what would you do???

coolmamaJanuary 2, 2007

My husband got into an arguement with his daughter(she is 14) who doesnt live with us because she only ever calls to ask him for money.Never,how are you,I miss you,I'd like to get together...

Just,dad,I need 20 dollars.

So,she hasnt called him literally ALL year long.Then,a week before Christmas she calls to ask when he was sending her presents.

Well,because she hasnt called all year,we didnt get her any presents. My husband has other daughters who live in another state very far away,and they manage to call him at least once a week just to chat.We dont feel like we should get this other daughter presents when it's obvious she doesnt really want a relationship with my husband.

he has tried everything to have a relationship with her.He called her all the time and it sounded like he was playing 20 questions cuz she always only gave one word anwsers.

We have asked her to come over on vacations and she says she has other plans (and her mom tells us she doesnt)

Just wondering what anyone else would do if this was your kid and treated you like this?

My husband is irratated and he says he plans on telling her that he loves her,and if she wants a relationship then he's willing to give her one,but to stop looking at him like he's nothing more then Bank of America or daddy worbucks.

We dont have that much money as is,so we spent our hard earned money on presents for people who actually show that they care.

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First, I feel so sorry that your husband and his daughter are so estranged. It is terribly difficult to grow a close relationship with someone who is far away and I think that is especially true for parent/child relationships. It would simply break my heart (and probably my mind) to be in his situation.

I would just say that I understand how you feel about the girl's apparent view of her dad as a dispenser of goodies rather than a real person AND your lack of enthusiasm about buying her a gift. HOWEVER, I have a problem with the idea that a "gift" is given in response to a proper attitude on someone's part. That implies that it is not so much a "gift" as a reward for acceptable behavior - it's conditional and, therefore, a means of controlling the receiver's behavior. I feel very strongly that gifts should be given without strings on either end. A gift, once given, becomes the sole property of the person to whom it is given. And a gift is given to express one's generosity and warm feelings toward the receiver, not to reward or repay. Just my opinion...I have some pretty strong feelings about those who compare the price of gifts or feel insulted by a gift that was not expensive enough but this isn't the place, I guess.

By refusing to give a gift to this daughter I fear that your husband may be cutting off the one opportunity he has to express his caring and desire for a relationship with his daughter. While he should NOT give her a gift because she demands one, I think, in his place, I probably would give her a gift because she's my child. It might not be the gift she had in mind; I'd be trying to communicate my feelings rather than to fill her shopping list. And, given the circumstances as they are now, I would not expect gratitude or a sudden change in attitude. But, one would hope, in the future she might look back and realize that the gifts from her father came sincerely from his heart and meant a great deal more than the money involved.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 11:16AM
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She's 14 for cryin' out loud! She's a baby!...Buy her presents! He should be calling her!! and even if she doesn't carry on a conversation he should call!....or he should give up any parental rights...or pretense of those rights.
Parents should love their children UNCONDITIONALLY....that means even when they do something awful you still love them.
But not to buy Christmas gifts for your 14 year old daughter is just too too petty.
You don't give a gift to your child in hopes that they will talk to you, but because you love them.
Perhaps you and your husband need to re assess what it means to be a parent.
Linda C

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 11:59AM
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The previous posters said it better than I could. At 14, she's little more than a child. Gifts aren't earned - they are from the heart.

I have a grown son who rarely calls me. This Christmas he did not come for dinner because he is angry with his brother. I called him, chatted, and mailed him a monetary gift with a card.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 12:48PM
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Ditto what is said above....

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 1:17PM
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I appreciate all responses although I still do not agree. And because it is our life,we will do what we feel is best. You dont have a bad attitude and not call for a YEAR and then expect to be rewarded,sorry.
Exspecially when he sent her birthday presents in May as well and was never even offered a THANK YOU.
If someone cant at least say thank you for the things we give them,and cant even call,then it is our feeling they shouldnt continue to get things. Maybe that makes us a harsher parent then the rest of you,but It's just the way we feel.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 4:48PM
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I would not buy her a gift anymore, too much effort that is obviously not appreciated, I would send her card with a minimum amount of money in it, like $20 in lieu of a gift. It is a big deal to have your birthday forgotten when you are 14.
Also something to think about... Does your husband call her? Or is he the kind of relative that doesn't realize the phone dials both ways. I have relatives that do this, kind of makes you feel really ignored when you are the one that always has to call them.
Yes, she should thank you for the gifts, and her mom should make her thank you and her Dad. But 14 year olds can be very difficult. Maybe in lieu of a gift, he should offer to take her shopping to pick something out, or take her to lunch somewhere instead of money.
If she is still acting like this out of high school, then you can cut the gift wagon. If they don't know manners by 18, they never will.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 5:10PM
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You posted asking for advice. The title of your thread is "What would you do"....several people told you what they would do and what they thought you should do.
You say you will do what you please. Then why did you ask?
Linda C

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 7:13PM
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Yes,klimkm,my husband called her all the time as I mentioned in my post it was always like playing 20 questions. He would try everything to get her to talk to him and she doesnt give him anything to go on.That is why we finally decided to not give her a gift,because it has been such a slap in the face for him to be treated like this by her.
We have also had issues with her abusing our 8 year old daughter.Two occasions where she hurt her pretty badly.Once she punched my daughter in the back of the head for seemingly no reason in a grocery store.Once she grabbed her by the shirt and then let go and my daughter went flying and smashed her head into a wall.
My daughter has an illness,where things like that could put her the hospital for days.So after these events happend,I told my husband he should have a relationship with her by himself and not with me or our other daughter around.
He went to all of her soccer games,called her several times a week,and she just snubs him everytime.
Believe me,we arent just with holding gifts to be mean,it is a last resort to get through to her that she cannot treat other people the way that she does.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 7:16PM
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I did not act rude of tel anyone not to post,I simply said that we feel how we do.I appreciate the responses,but in the stepfamilies part of this forum I got quite a different response.Just wanted different perspectives,and points of views. Of course I didnt add in everything as maybe I should have that his daughter is also very abusive.
Frankly I'm appauled any teenager who should know better would ever put their hands on a child so much smaller then them with the intent to hurt them.And after continuous tries,we are just at our wits end.It isnt JUST his daughter not talking to him,it has been many things.The money thing is really just icing on the cake.
Although KLIMKM~I agree just sending like 20 dollars or something may be a good idea.
As I said before I do appreciate the responses.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 7:24PM
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A 14 y/o that is abusive obviously has alot of anger built up. This could, in part, be due to the estrangement between father and daughter, whether it can be helped or not. At that age kids take everything so personal, and it's also an "all about me" world during those years. And she is probably very jealous of her half sister that sees dad every day.

I feel sorry for her.. no presents from dad on Xmas? No counseling for her problems? Any kid would be pretty angry, unhappy and unappreciative.

Having said all that, there's no way any of us can know all the indepth going's on from only a few paragraphs. Coolmama, as wife of that child's father, I hope you can put your own daughter in that girl's place, find some empathy and guide her father to do what's right. Even in our house, with our 14 y/o daughter it's the same thing... 20 questions and 1 word answers. The thing is, girls are very moody at time's, and given the chance, they'll talk up a storm and you'll learn lots! But it takes time to build up a trust to be privy to even the simpliest of every day conversations. I don't think she should have to be a "good girl" to get love and attention.

Sometimes, as parents, we think because we do the responsible thing, attending their events as your husband did and, etc., then we should be rewarded by loving caring appreciative children... and we should! But, it might take alot of work. Lots and lots, week after week, month after month. Any child deserves that much.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 9:56PM
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We have tried for a very long time...what else can I say? I have mentioned twice now how hard my husband has tried.If there is any estrangement,it was not on his part.
His daughter was going to move in with us last summer.The only reason she didnt,is because of the abuse she kept doing to my daughter.I was terrified to leave them alone even for 5 minutes thinking she'd seriously harm my daughter and put her in the hospital.Both times she has hit my daughter,my daughter ended up getting a migraine (which she does not have in her head,she has in her stomach and vomits profusely for days)Then my daughter has to go to the hospital and scream while they hold her down and give her needles. My daughter has known more pain then ANY child her age should have to know!!!
So I guess it is hard for me to have sympathy for his daughter after we bend over backwards to please her and she treats us this way.
If she is jealous she needs to get over it,as I said, my daughter has been in and out of the hospital since she was 2.For the longest time we didnt even know what was wrong with her.She missed lots of school because of it.It even put a wedge between me and my husband for a while because things were so crazy.My daughter has a hard life.
And to me,there is no excuse for hitting a child that is not only 50 times smaller,but sick!
And if any of you really think you wouldnt feel the same way if some person was threatning the life of your child,then you havent been put in the position yet like I have.
The girl even beats on her younger brother that she lives with at her mom's house.AND HE'S 5!!!!
No,we cant put her in therapy because her mom is in denial and she doesnt live with us,so what really can we do?
We have only come to this descion after YEARS of her doing these things.
Next time maybe I will send like 20 dollars like KLIMKM suggested. But we will not go out of our way anymore.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 11:05PM
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Its obviously a very difficult situation for all concerned.

The girl obviously has many issues, and they are not being addressed.

You have tried to include her in your life.

But her dad must maintain ties with her, must phone, must send cards, gifts, simply because he is her father. He does this purely because he is her father, and he is responsible for her, no matter where she lives.

Does he want to look back on these years, and say "yep I did the right thing, it was hard, but I did all I could and I did my best" or will he look back and say "I wish I had done this and that".

She is a child, she acts like a child.

You must think about your behaviour and dignity and act accordingly, if other people aren't pulling their weight, like the mother of the child, then there really is nothing you can do about it.

Try not to blame....just do what is right.

Take a deep breath and relax.

All the best.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 2:12AM
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Hmm,I for one agree with coolmama.I wouldnt put up with someone not even saying "Thank you".They have to teach her somehow.You know the saying,
"If you dont displine your kids society will"
How terrible for you that she hits your daughter who is ill! That is very disturbing,and sounds like she needs some mental help.I wouldnt trust her around your child either.
Sounds like you and your husband have done alot,so dont let anyone get you down about it.Not everyone has great relationships with their kids/parents. You cant really do much until she comes around anyways.
But keep her away from your daughter,how tramatizing that must have been for her!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 2:27AM
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Thanks popi and sherilyn08...Sherilyn08,it has been tramatizing for my daughter.
My husband's daughter....no one ever disaplines her.She gets whatever she wants all the time.We are trying to show her that bad behavior does not warrant rewards.Yes,I know lindakimy said a gift is supposed to be no strings attached.But when someone has done that many things that are wrong,maybe you dont feel like giving them a gift.
I for one NEVER reward my own daughter for bad behavior with gifts.
Sherilyn08,I really appreciate the support.There is alot more to this story besides me just being an evil step mother.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 2:42AM
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I'm a teenager and I dont see the big deal.So you didnt give her a present one time,big whoop.I would never dream of hitting my younger brother or sister like that.When you are that old you are supposed to love your little siblings.I mean,I babysit kids,dont beat on em.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 3:10AM
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Hi,I'm dating this girl who has a kid and we are about to have one of our own.I think I'd be pretty mad if her kid was physically hurting the one we are about to have.Everyone seems so offended about not giving her a present,well it doesnt sound like she deserves one.
My brother is like that with our dad.No matter what he does,it just never seems like enough for my brother.Even now that we are not kids he still acts like that and it makes me mad he treats my dad like crap.I dont agree with others that say he should call her no matter what or give up his rights. The phone works both ways.Believe me,when she really wants to have him in her life,she will call HIM.Seems like he has done all he can up to this point.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 3:58AM
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I just want to say also,that the child's mom does all she can to turn her daughter against my husband.
He was never married to BIO-mom.They only dated briefly when he was very young.She got pregnant on PURPOSE.He told her he didnt want anymore kids because he already had twins. But she knew he wanted to break up so she trapped him by getting pregnant on purpose.
Then when he broke up with her,she said,"You will never see your daughter again" and took her and left.
My husband comes from a very poor family where most cant even READ! He wasnt taught about birth control.And he didnt have the money or knowledge to find his ex to see his daughter.
When I met and married him he didnt know where she was.
A few years after we were married and had our daughter,his ex of course shows up cuz now she decides she wants child support.So she HAS to let him see his daughter.
And he has been trying ever since to get to know her, make up for lost time,and that was about 6 years ago.He has CALLED,given her money,taken her places,bought her tons of presents,and she DOES NOT WANT ANYTHING TO DO WITH HIM!
So if anyone else is going to reply~Do not ask me if he calls her when I have said he does all the time!
WE have bent over backwards for this girl and all she does is hurt my daughter,and be rude and uncaring to her father.He has tried to know her,and she obviously doesnt want to know him.
There is no parent/child bond there,and it it isnt on his part.We are done trying.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 5:01AM
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"We are done trying."
So why bother asking for advice when you already decided to ignore any that is given?

I guess I don't see why this post was even made....

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 9:07AM
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it was made so I could vent and have some support!!! Which I got in the step parenting forum,obviously I will never post a problem to you guys again!!!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 5:31PM
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Let's try passing judgement on someone when you know nothing about them! Nice to know it's such a crime to not give a gift one time,yet nothing has been said for the fact this girl has been abusing my daughter and is bigger in height and weight then I'am!!!!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 5:41PM
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coolmama - Can't say I blame you for not wanting your stepdaughter to move in with you guys. What mother is gonna allow another to abuse their child? NONE! I hope.

Luckily your daughter DOES have someone to love and protect her. Stepdaughter is not so lucky and that's probably why she's so agressive. And you said it yourself.. her mother turns her against your husband so I have to remain with my first thoughts...... I feel terrible for that girl.

She is due child support, no one can dispute that one. And I would think it would only be a -natural- feeling to want to give at Christmas, birthdays, etc. whether she's appreciative or not. I think your husband does the right thing by attending her events even if she doesn't acknowledge him. The fact is she knows he's there.

I hope you guys don't throw her to the wolves.. her mother, or whoever it is that makes her life hell. Children aren't naturally mean... there's either a mental, emotional or medical problem. Who exactly is going to address that problem?

Something just gives me the feeling that she has no where to turn and knows it.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 8:10PM
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Yes,my husband pays his child support~even though he doesnt have to.Why doesnt he have to? Well,a while back bio-mom filed for child support and only had daughter living with her for two weeks.Just long enough to fool social services into believing she lived there.Meanwhile,daughter moves back in with grandfather.
So,my husband pays her child support for over a year,when daughter doesnt even live there! Grandfather gets a hold of husband and lets him know what is really going down.So husband contacts social services and they do an investigation.They of course close the child support case because they learn daughter doesnt and hasnt lived there.
Meanwhile we are told that this considered EXTORTION,and that we could actually press charges against bio-mom.
When bio-mom found daughter might be moving in with us,she swoops in has daughter live with her.
However,my husband has already tried to do the right thing and even though it is not "court ordered" he sends money to support the daughter anyways.
But daughter is a liar and plays mom and dad against each other.She told husband she would never move in with her mom after mom left her at grandfather's.Then she moves in and turns against my husband.
Only,then bio-mom calls husband and says daughter is doing very disturbing things to her other son.(Yet,she didnt believe us when we told her daughter was doing these things to OUR daughter)
Yes,I know her mom is a case.And I would be more then willing to take her into our home if she could only not do diobolical things.She also tortured our cat.
And because husband works 6 days a week,it would be left solely up to me to care for her...and I fear her.Not just for my daughter's safety,but my own. It may seem mean I mention she is overweight.But she also is taller then me,and has more then once shoved me or pushed me.I know if it came down to it,she may hurt me as well.
Husband will continue to "do the right thing" as far as support goes.Possibly even send 20 dollars for bday presents and what not.But our hands are pretty tied.
And moonie 57,I do appreciate your advice.I wasnt upset with you or popi or sherilyn08 and chrisrva.But Lindac and western luann were pretty rude and judgemental.I dont appreciate being told my husband and I are bad parents.We have been through alot and tried hard,and it was only after much consideration that we didnt give a christmas present.We arent big on Christmas anyways.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 11:57PM
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"But Lindac and western luann were pretty rude and judgemental.I dont appreciate being told my husband and I are bad parents."

I never said you were bad parents!
All I said was that I don't know why you posted when you shot down every suggestion and gave excuses as to why they wouldn't work.
I don't make posts unless I am open-minded to hear differing opinions. It seems that your mind was already made up.
That's all... nothing rude or judgmental. I just don't see why you SAY want opinions then get mad when you got them.
Sorry you're upset...

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 8:38AM
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So, what we have here is this. OP has a history of negative feelings towards husband's child. This is a common occurance, for lots of deep psychological reasons that I'll not touch right now.

OP needs support, feels out of control, and so she selects a scenario in which no one can (or in her opinion should)take stepdaughter's side. She needs to be reassured that her desire to erase this child from her life is justified.

I would be interested in knowing, who pushes harder to exterminate the father/daughter relationship - the father, or the OP? In any case, coolmamma might consider that this same father is also fathering her own child, and it would be in the best interest of BOTH children for dad to be "father of the year" so that even coolmamma's child recognizes that "no matter what", daddy will love her and be there for her. This doesn't have to mean putting coolmamma's child in physical danger, nor does it mean sending expensive gifts. Rather, it can mean reaching out from the heart, (not going through the motions) - perhaps keeping a journal daily and giving it to the 14 year old next christmas. Or sending photos weekly. Never expecting returns, but always hoping; never being used but always keeping the door open for connection. There's a hurting child out there, for which YOU could make a difference on your terms, coolmamma. Indignance and pride are not your only options, nor are they actually good options at all.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 5:19PM
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Actually,I was open to KLIMKM's suggestion of sending like 20 dollars in lieu of a gift.And I was open to popi's suggestions.
I do not push to exterminate any relationship between SD and my husband.Didnt you read what I wrote about telling him he should have a relationship with her outside of me and my daughter? It was my suggestion to him since SD seems so hostile towards us.
For a while he did this,and it worked out ok.However,as I said,It seems BIO-MOM is the REAL reason for destroying their relationship here. BIO-mom hates my husband and says nothing but bad things about him to SD,in turn,SD is rude,aloof,and not intrested in my husband.
Amyfiddler,So please read ALL I write before posting that I indeed want step daughter out of his life!
I had often felt if he had more one on one time with her that maybe her hostility would fade,but it just isnt so,because bio-mom is set on turning SD against husband.
I failed to mention how things with SD were not so bad before she came back into the picture.(SD was living with her grandfather,NOT bio-mom)

Also,western luann,you didnt say I was a bad parent~but lindac pretty much did and everyone agreed with her.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 6:16PM
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I feel sorry for SD, she is in such a difficult spot.

But on the bright side she has her father and you to care about her.

I can't see that you can do much more that propose a short visit with the SD, she visits say once a week, month, or even just goes out for a meal with you all. Of course it is not acceptable for her to physically intimidate you or your child, and she should be made aware of this. Set some ground rules, perhaps. "This is what we do in our house, this is how we treat each other." Set a standard of behaviour that she must be aware of and stick to.

If you make her visit, contact, really nice, happy, show an interest in her, then you are doing the right thing.

I might just add, even in "normal" households there are problems of nasty behaviour in children. Just yesterday, my DD said she didn't like living with us.

I am sorry I haven't read all the posts, so I may have missed something.

Stick to the point, don't go off on tangents.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 6:30PM
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Two thirty-something guys read this post. (I thought since I am older, a different-generation perspective was in order.)

One said: Cool!"
The other said: "Seriously!"

I looked dumfounded and confused.

I was told: "Dude's got two chicks fighting over him!"

So much for a different perspective...

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 7:14PM
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help me out here....
You are married to a man, whom you said was raised in a disfunctional family. You said that at 13 his grandparents, who raised him were pushing him to drink and have sex. You said most of his family couldn't even read.
You said that he "got a girl pregnant" with twins, and the twins live far away and you don't see them often but when you do the relationship is good.
You also said that he is a father to the daughter currently being discussed, but was not any part of her life until a few years ago, when she stopped living with her grandparents and went to living with her mom.
You said that when that happened your husband was then obligated to pay child support. ( wondering what went on the first 7 years of that poor girl's life).
You also say that a 3rd ex of your husbands has now appeared on the scene and is pushing for contact with your husband, posted in a thread titled "surrounded by exes". In another thread you state that you have no health insurance and in still other threads you tell about your daughter and her serious medical conditions.
And you are complaining because youe husband's daughter has been verbally abusive to him because he didn't give her a Christmas present....and you think your husband is to be pitied for being maligned by that daughter for omitting a Christmas gift.
Seems to me there is a pattern developing here. If I were you and valued my marriage and the relationship with the father of my child, I would not be supporting uncaring and un feeling behavior on his part toward his other children and exes. I would encourage him to treat his other children and ex wives as I would want to be treated if I became an ex wife and my child one of his forgotten children.
I am sorry for you, you seem to have backed yourself into a corner and I don't see any way out.
I don't say you are a bad parent, but I do say you don't seem to have made the best choices.
Linda C

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 10:34PM
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Lindac~my husband has never been "married" to anyone but me.
These exes are women he only dated Briefly as a teenager.
My husband and I dont have health insurance,but our daughter does.
The first 7 years of his daughter's life (from what I'am told anyways,even by step daughter herself) were wonderful,because she loved her grandfather very much and he gave her everything he possibly could.
I dont think my husband should be pitied,but he does have 3 other daughters who are very well behaved,get good grades,and stay out of trouble.
I do think the situation has been somewhat unfair to him because I do not think it was his fault he never had a relationship with his daughter.
He in no way feels upset to pay his child support.He was glad because he finally knew where his daughter was after all those years.
Also,it is really only the one ex I have a problem with.The twins mother and I get along fine.We both have the children's best intrest at heart.After 11 years of being with my husband we have never so much as given a hairy eye ball.
Because the mother of his other daughter has blatantly tried to get over my husband,yeah,I have a little problem with that.
My husband made alot of mistakes when he was young,but since he has been with me,he has become much more responsible.

The biggest problem with getting together with his daughter,is that they live 3 and a half hours away.BIO-mom has been of no help with transportaion and refuses to even meet halfway.My husband has off one day a week at his job,so it is nearly impossible for him to drive down there and back in one day.
Western luann pa~that seems like it would be most guys reaction to this that are in their twenties and thirties,LOL.
Not that this makes a difference,but I'am 6 years younger then my husband.I admit the whole situation was a little hard to deal with when we first met.I had never dated anyone who had kids before.I have adjusted,and I'am still trying.I just get frustrated every once and a while...and I'am extremely over protective of my own child,which I'm sure you all can tell.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 1:52AM
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sorry about the going off in tangent thing...I think I have A.D.D.,so my thoughts are often scattered.

Just to be clear again,when I say EX,it is EX-Girlfriend.
My husband dated these women in his TEENS.

I'm the only wife he has ever had.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 5:03AM
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"We have also had issues with her abusing our 8 year old daughter.Two occasions where she hurt her pretty badly.Once she punched my daughter in the back of the head for seemingly no reason in a grocery store.Once she grabbed her by the shirt and then let go and my daughter went flying and smashed her head into a wall."

"then bio-mom calls husband and says daughter is doing very disturbing things to her other son.(Yet,she didnt believe us when we told her daughter was doing these things to OUR daughter)
Yes,I know her mom is a case.And I would be more then willing to take her into our home if she could only not do diobolical things.She also tortured our cat.
And because husband works 6 days a week,it would be left solely up to me to care for her...and I fear her.Not just for my daughter's safety,but my own. It may seem mean I mention she is overweight.But she also is taller then me,and has more then once shoved me or pushed me.I know if it came down to it,she may hurt me as well"

This goes way beyond a family dynamics problem.

I would urge you to urge your husband to get a psychiatric evaluation done on this girl, & meanwhile, protect yourselves.

I've lost my cousin, Cathy.

Her daughter, who was bigger than her & of whom she was afraid, became enraged one day & killed her.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 3:00PM
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So sorry to hear about your cousin....Yes,That is what I have been worried about all along! It is not normal behavior,and I wish everyone would understand what we are doing is for our daughter's own safety and to try to teach this girl something!

We've already told her mom what we think,that she needs counseling and to see a shrink.I guess bio-mom is living in denial about it,so until she wakes up,all we can do is stay away and protect our own daughter.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 11:01PM
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You say you wish everyone would understand, but if you go back and read your first post here you might see that we did not have anything like enough information to reach the conclusions you expected. We don't know you or your situation and few of us can read minds. In a forum like this you cannot expect anyone to understand (or even suspect) what you do not explain.

What you said was that you were not buying the child gifts for Christmas because she had not called her father all year. I don't think it's reasonable for you to be annoyed that our responses did not take into account information we did not have. If your step daughter is violent toward siblings or others, you have a much different problem than the one posed in your first post.

I still believe that gifts are given to express the loving feelings of the giver, not to reward or punish the reciever. But in a case such as the one you are now describing, withholding gifts to teach a lesson is hardly an adequate response. I don't think it will have any beneficial effect on your step daughter's behavior. It sounds as if her problems are much deeper and will require far more direct and extensive treatment.

Best wishes to you, your husband, your step daughter, and all your family. I do hope you will find a way to resolve all these problems positively.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 11:39PM
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How many children does your husband have, with how many diff. women?
Are you telling after the first one he still didn't know how it got here? What type of education and how much money does it take to realize the cause and effect of sex.
And what happened to him not wanting any more children, and now ya'll have one? Are we to assume you tricked him too?
Just checking because so far nothing has been any of his fault!!!!!
And his daughters mannners or "lack of" isn't just her mothers fault.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 8:18AM
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I saw beyond all this,because after I got to know him,he had the kindest heart of anyone I have met in my entire life. He helps other people all the time without so much as a thank you from them.If you were broke down on a freezing cold night,he'd give the shirt off his back and stay there until he got your car running.

He says I'm the only person he's known who hasnt tried to screw him over somehow.His own family has used him for whatever they can.(being as he is one of the only ones who ever had a job!)

So you just go on thinking you know everything about everybody..I really dont care.Good thing that in real life your opinion means nothing to me.This is just a forum.
I asked for advice,I got it...and now I'm done with this part of the questions and answers segment.
seems like some people dont really want to give advice,only judge other and nit pick their lives.Well,have fun.

Lindakimey~I apologize for not providing more information...and there is STILL much more no one will ever know,but I honestly just cant hash it out anymore.I could write a novel and it still would leave things out.

To others who offered helpful suggestions~it is greatly appreciated.

Anyone else who comments,just know that I'am offically done with this topic and will not answer anything else or explain any further.Thanks.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 5:47PM
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No need to apologize, dear. Just understand that some of the responses you have gotten have been shaded by lack of information and try not to judge any more than you would like to be judged. I'm sure there IS far more than you have posted here. That's to be expected and it's no wonder. I hope you and your dh can work things out and that all your children will be o.k.

The playing field is NOT level. Life isn't fair. And you don't get do-overs. Such is reality. And even though it does little practical good, a bit of sympathy and concern can help. You have mine.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 8:45PM
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You are right...Lindakimy. It is painful for me to dish out of these kind of embarrssing things that are so personal,or else I guess i would have said more. I'm a very private person.Which is why forums such as this one appeal to me. I can talk about it without it getting too personal.

I dont even really tell my family or friends my business.I'm a kind of "deal with your problems on your own" person.Although I'm not against therapy.I have had therapy myself to help deal with some of these issues.

In retrospect,I see how easy it is judge based on limited information.
I think much of the advice given on here was good advice,and perhaps some stuff I hadnt thought of.
Thanks for those who gave kindness.Just remember there are exceptions to every rule,and not everything is black or white.I think if any of us thought our problems were simple,we probably wouldnt post.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 10:10PM
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When I realised this was a stepfamily type issue I wasn't going to post because I have no experience in that situation. But I felt compelled to say a few things.

First of all, I never thought you sounded like a bad stepmother. I think a few people were a bit harsh. For example the comment about your husband not wanting more kids and then you having one. I just assumed that at one stage your husband realised it wasn't a good time to have more kids and then later when he found himself in a loving stable relationship it was the right time to have a child. I'm glad you found each other. I'm sorry you're going through such a difficult time because of your SD.

I do also feel sad for your SD. I can understand you needing to protect your daughter. I can understand you not wanting to waste time and money on sending presents to your SD. By the way, what is she expecting to get? I wouldn't be giving her Ipods and designer jeans or whatever it is that teenage girls value these days. Maybe it would help to think of the presents as a form of communication. Can anyone suggest a book that was inspiring and encouraging at that age? Sorry, I can't think of anything, but surely somebody has written a novel with a main character who is a teenager who triumphs over some difficult situation and becomes a better person. Maybe you could give her a pretty set of writing paper. She may be able to talk to her father more easily in writing. Maybe a journal. I don't know. I just think she needs to hear from somebody "I care about you, I care about how your life is going, I care about the sort of person you're becoming".

I was wondering, could her grandfather or other stepsisters help? Maybe it would be beneficial for her to spend a special weekend away somewhere with her father and stepsisters. I realise that would involve time and expense.

I think it's understandable that you are fed up and feel that the situation can't go on as it is. I don't know how much effort you are able to invest in trying something different. You also need to make sure you look after yourselves and your daughter. It sounds like a very disheartening situation. Be open to suggestions. Some of the people who replied made sense. Don't let the others upset you.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 1:15AM
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Thanks for responding to my post. I have tried alot of the things you mentioned though~like,giving her gifts that are more about the caring. I personally picked out a great book for her called "the Agony Of Alice" which is all about pre-teen angst.I also got her a diary,and other psrsonal items (like a soccer ball necklace since she plays soccer)
Yet,she scoffs at these items,and what she wanted was a PLAYSTATION 2 of her VERY own.(her and her brother already have one,but that isnt enough,she has to have her very own!)

Those things here are no less then 250 dollars! When we opted to get her a whole bunch of games instead to use on the playstaion they already have (at 50 dollars a piece,not cheap either!) That's when she got mad at my husband and literally went all year without talking to him.
So,to her,it's obviously not about the caring~but about what she can get.

She even had the nerve to call on my daughter's birthday to tell me what she wanted for her birthday! She didnt even wish my daughter a happy birthday either!

She also hates her other step sisters as well. Whenever my husband is on the phone with them she makes faces.He'll ask if she wants to talk to them and she'll say,"NO! They're stupid!" Her step sisters dont really want to talk to her either because of her attitude.
Her grandfather COULD help,maybe,but she lives 3 hours away now,so probably not that often.
Thanks for writing and making suggestions. I have really decided for my own sanity to distance myself from the situation though.I let my husband see her on his own,but my daughter and I stay away.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 11:29PM
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Sounds like you were on the right track with the presents, and not just one token effort but a variety of really thoughtfully chosen presents.

Couldn't help wondering if she's jealous of her stepsisters because they have something she doesn't (a good relationship with your husband) but she is somehow incapable of identifying what it is or how she can also have it. So she settles for things she can possess that she understands the value of because they have $ signs on them and people want to own them (Playstation).

Sorry, just rambling. It's tough to be 14, even more when the family situation is complicated. I'm inclined to feel sad for your SD, she doesn't sound like a happy contented person. But I'm having trouble understanding how she can keep rejecting your efforts.

Sounds like you've really tried and I can't blame you for reaching the point where you don't want to be abused by the girl any more or waste any more money on her. (If it's any consolation, catering to her whims wouldn't be doing her any good anyway. No Playstation might be the best thing in the long term.)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 7:24AM
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It is hard to be 14...I guess I just dont relate to her at all because my dad died when I was only 7.I would have done anything to have him in my life~I cant understand someone who has their dad,who is ready to love them,and who rejects their dad like that. My husband tries to act like her behavior doesnt hurt him,but I know it does.
I think she should wise up and appreciate her father while he's here...cuz life is short. Hate for her to wake up one day and know she missed the chance to have a special relationship with him.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 9:19PM
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One of my stepsons(6) asked his mom "Where is my birthday gift?" the first thing when she picked him up for the weekend. Even though she had bought him something, she withheld it because of his attitude. Then during Christmas, he showed his disappointment to us when he saw he only had 8 gifts from us (but more from his own mom)-- I think 8 gifts are way too many already... To correct his attitude, we withheld one of his gifts for several days to teach him a lesson. We also gave him a follow-up explanation to our action and told him what appreciation means. I think it is natural as a human-being that if you are not being appreciated for what you do, you will most likely to withhold your kindness. Gift-giving is just one of the many ways to show your love (read the 5 love languages thing), but if she cannot see the whole picture of love, she will most likely never appreciate the gift.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 2:22PM
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That is very insightful,choppymom.

Someone else said a gift is supposed to be from he heart with no strings attached. If you arent feeling appreciated,as you said,then you'd find it hard to give a gift "from the heart".
You would then only feel obligated,and that is not how giving a gift should feel in my opinion.You dont want a gift to feel "demanded" of you.
I personally,as I said,am not real big on Christmas anyways.
I think showing your love in other ways,all through out the year,is much more important.And really,it is the litle things that count.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 4:23AM
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