Good morning everyone, I've just discovered this forum and was hoping I could get some words of wisdom by those here who may have found themselves in the same boat.
I've been with my partner for 7 years, he is absolutely wonderful and our relationship is amazing. He has two kids, SD 16 and SS 14. I have two daughters of my own aged 12 and 14. For the past few years we have both had our kids week on week off. I should preface this post by giving some background on their BM. My partner was the one who ended their marriage and she has never gotten over it - hasnt' formed a new relationship, still quite obsessed with him and very bitter. Despite numerous visits to Relationships Australia and several counsellors, she has remained unable to move on from her bitterness attached to my partner leaving her and the family unit, and the kids (SD in particular) have been elevated to the level of partner and friend in her house, hence they have no rules to follow and no discipline - she essentially treats them like her flatmates, not her kids. She is unable to agree with him on basic rules and they have virtually no co-parenting relationship. An example of how bad this has been at times
My relationship with SD started out well as I was so determined to turn the "evil stepmum" idea on its head that I bent over backwards, taking her shopping, decorating her room, buying her makeup, helping with homework assignments, you name it. However a few years ago issues started to creep in. She was becoming lazy, withdrawn, a complete mess ( I would find used tampons/pads stuffed into her desk drawers for example) and food/ants everywhere in her room. She's been through a period of stealing makeup and skincare items from my bathroom, stealing money from us, etc. I have had discussions with her to try and let her know we are here for her and overcome these issues as I really believed we could, however whenever my partner would discipline her she would just disappear and go to her BM's house where she knew she could hide without consequence. This happened regularly over numerous incidents, the latest one being August this year when I discovered she had borrowed a very sentimental, irreplaceable item of mine and lost it. I sat her down and told her how upset it made me but made it clear I was willing to talk it through with her. To avoid this, she disappeared back to mums, told her father she would be staying there from now on as I was making her "mentally ill" and she couldn't stand our house anymore. I haven't seen her since, her dad catches up briefly with her once or twice a week as he is desperate to try and keep the relationship going.
Recently we decided to get married. When my partner informed SD, she told him she would love to come to the wedding. However, she expects she can just show up (and it is not just a few hours, it is a 2 day family event/trip away) without trying to make some amends first. My partner has told her that she really needs to try and make amends if she expects to come, but i know he is desperate to have her there even if she doesnt - but honestly, I know if she doesn't take positive steps towards trying to rebuild a relationship first it will ruin my day if she is there. Any advice? The wedding is only 2 months away.