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Is this normal behaviour?

No Drama's picture

Just after some advice really. I have known my SDs for 25 years. DH and I saw them most weekends when they were young. I was always kind and supportive.

Whilst I have a good relationship with ESD30 I’m still finding YSD27 challenging. For this reason I keep my distance and leave DH to see her alone. It feels like she sees me as a threat. I’m not sure if the issue is because she’s never really lived with DH as ex split with him when she was 18 months old! 

The thing is I dread having to see her now because in my company she behaves like a child constantly reminiscing about what she used to do with him alone at weekends nothing of what we all did together. All the same old stories time and again like I didn’t exist in her childhood. 

This just doesn’t feel like normal behaviour for a woman of 27 surely by now she should be creating her own new memories and be able to have normal adult conversation with both myself and DH. Anyone had anything similar to this?

Daisygirl99's picture

Yes she is probably jealous.  My 26 year old SD hates me.  Won't even be around me anymore.  I did nothing to her but she clings to both parents (more her mom than DH) and I don't think she likes him daying anyone and now that we are married she completely cut me off so now he has to visit alone or not see his grandchild.

The whole time we were dating she would have dinner dates with him and make excuses of why I couldn't be there.  I never got this because I am an adult and don't need alone time with my mummy and daddy.  To me that is weird once you are an adult.

I personally think it's a lack of boundaries set with the children that you are allowed to have a life too and they need to accept your life.

I preach this to my kids now because I don't want them growing up entitled thinking they own and control the world.  I love them and I will always be there for them but I want my kids to grow up to be independent, kind and understanding kids.

Winterglow's picture

Your husband should have cut this off from the very start. 

"No, sorry, I can't have dinner with you tonight, I'm seeing Daisy. I can ask her if you can come too though, if you like."

Trudie's picture

Great approach!


Rumplestiltskin's picture

No, not normal. It took me a few years to realize that, despite my SO telling me what fine, smart, independent women his daughters were, both of them have severe emotional problems. Maybe it's the divorce, maybe both parents were too busy to parent them, maybe it's genetics. But when you know, you know. 

Trudie's picture

This made me think of when DH told me YSD was indpendent...nope, she is propped up by her grandma, her mom, and her dad (to a small degree, thankfully FAR LESS than in the past). Meanwhile both of my kids are college grads (paid for by them); my son, 24, is in the process of buying a home, my daughter, 25, just made VP with one of the premier financial institutions in the U.S. Our kids were raised very different, and our adult's level of functioning is very different too. 

Little Type Amy's picture

It certainly doesn't strike me as normal behavior at all.. Myown emotionally stunted SD is pushing 30 and I still feel like it's still a matter of dealing with the same 13 year old I met years ago. I don't know if she'll ever fully mature. It all gets so old by this point. It's actually laughable at her age  and gives  me secondhand embarrassment 

MorningMia's picture

Count me in wth the "not normal" crowd. My 30-ish SD has had a problem with me since I married her father 18 years ago. I gave her opportunities to grow out of it, to get to know me, to apologize for her horrible behavior, and to act like a homo sapian, but she has failed and is out of my life completely. This came about through poor parenting, PASing, and her just being an effed up person. . . she has never come across as a stable person. It has nothing to do with me or any of us SMs who are "punished" because we exist. Repeat: After our handwringing and self evaluation and wondering and researching and reading, It has nothing to do with us. 

2Tired4Drama's picture

Thoroughly agree with Morning Mia, and I am in a similar situation to many here.  Mia brings up a very good point:  "After our handwringing and self evaluation and wondering and researching and reading, It has nothing to do with us."

I have pondered this before...When, if ever, do GROWN Skids (especially daughters) ever do handwringing, self evaluation, research or reading?  Answer: Never.  I can't tell you how many books I've read, programs I've watched, articles I've researched, conversations I've had with others, etc. about my SD situation. 

I can guarantee SD has never, not once, spent a nanosecond focused on HER behavior or how she can make a change. Again, the answer is never. Yet the negative behaviors are completely directed at us! 

At a certain point, drop the rope. Disengage completely.  Become too tired for drama and don't even ponder what's happening with your SD.  It's hard, and it's unavoidable they will pop up now and again, but it is possible to eradicate them from your headspace. 

Little Type Amy's picture

It really is astounding how its so true with these SDs who never fully take ownership of their own lives , behavior and choices. It gets to be way too much to expect after a time.  Because that means the SD;s actually have to be self aware enough to look within and hold themselves accountable. However, they are too focused on depending on outside influences for happiness and then getting mad or frustrated with others because that void isnt being filled.  Because they dont understand that no else is ever really responsible for your happiness. Thats why they will never really change because they are never willing to put in that work on their own. These kind of people are just way too exhausting to put up with for long, so thats why I keep my distance as well and am an advocate for disengagement. 

Harry's picture

They think they normal people.  As crazy as SD are, there more then normal in there mind.  So you are wrong,,  that'd the problem. YOU .   Face facts,  there's no hope with these people .

you just disengage from all of them.  DH can't see his DD are mentally ill   Nothing you can do. Disengagement not part of your life 

Tin Can Zen's picture

thanks, everyone, for articulating the adult cod aspects you live in. it helps me put my own back into perspective. it isnt normal, and im not crazy for pushing back. the oldest sd in my life is 47 now. i am very firmly disengaged. a few weeks back her chaos tugged my husbands heartstrings and he wanted me to know "how good shes doing with all shes going through". the details are unimportant beyond them be bewilderingly juvenile and plainly the consequences of immature foolishness. he just is never going to concede that raising chilren was supposed to be finished decades ago. his golden years seem to be a lot of convincing himself of an alternate reality. the truth is his offspring are mediocre sloths of failure who still expect their entire life to be someone elses responsibility and someone elses expense. today, i take comfort in knowing im not as alone as it seems.

lala-land's picture

"Mediocre sloths of failure who still expect their entire life to be someone else's responsibility and someone elses expense". Couldn't have described  many sepkids-/stepadults better!  Well said.

Little Type Amy's picture

That is some serious truth right there. I have to try to remember this. Especially, when I try not to find myself feeling just a twinge bit guilty over my SD29 not amounting to much more than that. I hate to be to crass but there is no tip-toeing aroung it.  Its not like she hasnt been given many chances to become a more functional adult and improve her life. If nothing changes, then she really has no one else to blame but herself ( but blames everyone else anyway) SMH. 

CLove's picture

"mediocre sloths of failure who still expect their entire life to be someone elses responsibility and someone elses expense."

A fabulous description!

Currently going through this. And thinking "maybe they have it right - why am I working so hard?"

And then I remember - I have my pride in accomplishment and down the road SD18 Princess Powersulk Do Nada will have nothing.

Merry's picture

My SD and DH would always engage in "memory lane" stories. It excluded everyone else, especially me. Same stories, every time. It got old, but they were the stars of their own stories so unlikely to ever change.

At one point I decided I was going to join their game, talking about something similar from my life or even asking them questions. No surprise, that didn't go well AT ALL. They both nearly shouted me down--I was changing their script.

Whew, DH got an earful from me later that night as I had a giant meltdown about being actively excluded, ignored, unwanted, and dismissed. Nope, he has a full time partner and it can be either SD or me, but not both. 

Rags's picture

When she spouts a "daddy and me" story, cut her off with "Oh, you bring that up everytime we are all together, I liked when WE all did XYZ & LMNOP...."

Have all of the cool stuff you all did together stories qued up so you can cut her off immediately and get things redirected.  Don't tolerate her crap and the crap you do not tolerate will likely just stop.


Trudie's picture

...this more and more every day! OSD contacted DH yesterday and in his words "almost like nothing had happened" after her crazy tantrum the day before Father's Day. Her excuse was she was getting a new iPhone...not sure how she will pay for it, since she was off work for months. Just wanted to chit chat and nose her way back in. Then he brought up how an episode like that could never happen again. She apologized to him. I asked, "What about your wife?" "What about your mother?" who OSD had on the phone during the tantrum. He ended the conversation and is keeping his distance. It amazes me that someone can be so dysfunctional.... I must say, the distance is really nice.

BobbyDazzler's picture

She sounds immature and spiteful.  Perhaps you could calmly ask her why she does what she does. Your DH should be the one to do this but apparently that's not happening (from what I've read). "YSD...why do you retell stories of your childhood as if I wasn't around enjoying the time your Dad and I were spending with you and your sister? After 25 years, you still seem to have a problem with me". I'm wondering what she'd say.

Step life shouldn't be this complicated but it certainly is!  Good luck Smile