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Moving forward with husband and without SD

abenny's picture

So, after my step daughter told me on Friday that she no longer wants anything to do with me and she hates me more than anybody in this world, my husband now is in a very difficult situation. While she talked with me, I only listened to her and ask for her forgiveness for things we went through in the past and told her I loved her. She then told me she wouldn't forgive me and left. 

Husband now is in a very difficult situation. Besides everything his daughter went through growing up, dealing with the parents' divorce, dealing with step parents, cutting herself to try to get attention from mom, wanting to commit suicide at some point, us or me not knowing what to say to help get her to snap out of the "suicidal" mode, lack of my experience in dealing with any of these mental health issues, words that were said that could have been worded in a better way from my end, her being raped while in the military last year, trying to commit suicide for real this time, all of this is tormenting her now. 

She returned home in December (she is married for 3 years now). She and her husband joined us for Christmas and we had a wonderful holiday season. Everything has been perfect for almost 5 years now since she had moved away from home. Well, until she moved back and brought all of her traumas with her. 

Thinking that everything was ok, I kept on pursuing our relationship. Then this past Friday she told me she wouldn't forgive me and cut me off her life. I listened to her and ask for her forgiveness and I told her I loved her. But nothing. 

My husband, knowing how I behaved on the meeting withouth saying barely anything and only listening to her, never said a word to me. Not even a "wow, honey. That must have been difficult for you to listen. I am so sorry you are going through this as well." Really, no words from him. I understand his daugher is in a very difficult situation right now, and she needs to process and deal with everything that has happened to her over the years. However, I did the best I could with what I had. It wasn't perfect, but I was present in her life. 

Now, and I know maybe I shouldn't have done this, but I looked in my husband's messages and learned that right after our meeting on Friday, my husband, step daughter and grandma met up for lunch. I felt like they were ganging up on me. But nothing was said to me. Then I also learned that my husband told her he was proud of her maturity in dealing with the situations. But then I wonder, dealing how? By cutting people off without actually having an adult conversation? Yes, situations happened and words were said between all of us that were hurtful. But who doesn't say words that hurt others sometimes? 

Now, my husband is holding our marriage hostage by sleeping in another room. He also looked at my messages and learned that I was upset because he was so encouraging to his daughter and with me he is rejecting me, not showing any affection, and sleeping in another bedroom. Our evangelist and his wife are on the beginning stages of counseling us, and eventually they will guide us to a professional Christian counselor to help my husband with some of his pain from the past. According to them, my husband is feeling an incredible guilt because his daugthter is where she is today (mentally, psychologically, emotionally), even though it is not 100% his fault that his ex cheated on him. 

He told me that he was going to change all of the passwords of all electronic devices to remove temptation of any of us looking in one another's texts and especially the messages we exchange with our counselors or messages he exchange with his daughter. I am confused by all of this because I don't believe in a husband and wife having secrets from each other. Want privacy, be single! I believe that if I don't have anything to hide, so why do I need to add passwords so my husband doesn't have access to my messages? And vice-versa. 

Our best friend is advising us that right now, during this delicate situation in our lives, it is good to keep privacy of messages so we can work on healing from all of this. Knowing that my husband has been cheated on once and how much it hurt, I doubt that he would ever cheat on me. It's just about his relationship with his daughter. I don't know and this is just an speculation, but I wonder if he is trying to be as supported as possible of her (even if she is being difficult and wrong for how she perceives some of the situations that happened between us in the past, which I was told that he sees how difficult she has been) if it is because he is afraid that if he says what she should be hearing right now, she would actually fall apart and try to commit suicide once again and he could not live with the idea of his daughter commiting suicide. Does that make sense? 

I am confused, upset, I feel like my husband and I are going to start living a secretive lives, which is so not what I envision having after 13 years of marriage. I don't want to consider divorce because of what our son could potentially go through. Divorce is a pretty messed up thing you guys! My parents never divorced and I thank God for that. Blended families are one of the most incredibly difficult things I have ever done in my life. 

What do you guys think? Is it ok for him to keep privacy (only God knows for how long) while he heals and seek counseling about his past hurts (ex-wife cheating on him, the divorce, so many ways his ex tried to hurt us for years, and all of what his daughter is going through) and should I give him time to process where his daughter his as well as himself? Or is there anything that I am missing? 


Rags's picture

I understand where you are. In my experience this is the beginning of the marital death spiral.

When my XW started not coming home for dinner (supposedly she was staying at my IL's house) I didn't think much about it at the time. We were both in school full time, I was working full time, she was working part time,  her parents lived a few miles from our home in the house she had grown up in.

As it turned out, she was rarely at her parent's house.  She was shopping the booty to every swinging Johnson she could get her hands on.  If I had been less naive and more insistent that she engage in our home and the marriage I may have saved that marriage. Blessedly, I was naive and didn't saddle myself with that cavern crotched adulterous whore for any longer than absolutely necessary. And even more  blessedly I did not pollute my gene pool with her. I shudder the thought.

Were I you, I would not tolerate either secrecy or the drifting apart of you and your DH.  That he seems to be completely oblivious to the damage this is all causing for his/your young son is astonishing to me.

He needs to get square and get his priorities straight. Marriage first, then the wellbeing of the kids with your son having just as much priority as his elder half sister in their father's eyes.

IMHO of course.

Good luck.

GoingWicked's picture

I can only think of one reason my husband would do something like this.  If I were nagging or being argumentative or even refusing to talk about anything but the situation with his daughter, making life at home unbearable.  Or if I were digging in his phone for ammo to throw at him.  Or even airing all this dirty laundry in front of people that he respects.  He’d be piping mad.

 If you are, even with the best of intentions, then you need to back off and try to be empathetic towards your DH.  It’s one of those situations where you should only speak of pleasant things, or just keep your mouth shut.  He can’t make your SD change any more than you can, only your SD can do that.

Otherwise, I really have no advice, I’m sorry.  Other than I wouldn’t put up with any of his sulking and taking it all out on me for any amount of time.  We would be having a come to Jesus meeting without the pastor.

abenny's picture

Thank you for your advice. Well, I didn’t say anything to him before I met with SD and only told him briefly that I had seen her over the phone. I was advised to give him time as him and others, including SD were expecting me to explode while I didn’t. On Saturday, we had a very pleasant day. He cooked breakfast for us and I worked for a few hours at night (I’m a nurse and I work odd hours sometimes). But then on Sunday I noticed he started acting cold towards me and he didn’t wanted to talk with me. Finally I shared with our minister what I read and how I felt. And I left it alone with him. Then I noticed that my phone was asking for the Apple ID password. We shared the password because of the Apple TV we have and it can be used in several devices to watch movies we buy. Then today he told me he wanted to change passwords on all the devices so we could no longer read each other messages to our minister or anyone else who’s helping us as well as so I couldn’t read his messages to his daughter so we could heal and keep on moving forward. 

This is what he wrote me: “No, to access my messages. I went ahead and peeked at your texts to our minister the other night out of curiosity and I saw that you knew I’ve been messaging daughter and encouraging her and that you were upset that I hadn’t said a word to you. I knew you could only know that if you accessed my texts somehow. I didn’t freak out on you, I just changed the passwords on all my devices. So we both snooped in eachothers texts but I’ll let it go. You had a good night with the minister and his wife last night and I want to keep it going.”


Kes's picture

In your words, divorce is a pretty messed up thing, but if you ask me, your marriage is an even worse messed up thing at the moment.  Unless there are big things you aren't telling here - then it seems you have shown remarkable forebearance with your DH and your SD, and it has been rewarded with nastiness and exclusion.  

Has your DH given you any explanation at all as to why he is sleeping in another room?  or why he goes on secret meetings with family members and excludes you?   To me this is not how marital partners behave.   I think you need to do some hard thinking about this marriage.  

abenny's picture

Yesterday we had a breakthrough. I got a message from my husband saying he’s moving back into our  bedroom tonight. He thanked me for giving him space because he’s facing his demons from the past (things he didn’t want to talk about it now) and that he loves me, for the better or worst. I’m just going to let the peace reign in our home for a few days until we meet with our ministers for more guidance. That’s when they will (and I too) will recommend he gets counseling to help him deal with his demons that have nothing to do with me. 

tog redux's picture

I'm confused.  Everything was fine for 5 years and great at Christmas, but suddenly (6 weeks later), you are the cause of all the problems in her life and she wants nothing to do with you?

And you planned a meeting with SD without telling DH, but you were mad that DH planned a meeting with SD without telling you?   So you are keeping secrets from him, but not wanting him to keep secrets from you, and you feel you both should be able to snoop in each other's phones/email with impunity because there should be no secrets between husband and wife?

Husbands and wives can have private lives. If DH didn't trust me and wanted to look through my phone, I'd let him, but I'd start looking for a new place to live the next day.  He can either trust me or not, but he's not going to be checking my phone to make sure I don't keep secrets from him.  And he's free to talk to his son and anyone else without telling me, I'm not his boss and he doesn't have to answer to me for that.  Nor do I answer to him about who I talk to.

I'm also not clear on why there is so much angst here about this ADULT, married skid. If she wants nothing to do with you, then fine, have nothing to do with her. DH can still have a relationship with her.

Monkeysee's picture

I’m confused too. I don’t understand what SD is so angry at you for, nor do I understand why your DH is sleeping in the guest bedroom.

Does she blame you for things that have happened to her in the past? What kinds of things were said between you, is that why she’s upset & your DH is shutting you out?

As for the phones, I don’t have the passcodes to DH’s phones or any of his emails or online accounts, and he doesn’t have mine either. If he wanted to see anything he’d be more than welcome to, but neither of us feel the need to be up in each other’s business because we trust each other. So I agree that you could both do with some privacy as you deal with whatever is happening right now.

abenny's picture

1st example: when our son was born, SD was in the hospital and she captured every moment she could (false, she was there however I had a c-section and she was not present on the actual birth). Fast forward two years... I asked her if she could put together a short picture slide show sort of thing for me to show our friends since our son was born. Well, I’m Brazilian. The song I asked her to use was called “Parabéns” from the singer Xuxa (YouTube it so you can). It was a kids song about their bday party. Adorable song. Then my SD put the video together using either the song Pumped up kicks (taps about a kid with a gun that shot fast bullets or something like that) or the other song about some kids getting bigger than the Empire State “We are young”. I didn’tike the music because I thought those songs were inappropriate for a toddler’s video. I thanked her but I wasn’t going to be ok with the song because I couldn’t understand why she wanted because she wanted to change what I wanted to do for my sons bday party. 

Her version of the story: she claimed the video was her idea and that I said the video was disgusting. She hold grudges through this day because I didn’t like her song selection and she wanted that video to be from her to her brother. I asked if she would like to make her own video from her to her brother and she didn’t like the idea. 

2nd example: right after the custody battle ended (which it lasted for 9 months), my SD was depressed and glued to my hip. I had an infant to take care as well and I didn’t know what to do because my ST wouldn’t do anything we suggested such having fun with her teenager friends. She was glued to me from sunrise to sundown. Her mom, by the court order, had the right to have my SD with her for 3 full weeks during the summer. When we were on the beginning of August, I told my husband I needed to breathe because of the whole dramatic custody battle that had just ended and that my SD wouldn’t do anything besides being glued to me. My husband emailed his ex to ask about her time with her daughter. His ex’ response was that she wasn’t going to have her daughter coming to spend 3 weeks with her because her daughter had hurt her family (mom still didn’t take any responsibility of anything she ever did). My husband put her daughter in the car and took her to visit family in CA. 

Many SD version of what happened: you (i) rejected her over that summer so she felt rejected by me. 

Truth: her mom rejected her, yet again, and I didn’t know anymore what to do with a depressed teenager anymore at home. To keep my sanity, my husband took her to spend time with family to let me breathe and regain my sanity. 


These are are just two examples of my SD version of each situation and how each actually happened. 

ldvilen's picture

None of this makes any sense.  Are you expected to put up with all of their shiatsu for life?  You’re not obligated to take on thankless servitude just because you married your stepkids’ biological parent. You have the right to see your efforts appreciated.

What I see going on is the absolutely worst thing that can go on:  Your husband (and others, it appears) is treating you like a child and is treating his child (SD) like a wife.  In other words, you are to be scolded and things are to be kept from you.  Meanwhile, DH and his daughter and granny can all go out and discuss things like adults--like DH and his daughter are the REAL couple, and you are some sort of immature child or person to be excluded.  This is not a marriage.  This is you making all of the sacrifices while everyone else gets to "party" and not own up.

Don't let anyone try to tell you you are wrong for not catering to your SKs.  If you think your marriage is worth saving, then disengage.  There is an entire forum section dedicated to disengaging on this blog site.

As you found out the hard way, unfortunately, since SMs have such little support system, they make wonderful scapegoats and targets, and it is truly a shame that so many in our society have no problem jumping on this bandwagon out of sheer convenience vs. what is right or wrong, fact or lie.  They'd much rather beat SM into submission and make her literally sacrifice herself, than to have to take any responsibility themselves for how they messed up. 

Be careful and DISENGAGE from the madness, feelings of pain and hurt, and all of that junk that comes along with being little-miss-family-scapegoat.

bedazzled's picture

I don't believe in secrets in marriage either. I do not have a password on my phone. DH is free to look at my messages, pictures any thing. I have nothing to hide. DH had a password on his phone. When his daughter texted me accusing me of blocking her call on his password protected phone I had enough. Turns out SD told DH i was blocking her calls. He never said a word to me but believed it. Bought it hook , line and sinker. I don't know how I was suppose to have done it since he had a password on it that I did not know. Didn't matter he believed SD. I didn't even have a chance to defend myself. So I told him I am done if he wants to keep secrets then why be married. He did take it off but he keeps his phone on him 24 hours a day.  My couselor believes like I do. Married people should be able to look at each others phones, emails etc. It builds trust in the marriage. It has to be both ways. DH and I went to a marriage counselor together yesterday. It will be interesting to see what she says about this. I will stand my line. Marriages should be transparent.

I really feel that it has a snowball effect. Your DH has a password, you wonder what he is hiding. You look he is hiding alot of things. You say well if he is going to do then so am I. You put a pass word on your phone. You start living a non transparent life also. You just grow farther and farther apart.  It does nothing to build trust in marriage, everything to break it. 

But again it has to work both ways