Husband Refuses to Discipline His Daughter
Going to try to not go into a lot of detail here, as this would be an incredibly long read if I did.
My husband and I have been married 10 years, together 12 years. My SD is 13. She moved in with us in September, because her and her step-dad were getting into it all the time, and my husband's ex couldn't take any more. When my husband's ex realized she wasn't getting any money while my SD was living with us, she suddenly had a change of heart (and trust me, there are things that she has done and said that prove it is motivated by money). At the same time, my SD thought she was just going to push dad around, but she didn't bank on me putting my foot down!
Over the course of last school year, my SD started getting into trouble. It started with excessive tardies and her not doing her school work. Then, there were the episodes of cutting and slipping out of the house after 10:00 p.m. doing who knows what, and my husband's ex and her husband only realized this was happening when my SD returned home with a hole in her elbow, apparently from falling off of her bike. The last 3 weeks of the school year, my SD was in an alternative school because she was caught with alcohol at school!
So, in September, my SD moves in with us supposedly because mom can't take it any more, and my SD is tired of her step-dad yelling at her all the time. We continue to have problems with excessive tardies and her not doing her school work. I've also caught her in many, many lies, and every time I try to say something to her, she just argues with me until my husband tells ME to stop arguing with HER! He will then have one of his infamous "talks" with her, but it is always like in one ear out the other, as he never backs anything up with any kind of punishment...like taking away phone or TV privileges.
I also see in her signs of her having an eating disorder. She will go days where she will only eat a few bites of food, and days that she does appear to eat normal meals, she is always in the bathroom shortly after eating. Whenever she is talking near me, or when we are all in the car together, I can smell that she has terrible breath. She is overly concerned about her looks, so much so that she nearly misses the bus on must mornings. I've tried to bring this up to my husband, but he ignores me, or it causes us to get into a fight. He doesn't seem concerned at all...just has another one of his talks with her about eating right, but then does not enforce it.
Before she moved in with us, she was in dance and cheerleading in her old school. When she came here, she found out there was not a dance program, and she was not allowed to even try to get into the chearleading squat, because all the girls were picked last school year. This immediately sent her into wanting to go back to her mom's...this and I told my husband that we absolutely would NOT be paying $200/month for some dance school my SD wanted to attend, especially when she wasn't doing her school work, and was having such a rude attitude! Truthfully, I don't see how she even expects to do well in dance or cheerleading when she is not getting enough nutrients in her body to sustain her muscles! She has been "hurt" at least 4 times while living with us practicing her dance moves...pulled muscles or rolled ankles that she plays up way after they should be feeling better. I say play up, because she will limp around and use it to her advantage when it is an advantage to her, but will suddenly be all better if something like a school dance comes up (which, of course, my husband lets her go to).
She has had a Facebook page since she was 11, even though the rules say you need to be 13 (she lied about her age, and neither my husband or his ex forced her to take the page down). She has had boyfriends since she was about 11...her mom thinks it's cute, and though my husband does not approve, he doesn't do anything about it. She has been wearing make-up since she was 11 (again, see comments about boyfriends). She has been caught talking to older guys on her phone and on Facebook, lying about her age and telling them that she is 15, and instead of taking these things away, my husband simply has another one of his talks with her. I know it is bad to say, but if she manages to graduate high school without getting pregnant, I will be shocked!!
I don't know what to do! My husband accuses me of not wanting to be close to her, and not seeing her as one of my kids. I try to tell him, "How am I supposed to be when she gives me such attitude, and if I say anything to her, you take her side or I get texts from her mother calling me a white trash step-mom!" I have two kids of my own...a daughter who is 21 and a son who is 18. Both were adopted by my husband, and he never had any issue disciplining them, or backing me with disciplining them. My daughter did go through a little phase of rebellion, but I stuck to my guns, and she turned out okay...even going back to school on her own after simply not going back the next year when she was 1 1/2 credits short of graduation at the end of her senior year. She got her diploma on her own. My son hasn't gotten into any trouble, star on the football team...sure, his grades are super great, but if I tell him, "Dude, get these zeros taken care of!" he will go into that teacher the next morning and figure out how to get the credits he needs.
The issue with my SD is just another of several issues I have with my husband, but it makes it very hard to work on any of the other issues when he is so wrapped up with trying to be chummy with his daughter trying to convince her to stay with us...when her being here is not helping anything. She isn't getting any help here, because my husband isn't providing any structure, and I'm not allowed to give her structure. She is supposed to move back in with her mom after this week, and I know it is sad, but I can't wait for this week to be over! There will still be all the tension on the weekends, but at least I will have the week for me and my husband to work on our other marital issues and figure out what to do, and maybe, if we get some of those resolved, he will grow a spine!
I'm so happy to finally find a place where I can vent about these things with people who know where I'm coming from. Thanks for reading.