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I feel less stressed

Frazzledmum's picture

So I have a sd15 who is a completely spoilt, selfish princess who cares of only herself and has no respect for anyone....not even my DH (previous post about an untenable life in teenage step children forum).

After reading all the advice I decided to start to disengage. No more arranging for her friends to come over, no more taking her to appointments, no more letting her use my stuff and more importantly letting DH deal with her as he has major guilt issues and has refused to parent her....choosing instead to play the friend role.

I'm going out to the gym when she gets home as I don't want to be around her. Double the results....lack of stress and an improved body!! Anyway I went last night and she was a brat to her father. He actually punished took her phone off her for a period of time . Not as long as I would have if itihad been my children to me.....but as he's never punished her it's a good start.

I've said to DH that he needs to manage her...I will not be the unpaid help. I will cook for her when I cook for everyone else but that is it....and I'm sticking to it. She asked to borrow my leggings this evening (via text....she wouldn't be polite enough to ask to my face) and I ignored it. She then asked DH to ask me and I said no. dH said he completely understood and relayed my answer. She wasn't happy....probably first time she's been told no by me as I've always said yes for an easy life!!  Goodness it felt liberating. Such a small thing, but the impact would be huge.

DH supports me, and although I've not fully disengaged, it's clear to DH and SD15 that I'm no longer a doormat.

Just waiting for the backlash from BM now, as SD15 also managed to like and manipulate her mother too.....although DH has told BM that I will "be taking a step back"


Let's see how it goes and if my resolve stays...

Siemprematahari's picture

Congratulations on your journey to partial disengagment and YES how liberating it is. The smallest things do make the biggest difference and I wish you many more liberating moments.

Frazzledmum's picture

Thank you.

It's certainly going to be a bumpy road as she's amazingly head strong and answers back to everything....hence the yes to everything on my part... as she is exhausting.

Feeling positive tonight though and it's only been a few days of disengagement

futurobrillante99's picture

Don't be surprised if after a few "nos", she starts helping herself to your things. Just be forwarned.

Java_Junkie's picture

Don't be surprised if after a few "nos", she starts helping herself to your things. Just be forwarned.

This will probably happen. Might be a gradual slip into it, such as texts like "I needed to borrow those leggings. Will bring them back." Or maybe you'll notice them gone, then you'll ask about them - and lo and behold, "Ah! I found them in the laundry behind the dryer! Must have fallen back there!"

Here's what you gotta do: Store your things in a specific way so you can tell if she's rummaging through your stuff. Then, at least, you'll know when and where she's going.

MsMad's picture

i was kind and my conditions were, ask before taking, respect my goods and return them.  I still got things ‘taken’ 


Now I lock a lot away (which I shouldn’t have to, but knowmy stuff is safe).  The odd thing I slip up on or forget still manages to disappear and find it’s way into her (SD15) bag or room.


but I partially disengaged and feel better for it - can’t totally dis nagged as I feel like it’s childish, selfish and petty - I then feel guilt.

Best of luck

sandye21's picture

All you are doing is pointing out to SD that you want a mutually respective relationship with her.  She is approaching adulthood in a world where one must practice give and take to happily succeed in life - at least most of the time.  Good for your DH for supporting you.  If she starts helping herself to your things, make sure there are consequences.

Frazzledmum's picture

If she started taking my things, she will find all of her things iother than her than bed, duvet and pillow will leave her room.

She knows she mustn't come in our room without permission and if she does her door will go from her room! As she hates people going in her room

Frazzledmum's picture

Oh dear.

It look like SD is in a serious amount of trouble with her school. Luckily I'm off out. DH, SD and BM having emergency meeting tonight. Ill be having a glass of wine

Frazzledmum's picture

School meeting today - waiting to find out punishment from them....may include suspension. Basically she's been a bully via social media.

Parents won't discilpline her, but have ''advised' her to stay off social media. I want to scream at them to parent and provide serious consequences, but won't be saying a word. Their problem that they've bought on themselves. I'm offering a supportive ear to DH and otherwise staying well clear of this!!

SteppedOut's picture

Lololol....Ooo did they *gasp* "talk to her"? No, really, she understands and won't do it agian? She KNOWS they mean it this time?


Siemprematahari's picture

Perfect! Don't comment, ask questions, or show any interest. If you are disengaging do it completely. You can listen but not participate in any way, shape, or form.

Good for you!

Frazzledmum's picture

Not being suspended as out if character - she saves the temper and rudeness for home then.

She's been grounded and social media taken away

DoberGirl's picture

My disengagement was very recent so I'm still working on keeping my opionions to myself 100% of the time, but I'm already feeling better. When SO talks about SD, I strive to politely listen and then change the subject. If I'm feeling generous, I might say something positive and brief, but then move on. I slip sometimes, but for the most part, staying out of it has really brought me peace.

sandye21's picture

You're doing great!  Believe me - it gets easier ane better as time goes on.  Almost 8 years of total disengaagement for me and no regrets.

DC208's picture

Good for you! caring for yourself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation.  Disengagement does not mean you don't care, because I'm sure you do; however, it does allow you to cause yourself the stress and disturbance the comes along with taking things on fully.  I've only been in for a few years now, but since I've laid down some strict rules and pull back my emotional & physical involvement things have been a lot better.  One thing that really bothered me was the BM would call very early (5 AM) in the morning or very late at night (11 PM).  I told DH to relay to BM that she should not call at those hours unless her house is burning.  I decided that my house will be peaceful for everyone under it- point blank period.  And, if foolishness from BM or SS enters my house I will go to great length to eradicate it immediately.  BM consistently makes poor decisions in her life and for her child, and I used to trip and fill the gaps.  I don't go out of my way anymore to close the gaps. I'm nice and loving typically to SS unless he breaks my house rules (same deal for my BS).  Disengagement is freedom--and no more mental gymnastics.   BS comes over and plays video games almost all weekend just stopping to eat.  before I use to stop and take him I simply allow him to stay in his room door closed and play to is heart content.  If DH & BM don't mind and see nothing wrong with that then who am I to say anything.  Disengagement as an approach to step-parenting really works.  Please don't feel stressed out about any backlash.  Continue to show that you care, but on your terms.  Teenagers will push, test and manipulate.  You may have to put a lock on your closet door if she starts taking your stuff without permission.  Let your DH deal with the madness.

Frazzledmum's picture

Thank you for taking the time to write that. I remain polite and DH is stepping up. It's hard to remain disengaged, but completely worth it so far.

Hidingaway2017's picture

I'm still in the 'should I disengage' phase. After reading some of these posts, I feel more and more each day that it may be the better course....