problems with 15 yr old step daughter

softballmom2004February 22, 2009

My husband and I have been together for 7 years and I have been a part of his daughter's life since she was 8. My husbands daughter has lived with her mother (which they were never married) all of her life, until a year ago. My husband had visitation every other weekend, and every other week during the summer. During her most of her life, her mother tried to encourage his daughter against him.

Enter me... from day one, my stepdaughter and I got along great. Her father and I were moving fast with each other,( hey when you know, you know) and I new the importance of the relationship with her. I also made a point to try and forge an amicable relationship with my stepdaughter's mom (my thoughts were that if it were my child, I would want to be comfortable with whomever she was spending time with). Things were great until we decided to get married, and I became pregnant. I was donned with the title "Stepmonster", which btw, an 8 yr old doesnt conjure on her own. My stepdaughter's mother began to tell her that after we had our own baby, her dad and I wouldnt want anything to do with her. SO, as you can imagine, the relationship fizzled fast. The child started lying, playing my husbands parents against me, acting out, and even once hit me while I was pregnant. I bit my tongue, did my best every other weekend, and hope for the best. Meanwhile, I am still her supplier of toys, clothing, shoes, etc. - My husband from the very beginning put me in the mommy role with her as if we had always been a family. This also unfortunately included discipline.

Things progressively got worse through the years, and she became more and more of a liar, manipulator, and "unjoy" to be around. About 2 years ago, she started changing a little though. She was having problems with stepdad, and I thought to myself, well hell, if you treat him as you do me, I am not suprised. She started trying to charm us. She began acting more like she does starting December 1st- sweet, innocent, and in need. She started telling us that she wanted to live with us, that she couldnt take it at her moms anymore, etc. My heart got involved and left my head at the door. I bought it hook line and sinker. So my husband and I started the process for obtaining custody. Her mother agreed to it, with the condition that she didnt have to pay child support, and I filed all the paperwork and prepared all of the legal forms. I tool all the responsibility of the process, and did everything I could for her. Within 2 months though, I was slapped in the face by the real her. She resurfaced, but much worse. She began accusing me of all kinds of things, from shooting her looks, to hitting her, to rummaging in her room. She has been creating problems for me and my husband for a year now and even worse, has been horribly mean to our daughter who is 5. She yells at her, lies to her, and tells her all kinds of inappropriate things. I have raised immortal hell about this with my husband. (I gave him back the authority a few years ago and told him that I was tired of being the bad guy while he got to sit back and do nothing). He has done nothing to correct the issues other than tell her that it is not acceptable and that he will punish her if it persists. He never does though... but yet he will discipline our daughter.

I have been raising our daughter according to one set of rules and lifestyle, and the method is working beautifully for her. I also expect, since this was our home first, (my husband, myself, and my daughter) that my stepdaughter should be held to the same level if she is going to be a member of our household.

She is absolutely lazy, refuses to gather her laundry, help me with the laundry, will not do chores, or if she does, she half way does them, her grades are terrible because she refuses to turn things in at school, she has very few friends because she doesnt want to be faced with the effort of making and maintaining them. We have gotten her involved in sports again though to get her active... but thats all she will do.

Long story coming to short here, I am at my wits end with her. I am pregnant with our second child, and she is constantly trying to sabbatoge my marriage and my child. I can no longer take the abuse, and I know this may sound terrible, but I no longer care to try and make things better. I thought bringing her to live with us would be a benefit to her and put my own needs aside for the betterment of her. I cannot do this anymore. My efforts were to no avail because of her hatred towards me and her lack of want to.

I want her to go back to her mother, but I do not know how to get my husband to agree to this. I know that he wont. And I am not in any position to give him an ultimatum. I need her out of my home so that we may resume with our family. Unfortunately her presence here is a dark cloud hanging over us. - it is so bad that my five year old told me the other day that she hopes that we are having a girl because she wants a sister that is not mean to her and wont lie to her or hit her. Even the 5 year old wants her gone (and I try to be as positive as I can in front of her because I usually am a very positive and ambitious person and want her to be the same.)

Please help folks! I need some advice.

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I think the problem is that this girl runs things. She decided she did not like you and has been able to say lies about you. She decided she did not like her stepdad and got to move in with you and your husband. It really worries me that she was so manipulative and sweet to get it to happen.

It is time your dh stepped up and actually did something about it! He needs to set up rules and consequences with her and actually stick to them. She is too old to have no chores and responsibilities.

"She began accusing me of all kinds of things, from shooting her looks, to hitting her, to rummaging in her room" Lies have consequences...she needs to learn that as well.

And if that makes her want to move in with her mom again dh and bm need to let her know that neither home is a revolving door.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 3:34PM
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thats the thing... I believe that she is doing most of this because she DOES want to live with her mom again.
One other thing I forgot to mention was about 4 months ago I found my daughter doodling in a little book I didnt recognize. I looked at it and found that my sd was writing in it as if she were writing to her mother telling her that there are days when she is afraid to come home from school because I am so mean to her. And dont worry mommy, i will be back soon. Its like she is playing us for whatever she can get out of us. (we are MUCH better off financially than bm is). It is so frustrating.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 3:48PM
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If it were me I would have gone to dh with the book. Then I would have told him he should confront his daughter with it and tell her how similar her notes are to what she told you guys when she wanted to live with you.

I would ask her if sf and bm were so awful why she wants to go live with them again.

When a child is being manipulative I think you have to call them out on it!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 4:14PM
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Oh my...this is tough...I know what I am about to say may get me some negative comments but I am prepared for them so here goes.

If Dad won't set her straight, YOU need to do it. For 4 years I have been a stepmom to 3 while being a bio mom to 2 and I have gone to my DH the entire time begging him to help me hold the stepchildren accountable. I finally accepted last month that it was not going to happen. He is NOT going to step up. He may try for a day but most of what he actually does do is threaten a consequence and will not follow through. Honestly, my DH drives me crazy with his repeat warnings. He asks nicely for a child to clean their room...a few hours later when it's still trashed it's like "clean your room now!" They don' he says "I told you to clean your room now and if you don't you are going to be grounded!" They of course do nothing. Three days later he realizes that they never cleaned their he starts the whole process over. When I remind him that he just told them they were going to have a consequence 3 days ago if they didn't do it, he just looks at me perplexed and says "But I didn't tell them yet TODAY." SS11's room is so disgustingly nasty that I worried about him playing and sleeping in I gave up on DH and I laid down the law.

This is my house, too. I don't need their room to be spotless but rotting food and dirty underwear all over the place is where I draw the line. BM sees them 4 days a month. DH says them about 30 minutes a day. I am the only thing that is constant in their lives and I'm done with waiting on DH and BM to be parents. So I look like the bad guy. Big deal. I am very lucky that my kids do tend to listen after having to face consequences eventually they will conform...

Just a few weeks ago I was mega concerned with always looking like the bad guy and my house was thoroughly trashed constantly. I came to a point where I was prepared to leave my DH because he just was not going to change. And forget BM siding with me on the nasty messes they were leaving. She would probably give them a high five for making messes that I had to clean. The day I realized that I had nothing to lose, I wised up and started being a disciplinarian.

Things have changed in so many ways. Yea, I'm a little upset with DH that I have had to take over this role but that's okay for now...All 5 of the kids in this house suddenly have a sense of pride in making ME proud of them. I have never heard "Come and see how clean my room is!" more than I have in the last month...and of course they get praise every single time...Because of a change in behavior and meeting responsibilities, I have reintroduced night time snacks (special treat that I used to provide each and every night) and I hosted a sleepover with 3 of the kids friends over...Yes, EIGHT kids. I had 8 kids in my van, driving to the local civic center and to the store for snacks afterwards and kids were sleeping EVERYWHERE but the kids had a GREAT time. After their company left today, they cleaned the house up in better condition than it was the day before...

Your SD needs consequences, guidance and tough love combined with praise and rewards for a job well done. If no one else is able to provide this, jump right in and take over it yourself. Of course, get DH's complete backing before you make this change...I had DH"s full was easy enough to meant he didn't have to do it!

For 4 years, my fear was that the stepchildren would 1) tell mom on me for being parental and 2) tell mom lies and exaggerations about what was going on. I had to a adapt a "Who gives a damn?" attitude. If BM calls me and says "I hear you went through my daughter's clothes and took away all of spaghetti strap tops" I would just say "Yep. She just turned 14, and can't seem to learn how to wear them appropriately. I got tired of her showing half of her stuff and bending over in public where everyone could see everything she has so I took them and put them away. I also took the jeans that are too tight on her and the ones with holes in the rear end. You have a problem with that?"

I have nothing to lose. My option is to leave...or go crazy. The kids NEED guidance and apparently BM and DH are too concerned with being a the "most popular parent." I won't be a pawn in this game because they are only hurting the kids...sadly they don't see that...

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 4:19AM
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"My option is to leave...or go crazy. The kids NEED guidance and apparently BM and DH are too concerned with being a the "most popular parent." I won't be a pawn in this game because they are only hurting the kids...sadly they don't see that..."

Well said.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 10:01AM
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I agree that they, DH and BM need to step up, more importantly, DH needs to step up. But, I am not leaving my home and causing my children to go through the struggles of potential blended families... this is MY HOME. DH and I built this home together, and have lived in this home together before she quite frankly intruded.
I am going to have a sit down with my husband and tell him that SHE is the one that has to go. It is not fair to me, our daughter, or the child that I am pregnant with to have our lives dismantled by the constant ups and downs of his daughter that did not really have a relationship with him unless or until she needed something.
I have tried being the one that was the parent, and that back fired big time. DH is behind me all the way, but sd and bm make my life a living hell when I hold the reigns. So I threw them back and have tried to stay out of things.
Unfortunately though, I just think SD needs to go. I feel kind of bad for saying that, but I am tired of being used and I am tired of seeing my dh being used and manipulated as well. Like I said earlier, she didnt care before, so why should I care now???? (sorry, I am just so frustrated)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 12:58PM
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That is a real problem with a lot of steps. They really know how to play the game. They learn it early because both sets of parents play into it. These kids have to be taught that is not how you function in life. You do not manipulate, lie, and cheat people. Sometimes they learn the lessons of that on their own, but it is something that will always continue in the home unless it is addressed.
That is why my 15 year old sd is at her go through with counseling and we some some concrete solid changes in you or you go back to live with your mom and the mess there. Period. No more games here.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 2:33PM
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I have two children and two step daughters. My husband makes all kids mind& pitch in, but seems to nit pick my two mote when his daughters are at our house. Which is every other weekend. This past weekend my husband and I were arguing about this and I admit we shouldn't have argued where they could hear. Step.daughter hit her door and I walked in her room and told her not to slam door she said she could if she wanted to. He did nothing about it. Then my husband & I were nose to nose arguing about this and she got me in the ARM and my two children (13&11) came to the hallway and yelled don't hit my mom my husband turned his attention to them told em it was none of their business. Meanwhile I'm telling my step daughter the same thing and to go to her room. He did nothing about this. She is very manipulative, always a pity party for her dad to feel sorry for her and take attention from other kids. She has had problems like this with her step dad & mom also. I'm afraid if he doesn't handle this& tell her its not right it will continue and we will not be able to stay married. I have bent over backwards for my step daughtwrs making sure they have school supplies, clothes talked them they problems. His youngest has had no problems but is stuck in the middle as my two are. I admit her& I need to talk but he needs to give discipline before her and I can work it out.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 9:32AM
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britt, this is an old post and won't get read much. You might want to start a fresh thread and in clude a bit more of the backstory of your situation.

Currently as is, all I can tell you is 'your household this past weekend is a perfect example of what not to do'.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 12:15PM
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