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New poster, StepDaughter driving a wedge in our marriage.

MoonBeam13's picture

Long time lurker, first time poster. I am so grateful for this site! It has helped me realize I’m not alone in this nightmare of being a step parent to adult kids, especially adult stepdaughters.

Married 6 years, my second, and his third. He has two adult daughters, SD33 and SD 30 from his first marriage. I have no biokids. He’s 58, I’m 54. They both live out of state. SD33 has two boys and lives with her boyfriend (both boys have different dads). SD30 is married with four kids from three different dads. Not that their baby daddy’s matter, but I add it for details.

Same story here, kids were OK upon first meeting, however I think they had some issues since I look younger than 54 (thanks to my mom and dad for my great genes) and I think some jealousy developed. Over time, it started to suck since every time we got together there was some sort of blow up when we didn’t do something they expected or cater to them. Each time one of them (especially SD 33) doesn’t get what they want, it’s an all-out war with them usually blaming me for whatever wrong they think we did.

When they’re pissed at daddy, the text messages they send are horrible! If I spoke to my dad this way, I would get slapped right across the face! DH does nothing when this happens, doesn’t respond and just ignores them. When they text him how awful I am, he also ignores that. That alone pisses me off since it doesn’t appear he has my back.

A year or so ago, SD33 text me and DH a tirade about what pieces of sh!t we both are, blah blah. I had enough. I told her I was sick to death of her disrespect and to stop texting me unless she apologizes and acts like an adult. She went off & kept texting me over and over even after I asked her to stop. I finally told her that I’d file harassment if she didn’t knock it off. She stopped. I was tired of the bullsh!it and I stood my ground. She didn’t like that. . I blocked SD33 on my phone, email and all social media due to her toxic behavior.

Which brings me to the latest….. DH and I had problems and even separated a while. We are now back together and trying to work it out. SD33 apparently thought daddy would get a divorce and move down to be with her. When she found out we were trying to work things out, she upped her campaign of hate. Just recently, I found out DH told her a few things about our living situation that should only be discussed between us two. I was livid!! It’s none of her F-ing business, but nonetheless, he told her.

My therapist even thinks this is unacceptable. SD33 is driving a wedge between DH & I and he’s giving her the tools to do so. I asked him to contact her back and clear up the perceptions she has (thanks to him) and he has not and it’s been two weeks. I feel this is a slap in my face. I know I cannot force him to do anything, but shouldn’t he? Or am I expecting too much?

SD33 invited DH to a football game out of state on their birthday (they have the same birthday). I’m not invited. I wouldn’t want to go anyway. But, after telling her it was unfair to exclude me, now he’s thinking of going. If he does, I think it may signal the end of us.

Sorry this got long, but I would appreciate any feedback. I've disengaged from her but she's still trying to split us up. Thanks everyone! So glad to have found this site.

CANYOUHELP's picture

I am not certain where you are in this relationship, of course, so my recommendations are only based on what I am reading and what I would do. Of course, every situation is different. I think if you can get along with these hussies it is better for everybody, but after you have really tried (and, do not try for years either- like many of us did, unfortunately); and their disgust with you and disrespect only ups the ante, you have no choice but to stop, just stop it; stop everything.

That is what I did, I divorced them; not my husband. But, he is free to do anything he would like, he knows I will not be any part of it /with them and I will not hear about them or discuss them at all. Had he cared about me being actual family- included with them, he would have manned up and stopped the disrespect of us BOTH. He cannot do it, because he has never taught them to respect anybody, as well as the BM....And, mine allowed others to leave him, because of them---long before my time. You would think he would learn, but some men never do, no matter.

I am not being abused by anybody, including any ill raised nasty grown up classless women. I do not miss being insulted over and over again; you will not either if you move in this direction.

Only you will know when it is the right time for you. Oh, one last thing to prepare yourself for.... with a weakling daddy, they will NEVER stop trying to ruin your marriage. That is why you stay away.

sammigirl's picture

CANYOUHELP: I am impressed with your post. I have followed your posts and you have come a very long way to get to this point. I remember when it all bothered you, because you cared what your SD's thought, you cared what your DH thought, and you wanted to bridge the gap with them all. They were only trying to make you and your marriage miserable; thus your DH, like mine, never had your back.

Now you are where you should be; you are doing amazing. I am very proud of you. You don't care any longer and you are moving forward with your marriage and your DH.

It is freeing and so rewarding to have yourself back on track.

Good Job! ((((hugs))))

CANYOUHELP's picture

Thank you Sammi, you have helped me more than you know feel more "normal" given my situation. I owe you lady! My heart and well as your heart, goes out to women who deal with this dynamic, because nobody fully understands, but us....

sandye21's picture

"I found out DH told her a few things about our living situation that should only be discussed between us two." This would be a deal breaker for me. You can not stop him from doing this unless he wants to.

When you took your wedding vows you agreed love and cherish each other. When your DH confides in SD about private matters between the two of you he is not showing he loves or cherishes you. He is disrespectful of you and of the sanctity of your marriage. It is emotional adultery. I would give him the choice of acting like a husband or ending the marriage.

Glad you are going to a therapist who will help and guide you to through this. You deserve to be treated better.

sammigirl's picture

sandye21: My DH did the very same thing, betraying me to SD. If you remember I kicked him to the curb, up the street to his DD56. DH hated it and ceased and desist immediately. You are correct when you say that you cannot stop them from doing this, unless he wants to do so. I'm sure my DH still says things to his DD that should not be repeated; but I don't tell my DH anything, and I mean ANYTHING, that he can repeat that would upset me. My DH is on a "need to know basis", and I truly mean that.

The other thing that works for me, I don't care what they say about me, and I truly mean that also. I never utter SD56 or SGD32 (mother/daughter) names. They are nothing to me and I don't care what they know, because my life is an open book and what they know is nothing new to anyone. I have blocked them from ALL my social media and they get not even a "hello" out of me.

When OP learns to "NOT CARE", totally disengage from skids, love herself totally, and move forward with her marriage, life gets much easier. My SD and family will always be in my life, as long as DH lives; I've accepted that. I handle them on my own, my DH has never had my back, so I take care of myself. They hate me for standing up for myself, but it's no fun for them now, because they are nothing to me.

It is easier for DH and I, because I took the steps to correct the problem, instead of leaving it up to DH. When I booted him to the curb, via Court Order, it opened his eyes and he knows I will do it again, with no second chance. I am not threatening, I am promising; DH has no doubt I mean business. I think he appreciates my disengagement and my stand. He did not at first, but is doing better with it 99% of the time. Now if only SD and SGD would get the hint to leave me alone; they will never let it rest; but I've also accepted that fact. I can handle them now and am not caught off guard. The tables have turned for them.

I follow your posts also, and you have very good advice and excellent input.

sandye21's picture

Sammi, I have mentioned many times you are my rock. Whenever I entertain the rare thought of allowing SD in my life again, all I have to do is read one of your posts.

When SD had her meltdown, I gave DH the choice of working on the marriage or leaving. At that point it would not have mattered either way. SD was not to darken my doorstep until he could tell her in my presence that she was to respect me as his wife - which he obviously never did.

I have more than enough proof to know that DH has opened his mouth about me to SD and others. There was a day when I would have been hurt by his actions but I would have taken the 'upper road', not got down to his level, not practiced 'an eye for an eye'. Then would have licked my wounds from the full brunt of his betrayal. Not anymore. As bad as it may seem to some, I have let him know that it goes both ways. I will no longer put up with bullying from anyone. And it works. He recently told me that if he would have done anything different in the first years of our marriage he would have respected me more. Our marriage is 99% better too!

Like you, I simply do not care what SD thinks or anything about her. I do not discuss her with DH which further communicates my desire to not have her in my life.

You stated "the tables have turned." SD rarely, if ever, communicates with DH. I did not wish this on him. It is merely the result of his actions or lack of - and it is his responsibility to deal with it.

They say once you come close to death, you are no longer afraid of it. The same holds true for divorce. DH knows I will not hold back if I ever had to experience what I did for the first 20 years of our marriage. Life is just too short for a 're-run'.

disrestep's picture

I feel your pain. There is nothing more the nasty adult steps I've had to deal with, want more than my DH and I to split up also. They have tried in the past to split us up. Didn't work. Too bad for them. They have wished me out of their lives forever. The funny thing is that I am not in their lives. What I am sure they mean is they want me out of DH's life, which somehow they believe his life is their life they can no longer control everything he does like they did before.

Isn't it amazing how the stepmothers get blamed for whenever these self-entitled adult steps feel dadee isn't doing what they want him to do? Even when DH never mentions my name and tells them NO, it is always my fault somehow.

If you have not, I'd have a talk with your DH and let him know how discussing personal things between you and him with the skids is unacceptable and ask him how would he like it if you did the same. You are right, your marriage is none of their bleeping business.

As far as the game. If you feel it was planned for a way for the SD to get dadee alone and try and split you up, tell your DH how you feel. I always found it best to be honest with my DH. When I knew it was obvious the adult steps were conjuring up plans to exclude me I pointed it out to my DH. I would ask him so why don't you plan an event with of your hateful spawn and not invite their spouse(s) and ask him how they would like it. Did you plan on doing something for your DH on his birthday? If so, let him know. I am blunt, so if it were me I would ask my DH, do you want to do something with your wife or your mean spawn on your birthday? Not to make him choose between us; but his answer to that would let me know how he feels about our marriage and if he is putting his spouse first. Yes, it is his birthday and he can do what HE wants. I would never leave my DH on his birthday and do something with my kid. I have all year to do that.

You are not alone in step hell. Best of luck.

MoonBeam13's picture

Thanks. I am rather blunt and he doesn't like that. Too bad. I was planning something and had tickets to a soccer game. I'll now take a friend.

I also told him (with no sugar coating) that discussing our issues with either kid is NOT acceptable. That's what therapists are for, not his daughters who will take the info and run with it.

sammigirl's picture

Good for you. This is the first step to getting it back on track. For almost 3 years we went thru this same situation. It was worth my taking the reins and setting boundaries.

The bottom line, I was realistic and know SD's are a part of my life; how much of a part I let them be involved in my life is my choice and nobody else's.

Hang in there. Stand strong and don't give in and lose sight of your goals. It is very difficult.


SacrificialLamb's picture

I am sure when you told him this, he said "my daughters are not like that." My DH said that too. Then he learned that by golly, yes they are like that. These kids already think the EVIL SM is abusing poor dear ol' Dad. Dad sharing secrets in confidence just plays into that belief.

Dovina's picture

Your SD's sound awful. However what would be the most painful part is that your DH is considering to go to this game with his daughter, who he knows is purposely excluding you. That sends a message to her that it is ok to exclude you, and he partakes in the excluding. He is not regarding your feelings. That is very selfish.

MadHatter's picture

I can't tell you what you should do, because only you know what you can live with. I can tell you what I would do, and what I have done.

I disengaged with SD22 when she was 15 years old. She was hateful then, and she's worse now. The only difference between then and now is that I don't give one rat's a$$ anymore what she knows, what she thinks, or how she feels. DH and I keep our finances separate, and he is welcome to spend any amount of HIS money on her after he meets his household obligations, spend any amount of time with her unless it interferes with plans we have made together, and can tell her any intimate detail he might feel comfortable sharing with his daughter. I don't ask him what she thinks about anything. I don't ask for any details about his interactions with her, and when he feels compelled to share something that she's done, I try to keep the conversation short and don't offer my opinion about anything. It works out better that way, and sometimes even results in the occasional comment like my DH made last night. He said, "I don't like my daughter very much sometimes. She's a b*tch, and she's rude to me and most everyone she's around. You're probably doing the right thing by staying away from her because you would've killed her by now." (I had to keep myself from doing a fist pump and a happy dance around the house.)

I have to say that being disengaged sometimes makes me feel a little left out when he goes off with her and has a good time, but I'll gladly take that over feeling like I constantly need to defend myself. For example, she's getting married in a couple of months. DH just got off the phone with me and said that we needed to go shopping for a new suit so that he could give her away at the wedding. My answer, "I think you should probably arrange a shopping trip with your daughter to buy a suit." Would I like to spend an afternoon shopping and dining out with my man? Absolutely, but I am not willing to do one single thing to help her and that includes picking out clothing for my husband that is appropriate for her wedding. On the weekend of the wedding, I'll be going to the beach or to a nice hotel in the city that I live in so that I can treat myself to an equally enjoyable weekend.

So, do what you think is right. Do what works for you.

still learning's picture

Funny, DH made a similar comment about ss32 the other night. He said, "ss32 is an a$$hole, not so much to me but to everyone else. He doesn't even try to grow up, I don't know what his problem is." In the past we would talk about this for an hour and in the end the conclusion would be that it was somehow my fault because I "hated" his kid. But I just said, "hmmm, Oh. I'm sorry to hear that." And it was done.

When we first got married all I did was defend myself from ss's attacks, try to prove to DH that I didn't *hate his kid," and try to figure out what the h#ll was going on. Now I just avoid ss32, walk away if I am physically near, avoid coming home if I know he's visiting. I don't care what's going on w/ss32, how he feels about me or what DH thinks I think of him. We did have the "Keep our marriage issues and my personal business private" talk a few times because SIL and SS were very nosy and I'm extremely private.

If DH wants to spend time w/him I absolutley encourage it...somewhere else. Though DH really doesn't want to spend one on one time w/ss. ss will make him buy him meals, stuff, start blaming and guilting him.

mtnwife530's picture

I'm sorry to hear someone else is going through almost exactly the same thing I am. The only difference is I am 16 yrs younger than DH and I'm talking about SD42, me being 52, and SD doesn't send neither of us nasty text, mainly because DH has never touched a cell and we live in the middle of nowhere so I don't have cell service, and when I got social media, I blocked all of them right off the bat.
On the birthday issue, we can compare notes. I was planning a party for DH 60th and SD42 calls and ask if it would be ok if their BM came to the party!!! I was too baffled so fire back, and I told her I would talk to Daaddeeee (as she still calls him) and let her know. I never did talk to DH or let her know.
Yes, she has a tantrum we we don't do what she wants when she wants. And, yes it's always my fault! And she corners daaaddee and blackmails him with "well, if seeing your grandchildren isn't important to..." and yes,it's always my fault. She has even planned "family " trips where she wants to put us in a suite (at our expense) with a sofa bed so her BM can stay with us!!!! They divorced 25 years ago! You'd think she'd be over by now. I think the worst part is she put herself through school , now has a government job so she thinks she better than any and everyone else, and takes political correctness to a whole new (and offensive to me) level. If she even thinks DH might have a drink at a gathering, it's "don't be offering my daddy alcohol" , It's not as if he has, or has had a problem with it, there's no medical reasons he can't, she's just a controlling B___h! There were 5 skids, he lost his oldest back in the original Desert Storm, there's SD42,SD40,SS38 and SS36, and there's no problem with the others, except they choose to overlook her Major B__s++T, saying "it
Thankfully, she lives 3hrs. away,but the rest of Skids live near us. I decided to try a new angle,"The poor desperate kid, might think be afraid I'm using the same emotional blackmail ( I used other words of course) that she does to you from spending more time with them (which is really just her). Maybe she would feel better if you put your foot down for once (again used other words) Thought I WOULD actually try her tactics and express concern for his female Dameon, kiss up and bit, and see what happens. I have decided I will not leave, I stay just to stir the pot as much as I can and for once in my life give a little pay back.
Let us know how it goes!

fairyo's picture

All along I felt OSD was doing the same, but in more subtle ways. Six months ago I disengaged from my skids but DH hasn't been happy about it. I've stuck to my guns and after 6 months of indifference from him I feel things are slowly turning around.
In the end I had to come to terms with her winning, I held my hands up and said, 'I can't fight this anymore- now I'm looking after me.'
It felt a lot easier once I had said this- I know DH doesn't like it, he would rather cave in to DD than show me any affection these days, but you know? He's slowly coming back round to me and she is receding over the horizon of my life...

fairyo's picture

Indeed- he told me everyone can make a mistake- but I'm beginning to think it was the exes who made them!

CANYOUHELP's picture

I was told the his ex (before me), was a who...e, who left this mess I am in. She found a a man who had more money etc, she was a horrible person; they hated her of course too....

I call her one smart cookie...a very smart lady who knew these B's and daddeee were very sick--- a lot sooner than I did.

I have a new respect for his ex wife now-she is not the BM.

MoonBeam13's picture

The two SD's LOVE ex wife #2! She's their step mom and they love her. She calls their kids her grandkids too. UGH. From what I've been told, when they were married the SD's were total bitches to her too. Goes to show Dadeeeee can't have a relationship with anyone!

CANYOUHELP's picture

Moon, that is some seriously sick dysfunctional stuff these SD's of yours are is not you!

fairyo's picture

I always had a certain sympathy for wife2- she gave him a family and he had an affair, listened to to the freeloading b***ch who took him to the cleaners after a very short marriage- wife no1 isn't really important, they were young and stupid. As the now long-term woman in his life (we aren't officially married) I get the tail end of any money he may have made over the years- which is very little. He was very generous to his exes and would be to me if he had anything. In a financial sense any subsequent marriages after the first are less well off... good job I'm financially solvent.

MoonBeam13's picture

Thanks all for your responses. We had another conversation about this issue today. I told him a few things:
1. I don't care if he goes to the game. I've never stopped him from seeing them and I never will.
2. I DO care that he allows them to show disrespect
3. I do not want her name mentioned to me again. I also will not speak ill about her, nor will I speak of her at all.
4. He is accountable for what he tells her
5. Telling her personal stuff is UNACCEPTABLE and WILL lead to divorce #3. Period.

Step-Hell sucks. I am so grateful to all of you and to this forum. It's helped me more than anyone will ever know.

somethingwicked's picture

This looks like a good plan.Stay disengaged from the adult mini wife skid.

And keep impressing on your DH that he is the weak link and the true problem when he allows his adult daughter access to your marriage.

And if this does not improve and he does not learns /understand boundaries, I'd leave him.

Thumper's picture

:jawdrop: wow I am sorry. Your husbands adult kids continue to treat you and DH this way because it is allowed. your husband has zero bounadries set up for his kids.

Block them on social media and also your phone. For you that will stop them from sending awful mean texts. IF you have not blocked them, why have you not done so.

Have you ever heard of Dr. Laura? You should get DH in a room and give her a call and ask for her guidance. I would place bets that she would tell your husband a thing or two.

goodluck Smile

MoonBeam13's picture

Yes, they are blocked on my email, phone and all social media. I did that with the SD33 a few years ago and the other just recently. They don't need to see my business Smile

TwirlMS's picture

I would never take that abuse by text message. I got rid of DH's smartphone, and he now has an old fashioned landline with no text messaging. I also refuse to allow DH to receive messages on my phone and flatly refused to give out my new number when DH asked for it so he could give it to his relatives. I refuse to play post office with them. They can e-mail him or call him on his landline. DH's daughter abused the privilege of having text access to our home, so now she can just take the consequences of her poor behavior and lack of self-control. She was texting at 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. and other times in-between. She had no self-control. People like that need to be cut-off from their additive behavior.

I would also like to say, that I don't believe in throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I got rid of the phone, not my husband. Smile

Oldfool's picture

I just don't bother with my partner's eldest son, daughter and granddaughter...they ain't worth it...they hate me and I hate them.

Today his daughter contracted him.She wants him to watch the BRAT on Monday. Just when I thought I would have a nice time...

OH WELL the kids will be back at school soon.....

If they can't treat you with respect, forget that they exist. ..........

Oldfool's picture


I think she knows she stinks. I said she could have a bath at my home. She said no. I give up.

What's made it worse, is that my partner has popped out and left the BRAT with ME. I don't like her and dont want her in my home. I do admit I have left my grandchildren with my partner on previous occassions so I am cornered...

I wish I had gone out today instead of yesterday.

I have other things to do than have someone dumped into me who I can't stand. Her mother even came early to the house today with the BRAT ....didn't even ring the bell but rang my partner's phone to open the door....

I have put all the cutlery in the dishwasher on the pretext of a bulk sterilisation so my partner's daughter can't steal anything......

I even did washing early and put things away so the probability of towels being stolen is minimised.....

If the BRAT stinks, I am dreading the odour from the mother, i.e. my partner's daughter.....

LORD HELP ME........

I personally feel that my partner enables his daughter. If I knew that someone did not like my kids I wouldn't have left my kids with them unless there was absolutely NO ALTERNATIVE.

I also think that this may have been preplanned to dump the BRAT onto me.. My partner had no plans to go out but said he had to pop out all of a sudden with his friend and brother to see a building job. He did take his work rucksack with tools so I do believe him.....

I woner what has happened to the 10 million friends that my partner's daughter has? I feel that her worthless brother and she are trying to use me indirectly through stealing from my home and basically lying.

I will see what happens this Weds when my partner is at work. I may disappear with my grandchildren. SHE AND HER STINKY BRAT CAN **** **F!!!!!

TwirlMS's picture

"When you took your wedding vows you agreed to love and cherish each other. When your DH confides in SD about private matters between the two of you he is not showing he loves or cherishes you. He is disrespectful of you and of the sanctity of your marriage. It is emotional adultery. I would give him the choice of acting like a husband or ending the marriage."

I'll agree with this first part, but not the last. If you do this or don't do that(fill in the blank), I'll divorce you.
This statement is a threat and a signal that your commitment to the marriage is conditional. Your intention might be to draw boundaries or give a warning, but you're really saying, "Measure up to my standards, or you will prove yourself unworthy of me." That's not a "til-death-do-us-part" promise or a covenant with God.

When crisis happens in your marriage, seek counsel until the issue can be worked out. Divorce is a decision that could make your life MORE complicated, and not necessarily happier.

My husband confided some things to his daughter that were none of her business. A temporary bad decision on his part. One that he has since regretted.

sandye21's picture

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. If my DH used SD as a confidante to betray me and our marriage, it is emotional adultery. My DH DID do this for years and I would not go through the pain it caused again. It's just a deal breaker for me at this point in my life - maybe not for you. In my case, it would not be a threat, it would be a promise. I guess the OP will have to ask herself where her particular limits are.

TwirlMS's picture

It's hard to believe that a good father would think it ok to elevate his daughter into the role of his marriage counselor. How do you even put their relationship back into father/daughter mode once he's turned her into his personal therapist? I would define what is happening as gossiping. A hurtful thing with a victim for sure. Adultery is a sexual thing and I don't want to blur that definition.

DH has accidentally heard me confiding personal things about him to my sister. That hurt his feelings and causes my sister, a family member, to have a skewed opinion of him. Unfair to him as well.

I guess that's why I choose this anonymous message board to get feedback to some extent. Some men confide in their mothers about their wives, and in this case their daughters. We wouldn't say they're committing "emotional adultery" with their mother.

I'm counseling a friend who's husband was accepting friend requests from females on Skype. My friend says that's "emotional adultery". No, it's flirting. Also bad, but let's call it what it is. Even though he's totally deleted Skype and is sorry for this poor choice, what he considered innocent, she is adamant that he has committed the unforgivable sin. Willing to throw out a decades long marriage because of something stupid.

MoonBeam13's picture

Thanks for all your responses! You're all so insightful.