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Frustrating SD

StrugglingSDad's picture

I am StepDad to a largish family and the eldest SD (20 years old) stays at home. DW has 4 and I have 1

SD has completed a qualification and works full time however pays no rent and is forever "forgetting" to do her chores. I have tried raising this with DW but her motto appears to avoid the conflict.

I already removed SS to his father out for how he treated his mother and still has not apologized and chosen to stay with his dad. I seem to be living in a family where people can do or say whatever they want and it is swept under the rug until we all forget it happened unless of course, it is my son that does something wrong.

I tried raising the rent issue with DW but then her reply is well then SD will simply go live with her father, which I do not see as an issue. But the thing that really irks me is the double standard applied and chores. 

If she "forgets" her chores SD says oh well I will do them on the weekend - my problem is I don't need them done on the weekend, I need them done when they are assigned.

And the double standard, none of our kids are allowed to eat in their rooms but SD is, then she simply keeps the dirty bowls in her room until someone has unpacked the dishwasher at which time she can then bring them down and put them in, this could be days.

I think I find it frustrating because if my son does not do his chores perfectly then this is raised with me, yet when I raise this same about SD I simply get "what am I supposed to do" and unfortunately SD attitude just drives me absolutely crazy.
SD does not greet me or even talk to me unless she needs or wants something, again the Double Standard comes in because if my son does it to DW then it is flagged immediately.

I am not sure I could move past this, I have tried but it always seems like I am in the wrong.

I think I am at the end of my limit here. I do not feel like a team I feel like I must continuously bend to keep the peace and I do not think it is fair.


Rags's picture

Time to create the burning platform and publish the chore list and the standards of behavior and performance that will be required and enforced in your home. 

If adult SD fails to do her chores, she immediagely is assigned every chore in the home and must complete them or she is out the next AM and cannot re-enter the home until the end of the work day and then must do her chores and everyone elses chores or she will find that food will not be available to her, wifi will shut down when  you go to bed.  Continued refusal to step up will incrementally result in eviction which is as simple as rekeying the locks and not giving her a key.

This is a modificaiton to the method we used to get SS-27 to launch.  A burning platform with escalating unpleasentness is not an unusual method for a failure to launch situation.  It took about 4mos for this to work on my Skid, he then enlisted in the USAF on the delayed entry program. We kept him on chore bitch/beck and call boy status until we dropped him off at MEPS to ship out for BMT.

If your DW won't get on board then she will have to suffer along side of her daughter since SD will undoubtedly cry to mommy.  Not that your DW gets evicted.  She will just have to suffer as mommy along side of her immature underperforming adult child.  The younger ones should not have to do their chores if their elder sister/StepSister is not required to do hers.

IMHO of course.

2Tired4Drama's picture

If your DW does not want to parent her "adult" daughter it will be difficult to give her an ultimatum to do so.  Especially if she is conflict avoidant.

It is shameful that your DW is allowing her WORKING daughter to sponge off of you!  I would tell your DW either SD starts paying her fair share of household expenses and chores, or she can indeed go and live with her father. 

Since you only have one child, you are probably paying more than your fair share in the household already.  Don't keep doing it, especially since you can be banking that money for your own son's future - education, etc.

Tell your DW that your SD must start paying as of 1 July.  If she doesn't then tell her you will be looking at other living arrangements.  And do it!


Rags's picture

I think that the prime question is ... which conflict would she rather avoid, conflict with her daughter or conflict with her husband?

I were the OP I would make sure that conflict with me would be what she would do anything possible to avoid.


2Tired4Drama's picture

We know spouses should take precedence but unfortunately, in many step situations, the parent is unable or unwilling to put their spouse before their kids.  Even adult ones!  And that is what can often be the death-knell to the marriage.


Rags's picture

Sad but true.  Too bad a forehead tattoo is not required for these child worshipping people so that decent people can avoid them like the plague that they are.

Kaylee's picture

To avoid conflict - yes that's exactly why these parents do it.

My partner is just the same - will not EVER address his daughter's shitty behaviour and attitude, and carries on letting her sponge off him relentlessly. I have said to him in the past, "sit her down and set out some expectations" and he always says yes yes I need to do that. BUT NEVER DOES. 

He says that on the odd occasion when he has tried to bring up issues with her, she will start screaming and storm off to her bedroom crying and blubbing, slamming the door. Real mature behaviour, right??

All of his family have told him he needs to get tough with her, to launch her in to the world, become independent etc. However he is the sort of person who avoids conflict at any cost, and is just a "people pleaser" and mini wife enabler.

I very rarely go to his home anymore. He comes here instead. This morning we were having a conversation about her, and he said "I know you hate her". I said no, I don't hate her but I really dislike her behaviour and attitude, and the way that you allow it to continue.....

StrugglingSDad's picture

I have installed a lock on her bedroom door now. If the daily chore is not done then the door remains locked until it is.

This leads to a huge issue but got the chore done.

The SD was crying and claiming child abuse along with winging that dad would not have done this and that I am running a prison. Luckily DW is supportive and this has not lead to tension between us. I feel a better sense of control and I am happier. Not because I am a dictator but because I have found a non-aggressive way of dealing with this situation.

Miss T's picture

Child abuse? How old is she again?

Heather283's picture

We live close & no custody arrangement.  The kids learned real quick that if asked to do something they would suddenly remember they needed to go to moms house. This game has gone on 15 years, with parent acceptance.  It infuriates me & causes me to think so much less of them each passing year.

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

If your wife is in board, then I agree with the above poster in implementing passive-aggressive techniques that will push her to launch. 

StrugglingSDad's picture

So SD is on her own and I thought all was good but a few days ago DW made the accusation that I forced her daughter out as well as her son and she should do the same to mine.

I find it odd because they treat her like shit but still can do no wrong. 

We have not heard from either until recently when SD water was not working then the calls to see if she could come around to shower.

DW refuses to engage with my son.

Not sure how we keep this working.

Rags's picture

Kids are individuals and each need different things from their parents.  They also earn different levels of support and care.

Well behaved kids who perform well earn a higher level of care and support than ill behaved demanding kids.  The first earn family support for their early adult efforts, the later launch and support themselves much earlier.  If they figure it out, then familial support can engage for them later when they earn it.

I was one of the later type young adult kids.  My parents supported me for my first two years of college. When I failed to earn their continued support, they put my support on my shoulders. While I did live at home for the next two years I started my own company and eventually moved out when I married my first wife.  Two and a half years later we divorced, I sold my company, and started Engineering school.  My  younger brother joined me in that effort and we lived together throughout Engineering school.  After my first year of Engineering school I re-earned family support.  They payed for the last two years of my undergrad studies.  My brother and I graduated together.  He still gives me crap for graduating first, his first name starts with a B, mine is near the end of the alphabet, and he is 6 years  younger.

Parents have to be able to ascertain what each kid needs and how to apply parental support and pressure to get the kid to effectively launch.

With my SS-28 was at that stage, it was clear that he was not ready for college, he told us it would be a waste of his time and our money.  He was also not ready to get a job.  So, we worked that kid's butt off as our live in back and call boy/chore bitch.   The more chores he did, the more chores we gave him.  We fed him, he did all of the cooking and cleaning, when we went to dinner, he joined us, but... his existance and level of pleasant experiences were entirely associated with his doing what he was told and was entirely at our discretion.  After 4mos of chore bitching, he enlisted in the USAF on the delayed entry program.  4mos after that he reported to the MEPS center to leave for Basic.   In a couple of months he will reach his 10yr service anniversary.  He is completing his first re-enlistment and his second 6 year enlistment will begin in April.  He is kicking butt, doing great, and will qualify for full military retirement when he is 38years old.  We are very proud of him.   We would provide anything he requested, he asks for nothing. He does well, supports himself, and is living a great life.  We would have paid for him to go to university anywhwere on the planet if he had instilled in us confidence that he would be a go steward of our investment in his education.  He chose to make his own path and he is plucking away at completing his undergrad degree.  

I would sit your bride down and explain why your kids will not be out as hers were at that age unless that is what was required to formulate their adult futures.  Do the comparison of their behaviors and explain that responsible parents provide the guidance and support that each kid needs based on that kid's performance and needs.

My parents knew this truth.  They guided and supported each of their son's appropriately to each of our needs.

We tried to do the same for our son.

So far, it has worked.

Davidp's picture

New here and just looking to vent with people that appear to be in the same boat as me.  Moved in with GF 3 years ago whose young adult sons do not know the meaning of respect or appreciation.   Entitled, lazy, not trustworthy and nothing is ever their fault.  I'm convinced they don't know how to say "I'm sorry".  My GF does exactly the opposite of what I believe these young men need and basically reinforces there terrible behavior.   I've tried everything to befriend them and when that didn't work tried to detach.  My GF is terrified to confront them but doesn't seem to have that same issue with me.  I've tried discussing with her seriously over the last 18 months but nothing changes.  Whats worse is my 2 boys who are the exact same age are off on their own now.  I hate coming home when they're around and I've grown resentful of my GF.  Its too bad because we are quite compatible otherwise.   Anyways I demanded we put the house up for sale so I can get out of this toxic environment.   I. Just so upset with myself for ignoring the warning signs.  They were there.  We were much better off living apart until all the kids were put but I caved to.pressure and here we are. Thanks for listening