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Step Daughter wanting to still be the mini-wife

Carolinagirl79's picture

I have posted on here a couple times about my SD. I know im only 2 years into this marriage and many have suffered way longer but it drives me crazy at times trying to figure out whats best for me and also my husband and his daughter. After reading so much on here my SD absolutely has mini-wife syndrome. her father had a 15 year marriage to a woman that was not normal. He basically fell in love with her son and not her. She ended up preganat with his daughter ( now 18) and for years it was just her and her dad because his ex wife just wanted his money and her biils paid so they lived like roommates for years him staying to keep his daughter. She became the mini wife and called all the shots and even her step brothers and half brother hated her. My husband made her his priority. they lived this way 15 years!! he met me after the seperation and soon after we fell in love she resented her dad and went to live with her mom who hated her while she was with my husband due to her being so spoiled and above her. Her mom has used the thing the hated most about her marriage and now turned the SD against her dad for not choosing her over me... Since we married it has been a battle of daughter wanting daddy to act with her as if he always has and I put my foot down and made him quit chasing her and giving in to her and her demands. She refused to be around me at alll and I never have said or done anything to my SD but she refuses to accept the marriage and only wants her dad. She uses him just like her mom did and if it wasnt for me standing up and saying no we would be broke. He pays the max child support on her but it isnt enough they always want more. So.... He hasnt seen her in a year and a half and she refused the answwer his letters about him telling her what she needed to do in order to have a relationship. Should I give in and just let her have her dad or keep standing my ground and fighting for the marriage? i dont think this battle is anywhere near over even though she isabout to graduate this year. I think she will only have a realtionship with him if he excludes me and gives her what she wants and allows her to use him. i know it hurts him she has turned and I hurt cause i just want my marriage.

Siemprematahari's picture

Your H created a monster and he is seeing 1st hand what happens when you spoil and cottle a child to the point that she is priority above all else. This is 15 years of this dysfunctional behavior and there is no undoing this unless she/H seek some form of therapy/help. His guilt contributed to being a Disney Dad and creating this mini wife on here you are suffering from his lack of inaction.

Should I give in and just let her have her dad or keep standing my ground and fighting for the marriage?

This is not about you giving in but about your H creating healthy boundaries when it comes to his marriage and his daughter. You can't continue fighting for this marriage if your H is not doing his part.


Siemprematahari's picture

he may go years before this ends

Are you willing to do this bid (years) with him before he comes to his senses???

Carolinagirl79's picture

Guess that's what I'm trying g to figure out. I know he loves me and I love him but losing her has been tough on him. I see him at times sitting around looking at her pictures in his phone over and over again and everytime she reaches out which is just to start up about how horrible he is and abandoned her you can tell it gets to him even though he is not reacting. I hate to see him hurt but i refuse to be 2nd and have her dictate my life and marriage which is what she wants 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

What a mess.

Your H was part of a highly dysfunctional dynamic for many years. He should be working through this with a therapist familiar with enmeshment, and you both should give marriage counseling a try as well.

It sounds as if he's finally trying to draw some boundaries with the monster he created. This is quite rare with enmeshment and a hopeful sign, although there's a snowball in He!!'s chance of her straightening out. If your H is willing to seek help and work on the marriage, if he is able to realize his mistakes and own them, and if he's willing to erect and maintain strong boundaries that protect you from the crazy, your marriage could survive.

It all comes down to: a) whether he wants to live with the truth and get healthy, or continue the sick dance with BM and his daughter; and b) what your own boundaries, standards, and limits are.

I recommend you both giving couselling a try. Make a deal with yourself to give it X amount of time, and see if your H shows signs of gaining clarity.

Rags's picture

Nope. You and your DH need to stay firm, be clear with SD that she is a part of your family but has to comply with reasonable standards of behavior. I would get all of the paperwork ready to stop CS upon HS graduation or her 18th B-day whichever is latest (or when the CO stipulates) and let her know that additional support is ready when she is ready to grow up and behave appropriately with strict and clear conditions for any further support.

You are not denying DH or SD a relationship. You have established the framework and standards of behavior under which a relationship can happen. SD choosing to separate herself is her choice.  

It is probably too late but DH should have never tolerated his daughter failing to show up for CO'd visitation and nailed BM with a contempt motion each and every time she failed to deliver SD per the visitation order.  Kids should never be allowed to violate the CO any more than either BioParent should be allowed to violate the CO.  

MissTexas's picture

and what kind of sick "adult" wouldn't want their father to be "happily married" and fulfilled in this lifetime? Why facilitate so much chaos and discord?

Welcome to "OUR WORLD." Your DH suffers from divorced daddy guilt and wants to make her his first priority and will most likely do so up until his last breath. He has bought into the guilt SD and BM have placed upon him, and if he's like most DH's he will die trying to win her favors. Many of these men talk about their wives behind their backs with SD's to appease them and keep them in their clutches. All of these emotionally handicapped girls believe they should be daddy's number one lady, and could not care less about him, his emotional well being or his happiness, and certainly not his wife.

You should absolutely NOT encourage this relationship. The farther from her the better. If you welcome her back with open arms, she will be scheming up her next plan to alieanate you and these girls thrive on dividing and conquering. And the sad thing is, if the wives were to leave the daughters would be nowhere to be seen. It's a very sick, disturbing game they play.

I would love to tell you that marriage is first, and kids are secondary. It's just not true with these men. I would also love to tell you that SD is your problem, however, as I've said many times before, you have a DH enabling problem, and she is the product or symptom of his actions, or lack thereof.

I wish I had the answer. 


Carolinagirl79's picture

Thanks for your input and I agree. I guess sometimes I feel guilty because he doesnt see her or get to be apart of things but I know as well it is her fault or choosing that way and his for making her into the monster she is. Just last week she sent a message because she had threatened her dad since last year that if he didnt give in to her demands he would not walk her for her senior night at a football game. She put on facebook for Fathers day that her mom played her dads role and thanked her for all she has done humiliating my husband who was always the one doing for her not her mom. She did it to hurt him . So her message last week was to tell him when her senior night was and made it clear it was to be just him to attend. My H told her that since she did that on facebook she could let her mom play his role senior night and told her that he wouldnt budge until she did as he requested and apologized to him for the way she has treated him and she replied calling him a piece of shit and told him to never speak to her again. I can tell he feels guilty for telling her no and making her "eat her words" and have her mom be there.

SacrificialLamb's picture

Why do you feel guilty? Because you exist? This is part of their unhealthy relationship dynamic.

Good for your DH establishing a boundary and communicating to his daughter that he was not going to take her treatment.  Hopefully she will get the message that she is supposed to treat her father (and you) with respect. They can learn that sometimes, but when they are raised to be entitled, not so much.

Parenting is hard, even in intact families. Kids push and push to see what they can get away with, and my two bios certainly did that.  They sometimes need reminders that I have boundaries as a person and as a mother, and if they cross them, I don't allow myself to be mistreated.  Sometimes it means they are mad at me for pushing back on the boundary, but the issue is always resolved.  In these enabling situations, they go and on forever. My DH is trying to establish boundaries with OSD44 and it is not easy, because she did not know what a boundary was.

I really believe in the saying that we teach others how to treat us. Your DH needs to learn that and stick to it. 

MissTexas's picture

limited relationships, shared holidays etc. This is all part of signing on the dotted line. Their divorce isn't your fault, or your reason to feel badly for him because he doesn't see her very much. He's done enough damage in the monster making department.

17/18 year olds don't get to make the rules that stick, nor do they dictate what the adults in their lives will and will not do. She's playing a dangerous game. People have written "loved ones" off for far less than what she's done and said to and about her father. 

Good for your DH. Also, an apology would be superficial and part of her manipulation. It wouldn't be sincere. It would actually melt DH's heart, and he would probably encourage you to be a part of "their lives"...I know when SD (closer to 50 than to 40) sent a "group text apology" then called DH to see how it went, (he told her not very well, DW called BS on it right away). This was all manipulation on her behalf to try to wheedle her way back in. Nope, nope and more nope! I think of Sweet Brown..."Ain't Nobody Got Time For That!"

Why does DH feel guilty for making her "eat her words?" They never taste quite as good the second time around, however,  sometimes eating a little crow is good for the digestive system. : )