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WTH Happened?

RRS8976's picture

DH and I have been married going on 20 years.  We each started this marriage with a child and added our own a few years later.  Our marriage was quite unusual because his exwife actually introduced us.  We actually co-parented pretty well together. 

DS and SD are both 27 years old now and youngest DS is 17.  So we have almost made it.

I noticed some issues when they were little, but blew them off.  First she told her mom that DS would hit her (honestly not true) because she didn't want to come and visit.  Then when they were about 10 DS tattled on her for something very minor and she lost it and started crying and get this never really talked to DS again.  REALLY - she just acted like he didn't exist.  When they were kids, I didn't force the issue because she was only with us for short periods of time.  Well DS moved out at 19 but SD has continued to come every other weekend just as she has always done (since she was 6). 

So last year she discovered she was pregnant.  No big deal.  Even though she was not married, she was 26 and had a descent job.  Baby daddy wanted to be involved even though they were not together.  I think this is where things started getting difficult.  First of all - she was extremely immature for her age, still loved to watch Disney Channel and kid movies.  Did not have a social life at all.  She did not figure out she was pregnant until she was 31 weeks (not kidding).  She is not a big girl and we did notice that she was putting on some weight, but definitely did not look pregnant.  Now it was a HUGE surprise because she had no social life and was either at home, work, church or our house.  So we all rallied around her and planned for this surprise in 9 weeks. 

I bought a baby bed and put in her room at our house.  My office threw me a grandparent shower and I had pretty much everything needed for the baby.  I made sure that we always had formula, diapers and food so she wouldn't have to lug these items back and forth.  As soon as he was born she started acting really hateful with me.  She stopped texting me (usually she only texted me and I would tell her dad whatever he needed to know).  When she would come over on "her weekends" she would pretty much sit on the couch and have her cell phone in her face.  I refused to do everyday things like change the baby and sooth the baby because I felt that she was ignoring him.  Now this is a first grandchild so we are all learning, but she works and he is in daycare and the weekends she is not at our house she is at baby daddy's mom's house (so she rarely has the baby alone). 

So grandbaby is 16 months old and she is 27 and still at our house every other weekend.  Now my youngest is older and has a job and gone some and my husband and I enjoy doing things with each other.  Except we can't plan anything that falls on her weekend - like we are obligated to visitation.  When she is at our home, she does nothing to help out at all.  One weekend we took some pictures of the baby with his birthday cake and she went and bathed him.  2 weeks later the cleaning lady called me and said that someone had thrown up in the bathtub and she got sick - I had no idea what she was talking about.  Then I realized that no one uses that bathtub except the baby and she had left all the cake in the tub.  If we go out to eat - we pay, If I cook, she doesn't offer to clean the kitchen or anything.  She just sits there.  So last weekend (Fathers Day) I had made supper and cleaned up the kitchen (for the 2nd time that day).  I was tired and mad.  The next day we were hosting breakfast for all the fathers in my family (tradition).  So when I walked out of the kitchen and said looked at her and said "tomorrow you can help clean the kitchen after breakfast".  She didn't say anything until a few minutes later she popped up and said that her little brother could help and I looked at her and she was crying!  I then asked her what her problem was and she proceeds to tell me that she is tired of me telling her what to do and that I talk down to her.  I told her that if I didn't tell her to help she wouldn't do it.  She then says that she shouldn't have to, because she is a guest!  I was shocked.  Her dad is sitting there shocked.  So I asked her if she thought that she should come over and not have to do anything and her dad and I should just run around and pick up after her...  She said "Yes!"  My jaw literally hit the floor!  She said that she was an adult and shouldn't have to be told to do anything.  I explained that if she was an adult we shouldn't have to tell her to do anything.  Then she looks at DH and says "I guess you haven't talked to her like you said you would!".  So I looked at him with a puzzled look and he said that she was mad because I talked down to her 18 months ago (his exact words).  Then she said she was leaving and that he could come and see the baby at her mom's house.  She left.  My husband then proceeds to tell me thanks because now he will never get to see the baby.  Like this was all my fault. 

I admit that I did probably talk "down" to her, but it was only because I watched her bring the baby over and give him a bottle instead of feed him all weekend (even though we had baby food), not bathe him all weekend, ignore him, and get mad at him because he was being a baby.  About a month ago I didn't have any milk and instead of getting up and going to the store (less than a mile away) she gave him a cup of mellow yellow to drink.  So it was hard to watch that and not say anything.  If I made any comments she would just roll her eyes and give me a dirty look.  But I do not feel that we are supposed to clean up after her and be at her beck and call.  My husband has of course acted like it never happened (he avoids confrontation). 

Oh when we told my oldest son about her expecting he was so excited, he ordered a whole bunch of stuff and had it sent to the house for her (he is a truck driver).  He made a special trip home after the baby was born.  She did not say 2 words to him the whole time, not even a thank you.  So she has said less than 10 words to him in 17 years.

Sorry this is so long.  I just needed to see if I did anything wrong?  What do I do? 


goodwitch's picture

Be happy she’s gone and so is her spawn.  Let your husband figure this out it is his child and his problem.  Disengage tell your son to disengage and start by saying she is no longer welcome in your home.  Your husband can go to her and the kid.  Take your life back, do not invite, do not plan, do not cook or clean.  Let him figure it out.

my SD is the same and I refuse to wait on her so if she comes her dad shops, cooks, and cleans and I rarely stay—go to something with friends. She doesn’t deserve you!

RRS8976's picture

I did tell him there would be no more weekend visitation.  I would eventually like to be a grandparent, but I am guessing that will be up to my other children...

Gwynnafaye's picture

*shok*  Wow, just wow.  *shok*    

She's 27 years old, has a baby, and STILL does visitation as if she was a minor child?  This nearly 30 year old WOMAN needs to grow the hell up, and no one is demanding that she be the adult that she is.  She may not be your kid, but the enabling has to stop!!  If she doesn't have a job already, she needs to get a full time job immediately, find a babysitter or daycare, and get her own apartment, even if she has to sign up for some type of assistance to do it.   

RRS8976's picture

She does have full time job (actually a pretty descent one).  But she would tell me about he she goes to her supervisor and fuss about all the other employees not pulling their weight...Hmmm.  I tried to tell her that she should not tattle at her job, and just make sure she gets her work done, but she complains about everyone.

SteppedOut's picture

A child that was spoiled and allowed to get away with crap "grew up".

WTH happened indeed! A 27 year old woman with a child is still doing "visitation". Did you or your husband think that was a little...odd? IT IS SUPER ODD. 

Honestly, I was worried it would be like this with my formerSS, only I didn't think he would ever move out. Reading this makes me so freaking happy I didn't continue putting up with all the bull that went along with living with not only formerSS, but formerSO also. Your 'D'H was wrong making this your fault! 

RRS8976's picture

Luckily DH has my back in this one.  He told me that she is spoiled and that he understands my side completely.  He said that when she mentioned him talking to me, he told her no.  He said that she really has hurt him.  I believe he just misses seeing his grandson.  I told him that we should not give in, because everyone gives in to her and that is not helping.  She needs to stew in what she has done.

RRS8976's picture

No she is a very capable young lady, that being said - I do believe she is extremely immature.  Almost like she was sheltered.  She is 27 with a baby and still lives at home with her mother.  Her salary was actually deposited into her mother's account (A big pet peeve of mine).  She has no drive to move out or be independent. 

Survivingstephell's picture

She should be on her own, in HER own apartment and not coming over anymore for visitation.  You both enabled this behavior by not telling her no, or planning stuff on "her" weekends so she would have to find other things to do.  

So now your stuck with 20/20 vision about her.  First, you did nothing wrong and if she needed to hear some tough love, so be it, long over due.  Second, dad threw you under the bus.  

Give her in return exactly what she gives you: NOTHING.  She is a drain on the house, resources and is worse than a mini-wife becuase she now has a child to punish Daddy with.  That poor child.  Someone will call CPS on her eventually.  The sooner it happens the better.  As for her coming over.  Yay!!!!  Daddy can go see her away from the house, McDonalds maybe.  Is your money separated?  If not, you might want to consider it so he doesn't drain the funds making up for his parenting failures.  

SD will qualify for plenty of help.  Don't let DH guilt you into allowing him to spend joint funds on her or baby.  That baby has parents.  

I think this is every step parent's worst nightmare.  So sorry it happened to you. 

RRS8976's picture

I completely agree.  I did start over a year ago making plans on purpose to do things on "her weekend".   It got harder when the baby came, because we enjoyed seeing him.  Luckily we have always had separate accounts, but I don't think it will be an issue.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

She fed her baby Mello Yellow????? As in, the sugary, caffeinated soda similar to Mountain Dew??? 

Everything you've shared points to an entitled adult child of divorce whose parents have been afraid to correct or guide her for years. Evidently she's had issues with you for a while (possibly many years), but was willing to play nice as long as you kept kissing her behind. Feelings and resentments that have long gone unaddressed bubbled up, and this is the result.

Your conflict avoidant H is responsible for a lot of this, although as an adult his daughter is ultimately responsible for her conduct. But your H is the one who took the path of least resistence for years, and you enabled him by continuing to allow your SD's mistreatment of your son and her weird visitation schedule instead of urging him to do his job and guide her towards more appropriate, adult footing. Plenty of blame to go 'round, but how do you move forward?

A few sessions with a marriage counsellor familiar with step dynamics could be really beneficial for you both. And don't let your H guilt or blame you for what was the natural result of his lack of parenting and inability to draw boundaries.

RRS8976's picture

Yes she gave him Mello Yellow, when we live less than a mile away from a store.  I was shocked.

I really think the issues started when she got pregnant.  She thought this would make her an "adult",  Obviously she has no idea what an adult is, or this would have never happened.  I think she saw our family is easy.  She thought that there was no effort into making things work.  She doesn't see the struggle of stress from paying bills, working all the time and raising kids.  She saw the happy stuff.  She thought it would be easy to get along with baby daddy because her mother, her father and I get along.  She doesn't realize that her father cannot stand to be around her mother, but does it anyways. 

My H has been crushed through this, but I do feel he has my side when it comes to this.  I would like to see him talk about it more.  I might suggest talking it out with someone if he doesn't improve.  Thank you for your advice.

twoviewpoints's picture

I can't figure out how you all got to where you are to begin with. A 19-25 year old still doing EOWE visitation? For real? 

I actually understand the EOWE baby visits after child birth better than the entire eight years prior. 

So , the Sd works full time, take the baby to daycare Monday-Friday, lives with her mother during the week and takes turns between your home and Baby Daddy's mother's house on weekends? I can't say I've heard of baby mama doing weekend visits with the baby to Baby Daddy's mother's before. Does the paternal grandmother kiss Baby Mama's butt all weekend? I bet yes, she does. That grandma very likely takes all care of the baby (I guess now he's really closer to a toddler) during the visits at her house. But lucky her, that grandma hasn't had twenty years of SD yet. That grandma likely doesn't see it as a big deal and is happy to have the  baby come (even if it means Baby Mama too). 

But back to you and your house. Absolutely not should you be caring for the baby for SD all weekend, but then Dad and you should not have been kissing this young adult woman's butt for all these years as you and Dad did. SD never grew up. You can toss SD's mother in the bunch of guilty parties also. Someone asked above, and I wonder too. Does SD has mental or physical disabilities that she is still so child-like? Is she mentally and physically fit to live on her own, raise a child on her own? Because what has taken place all these years is not normal. Clear back to age 10, with being allowed to never speak to another child who spends at least EOWE in the same home for years more, is not normal. 

And no, your Dh now going to SD's mother's house to visit the SD and the grandbaby isn't going to work out for you either. That's just going to open new problems with your husband hanging out at his ex wife's house. Just no.

I will suggest, your husband and you offer to 'babysit' one night (or once every two weeks) a month , but minus SD. The baby knows you as Grandma and Grandpa and I'm sure has become attached to you and your husband. Many grandparents occasionally babysit the grandkid when it is convenient. Most grandparents enjoy it. You and husband make the offer, and Sd either accepts it or not. Your husband would not then feel he must kiss his daughter's butt to spend time with the grandson, she either allows the kid to come or she doesn't. You haven't cut the baby out. Just his childish ungrateful mother. Your husband can help tend baby as the job shouldn't fall on you solely if SD does allow baby to visit. 

As to the SD, she's not allowed back until she has a sincere apology and then only for occasional invitation for family dinners or a short Sunday afternoon swing by visit. She wants to be the 'guest', keep her the 'guest'. 

The counseling idea between husband and you may be a good idea. Something went every wrong here, and went wrong for many years. It needs to be sorted out, boundaries agreed to and drawn. 

RRS8976's picture

You totally get it.  You actually said what I was thinking, but was unable to communicate.  I will bring up the babysitting to my husband tonight.  I can tell you that she will say no.  She will use that baby as a pawn.  I believe that is why she goes to baby daddy's mother's house every other weekend.  I really believe she thought she would get baby daddy to be with her by using this baby.  They were not together when she discovered she was pregnant.  Now baby is 16 months old and there is no mention of moving in together or any kind of life together.  She will freak when he drives up with a new girl and wants to keep his son overnight. 

I feel I am to blame because we have let her continue to come every other weekend.  Now I am seeing how much she is stunted maturity wise.  I also think it is her dad and mom's fault too.  We have to stop walking on egg shells around her and show her what it means to be an adult.  If that means that she will not be coming around, so be it.  I see my oldest son 2-3 times a year, but that doesn't mean I love him any less.  I am actually more proud of him for going out there and doing his own thing. 

Thank you for your response!

SteppedOut's picture

It sounds as if your SD hasn't really bonded with her baby.  I hope that doesn't negatively impact the poor baby's psyche.

RRS8976's picture

It is really strange.  When she was at our home.  She mostly sat on the couch and looked at her phone.  She would never get in the floor and play with the baby.  I have friends with babies and they are always posting cute photos online of their babies.  She does not.  I am a photographer on the side and 75% of the pictures are pictures I take.  I think she doesn't like sharing the spot light with the baby.  She has no patience with him.  She doesnt hit him, but she is always yelling at him for doing normal things that babies do.  It is a weird situation.

JanRebecca's picture

I can't get past the fact that at her age she's still doing visitaion? WTH? She views it as a place she can go to and just 'lounge out' with no responsibility. I'm betting she expected YOU to feed the baby and bathe it and eveything else because those weekends are her 'off' time. Sad

RRS8976's picture

The would come on a Friday, stay Saturday and leave early on Sunday for Church.  She was not bathing the baby.  She loves football.  So she and her dad were hollering at the TV.  I grabbed up the baby and went and bathed him under the guise that it was too loud and we were escaping.  Now after that weekend, she did bathe him most weekends.  She had nothing but Off Time.  She worked and the baby was in daycare.  She got home and her mom was there and then on the weekends she was either with us or baby daddy's mom.  She never had any on time.

Major Blunder's picture

This girl sounds like my SD 26, except SD 26 has no job, is an addict, and we have custody of her kids.  They are self entitled, unappreciative and just down right lazy.  My SD 26 is emotionally immature as well, temper tantrums the works, but alot of her actions and behaviors are now drug or crime related.

As for your SD being immature for watching the Disney Channel, we watch it alot with a 7 yo and a 19 mo and I have to admitt i actually like some of the sit coms on there, I literally laugh out loud at times.

I agree to the only babysitting the grandchild (oh how I wish we could), SD can find other accomadations and you can enjoy your Grandchild as you should.

RRS8976's picture

I enjoy some of the shows also and we would watch it quite regularly when the kids were younger.  I believe she thinks this is how real life works.

How I would love to be a real grandparent. 

hereiam's picture

My husband then proceeds to tell me thanks because now he will never get to see the baby. 

By baby, did he mean his daughter or his grandchild? I mean, really, this whole scenario is just ridiculous and there is no way I would have continued to keep a room for my SD after she aged out, much less planned my life around EOWE visits of an adult step kid.

This girl needs to grow up and the adults in her life need to let her.

RRS8976's picture

In the last month he hasnt mentioned missing her.  He misses the baby.  It is really sad.  But he also knew that she would use this baby as a pawn for everything in her life.

notasm3's picture

Ignore the whore.  Seriously remove her 100% from your life.  Let your DH see her far far away from you.  Do not let her cross your doorstep or your life EVER again.

RRS8976's picture

Sorry I haven't responded - I will actually respond to some of your responses above.  I actually forgot to save this site and then was out of town for business, so this last month has really been chaotic. 

First of all - nothing has changed - I have not heard from her or contacted her since this happened.  Husband and I did have a talk and I was super surprised that he had my back.  He told me that she did come to him saying I "was mean to her" one weekend (honestly I have no idea what that is about).  He told her that he would not talk to me about it, and she needed to talk to me about it, if she felt there was a problem (Yay hubby).  He had also talked with some co-workers that all backed me up and he saw that this was not normal behavior and even said that she is "SPOILED"!    So last week when I was out of town, my boss asked me about the baby and I explained the situation to her and like all of you, she was shocked that she was still coming for visitation.  Then I just started realizing that this had been becoming a problem WAY before I realized it.  Here are some examples:

  1. She missed her half brother's birthday because it was her weekend with the baby daddy's mom (I know). 
  2. Her half brother play's varsity baseball, she showed up to the game wearing another teammate's number (her mother's exhusband's nephew - no blood relation).  She also showed up to any event he (the non relative) was a part of, but could not come when her half brother was inducted into the beta club.
  3. Her cousin (actually blood related - 1st cousin) attempted suicide and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and now she refuses to have anything to do with him.
  4. She has never asked us to babysit.  She has asked the non-relative cousin's mom to babysit.  Not us.
  5. It is always everyone else's fault.  She never admits that she was wrong.

It's like if you don't fit her mold - then you are not worth her time.  After the baby was born, she had invited us to her church for dedication and stuff.  We went.  Well this year she invited us on Mother's day and I told my husband I didn't want to go.  I said it was my mother's day too, and I didn't want to go to HER church.  He was fine with that.  He said that she had asked him why we didn't want to go to her church.  One thing is my husband works 6 days a week.  Sunday is our time.  Plus I am not very religious (that is not very acceptable in the south), but neither is my husband. 

But we are enjoying our time.  Getting ready to celebrate our 20th Anniversary next week and our big anniversary trip next month. 

Healyourslf's picture

Undoubtedly arrested development. You have been ever so patient so NEVER second guess yourself for following through with what any mentally healthy SM would do. More power to you and it's great that your husband has your back! Let's hope HIS backbone is solid when it comes to following through.  SM's (and their spouses) have the right to remove themselves from hurtful, abusive, drama-creating, energy-sucking people and situations - especially manipulative family members who assume they have the upper hand because of blood. 

I feel sad for the baby because your SD is a dysfunctional role model. The child will have to contend with the "mother wound." Your SD is an adult and the only thing that will force her to comply with responsibility and adulthood is a boot up the arse and therapy. It's sounds like other family members are enablers and have been emotionally manipulated.  Your SD is another "victim" of her own doing (cry me a river) and she needs to be called out on unacceptable behavior and deal with the consequences of her poor choices.

I wish you an excellent time on your anniversary trip. (My DH and I went on our celebratory anniversary trip in May and it really sparked the ugly green monster with my SD who is also a Disney Princess - laughable and predictable behavior)  Celebrate your partnership and reinforce what is good for your couplehood.  Two decades is a milestone and you absolutely deserve a happy life together.

CLove's picture

Meet reality! While its fabulous that SD has family that are solid and stable and nice enough to help her raise her child, soon enough she will be faced with the reality of single motherhood. She has been living in a fantasy world where she is the princess and everyone else lives to serve her. Well, I HOPE that ends soon. The comments that you have added to your post point to a selfish, self-centric, stunted and very very unpleasant human being. Perhaps she feels that she is better than everyone else. Perhaps she is shocked because you TOLD her she needs to help out, and you did not ask Princess nicely pretty please with sugar and whipped cream and a cherry on top to help you, maybey if she feels like it.

I used to have to walk on egg shells when feral eldest lived with us. And just recently the crazy BM accused me of child abuse because her child tells me what a b!tch I am. I am always super nice and helpful to this child, and take her places, buy her things, have long converstations about life. When I ask Munchkin if she feels I am mean to her in any way she tells me '"no your really great to me!" Toxic people like to make sh!t up, to blindside us.

You cant really win with this SD, you must disengage and not play her power games. Spend time and energy and focus on the people who love you and give back the love that you give. She is a Toxic Black Hole of Energy Suckage.

But good for you for finally standing up for yourself. Hopefully she starts beoming a better mother, and bonding with her child more, so her mother doesnt have to take custody.

Keep us posted!

ldvilen's picture

You did absolutely nothing wrong.  You don't need to do anything other than disengage.  Remeber these step-parent rules:

In order to successfully disengage, you have to accept some realities. They are:

Your SKs are not your children.

You are not responsible for overcoming their previous "raising."

You are not responsible for what kind of people they are.

You are not responsible for what kind of people they become.

You are not obligated to become an abused member of the household just because you married their dad.

You are not responsible for raising your SKs.

All the responsibility belongs to your DH.

Your DH is not a mother.

Your DH is not going to raise his children the way you want him to.

Your SKs are not going to turn out the way they would if DH supported you.

What all this means is this: You must stop parenting your SKs. You must stop telling them what is expected of them. You must stop disciplining them. You must turn over all responsibility for them to your DH. You must allow DH to make whatever mistakes he makes.

Note:  There should be one more rule here, and that is that if the SK is an adult, meaning over the age of 18 and out of high school, you don't have to put up with any of their shiatsu period.  Tell DH she is no longer welcome in the home you and DH share, and DH is welcome to see her elsewhere on his time and dime.  Rekey the locks on the door.  Do whatever it takes.  This is your and your husband's home now.  I've never heard of a 27 YO having visitation rights, although I'm sure many millennials would love this.  But, it is not reality.  Sounds like this adultolescent needs an extra big dose of reality.