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Nightmare stepdaughter

manchester44's picture

I have been living with my partner for over three years and his youngest daughter is 19. She made it clear from the start that she didn’t want her father to have a partner and over the years has said some awful things giving him “its her or me” ultimatums etc. She now doesn’t speak to me at all and hasn’t uttered a word to me since last Christmas. I have tried to simply say hello but she looks through me as if I don’t exist. She was living with her mum but decided to come and live with us a few months ago however she has now returned to her mums saying she felt lonely at our house because she couldn’t sit on her own with her dad watching TV. I don’t think at 19 she was genuinely lonely as she could spend time with friends but by saying she wants to spend time with him on her own she gets the attention she craves.

Unfortunately I feel I do not have the support of my partner with this problem. He has never told her she has to give me respect and allows her to get away with anything. She has never been disciplined for any bad behaviour and both parents treat her like a young child. I have tried on numerous occasions to talk to him about it saying how upsetting I find it but nothing seems to change. Its almost like he is scared of upsetting her so says nothing.

I feel the only way forward is for me to learn to blank her behaviour out until she hopefully grows up and matures. Whilst this isn’t ideal and means I will still feel uncomfortable in my own home I cannot see any alternative way of dealing with it.

manchester44's picture

Hi, she only moved out a couple of weeks ago and did that when we were away so didn't have the decency to tell him. He had to contact his ex to find out she had gone back there. He behaves so desperate towards her that its embarrassing to see. I love him a lot but find his softness infuriating.

It was her birthday at weekend and I know he has invited her over to see him today whilst I am at work so I get that sick feeling now of not knowing if she will be there when I get home. This will be the first time he has seen her since she moved out.

manchester44's picture

Thanks for your comments they are very supportive. He gets annoyed when I try to talk about it she can do no wrong in his eyes unfortunately. If I suggested him meeting her away from the house he would see that as me excluding her and it would cause no end of problems. Its got to a point now where I almost feel intimidated by her and very nervous/anxious in her company. I suffer from anxiety issues anyway so this is not helping at all.

She manages to play both of her parents well so they feel sorry for her. I have totally given up trying to talk to her at all now so the atmosphere you can imagine is very tense.

Like yours she only contacts him a lot when she wants something and she never buys him birthday/Christmas cards or presents but expects a lot for herself. Its such a sad situation when you can see what somebody is like but he is blinkered when it comes to her.

Delilah's picture

If I suggested him meeting her away from the house he would see that as me excluding her and it would cause no end of problems.


Um, you mean like SHE is excluding YOU? Causing YOU problems?!!

I will NEVER understand how a child (including a grown adult skid) are given free passes to behave rudely and disrespectfully to their stepparent!! I do not care how hard they have had it, I do not care how difficult it makes the parents life, I do not care if that is how they speak to everyone.

This skid is at 19 an adult, I appreciate she has much growing up left to do and her parents have put her at a disadvantage by treating her like an infant, because she likely will behave immaturely and the fact they ignore her behaviour means she is empowered in her belief she has the right to treat you in this manner.

It is not your problem if she treats OH and her mother like crap and with ungratefulness however you have every right to draw the line in the sand without OH dictating to you. His choices, are his choices, YOU get to make your own decisions.

Right now your sd really dislikes you, your partner compounds this disrespect by expecting you to put up with it. What exactly are you losing by keeping quiet? Except self respect and inner peace? Why do the time, when you haven't committed the crime?!! So instead flip it, if sd ignores you then you confront her really sweetly and calmly (act) "hi sd I said HELLO. It's polite in someone's house to acknowledge them..." Personally I would make it clear unless they behaved politely they are unwelcome. Simple really. When OH kicks off, tell him they are making YOUR life difficult and therefore you do not want that in your life anymore. I would use his words against him (see above) and would call his bluff with any blackmailing attempt (if my dd is unwelcome then so am I...)!!

JIMPO. I would NOT continue to endure it, why when its only YOU making the sacrifice?!!

HandOverMyMouth's picture

Seeing as how she is an adult who doesn't live in your home anymore, I would strongly suggest treating her how you would treat any other rude adult: ignore her.

Seriously: I wouldn't lose sleep over this. As long as their "alone" time together isn't interfering with your relationship too much, let her feel like she's getting one over on you. She wants to know she's upsetting you. If you flat out treat her like any other rude individual and act like she doesn't exist or phase you, it will drive her insane.

manchester44's picture

Did that last night she was there as he had treated her to a takeaway for her birthday so when I got home from work she is sat there watching TV surrounded by food and drink
so I just gave her same treatment looked through her and didn’t acknowledge her at all
The way I am feeling until she grows up and gets some manners I am going to continue to ignore her. It doesn’t make a good atmosphere but probably better than strained conversation where I am trying too hard
I just stayed out of her way last night until she left

manchester44's picture

Just need to advice for tonight. She hasn’t been round for a couple of weeks but is coming round tonight. She has asked him to cook her tea.

I just don’t know how to play it. as she hasn’t spoke to me for almost a year should I just stay out of the way. I don’t feel like I should make any effort at all and should just leave them to it ie her behaving like a child and him acting like she is about 5.

The fact I have been blamed for her having to move out is just annoying me now. nobody made her not talk to me for a year so how can it be my fault?

These things drag on for so long and with her out of the picture the last couple of weeks have been bliss and its clear the only fallouts we ever have a because of her.

StayingDisengaged's picture

You have a couple of options as I see it (and I have been in a very similar situation with 2 out of 3 of my SDs). Either make plans to do something for yourself, such as a movie or dinner with girlfriends or something fun, or assert yourself. It's your house. She's technically an adult. You wouldn't allow any other adult such as neighbor or coworker or even a plumber to come into YOUR house and disrespect you. You'd either confront them about it and ask them to leave, or just ask them to leave. This adult person should have behavior expectations at least as low as that! I have often heard that we teach people how to treat us by allowing unacceptable treatment to go unacknowledged. Every time she looks right through you or treats you badly in some other way and you don't stick up for yourself, you're essentially teaching her that it's okay to be crappy to you when you clearly feel that it's not. You deserve better for yourself! Keep it simple, keep it about your needs. Something like "You're in my home now, you owe me the basic decency of treating me with as much respect as you would anyone else. If you can't manage that, then you should leave. I will not be disrespected in my own home. No one forced you to come here," should do the trick. If she doesn't like it, screw her. She can leave and you can know that you're not to blame for her poor choices. If her father doesn't like it, then he might want to consider the reality that he's chosen you to spend the rest of his life with. If he can allow someone, ANYONE, to disrespect you and treat you badly, then he should seriously re-examine his priorities.

Just my two cents. Good luck to you!

manchester44's picture

Problem is I am not a confrontation person which is why I have hoped he would deal with it but even after all this time he is still scared to confront her about anything even if it does make the house a horrible place to be when she is around.

It was my birthday last week and he had the cheek to invite her round, luckily she didn’t come but it shows he is oblivious to my feelings about this he just buries his head in the sand.

I will make myself scarce tonight give her time with her dad she craves so much.

manchester44's picture

Well outcome was I sat in living room and ignored the pair of them. He brought my meal into me and didn't question why I didn't go into the room. I think he realises its pointless trying to make it work with me and her. fortunately she left after 2.5 hours. I could hear the whole thing her being so childish singing at the top of her voice at 19 and talking in stupid accents. She really does behave like a 5 year old.

Anyway I felt a lot better for staying out of the way and had a relaxing time watching TV with the dog.

I wont let it carry on like this forever but its worth a try giving them their time and if its only for a couple of hours a week or so then worth it to avoid that sinking feeling in my stomach when I see her.

manchester44's picture

Totally give up trying to keep any kind of order in my house. DH said last night he wasn’t to buy her a TV for Christmas. I calmly state that as she doesn’t live with us any more I don’t see the point in putting a TV in her room. He totally went mad asking me what my problem with her was! I said my problem was that she hasn’t had the decency to talk for me for almost 12 months in my own house and he doesn’t nothing about it. I said by putting a TV in her room he is obviously trying to get her to move back but as an adult she refuses to pay us anything whilst my own daughter pays every week.

He is clearly jealous cause none of his own kids live with us but none of that is my fault. So why do I end up feeling so guilty?

He said I was vindictive and only happy when I had my kids around and him on his own with no kids. This is so untrue we have lived together 4 years and his son lived with us most of that before moving out to live with his girlfriend. I would had loved nothing more than to get on with his daughter but she has made it impossible.

We haven’t spoken now since last night and I hate bad atmospheres and no contact but feel I shouldn’t be first to make a move.

I told him I want nothing more to do with her for him to buy her a TV but if she comes in house and ignores me I expect him to pick her up on it. This I know he wont do.

Sometimes you just want to give up and cry.

manchester44's picture

Like everyone else on here I am now beginning to realise that DH is as much of the problem as SD is. After the other night we have hardly spoke. His kids were going to their mums for Christmas day and he text me before to say she has been onto him because apparently he has invited both their daughters to come to ours after he had agreed they could go to her house. I am realising this is like a competition to him at the moment as I said before he doesn’t like just my kids being in the house and now it appears this is also about him not wanting his ex to have them there either.

I haven’t responded to him at all on this. I for once am on his ex’s side she had everything planned and he is trying to change it.

He also hasn’t the decency to mention his plans to me either. Seems a desperate attempt to hold onto his kids

steppingon's picture

Hi Manchester, I just wanted to drop a quick note and let you know that I am currently in the same boat if it is helpful for you to know you are not alone. I read your post and the actions by your DH are extremely similar to mine. I do not know what advice I can give you except to relate my experience. I am living with a SD 16 and my Dh full time in my house. Her and I actually are getting along at the moment and even when we are my DH wants to pretend like I don't like her and blames everything on "my dynamic with her". Except that he is the one with the problem because he is so defensive about her and sick in the head when it comes to parenting her that it is starting to be a total turnoff.

He also is not mentioning his plans to me and not communicating with me at all when he changes the rules for his daughter to suit her needs. I really do think the problem lies with the dysfunctional father who does not have the balls to parent his kid. My Dh is on the couch and we are not speaking either because of similar issues. I have come to realize that I cannot even discuss his kid with him at all, not good, not bad, nothing because it will get turned around on me in a heartbeat.

It has been suggested to me to totally disengage from the whole situation. I think that in your case this is great advice and I have to say that you are lucky that this girl is not living with you. Mine is here full time. I do not think there is any hope of anything working out with my DH and I until he gets into therapy or has a huge wake up call. It is like he is totally in his own world when it comes to his kids and everyone else is the enemy. I do not see this changing with this type of guy unless he is really slapped upside the head or willing to look at himself. Hopefully your DH is not as big of a douchebag as mine is turning out to be and he will eventually see his part in things.

I am sorry I cannot be more helpful and also to go on about my issues in your post but I thought you may want to know that you are not alone. I have been hanging onto this site for dear life lately because things have gotten particularly bad over the last few months so I know at least for me it is helpful when I see a reply to my thread when I am in a dire situation when I need advice. The only thing I can suggest is to not talk to him about his kid at all. There is an article that some other members of this site have sent to me about disengaging. It is helpful but I need to read it over and over again to keep it fresh in my head because it is hard to not say something when you feel disrespected. Have you seen that article?
Again, count your blessings and be glad that this girl does not love with you.

manchester44's picture

Hi, yes I have seen the article on disengaging. I do try my hardest not to comment but its hard when its under your roof and its one set of rules for his kids and another for mine.

I tried to talk to him just now on the phone about the Christmas issue and he just hung up on me. I think a lot of the problem is his sd lived with him for a few years and hardly saw her mum and I think he is jealous she now lives with her. I am getting all of this taken out on me.

The easiest thing would be not to love them wouldn’t it or we just wouldn’t put up with what we do.

I am not going to mention anything now just enjoy the Christmas period with my kids and leave them to it.

As she hasn’t spoke to me for 12 months now even to say hello its going to be hard if she is sat round the table on Christmas day but maybe I have to just be adult and say happy Christmas.

Thanks for your comments they do help 