your bio.

You can suggest and encourage they go to counseling to work on Thier issues and that would be the best way to handle it is with a neutral 3rd party.

scm444's picture

You have lived my life.  This is exactly what my SD did!  But honestly as much as I wish I had done things differently and not gotten involved, I think she would have blamed me anyway.  I do the same now too.  I leave SD and DH to have whatever surface relationship they have.  The tables have turned and after all of my grieving and working through my feelings, I no longer want a relationship with her.  

tog redux's picture

This is parental alienation, and we went through it too, it's very stressful. My SS21 stopped visiting or speaking to DH at 15 and didn't return for 3.5 years.

I think it's fine to let SD know that if she's unhappy in your home, she doesn't have to come over. And if she DOES come over, it's expected she will not be rude and badmouth you, or complain endlessly. If she does those things, she will be returned to BM.

My DH got sick of SS's moping around texting BM about how awful it was at our home and took him back early - he has never spent another night here since then. It was hard, and yes, he felt like DH "threw him out", but it was necessary for our sanity.  After the initial grief, we thrived while he was alienated and we no longer had to deal with his attitude or BM.  And he did come back into our lives, though he's damaged from having BM as a mother.

AgedOut's picture

with teenaged girls, between us we have boys. But instead of saying she isn't welcome until she changes her 'tude (she will only see the first three words of that) I would just go with less words. If it's her time to come and she won't answer texts/calls or she refuses, just say "ok. we will miss you this time" and leave her to it. It removes the fight, takes away her weapons and takes a load of stress off both of your shoulders. Make your plans for times she's scheduled to be there but assume she may not go and continue on with them. She will be angry but it removes the fight. Practice saying "ok. we'll miss you" and "it is your choice." 

Gimlet's picture

I'm sorry you're going through this.  I don't think you'll get a lot of judgment from this group.

I agree with the others that you don't have to tell her she can't come (unless she's ruining a previously planned event/trip) but letting her know that she doesn't have to come.

OSS here stopped visitation with DH at 17 and that's how he handled it.  DH still doesn't talk to him much (not for lack of trying) and OSS is a hot mess, but there really wasn't much he could do.  He certainly couldn't make him want to spend time with him. 

I also don't think that your 9 year old is any less important than SD.  She should not have to be cannon fodder for the girl's issues and angers, she deserves a calm home. 

scm444's picture

My SD did pretty much the same thing as yours and the behavior first started around 13/14 years old.  She is now 16, about to be 17.  It caused major problems in my life, marriage, and pretty much all relationships that I had.  It was a complete nightmare.  Before it started, my DH had primary custody and she would go to her mothers every other weekend.  She also saw her during the week.  Ultimatley, the SD ended up living full time at her BM's and she does not come to our house at all.  I was ultimately blamed for it all.  I have never been given a real explanation as to why I was blamed and why she hates me so much, as it appeared to me that we had a great relationship.  I now know that the BM had been planting the seed for years andn poisoning her against me.  

So I really do know what hell these teenager skids can put you through and the real life consequences their behavior can have on real adult relationships.  My advice would be to protect your heart first and foremost.  You know what's coming.  I would not ever tell your SD that she cannot come over to your house until (fill in the blank).  That just gives her an excuse to not come, puts the blame on y'alls end, and gives her amunition to tell everyone how you "kicked her out".  She'll most likely stop coming anyway.  Just take comfort in the fact that you won't have a spy in your house and a BM all up in your business.

It is PAS.  And it happened to me.  My SD speaks to her father.  Sees him some.  But she treats him like garbage.  She and I do not have any relationship and we never will.  Her mother did this to her own child.  Don't lower your standards or morals to satisfy SD, but don't let her mess up your life like I allowed my SD and her BM did.  I am in a really good place now and I'm happy.  I'm starting to move past the hurt.  I will never be that vulnerable to another person as long as I live.

Good luck.  I send you so much love.



Rags's picture

The root cause... is .... obvious IMHO.

You say that aside from the manipulation and materialism that BM and her partner raise these toxic failed family progeny well.  Umm. NO!  They do not.

She/they have poisoned these girls against their father.  Time for you and daddy to serve BM's historical behavioral crap up on the fact platter and force feed it to these two ill behaved results of your DH's past failed choice of mate.   A kid can only be poised against one parent by another if the poisoned parent allows it.

The hight road is sadly extremely ineffective when dealing with the machinations of a toxic and shallow end of a kid's gene pool.  Facts are how you confront the manipulation.  

Present them directly to the kid who is being manipulated by the toxic blended family opposition.

"What your (Mother/Father) said is not entirely accurate.  I did not cheat.  I met my mate after your mother/father had cheated with (Name the name).  See the dates on the divorce papers and on my wedding license to my wife. I was not the cheat."

"Yes, your father has been married.  Here is a copy of the registration of his wedding license and of his divorce."  (one of our examples)

"Yes, your (father/mother) is a criminal.  Take a look in the Custody/Visitation/Support file cabinet under :(DickHead;s) arrest record,"

"Let's review the CO.  You will see what the rules are and you will see that your (Fill in the blank) does not follow the rules.  These are not rules that I made. These are rules that the Judge made.  So when your (fill in the blank) says I am not letting him/her so something, that is not true.  He/She just does not like the rules that we all have to follow when it comes to (CS, Visitation, Vacation Schedules, Holidays, Who you life with and who you visit, etc....)

Kids should not be in the dark regarding the facts IMHO.  The should be fully versed in the facts in an age appropriate manner.  This gives the kids a shot at progressing to adulthood prepared to defend themselves from the manipulation of a toxic parent. If they are unfortunate enough to be cursed with one.

It works.

Try it.

Good luck.

scm444's picture

This is such great advice.  I totally agree with you.  If given the opportunity, I would have corrected SD's ill informed self with all facts.  DH doesn't do it in fear that he will just make SD mad.  Because at this point, she believe everything that BM says.  She doesn't even think that there may be another explanation and she doesn't even ask.  

My SD went on social media and said that I ruined her family.  Between her mother and father, stepfather, and grandparents, I was the only adult who wasn't around for her parents' divorce.  Her mother had an affair with ther now stepfather, but I am the one who ruined her family?  Hmmmmm.  THAT is what I would have said to her given the opportunity.