the end of my rope!

cmcgaha2012February 6, 2013

Me and my hubby have been married 5 years, and have 7 children between us - 5 his and 2 mine. We have a large family with its share of drama - but it always seems centered around the kids (all of which are over 18).
My Sd, who turns 23 in August, is in a toxic relationship with a guy, recently divorced with his own 2 small children. She moved out of our house about 4-5 months ago to live with him in his apartment, only for them to get kicked out a month later and now live with his mother and step father.
Before I get too far into post, let me give you the background. Since I have been in the picture, the SD has been a manipulator - jealous that I am able to see through her lies and stories to her dad. Her mother is not in the picture at all and her dad has overcompensated this fact and she plays it like a mastermind. She has been caught in so many lies it is unreal. push on her and her dad has been getting her through high school and teaching her independence. She did graduate high school, then sat on her butt doing nothing for 6-7 months until I forced her and her dad to push to get a job. She has lived at home up until this move out with bf. She left at one time 3 years ago to meet a boy in PA - (were in OK) and we had no clue she was gone until we got a call she had wrecked this guys truck - totalled and hurt 3 people very seriously, so of course, our insurance even though we had no knowledge she was gone.
2 years ago, she finally decided to enroll in beauty school and just graduated in December (yeah - positive). I threw her a graduation party, etc. - what moms do...she worked 2 weeks in a salon, "forgot" her test date and now cannot work until she reschedules her state board test. So here we are again, she is pregnant - 15 weeks with this bf that cant hold a job or pay his bills. We have her on our medical insurance, and have paid all her car insurnace, cell phone, medical copays, and bought food - worried that the baby wont get what it needs to flourish.
Yesterday, she politely text me that we were not to file her or her school expenses (which we paid for and have PLUS loans in our name to cover)on our taxes that her and bf were filing together as a common law marriage. I explained to her that that wasnt legal, they hadnt lived together but 3 -4 months and that we supported her totally - with all her bills being paid by us.
needless to say, I have reached my breaking point. I cannot get D to realize that SD is manipulating and refusing to work because she knows he will be ther to cover her. We are stuggling in our marriage, with finances ourselves, etc. All the other kids pay their way - my two children are junior/sophomore in college and pay their cell phones, rent, power, electric, car payment, etc. all on their own -no questions no arguments, nothing. She is 23 years old, fixing to be a mom, and is worthless. She wont work - he bf wont give her any money for medical visits...and D is there - ready to bail out even through the lies. Her conversations with me yesterday got ugly and the disrespect she lashed out at me was the end - I have told D that he must get her name off anything that includes my name - period! I do not want her name on any bill that carries my name on it in any place. I want her forced to support herself.
He seems supportive to me and my requests, but I know that he will cave the minute she cries or whines to him. I cringe knowing that she will portray this to all her sisters and brothers as I am being the evil step mother - refusing to help her and that she cant by food, etc...and I hate her sooo much because I wont just shell out money - I did try to take her to buy maternity clothes - but my choices were pratical and not flashy expensive clothes so she didnt want any part of it.
She has such unrealistic expectations of everyone and life - she feels like it is owed to her because her mother is not around...whatever!
I am fighting my inner feelings, trying to not become bitter towards her but to force her to get a grasp on reality and grow up - if she doesnt do it now, when will she. She nor D understand that I would do the same for my kids, but luckily I have not had too.

How do you create peace in a household that no matter what happens, in controlled by SD inability to function?
any suggestions?

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I'll ask this directly: Does this particular SD (or her absentee mother, your husband etc.) have problems w/alcohol or other drugs? Because it sounds like it. If so, get yourself to Alanon asap. It can help.

I really can appreciate your sensible efforts to detach from her destructive manipulations ( I especially applaud your insistence that she be removed from any financial entanglements w/you). And I can relate to your re-attaching to her via rescuing - although I'm no longer a rescuer. Thank God and a tremendous amount of help and hard work on my part.

I think what will help your own distress/resentment (and up the ante for her to grow up) is for you to detach yourself entirely from this person and allow her to hit bottom. There are thrift shops in many towns that cater especially to expectant mother's and children; she can outfit herself w/maternity clothing there. There are soup kitchens too. Or perhaps she can consider joining a church and asking for help w/her problems. My point is, she's an adult. It's respectful to treat her as an adult. No matter what.

If you are concerned about the unborn child's well being, bring her a small bag of healthy groceries once a week. Maybe she'll eat healthy food, or maybe she won't. Don't give her ANY money for food or anything else.

You say that you'd do the same for your own children. I assume you mean you'd help if they were married and gladly expecting a child and were behaving like adults. What parent wouldn't want to help in those circumstances?! This is not the same circumstance. Moreover, you're sending a poor message to your own children by enabling her pathetic behaviors. And that message could have serious ramifications for them/you.

What you are doing by saying "no" and then contradicting your 'no' by shopping for her (etc.) is not legitimately helpful. It's enabling damaging behavior and creating confusion and resentment. You are not helping her, you're hurting her, yourself, your family and your marriage. So stop it.

And if your husband continues? Let him. Don't enable him either. He wants to take her shopping for club style maternity wear? Let him. Just make certain that your own financial interests are protected in this arrangement. And keep it aboveboard .. let him know that you will be protecting yourself financially. And then protect yourself financially. Notice how much he does/doesn't do when you back off. I suspect he'll enable less if you're not filling in for him as enabler.

Ideally, she'll relinquish her child for adoption, since neither she nor the boyfriend are capable of bringing up at child at this point in time. Since there's a snowball's chance in you know what that she'll do that - and since there's a terrific likelihood that you'll be expected to raise their child - I would focus my efforts on making clear your intentions on that score immediately - if not sooner.

Hope you find some help in what I've offered. I know that detaching lovingly from a sick situation can feel psychically backbreaking. And, it's so worthwhile. Keep asking for help. I hope you get many replies to your request for assistance/clarification. And I hope you hang in there and avail yourself of the wisdom you'll be given to consider.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 12:59PM
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