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Resentful wife/step-mom, thoughts needed

stepmamab's picture

Apologies in advance for the long post and the cussing, and there is some venting going on.


I feel like I am at my wits end and need some advice from other step-parents who have experienced similar situations. Little background, my husband and I have been together for 4.5 years, married for just over 2. We moved in together after being together for a year, he has a 12 year old daughter and 10 year old son, and I have a 14 year old daughter and 11 year old son.


The problem is my step-daughter, she is entilted, rude, manipulative, and down right fucking cruel. She suffers from miniwife syndrome and will do anything and everything in her power to get her way and create a wedge between my husband and I. Things were fine the first year we were together, I can only assume it is becasue we didn't live together. As soon as we moved in together shit started getting crazy. SD is extremely jealous of me and my kids, she calls my son names like fat and gay, she has told my mother in-law that my daughter leaves dirty menstrual pads all over the place...which is absolutely not true I am the one here full time and do all the cleaning and would that is disgusting and it is my job as her mom to teach her better than that. She's got caught stealing from myself and my daughter and whenever she gets caught doing something she's not supposed to do she goes whinning and crying to her dad, and even fakes injuries for attention. Since I've been with her dad she's "broken" her foot, ankle twice, elbow, knee cap, finger, and 3 toes. The thing about that is, she's on my fucking insurance and her mom and her dad run her to the ER for x-rays that have shown every single time NOTHING IS FUCKING WRONG. It doesn't matter to SD, DH, or BM because the ER bill is taken from my HRA.

My kids' father is not in their lives, and hasn't been since my son was 4 months old. After we got married my husband mentioned he wanted to adopt my kids and they could call him dad if they wanted. My kids were so excited and started calling him dad, well you better believe that did not sit well with SD, she made a Tik-Tok video going off on my kids for how "that is my dad, not yours. You don't belong in our family..." my kids were devastated and have never called my husband dad since and the adoption is no longer on the table. There has been other times when SD has made Tik Tok videos about my kids, when my daughter turned 12 I bought her a skateboard for her birthday...her fucking birthday...and SD made a video about how spoiled she is how she gets whatever she wants and how she was the one who wanted a skateboard but of course "you got what I asked for." 

She recently started a rumor with the school, her mom, and her dad that I am so horrible that I won't let her eat. Like what in the actual fuck? Never have I ever not fed her or not let her eat. Come to find out she had gotten in trouble for not following the rules, and her out was constructing a lie to shift the situation onto someone else. She has come to me complaining about how horrible her mom is, how she never buys her anything, she had no pants that fit her, no bras, and no shoes. I fell straight into that trap the first couple times and took her shopping, she took every thing I bought her to her moms house and came back the very next week and told her dad she didn't have any clothes. I still to this day have no clue what happened to anything I bought her.

She told my husband and I we were controlling and mean because she had 1 weekly chore and we needed to know where she was going when she left. I feel like I am the live in babysitter, I work from home and it has always been the expectation that I watch my husbands' kids. He works the weekends, so every other weekend I am on babysitter duty. Since SD thinks she can do whatever she wants she just leaves the house whenever she wants, doesn't tell me where she's going and when I tell her she needs to come home she says she's got plans and is busy with her friends she'll be home later. I told my husband this behavior was absolutely unacceptable, if I am supposed to be responsible for her, I NEED to know where she is. Well a few weekends ago she failed to tell us where she was, failed to come home, so my husband told her "be home by two" she texts me at exactly 2 "Come get me I broke my foot and can't make it home. I have my bike btw so bring the big car" No please, no hey is that ok if, just barking orders. I had no fucking clue where she was because she doesn't think she needs to tell me. After finally getting the address, I show up get her and her bike from some random neighborhood miles from our house, look at her perfectly fine foot and take her home. The next day is Sunday and she tells her dad "but daddddddyyyyy I can't do my chore, my foot is broken." So, she gets out of doing her chore but my husband still gives her an allowance, and we get a call later that evening from BM from the fucking ER about how horrible of people we are for neglecting her and not taking her to the doctor for her foot. Not only is her foot not broken, it isn't even twisted, swollen, or bruised.

I have told my husband I am disengaging and I am not his live in nanny or babysitter multiple times, he turns it around on me and tells me how I am being selfish. Why in the fuck should I be spending my days while working from home (I home schooled all of the kids while working from home during COVID because "BM and I have to work"), evenings and fmy weekends babysitting his kids when SD has zero respect for our rules, my kids, or myself? I tell him how my boundaries have been ignored, and I deserve to spend peaceful time with my kids in my own home. So, he will take his kids to his mom's house for 1 weekend while he is at work, then lays on the guilt trip about how inconveinent it is and how far out of his way it is, and they're right back in my house the next weekend they're with us.

I could go on and on, story after story, but the real problem here is my husband. His guilty parenting, his lack of any sort of co-parenting with BM, and his unwillingness to see what is going on is the real problem. He lets SD get away with anything and everything, and says it is because BM is so horrible he feels bad for SD. I get it, BM is terrible, verbally abusive and drinks and drives with the kids in the car, but his son experiences the same thing at BMs and he doesn't act like that. 

I am a parent, I get that kids are humans and they fuck up, and they should be allowed to fuck up so long as they learn from it, don't make it a habit, and bet your sweet ass you're going to have consequences. I can take kids BS with a grain of salt. I have more patience when it comes to that and to kids than most mothers would, I do not have patience for the shit to happen over and over and no consequences are set with my SD. The 3 other kids in the house follow the rules and face consequences when they don't, why does SD think she's in charge and can do whatever she wants. My husband has told me before "don't make me choose between you two, because you won't be the one winning." First of all, I've never asked him to choose, nor have I ever thought of it as a competition. My relationship with my husband is VERY different than his relationship with SD I will never take her place with him and vise versa, at least that is how I see it. 

I've wanted nothing more than to integrate our blended family into a healthy, supportive, inviting family. I am sick and fucking tired of trying to prove my sincerity to my husband, he even said one time that he questioned if I was coming from a place of love. I am sick and fucking tired of feeling taken for granted and taken advantage of. I am sick and fucking tired of feeling like a stranger in my own home, and I am sick and fucking tired of seeing my kids get hurt over SD's behavior. As you can see I am extremely resentful at the moment, and feel my resentfulness is poisioning my happiness.

So, what I am wanting to ask for anyone that has gone through this. Does it/will it ever get any better? My husband says he loves me and wants to be with me forever, he says he sees his daughter needs consistent discipline but then enables her anyway. But if that were true, why would it continue for so many years? Do these situations get better, or just keep getting worse? I want to feel like a united front and feel supported as a wife/step-mom, I don't want to feel like I am constantly competing for my spot as wife/adult. Is there anything I can do differently to improve things? Do I run and never look back? Any advice from anyone who has gone through something simliar would be much appreciated.


Kaylee's picture

Oh dear.

Run and never look back.

This will never get better. The things he's said to you would make my blood boil.


shellpell's picture

YES, this ^^^^^^ 1000%. Do you really need a man that badly to put up with his abuse and his using you? 

JRI's picture

Like you, we had a blended family with kids near in age (5 kids with 6 years from oldest to youngest).  Like you we had the mimi-wife, now 60 yo.  Like you, I made my best effort to have a kind, supportive family life.  Like you, I had Disney dad,  now 83, here.  Like you, my ex wasn't in the picture.   Like you, my DH worked long hours and altho he agreed with me about discipline, could rarely follow through.  Like you, I suffered from the jealous, evil, thieving, lying manilulative SD.

You ask if anyone else has gone thru this so I can say yes, I did.  I was at the point of leaving after we'd been married 4 years when I made a last ditch effort by going to counseling.  DH refused to go.  Individual counseling changed my life and saved my marriage.  It also changed 6 other lives, DH and the kids.

SD60 is still an irritating presence but as long as DH lives, she will be part of my life.  After many travails, I now grayrock her and we are civil and polite.  She is under psychiatric care and sees a therapist altho I'm sure she's lying and manipulating them, like she does everyone else.

If I'm honest, and had it to do all over again, I don't know if I'd go thru it all again.   But, DH83 and I (76) are having happy years now.  The kids are all on their own and we have 9 gkids and 3 ggkids. He's a good man and my favorite person in the world.  It can work out but it hasnt been easy.  Good luck.

stepmomnorth's picture

SD sounds pretty rude and entitled. Your husband doesn't see a problem with any of this behavior?! How about the stealing... That seems like a major issue to be addressed. You're right to feel super angry, you are being taking for granted and given the raw end of this deal. I too work from home.... And it's no walk in the park to work from home while kids are at home. I would 100 percent be telling him you won't babysit the skids when he's not around. 

Kaylee's picture

Ok, he says to you:

Don't make him choose because you won't be the one winning (insert vomit emoji here)

That he questions whether you're coming from a place of love (further vomit emoji).

Posters on here say that some people are too quick to advise divorce. However, some stories are so horrific that I can't understand how divorce hasn't yet happened! Your story is a prime example. 

This guy is using and abusing you, each day, every day. What about your kids? Their welfare and emotional health? His spawn lies, bullies, belittles and abuses them. 

For your children's sake, if nothing else, please rethink this whole relationship.

Before this man came along, I'm sure you managed just fine. 

Look after YOUR kids and yourself. Make changes. Kick him to the kerb.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Yeah, i agree. Though i would never make a man choose between me and his child, i would have a hard time seeing a future with a man who told me i would always lose.

"The kids come first!" That sentence used to sound good. I think every divorced parent i've ever known has said it, and after giving it some thought, that's probably why they are all single.

My SO came up to me one day all upset. He said "My brother said his kids don't come first! Can you believe it? He said his WIFE does?!" SO was truly horrified. I told him that nobody wants to be in a relationship where they always come second and explained the wants vs needs thing.

Anyway, my point is, i would be very hurt by the comment about not being the one winning. That's one of those things you can't unsay, like telling someone you don't like their kid(s). You can't unring that bell. 

stepmamab's picture

It was very hurtful, and like you said something that you cannot unsay. Whenever I tell him I am still hurt by it, and some words you just can't take back, he tells me to get over it. 

I would never make him choose, the fact that he went there didn't really leave a warm feeling. I think agree the priority of the SO's relationship should always be put first. That is not to say kids are not important and should not be prioritized, but at the end of the day if the SO is made to feel less than why would they want to stick around? And there will be a point where the kids are grown and gone, if the SO relationship wasn't put first there won't be a strong foundation to continue.

I am grappling with the damage his words caused, and trying to decide if there is a foundation there that would last longer than the kids or if he truly feels that way I don't want to stick around.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

I recommend counseling and would discuss kids vs adults, wants vs needs, supporting each other, and what you want for all the kids in the future. Does he want his daughter to be dysfunctional and dependent her whole life, or to be successful?

From what i've read on here, the mini-wife dynamic leads to adult SDs (and in some cases SSs) who are still very much enmeshed and dependent their whole lives. Making excuses for her only helps her to be dependent. Some of these parents seem to secretly want that, and want the kids to need them forever. 

Kaylee's picture

Oh, your H can make choices alright!

He can choose to:

Step up and PARENT his daughter

Be supportive and caring to you, and back you up, each and every time.

Put your relationship as a priority, not an afterthought (when he wants sex or free babysitting)

Stop whining about it being "out of his way" to take the kids to their grandparents...

And a multitude of other good choices he COULD make, if he valued you....

SteppedOut's picture

Yea.... you need to leave this ahole.

He's a jerk and so is his miniwife. 

You AND your kids will be way better off without this mess. 

Rags's picture

Ban her from your home.  That ends most of her shit.  For most companies benefits open enrollment is coming up.  Inform your DH that you will not include her on your benefits.  Make it clear to your DH that this manipulative little failed family breeding experiment has no place in your life until he puts his foot up her ass and fixes his parenting failure.

This forces DH and BM to correct their perspective on accommodating SD's lies regarding her fake injuries.  If they have to pay out of pocket, or pay for a policy to cover SD out of their pockets, even these failed parents may catch a clue.  


Winterglow's picture

Your post makes me really angry.

Start by installing nanny cams all over your home because it will catch your SD stealing and give you proof and provide you with protection because it's only a matter of time before she accuses you of physical violence.

Remove her from your insurance ASAP. Her parents should be reimbursing you for the costs of her "treatment".

Do not buy anything for her ever  again - "ask your dad".

Why on EARTH did you accept the expectation that you would watch his kids if you're working from home? If you're working, youi don't have the TIME nor the ENEGRY to run after his kids too. Put your foot down about this NOW. As for him telling you that he and bm work, as if you don't, that is one of the most insulting things I have EVER heard! How DARE he? Stop the babysitting now. Tell your DuH that your work has suffered enough and that if his kids need looking after then he needs to hire a nanny. Also tell him that you are not their parent and are therefore not responsible for them so if your SD walks out the door with no mention of where she's going, it's not your problem. His kids have two parents and it's up to them to find solutions. YOU are not one of those solutions.

"he says he sees his daughter needs consistent discipline but then enables her anyway"

So disengage 100% now or sooner. Try counselling if you can get him to go but, frankly, if my living conditions were makeing me miserable to such a point, I'd do something to change them. As he seems to consider you and his daughter to be equals (the stupid runs high here...) and has told you that you won't "win", you have little chance of getting him to take his visitation elsewhere with her. I would find myself a new home and move into it. By all means remain married if that is what you want, but at least you'll have a livable home to relax in. 


thisisus's picture

Let your husband see what it is like to raise her alone a little while. I suggest seperating fo a while so he can see all you do. He will either beg you back or be alone. No woman will put up with that. If he starts dating again down the road, he will have to get a babysitter for his dates and the child will have to obey and be kind or she will kill every relationship. Eventually, your husband will learn that in order to have a successful marriage or relationship, he has to grow a pair. 

kenzie2000's picture

Hello I am new here and had to reply to your post it sounds so similar to my situation with sd! my husband can see no wrong in her whatsoever but if my bio kids do 1 little thing he is all over them. It is so hard.