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Wondering if I can keep the relationship going or should I leave

Kokomo27's picture

Hello, I've just joined on here as am really struggling and wondering whether the problem is more myself than anyone else. I've been with my partner 6 years, we have two children together. He has a 16 year old daughter from a previous relationship who comes to stay a few times a week. She is not a difficult child, but I'm beginning to truly resent her and dread when she comes over. I've been as honest with him as I can without hurting him too much. I tried so hard with her initially but never got anything in return; she behaves awkwardly in front of me; she is super shy and clearly uncomfortable around me and has never warmed to me. She is not rude, aggressive or spiteful. I have now given up and when I can, I go out whenever she is here but it's not always easy when we have two little children. I can't be myself in my own home when she is here and that's what's making it so difficult, life is soo good when she's not here but when she is, I am so unhappy- I become stressed, upset and I know I am rude to my partner, it's not his fault. She has no friends, no interests, no hobbies, just screens, so it doesn't help that when she's here she just sits in front of rhe tv all day. I encourage him to take her out and do things with her but I feel at that age she shouldn't need entertaining all the time! Her mother seriously mistreated my partner, she is the spitting image. It's not her fault but it drives me mad that he gives her mum so much money and is so pleasant towards her after all the nasty things she has done. And various times she has walked into our house which has made me so angry but I can't say anything in front of the children. I have contemplated ending the relationship so many times but then I feel it isn't fair on our two young children and I am so happy otherwise.  Equally I'm guessing his daughter isn't clueless and is picking up on a level of negativity from me. It sounds awful but I don't want a relationship with her, I don't want to bond with her. Am I naive to think this will all be easier in a Few years when she goes off to college?! I feel like an awful person saying these things as she is not a bad girl, but I don't have any love for her and I can't bear it when she is here anymore. I don't know how to move on! 

MaryJ's picture

You are preaching to the choir! I know exactly how you feel, with the exception that I am without any bio children.  I finally have accepted that I am not being true to myself by remaining in a relationship with someone who has children. I also realize I cannot continue being miserable so my SO can be happy.  Like you, I do not love my stepdaughter.  I have decided to opt out of the relationship in the near future.  I have lived with my 16yo SD for 3 years and feel like she only takes up space in my home and in my head.  She is completely worthless and unreliable for anything in my life because of Disney dad.  I went in with open arms only to be rejected and played to be the bad one, when I have only been nice, or never once raised my voice.  SD is not my battle or cross to bear.  She was damaged upon my arrival and I'm not willing to risk having to spend another 5 yrs of my life with a child I do not like or love to be with my SO. Her behavior and lifestyle is the result of permissive parenting and shame on me for wanting structure and accountability.

If my SO chooses to opt out of the relationship because I refuse to live with his child, so be it.  I refuse to keep a clean home, pay bills nor buy the nicest things for someone else’s child to live like she’s a Disney princess living in a hotel.  Nope.

I have no suggestions, but I know it's tough. The unnecessary stress I have allowed in my life living with a child of this nature is just not worth it for me.  Clearly I have been child free all these years for a reason and I am too old to change or bend for a child that is not mine. I miss having privacy and my own space. I did it for love and to try something different, but I must admit it has been wrong for me from the start. Love will make you do some crazy things, but I love myself more.

Hopefully things will get better for you, but please know you are not alone.  Every day is a struggle that I have to share a home with a entitled lazy child.

P.S. If she put forth any effort to show appreciation maybe things would have been different.  She doesn’t need me and I sure as hell don’t need her!

P.S.S. It felt so good to type these words and be honest with myself.

Endgame's picture

Unfortunately, goal posts are constantly shifting in stepworld. I hung on for older SD to turn 18 & launch but BM kicked her out at 18 (no financial benefit to BM) so SD19 moved in with SO permanently.

I waited for her new launch age of 24. She gave SO an ultimatum to choose her or me then she moved out (hooray) but SD16 changed her schedule to stay mostly with SO to escape BM & SD19 & work around the corner.

SO now says SD16 will NEVER launch because of her psychiatric developments (from stupid parenting). SD16 dresses like a prostitute & does dangerous behaviours indicating very low self-esteem so I predict SO will "raise" a grandchild.

Also, from the age of 16, when skids know people with driver's licences, random pop ins start with boyfriend, new friends. Some people can cope with the unpredictable sound of a key in the front door during romantic times with SO. I couldn't

Thisisnotus's picture

I have a similar thing going here with sd17.

but these kids don’t launch....it seems. My bio dd17 drives has her own car, has friend she goes to hang with, plays sports, is planning for college, has a job.

sd17 no license and refuses to drive. Would rather daddy tote her all over. She has no friends, won’t work, no activities just her phone and the word college hasn’t even been mentioned.

relationshipguru's picture

I left mine 8 months ago and am very happy now. The first two months were very hard and after that my life began to get better slowly. Now I am doing very well and my life has been so much happier, peaceful and more fulfilling. I recently started dating someone who is child free and a lot less self centered/narcissistic. It has been a breath of fresh air. It took some time to get here but you will. Believe me when I say this. You are better off without the step parent life.  

Disneyfan's picture

The kid is well behaved and respectful.  Your husband is great and you have a wonderful marriage.  Sorry, but it would be crazy to walk away from that.

If you leave, you and your kids may end up in TRUE step hell.  You could end up with SKs like the ones  posted about here and you kids could end up with a stereotypical SM.

Many posters here would love to be in your shoes.

Kokomo27's picture

Thanks Disneyfan. I think your absolutely right and I suppose that's why I was posting on here, I can't understand why I'm finding the situation so tough, when in reality I could be in a much much worse situation. It's admirable how some people manage and cope with much harder circumstances than mine. I don't know why I'm finding it so hard and why it's having such a negative impact on me. I don't want to be that person that is unkind to the skid but equally I feel I have tried and tried to establish some form of relationship and now just feel ready to give up. I am a very private person and need a lot of space- it infuriates me that she never goes out, socialises, tidies her room or helps round the house but I'm beginning to recognise that part of that is thanks to her dad. He spoils her, runs around after and clearly feels guilty about her situation. I wonder whether part of it is the rejection I sense aswell; I have never felt anything in return from her; with my own kids the love is enough. I have considered speaking to someone professionally about it all and maybe that's what I need to do to. 

Kokomo27's picture

thank you everyone. 
 

Sea horse I truly hope that is the case, but sometimes things can get harder as they get older! 
mary J well done for finally making that decision, soundslike a really hard one to make. I don't think we'd still be in the relationship if we didn't have children together. Just out of interest what is it that you are waiting for now when you say you have decided to opt out put in the near future. 

justmakingthebest's picture

You can't help how you feel towards your SD but all in all, in this crazy step world- you are VERY LUCKY. 

Just remember in a few years she will launch. Go to college. Start working. She won't be in your home all the time. This too will pass. Maybe once the relationship isn't forced on the both of you, you will create your own friendship?

Kokomo27's picture

I agree, I am really lucky! I think that is what has kept things going this long for me .. knowing that soon she will hopefully launch and have a life of her own.. and not be wanting to mope around are house all the time. I have worked with kids a lot of my life, some of them very challenging, and rude and argumentative towards me but this is the hardest relationship I have had to manage by far. It's about my home and not feeling comfortable in the one place I should be most comfortable. 
A forced relationship is a massive part of the problem, she has had her own difficulties and did not getting on with her step brother (bms side) or step dad and they consequently divorced so it's not surprising that she is so indifferent around me if that's the right word. 

Rags's picture

Visiting prior relationship children have to integrate and adapt to the family routine of the full timers.

Anything else just won't work for either the visiting kid or the full time household members.  

Stop accomodating and start keeping DH clear that SD cannot disrupt the family bliss.  Just do what you do in your family and keep giving SD and DH the message that SD needs to integrate.

The one absolutely clear message that SD needs is that unlike with her StepDad and StepSib, she will not be allowed to end your marriage to her father and she will not cost her younger sibs their intact family.

Lather, rinse, repeat.