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Confused with 13yr old SD... help!

Ashley1983's picture

Hi, all!

I recently moved in with my boyfriend of 2 years - we have an incredible relationship and it has taken me a long time to "come to terms" with him having a daughter and an ex-wife he deals with. It has been very difficult, as this is the first relationship I've been in where my SO has a child.

They have split 50/50 custody - but when his SD comes home to us, it's like I'm the third wheel. They take over the TV to watch cartoons and I feel forced to go into the bedroom to watch my shows by myself. I do not want to spend my evening watching kid shows, but I understand his role as her father is to spend quality time with her. Even more important, I dread when she comes over. I love my life with my boyfriend so much when it's just US. We've talked about marriage and I know it's coming, and we've also talked about children of our own. He's an incredible father and man, but sometimes I find myself questioning if this is really what I want. She has a horrible mother, so sometimes I feel like it's not fair that I am doing the "motherly duties" and she is not. I try to tell myself I'm doing the right thing and I'm investing in this child's life; but it's exhausting. SD is an extreme introvert, is very socially awkward, has seen therapists due to some questionnable comments she has made, and has a constant need to "rock" back and forth while listening to her headphones, which we've learned is a response to her feeling anger and anxiety (therapy has not worked, very frustrating). I just have NOTHING in common with her. I'm extremely positive, very outgoing, and I love being girly. Sometimes I feel she resents me because she will give me dirty looks, tell me my clothes are weird, or tell me I'm "too positive". It's just very hard having to live with this new normal when she struggles with mental health issues, as well as me constantly trying but never feeling "accomplished" with her. I just fear that the negative thoughts that I have now will just grow and grow and I'll eventually get sick and tired of it.

Are these feelings normal of dreading time with your stepchildren? I want to have this great relationship with her, and overall we do, but it's just weird and different for me. How do I communicate with my BF so he doesn't think or feel that I view everything she does as negative? Even typing this, she came in our room and jumped on the bed next to me and I instantly felt annoyed... help!

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

She is not your child you didnt bond with her, so you cant be upset with yourself for not being connected with her. Just try to focus on the things you like about her. You will likely never have a mother-daughter relationship with her and that's ok. If she has a good relationship with her father and it sounds like she does, just encourage that relationship. Maybe when she is older she may want to come to you for more female type advice. But if not, that's okay too. I just do my own thing now and dont even worry about it. You say you want to have children of your own focus on that and your relationship with BF.

Rags's picture

IF this man cannot effectively parent, he is far more likely than not incapable of being a true equity life partner for you.

Think carefully before you tie your star to this shit storm.

Take care of  you.

Stepmom0530's picture

Oh boy, I know everyone's situation is entirely different. I can only tell you from my experience. I have been a step mom to a 13 Year old girl since she was 4 years old. She absolutely hates me more then ever. I tried the friend/mother roll with no appreciation but instead constant disrespect. I have two biological children with my husband and in doing that have created another world wind of problems. If I had to do it all over again I would run! Little kids, little problems. Big kids, bigger problems. Either way it's nothing but problems!!