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My Sister Never Accepted Our Stepdad. Now She’s Reaping the Consequences.

Rags's picture

An interesting click bait read. I do not agree with the response. IMHO, the elder sister rejected StepDad repeatedly not only as a minor child, but as an adult.  When StepDad turns out to be of means and provides for the younger sister/his adopted daughter as an adult, the elder sister is owed nothing and that she is begging as an adult, just confirms the shit Skid that she was.


Dear Care and Feeding,

I never knew my biological father. He walked on my mom when she was pregnant with me. I only have a few photos of him with me. My stepfather adopted me when I was 4. To me, he is just Dad. My sister is six years older than me and resisted every attempt of my dad to get close to her. It got worse when my parents got a divorce when I was 14. My sister was in college and refused to visit or talk to my dad. She told him that it was pointless to try and keep a personal relationship with her; she didn’t want it. That really hurt him, but he respected her wishes.

My sister is nearly 30 now and still acts like a child when it comes to the subject of my dad. She doesn’t like me mentioning him and will literally make up stories about our biological father (he was a “war hero”—when, in reality, the army kicked him out) and fight with me when I fact-check. Over Christmas, we had a huge falling-out. I live in a very expensive area. Rent is outrageous so my dad offered to give me a down payment for a house. I didn’t bring up the subject directly to her, but I did discuss it with other people. When she found out, she threw a fit: I was the favorite, he never gave her a chance, and it was completely unfair.

I told her she needed to get her head checked. Why in the hell did she think she was entitled to money from a man that she has done nothing but push away and punish? He isn’t her dad. He is mine. She needs to get a grip. We are no longer speaking and it is freaking out our mom. What are the next steps here? I love my sister but I am tired of tip-toeing around her.

—Different Dad

Dear Different,

Doing the math, your sister lost her father when she was 6, got a stepdad around the time she was 10, and lost that stepdad when she was 20. You say your dad adopted you when you were 4; did he adopt, or attempt/offer to adopt your sister at that same time? It doesn’t sound like it from your phrasing. So, she was old enough to have memories of her dad, and thus a lot of trauma related to his abandonment, then confusion and maybe anger at your dad’s appearance. That is a lot to unpack at so young an age. Then, to top it off, he cemented his relationship to you and not her. Even if he also adopted her, it’s clear that the relationships were different, which had to have hurt, even if her own actions were the cause.

I point all of this out because I think, when you think about the timeline from her perspective, it’s understandable why she would have a lot of resentment toward your dad, and probably a mix of unresolved feelings of love and abandonment from her own dad. It may not even be about the men themselves; it might just come down to the fact that you had a dad who picked you, and she had a dad who left. None of that means you aren’t allowed to love and have a relationship with your dad, and it doesn’t give her the right to be angry at you for his generosity. But I do think she deserves to have her feelings validated by you.

Your next steps should be some family counseling between you and your sister, where you can be completely vulnerable and honest with each other. There is so much to unpack about the dads and your relationship that I really think a professional would be helpful in navigating and keeping things constructive. I think your goal should be to get to a place where she can say (and believe) whatever she wants about her dad without you having to rain on her parade, and you can likewise enjoy your relationship with your dad without her getting angry about it. It might be that you just agree not to discuss the men with each other; while that’s unfortunate, it’s a viable path forward. I am so glad you were able to find and maintain this positive fatherly relationship for yourself, but your sister is hurting—and it’s not about the house. Focus on what’s behind it so you can both heal.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

It is true that the older a skid is when you meet, the harder it is to form a bond. That may not be anyone's fault but you can't expect the man to pay for a kid who treated him like crap for years. I also wonder about the mom's role in all this. Did she confide in the older child and help turn her against the stepdad? Why are her relationships so chaotic? 

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

Yeah....this looks like poetic justice. One SKID respected and honored her stepdad, the other slapped him in his face and ran him out. Reap what you sow...

Rags's picture

IMHO a bond cannot be forced.  However, overtly rejecting a SParent has to be owned by the Skid doing the rejecting.  As much as possible when they are a years minor. Completely as an adult.

The "but I was a kiiiiiiiiidddddd!!!!" crying crap does not mitigate either what that toxid Skid did as a kid and definately what they have done as an adult.  

You caused it Skid, you own it.

The younger daughter is right on with her "he is my daddy, not yours." message to her toxic elder kidult sister.