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My step daughter is a huge burden

Stepmom110815's picture

<p>Me and my husband are due to have our first baby in July. We are over the moon and I just know he will be an amazing father. He never got the chance to be an amazing father to his SD5 because evil BM wouldn&#39;t let him. Fast forward 2 years of SD life when I come on the scene BM pushed and pushed for SD to be involved in our lives. This was a huge adjustment for my husband as he had no initial connection with his daughter and I can&#39;t blame him after all the crap his ex put him through. There was a period he gave up and didn&#39;t see his daughter for 8 months - eventually he made contact again, took BM to court in hope to have some consistency in his daughters life without BM controlling everything. He has court ordered EOW and off week one night for dinner. I know it doesn&#39;t seem much but I HATEEEE those weekends that child invaded my house. She is mini wife syndrome and makes me feel so uncomfortable. In fact they both make me feel so uncomfortable - watching my husband trying to force himself to love this child he can barely keep a 5 min conversation with her. He would happpily let her play in her room for hours on end in the one that has to remind him to feed her breakfast, lunch, ect!! Now we have a baby on the way my resentment towards her only grows stronger. The fact my baby will be related to her freaks me out - she&#39;s so much like her evil mother and her hygine is DISGUSTING! She&#39;s a product of her own environment and I know she&#39;s only 5 and it&#39;s not her fault but it&#39;s not my fault either!! I have tried so hard to fix these problems - her obesity, disgusting eating habits, hygine you name it I always failed so I simply give up.&nbsp;<br />we are also saving for our first home. Husband wants to work over time to earn more money for our savings and realises he can&#39;t do overtime on the times he has her on the weekend, which means he has to work every weekend he has off just me him and our baby. Which fucking infuriates me!!!! Meaning we won&#39;t ever get that family time on the weekend cause he has to be present during SD weekend, or I will have to look after her and my baby and I refuse to be a baby sitter. I made a comment to my husband saying it&#39;s just annoying how these court orders stop us from moving forward with our goals in our life. Omg. Should have kept my mouth shut. Mr Defensive told me that every child is a burden whether you have them 24/7 or not. UMMM? Completely different. I chose to get pregnant and have my baby, I didn&#39;t choose to be a part time baby sitter to yours!! I wish my husband would just see the bullshit. He tries so hard with his daughter and his daughter is just like her mother - vindictive and evil and is manipulating him like no tomorrow. I wish his daughter was old enough to stop coming over cause my husbands EGO is way too big to give up on her again. I honestly think he&#39;s doing the child more harm by pretending to love her. Seriously I have to prompt him to even shower her. He goes to give her donuts before she even has dinner or lunch I have to say &quot;babe, do we eat desert before or after dinner?&quot; He has no fucking idea and I&#39;m over it. I hate her.&nbsp;</p>

Gimlet's picture

You wrote:

I just know he will be an amazing father. He never got the chance to be an amazing father to his SD5

But also

He would happpily let her play in her room for hours on end in the one that has to remind him to feed her breakfast, lunch, ect!!

Not really screaming "amazing father" there.

And again:

He tries so hard with his daughter and his daughter is just like her mother - vindictive and evil and is manipulating him like no tomorrow.

But also:

I honestly think he's doing the child more harm by pretending to love her. Seriously I have to prompt him to even shower her.

He sounds like an immature and neglectful man.  I don't care how bad BM is, the child is 5 and he can't be bothered to care for her.  I doubt very much he is suddenly going to turn into Superdad with your baby.  Get ready to do all the work.

tog redux's picture

Well, dontcha know, it's BM's fault that he's not an amazing father to this child. She didn't allow him to be around since the child was born, so he can't possibly make up for that now. The only thing to do is to neglect her needs. No choice in the matter.

OP, your DH is far far from an amazing father, he's a neglectful one. If you two both hate this kid, he should stop taking his custody time, no court can force him to do that. Lots of fathers walk away from kids and just pay child support. Not saying it's right, but it may be better than her visiting two people who hate her every other weekend.

Stepmom110815's picture

<p>I know I sound like an absolute idiot. I see how excited he is for our baby to be born. He is hands on with everything he has attended every birthing class with me every appointment every scan you name it he has been amazing he is far from lazy when it comes to making an effort with our relationship.&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;</p><p>he was 19 when him and BM had SD5 and BM literally cut him out when SD was 4 days old and wouldn&#39;t allow access to her until SD was 11 months old walking and almost talking so I understand why my husband doesn&#39;t have that connection and bond with her - also only having her EOW it&#39;s not even 2 full days it&#39;s literally Friday 5pm to Sunday 2pm. He is just so out of touch with her I believe if he was in her life consistently from the day she was born he would have a better understanding of how to parent a child. I don&#39;t have children this baby will be my first and I already know the basic means like described in my original post. He is 100% a Disneyland dad and acts more like the child&#39;s friend than her father struggled hard to disipline her or even establish some sort of authortive role in her life and I do believe this is due to the manipulation he has suffered at the hand of BM and now SD is starting to show these traits. Please guys I&#39;m looking for genuine advice I love this man and as soon as SD goes home back to BM we are a happy married couple but as soon as she comes over the tension builds between us and I have no idea what to do about it I just hope and pray to god when my baby is born he doesn&#39;t make SD priority because at the end of the day she is at our home 2 days out of 14 and our baby will be permanent. We even argued about the fact I don&#39;t think SD should have her own bedroom once baby is old enough to go into her own room because SD only sleeps in her bed 2 nights every 14 days. I can&#39;t win. I fear I&#39;ll become a single parent not because I don&#39;t love this man, because I can&#39;t compete with this child.&nbsp;</p>

tog redux's picture

Maybe he will be better with your baby. But I'm genuine when I say that he is the problem with SD, not her. So either he needs to step up or walk away from her. And you should insist on that. It has zero to do with him not being in her life from day one - it has to do with him either disliking the kid and not wanting to deal with her, or with him being afraid BM will take her away again if he's a real parent and disciplines her. I'd suggest marriage therapy so he can figure out which it is and how to address it. 

Stepmom110815's picture

You're literally 100% right. 
I don't know if he even loves her ? Because what parent says "hey come have a donut" before he's even fed her lunch, what parent lets there wife prompt him "babe SD needs a shower it's 10am" whilst the rest of the house is dressed and ready for the day. He is a contributing factor to her neglect. I used to do all of this I stepped back because I was feeling like a glorified baby sitter. I honestly think he should just give up and walk away now to save the poor kid the daddy issues she already has at 5 years old!! 

tog redux's picture

Exactly, now you've got it! Most of the Disney Dads on here don't forget to feed their kids, if anything, they indulge them with food.  I personally could not live in a home where a child was being neglected. Though honestly, I'm not sure I could live with a man who walked away from a child after that child had gotten to know him, either (had he walked away before her birth, for good reasons, and paid his child support, I could possibly live with that).

But it sounds like you'd be okay with him walking away from her, so you two need to have a serious discussion about what's going to change in this situation.  It's not fair to have her be the neglected half-sister who watches her younger sibling be doted on while she's forgotten about.

Stepmom110815's picture

I just hate the fact I know there's a possibility that one day I could be a single mother and my baby will have to possibly put up with going to visit her dad who could also become distant towards her like he is with his SD. I also hate the fact I love him and aside from SD I believe we would have a happy stress free marriage. Obviously not everything is perfect but you get what I'm saying. It's really sad that SD is being neglected by both her parents no child deserves it. She's already obese, always sick, has BO from poor hygine you name it. I can't raise her I have to focus on raising my own daughter which will be in a complete opposite way she is being raised. And like you stated, it is not fair she will grow up being the neglected sister and my baby will be the doted healthy sister. Argh. I feel awful and guilty now. Gonna try lay cards on table with him once he's cooled down - maybe when he raises our baby from day 1 he will realise more what being a father and a parent is actually about and step up more ?? Or maybe it'll make him feel even more guilty and wil turn him into Disney dad x10000

futurobrillante99's picture

"Because what parent says "hey come have a donut" before he's even fed her lunch, what parent lets there wife prompt him "babe SD needs a shower it's 10am" whilst the rest of the house is dressed and ready for the day."

The better question is what reasonably responsible ADULT human being offers a kid a donut before feeding them lunch or needs another adult to remind them to provide basic care for the child?

Your partner is excited about your baby because it's all fun and games when the child is in your belly and not crying and wanting a diaper change or some food. He also knows that he has YOU to make sure the baby is cared for. When he's got daughter, he's showing you what kind of father he is. He's the kind who can't handle the job alone. It will be totally awesome this time around because he'll get all of the fun with very little effort.

You can't save the SD, but you can help yourself by not imagining your partner is an amazing dad. The evidence in front of you does not support this.


ESMOD's picture

You are with a guy that is a crap father.  He was a disinterested father to his first child.. and has clearly told YOU that the child YOU are having was your choice.. so tough beans.  

I know hindsight is 20/20  but based on his attitude and history with his first child.. I don't see things getting any better with your child.   I think you need to plan your life with the distinct possibility that you will be a single mother to your child.. (even if you remain married.. he isn't going to be your partner in this).  

This is not his child's fault.. and the way she is is a direct result of the way she was raised.. and is currently being raised by your SO and his ex also.  

His 5 year old will be part of your life for as long as you remain married to him.  His daughter is your child's sister.  The only way things could be different is if you had not chosen to have a child with him... but you did and he is clearly planning on being no better father to your child than he was with his first.

futurobrillante99's picture

Yeah. Maybe the evil BM realized that her daughter wasn't going to be cared for properly with the father, so she didn't let him take the child.

Stepmom110815's picture

Nope sorry not accepting this. Evil BM withheld child from father because she is crazy. Period. He is not perfect I admit that but she is not the hero here. She is the one who is responsible for SD being obese at the age of 5, actual fact CS have been called on BM during the time he never had contact with SD due to her lack of basic care and being too busy taking drugs and being with other men. I will not allow that comment. 

Winterglow's picture

So what is he doing to remedy that? Oh yes, feeding her donuts as an appetizer... Good job, eh? 

ESMOD's picture


Look, her DH is doing the "dutiful doting father to be act" with OP.. because right now, he "likes her" and he knows that this is what she wants.  As has also been pointed out.. being excited about the new puppy is much different than being willing to get up at 2am to go walk said puppy and mop up pee if they have an accident! The pound is full of animals that people wanted.. that they had the best of intentions of caring for.. but.... the work? yeah.. nope.

BUT, unlike a pet, you can't necessarily just chain a child in the backyard and forget about it.. if it doesn't turn out to be the pet you thought it would be.  Or.. you kind of can which is what he is doing when he does little to nothing to care for or about the child he created with his EX. 

It's just way easier for him to throw her a donut and push her off on OP to babysit and let her be a little stinky britches instead of parenting her.. because... she reminds him of his EX? She isn't as cute as he wants her to be? She doesn't act the way he wants her to (despite the fact that he has done nothing to work on any of that).

OP... your DH made that child.  He has not been a great father.. could be considered neglectful even.  And if he is truly the kind of man that can let one child of his flounder while he dotes on the other one? You think he will magically know how to raise a child really? You don't know if he will be a great father for your child.. in fact, by all indications.. he will be the opposite.  Now, you may be 100% able to counteract and do all the heavy lifting so your child doesn't suffer... but again, that's being a single mother in a relationship.. not having a partnership in raising that child.. 

And.. when people tell you what they are.. believe them.  He has told you that children are a burden.  ALL children.  yours will be in that bucket for him.. and if your relationship doesn't thrive? Wanna take bets on who his "2nd crazy EX is going to be" for the new girl that he dates.. and how sorry she will feel for him because he had to deal with both those crazy loons... who kept him from their children.  He has a track record now.. it's not a great one.  In the disney vs neglect BD competition.. I at least would rather have a guy that will go overboard for his children vs one that can't be bothered to ensure they have a healthy meal or a bath.

CallMeCrazy's picture

So BM was busy taking drugs and your DH decided to cease all contact with his toddler for a time? Whaa??

And it took your DH - the stellar dad - how long to go to court?

I think it may be easier for you to blame all the ugly on BM, but perhaps she isn't the only player in this. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

First, you need to accept genuine advice for YOU is not necessarily going to include keeping your marriage intact. Nor will it mean we all agree with you. Nor will it mean that we won't think your DH is wrong.

Now, onto my advice. My DH was a teen dad. When OSS was less than 6 months old, DH went off to boot camp and school in another state. While he and BM were married, they spent very little time together - and he spent very little time as a father - those first two years. When YSS was born four years later, BM moved nearly immediately after and DH didn't spend any significant time with YSS until he was well over a year old. Since DH was military (and then poor), he didn't get much of a chance to be involved in those early years with his kids.

BUT, that didn't mean DH just left his kids to their own devices when he did finally get a visitation order. He played games with them, watched countless hours of Pokemon and Dora, shopped for all their clothes and necessities with both of them, made sure they ate (though FIL helped a lot on that front because he liked cooking). It certainly wasn't easy, but there was effort. When I came around, all of that continued.

Being a teen parent to a crazy ex is not an excuse to be a neglectful. He is the non-custodial parent. If he doesn't want to be a parent to her, he doesn't have to be. He simply pays more in CS and stops taking visitation. He has the right and ability to do so.

But, don't conflate him being a bad parent to being a teen parent. He's just a bad parent. Point blank. Sure, he's doing all this stuff with you now, but it's all the easy stuff. It's like buying a house. Looking at houses, scheduling the movers, saving the money, signing the papers, picking out the paint - that's the easy stuff. But actually packing your stuff up? Actually painting that room? Unpacking? That takes effort, and you can be very engaged and organized when buying a house but take a year to fully unpack and paint those rooms. Or, you never fully unpack or paint those rooms. You just get used to it.

So, what can you do? First, take the blinders off. Your DH is neglecting his daughter, and he either needs to grow as a parent or give up custody of his daughter. It's not fair to her that her dad isn't trying, and it really won't be when your child is born if he actually becomes an amazing parent. 

This is where you have a lot of influence, and should have a lot of concern. You need to have an honest conversation with your DH and shut down any guilt that he tries to pile onto you:

"DH, I have concerns about the kind of parent you will be once our child is born based on how you parent SD. I did not sign up to be a single parent, and right now, I see myself being that in the future. If you have complicated emotions about SD, seek therapy. If you don't know how to be a better parent, do some research and find a therapist who can help you with parenting. The excuse of not being there before is not a good one. You're here now, and you can do better. You need to do better. Your daughter should not receive conditional love, but if that is all you can offer, then we need to discuss you no longer maintaining visitation with her. She won't deserve seeing you love her sibling and love me but not love her. If that thought hurts, then you need to change because this situation isn't sustainable."

That conditional love thing needs to be one that you watch out for, too. His excuse is that because he was young, not around, and SD is like the woman he chose to have a child with that he doesn't care about SD as much. That honestly could be true, but if it is, it means it can happen to your mutual child when your child doesn't do anything to deserve that treatment. There's not much you can do about it now other than watch for it and call it out.

You're going to have to have thick skin and a sturdy spine. You won't be able to allow his excuses to dictate his behavior. He CAN change, but it takes work. So far, it sounds like you've put more work into fixing the situation than he has just by coming here for advice. Just realize that you CANNOT fix this for or in him. He has to want a better relationship with SD or to give her up. He has to want to be a good parent to your mutual partner. If he isn't, your job won't be to fix that for him; it will be to protect your child FROM that behavior. That doesn't mean you leave and withhold your child from him, but it may mean that you're a single parent with your child in therapy to work through feelings of abandonment from their father.

You can't fix this, but you also don't have to tolerate it. The only person you can control is you, and if this relationship isn't working for you and doesn't change, then your only recourse is to leave or come to terms with the dysfunction.

ESMOD's picture

I do agree with all of this.

I would have to add from my own perspective.. my ability to feel secure in my relationship with my partner would go way down if he really was able to "give up" his first child and deny her having two parents that love her.  Sure BM may have made things difficult, but I imagine the manchild that he was (and he isn't too many years past that).. probably had his own contributions to the dysfunction and he likely didn't try all that hard to rectify things then.  They were both kids.. they both made mistakes I'm sure.. but his daughter should have a parent that cares about her and for her.  Right now, he is failing to do that.

So.. like you said.. his affection for OP's child could go by the wayside just as easily if THEY have problems in the future.. so being able to respect and be with a man that would turn his own child away? That isn't something I could easily do.  And we are now talking about a situation where he DOES have access.. not situations we see here where a BM is actively preventing any contact and the kids are teens and wanting less contact.

tog redux's picture

Agreed. I could not respect a man who gave up a child who already knew him because he was too lazy/indifferent to parent her.  Most men I know, of any age, feel some bond to their child once they've met and gotten to know them.  I agree with LD too that being excited about a baby on the way doesn't translate to doing the thankless dirty work of parenting.

justmakingthebest's picture

I am floored that the BM had to push to get him to be involved with his kid and someone else wants to have a baby with him thinking it will be ever so different because BM is just evil... 

OP, your DH doesn't sound like any prize. Please protect yourself, never give up working or being able to handle you and your baby financially.  I am sure the next one will hear about how evil you are too...

ybarra357's picture

'Mr Defensive told me that every child is a burden whether you have them 24/7 or not'  Well, there you are.  He was including YOUR kid too.  I would find a good lawyer and put them on speed dial now.  

Mamabearof3's picture

I think marriage is a scared union. If you have to leave him then do so. But separation and divorce isn't the same thing. Write down your expectations of him as a dad for the first year. He does every midnight feeding and diaper change etc whatever it is. Then write down expectations and schedule for him with SD and when he doesn't follow it. Leave. The stress of him being aloof or just carelsss won't get better and if you give him clear directions and he doesn't listen you know he doesn't care. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

Generally speaking, I'd be against this because OP's DH should be adult enough to figure these things out and not require his wife to create a parenting rubric like she's a teacher...

...BUT, for this OP, I think this would be a good visual for her to see where the discrepancies are. Not to "train" him to be a better father, but to see if he can and will parent his children. 

So, OP, do this. And if it seems like an obscene amount of work, ask yourself why you have to do it.

S_mum's picture

You say he'll be a great dad to your child. I doubt it, but let's say your're right. Even if he's goddamn father of the year to your child, that doesn't change the fact that he's treating his daughter like dirt. It still doesn't make what's he doing ok. It is UNACCEPTABLE for a parent to treat his/her kid like this.

He's not a Disney dad. This is child neglect. He is neglecting his child's physical and emotional needs. How is this pathetic excuse for a father different from "evil BM"? 

He needs to go to therapy ASAP. The other option is for him to cut off all contact with his daughter. It seems he's not doing her any favours by being in her life, anyways.

tog redux's picture

Honestly, it almost would make it worse if he was a great father to the new baby, but kept SD hidden away in her bedroom, smelling like ass, throwing her a donut every now and then.  If he's capable of treating his two kids that differently, he's got some serious psychological problems going on.

IDontCare3117's picture

Your DH has absolutely ZERO excuse for not being involved with his child from Day 1.  If he didn't want to be a father, he should have worn a condom to make sure his end of the birth control was taken care of.  What does it say about your DH he willingly chose to sleep with a druggie, and not wrapping up his bizness?   I don't care to hear excuses like "she was on birth control, but lied."  "He was young, and stupid, and was drunk..."  

It sounds like all parties involved are relatively young.  OP, DH, BM, everyone.  If your DH doesn't man-up and actually be a father to his daughter, you need to recognize his lack of character.  If he will do it with one child, he will do it with another.  


S_mum's picture


I keep seeing posts like this:

"she was on birth control, but lied."

"she trapped him"

Some people think that birth control is solely the woman's responsibility. If men don’t want to want use condoms, that’s their issue, but they don't get  to subtract themselves from the whole birth control equation. I know that the issue is complicated and controversial but it takes two to tango and it should take two to be involved in birth control.

BethAnne's picture

Maybe suggest that you both take a parenting class. Tell him that it is so that you are both prepared to parent your daughter. But make sure you choose one that will cover things that will be useful for his relationship with his older daughter too. Maybe that will help him see where he is going wrong with his eldest kid?


Harry's picture

Men who treat there first child like dirt will not change,  He pitting  on an act because he just going to classes a hour a week.  But when push  comes. Like no sleep at night, You going out him taking care of baby. He going to be the same. Once the newness wears off in a week. 

Stepmom110815's picture

Thank you for all of your responses. I can now see the wool has been pulled over my eyes and I'm in a really scary position. BM and DH here are no better than each other. For years I thought maybe DH just can't bond with his daughter and if he had her more it would be better but now I've come to realise he's just a lazy, incapable excuse of a father which really scares me for my baby's sake. I can't believe this. I really hate to admit but I think one day I'll end up being alone too. I'm going to try talk to him and tell him that his behaviour and neglect towards SD is not only uncomfortable to me but it will show when our daughter is born if he does treat them differently which I think he will. I think he treats SD like a visitor instead of his child because he can't stand BM but he's tied into this now. I would honestly rather he save himself and everyone the heart ache by cutting ties. He's always paid child support on time and what favours is he doing to the child at the moment? None. I'm such an idiot. I feel like a fool. I feel sick to have to realise this toxic behaviour was never the SD, ofcourse it wasn't - she's 5!!!!! A product of her own environment - her crazy mom and her lazy ass father. If I wasn't having my own baby I would probably still be stuck in glorified baby sitter mode with the child but now I've stepped back I've realised there's nothing I can do, you don't just give up on your child!!!! Argh. I have no idea where to go from here .... where do I move on next?

Lifer33's picture

And I'm glad it's dawning on you

I'd just like to add that if you chose to stay with this man he best start making an effort pronto. As there is sibling rivalry, and then there is being totally unloved and neglected whilst watching your half sibling being loved and looked after.

Think about how that will go down and how sd will then react to and treat your child....