18 year old daughter and stepfather don't get along

fedup_2010February 5, 2010

I am new here and at this point I am looking for some help in this situation. I have been married for 5 years now (second marriage)and my oldest daughter and her stepfather got along ok now it has become much worse in the past 3 years. He can't stand her and everything that she does he always has to make a comment or say something about it. It's like he wants to make it so bad that she moves out, his son moved out of the house at 17 for he didn't want to follow the house rules. I do know that he blames me for his son moving out and I think he is going to make it pure hell until he gets my daughter to go. She does not spend anytime here at the house unless he is gone. She goes to school and then goes to work, hangs out with her friends and that is all. I am becoming very resentful towards my husband and if he is doing this to me oldest what will he do when my 15 year old gets to be that age. I really want out and at this point am stuck here for I have lost my job and have no where to go. He is always telling me that I am going to be served with divorce papers but I never see anything and he at one point told me that an order of protection was on my oldest daughter but come to find out that was a lie too. I am looking for some help and he refuses to go to counceling for it is everyone else that has the problem not him.

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It sounds like you know you are in a bad relationship and the only thing stopping you from leaving is a job. Make job hunting a priority and move on. Your kids will be happier and so will you.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2010 at 3:56PM
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This is a terrible situation. Are you in contact with the girls' father? Could they stay with him while you get on your feet?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2010 at 4:14PM
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The girls and their father get a long but neither one of them stay the full weekend when he is suppose to have them. You know the saying a leppord never changes his spots well neither does he. They come home in a worse mood than when they left here.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2010 at 6:34PM
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Frankly it looks like the writing is on the wall for this relationship and your D (and I don't mean "Dear") H is a jerk. I hope you are looking for another job and making plans to leave. In your position I would think even living in a women's shelter until I got on my feet would be preferable to living with someone who abused my child and kept hinting at divorce and lying to me.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 4:36AM
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sounds to me like there's a great deal of sympathy & support here.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 12:10PM
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OP, go to the local women's shelter or domestic violence resource center. You are in an (emotionally) abusive relationship and they may be able to help.

Also, the court may have a family court advisor, which is an attorney that can tell you how to file for divorce & ask for spousal support. They may also advise you of your rights to seek an order to make him move out & allow you to continue living there with the children, since you have a 15 year old. If you can, you may also find a private family law attorney that is willing to represent you pro bono if you explain your situation. Personally, if I were in that bad of a situation, I would sit in the family court for a day or two... watch the attorney's at work so you can tell which one is a fighter (especially on domestic violence cases) & try to catch him/her in the hallway to beg/plead for his/her help. You could also offer to come work in their office answering phones or filing in exchange. Beg, plead, cry... do whatever it takes to get your kids out of this bad situation. (you may have to sob to many attorney's before you find one that is willing to help, but don't give up)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 12:31PM
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kkny, my son turned 18 & literally threw all of his belongings into his car the day I told him that if he is going to live under MY roof, he will abide by MY rules. He chose to leave so he could be a 'grown up'. And when he couldn't hack it on his own, he came back... and I had a lazy boy-man living on my couch because after he left, DH moved in & we fixed up DS's room to give to SD... and I was not going to displace my SD because my son could not hack it as a grown up. It was MISERABLE to have an unemployed, lazy half teen/half man... wanting to act like a teen sleeping in & playing video games all day, but wanting to act like he's a man that can come & go as he pleased and do what he wants 'cause he's an 'adult'. UM NO. He is my son & I love him but there is NO WAY I would let it happen again. When they leave, then that is the time to push them outta the nest and they need to learn to fly. I am not for throwing kids out at age 18... but at that age when they get the attitude that they are grown up & want to be treated as grown up, they then need to ACT grown up and part of treating them grown up is giving them the responsibility that comes with the perks..

My son is in the Army and when he comes back, he is expected to get his own place and take care of himself (and his son). My other son is 20 and still living at home & going to college. He is expected to do well in school or work full time. He is working part time while going to school... which is great. If he leaves, he will be expected to do so when he is READY...no sooner. Same for my daughter. She is working three jobs and saving to get her own place. My kids were told from the time they were in high school that they should leave when they are ready and my job is to prepare them so if they leave sooner, then they should not expect to be let back. I sure learned my lesson with the oldest & even my other kids complained about his lack of motivation and laziness. It has NOTHING to do with step or bio....

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 2:21PM
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Every 18 y.o. is different. Some need more time at home. Some are ready to spread their wings and learn to fly. Some fly reasonably well but still need a little help. And others need a gentle (or sometimes less gentle) boot in the backside to help them leave.

Fedup - I'm sorry for the turmoil in your family and hope you can find the strength to do what's best for yourself and your kids. Doesn't really sound like staying with your husband is it...

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 3:09PM
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Am I confused?

It sounds to me like this thread is pretty much saying keep the daughter & ditch the husband...

which sounds like the only sane option.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 7:30PM
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I see a different tone when it is DADs kids who are turning 18. Then it is stand up for yourself, the kids are adults and should stand on their own. OP starts off with concern that DH will force out kids when they turn 18. Probably doesnt help that mom isnt working. Is this the same advice everyone gives in reverse situation.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 8:41AM
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OP describes the situation as her husband retaliating because his son left home at 17 because he didn't want to follow the rules... probably rules that OP enforced. If her children are given the same expectations and living up to them, her husband has no reason to complain. If OP is giving her kids different expectations than his son, that's not really okay.

Irregardless, the husband's behavior over the situation, as it is described in the thread, is emotionally abusive. He is tormenting his wife by threatening to have her served with divorce papers & saying he is getting a restraining order, knowing she has no job & nowhere to go. That is not how grown ups in a relationship deal with problems. He has taken to making everyone miserable because his child didn't want to follow rules, just as many kids don't. My son left because he didn't want to follow rules & my DH had nothing to do with it... some kids get it in their head that they are grown up now & can do what they want when they reach a certain age. In my home, I see a little disparity between how much DH complains about my two kids... my daughter gets away with a little more than my son. But, my daughter has always done what we ask, is pleasant to be around, usually very helpful with anything that needs to be done. My son has to be told over & over, then maybe he'll do it.. maybe not. He tends to be stubborn & difficult most of the time and he's a little passive-aggressive. So it's a little more understandable why my DH is harder on my son~ my son needs it more. I am harder on my son because if I am not, he will grow to be a bum and do nothing. My daughter is a self motivated hard worker. So when her room is a mess, it's because she doesn't have time between her three jobs. When my son's room is a mess, it's because he didn't feel like cleaning it. He gets a lot more leeway now that he is in college & working, but before he got NONE.

So, it's not really fair to make blanket statements about all kids. But I don't see this thread so much about whether the kids should get to live at home past 18 or not. OP hasn't described what her husband's son did and exactly why he left, nor what rules he had versus her kids. What she says about his emotionally abusive behavior NOW is what I am responding to. He is extremely immature at best, dangerous at worse.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 10:56AM
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The OP gave very little information about the two kids' behaviors -- so what grounds would any of us have to say "The kid's a brat - kick him/her out" ?

But she gave more information about the husband's behavior, which without a doubt, is emotionally abusive. On that score, there's certainly enough reason to question the quality of the marriage.

And since the situation seemed to be daughter or husband -- what sense would it make to ditch the daughter (unknown behavior) and keep the abusive husband?

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 11:15AM
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how awful. divorce him. no rule that kids must leave at 18. I don't know why people argue about rules, if you raise your kids right then there is no need to argue about rules, who cares.

it is not up to your stupid husband to decide if your kids need to leave. he needs to leave, that's for sure.

i feel awful for kids who are forced to leave before they are even remotely ready.

and all these excessive rules just a cover up for poor parenting. if we do a good job raising them by examples, we wouldn't have to get all stressed up about some rules or curfews. the strictest parents are usually the ones who did not do a good job when kids were young. now they try to compensate for their own mistakes. and stepparent who makes their spouses to choose between them and children are just awful people.

see your attorney ASAP.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 1:23PM
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Thanks everyone have contacted an attorney and will be getting the ball rolling this week. Just to let everyone his son was sneeking people into his room at night and having drug and drinking parties in his room. Our room was downstairs so we didn't hear anything. My husband realised what was going on when he found a letter telling someone how to get up to his room from outside. When his father confronted him that is when his son told us that our rules were way off base and that he was not going to live here under them. I really think that my husband is jealous of the relationship that my daughter and I have. He is angry and is taking it out on myself and my kids. If I really wanted to be a jerk I would of called the cops on his son. but I didn't for I let him handle the situation. It is always easier to blane someone else for the mistakes that you make with your kids than to say I screwed up. None of these kids come with manuals (even thought I wished they did)and the kids of today are a handfull. We will get out of this situation soon and get our lives back to where they should be.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 6:22AM
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I just wanted to say that everyone has an opionion and that is great. Not all stepmoms or dads are bad people and I think sometimes we all get displayed that way. I did leave out somethings with this mixed marriage for there were several dealings with the law on his son and a lot of money was dished out from his father and myself. Held a job for about 2 months then decided hanging out with his friends was more important, so they fired him. Was kicked out of the same school twice went to go live with grandparents. They enrolled him into school where they live and he did graduate from that school, which I think is great. Still not holding a job all the while he is living with his grandparents who are retired and living on a fixed income. Sued his father for childsupport(per his sons mother)and won. Put us in a hole for 3 years while I was working 40 plus hours a week just to make ends meet. Yes my daughter also got herself into some legal trouble but she had a parttime job and I made it quite clear that she would be paying this all herself. It was a costly lesson but she learned from it and I saw a 180 degree change in her. Am I saying she is an angle no, and she is a typicial 18 year old who knows everything. Just like we all were at that age. She is very protective of me for what she saw when I was married to her father, which is no excuse for the anger. We have raised our kids 2 diffrerent ways, one not having any rules and lets his child do what ever he wants. Then you bring in a family who has had rules and you try to inforce those it just is not a good mix. Everyone one of us here live by the rules that are in place which are very simple, if you go somewhere please leave a phone number and their address incase we need to contact them. No my youngest does not have a cell phone my rule is when you get a job you can get a pre-paid phone and take care of it yourself. No phone after 9:00pm and that goes for any cell phones too. Yes there are ecceptions to that rule and the kids know that. They have a crefue 10:00 on school nights and 11:00 on weekends, with my oldest working she does not get home until 10:00 durring the week and that is an exception. If they are at a event up to school then that is also an exception too. Keep your room picked up and bring down your dirty clothes, and to help around the house if asked. Quite simple rules and not that hard to follow.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 10:23AM
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"Yes my daughter also got herself into some legal trouble but she had a parttime job and I made it quite clear that she would be paying this all herself. It was a costly lesson but she learned from it and I saw a 180 degree change in her. Am I saying she is an angle no, and she is a typicial 18 year old who knows everything. Just like we all were at that age."

I beg to differ: doesn't sound to me like a typical 18-year-old girl at all. both you and your DH raised troubled children and now try to cover up for poor parenting by blaming the children and each other.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 10:27PM
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Well she was 16 when this took place and was hanging around the wrong group of kids who liked to go shoplifting. I had talked to her father for she was with him that weekend this all took place, and I explained to him the situation. She had been grounded for all of her sophmore year and not allowed to hang with these kids. So if he let her go then there is nothing that I could do, two houses with two sets of rules and my hands were tied. She knew how to get her way with her father so she had to pay the piper. She is now a senior holding really good grades and still has her job. That situation really opened her eyes and she has not hung around with those kids since then. You can't tell these kids who to be friends with and even thought you know they are trouble they have to learn that for themselves. If that is poor parenting then I guess I am just an awful parent. I never said that I was the perfect parent and I have made my share of mistakes with my kids just like we all have. I have no place on here blamed any of the kids nor have I blamed my husband. I just was looking for some suggestions on how to make this situation a little more less stressful until the girls and myself could get out.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 6:51AM
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