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I'm in shock and heartbroken

Nursejulee's picture

I will try and make this short. I have 2 SD.
I had issues with the 20 year old but NOW I'm having even bigger issues with the 18 year old. She started college in the fall as a freshman. Her dad and I made every effort to see her as she was alone and gets anxiety. The hotel rooms aren't cheap and they cost about 200-300 per night. We got her an iPhone, paid for hotel rooms, bought her things at Walmart, and so many more things. I own a business and she asked me to sponsor her sorority. I spent 500.00 sponsoring it.
I thought everything was great until four days ago. She texted my husband and told him her sorority dues were due in 2 weeks and he needed to pay 900.00. She gave us no forewarning and my hubby told her no. I spoke to her the next day and she had a horrible attitude. She told me her dad is living the high life and we make 3-4 x the amount her mom and stepdad make. She told me I did not need to buy things on myself that wasn't necessary for example several tshirts that has her college name on it. She stated if we weren't able to do both, come down and pay for her sorority, she wants us to pay. It hurt my feelings and I feel like all of the time and money spent these last few weeks mean nothing. In my anger, I told her "fine. Ill give you your way and pay the 900.00 but that's it." I am so mad at myself for doing it.
I did confront her and didn't back down on that phone call. I may have even told her she was ungrateful. She called her mom crying and her mom called me.
She will not speak to me whatsoever even though I have done my best to forgive her. She is punishing me by not talking to me. I'm getting more furious as the days go on.
I've bent over backwards for these kids and have barely received any appreciation whatsoever.
So, here is where I am at. I don't want a close relationship with them anymore because I constantly get hurt. They are really nice to me when I give them money. I feel like they are greedy and do not care for me or their dad. He knows how bad they are but he can't accept it.
They are very unhealthy for me. I am depressed, heartbroken, angry, and resentful. I can't keep trying like I have been and get no appreciation back. Plus, I don't feel like its my responsibility to pay for these big expenses.
I want to just distance myself from them but I don't know how and is this the best thing to do? I want to be polite and kind but not open up my heart or my pocketbook. They know I make good money and they throw that up in my face. I can't take anymore. I have no kids of my own and I shouldn't be dealing with crap like this. Right now, I can't stand her. She is so self absorbed and feels entitled. She thinks everyone should give her whatever she wants. Again, I just can't take it anymore. I have had to take more anxiety pills this past week than I've taken in A year. Can't I just disengage/distance myself? Am I responsible to pay their expenses? I don't want to be a bit** but I have to do something. Please help!!!!!

MarriedaBallessWonder's picture

Disengage my dear.

DISENGAGING (From the book Stepmonster)

To disengage--to simply try less or stop trying at all--requires accepting a number of truths about being married to a man with children.

*They are not your children.
*You are not responsible for overcoming their upbringing or any emotional or social problems they have.
* You are not responsible for what kind of people they are. You are not responsible for what kind of people they become.
*These responsibilities belong to your husband, who will likely not raise his kids (or make interventions with his adult kids) the way you would.

Having accepted this reality, you then make a promise to yourself: I will never give them the opportunity to treat me disrespectfully again.

And, no, you are not financially responsible. BM and BD are. Take a step back and take yourself out of the picture. I have and it feels much better.

You need to do this for YOU and your peace of mind and self-worth.

Nursejulee's picture

Thank you so much Married. Your advice really helped. I'm so down right now. I stayed in bed all day today because I just couldn't deal with anything.

emotionaly beat up's picture

Hon of course she feels entitled. Not only does her dad give into her but you clearly have been doing so as well. 500 dollars then another 900 all in the space of a couple of weeks. On top of school expenses and hotel rooms. You yourself said "fine I'll give you what you want" and handed over that 900.

Ok that's water under the bridge now. The next time she communicates with you do not respond. If she calls, tell her up front you are done. Tell her to call get father. Let him deal with this and let him know you are not going to spend one more penny on any of these kids.

They are not your responsibility physically or financially in any way.

They have a mother and a father and if they ate not prepared to get her anxiety treated or pay all her expenses then they have no right to expect you or her step father to do so. It sounds to me that the whole family has been taking advantage if your good nature and your wallet

Just step back. Have no more to do with these two young women. They have treated you as an ATM. Time you closed the ATM down. Your finances and how you use them are NONE of her business. Clearly she knows too much about your earnings. Who gave her that information. If it was your DH tell him you do not want him discussing your financial situation with his dsughter's or anyone else for that matter. Your financial situation is PRIVATE.

You are in the same boat as so many of us. Getting physically and emotionally ill over a step kid. Once you make the decision to have no more to do with them you will begin to feel better.

Your husband should understand and support you in this. You after all have been more than generous more than fair, and he has not had you bring any baggage by way if children into your relationship. He should be thanking his lucky stars.

However no matter how he feels, YOUR feelings and what YOU want now have to be given top priority if your DH won't do that. YOU do it for yourself Let these spoilt brats know you have enough self respect to stop taking their abuse. That is what it is abuse. Emotional abuse is the worst kind of abuse because it eats at your confidence, it makes you question yourself all the time. Your sanity suffers and you become stressed and anxious, then it starts to take its toll on your body and you become physically ill. This is the thanks you get for caring.

Just step out of it completely now. They have made it clear they would rather see your money than you and that will not change because this is who they are. They may pretend to be nice once you stop handing out the cash. DO NOT FALL FOR IT.

WTHDISUF's picture

Oy... You are getting some good advice here, in disengaging. From all the money and spoils you and DH have been giving her, my bet is she'll need you before you need her (as if any of us ever need a leech)! She's now playing "Manipulation". Seems to me she is angry in part because Dad remarried UP and her Mom did not so she expects to be spoiled because "it's owed to her".

This is what happens when people Guilt Parent after a divorce--the kids grow up learning how to be the victim to get what they want, to manipulate and wield control. Furthermore, it sounds like you came along and jumped right in the "like me too!" boat and started outputting cash and being over-supportive and involved in their lives. But when you don't do it 100% of the time and in exact way and time they wish, then comes the pouting. LET HER POUT! Let the little brats go- Disengage!

While I'm glad you held your ground on that ONE call, you have to make this a habit. Don't let them keep you in bed all day. Let her pout. When her BM calls asking about why she is crying about YOUR money, tell her you don't plan to provide an endless supply of cash to her for non-necessary expenses (like Sorority stuff) and that you will not further discuss what you do with your money for an adult child. What can they do about it? Not a damn thing. If her Dad says No, then don't make yourself available to even be asked. Disengage.

When she comes back trying to talk to you (in preparation to butter up to ask for something b/c she will) stay disengaged. Don't be upset. Don't argue or explain anything. Simply say no, keep yourself minimal in their lives. Watch how enjoyable life becomes when you do this!

Good luck!

giveitago's picture

I disengaged and it worked out great. If there's a real emergency they know they can count on me though. I do not consider being part of a sorority as an emergency!
When SKids yelled at me 'you are not our mom so we don't have to do anything you tell us!' I told them they are absolutely correct, nor do I have to do any mom things for them!
It took DH a while to 'get it' but he came on board and dealt with them a little more severely, once he saw just how self absorbed they are and how they tried to use and manipulate him too.
Any SKid who wants cash from me is shit outta luck! I know that if I need anything I can just go and get it though. I used to leave cash in the house but I 'lost' $100 in increments of $20 within a week! DH did call the SKid out on it, when SS tried to deny it DH told him 'son, I know giveitago had the cash and I know she did not spend it herself.'
From that day on I kept money a secret from everyone except DH.

sandye21's picture

So many of us have been through what you have. The first years of Dh & my marriage, I pretty much funded everything so DH could send SD to the college she demanded to go to. It was a BIG mistake. I have never been told it was appreciated, and you won't either. Disengage - and separate your finances from DH. I agree with EBU - it appears your DH may have shared your financial information with SD. HE doesn't even need to know what you earn. My DH and I now have a joint account which takes care of our living expenses but have separate accounts for personal matters. It is not your responsibility to pay for anything for SD - your DH should be taking care of it. And as rude as your SDs have been they do not deserve to have you caring about them. I disengaged some time ago and have never regretted it.

Nursejulee's picture

Thanks for the great advice. Hubby gets upset when info thinks but out of the kindness of my heart, I give in. I know I'm just money to them. They aren't disrespectful however they will ignore me when they don't get their way. I think I truly wanted to be their mom but I have accepted that I'm not. They think I have money because I own a business and due to fault of my own, I lavish things on them. I've decided not to do that whatsoever. I do plan to back away and be nice and caring but keep my distance. I will say NO to any requests for money. After speaking with DH today, I realize he hasn't accepted how they are. He keeps hoping. I told him to do what he feels is right but do not expect me to have the same boundaries as him. She has a ball coming up for her stupid ass sorority and he wants to go. I told him I don't plan on going and he said he won't go then if I don't go and tried to play a major guilt trip on me. Why should I have to be made to go to something if I don't want to!!!???
I feel like he doesn't care how depressed I am. He says right now I'm making all of my decisions based on anger. It may be anger but the main reason is I know they don't appreciate it!!! I'm tired of trying.
Thanks for the advice.

sandye21's picture

This is a trap many of us who have not had children fall into. With all of my heart I wanted to be a Mom. I adopted two older children hoping to be the best Mom I could but they had issues I was not prepared to deal with so even though I raised them I felt like a failure. When I met SD I knew she had a Mother and respected that. But I thought I could be a special friend to her. She was of a different mindset. She was intensely angry at her parents for divorcing but could not confront them about it so I became the scape goat - not only for SD but for DH's guilt. After a failed first marraige and a failed attempt at being a Mother, I was a prime candidate to carry this load. And by SD and DH using all sorts of manipulation games I could easily be kept in this postition for many years.

You have jumped a major hurdle in that you are no longer allowing yourself to be taken advantage of. Your DH is trying to manipulate you into backing down and accepting 'treatment as usual'. If you are making decisions based on anger, it is well deserved and justified. But your decision not to go is also based on what you believe is best for YOUR welfare. Ask yourself if he would be sacrificing as much if the situation was reversed.

By the way, if your SD's are ignoring you in your own home, the old invisible tactic, it IS rude and disrespectful. When you visit to someone's house do you ignore them or their spouse?

forgotten wife's picture

Tell him, no, I'm making all my decisions based on pain. I'm hurt because I've done so much for her and given so much to her and she treats me with disrespect and is ungrateful. I have the right to protect myself from pain. That is my boundary. You have the right to your own boundaries with her...or not.

End of discussion.

emotionaly beat up's picture

Your husband like mine, like quite a few others on this site is trying to "guilt" you into doing what his daughter wants, because if you do what his daughter wants, then he will have a peaceful life....He thinks.

He does not see that no matter how nice to her you both are, no matter how much you both give her, she is never satisfied, she is never happy, there is always something else. This is who she is. Always looking for the next thing she can get out of people. This is I have to say partly your fault as you admit to lavishing her with whatever her little heart desired. However, in saying that I am not blaming you or critisizing you in any way. I think those of us with the biggest problems on this site are those of us who did the same or similar things that you have done. We are the people who put up with so much crap from these people, trying to make them like us. Each of us did this in our own way, and as I said those of us who suffered the most, were those of us who put up with it for years.

I see someone coming into your home and ignoring you as the height of disrespect. Trying to make you feel like an unwelcome visitor in your own home is appalling. I know I was a victim of that for years. My husband's daughter would bring her own mixed drinks, Vodka Cruisers etc., She would leave them in the car, come in here and see what we had on offer, if we didn't have what she liked she would order the boyfriend or the brother to go outside and get her drinks.

Then the games would really begin. She would then offer one of her drinks to her father, her boyfriend and her brother, even though they had a drink in their hands already. She would not offer one to me. DH was invited to her birthday party, he said I was too. I guess I was the pinata, because I was emotionally beaten around well and truly that night. I sat down on the couch next to her brother and her boyfriends father. Instantly they got up and went to the kitchen bench were she, the boyfriend and my husband were standing. That is were they all stayed, they were all given drinks and finger food and I was left on the couch. In trying to catch my husband's eye, I caught the boyfriend looking at me, with his hand cupped over the Princess of Darkness's ear and whispering into it. (He later confirmed he was indeed asking her permission to offer me a drink). I was not offered a drink and eventually my husband noticed, and that was quite a long time. As soon as DH said have you got a drink, (NO idiot do you see one in my hand), she said, let's have cake. DH doesn't even pick up that I still was not offered a drink and we had been there half an hour. So, she starts passing around the cake. Stops at DH and did not offer me any. DH to cover her backside slides his plate over to me and asks her for a piece of cake for himself. The look on her face was pure hatred as she stared at me with a piece of cake in front of me. I was to be ignored, her boyfriend was not to offer me food or drink, she did not offer me food or drink, in fact worse she deliberately stopped serving cake at her father and made it quite obvious I was to have nothing. My DH's response. I was too sensitive, I should have spoken up and asked for a drink, he gave me cake, so what's my problem. EVERY SINGLE THING THAT HAPPENED THAT NIGHT WAS MY FAULT, just ask DH. She did nothing wrong, it was all me.

Your husband is doing this to you too. They desperately want to keep their daughter's happy. They realise they have no control over their daughters, so they work on the wife, if you would only do whatever the daughter wanted, then their would be no problems. If you just accept her rudeness and ungratefullness their really wouldn't be any drama would their, see, it's all your fault. That unfortunatley is how they and their daughter's think. He sees nothing wrong in his parenting, she does not see herself as ungrateful, after all, she only wants what is rightfully hers, and you are stopping her from getting YOUR money, well, you married her dad, so what's yours is his, and what's his is hers, so give her her money and all will be sweet, until the next thing comes along and unless you give her that too, then it will be on again. YOU will always be the one at fault.

This my friend is why you are sick, this is why you are anxious, this is why you are depressed, because you are trying to please not just SD but DH as well, and these people cannot be pleased, there will always be something else they want. Time, money, possessions, she'll be wanting a car next.

Are you angry about this, yes, of course you are, any right minded person would be angry, you have given so much and it is never enough, and you are not even being thanked for what you do give, that would make the Lord himself angry. Are you making this decision out of anger, NO you are not. Sure you are angry, but the decision you have made comes from pain, from emotional exhaustion, from having your heart and soul ripped out by ungrateful, selfish, spoilt brats, and from having a husband who doesn't know when to say NO enough is enough to his grown daughters. Your husband has in effect here said, my daughters wants come before your health, yes I see you are sick, but it is all your fault, if you just give her what she wants, she will be happy, and you don't have to be anxious, depressed or angry, you could fix this up so easily by just giving into her all the time as he has always done and it will all be happy families. He is blaming you for his daughter being a brat. He and his ex wife created and raised this young woman, they are her parents, and they have to accept resposibility for the way they have turned out.

You have my husband, and someone else here posted you have their stepdaughter (please keep her), you are welcome to keep my husband too, I will even send over a few changes of clothes with him.

This is not you, this is not your fault. Your husband is manipulating you, and trying to guilt you. He is doing this to make himself happy. Sure he says it is for his daughter's sake, but really, the truth is, it is for him. He is being selfish. He is only caring about himself and what he can make you do so he can have a quiet life.

This is not love, he like my husband is so full of himself that they really cannot love anyone else, not even these daughters, they are too deeply involved in trying to have a quiet life for themselves.

This will never ever change until you change it, and you have made headway into establishing that change. Do not go to the ball. Do not give any money or gifts. Do not accept blame. Do not allow yourself to be manipulated or made to feel guilty. Just leave them to be the family they are because that is the only way your DH is going to see his daughters for what they are. Once you are no longer in the picture and they cannot use you as a scapegoat, they will turn on daddy. They will withhold their phone calls and their love, and do anything they can to make him suffer.

This may seem a bit cruel to you, and you will feel very sorry for your DH, but you do have to stay strong, because this is what is needed to affect change. He needs to see for himself how cruel and ungrateful his daughters really are, and you need to stay well out of it.

Make great plans for yourself the night of the ball, and if DH chooses not to go, do not let him tell you he didn't go because you wouldn't go. That is rubbish. He is a grown man, and he can make his own decisions, but he will try to blame you. Trust me, I know my husband well, and you are married to him. These men don't do anything they don't want to do. But whenever they do or don't do something that makes someone mad, instead of taking responsibility as in the case of the ball, they will blame their partners.

Your husband should tell his daughter "we" are not coming, you have been very rude and ungrateful to my wife and after all she has done for you, she feels very hurt and disappointed in you, as am I. She does not want to attend and I think she has every right to feel that way, you should be ashamed of yourself for the way you have treated her.......................That's what he should say, but we both know he's not going to. He is not going to support you. Blame you, hell yes, but not support you. So, in order to turn this around, you need to respect yourself, stand by your decision, do not allow him to bully or manipulate you into anything, and you SHOULD point out to him that he needs to show a bit of gratitude too for all you have done for HIS kids. Because you know what. He does. You are right here and your response has been fair and reasonable. Your DH and his daugher, well they will never admit to their role in this, but you know the truth. Do not give in because it will only lead to more years and years of pain, then along come the grandchildren, and the manipulation gets worse. My husbands daughter that he felt could do no wrong had a baby last year and told him if he wanted to see it then he had to leave me.

That is were all of this leads to. You are doing the right thing, keep up the good work. You need to change the dynamic of your family and you can do it.

forgotten wife's picture

gosh, ebu, i feel for you. you have been through exactly what i've been through with dh and his crappy daughter. just makes me want to punch both of their faces in.

88keys2happiness's picture

stepparents are ALWAYS the enemy! They might treat you nice to your face from time to time. But don't ever forget, YOU are an outsider to their family. I'm sorry for you. You seem like a logical, responsible, caring woman. We should all learn to be real bit*h@s

emotionaly beat up's picture

Thanks forgottenwife.

It is hell on a stick isn't it. I had no idea how much this had destroyed me until the day I told her she was no longer welcome in my home. Got rid of her and then had to deal with DH, now after about 3 months he was really getting pretty good, then FIL stepped in to defend his grandaughter. Mind you she had only spoken to grandfather about 3 times in 10 years and one of them was after she was forced by DH to thank him for contributing towards her car. She never even bothered to ring grandfather when she became pregant, so he knew nothing until she rang him when the baby was two weeks old. Even then, fools that they are, DH and Grandfather didn't wise up to the fact that in ringing grandfather it was not about telling him she had a baby, it was to tell him DH hadn't gone to her home to visit the baby. So after giving grandfather the tears and sadness story, he got himself involved and then it was back to square 1 for me with DH.

Just recently the boyfriend of this little cow bailed me up at the shops. Seems he felt the need to tell me that FIL had told him and the cow they could come to my house anytime they wanted and just to ignore me, hell, they could borrow our lawn mower and don't worry about anything I said.

That has now started off a whole other family feud. I no longer speak to FIL, I have returned jewellery he gave me that belonged to my MIL and have made it know within the family I am done with the crap. FIL had only met this boy 3 times in total and he felt it was his place to tell this kid to come to my house and ignore me.............Geez, clearly I am nothing in this family, which is a good thing really, because now I no longer have to play the Italian games that they are still playing just like they did in the old country. So that is a positive. No more in-laws yay! Smile No more 4 hour drives out of obligation to see FIL yay! Smile No more Christmasses with FIL yay! Smile So while it hurt like hell when boyfriend told me about FIL I have actually reaped the benefit of FIL's ignorance, and boyfriends stupidity. YAY! Smile

If you have gone through this crap to forgotten wife, my heart goes out to you. I do not know how we have managed to keep our sanity, and as for punching them in the face, well, that's mild compared to what I would like to do to a few people in my life. However, I am going to make sure I punish them good and hard by getting on with my own life, cutting them all completely out of it, and being happy. That will kill them.

forgotten wife's picture

yes, it's liberating to no longer have to pretend to be "family". however, they hate it that they're no longer benefiting from our obligation to make them like us.

you're entitled to pick who you will have in your life and who you won't. i hope your DH understands that. that's the hard part.

emotionaly beat up's picture

My DH is Italian. His father still thinks he is the patriarch and is to be honored and respected and his children will do as he wishes. DH seems to still behave as a little boy where his father is concerned. DH is 64. I think DH raised his children the complete opposite of how he was raised. Instead if them honoring and obeying their father he honoured and obeyed them. But for me he still would.

We were both expected by DH to drop everything, completely forego plans etc for any and all if his family but my were non existent.

Things have changed dramatically here. But it has taken yet another incident involving his daughters boyfriend this time to finally get it through to DH the party is over and I am done playing games and being pushed to the back because I am not Italian. I have always played the Cinderella role in this family for far too long and now DH knows I'm done

Mindygirl1's picture

It seems to me that the relationship you have with this girl is already based on the money you and her dad give her. If you want that to change, you have to be able to stand up to her. How dare she tell you how to spend the money you earn. I am just shocked that she has the nerve to do that. Really??? Asking you to give up things you want to pay for a sorority fee? I get paying for college, but the extras she should be paying with a part time job. And the fact that she gave you guys no notice only further indicates she has no respect for either of you. YOU GET WHAT YOU TOLERATE IN LIFE... I would explain to her that you have reconsidered and based on how she is behaving you no longer wish to pay the $900.00... or if you can't do that...then let her know that $900 will be the last non essential bill you will be paying. Then watch and see how her attitude gets. If you can hold out on the backlash that will be coming your way, you will be the winner in the longrun. Otherwise, you are just feeding the monster. Take care...

Mindygirl1's picture

I learned over 10 years ago that I do NOT have to have a relationship with my stepkids to have a wonderful relationship with my husband. I can not even begin to list the really hurtful things they have done through the years. Well about 2 years ago, I said enough. The last straw was when they invited my husbands ex-girlfriend (9 years an ex girlfriend I might add) to a family baby shower. It was all done with the intent to hurt my feelings and have this woman inform me loudly that my husband NEVER really meant anything to her at all anyway. I mean really. My husband was so upset he finally took the bull by the horns and told them his wife/their stepmother would NEVER be attending anything again and how dare they behave this way. From that day on, I realized I did not have to have a relationship with his children on their terms. I now control the situation. Sometimes making the hubby see and deal with his children is the best way for him to really see how they are. Make him go to see his daughter on his own. He is a grown man. Why can't he see his daughter on his own and take the opportunity to let her know how she has hurt you. Stand up for yourself now...