Its me again still looking for more advise!

hoakie2601June 19, 2007

Ok most of you have read my post. I have posted in different areas here. My latest!!

As you have read I went with my husband on a vacation to take care of the remains of his former wife. And I believe I have mentioned he has 2 step daughters by that wife that he considers his own. The yongest of those 2 is 32 years old with serious problems.

She did not make the trip to attend the activities to honor her mother. She claimed it was going to be too emotional for her to relive again. She is 4 hours from where her mothers remains where buried and 8 hours from our home. Following the service we get a call from the person that was watching our house telling us that she was at our house. She knew we where not home. She planned on coming into our home and taking what she wanted out of the home. Pretty much robbing us. She told my husband she came here to say good bye to her mother. He told her her mother was with him in another state. After she was asked to leave our home she called our house setter a few choice names and went into our front yard and screamed at the top of her lungs "This is my mom house".

Everyone knew what her intent was. It was to rob us and make it look like an actually robbery because we would have all thought she was in the state she lives in. Needless to say my husband is mad. He does not want to talk to her right now because he will go off. But he says that when he calms down he will talk to her and let it slide. How do I handle this. As I have said before I dont want her in my home (which she feels is her mothers home not mine) but her father is willing to let this slide. I feel it is a major issue.


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I think you've just paid every "due" anyone in your situation could possibly be expected to pay. If it hasn't ended with that, you'll have to bring it to an end. You decide when, of course, but I would suggest now. Right now.

People die all the time. Normal people who loved them grieve for a while and then get on with life. What you've described is pushing the envelope but you've done well with it.

IMHO, this incident just upped the ante. No, it doesn't slide. Step daughter is history. Let her heal on her own time -- and away from you. The situation you just endured is unconventional. You capitulated entirely to your husband's wishes in order to support him. If even that wasn't enough and this isn't the end of it, perhaps you'd better make your own ending. Don't let this nonsense continue.

Ask your man if he wants to be a widow or a husband. Listen to his answer and act from there.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 11:59PM
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Hi Hoakie

I am glad you survived the "ashes trip". You did well, you should be proud of yourself.

Now, your current predicament. Well, I don't see how you can do anything about the step daughter. I would just wait and see what happens.

She is obviously having a difficult time dealing with the death of her mother, but that is not in your control, and she does not appear to want your help.

However, perhaps your DH can assist her in that area. Can he help her come to terms with it all, or point her in the right direction.

What is going on in her life, does she have a family, is anyone relying on her ? She is focusing on herself.

I went to listen to the Dalai Lama, on Saturday, he was in our part of the world. Someone asked him how you deal with the death of a loved one. He said that the best thing you can do is to be happy and get on with your life, because that is what the "loved one" would want you to do. He said there is no point in being sad, that is just for you.

All the best to you, Hoakie.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 3:17AM
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I am hoping your husband sees what happened the same way that you do. But, I would like to know, are you thinking that the daughter was going to clean you out of house and home, or just take some of her mother's personal things that maybe she was too embarrassed (or mad?) to ask for? Obviously, still stealing, though. But I may give her the benefit of the doubt if she just wanted some pictures or a dress, and didn't want to have to run into you. It seems this family can't deal with death well.

Bottom line, your husband is the one you have to deal with. Crazy relatives are everywhere; the way your husband chooses to deal (or not) with them is what you have to live with. For some odd reason, he is so fasinated with his deceased wife, I doubt he will turn on the daughter, right?

I think you need to re-evaluate what is really going on. Could it be that your husband is still so very much in love with his deceased wife, too much so to have a new wife, and his actions are hurting your marriage? Personally, I would think about giving him some alone time to grieve...yes, move out for a while. Hopefully that will bring him to his senses. Don't confuse "being a saint" and "being supportive" with letting someone walk all over and take advantage of you, and, yes, even control you. I think your husband needs someone to be around and may be taking advantage of your giving nature. Although it's still a little fresh; his wife did die a while ago, he shouldn't be doing this to you. Quit making excuses for him. From what you wrote, I'm not really sure your husband's actions suggest that he loves you. What does he do for you, and does he ever care about 'your' feelings on any of these matters?

I'd have a nice long talk with him and explain that you too have feelings about him and his feelings about his wife. If he still treats you as if his feelings mean everything and that yours aren't important, that should tell you what you need to know.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 11:15AM
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Here is a different perspective. My husbands mother died a few years before we met. She knew her husband(my FIL) would remarry right away and she was ok with that. She even wanted him to have someone. However, on her death bed she request that when her remarrys she does not want his new wife in there home. She asked that they sell the house and buy one of their own. Well he did remarry within a few months. He did not buy a new home. His kids and my DH were VERY angry. Not only did my FIL break his promise but his kids consider this there home with mom. What your step daughter did was wrong. She is probably really angry that you live there. I think you and your DH need a new home. Not only would it be best for the kids and your relationship with them but this house represents the life of that family. Its time to start a new life in a new home!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 11:44AM
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I think the op addressed the house issue on a different post. I totally agree with you, and it sounds like they "may' be thinking of selling it, but I'm not too sure much will materialize unless she really pushes the issue with him.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 12:34PM
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I dunno - it doesn't sound like the stepdaughter was trying to rob you. It sounds like she wanted time with her mother in her mother's home and she probably wanted some things that had belonged to her mother - as I think you mentioned on another thread that she knows you are trying to get her mother's things 'put away' so you can 'move on' with her stepfather without all of the reminders of his deceased wife. It just seems like you're primed to jump to the worst conclusion about her regardless?

Her screaming at the top of her lungs that this is her mother's house suggests that she wasn't there to steal anything - to her, it IS her mother's house. Yes, she has problems - but using those problems as an excuse to dismiss her pain is wrong on your part. I don't know how you can reach her - but I think your DH needs to try. The stepdaughter probably feels completely helpless - the ONLY claim she had on her mother's house or belongings is through a man who isn't even her natural father (and maybe he doesn't think much of her either) - she probably feels like she has no control over what happens... because her mom is gone.

I don't think your DH has had enough time to grieve. I think he jumped into a relationship right after his wife died with someone else and then right after that he jumped into something with you (you left out that he'd been with one person before you in the six months after his wife died before he met you). He sounds like he was using relationships with other women to put off grieving - hence I believe it is very safe to say that he hasn't actually grieved.

So saying that a year and a half has gone by or whatever really means nothing if he didn't actually grieve during most of that time. And it's harder to truly grieve when you are afraid that grieving will make you lose the support system (or crutch) you got so you wouldn't *have* to feel so much pain when you did grieve.

I agree that you probably need to distance yourself for a while and let him handle the situation with his stepdaughter. You're making all of these assumptions about her and what her intentions are - but I am not sure that you can see the situation clearly enough - because you don't know her and have only even known of her for a little over a year - and what you have been able to see is ONLY her actions after her mother's death. Death can affect people in strange ways - and clearly the girl has issues - which have likely only been exacerbated by her mother's death.

The reality is, the man has to grieve... and so does his stepdaughter. It's no fun for you, but well - you chose this.

I too am wondering if you aren't fearful that he doesn't love you as much as you hope he does - and whether that is driving some of the insecurity I see in your posts.

Maybe you could step back and let him grieve and clear up these issues on his own? I still think you need to see a counselor... immediately. Try a grief counselor - if for nothing else, he/she might help you understand the stages of grief and how people tend to grieve. That way you can help facilitate the grieving process rather than trying (in futility) to limit it or prematurely cut it off.

Take a look at the book: "How to get over the loss of a love"... it details the grieving process in nice detail. It helped me when I was grieving the loss of a love.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 1:05PM
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I just wanted to show that others have been in similar situations. Pain is a difficult emotion to deal with. Anger is much easier. My (step)MIL takes alot of crap from my FIL's kids(adults). Im sure the OP does too and will continue to. Even though the topic of buying a new home was posted previously, i believe it will atleast reduce many future arguments.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 2:11PM
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I see more of the same ahead. Hope I'm wrong.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 2:16PM
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So often, where you sit determines what you see.

If I were in your shoes, I would be equally angry that this adult stepdaughter violated my personal space/home by sneaking in when she knew that we were out of town. And that she had the "audacity" to do so would make me feel if it was not really my home...but my husbands and his family. I would feel like a guest, and never feel like it was actually mine. And the truth is, it is not actually "yours" and may very well, never be.

Because if you look at this from "their" perspective, this home actually does represent "their family" and the life memories they built there as a family. You are in their "mothers home" and that must be painful for them. Can you try and see this from the perspective of your own family. I do not know if your parents are together, or alive, but can you imagine if you will, that they are, and the pain that if you lost your mom, another woman moving into her home, sleeping in her bedroom, cooking in her kitchen, relaxing in her family room, etc. Most of us are pretty healthy emotionally, and yet I think most of us would have trouble coming to peace with "that" senario. It would be a painful reminder of the loss of the parent who "belongs" in that home. Even as adults, when we reflect back on family memories, and our childhood homes, the memories would become too painful, because along with the sorrow of loosing a mother, we would have to deal with the raw and painful emotions that another woman has taken not only her place, but has also taken over her home, and intruded upon, and tainted the memories of their childhood family home. They cannot fondly "remember" because the complex feelings of warmth and sorrow are now intermixed with the bitterness of another woman in this sacred place called "home" for them. Looking at this from the viewpoint of you (a grown woman) and "your parents" - well, can you begin to understand?????

If your DH is close to these girls, he should consider whether he is able to "let go" of this home, and buy a home that represents "your" marriage and life together. Is he financially able to do this? Once he comes to a personal decision on what he is able to do, he needs to decide what he is "willing" to do. If he is actually willing to sell the home, and buy something else...then before he does so, he should talk to his daughters about it. He should tell them that he understands how painful this is for them, and would they feel better if the house were sold, and you and he lived elsewhere. He may find that it is the right thing to do, or he may find that they are willing to respect your right to feel it is "your" home now, and be OK with him keeping the house, and letting you make it "yours" with paint, furniture, etc.

Perhaps it would help him to talk to a counselor to work through the grief of loosing his wife, and to come to peace over the fact that he has started a new life. Perhaps a new home would help him move forward, and the memories would not haunt him so. I imagine he too has mixed feelings about another woman living in "their" home. Perhaps he moved on too quickly, due to the shock of being alone, and now he is conflicted with grief, guilt, love (for you), love for his daughters, etc.

Remember again, that where you sit determines what you see. That where you sit, determines the perspective that is drawn. Friends in your shoes, would see this from your perspective, and be angry too. Friends that have lost their mother, and had their father remarry, and move the woman into their "mothers home"...thereby replacing their beloved mom, will see this from the perspective of a daughter or son, and feel their pain. You are in a hard place, perhaps through no fault of your own. Try not to take it personally, because they would feel the same way no matter what woman took the place of their beloved "mom".

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 3:08PM
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First of all. No she is not allowed to enter our home if we are not here. She has taken many things from this house in the past when her mother was alive. The day she passed away she took her mother diamond engagement ring and took the diamond out of the setting and pawned it. On many ocassions she would take things from the house and ask a neighbor to hold them for her. The neighbor would bring them back and give them to my husband. This is also a person that when I met her in her home state I was told by 3 different people to make sure my purse was locked in the trunk of the car because she would help herself to it. This the house that she shared with her mother and stepfather when she was younger but if she can not respect things and leave them alone until her stepfather is ready to give them to her than she is not allowed in the house alone. All the other kids and stepkids are welcome in the house any time.
The major point here is she drove 8 hours here when she knew we where in MS paying respect to her mother when she could have drove 4 hours to MS herself and done the same. But she came here with intentions to take what she wanted out of the house and make it look like a robbery. No she did not have key to the house but she knew where the spare key was kept.

We know that she wants an entire angel collection that my DH collected with his deseased wife. He has told her that when she proves herself stable she can have a couple of them. In the last year she has lived in 5 different homes and been arrested 4 different times. The way my husband looks at it one of 2 things will happen to them. The will let left when she has to suddenly move again or she will pawn them for money. She is not willing to give them to her yet. She figured she would come and take them along with what ever else she wanted.
We are in the process of getting the house ready to sell but as you all know the market stink right now. We have houses in our neighborhood that have been on the market for a year. So the chances of selling right away are slim. She took noithing out of the house because she was stopped before she was able to. But she invaded our privacy with the intent to be without our knowledge.
As for my husband I am working on that he knows my feelings. We work on our marriage like everyone else he just happened to bring a lot of baggage with him to this. I brought much less!!


    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 3:40PM
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Well, it sounds like you've made up your mind about her and she clearly does have issues. What is her relationship with her stepfather? Is he like a father to her? Or not? That probably will help us all understand the relationship.

I think this sentence bothered me a little: "This the house that she shared with her mother and stepfather when she was younger but if she can not respect things and leave them alone until her stepfather is ready to give them to her than she is not allowed in the house alone."

The problem I have with this is that IF the stepfather wasn't like a father to her - then what right does he have to deny her things that were her mother's? If he's concerned that she'll pawn it or what-have-you I can understand that, but even then... has he removed himself from caring about her? Does he do anything with her? Visit her? What I mean is - does he have a fatherly relationship with her? Does SHE look to him as a father?

If not - then I can see how she has a sense of entitlement where her mother's things are concerned. She probably doesn't think that he looks at her like a real daughter - and thus she cannot trust him to give her things that belong to her mother.

It's highly possible that I'm giving her too much credit - BUT - I really don't think that she should be denied access to some of her mother's things - things that were likely around before the stepfather even came into the picture.

If he's withholding things because he doesn't want her to pawn her mother's things for HER sake, then I agree that she should have to wait until she is more stable. But if he's withholding because HE doesn't want her to do what she wishes with what she gets - then I think that is wrong.

What's your DH's relationship with this stepdaughter? Does he consider himself her father? Does he have a relationship with her that's more than superficial?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 5:19PM
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He has raised her since she was 8 years old. He considers her his daughter not his step daughter. She is now living in another state close to her real father. Also when her mother passed away and was cremated she wanted some of the ashes to keep for herself. Something I feel is very morbid but whatever. She has part of her mother that is more special than anything else she could have. Before she did this she called him about every 2 days or he called her. He has not heard from him since she did this. Her som called on fathers day to wish him a happy fathers day and she got on the phone for a second to say happy fathers day. No he has not called her, he wants to get over the anger he feels right now. He does not want to call her and argue with her about this.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 7:16PM
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I am a will, trust & probate attorney. So my clients are often grieving family members. We keep boxes of Kleenex all over. Its startling to see people crying for a distant aunt or uncle but sometimes it turns out they are also grieving for all the other people they have lost. The stages of grief include anger as well. People will fight over junk because it means something to them.
I would bet the stepdaughter wanted some time in the house to herself, so she could pretend Mom is still alive. The husband has it set up like a shrine--that makes it easier. She feels like its still her house. How do you feel about the house you grew up in?
I have had clients come in to try and stop a Mom or Dad from remodeling a family home 10 years after the death of the spouse. Apparently moving on and getting a life has not ocurred to them. They want it like it used to be.
Hoakie, you are in a tough spot. Just remember you have two choices--try to be charming and gracious or risk coming off like the wicked stepmother. They don't have "Wicked Stepmother" cards by Hallmark.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 7:52PM
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With the pawning of her mothers engagement ring, it does not appear that she wants her mothers things for sentimental reasons. How did her siblings feel about her taking their mothers ring and then pawning it? Since your husband is ready to sell the house, I think if I were in your shoes, I would do what ever needed to be done and get the house on the market. Yes, the market is slow, but there are always people who need a home, and will buy one. Perhaps yours will be the one that someone will want. Look into the "staging" ideas, or the people who do this for a living, to make one house sell, while the others just sit. If it were not for this daughter, would you and your husband still want to sell? Since the other daughters seem OK with everything, and come over with no problems, is it just a matter of making sure that that daughter has no access to a key? If she breaks in, would she not do the same at a new home?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 8:15AM
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The daughter clearly has issues and may never be stable. Has the other daughter been give the opportunity to have some of her mother's things, if so then this daughter should be given the same opportunity. What she does with them is her choice. They are after all just things.

My mother died when I was two my dad remarried when I was five, eleven and again when I was twenty one. My dad and grandmother carefully packed away boxes and boxes of my mothers things and her jewelry box was put in a safe deposit box for me. When I turned eighteen I was given the key. I went to the bank and took a few rings and some costume jewelry I knew I wasn't ready for the rest of the things (it wasn't much more than her engagement ring, his wedding band and a beautiful watch). I wear the wedding band as my own to this day, it was twenty five years ago that my husband put it on my finger and I've had the ring turned into a pendant I cherish my mother's things and her jewelry. I still have that jewelry box and sometimes when I'm having a bad day and wished I'd had her to talk to I open it just to touch things I know she loved and wore to be close to her. I have never known the pain of losing her but I do know the pain of not knowing her and having her in my life.

If it were me I'd allow her to come to the house to have a visit with her stepdad and let them pick out some things for her to have. What she does with them is her business she will live with the guilt if she sells them for drugs or leaves them behind when she moves.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 3:12PM
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Wow. This is quite a saga. What jumps up for me is not so much this girl missing her mother (which I'm sure she does) but the fact that she has broken and continues to break the law. Hoakie, do you have a Tough Love chapter near you? I suggest you look them up and attend a meeting with your husband. This girl has addiction problems and behavior problems. These meetings will be a godsend if you can find one. And if your husband won't go, go by yourself. Just my 2 cents.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 8:27PM
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