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I could use some advice

DC's picture

I have been married to my DH for 2 years. My kids are are 24 and 20 and on their own. They are happy with their step father and have caused no problems. My DH has a daughter (only child and very spoiled) who is 18. She was 15 when he and I began dating and his divorce was almost final. I had nothing to do with the split of his first marriage. She was very cold to me and would not come around when we were dating. When we got engaged, she agreed to be in wedding, but at the last minute would not come (which was humiliating in front of family and friends). The situation only got worse after we were married. My husband never stopped thinking that he only had one child – and he still needed to give her whatever she demanded. I protested and explained to him that we actually had 3 children now. He agreed to my face, but snuck her money constantly on top of paying child support. We make good money, but we have a mortgage (because he didn't want to live in my house that was paid for) and car loans so we don't have money to throw away on designer clothes and snowboarding! Around March of last year all of the sudden, she started coming to our house and bringing her boyfriend. I was ecstatic and thought things were going to work out! I was very nervous and wasn’t sure how to act so I tried to be her friend and we kind of picked on her dad. All of the sudden she quit coming to the house with no explanation – at least to me. My husband told me later that she didn’t like the way I treated her father. ???? I was just playing along with her to try to be friends for God’s sake. Anyhow, her graduation came along and she only gave her dad one ticket. In other words, she didn’t want me there. I expected my husband to tell her to give us 2 or he wasn’t coming. Nope, he just went without me. I was so humiliated and that is exactly what her and her mother wanted. I knew other parents who had kids graduating and I ran into some of them and they wanted to know why I wasn’t there. I told the truth – I wasn’t invited. I had a conversation with my husband and I told him that he and his first wife did not raise their daughter to have very good manners or morals. He told his daughter I said that and she flipped out! Her and her friends all went to the beach after graduation. One night while they were there they decided to call my cell phone and mark the number private so that I couldn’t see who it was. When I answered they all started to call me names and said I better stop talking sh** about my step daughter and that I was the one who had a fu**ed up daughter (my daughter got pregnant at 17- but she is a great mother and is raising my grandson very well). I just stood there listening to this attack on myself and my daughter and then I hung up and called my husband at work. He did call her and he said that they were all drinking and one of them called my phone. He admits the way I have been treated is horrible. I said that I deserve an apology. Well it has been 5 months and no apology. She went off to college in Aug and didn’t even call him – she is 3 hours away. He hasn’t had much to do with her other than a few calls about her wanting money and wanting to see him without me being there. He is completely miserable. We went to a football game where she is and he called her to see if she would come see us and she refused because I was there. Just yesterday, he told me that her mother called and told him that her car broke down and he is going to go get it and bring it home and fix it. He bought this car and the BM would not help at all. My advice was to have the BM call a mechanic and have it fixed there and SHE pay for it. No way – he is going to get it tomorrow with a car dolly and pay for everything. I have no say in anything and I work 2 jobs and make as much as he does. And he informed me last night that he is going to help pay for an apartment for her next year because regardless of how she treats me, she is still his daughter and he loves her. I told him there was no way I was going to continue on in this marriage like this. We have been miserable because of this girl since day 1 and I only see more misery ahead. I guess he has made his choice and it isn’t me. I am tired of being the butt of jokes and humiliated. Please am I being unreasonable????

Purpleflower09's picture

No. Your husband is being unreasonable. He obviusly can not juggle you and his daughter in his life. I honestly truly would dicuss a separation trial with your husband. You work 2 jobs so basically you can support yourself. I would separate myself from him and his daughter and they can have each other. Rememer it's not YOU personally she hates, it's the fact that it's not her mom and dad and she has alot of anger about being from a broken home. Your husband needs to realize that his darling little princess is going to ruin every woman that comes into his life, and when she is married and moved on and does not have time for her father..he will have no one and no one to blame but himself.
You love your husband, but you can either stay and be humiliated and disrespected by a man who said vows to you and by an 18 yr old brat that can't think about anyone other then herself, or you can separate for a while and focus on you. Maybe by separating for a while he will realize what he has lost and maybe some councilling will be good, maybe by the end of it all , a permanent separation is exactly what YOU want. Sit and think about it for a while. I feel Divorce should be a last resort, but sometimes separating for a while is good. I know couples who have and their marrige is awesome because of it and still is. i hope this may shed some light for you. Take care!


Lilly's picture

I agree Separation will snap him back to reality. If your DH does not put her straight, no-one will. You dont deserve to be disrespected by her because she is spoiled brat.

Obviously your DH does not see the pain she is causing you, he needs a reality check. His little princess is off at college sponging him for money.
Let him sit home alone and wonder where his priorities should be.

Thetis's picture

Yea, this is a hard one.
Most men can only deal with having one woman in their lives, and his guilt parenting has named her that woman. I have many friends from broken homes and one thing I have noticed is that they react the way they have been trained to act. If Daddy Dearest is always apologizing or trying to make it up to her then shes going to feel entitled to that treatment.

I have a friend who has 4 kids. The oldest two are from another man. However they think its the coolest thing in the world to have two dads. Then I have a friend with one child. That child is a monster, and will play the parents off eachother at age 4, because of how the seperation has been explained to him (in words and actions).

This guy needs a wake up call. Its probably too late for him to teach his daughter anything as a father but soon he's going to be an example of another failed relationship, which she will use as a crutch to get more from him. CYA and step back from this situation. It doesn't sound like you'd be losing too much other then stress if you do need to leave this guy.

Best of luck.

Orange County Ca's picture

Here's what I would do. I would understand that I came into this kids life at a very critical time of her life. Just when she was at the most insecure age her parents and indeed her whole life fell out from under her. Where and who to blame? It's irrelevent to a 15 yo child that you met Daddy after he and Mom split. You have two adult children so you should understand the problems of this girl.

I would understand that Dad is feeling extremely guilty about what was done to his kid. After all he was a part of it despite all the claims of others that a divorce is often better for the kids than staying in a bitter marriage. He's sees his blame in all this.

I'd let him work this out with his kid. If it takes a few bucks so be it. He's starting to come around and he must be somewhat reasonable or I wouldn't have married him. Eventually he'll see the light and quit catering to her. Meanwhile lets face some reality you may have a mortgage and all that but you're hardly on the street.

By the way it takes two to be insulted. A insultor and a insultee. Stop participating in the game. Have minimum communication with her and don't bother to listen to what others tell you about her. The only exception is if your husband needs your support when dealing with her. You can very effectively bar this kid from your life. If she calls take a missage or pass the phone on. If she visits go to a movie.

In time I'm pretty sure that once she realizes that you no longer care she will start to come around and see your side of things. She will of course mature meanwhile. And if she doesn't? Well you got along just fine for decades before she came along, spend the next decades wihout her and both of you will be happy.

Really a 180 turn around in your mind will solve this problem. She's not worth it.

Thetis's picture

This is what I would have wrote if I could organize my thoughts better! Some great advice.

DC's picture

I do realize I came into her life at a critical time. I went through a very bitter divorce and my ex hurt and girlfriend hurt me very badly and also my kids. I was very careful with her. I was even careful to not hurt or upset her mother because I knew what that felt like. I never said one mean or even loud word to his daughter or his ex-wife. I have been so patient and I have tried so hard.
I also know that my husband has guilt. His daughter needs guidance and I have tried to make him understand that. The only parenting skill he knows is handing out money. We are not talking about a few bucks – I am talking about $300 and $400 at a time for material things that she has no respect for. Example – we bought her a $300 camera for Christmas and she dropped it and broke it within a month. She has been through multiple computers, Ipods, cell phones etc. And then there is this car. She has wrecked it (not serious) multiple times. She bitches all the time that it is a piece of junk and he needs to buy her a new one. My Lord – it looked brand new when he gave it to her at 16.
We have been to counseling and the counselor told him that he was excessive with handing out money to her. And yes I do work 2 jobs, but I am almost 50 years old and if some of his spending slowed down I would only have to work 1.

I have NO communication with her at all. She does not call the house or come to the house if I am there. She will ride by and if I am there she keeps on going. I have literally been outside and watched her do this on several occasions. How do you think that makes me feel? My God, it kills me.

Is there something wrong with teaching your kids wrong and right? Is it right to not apologize for that phone call? Plus there are other issues that I didn’t have time to write. Such as, my Mother died in June and my husband called her and told her and she told him she didn’t have time to talk. She didn’t call me, email me, come to the funeral, or anything. It was my MOTHER!
What else can I do? I know I am the adult, but I do have feelings. I feel that the only way to make it right for her and for my husband is to just leave and get out of his life. My husband point blank told me that she will never come around or have anything to do with me. That is very hard to live with.

CowGirl's picture

You can't be upset with the SD - she is hurt by her broken home and has a right to her feelings. However, I would be EXTREMELY upset with DH. He is enabling her behavior and allowing you to be excluded from important events and being humiliated & harrassed. He needs to learn boundaries. He also needs to understand that if he stands up for you & your relationship that SD will not hate him. The two of you need to go to counseling - it has helped my BF & myself in the same aspect of what you are going through.

I read in dating with boundaries that if you are in this type of situation - not only should you stand your ground & set straight exactly what the issues are, but you need to have a consequence too. In my situation - which i think would work for you also is to say - you can continue on the path you are on & i will slowly be alienated in this relationship & leave or you can change your behavior in this situation and we can have a healthy, long lasting relationship.

I would first off open my own bank account and give him $ to pay half the bills until he shows he is not giving SD all your extra $.

Men take longer to accept another persons children. Us as Mom's tend to do it allot quicker because it's our nature.

SD will only go so long w/o her Daddy being around. He needs to stand up to her & say it's either the two of you or neither of you. You can't make her like you, but she has to realize that you are a part of her BD's life. The longer he enables her behavior - the worse it will be and then i am sure you will leave. Don't expect an apology - let it go. You are giving her power over your emotions.

You also need to tell DH that he is not teaching SD responsiblity if he is always helping her out. She needs to learn to grow up and be on her own.

I fully understand how you feel. I would give him 3 months to show he is getting better. If he isn't by then - i would seperate and go from there.

sparky's picture

DC, hell would freeze over before I would work 2 jobs to support a 18 year old that treats me like crap.
I could be very upset with an 18 year old that treats me and her father like she does and what will the excuse be for this behavior when she is 30?

Her parents created a monster but when does she start receiving some of the blame for her behavior?

DC's picture

I don't know Sparky. It all has me so messed up inside. I stayed at my son's house last night and probably will again tonight. He eamiled me this yesterday: "You are a very good have a very good heart...and you are a very caring just have no forgiveness in your heart for my daughter or any thought on how I feel about that situation...this all about you, me and Jessica...and you will not give an inch when it comes to her....she 18 years old..and has no understanding about do and you should be able to see that and give a little for me!!!" He is wrong - I have forgave a lot of people for a lot of things. I do not hold grudgse. But I don't know how to deal with all this hatred. If I deserved it, I could understand it. It is hard to forgive someone who has no remorse for what she did and has flat out stated she will never have anything to do with me. His comment that I have no idea about how he feels is crap. He is dead wrong. I see the pain on his face. But he will listen to no one - me, counselors, his sisters - no one. They have all told him he needs to stop spoiling her and make her understand that it is time to work and earn money because that is how life works. He loves his mother dearly, but will not even listen to her. And one other thing, her mother needs to quit calling my husband and take care of things herself. It is not a big deal to get a car towed to a garage and get it fixed. It is a BIG deal to drive 3 hour up mountains in the rain and tow a car back down the mountains for 3 hours. Who doesn't care about him? I would say the selfish ex-wife and daughter.

DC's picture

The ONLY reason I haven't quit the 2nd job is because I am not in a stable marriage and in the back of my mind I keep thinking that I'm going to be on my own again and I will need the income. Damn it all makes me so mad. Life is so damn short and to me we are throwing away this time. I waited so long to remarry and I have absolutely been robbed of a fun carefree newlywed time. And because of stupidity. You can see from his email that he KNOWS the true person I am. I don't know if he thinks women like that grow on trees or what. His first wife sure wasn't like that - according to him anyway. I am college educated with two degrees, but I am dumb as hell. I actually thought that we were going to have a big happy family with no problems. I don't think he even gave a shit that I stayed at my sons last night. You know, what he asks of me is to just forget what she has done. Ok, I understand that. However, how do I deal with the fact that her attitude is not going to change? His answer to that is "she's 18" - yes and in 5 months she will be 19. Damn, grow up - both of them need to!

grayskies's picture

i'm sorry youre going through this, dc. i went through it too, with sd18. unfortunately, it takes some time for our dh's to "see the light"-that its possible to love their children, AND put boundaries on what they give them, AND ask for responsibility on the part of the kids. sounds like your dh sees room for only one woman in his life-that is heartbreaking because he will continue to be manipulated by this little girl for a long time, and you will have lost a loving relationship. my dh only saw it when sd18 started threatening our wedding...he saw that instead of her being happy for her dad for finding a good relationship, she was going down the "if i'm mad about the divorce, everyone's going to pay" road. (we met years after his divorce, btw). it woke him up, but boy did we have some bad years before that, where she was concerned. dh HAS to set his own boundaries on his own, but you can stand your ground, be strong, and take care of yourself.

DC's picture

Update on the SD - DH towed SD's broken down car home and found multiple empty alcohol bottles in it and $250 unpaid parking tickets. He has spent over $200 fixing it and has washed it and waxed it and now he is walking around like a proud peacock because his little girl is talking to him again. The alcohol bottles? He thought it was funny. And I'm sure we will be paying the parking fees. I've just decided to quit trying to save money and pay all bills immediately and what is left over spend on myself before he spends it on stupid shit like this. If it isn't there to give her, I guess that will fix the lunacy of this situation.

eyes2blue68's picture

I'm so sorry for what you are going through. I haven't felt like much of a newlywed either because the stepchildren do things that stress me out yet my DH can blow them off as he's used to their antics. I hope things get better for you soon. Keep us posted on what you decide to do.

Me (41). DH (turns 54 late November). Married since May 2007. DS (9) from my 1st marriage where that husband is deceased. I have 6 grown stepchildren who do not live with us. 4 biological and 2 my DH helped raise with his 2nd wife.

Janey1970's picture

I really, really feel for you. It is an awfull situation to be stuck in but one I am sure many of us are familiar with.

I faced a similar situation not too many years ago ago. My husband insisted the money we were paid from his ex's wages (which had to be arrested because she would not pay us voluntarily) in support for his youngest daughter (16) should go straight to her. Hell, she was out shopping for designer shoes and clubbing with her friends, while we struggled to clothe and feed our own two young children. I think that is partly why I grew to resent her so much. When I complained, I was told the money was rightly hers! ???

Well I stopped bursting a gut doing overtime and made sure our two kids had the same amount of money banked for them each month, regardless of how little we were left with. It took a couple of months, but it soon sunk in.