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Controlling adult stepdaughter toward father

Lady21's picture

My partner became a widow not unexpectedly 4yrs ago. Since being together his true self has evolved and blossomed, his past relationship was dominated by wife and two children.

he said he stayed through her illness out of marital vows and I commend him for that. But it has had a lasting effect in that the children immediately tried to take their mothers place by dictators of his adult life.

namely meeting me dating me and now living together they have on three occasions split us up , his reason for taking there side was he felt sorry for them and as his wife spoilt them he felt he now had to be mum and dad to two kids in there 20's.

One child turned his back on our relationship the other has stayed around and makes a point of only calling when she is depressed which goes to money which goes to him making promises he can't keep.

I am totally ignored unless it is for him to discuss the issues she has with me then go back to her a knight in shining armour. 
I'm not looking for credit, I simply feel I'm a source of help but shown no respect or gratitude I doubt she even knows it's me behind the scenes making suggestions, I have four grown children who all hold there own and do not interfere with my life. Does anyone else feel like this or am I being selfish ?

I don't care what he does financially it's his money let her spend it but live frugally and keep a good home and pay my way.


tog redux's picture

He is the problem here, not them. Unless he commits to putting you first regardless of how they feel about it, this will continue. Stop tolerating that kind of treatment from him. Right now he thinks he can have it both ways, giving in to their nonsense AND keeping you. 

SteppedOff's picture

Please read this and reread this. Do not cut him one break with will be looked upon as a weakness and your boundaries continuously bombed.

I have been married to a widow for more than10 years. Things started out this way but I can tell you...not for long. Stay strong, respect yourself always, and make it clear it is this way or another....and the other does not include you.


futurobrillante99's picture

So this is apples and oranges, but when you have a child that is struggling with mental health issues, including grief, it can be easy to handle them with kid gloves. You tiptoe around trying not to push them too hard to deal with their issues and get back on track.

My DS27 had a crisis in her sophomore year of college that lead to her being in an inpatient mental health program for six weeks due to thoughts of self harm. She took the rest of the semester off and came home.

She was depressed and dealing with her demons. I insisted she get a local therapist and she did, but she spent the days at my house watching hours and hours of Netflix and cooking elaborate meals in my kitchen. I'd come home each day to a destroyed kitchen and it pissed me off.

I would talk gently to her about doing something productive. She was just overwhelmed so I didn't push.

Finally, after 2 months, I put my foot down and required her to get a part time job, at least. She did - she didn't like it, but she followed through. Then I put it to her this way, because it was summer: She would be expected to return to college in the fall or get a full time job and find her own place. She had all summer to think about it but I made it clear that the days of watching Netflix all day (I changed the password by the way), were over and she needed to clean up the kitchen after making elaborate meals.

She turned herself around and went back to college. She's now a mechanical engineer and lives in her own place in Texas with her doggy.

You can be sensitive and supportive without coddling.

If your partner is AFRAID to expect his kids to process their grief and use it as a tool to get their way, he's enabling them to flounder.

My job as a parent is to NOT enable destructive behavior. I can't tell my adult children what to do but I can tell them what I WON'T do.

My 3 adult kids will have their feelings and opinions on my relationships, but we're all adults and they don't get to decide for me. And any attempts to interfere will be shut down immediately.

I have also taught my children to do the same with their father. They don't like his girlfriend. I told them who he loves is none of your business. Be courteous - you don't have to be friends with her. If he loves her, that's all that matters.

CLove's picture

There are a lot of details missing from this picture, but you might find out more about this and find that it fits your situation.


Rags's picture

I think the question is why do you stay in a relationship with someone who tolerated this crap for one minute much less for a 20+ year marriage and continues to tolerate it from his adult children?

You need to make better decisions and improve your standards for a mate.

Lady21's picture

This site is a life saver, when you feel like the world 

is on your shoulders, you listen to another's experience and your eyes are opened.

it's painful but like they say "the truth hurts"

thankx guys