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Conflicting Emotions

stepper47's picture

We have had a rocky several years with SD17, leading up to her moving full time with BM over a year ago.  We have not seen her much over the year, things seemed to be getting better around Christmas (hmm) and then suddenly in March right before we all started staying at home, she stopped responding to DH's phone calls and messages.  DH said he has been texting or calling every few days, with no response, and he thought his number may be blocked bc it went straight to voice mail. He did see her on her birthday a couple months ago, after her called her BM to see if he could stop by, and he said they conversed like nothing was wrong. (And he didn't ask), then back to silence.  Until this week, when she finally responded to a hey, hope you are doing ok text. They had a small text conversation until he said maybe they could go for ice cream this weekend, then she stopped responding.  A couple days went by, then she texted tonight to ask him to take her fishing.  Of course he is over the moon...

And I feel stress.  Obviously there is still a big problem if she can't be bothered to respond to her dad for months.  History has shown that she comes around when she wants something. I want to be hopeful that maybe she is growing up and changing, and maybe she really does miss her dad.   I want to feel happy that my husband has a chance ton spend time with his child. I want to feel open to her coming over, using our pool, and hanging out in our home.  Instead I feel anxious over the stress we went through in the past and how my husband catered to her regardless of whether it was something he and I had already agreed on.    We almost lost our marriage because of it.  I feel selfish and mean that instead of feeling excited, I feel dread. 

Kes's picture

You are not selfish or mean, don't put that on yourself.  Whyever would you feel warmly towards someone who treats your DH so casually, and with such disdain?   Personally, if I were him, I don't think I'd want a relationship with her on the terms she seems to be offering - ie occasionally she will throw him a few crumbs. But these men and their daughters........meh!  my DH was the same in the past, has a bit more self respect now though.  

JRI's picture

Keep your eyes open.  If your finances are joint, keep your eyes on that, too.

Notquitestep's picture

I get that he wants a relationship with her but doesn't sound like she feels the same. Honestly it sounds like she doesn't like him and only comes around when she's expecting something. He needs to stop trying so hard. A msg here and there but that's it. She may have mental health issues

BritJules18's picture

We have had a rocky 2 years with SD17, shes said and done some awful things to us and her siblings and she acts like we've done it to her. BM has got involved and taken advantage of the situation to feed SD lies while the relationship is strained with DH. So we said we should put it all aside and move on before it escalates any more which we thought was agreed. DH continues to text asking how she is and giving her updates on how our 3 younger children are, with no response till recently when she emailed saying don't bother texting her because shes blocked him! I also noticed shes blocked us and our kids on social media too. Her step dad did call DH a few weeks ago telling DH that SD will speak to him if he agrees to 3 of her demands, otherwise shes not interested in a relationship with us or the kids! That was the final straw for me, I don't want her in my house or near my kids until she grows up and apologises! She thinks she has control! DH does needs to repair his relationship, but that can be away from me and the younger ones who have already had to deal with so much. 

SD will be 18 soon and I'm certain she will be in contact in order to get a present (last time the kids saw her was for 5 mins at christmas to give her her gifts). I feel anxious waiting to see what happens, but when it does it will be like what your SD is doing and trying to get DH on his own. 


stepper47's picture

Thank you all for your comments and insight, and BritJules18, your SD sounds similar to mine.  It is a lot about control, mine has been given a lot, and I really struggle with that.  My DH did take her fishing tonight and apparently had a wonderful time.   I should have left it at that, but I asked if he asked her about where she has been for the last 3 months.  He said she gave excuses about COVID and how she isn't hanging out with anyone.   I said, and of course you didn't push any further and he said, he knows there is more to it and maybe they will get to it eventually. Ya think, DH.   It is not normal to flat out ignore your dad for 3 months and then pop back up like nothing is wrong.  Right???   So my worry is still up, signs point to him being so excited that she wanted to do this and was happy to see him, that he is not going to address the past.   I don't want to go through what we have in the past, i want to feel confident that he and I are on the same page.  Time will tell I guess.  

ThatOneMom's picture

I don't know if this is helpful, just a different perspective.

When I was that age, I didn't contact my parents very much, either. I was just a typical, self absorbed teenager who would rather be with her friends. I would come around more often if I knew there would be a party, free food, gifts, friends allowed, etc.

So my point is, that is most teenagers are like this to an extent and does not necessarily have anything to do with the step/blended family dynamic.

We're going through this with my husband's oldest three kids, too. They pretty much only come around for their birthdays or favorite holidays.

I get along best with the older three kids but I don't mind that they aren't around as much. It does bother the crap out of me that they don't do much for their dad's birthday or Father's Day.

stepper47's picture

Thank you for that, and I know some of it s typical teenager stuff.  I was the same way to a degree.  The difference I see is that my SD would not return his texts or phone calls - I don't remember ignoring either of my parents.  She has done that before, and when she came back around she usually had some demand, and if he wouldn't agree to it she would tell him he was an awful person.  That is the part that that bothers me the most, I feel like I wouldn't worry too much about normal teenage in consideration.  Or maybe I am just hypersensitive to it.  It will be interesting to see what happens on Father's day

Rags's picture

Your DH has taught his daughter how to treat him.  By being over the moon that she finally responded with the requested fishing trip he is just reinforcing the lessons he has been giving her for her entire life. The lesson?  She has daddy by the short and curlies and daddy will whimper in thanks for any trifling bit of recognition she stoops to throw his way.

DH is in a catch 22.  Does he grovel for the bones his toxic daughter will occasionally toss his way, or does he drive consistently the difficult lessons that this toxic kid needs to grow to a viable pleasant adult?

Not a decision I have had to make.  But, my DW and I did not tolerate behavioral crap from the Skid that would have allowed this sad situaion to occur in the first place.

Your stance to defend your home, life and marriage from this toxic teen Skidlet is the right one IMHO.  Keeping DH grounded with the clarity that his kid is a disrespectful illbehaved little shit is the right one.

Stay the course.

Good luck.