Future 18 Year Old Stepdaughter Concerns
I’m 64 years old male and my fiancé (who is 59) has a daughter 18 years old. Her daughter can be likable and is smart, but exasperating in the way she disrespects her mother. She won’t lift a finger to help and expects to be catered to in every way. She constantly belittles her mother.
When the daughter is around, my fiancé transforms into a completely different woman. She becomes subservient and her body language changes. Her physical appearance actually looks smaller and bent over. If she disagrees or dares to challenge her daughter in the slightest, she is met with outrage and insults. The sadness in her eyes breaks my heart because it’s obvious her feelings are hurt. I want to protect her but she wants me to remain completely passive to avoid the least bit of conflict. She occasionally expresses fear that her daughter, who is trained in the martial arts, will harm her but I have never witnessed any threats or such behavior.
The daughter has a long-term boyfriend but absolutely no girlfriends. I’ve wondered if being improvised and the fear of being discovered causes her to avoid other relationships. Also, she suffers from OCD which could be the reason for black and white thinking. She is an attractive young lady but only sees defects in the mirror. She is leaving for college this fall. Despite the verbal abuse, it is also clear she loves and protect her mother. The daughter and I get along and she can be fun to be around at times.
Some additional background. My fiancé is a widow who emigrated from Russia about 20 years. She earned a degree in civil engineering in Russian but unfortunately, differing US engineering regulations and age play a big role in limiting her professional job prospects. She lost her American husband to cancer 5 years ago. Since then, she and her daughter have lived in near poverty. Both work minimal jobs to maintain a basic existence. Their home has been foreclosed on and they must move out within the next 20 days.
The current plan is that both will move into my newly rented house in mid-May. My fiancé and I have been together for 9 months and plan to marry and buy a home this summer. I want both of them to feel welcomed and safe but don’t look forward to the conflict that is sure to rise. My fiancé agrees with the above interpretation of the situation.
Thoughts or suggestions and appreciated.
BTW, I have four of my own children from a previous marriage. Three are young adults and successful - none living at home. Very sadly, one is deceased.