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I’m so close to calling it quits!!

Pinkproxy's picture

First off, can I just say I’m SO glad I found this site!! It’s good to know that I’m not the only person in the world who wants to bang my head through the wall because of my SD6. NOBODY in real life knows how I truly feel and it eats me up everyday because I feel like something is wrong with ME. I’m scared to ever tell anyone what’s on my mind when it comes to her because I don’t want people to think I’m a bitch when I know I’m not. 

But literally, I cannot stand my SD. I never knew it was possible to actually not like a little kid. Like, I’m an adult. What business do I have disliking a child?? But I really, really don’t like her. 

And just for context here, this isn’t my first rodeo as a step parent. My experience with my first husbands kids was great! He has two girls that were 1 and 2 when I met him and 9 and 10 when I left him. And I LOVE them and their mom. Still to this day. I maintained my relationship with them after our divorce and will continue forever. Those girls are like my own kids. They’re 15 and 16 now and I couldn’t imagine my life without them. Also, I have two kids of my own, two girls, 9 and 11. So, plenty of experience with kids and girls here.    

Now onto this little satan seed of my current husband. Where do I start?? She was 2 when we met. She had all the normal quirks of toddlers, didn’t really bother me. It was what it was. When we met, he had a roommate, didn’t really have her all that often. It was like every other weekend I think. Fast forward a couple years to when we moved in together and she started coming more often, with more space and her own room, etc. The BM is obnoxious to say the least. She has given this child such a princess complex that it’s ridiculous. 

I’ve tried to bond with her for years and it’s just not happening! She’s rude, she has no manners, doesn’t listen to ANYTHING! You can tell her the same thing 200 times every single day and she will continue to do what you told her not to do. She’s nosy as hell. She cries about everything! She’s always whining, demanding everything, and I just can’t stand it!! Cannot stand this child. I finally said it!!! I can’t stand her! I don’t like her and I certainly don’t love her. I wouldn’t care if she went back  with her mother and never came back to my house EVER again! Ever! She’s going on 7 years old and acts like she’s 3. She pees the bed. Never flushes the toilet. Can’t keep her hands to herself. She’s loud and obnoxious. Scared of the dark. Constantly singing and yelling and making stupid animal noises constantly. She NEVER just shuts up. She talks constantly. From the time she wakes up to the time she goes to bed. Talking, talking, talking, talking, talking non stop. The talking, the questions, the singing. 

And I always play nice because I feel bad if I’m not being nice. At 6 years old, she doesn’t have the social maturity to understand non verbal cues when someone is just annoyed. So I just say something like “okay, go play with your toys,” because I don’t want to be mean. 

My kids don’t like her either. She’s just such a little brat and her father is completely disengaged. He’s perfectly happy to let me handle everything and it makes me so mad! She’s not my child and she’s not my responsibility. I don’t want to take care of her, especially when he’s home. If he’s home from work, then he needs to be the one feeding her and bathing her and getting her ready for bed. Not me. 

 And I understand a natural tolerance for your own children, but there’s no way that I could sit and listen to my kids all day long just talking and asking a bunch of random questions and being loud without telling them to sit down and be quiet sometimes. I’m not saying just sit down and shut up and never make any noise. That’s not what I’m saying at all, but just sit down and chill out sometimes!! 

 He never says anything to her about anything. If she’s being corrected, it’s me correcting her. I shouldn’t need to constantly tell an almost 7 year old to say please and t hank you and flush the toilet and dealing with her screaming when she doesn’t get her own way. 

This child is ruining my life and my marriage. Because he doesn’t know how I feel, obviously. And so when I get an attitude, he just thinks I’m in a bad mood, when truthfully I want his child to just get away from me and stop talking to me and asking me questions and just being near me. I try to hibernate in my room and then he comes in there with me and then she just barges in whenever she feels like it, even though I’ve lost my shit over and over about her knocking on the door. Yet she still never does. Just comes in when she feels like it. 

And I’m definitely tired of being her babysitter!! I guess I should mention that he now has full custody. BM went off the deep end. She was always a lunatic, but now she’s a drug addicted and incarcerated  lunatic so now I have to deal with this little monster child 24/7. And I’ve expressed to him that she needs to go to daycare or something after school and he doesn’t want to spend the money. But she is HIS responsibility. NOT mine. If she was a decent child, or even a halfway tolerable child, then I wouldn’t care. But she’s not. She’s a horrible kid. Zero upbringing. And I feel horrible feeling this way. I really do. But I can’t force myself to like her. I’ve tried and I just don’t. And I don’t love her. At all. I care about her wellbeing and I care that she’s healthy and I wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to her of course, but that’s it. That’s the extent of my feelings for her. And I keep feeling like I’m so wrong for feeling this way. I’ve never said it out loud. I just think it in my head all day long. I bite my tongue and grit my teeth and do a 10, 20, 30 count in my head sometimes to keep my attitude in check. 

Sometimes I look up and she’s just staring at me and I’m like what do you want? And then she just walks away. Like, what the hell? And then she just randomly giggles and laughs all the time and acts like she doesn’t understand English. And she does this baby talk that really grates my nerves and I’ll tell her to stop because it’s not cute to be almost 7 and talk like a 2 year old. 

I have NEVER in my life been so annoyed by another person. And certainly not by a child. And I don’t know what to do. I’m on the verge of just packing my crap one day and leaving. I love my husband and I don’t want to lose him, but This is seriously weighing heavy on me and I don’t think it’s going to get better. I think the older she gets, the worse she’s gonna be. And he does nothing to try to change her behavior. He just looks to me to deal with it and I don’t want to deal with it. If something doesn’t change, and quick, I’m gone! But I don’t know how to talk to him about this without hurting his feelings.  Obviously he loves his daughter, evil little witch that she is, and he certainly wouldn’t want to hear that his wife Can’t stand his kid. I stay away as much as possible, but I refuse to let this little girl run my house. So when he doesn’t engage, then I have to just to keep this place at a dull roar.  I just don’t know what to do anymore!! 

I do however feel a little better and a little less frustrated  now that I’ve vented and got that off my chest! 




Winterglow's picture

Forget about sparing his feelings - what about yours? 

Lay it out straight to him what you expect of him. He can't know if you don't tell him. Don't accept "OK, I'll try" as an answer. He needs to step up to his responsibilities and it's up to you to spell them out to him. Be blunt. No beating about the bush. The point is to make things absolutely, crystal clear. Stop doing everything for her that he should be doing. He's clueless so help him get a clue.

Lavender88's picture

This sounds awful and your DH is the problem here. This poor kid craves attention, boundaries and stability, she's not getting that from him. So she's latched on to you.

I would talk to him, tell him you're not willing to do all the parenting anymore, then disengage from this child. Don't be mean to her. Put a lock on your bedroom door. Establish a list of house rules, rewards and punishments for breaking them. My SD annoys me too, so I keep finding after school clubs and activities she can go to so she isn't under my feet. Things she will enjoy. Put your foot down with DH.

My SD10 does many of the things yours does, animal noises, singing, asking annoying questions all the time, getting in my face, jumping around the room, giving me no privacy, answering back. I tried doing things with her so she had one on one attention, but she sulked and spoiled everything we did. Now when she's bugging me with questions, getting in my face, I ignore her. She thrives on any kind of attention, even enjoys negative attention, so if I ignore her she tends to go away. If she's doing something annoying, I nicely ask her to stop and do something else instead. "SD10, would you like to read xxxx book or watch netflix in your bedroom?" It's important they feel like they have choices. 9 times out of 10 the little darling says "I'm ok" and goes on being annoying, that's when her father steps in.


As for baby talk, when SD10 does it I remind her that babies have to go to bed earlier, if she's talking like a baby then she must indeed be a baby, so...

Truly the best thing you can do is talk to DH. Don't tell him you hate the kid, parents don't like to hear that their spawn aren't awe inspiring, love inducing creatures. Talk about the attention she clearly craves, you being expected to do everything, the boundaries and rules this kid needs. If he won't do anything, try 100% disengagement. While trying that, figure out your exit strategy. If he won't parent, why should you?

Blueskyz's picture

Your story sounds so much like mind. (In the beginning) My sd entered my life eight years ago. She was tiny, mean, threw fits and NEVER stopped talking. I tried and tried. I felt like the worse step parent in the world bc I didn’t like her. I love children, I work with them everyday (I’m a teacher) 

It has gotten worse over the years. My heart has been broken hundreds of times by this evil spirited, spoiled child. 


A few years ago I stopped doing anything for her. I don’t babysit, drive her places, pick her up from school. There are times I don’t even speak to her at all. We have equal/shared custody with her Mom so she’s around a lot. 


She recently was put in a mental hospital bc she threatened to kill me and her Dad. She was cutting herself and wanted to kill her self bc she isn’t allowed to bring her iPhone to our house. She’s 10! We don’t allow her to use social media and Mom does. We have rules, Mom doesn’t. She lies constantly, and simply can’t be trusted. She drives her Dad crazy now. She just don’t stop. 


Basically, I could write a novel on the things sd has done to us. If I could rewind my life and know what I know now, I would have never married my husband. I wish I had words of encouragement but I don’t. The simple truth is, the older they get the worse it becomes (my opinion anyway) 


I’m so sorry this is happening to you


Love_and_Loathing's picture

That is really scary, and I believe it’s true. My SD5 is a terrorist. She’s whiny, brainless, ADHD, and pushes buttons ALL THE TIME. I haven’t kept my feelings about her to myself at all though. I have disengaged and refuse to be the babysitter (mom was at home doing whatever the hell she wanted while I had this little brat on her ‘dad days’ without dad even being home). Not anymore. She will also be at activities and at daycare in the summer on days I will have her. I can’t stand her in the least and I KNOW it’s going to get exponentially worse. I am sure I will completely avoid her altogether if it does escalate more. Not my monkey, not my circus. At least dad enforces the rules though and doesn’t let her get away with her stupidity. Ugh. I just posted about this the other day and didn’t get a response at all. Maybe I should’ve posted in general discussion. They seem to get the most responses. Oh well. 



twoviewpoints's picture

She's a six year old child who doesn't have a parent. She needs love any parental attention. No, not from you.... but from her parent. Yep, her parent. That disengaging blob you call a husband. Her father. 

The kid's mom can't be treating the kid like a princess from prison. And as her father took full responsibility and custodial care of this child, then why the h*ll isn't he acting responsible? 

Do you honestly believe this little girl doesn't know and can't tell that you and your two bio kids don't like her nor want anything to do with her? That she can't tell anything an everything you do do for her is begrudgingly and with resentment? Nope. You nor anyone is that great of an actress. 

And your DH has pretty much made it clear to you that he isn't going to parent her. He's disengaged, remember?  He's not a worry in his head that somebody will feed, clothe and tend to the kid. Not a single worry over whether she has a babysitter/caregiver. She's not going to bed hungry or unfed. She's not missing school because there is no one to get her up, feed her and get her there. Nope. 

The kid was abandoned by her mother and might as well not have a father (custodial parents can't disengage, oh, but this one can because well, you, You've totally enabled him to be allowed to)

But somehow, though all of this, you blame the child. Go take a real good hard close look at your Dh, then put a mirror up to his face. Can either one of you honestly say you like what you see? 

If no one in your home is going to want this child, nor give her the guidance and parental care she obviously needs (and notice, I'm pointing out there is a big difference between just meeting physical care and actually parenting a child) , then why not see if there is a relative or a loving couple who desires a child to take her in. 

Sit the man down, inform him you are not the parent, this isn't your role and as he prefers disengagement to parenting, he's got some heavy hard decisions to make. This young child doesn't deserve to be the 'unwanted' kid in the home. She needs a parent. She may need professional help dealing with whatever occurred with her mother. She needs more than bathed, fed and sent off to play with a toy and/or go to bed. She needs security, guidance, support and a father who gives a d*mn. Unfortunately, she has none of that. He might have managed to pass fairly ok as a part time Dad, but he's failing miserably at being a custodial parent. 

You cant 'fix' this for him nor the child. 

tog redux's picture

First off, you have to talk to DH and let him know you are no longer willing to be the primary caregiver to his child. You will find out quickly what kind of man he is when you do - does he take action to keep you in his life by taking over parenting and listening to your needs? Or does he push back because he likes this arrangement where he does nothing to parent his own child? He may be feeling inadequate as a parent and thinking since you are experienced, you are the better person to do it - but too bad.  He needs to step up. Some men assume women will do child care, but those days are gone.

Figure out what you are willing to do and let him know. He should be parenting as if he were a single parent - that is, using after school care, babysitters, other family as resources; and you are one of those resources.  So he doesn't assume you are willing to do whatever is needed, he ASKS you if you are able to help when he needs help. "Can you pick SD up at school today, I have a work meeting?" not, "You will have to pick her up today."  Does he have a mother/father/sisters/brothers that are willing to help him out? He needs to seek their support too.

Also, your SD needs a mental health evaluation. She is genetically loaded for mental health issues and was most likely traumatized by being in the care of a mentally ill mother; at the very least, losing your mother is traumatic. Some of her behavior issues may be anxiety/PTSD related.


Rags's picture

Adopt a Keep it Simple philosophy.  Don’t dig deep on either your feelings or hers .  Don’t worry about the why focus on the what.  The what being her behaviors.

1.  Wetting the bed.  If there is not a medical root cause then adopt a diaper in public strategy to confront her refusal to get her lazy ass out of bed to pee.  Next time she wets the bed put her in a big fluffy diaper and a short -ish white T-shirt and that is what she wears.  In the house, in public, etc... Thereis nothing quite like abject public humiliation to get this under control.  We had this problem with my SS at about the same age.  On the final incident we put him in a diaper Sat AM and he stayed in a diaper all weekend.  He refused to leave the house but we loaded him in the car to go to a restaurant or opened the front door to send him out to play with friends.  He refused to leave the car or the house.  On Sunday night he came to us in his under clothes and sleep pants without the diaper.  He told us that he got the message.  He knew that the next AM he was getting on the school bus in a diaper.  We never had a problem with him peeing the bed again.  The fear of public humiliation in front of his peers was the key to clarity for him.

2.  Not flushing.  Next time grasp her by an ear, give it a twist, march  her to the toilet, point at the flush handle, swat her on the ass and tell her to flush her damned mess then leave her there to stare at the toilet bowl until you get tired.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

3.  Tantrums and cry fests.  Adopt a “Knock it off or I will give you something to cry about” strategy.  When she pulls this crap grab her by an ear, give it a twist, march  her to a remote corner where she can hear all that is going on in the house, plant her nose in contact with the intersecting walls , swat her on the ass and tell her that if she utters a peep or her nose looses contact with either walk she will get another swat.  She stands there quiet and still until you get tired.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

4.  Entering your bedroom unbidden.  See #3.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

And most importantly.

5.  You and DH are equity life partners and equity parents to any children in your home.  He gets off his ass and steps up to parent his daughter or.... 

If he doesn’t like how you parent and discipline then he can step up and get it done before you have to or he bites his tongue and has your back.

If this kid’s basic needs are being met just focus on the behaviors that you want to correct  and correct  them.  Behaviors are corrected by removing the reward they the kid gets by perpetrating those behaviors.  If the behaviors are met with increasing age apropriate abject misery the behaviors will end.  Remove the reward, apply the consequence.  No attention (standing in the corner), no yelling (swat to the butt) a march to the corner or toilet to flush it, wetting the bed (instant diaper and the threat of public humiliation.  Deliver on that threat if necessary. )

As she gets a little older add thousands of sentences in perfect handwriting, perfect grammar, perfect spelling at the rate of ~120+ per hour.  She writes them in a room by herself.  This focuses her on the infraction “I will knock at my parents’s door and enter only if I am given permission.” And isolates her from everyone else giving them a peaceful break from her irritating drama.

In my experience all of this ends the behaviors in short order.

Keep it simple.

Take care of you.

Love_and_Loathing's picture

Abusing the child isn’t going to help. Public humiliation is abuse. Hurting a child by grabbing her by her ear is abuse. 


Its 2019. We now know that these things don’t work and actually cause more problems. Get with the times. 

Rags's picture

Corporal punishment is not abuse.  And contrary to popular modern belief, it works. It has worked for countless centuries.  There were not toxic spawn running amok throughout history. That is a product of the demise of intelligent results oriented parenting that began in the 60s and got worse as those idiots spawned.  To the point that their children and their children have created these everybody gets a trophy no boundary, special snowflake, zero performance or behavioral standard spe-cial because they can fog a mirror little shits.

Bring the paddle, twist the ear, put them in diapers in public and let them know they have a choice. Knock their crap off or experience an age appropriate escalating state of abject misery.

Most peculiar about this philosophy... kids with boundaries and consequences for non compliance generally grow up well adjusted and happy and to have close relationships with their parents.  While the spawn of esteme parenting idiots genearlly grow up to be neurotic marginally functional semi-adults far more often than their peers held to behavioral and performance standards.

IMHO and experience.

amyburemt's picture

with your DH. I would lay it all out there and tell him it's also his resposibility to parent his child. If there are no rules and consequences she will only get more obnoxious. I would flat out tell him you are starting to get bitter and that isn't fair to her.

RLZ0073's picture

she’s acting out because she’s feeling like she’s been rejected by both parents. Wetting the bed can be caused by psychological factors.

tantrums? Total attention grabbing. It will be hard but you truly need to ignore her when she does this.  Let her tire herself out. You will only acknowledge her after she starts acting like a human again.

You are not her parent. He needs to grow a set, be a man, and be her father.

And just a heads up... the teen years suck.


Disneyfan's picture

Mom is in jail.  Dad is a useless pile of crap.  SM hates the child but not the man who has created these issues and dumped them in her lap.

Why do some kids end up in such awful situations?  We really need to do better than this.

Mommajay's picture

Omg hahahahaa I'm laughing sorry but this is so close to my life. I hear you and understand it all. I also got full custody from drug addicted mom and it's destroying my mental health and marriage. I used to feel like I couldn't say these things to my husband but after awhile you have to let it out. There's a way to say it. "You need to set boundaries with her daughter" "Its very difficult for me to spend so much time with someone else's child" "I wonder if we could enforce some basic manners and rules with your child".... those are just starters. I am separating myself from this child as much as I can to protect my health. I suggest you do the same. I know you don't want the responsibility but maybe you should just take the ropes here and parent her behavior. Every time she walks into your room without knocking, remind her that that's what she needs to do. Every time the toilet is not flushed, tell her to go flush it. If she's rude, tell her that behavior is rude. Maybe she will get sick of you and stay out of your way or maybe you can change her for the better. Dad should be doing these but maybe he needs to have you model it for him. Hang in there. I'm don't know how long I can hold on either.