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Adult stepdaughter issues

DEDT's picture

My first blog entry! First, I have to say what a life-saver this website has been for me – I only discovered it last week! So nice to be able to vent for the very first time in six years knowing that folk will understand. I have felt very alone with my 25-yr-old SD issues, and was despairing that anyone “out there” understood. Now I realise that my SD problems are unfortunately all too common. My DH and I have been together for six years now (married for four), and from the start his adult BD has caused me grief (behind his back) through rudeness, insults, put-downs, insolence and lies - basically bullying behaviour. I won’t go into all the details (I could write a book), but four months ago there was yet another incident (in front of my DH for the very first time), and instead of trying to ignore it as I always have done, I gathered up all the courage I could and quietly asked her to please speak to me with respect. This was less than well received and prompted a quick and violent response from SD (but at least my DH saw her “in action” for the very first time). Afterwards I had a private meltdown – and after looking back over six years of bending over backwards for SD, being endlessly kind, gracious, accommodating, generous, etc, etc, etc, I decided it would be best for me if I totally disengaged and didn’t see her anymore. I am still comfortable with that decision, however have two issues that still need working through:
1. SD has a young child who I adore. Because I have chosen not to see SD, I now don’t get to share child’s birthdays, etc, although DH still does of course. This is a huge sacrifice for me and has been very difficult to come to terms with – any tips on how to cope on these occasions when DH goes off to things without me??? Not being there really hurts. Of course his ex will always be at those occasions too – she who has also made things difficult for me (but that’s another story!).
2. SD has told many lies about me – she has told them to my DH (who to his credit has pulled her up on them, which has meant he gets the silent treatment from her for weeks or months on end until she wants something again). I have never discussed SD with any of DH’s family, but feel very anxious about his family hearing and believing these lies (SD is extremely plausible) and thinking ill of me when nothing is further from the truth. Any tips on how to deal with this, or at least cope with the injustice of it??? Do I just maintain my dignified silence???! (sometimes my imagination goes wild with what I could do haha)
I still can’t believe how one person has managed to so effectively do my head in. It’s so unfair and I feel so very sad about my fractured relationship with SD - it could and should have been so very different. Even if she never liked me, she could still have treated me with respect. Her bad behaviour (which by the way actually extends well beyond her adverse attitude towards me) has had a detrimental effect on my marriage and robbed me and DH of considerable joy – although I’m sure SD is pretty happy about that! DH loves me dearly, is totally committed to our marriage and has done his best to support me, but nonetheless I’m struggling with the two points above. Help!


LilyBelle's picture

I'm sorry you are going through this.... I have no words of wisdom... I am new myself and trying to prevent being in a horrible situation with the SO I'm dating...

It's great that your DH is supportive. But I can't imagine being married and not being welcomed at family events or grandkid birthdays, or sharing holidays together. Occasional time with just the parent without you is normal... after all, my parents aren't divorced, but I still want my special mother/daughter time occasionally.... but I don't try to get that special time on a holiday when the whole family should be included. Especially if you think SD is spreading lies about you, it would be important to find opportunity to show that it's not true.... not by confrontation, but by going to family events, smiling, getting to know the extended family who are not as close to the situation... generally being the better person. Never stoop to her level or say anything negative about her.... set your boundaries and stand by them.

Rags's picture

First, welcome. I hope you find this to be a good place to vent, contribute and pick up some useful perspectives from others who are living the blended family dream.

My take on these types of issues tends to be a bit different than most.

Why would you abandon even one second of your life, your husband and your marriage to your PITA adult SD and her vitriolic crap?

I sure would not if I were you.

I would go to every family event, every grandchild party, etc... When your DH goes, you go and vice versa. Of course if it is a girls event or guys event then you both need some space and should be able to have some none spouse time, but when it comes to blended family events.... you both go.

Dress nicely, stand tall, be happy and beam.

These toxic blended family idiots (BMs, BioDad's, Skids, XILs, ILs, etc...) tend to be like cockroaches who flee for a dark corner when the light comes on in a dark roach filled room.

In this case you, your happy marriage and your happy life are the light. Your happiness in your life, your marriage and with yourself should not ever take a back seat to the SD induced drama or any other blended family induced drama for that matter.

Good for you for calling your SD out on her disrespect to you. If her "violent" reaction was physical, you should have burried a golf club or frying pan firmly in to her skull. If her reaction was physical, you husband should have stepped up and kicked her ass for assaulting his wife before you had to beat her half to death. IMHO of course.

Your SD's character issues are not your problem. Nor should you tolerate her crap. Deal with her firmly, directly, publically and from a factual perspective each and every time she gets shitty with you or says anything about you to anyone else. Rather than hope that your ILs are not getting an inaccurate impression of you from SD'ss vitriolic crap, go talk to them personally and explain the facts of the situation. Ask them if based on their own experiences with you if they think that SD's BS about you passes the smell test. If they are rational they will understand that you are the one on the right side of this issue. If they are cut from teh same cloth as SD .... deal with them with the same fact based no tolerance methodology that I recommend you use on SD.

The only effective way to deal with the blended family opposition is directly, forcefully, confidently and regularly IMHO.

Part of your strategy for dealing with your toxic SD should be giving your DH absolute clarity that you expect him to have your back at all times with SD and that you expect him to draw her up short if and when she gets nasty or disrespectul with you.

People like your SD do not deal well with having their own behaviors put right back in their own faces. Holding up her behaviors like a mirror in front of her will very likely get her to wilt and crawl back to her dark roach hole very quickly. If she can not be decent the roach hole is exactly where she belongs. Hopefully she will have an epiphany about her complete lack of character and stup up to viable and decent adulthood.

Facts are not good or bad, they are just facts. Keep the facts of her behavior front and center with her and everyone else and there will be little she can say that will bother you and little chance that anyone else will believe her bullshit.

All IMHO of course.

Good luck.

DEDT's picture

Thanks for this. Much of it resonated with me . . . especially what you said about contributing by holding my DH all too responsible for his BD's actions - yes I've done this (without realising). And, as we all know, resentment is very destructive. Soul searching has been the order of the day for me - thank you - and my focus on building a happy and joyful marriage is thankfully back on track. Oh it was so good to vent here and write down even the little I did . . . cos I was pretty desperate and feared that (for me) SD's behavior had damaged DH and me beyond repair. But the advice given has put everything into perspective and helped me to feel strong going forward. Yes! No doubt I'll be reviewing the advice on a regular basis tho' lol Smile

LibertyBelle's picture

The insights and suggestions submitted are all well-thought out responses to an extremely complex situation. My situation is almost exactly the same. Suggestions to not hold DH responsible for his adult daughter's behavior are just what I needed to hear. Sometimes I need a brick to hit me on the head with information that should have been obvious! Also, mirroring some of her disrespectful behavior (within limits) has started to work for me: it shocks SD every time to be at the receiving end of disrespect. I also appreciate the suggestion to be together as one happy married unit with your DH at all events. I will now be able to use the image of the LIGHT clearing out the "nasties" back to the darkness. Thank you every one!

fedupwifeandmom's picture

Any advice is welcomed here......I will start from the beginning, I met my husband a few years ago when my daughter got her driving permit and in the very same day backed up and hit his daughters car. I went over to pay the deductable and we have been insepertable ever since. We have a great relationship but since day one his oldest has been a huge problem. We have 3 daughters now all graduated high school and 2 boys in the 6th grade. The oldest one has been given everything and treated like royalty her whole life just because she was into sports and he connected with her at that level. Well she went off to college and we still had the 2 oldest girls in high school and the boys in grade school. She always called needing money, we paid for her college expences and tickets she got and everything else even though we still had other kids at home. Then a yearr or so later she dropped out and came home and moved back in with us. Thats all fine but she still dont pay her own stuff. The other girls pay for their own car insurance and other things. The oldest one now 20 still does NOT MUCH other then GET PREGNANT. Every money issue, stress issue and every other thing has been centered arround here. Now I suppose we will be expected to watch her kid. My husband is torn because he loves me but loves her to. I am worried that she will split us up because I am so angry with her that my hands shake when she is in the same room as me. She even went as far as going to my work and getting a job there so i cant get away from her anywhere. I dont know what to do????/ I am usually so easy going and happy to wishing i didnt have to live another day to deal with her crap. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for listening.....

up2myiballs's picture


I don’t have children. Now, in my late 50’s, I married my new H in 2010, who has two adult children; his BS 21, and his BD 18. Pre-nup, I agreed to HELP pay for in state tuition (bachelors degree’s) for both, only after setting the standard that his oldest son realize that the vacation of “DAD” (full room and board in a nice apartment etc. for the last 4 years it took him to get an associate’s degree at a community college) was coming to an end. (That’s another story) For his son, I agreed to help pay for two more years at an in state university. The same agreement goes for his BD; four years in state college with all the accoutrements.
After 2 years at a community college, his BD announces, without Dad’s input, that she is going to an OUT OF STATE University to finish her last two year for her teaching certificate since her boyfriend just started there with a scholarship for La Crosse. NOW, tuition has gone from 3.5K to 10K! Dad says nothing so as not to “rock the boat”, fearing loss of love.
NOW, after being married for 3.5 years, I finally met the 21 yo SD the last day of her second semester at her out of state University. While getting the college town tour, the SD nonchalantly states that she doesn’t have enough credits to graduate next spring, and has to take another semester. That’s another 20K making her teaching certificate schooling cost over 120K all together! Oh I forgot the sorority as well, another 2500$.
The money my H saved in the IRA 529 for the SD was already gone. Unbeknown to me, he used 30K of MY business’s money to pay for her last three semesters! I know—stupid me! Then she sends a text asking for an extra 200$ so she could get tickets to the football game because BM is having a hard time with money and the BM couldn’t afford it.
WTF! No more of me enabling my H to save his face! ENOUGH is enough!
Not wanting to strand the SD, I sent the SD an adult to adult email stating the facts…. Your IRA 528 was spent. Dad’s money is gone and I can’t afford to pay another 20K for your school. I WILL pay for the full amount, 7K, for one semester of in state tuition, plus $400 for expenses, but nothing for lodging.“ I suggested she move back with her BM or get a job to pay for her rent. That way BM would have a semester to get back on her feet since she just lost her job. The SD had 30 days to accept my offer.
The SD sends an email to “Daddy” saying she had no idea that I was paying for her school, and it was unnecessary for me to step in and make her out to be an inconsiderate naïve child. “Her words really hurt me Daddy.” Being hamstrung, my H knowing that my offer was VERY equitable told her that was the offer and “it is what it is.”
THEN…SD’s 19yo boyfriend sends my H this letter:
> I thought we agreed that from our phone call on you were going to talk to your daughter like an adult. You, personally, as her biological father.
> Do you understand that you owe her this money? You left there family and you ruined her childhood. You owe her this money as someone who did all that and as someone who is trying to be a decent person on this planet.
> This is how this is working. You owe (BD) money. So where ever you get that money from isnt of her concern. If you take it from (your wife) than (your wife) should be yelling at you to pay her back. If you dont want to deal with that, then go to a bank a take out a loan.
> Thanks for ruining ANOTHER week of (BD’s) life when you could have been an adult and picked up the goddamn phone.>>

Nonetheless, the SD thought Daddy would cave and she would get her way. I’m certain the toxic BM had input on the SD’s email to her “Daddy”. The BM being financially strapped, f***** herself AND her BD. I was trying to prevent the “student loan” dilemma, and give BM a chance to get her finances in order so she could cover the EXTRA semester.

Now, I have so much resentment, I could care less if I NEVER saw my H’s BD again. I recently busted his BS for his emotional blackmail and insolence and rude bulls*** he’s pulled on me. So now it’s them, my H, his BD, and BS… against me.

I didn’t sign up for this!!!!!!


MarriedaBallessWonder's picture

All I can say is holy f'ing shit! :jawdrop:

Good Lord these children are entitled now days.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I put myself through college. I was also a teenage mom. I worked AND went to school on MY OWN.

I would never talk to my parents like this. I don't even see where kids get off on being soooo very disrespectful and entitled. It's absolutely disgusting.


Musicislife's picture

I can relate to you in a way.

I didn't do very well at school nor did I get any good grades but I knew from an early age the path I wish to take and here I am taking that path.

I can relate to you because I done it all myself, taught myself the ins and outs of my field of work and its all from my own funding. I've worked hard for 15 years from age 9 to get where I am today and I'm only 24 with a very bright future ahead because I'm making it, not entitled to it.

I had a very poor, neglectful and aggressive childhood but I have and never will use that as an excuse to fail. I am an adult and I am responsible for all the choices I MAKE.

Humans are supposed to be the pinnacle of evolution... where the hell is that with the self entitled kids today???

Musicislife's picture


I say get out of there and enjoy the rest of your life free and cheerful. If they are like this at their 'mature' age then it will never get better because they know how to play daddy to get what they want without any thought for anybody else. Self entitled kids will never get better.

Get out and go enjoy your life.

omgsaveme's picture

You posted in someone else's post, you'll probably get more response if you start your own thread, so sorry to hear you are going through this.