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How Would it work?

Karrolla77's picture

I'm new here, looking for understanding...

I've been with my DH for 10 years. As he split up from his ex, and in our early days, it turned out she was pregnant. It wasn't an issue to begin with, we got married, he used to see his daughter, but I was never included in the contact. This went on until SD was 4 and BM allowed her to come over for a weekend. This was the first time I met the SD. The weekend went really welll. Thereafter BM started being difficult about any contact, cut herself off and stopped responding to any communication from DH. Two years later DH took BM to court to establish regular contact. BM went crazy, didn't engage with the court. She was found guilty of parental alienation and after 2 years in court the SD was moved from mother's custody into ours. 

So the SD moved in with us at 8 yo, at the time we had a nearly 2yo and I was halfway pregnant with our second child. I had never imagined that I could react in such a negative way to a child. From the moment I saw her I felt this wouldn't work and my gut feeling didn't fail me. Much as I felt sorry for the little girl and all she'd been through I couldn't get to like one bit. She's now lived with us for nearly 1.5years and things went from indifferent to bad to worse. I have developed a really strong dislike of her. She's now 9.5yo, awkward age, I know, but she's lazy, unhelpful, talking to her is like banging your head against a brick wall, nothing gets through. If she doesn't like something she'll put up a big drama with tears and snot running down her nose. I have also witnessed naughty behaviours towards my little ones which left me completely distrustful. I got to the point where I'm not very nice to her and actually consider leaving as the current situation is destroying me mentally and emotionally.

The family isn't functioning as we should be, I am miserable, shouty and she just aggregates those feelings in me. I thought about disengagement but how would it work? My DH works away a week every other week and I am the only adult with no one I can rely on.

Also has anyone got any success in improving/creating a relationship with Skids through counselling? 

JRI's picture

I'm a 75yo BM & SM of 5.  In the summer of 1976, I found myself with 5 kids between 9 & 14.  My DH worked in a construction-related industry so left about 7 and didn't get home til after 9.  My SD was a particular problem with her sneakiness, lying, theft and manipulation. She was a long-time daddy's girl who wasn't happy about me and did whatever possible to stir up trouble, often successfully.  I was at my wits end and went to counseling  It saved my marriage and changed 7 lives.

My takeaways were: 1) assertiveness; 2) more engagement with the family  I had kind of checked out; 3) more time with DH.  

I heartily recommend it for you, especially with your concerns about your kids' safety.  Good luck!

JRI's picture

Your SD probably needs therapy, too. But Id start myself, first.

tog redux's picture

Does she still see her BM? Is she in therapy? It's a pretty big loss for her to move from living with her mom all the time for 8 years to her father's home, especially after probably hearing for 8 years what a deadbeat loser her father is.

Also - HE needs to be the parent, not you. He fought for custody, he should parent her.

SeeYouNever's picture

9 to 11 is the worst by far. Kids of this age are beginning to have more mature thought processes but they still default to acting like little kids a lot of the time . They end up getting frustrated because the tactics that they used before don't work anymore because they're not charming and cute anymore. At this time you begin to expect more from them and some kids thrive on this but a lot struggle.

I was also pregnant when my SD was 10 and she was so irritating to me during that time. She is 12 now and I'm pregnant again but this time she has calmed down and matured quite a bit. 

I would not tell your husband that you can't stand her that's not going to help your case period instead I would say that it is unfair to her that she is spending more time with you than with either of her actual parents. You have two other young kids to take care of and you cannot give her the attention and focus that she needs. She really needs to be parented by her actual parents instead of you. if your husband pushes back on this tell him that you are feeling overwhelmed and that it seems to be affecting both you and your SD's mental health.

justmakingthebest's picture

Where is SD's mom?

Can you go to a 50/50 schedule so that you only have SD while he is home?