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21 year old SD - can I insist she moves out?

Kelbel70's picture

First post and so looking forward to any insights this fab community might have. Sorry for the length.. 

My partner and I met 3 years ago (both late 40s) and moved in together after dating 18months. He was from a (pretty toxic) long term relationship, 2 adult kids (SS 19 and SD 21). I have no kids. SS lives with bio mum (a terrible enabler and spoiler that shows love by giving money and gifts) and SD lived with her dad for a couple years before moving in with us into our new place. New place is a beautiful brand new townhouse by the beach and she was given the top floor with a high end bathroom and a walk in robe. She's at uni and works part time, a few hours a week only really, just enough to cover the clothes and nightclubbing (3 nights a week every week). We cover all rent, food and utilities and she has zero financial contribution.

SD has only ever been polite and well mannered around me so I know I'm in front here, in terms of other people's experiences. However, she is immensely lazy and entitled - zero assistance or chores in the house, sits on sofa every night whilst we cook her dinner and then clean up etc and keeps her room and space like a filthy hovel, majority of the time. She's a princess and has been spoiled by dad (who was initially parenting out of guilt for having left the family home) and who has traditionally done everything for the family and for her. This keeping her room like a hovel/petrie dish has been a problem since she was a child and now at 21, in our shared home, it continues - I send him up there to check it occasionally and he ends up cleaning it himself - strips her filthy bed (months of unwashed sheets, fake tan ruined mattresses, linen and pillows as she’ll sleep on it without a mattress protector), wash basket jammed full (she won't wash her own clothes so he does it), bags of rubbish and mouldy food, plates with old food, cups etc, filthy bathroom which she doesn't seem to know how to clean) etc

She also expects to be included sometimes on our dinners and lunches out and thinks it’s funny to drink lots of cocktails whilst dad pays the bill.

A source of tension to us both of course (there’s been times when I complained to him and he flew off the handle) and me there wondering why a 21 year old adult can't do anything to help or keep her space reasonably tidy. And why I’m funding nearly 50% of it. He does send grumpy messages to her about her dirty room etc but never sits her down for a proper talk. He says she just cries and leaves if he does that so instead he sends messages which she largely ignores.

Recently we found out she had quit her final year of uni (because it clashed with the part time job at the gym, wtf) and was working a few part time hours a week and just nightclubbing the rest. Combined with everything else I’ve mentioned, her dad has finally hit the wall himself and we together advised her she needed to either give up that space (which we would love to have as a guest room) and move into the tiny spare room I am currently using as a study, or move out. 

She denied everything, zero accountability, max entitlement and said to him she didn’t appreciate my verbal contribution to the issue and moved to her bio mums, where she’s been for a month. He refused to take me out of the conversation and backed me and our position on this and told her she was an entitled brat.

We’ve had a month of bliss living together, no adult kids.

He is finally seeing her (and SS) this weekend for lunch and will talk to her (without me, which is fine).

Question for you guys: does step mum have a say in SKIDS  behaviour when living together or do i/should I have left all of it to her dad to manage and relay?

Can I insist that she moves out at this point? I’m worried that if he lets her back for one more chance that it will cause additional damage to our relationship and I know nothing will change on her end, even if we document conditions she’d need to follow. My opinion is she won’t change until she lives on her own.

Cheers all, so very much appreciate any input.

Kelbel70's picture

Despite my partner doing everything for her, and them supposedly being close, she gave him nothing, not even a card for his 50th birthday which gutted him. He spent 1.5k on her 21st. She generally "forgets" Father's Day too.

SteppedOut's picture

This is an adult living in YOUR home: YES! You absolutely "get a say". 

It's one thing if a parent wants to help a young adult that is going to college. It is quite another when the young adult quits college to work a part time dead end job and party on the parent's (and their spouse's!) dime. And then has the nerve to throw a tantrum when told their allowed space can't be a garbage dump. 

If it was me, skidult can only come back - to the small bedroom AND only if she is going to be going back to college. No more supporting a losers party time. If she doesn't want to go back to college, it is high time she get a FULL TIME job and her own home. Additionally, the room must be kept reasonable - hell no to rotting food. YUCK

Kelbel70's picture

If she was a contributing, dedicated human who was studying hard, working part time, helping us out in the house etc I'd have no problem supporting her. But she isn't. She's part of this new generation that get given everything and barely work for anything/save up for things. It's not how I/we were raised so it's frustrating. 

I want to be able to enforce the smaller room thing but when I reminded my partner of that the other day, there was silence.. she'll push back on that as the small space is nowhere near big enough to house her huge wardrobe of clothes and stuff. It'll guaranteed be a deal breaker - which is why I'm inclined to tell him that's still a condition. 


caninelover's picture

I was just thinking she sounds so similar!

ESMOD's picture

I think one of the key points you make here is that you were not raised to behave this way.  BUT.. SHE was.. by her father.. and by her mother.  And.. I think it is somewhat generational in attitude.  I work with a younger woman.. in her early 30's.. and her attitude is that despite the fact that she is employed as a professional at a "salary" position.. she will work exactly the work schedule.. and will turn her computer and phone off the minute the clock strikes 4pm.  If it is her day off... or her lunch hour? she will not respond or do anything work related.. the rare occasion she may have done something it has pained her greatly.  And.. she will volunteer to do "high profile brown nosing" projects that don't really relate directly to our department's work.. yet that extra work means she can't do work that she SHOULD be doing.. and asks that it be assigned to others.. so she can do her little pet projects.  Heaven forbid she work an hour of OT to get both done.  While me and another coworker are each regularly working 10 hours plus OT a week to ensure work is done properly.  

So, is my coworker a bad person?  I don't necessarily think so.. but she definitely has that very rigid boundary with her work/life balance.. and this IS a professional field where she takes in well into a 6 figure salary.. it's not like she is making barely above minimum wage and objecting to an extra hour of "free" work.

But, to your situation.. she was raised this way.. and while I absolutely do believe that you have a say in who lives in your home and the rules and requirements for people to be allowed to stay there.. I do think it may have been a bit better to allow your SO to be the one to more directly deliver the message to her.  Keeping you more out of the line of fire so to speak.  He created this situation.. so he is the one that should have been insisting that she stay in school if she intended to continue to live at home.  That would be an absolute requirement.

But... I might consider that right now.. she is out of the home.  I would try to avoid a scenario where she returns unless it is with both a comittment to finish up her university, maintain a PT job and stay in the smaller room for the surely short span of time it should take her to finish up.  Then she would have a set time to find full time employment and move out .  If she is not going to finish school.. she can stay with mom until mom tires of that.. and then she will need to figure out where to live.. but not with you.

Cover1W's picture

I support your co-worker's work life balance somewhat actually.  A salary position is meant to cover the regular work week (40 hours) plus or minus extra time here and there - but the extra work should not be regularly over 40 hours per week, if so then it's going to get into wage laws. I do work now and then over 40 hours per week but I do NOT log in over the weekend (unless it's previously planned on and is truly needed - example I am working on Saturday the 3rd for a couple hours on a special project I agreed to, it wasn't required). And if I step away from my desk during lunch I am NOT working. Sometimes people get confused over exempt positions being slave positions (been there quit that job) rather than professional flex posistions.

Kelbel70's picture

Completely agree ESMOD and so appreciate the thoughts you've written - I have been pretty annoyed to watch my partner's hands off approach to it all - he knew she was gradually wriggling out of finishing college but said nothing. I was there going, babe why isn't she finishing?? What is her plan?? Even small things like the dinner routine in our house - he or I cook, give her the meal, she eats it then sits on sofa on her phone whilst we clean the entire kitchen. I'm there, jaw dropped, thinking why on earth isn't he saying, hey, get up off the sofa and clean up? Why didn't he pull her aside for a serious chat and say, you need to help?? Path of least resistance and I think whilst he has finally wisened up now and is showing boundaries, I don't trust that things will change much should she return - I've had 3 years to observe how they parent and I don't like it.

also having seen her pouty, defensive response to this just cements it for me.

Agree she should stay with her bio Mum until she works out her life. That will at some point crash down on my partner once bio mum cracks it because she now has both her entitled brats living with her *clapping*


ndc's picture

Yes, you should have a say about other adults who live in your home.  You should not have to live with filth and squalor in your home.  I certainly hope he is paying at least 2/3 of the household costs.  I wouldn't push for the small room so much as I'd push for her to move out.  She's an adult and apparently no longer a student, so it's time for her to launch.  If it was just daddy, then it would make sense for her to stay; daddy isn't the only one whose opinion matters anymore, though.  Also, your partner isn't doing his daughter any favors by enabling her to be a lazy slob who doesn't appear to be achieving anything in life.

Kelbel70's picture

Completely agree - he's as bad as the mother at the end of the day. Actually the bio Mum is worse but my partner has been an enabler too and way too soft in his parenting approach.

notsurehowtodeal's picture

Of course you get a say, especially when you are paying 50%. Do not let her move back in. If DH wants to continue to contribute to her financially, he needs to pay his half of all household expenses and any payments to her need to come from his funds alone.

Kelbel70's picture

Yes I've said that to him - so we were paying 50/50 for the first year or more together, on rent, food and utilities - a few months ago I asked him to pay more. He's now paying 55% rent and $100 a fortnight more to bills, which is still not totally fair in my book but anyways. I've said to him now, we can go to 50/50 again and the money left over you can contribute to her living costs, when she's living alone.

lieutenant_dad's picture

This kind of crap from parents absolutely floors me. I was the adult SK that moved back in after I got divorced in my mid-20s. I paid rent for my room. I had to keep it cleaned to my mom and SF's standards. I had to either make my own food or eat what they cooked. I had one year to get my finances in order and move out, and I had to ask my SF for permission to stay any extra couple of months because I kept getting outbid on houses (and he's not an a-hole so he let me stay because he knew I was trying but the market was a wreck). They were kind about all of this, but I was most definitely a "roommate", not treated like a helpless child. 

Of course you have a voice, but you have to be willing to stick to your guns and have consequences if your SO doesn't agree with you.

"SO, either SD lives here with you or I do, but not both. I won't continue to pay 50% of the bills to keep YOUR fully grown, underachieving daughter here to dirty up our new home. If I leave, I expect you to buy me out of my half of this home, otherwise we'll sell it and I'll get my money that way. But I will NOT continue to subsidize another adult. She burned her bridge with me on that with how she treats you and how she treats OUR property."

If he blows a gasket, calmly state:

"Well, it sounds like you'd rather live with her than me. I'll have my attorney contact yours."

Then you move TF out. Or flip the script if you own more share of the property and kick HIM out. Either way, the consequence for him continuing to be a wet noodle to his daughter should be you realizing you're better than this chaos and leaving it.

Kelbel70's picture

I love these thoughts and I may use your words as a bit of a script when it comes to the crunch! 
We are only renting as it was our first time living together and now, knowing what I do know, I'm glad we don't own property together. 
We had a chat last night over dinner and I explained to him that I can't see it working with having her move back in with us. He took it onboard calmly and we discussed all the reasons why including the way his kids treat him. I have asked him to talk to her soon (this weekend I think they are catching up for lunch) and ask her what her plan is, as it's been 5 weeks+ since she left and all her stuff is still in the bedroom. I won't count on anything until he progresses this with her but if it doesn't happen, I'll use your (more assertive) script. Thanks for the input, it's invaluable.

LARoman62's picture

Nicely pack up all of her belongings and move your guest furniture in to the room after a couple of weeks.  Don't give him time to change his mind.

justmakingthebest's picture

"DH, SD is 21 yrs old and is fully capeable of getting an apartment for herself or with a roommate. I propose we give her 6 months to get her stuff together, save some funds and then she needs to move out. She should be in her new place by Dec. 1st."

Your Dh will handle this one of 2 ways- moan and groan, but she is my baaabbbyyy- to which you can respond, well to make it a little easier on her, how about we help furnish living room furniture for her. (Trust me, that is cheaper than her staying!). He might agree or you may have to up the ante and offer than you guys can pay her cell phone or cable for a little while longer to help her get established. 

or- HOW DARE YOU! MY DAUGHTER CAN LIVE HERE FOREVER! - to which you can respond with either, very well, I hope you have a lovely life together. (Then move out yourself). Or, Fine, I will no longer pay 50% of this household. There are 3 adults and I will not pay more than 1/3 of anything from this point forward. You want to support her living here, than you need to support her costs. Not me. 

Stepdrama2020's picture

OP great advice.

Stick to your words so DH knows he cannot weasle his way with you. Gotta get tough when you are dealing with a rude entitled SD with an enabling daddio. You say she is polite to you. She isnt polite or well mannered , being polite and respectful  in your home  would be pulling her weight, treating your home with respect.

Good luck lady 

Kelbel70's picture

Thanks so much for the fab advice - I have thought that when it comes to crunch time and she tries to weasel back in and he wants her back, I will either leave or suggest he pays thirds (which some people in my life already think should have been the case - them going thirds). The costs of living where we are are quite high and he's not going to want to do that. But it might be a trick up my sleeve to force the issue.

And yep I've even offered in the past to contribute something to her living costs out of home to get her out - I'm that desperate.

caninelover's picture

I would suggest both you and DH see a therapist.  It didn't solve a lot of issues related to toxic narcissist SD Bratty McBratFace but it did enable us to communicate better with each other without SO getting super defensive.

Yes you absolutely have a say about your home life.  If SD doesn't like it she doesn't have to live there.  If she does return it has to be temporary until she finishes uni and then she's out.  I would also say she should be in the smaller room (should have been that way from the start), and should have to keep it reasonably clean.  With Bratty we enforces a no food in the room rule but let her live in her own mess beyond that, except the bathroom which she was required to clean once a month.

caninelover's picture

You're right, she really won't change until she moves out on her own and has roommates complaining about her filth!  Bratty ultimately did get better about cleaning dishes etc after she moved into a shared house with a bunch of roommates.

Harry's picture

He's a Disney daddddy and he is putting his DD before you.  First you should only be paying 1/3 of the bills.  He should pay 1/3 for himself and 1/3 for DD.  
You must make a stand as a hill to died on. SD gets a smaller room and some time table for her to get out.  Or you will have a 40 yo SD living with you 

Kelbel70's picture

He's definitely a Disney Dad - he is showing boundaries now but it's taken 3 years to get here.

this is my worst fear too, that she'll be with us til 30 or more!! She has said to me before that she was never leaving and wants to save money for her own apartment whilst living with us because she can't bear to share with anyone. Princess omg... we all had to rent first and learn how to live with people beside buying property. And she'd be saving a few bucks a month only because, well nightclubbing and drinks and clothes! Not happening. I've got very little left in the tank with this issue and my partner knows it I think - I'll move out if I have to. 

hereiam's picture

Can I insist that she moves out at this point?

Yes, you can.

Do not let her move back in because, like you said, she won't change. She's out, best to keep her out.

CLove's picture

Hi - I also am child-free with stepkiddos.

I had an experience with SD22 Feral Forger - she turned 18 then a few months later graduated (barely) high school. She got a job and basically ghosted us. Lived with someone else while working. No communications at all. So, her room sat for 7 months. Filled with her trash. Husband told me one day "hey Im doing a dump run!" And said great lets get all this crap out. We took the door off, and I have plants and a fish tank in there.

NOW, shes living with Toxic Troll Bm. Still no drivers license (a total necessity here in California) no college, and hasnt started a job that she supposedly got at a restaurant. She is dirty and gross, steals and lies. I wont live with her again.

Husband is VERY sensitive about anything I say about her. The ex consistently guilts him about the Feral Forger not being able to live with us. 

I dont care. I pay half of EVERYTHING.

SD15 backstabber/munchkin - she does nothing to help out or help me. Husband cooks and cleans up her dishes and plates for her. Ive tried in the past to help her but continually have gotten my head chopped off so I am disengaged currently. Ive been thinking not only of what will happen when she turns 18 and graduates, when child support and contact with BM ends, but her living situation.

I say, really clamp down on this situation. She is a brat. Spoiled. Not helping. Adult. Not your kid, and not your problem. Let your SO know what you feel and let him deal with his problem.

Kelbel70's picture

Wow our situations are similar, it's good to hear your story! 

Interesting she basically ghosted you for 7 months whilst her room was still full of her stuff and your DH took that long to empty it. I've said to my guy last night that he needs to progress this as I want to move forward with taking back that room. 

I feel for you having an under 18 still with you.. I would die. At least these two are legally adults. 
The other thing we are managing right now is my partner has had 2 cancer diagnosis in the past 6 months, bowel and prostate. Both caught early and he will be okay but he's had 2 major surgeries. This more recent one (just 3 weeks ago, neither of the two kids have called him or been to see him to see if he's okay. I did the right thing and messaged both of them before and on the day before of his surgery to let them know he was okay. I got bare minimum responses. Both kids are now sulking about what we have done to SD and have not been in touch. They are really only interested in my partner when he can or is doing something to benefit them. 

Selfish, lazy, entitled.. I've seen the term "disengagement" on this forum and I think that will be my next step. I was never overly involved anyway but I did make plenty of effort - bought presents for them, invited them to my family Christmases and lunches etc - won't be doing any of that anymore. They simply don't deserve it.



Kaylee's picture


This sounds EXACTLY like my ex SD.

Going to college part time, not working even though multiple jobs available in the area.... Daddy paying for EVERYTHING etc including buying her a car. 

Even though she has now graduated, she only works part time (25 to 30 hrs pw) does not contribute financially at all. 

Lives at home and Daddy does everything and pays everything. She is 23.

OP, this is a hill to die on. Don't let her move back in under any circumstances.

Kelbel70's picture

And you are living with her still too Kaylee?? And she's not contributing Sad my worst nightmare 

very similar - not at uni, bio parents gave them both money for a car out of their settlement (which SD just spent, she did get license but refuses to drive so now daddy had to still take her places), dad pays for everything, including the fact she has his card details on her Uber account and uses it all sometimes to ferry herself to and from nights out, despite having been asked to remove his card. 


Kaylee's picture

OMG that's EXACTLY what ex did for his daughter..... HIS credit card is loaded onto her Uber account! Also she would demand him to drive her into the city so she could go out boozing. Then she would ring him at 0400 in the morning to come and pick her drunken ass up again.

He would just do it. Pathetic. When I told him to stop, that's when he gave her his card details for Uber. Wtf?

No I don't live with them. Never did, and in fact we aren't together any more.

She sounds so similar it's amazing! She told him she is never moving out. 

A couple of times, I sent her nice texts letting her know of rooms available in flats with people I knew, so knew they were decent. Instead of even just saying thanks, she ignored them, didn't talk to me about it. Instead screamed at her Dad, abusing him and yelling that "you want to get rid of me"....

LARoman62's picture

Her father created this selfish dirty little monster.  If he want's to support her then it needs to come out of his pocket, and since this is your home as well, and you are paying for half, I wouldn't let her step one foot back in.  She will dangle the hope of graduating college in front of him for years and never finish.  My bf's son is 24 and took 5 years and still hasn't finished his bachelor's degree.  He flunked classes and then right after his dad got him back in a few months later he quit.  He's in the hole for $140,000. all for nothing!  All this little d!ck did was drug and drink this last year.  A few weeks ago he got a job through his BM as an "assistant manager" at a small restaurant.  How many assistant managers do you know that regularly deliver food and do no reports at the end of the night?  Oh yeah, and still no raise as promised after the first 4 weeks lol.  Keep her out at all costs or you'll never get rid of her.  Unfortunately I have no say in my living situation.  I'd have to move out (and still might).  The only saving grace is the brat isn't here for 10 hours a day, YAY!  The stress has gone down tremendously.  Oh, and yes, his daddy does his laundry, still gives him money, and goes without a car because junior needs it to work.

Rags's picture

The good news... your piglike failed family breeding experiment Skidult is gone.  Rekey the locks, put her nasty shit in the dumpster, keep your study and refurb her former pig sty of a room into whatever YOU want it to be, and keep your DH grounded in the reality that his Pig spawn is no longer a child and has no permanent place in your marital home.

Be ready.  Once you turn her former hog trough into a nice guest room... daddy will feel guilty and likely try to have her "visit" and the pig Skidult hybrid nasty being will in all likelihood attempt to re-root in your new guest room.


Lather, rinse, repeat.

Enjoy your new feral hog free space.


Kelbel70's picture

I love that term more than life OMG!! Pig Skidult!! It is so appropriate you would not believe. The thing is, the pig skidult looks like a princess and spends many hours of her day, tanning, hair, nails, outfits, Instagram, getting ready for clubbing. Portrays this glam life on Socials but lives like a feral hog. He's still not talked to her yet and I have gone softly as he is recovering from surgery. But I reiterated to him again this week that I cannot live with her going forward and he was calm and in agreeance about it. I am waiting to see what happens though when it comes to the crunch and he speaks to her and we have to arrange for her stuff to go. That will be very interesting. I am resolved to leave if she pushes back and he folds to her though.
We aren't married and my peace/happiness is worth more to me.
I shall keep you guys updated.