You are here

Did I overstep?

NeverEnough321's picture

I'm not sure if this is more about the teenage stepdaughter, or SO.

SO has 3 kids, SS14, OSD13, and YSD10. This particular issue is about SO's relationship with OSD. OSD's attitude and outbursts, according to SO, are evolving more and more to be like like BMs and it is very off-putting to SO, but I don't think he handles it well. I have noticed a lot more bossiness with siblings, "whatevers, i dont care", and a nastiness to her attitude when she doesn't get what she wants. 

SO's birthday is coming up and BM has agreed to let him pick them up after school. OSD said SO told them last week that he would be out of town and might not be able to pick them up. I have no idea why he would say this, because the plan was always to pick them up, we've been talking about it for over a week! OSD tried to clarify this with SO because she needed to let her coach know if she would leave early... but as a 13 year old, this is a major inconvenience, so imagine an annoyed teen saying "So are you going to pick us up? Do you even want to see your kids on your birthday?". SO could have easily just said, yes, of course I want to see you guys... but instead he said in his own fed up tone, "It's ok, you don't have to come if you don't want to". There was a little back and forth but pretty much repeating the same things. This isn't the first time he's responded this way. 

I shot SO a look and interjected, "Yes, he's picking you guys up". After they left, I scolded SO, that I didn't understand why he was talking to OSD this way. She is not an adult, she is a teenager (barely). He said he was fed up and he didn't want to deal with her attitude anymore. I told him that not dealing with it is his problem.. he has never dealt with it, he'll just ignore it and choose not to interact with OSD if she's being unpleasant. We ignored each other for most of the night while some friends dropped by.

After the friends left, he came back to ask me if I was still mad. I said yes, I didn't like the way he was treating OSD and, the way I see it, he was treating her like she was BM, and that is unfair. If he treats her like she is BM, she will become BM. I told him he should not be giving the kids the option of not coming just because he is arguing with them. Lastly, I told him that OSD is a teenager, she is going to act disrespectful sometimes, but that doesn't mean he should go lower. Afterwards, SO understood and said he would talk to her. 

This morning, before I left for work, I suggested SO send her a text, maybe she would appreciate it. He got upset that I was bringing it up and said he would talk to her. Then he said I was treating him like he was a bad father. I said I was giving my point of view of what I would have appreciated from my dad when I was a teenager. We just left for work after that.

Did I push the issue too much? Was I wrong to say anything? I know I can't control their relationship, but I'm going to point out to SO if I think he's messing up. 

notsurehowtodeal's picture

I don't think you overstepped. You told your DH something he needed to hear. All of your points were valid.

ESMOD's picture

I agree.. your points were valid.. you were trying to help him.. help his relationship.. but at this point.. I would not bring this instance up again.. just move on.. let him marinate in the info.

NeverEnough321's picture

I definitely won't bring it up again. I'm just not sure how I'll feel about SO if he doesn't try to talk to OSD and fix this... The kids usually let go of whatever arguement they have with SO, but OSD, a teenage girl, is way more sensitive. 

NeverEnough321's picture

Yes, he stooped to her level and I could actively see their relationship suffer. I'm glad I said something, but I told him he needs to be the adult and think before responding to teenage snark. 

grannyd's picture

Your husband is probably hurt by his older daughter's attitude and is striking back. However, he is the adult and should be conducting himself accordingly. Teenaged girls are notoriously difficult; I was the same in my early teens. The girl is still a child, beset by hormones and the conflict between parents at war.

The advice that you gave your husband was sensible and much needed!

NeverEnough321's picture

Thank you! He was pretty hurt by her attitude and I think he is having trouble differentiating between teenage attitude and PAS attitude. We see them fairly consistently and don't have much reason to believe that BM has successfully alienated them, but BM has had some influence on them. It was disappointing that I had to remind him that OSD is not BM, but of course she resembles her and has some of her characteristics... BM is her mom! 

TrueNorth77's picture

I think it was fine to say your opinion. It's part of being in a marriage, helping each other see what we don't ourselves, etc. Telling him to text this morning may have been micro-managing a bit after you told him how You felt the day before. But it's not a big deal either way. Dealing with teens are tricky and there's no easy way to do it it seems. It's a crapshoot. 

NeverEnough321's picture

Thanks! I agree, I do have a bit of a micromanaging problem. I tend to catastrophize so I'm always trying to get ahead of things. He did end up calling her and apologizing for speaking to her that way. I don't know if she apologized too but she was in a better mood when he picked them up for his birthday. You're right though, teens are tricky... if OSD is in a bad mood, everyone is in a bad mood. 

TrueNorth77's picture

If SD14 is being a B, we are all in a bad mood. I feel for you, skids are our main source of disagreements, and it's hard when they are difficult. Literally just hoping to survive to the end. Hang in there.