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SD14 ruining relationship with partner

Reluctant_Stepmother's picture

This is my first post on this forum. I have read everyone's stories with interest and can identify with the similarities. I have 3 step children, two of whom are teenagers. The SS18 is a lovely kid and a delight to be around. He studies hard and is now at university. We get on well. The bad news is that my SD14 is a very different character and we don't get on. She lives in another country to us and visits regularly, often for extended periods of time during the school holidays. She's a bad house guest in my home, doesn't help with chores and leaves mess everywhere including dirty tissues. She's very rude towards me and ignores me, pretending not to speak English even though I know she can. She is very clingy with her dad and clicky with him when she visits us. My fiance told me that she can do whatever she wants in our flat or else she won't come any more. The distance between me and her is great which suited me fine before my son was born in March of this year and I've been on maternity leave ever since. Now we are thrown together 24/7 when she visits and I can't escape to work or the gym like I used to. I know that she's a typical teenager and messed up kid who hates me but I can't face the rest of my life like this as I'm so unhappy. My fiance can't see things from my point of view and does nothing to help the situation. Last time she visited, I escaped to my parents' place which is a 5 hour drive away (difficult when you have a baby who needs a bottle feed every couple of hours). I don't want to throw everything my fiance and I have built together away plus we have a baby together but I feel that the situation is not fair on me at all and my life is ruled and had been completely ruined by a 14 year old. 

tog redux's picture

Well, it's your partner that's the real issue here, but you know that.  He's made clear that her happiness is much more important to him than yours - so you can decide to tough it out a few more years (since she lives in another country, she's not likely to end up living with you past 18 - I hope) or leave, those seem to be your choices. 

Once your child is older and COVID is over, will you return to work?  Can you just ignore her and make your partner pick up after her for the times she's there?

ETA: I should add - her happiness and HIS happiness is much more important to him. God forbid he has to endure the anxiety of his kid not liking him for being a parent.

Reluctant_Stepmother's picture

Yes I feel as if SD is the priority and he just doesn't care about me or our baby who is 7 months old. It makes me so angry at times. I'm back to work in March next year but working from home until further notice. I've stopped picking up after her now. Her dad can deal with all that as I have a baby to care for full time. I've told my fiance that I don't want her living with us full time. I don't want to invite trouble into my life (I didn't say that to him using those words.) He's pretending to be okay with it and that she will be better off with her mother. Thanks for your comments which I agree with. 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

I have an idea! Tell SD how you really feel about her behavior. Don't hold back. But tell her in English. Watch her try to decide whether to play the victim or keep up the ruse that she isn't deliberately excluding you. 

Reluctant_Stepmother's picture

That's right, I feel excluded in my own home. I would like to discuss this issue with her. Sometimes I think maybe another woman would be less tolerant than myself but I'm a very patient person and I love DH a lot plus we have a child together. 

Rags's picture

None of that mitigates the crap dished out by a toxic Skid, or any toxic kid for that matter.

Confront the crappy behavior. Every time.

Zero tolerance.

Winterglow's picture

About the language barrier - the problem is, as is often the case, with your SO. If he made the effort to speak in English she would too. Few teens will make the effort to speak in another language as long as they have someone to talk to in their own language. He needs to stop catering to her for that.

Maybe present it as a HUGE advantage for her to be able to learn English in an English-speaking household (i.e. the most naturally and painlessly possible) when so many other kids would give their eye teeth to do that. Also point out that many parents spend absolute fortunes for their kids to be able to immersion-learn English...

Reluctant_Stepmother's picture

Yes you are right. DH caters to her a lot. I think she is lucky being in such a multi lingual household. I also speak Spanish and took her to my second home in Spain last year where she sulked for a week, complaining that the weather was too hot! We are paying heaps for her International School but she has opted for German this year for some reason. It feels like another excuse to get failing results again (sigh). I will try to encourage her more in English in the future. 

Winterglow's picture

Or you could split it down the middle (this is done by many bilingual families), she speaks to you in English and to her father in French ... but she MUST speak to you nevertheless. Conversations between the three of you should be in English because when in Rome ...

Reluctant_Stepmother's picture

Good idea. She must speak to me in A language and not ignore me for over 2 years as she has been doing or, weirdly, speak to me through her dad as she did over the summer if she felt like communicating with me at all. 

Winterglow's picture

Note that this all comes down to her father not doing his job right - he should never have allowed her to speak to you through him from the very start.