You are here

Adult Stepdaughters' Extreme Jealousy

Suzi's picture

I have been happily married for 23+ years and have a 30+ year old daughter from my previous marriage. My husband has two adult daughters who are late 40's/early 50's. I have had good relationships with his daughters - the older one and I have always gotten along fine. The younger one has always been subtly jealous of both me and my daughter but we seem to get along okay. My husband recently expressed his displeasure with his children ignoring him at Christmas, birthday, Father's Day, and said that if it weren't for my 30+ yr old daughter (who is extremely close to him), he wouldn't have anything. So of course, the older SD was very, very upset, and thought she was being compared to my daughter. My husband emphatically stated he wasn't comparing them, but that he was disappointed in his biological children for the way they take him for granted. The older SD later talked to my husband and complained that I always exclude her from parties, social things at our house, etc., but always include my daughter. My husband shared the conversation with me in detail. Which is true, because this SD lives a very different lifestyle than we do (always unemployed; on public assistance; not very wholesome lifestyle in general) and my husband usually does not want her to come.

My husband has not heard from the other daughter since Christmas.

I sent a message to this older SD (who again, I have always gotten along with) just to say that I hope that we don't start any unnecessary family drama or jealousy, and that we all need to focus on loving eachother and accepting eachothers' differences. I know now that was a huge mistake but I thought it might help. She went ballistic and told me that I needed to get my facts straight. Afterwards, there was tension in her voice each time she called our house, so I asked her if we could talk and try to resolve things. She told me she would like to talk, but not at the moment.

Keep in mind this SD is 50 years old. She called last week and told him that "I" was the cause of all of this confusion and that my daughter and I are the reason that he scolded her at Christmas time. My husband explained that we had nothing whatsoever to do with it!! As a teenager, she experienced living with 2 other stepmothers and told my husband that "he always treats his stepchildren better than his real children". She went on to list numerous things that my daughter does that she never got to do/doesn't do. The conversation ended when my SD said "that B**** is the cause of all of this" and my husband hung up the phone.

So! My daughter is getting married in a few weeks and we have invited both SDs to the wedding. My husband is walking her down the aisle (my ex/her dad is deceased). I doubt they will come, but after the outburst and the foul name-calling last week, I am starting to get concerned that they may do something crazy like show up at the wedding and cause a scene. I pray with all my heart that does not happen. Has anyone ever experienced extreme jealousy from adult children this old? It's insane to me!

Thanks for allowing me to vent and for sharing your feedback.

20YearsAsAStep-Mom's picture

I think it is great that your DH spoke up and told his dd how he felt. She called you a bi### to your DH and he told you. you had every right to contact her too to try to figure it out.

Her jealousy is HER issue and she needs to grow up and get on with her life. OMG she is 50 years old.

I would definitely tell her she is not welcome at your DD's wedding and hire security. Getting aggressive and calling you names is more than enough reason to uninvite her.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Generic's picture

If this poster was at the "call security" stage, do you think she would bother with asking for suggestions in dealing with this sensitive issue? I am not trying to be rude- I just think she's looking for something beyond last resort.

I am an adult SD. My father hardly invites me to his family things yet I am expected to invite him to everything in mine. He will cry and mope and make me feel like shit because he's afraid I'm slipping away. But he will not extend himself- only wants to receive. Your SD called her dad out on his bull. Bet he wishes he didn't poke that bear. If he's not interested in inviting her into his home because of her "lifestyle", then don't complain if she decides the same. In all honesty, she probably doesn't even want to go to the wedding. She'll be more than happy to be let off the hook. I wouldn't even go to the drama of uninviting her for fear of a scene. There's really no polite way in doing that.

omgsaveme's picture

Ugh these posts make me realize that these idiot SKs never grow up. Im so sorry for your situation OP, I honestly would just let it go, some people just look for drama and issues and you can't cure their jealousy. Just disengage from them, don't invite them anywhere, don't deal with them, unless you have too.

I can't deal with toxic people and negativity, Im too busy for that BS. Wish them well and keep moving along.

Generic's picture

"Just disengage from them, don't invite them anywhere, don't deal with them, unless you have too."

I think this is excellent advice. But the OP and her DH in particular need to understand that the SD has this right as well. SD shouldn't catch hell for returning said actions in kind.

joan mary's picture

I have a very similar situation. SD31 is a PITA and very jealous of BD25. She does everything she can to slight, snub, and exclude BD. I just wish that my DH would see how mean and nasty that his daughter is. He keeps thinking that the problem is between the two of them. I think that it is really about him - SD wants to be the only daughter that he loves.

Consider yourself lucky that DH loves and enjoys your BD and do everything you can to leave SD at arms length. Let DH manage that relationship. If she calls, say just a minute, I will get your Dad. Hand him the phone and walk away. As for the wedding, I would ask DH to call his daughter and tell her if she can't be nice she should stay home.

LostinSpaceandTime's picture

It is up to your daughter who is invited to her wedding. If she is aware of what is going on and wants them uninvited then DH should handle it. Keep the burly friends in the loop either way.

As for them snubbing you in your home that is unacceptable. It is your sanctuary. I would ban then until they can behave. If they must come over then kill them with kindness. Maybe it will rub off on them.

Banning is an good thing for the nasty ones. It has been the best two years since I have not seen my DH's wicked daughters. He has made no big effort to see them often, even the local one who works in our town. He has four grand kids now that he sees 1-3 times guessed it the kids b'day times and Christmas. It is sad but not my problem.

Generic's picture

Wow ! What a great story to tell the grandkids. . . if you ever see them!

Sorry, I'm feeling very cynical today. Why are people celebrating the demise of a family? Regardless of who did what to whom and why. For some stupid reason, many men are not good at keeping their families together. Everybody knows that. It's understood that the women in a man's life keeps the family ties tight. I have an investment in my husband's family because they are also our children's family. But, a stepmother? - not only is she not invested, she wishes they would just shoo. Like you say, it's just not your problem. And you're absolutely correct.

I wonder how many men just assumed their new wife would pick up his slack. She's female right? Oh, what a shock he was in for. Did he really think for one minute that his new wife would have the same amount of interest in his family as the mother of his children would? How very naive AND egotistical. Why is he surprised that his kids don't come around anymore? Why does he think his wife gives a shit? It's not her problem.

No buddy, you're on your own. If you value family the way you'd like everyone to think, you wouldn't leave it up to the Mrs. You would get off your ass and contribute something to the health of your family life. But, when push comes to shove, you really couldn't be bothered. Because truth be told, you don't think it's your problem either.

jennaspace's picture

Since OSD has consistently not been invited to family events, I can see why she is hurt. This is really the elephant in the room. I honestly didn't see a good enough reason not to invite her (public assistance, different lifestyle) but I'm assuming there is more here than meets the eye.

Of course she feels rejected and hurt, who wouldn't? I wouldn't say this is jealousy as much as hurt that you guys don't want her around. This is where the conversation needs to begin IMO. And it needs to begin with her and her dad who doesn't want her around.

She's projecting all this anger at you and your daughter when the real issue is that her own father doesn't want her around. I'm not saying it's not justified, I don't know that. I will say that would hurt anyone a lot and should be brought out in the open as I'm sure it's a festering wound.

peacemaker's picture

I don't know if this will help you or not, but I have learned after doing this for a long time that speculating what step kids are thinking (or anyone for that matter) is a waste of time and energy. I have learned that, if you want to really know and understand who a person is, how they are perceiving things, and where they are coming from, you have to sit down and ask the right questions, and have that patient, and I mean oh so patient conversation with them yourself....because...when we judge someone (and we all do it)...without having that talk with them and getting to know them for ourselves, we do ourselves and them an really can't go by your DH's report or opinion, because he has his own filters that skew reality sometimes, and you can't go by mere observance of the other person's behavior...because a lot of times what we think we see is not what we are really seeing...for example, when you see anger in someone...many times it is really pain or fear just manifesting itse;f as anger...or If you see control in someone, a lot of times fear is just below the surface....and sometimes when you see behavior patterns that repeat themselves over and over again that are not healthy...It is really a generational hand me down that you are dealing with.....When we assume...and then make a quick judgement...then act based on what we think we know is going on...we leave ourselves oftentimes into a thinking process that takes us on a stressful and inaccurate journey that leaves us in a frustrated state that many times can be avoided or deterred altogether....I have learned that before I conclude what a person is is best If I can slow down and take the time to have that necessary conversation to really get to know them for myself....It still may end up with a not so good outcome...but at least, for myself, I have the peace of mind that I gave them a fair shake, and got to the truth of the matter for myself....and each person in the relationship gets to "own themselves and where they are at the moment"...We all are in a process of growing and changing personally on this journey called Life...but it never ceases to amaze me that when understanding comes...the truth is there....Until we reach that point...we are just speculating based on an outside observance of what we think we see at the moment...Just food for thought......

peacemaker's picture

...Just a side not to my last comment....This is your daughters wedding...a beautiful once in a lifetime milestone....Fight to keep the toxic thoughts about SD's from contaminating what should be an exciting joyful time for you and your daughter, and the rest of your family...I know my bio kids do not like the strife that goes on between my step kids and I, and do not want to be put in the middle of it at all...and If I am not careful....I can ruin the party because of the step kid drama myself If I give it too much attention....You really cannot control what another person is going to do...and having them at the wedding should be up to your daughter..if she wants them there, then you will have to suck it up and hope for the best for her sake....I know it's hard...believe me...I know it is hard...but if you can rise above it...your day should be focused on cherishing every moment with that beautiful daughter of yours and her special day that only happens once...the sad thing will be, if the day comes and goes, and you were focused on the SD's so much, that they robbed you of the joy of the moment....Don't let that happen by giving them too much real estate in your head that it robs you of what is really important...Try to put it in perspective if you can. We are step moms...yes....but that is only a sliver of of our total identity...We are moms to our own children first and foremost...We are Wives to our Husbands...some of us are aunts and grandmas....some of us are career people....I think sometimes, we give the step kids WAY TOO MUCH of our time, thoughts and energy....and oftentimes it does not pan out to be a very good return on our investment....All I am saying is sometimes it helps to stop...pull back...and re focus your thoughts on the important people and things to you at this time....A wedding is a big deal and mentally you won't regret being focused on your daughter and her new family and all that is good right now....What you focus on you empower.

peacemaker's picture spent over 25 years of my life at the school of hard knocks...and hope that the few things I learned might be of help to someone else...If it is, then at least it wasn't all for nothing........