SD coming home...the horror

thurmanApril 16, 2009

Hi folks~

My S/D will be coming home this weekend. I always dread these visits, even though, for the most part, they don't turn out too bad. But, I'm always tense when she is here and always rejoicing when she leaves. I try to treat it like a football game, sooner or later the clock will run out and she will leave. It's like living with a mean in-law for a few days.

But it does affect my work. She is in her late 20's and only comes home 2-3 times per year now. I find myself, even one month before she arrives, anxious and seeing scenarios in my mind where she is disrespectful or does something else to tick me off, and I end up exploding.

My wife worships the ground the kid walks on and defends her every word and action. I've given up trying to talk with her about the things the SD does that tick me off. But suffering in silence doesn't leads to an anger and rage that is inside of me and hasn't been successfully dealt with...and has now built up over 20 years.

My wife and son both pick up on my tenseness...for them, my SD coming home is great...I don't want to ruin their weekend...I've thought of leaving this weekend...but cannot...


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This may sound harsh.. but to me, it sounds like you set your self and her up for failure. It sounds like you have stuffed your feelings for so long that the young woman doesn't have a chance, you're still holding on to the past.

In my opinion you need to go to counseling or some sort of therapy to address the past. Then you need to come clean with the mother, daughter and son and let her know that you have been holding on to your anger about past things, and that was your issue, but that you have let go of those old issues and would like to start again. Ask her forgiveness, and put your best foot forward.

YOU are the ADULT here. Start acting like one.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 1:04PM
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I do have to say that there comes a point where you have to let things go and let the past stay in the past. I recall some of your previous posts about your dislike for you sd. But if she only comes 2-3 times a year I would think for the sake of your wife and child that you could put on your best smiley face and pretend to be happy!! Maybe killing sd with kindness will improve the situation??

Unless sd does something outrageous (sets your house on fire, does drugs there, brings some homeless guy with, steals from you) I would think you could just chill out a bit!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 2:04PM
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heh-heh - I've found myself in a similar situation (I am the wife in this scenario, though). Used to dread when I knew the oldest SD was coming for a visit. Would end up fighting with my hubby for days before and would be anxious and miserable all weekend until she was gone. I think the main problems were 1.) My selfishness - I did not want to spend another weekend being ignored while my hubby was catering to his daughter. 2.) SD's disrespect of me - this has been ongoing for years. Finally came to a head about 2 years ago. I'd had enough of it and I confronted HER because I was getting absolutely nowhere with her dad. Keeping in mind, SD was an adult by this point, I finally told her I was sick of her attitude and the way she treated me and that I would no longer let her affect my life because she wanted to act like an a$$. 3.) I used to bombard my husband with a lot of nagging about the negative points concerning his daughter. That obviously got me nowhere but in a fight with him, so I quit talking about her all together, unless it was just in idle chatter.

These things have all lessened my anxiety of her visits. Not that I'm thrilled when she comes around, but the older she gets, the less of a jerk she seems to be (or maybe that goes for me?). I take comfort in knowing it is only 2 or 3 times a year that she comes over. Hang in there... I did like your "football game" analogy... pretty funny

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 2:11PM
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Thurman has posted & posted & posted about how horrible his stepdaughter is, yet the only things he has itemized are trivial to the point that they're nothing but excuses-
the kinds of excuses a rage-a-holic uses to fire his rage.

things like "she didn't stop what she was doing when I came into the room" &, even more telling, "my wife pays too much attention to her".

At one time, the young woman was living in the household, & Thuman admitted that she & his wife walked on eggshells;
& he blasted them for that, too!

The wife & the son love it when this young woman (going to med school, isn't she?) comes home...which doesn't sound like she's the problem.

Thurman, if you want help in building up your rage so you can "explode" & blame it on this young woman, you may have come to the wrong place.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 2:22PM
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I agree, counseling will help. I do remember one time you posted in an absolute tizzy that YOU dropped a newspaper, but your SD did not pick it up for you. I don't think anyone here can help you and physchiatric counseling is going to be the only way to get some kind of resolution for you.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 5:32PM
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Thurman, you're obviously allowed to post wherever you want, and no one's trying to run you off here. But I guess it is clear that not an overwhelming number of current GW posters are going to sympathize with the attitude you maintain towards your SD. At least, as long as it remains the exact same as it has been in the past. Most of us (if I can venture for a sec to speak for most of us) just want to see you make an effort to be a bit more introspective as to why YOU dislike her so much and to make more of an effort to try and rectify the situation b/c the whole SP/SK thing goes both ways.

No one's knocking you for the occasional angry vent ---we've all indulged in a few of those--- but until we see some more effort on your part, you're always gonna hear similar things here... My gut tells me, though, that there's a reason you keep seeking out this forum. It's either that you're just being a bored troublemaker, or it's because deep down you WANT to be gently and not-so-gently reminded that you need to look more into yourself to resolve some of these issues. I hope it's the latter.

In the meantime, (if you don't already post there), you might try a forum called "Step Talk" for just raw venting to an audience that will happily lap up your gripes, pile their own on top and make you look in comparison like a teddy bear with a heart-shaped belly that says "I Wuv SD". Seriously, it's pretty hardcore over there. Stealing spouses and then blaming SK's for trouble, reading incest into the word "sweetheart", 19-year-old SMs smacking 9-year-old SDs across the face: it's all good on "Step Talk". I browse through it every so often just for the morbid curiosity of peering into the dankest bowels of blended-family bile ---the same morbid curiosity that makes me watch "Cold Case Files"--- but I never post there because it would be of absolutely no use to argue with them and for fear of losing a limb! (There's actually another "Serenity Now" who posts there--- no relation!) I'm sure it's a useful forum if you're just looking to feel like you're right. Heck, they're always right on "Step Talk", and won't hesitate to chew out in-laws, spouses, friends, SKs' teachers and their own therapists for constantly being wrong!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 9:56PM
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nivea think Serenity Now (the nicest and most constructive poster here, imo) just posted the equivalent of the middle finger.

hahahaha, I'm sorry, but that was funny.

Steptalk scares the bejeezus out of me. How did anyone let those -people- around their kids?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 2:13AM
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thurman, when you first started to post about the relationship with SD many posters gave some good advice. I am curious did you ever try any of it? What kind of results did you see?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 7:23AM
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HAHAHAHAHA Serenity! That isn't funny but it is. The way you explain Step Talk I mean. I've never been there...sounds like I wouldn't like most the people.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 8:35AM
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Serenity . . . you crack me up . . .

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 1:35PM
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Thanks, folks, for your very helpful messages. This list does keep me balanced and I appreciate that.

Someone asked me about probing a little more into why I feel the way I do. I've been trying to do that. I think some of it is selfishness and resentment. When it is my wife and son and myself, it feels like a "whole" loving family. When the SD comes home, it becomes a divided home. So, some of the feelings are selfish...I want those "whole family" times to myself and of course, I then resent my S/D for upsetting those feelings.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 9:36PM
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Thurman , while she visits, keep yourself busy with a project and try not to focus on her.
She is a guest who will leave. You dont have to be anxious. She's an adult and so are you. You have come to the conclusion you do not like her and cannot be forced to like her. Your wife and son will just have to accept that and as long as you are both civil i see no problem.
There are days where i am tense on weekends when my sk come because sd and my dh are scrapping it out....
learn to shut down and numb yoru senses. If she insults you, turn abotu and tell her there is no need for insults. We both do not like one another, focus on enjoying yoru time with mom and new son and keep your distance from me. Thats all.
I remember telling this to my SD 2 years ago and she was not and still is not an adult. i told her , if you have nothing nice to say to me, muzzle it and enjoy your time with dad and i wont interfere with yoru time but i wont be disrespected. So when she is in a bad mood she muzzles it and we both say nothing. And that is fine. That is having a truce and being civil with one another.
So treat these visits lightly and try to refocus on something else to keep yourself busy. And yah, rejoice when she does leave. there is nothing wrong with that.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 4:22AM
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Thurman, I can understand that. Who among us has not felt the odd one out at times? Think of it this way... when you go to a party where you don't know anyone but have to be there for whatever reason, and have to be civil... does your night go faster and more pleasent if you make small talk and try to make friends, or if you sulk in the corner? No judgement, I've sulked in the corner a lot in my life!!!

Try to find a few things she'll appreciate... pancakes for breakfast anyone? Be jovial, be welcoming, be a host. The weekend will go easier and faster than anyone could imagine. And when it's over, and you know it will eventually be over, you will have your cosy family back :)

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 5:13PM
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I recently went to a conferance where they talked about language development. As a baby we don't have language, when we get a bit older we talk out loud. Some of us can remember instances of hearing a child at 3 or 4 years of age talking to themselves. And then we inhibit that talking out loud. But we are still talking to ourselves. We have just learned to inhibit doing it out loud.

So Thurman, listen to yourself talk to yourself. All the negative things you are saying inside your head about your SD. The poor girl doesn't have a chance with you talking about how much you dread it, how awful it will be, how her presence will destroy your "cozy family." And I wonder what she is telling herself about you!!

Try to change the inner dialogue. She sounds like an interesting person. Ask her about her life- med school, friends, what does she want to specialize in. She is probably tired and needs a vacation. Cook her a special meal and see if you can get a smile out of her.

And think how she enriches your life, and that of your son. Is she a good role model for your son? Will she be someone good that your son can turn to as a teenager, when he will not be turning to you. She can be a real ally to your son and in that indirect way, to you. Change the inner dialogue.

And as for your "cozy family." It sounds as tho your wife and DS are looking forward to her visit. If I read your post right, it is you dividing the cozy family. Join the cozy family. And if things get overwhelming, take some private time- go for a walk, go into the bedroom and watch TV or read a book, until you feel like joining in again.

Change the inner dialogue!!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 6:10PM
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Good advice Barb. I love this..."change the inner dialogue"!!! I can, and I think many can benefit from this personally.

It reminds me of the story of the two wolves:

A Grandfather from the Cherokee Nation was talking with his grandson.

"A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves."

"One wolf is evil and ugly: He is anger, envy, war, greed, self-pity, sorrow, regret, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, selfishness and arrogance."

"The other wolf is beautiful and good: He is friendly, joyful, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, justice, fairness, empathy, generosity, true, compassion, gratitude, and deep VISION."

"This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other human as well."

The grandson paused in deep reflection because of what his grandfather had just said. Then he finally cried out; "Oyee! Grandfather, which wolf will win?"

The elder Cherokee replied, "The wolf that you feed."

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 9:21PM
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well unless SD does something outrageous every time she visits or she visits every single week or demands 24/7 attention for weeks or months at a time or wants her parents/stepparents spending ALL of their vacations with them, I don't see why her visits are such a problem? She only comes for one weekend, how could it be that bad? I wonder if thurman is for real because he never describes the real issue, just talks about how he dislikes her visits. I am yet to figure out what excatly is wrong wiht SD or her visits. He never provided any substantial examples.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 11:30AM
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Hi folks~

Someone asked what kinds of things happen. Usually 1-3 things every day per visit. Minor things. But things that show (1) I don't have to respect or answer to you; (2) I don't care about you; and (3) then my wife defending my SD no matter what, reducing me to a silent sufferer for fear of getting my wife upset or getting into a big fight about i

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 4:46PM
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Hi Thurman,

If that is how this adult person talks to you then you can answer back
1. Yes you do have to respect me because i'm a human being and if you treat me with disrespect i'll shovel it back into your face.
2. You do not care about me...great, something we actually both agree on.
3. Tell your wife that both you and sd are not perfect but the issues you have with her are between you and her. she's an adult and for mother dear to butt out. She's not a baby and if she acts in a disrespectful way then she deserves what she dishes out. If you do not like it, then arrange your schedual for visits to not be in my presence.

You see i'm tired these days of people not sharing, not respecting the scheduals of others. Not showing any appreciation. I snapped this week with my husband because my Sd was manipulating her father and HALLALOUYA! he opened his eyes on thursday night and basically saw what she was doing. He told her youare playing me and i'm disrespecting my wife and i now see what you are doing.You will stay at home for this visit.
It did not make me happy because it only whined up hurting my husband and just spoiling my easter for the most part. My husband is caught between a rock and a cliff. And i really feel bad for him but its not my fault that his daughter basically makes him choose between me and her...or her and our son. She loses 99.99% of the time...why? Because it just plain wrong on her side to do this to any human being and i'm so disgusted now......i'm at a loss of words but the last few days have been rough. I told my husband how i feel about her and he understand but is resentful. WIll it affect my marriage in the long run...i dont know.....i'll have to wait and see how it unfolds. I did apologize to my husband and said yesterday i do not like you daughter these days. I know she has hit the teen years but i've washed my hands now of her and i will no longer be flexible in my schedual or cater to their scheduals. sorry i'm rambling...its been a rough week.
I do understand how you feel when a person is backstabbing and their own parents defends their behaviour. My husband goes back and forth, first he defends her then he realizes waht she is up to...then he gets depressed...but it doesn't fix things. It just stirs up crap...we get into fights these days....and it always centers around holidays....Can't wait to see what she'll try to pull for the summer.:)
Hang in there.
If she is rude to you. Tell her to muzzle it. Visits are truces, if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing to me. Its quite simple.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 6:30PM
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Organic, there are at least two sides to every story. Thurman's SD is a responsible person whom. Thurman has tried to limit mom's contact with SD. I think he is reaping what he sowed. He can not bear any time that his wife spends with her child. Wonder who is going to take care of Mrs. Thurman when she is old. Statitically women outlive their husbands.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 6:54PM
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Thurman, you are not the only person in this type of situation. There was a new poster on this forum a few weeks back who was posting about her adult SK's. She only came into the picture after they were adults and she was miffed because she too felt slighted by them. Another poster told her that she was only their father's wife and she didn't much care for that statement. To her SK's, it sounds like that's all she is to them. Mine, even though I have known them since they were in elementary school, feel the same about me. I am sure of it. I have done a lot for these kids, more than they realize, and I haven't received the respect nor personal consideration as a family member that I believe I have earned and deserve from them. You know what, it's the way it is. I am their dad's wife and they are my husbands kids - end of sentence. When they tread into my personal space and are disrespectful, that's one thing; if they are just hanging around and treating me with the sort of indifference that they usually have for me, it's just doesn't matter to me anymore. That I learned from this forum and it works. You do your thing, she does her. No harm and not foul. She's just not worth ruining your relationship with your wife and your son.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 7:04PM
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Not everybody likes me --
and if someone shows me that they don't like me, then it's pretty darned likely that I won't like them back!
I won't be in-your-face rude about it, but it'll probably show in small ways --
comments that get a monosyllabic reply or mild smile instead of an encouraging laugh,
small unnecessary courtesies that don't happen,
invitations that aren't extended in their presence,
actions and reactions that are interpreted with that lack of mutual affection in mind.

But if someone acts like they like me, then I generally like them 'fine' or better.
They may have personality quirks that annoy me, or character flaws I don't admire --
but I'll be friendly to their faces and not speak ill of them behind their backs,
and I'll give them the benefit of the doubt unless there's a good reason to do otherwise.

By not liking SD, Thurman is virtually guaranteeing he'll get the kind of responses someone who feels 'disliked' will give.
And that's what he's getting.
Which feeds his dislike.

Thurman - If you really want SD to behave better toward you, behave as if you genuinely like her and are happy to see her.
Say something nice about her to your wife when you think she's in earshot.
Go out of your way to do something nice for her without expecting anything in return.
Thank her for being such a good role model for your son. (She is, you know -- in many ways.)

The ball's in your court --

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 7:52PM
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Yes kkny, there are two sides to this story. But the fact remains that sd is an adult and the fact remains they both do not like one another. Doesn't mean the sd should be rude and vice versa. Both are adults and should agree they can't stand one another. Nothing wrong there.
No one can 'limit' someone contact unless they 'let them'. That being said, if the limitation happened, that is mothers fault for not standing her ground with her own husband.
As for thurman, maybe over the years of being treated badly and having his wife not acknowledge her daughters behaviour and repremand her for being rude and disrespectful towards another human being in their household has finally gotten to thurman and no matter how he looks at it , he totally resents his sd. That being said, he's still an adult and since both his wife and son her he should also swallow his pride, let the past rest and let go....and not expect the worst out of the visit. As a husband, he should think of his wifes feelings and his sons.
Again, if sd comes and is rude during the visit, he has the right as a human beign to tell her to muzzle it.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 1:40AM
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OrganicMaria, Thurman's SD has never posted here and no one knows how she feels about Thurman.

All we have are Thurman's posts that he feels are disrespect. I do not remember a single one of them that I saw ANY disrespect from his SD. In fact, in every single post of his I saw him disrespecting his SD, his wife and his son. I also saw a male chauvinist attitude where Thurman felt his SD should be following him around, cleaning up his mess.

So yes, I think we can conclude that SD is probably very uncomfortable visiting her own mother. She probably has very valid reasons for her dislike of Thurman, if any. So with your logic, should she tell Thurman to muzzle it? Stepdaughters are human beings too, after all.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 2:24AM
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agree with nivea, nothing of what thurman describes sounds like disrespect. i still remember that thurman was angry when at some kind of event people were saying nice things about SD. he didn't like the fact that people think of her as a nice human being. if any man would get upset over the fact that other people like my daughter, i would never want to see that man again. i am surprised that thurman's wife stays with him.

by the way thurman still doesn't say what extacly SD does what is disrespectful. she avoids him, yes, and it is understandable, it is a defense mechanism against his negative attitude.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 12:50PM
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Hi folks...

I've noticed that the first day she is home, she is actually quite nice. So I enjoy her first day and her last day. But the days in-between are usually awful, and the tension mounts...

Usually it's very little things that mount up, piling up on top of a 20 year history of incivilities. Truth is that I've not dealt sufficiently with my anger and rage, and that my wife and I have never dealt sufficiently on our issues with SD. So, 20 years has moved into 21.

Some of the things are just plain small, little annoying things that aggravate me. But they do build up:

(1) asking my wife how much we spent on our son's church trip? Not her role. Not information she should even be concerned about. But she doesn't know her role. And my wife gives her the information like she is a spouse or our son's parent. Good grief. I wanted so badly to tell her to butt out, to mind her own business, but then I would have had the wrath of wife on me.

(2) We are downstairs before church. We go to church as a family. She walks by me to go all the way upstairs to go into my bedroom (while my wife is changing!) and asks my wife's permission if she could take her own car to church. I didn't even know this until we were leaving. She could've said something to me. When I raised this with my wife, of course, she was defensive "she didn't do anything wrong, she's so perfect, my little sweetie, etc." I almost threw up in my mouth.

(3) She will reach way across the dinner table instead of asking me to pass something like the butter. Mom smiles. When my son does that, she calls it rude.

(4) She will not ask me if I can take her heavy travel bag to her car. My wife does it. When I take it to the car, I usually get her attitude like she's upset that I'm helping her. Also, she has this annoying thing of following me out to the car like she's supervising me.

These are just the beginning of sorrows. I mean, there are literally thousands of things in just the last five years that I can point to.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 12:56PM
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Thurman, I feel like some posters are putting a halo on Sds head because she s responsible and goes to med school...That certainly doesnt mean she has no character flaws and it sounds to me she does not treat you respectfully and she sounds to me to be very dismissive of you,which cant feel too good in your own home.....I have two SSs..One is degreed, no problems in school or behavior wise, did everything by the books. An absolute PILLAR of his church, well respected by all....Second SS is a classic underachieving goof up..Awful grades, suspensions, college looks really dicey..Guess which is my favorite? The one who jumps to his feet to help me with groceries, gives me thoughtful gifts that I love(and he cant afford)treats me like a human being..Hypocritcal church pillar teats me like junk...he is not welcomed here by me with open arms.. I ll take the respectful slacker any day of the week....Seems like your SD is getting a pass and you re getting raked over the coals because she looks good to the outside world...Doesnt make her look good to me on the inside.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 1:41PM
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I think that it is also that many of Thurman's previous rants contained examples -- like her not willing to pick up his dropped newspaper -- that led us to beleive he expected women to pick up after him. And his son gets along with her.

There is a tendancy on this board when posters dont get the sympathy they feel they deserve to add facts that dont seem consistent with earlier messages. Only the poster knows for sure.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 1:50PM
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(3) She will reach way across the dinner table instead of asking me to pass something like the butter. Mom smiles. When my son does that, she calls it rude

And what do you call it when your son does that? Do you think he is merely failing to display absolutely perfect manners in the comfort and relative informality of the family dinner table, or do you take it as a personal affront, one of many Minor things. But things that show (1) I don't have to respect or answer to you; (2) I don't care about you;

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 2:10PM
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dotz, I doubt thurman's SD is perfect or has a halo. It wouldn't surprise me at all if she dislikes him and does not respect him on a personal level, as he obviously dislikes and does not personally respect her. But I can't imagine how we would really be able to tell that, when he can take something as innocuous as reaching across the dinner table for butter as a display of personal disrespect towards him. No one in existence is so perfect that they could avoid "disrespecting" someone that touchy.

(ok, i don't know everyone in existence, but I personally have never met anyone that perfect)

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 2:21PM
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Not really familiar with Thurmans past posts or gripes on SD that are minor, but after years of minor gripes, I do feel that may have a cumulative effect on Thurman, and that sometimes its hard to shake those old past grievances out of your head...

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 2:39PM
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Thurman may have also contributed to the problem.

I like Silver's answer the best.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 2:56PM
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"(1) asking my wife how much we spent on our son's church trip?"....It is not uncommon for there to be some kind of competitive thing between siblings. Perhaps she wanted to go on a church trip or some other thing when she was his age and was told that you couldn't afford it? Who knows. I agree it is not her business, but not an uncommon thing for a sibling to wonder about.

"(2) We are downstairs before church. We go to church as a family. She walks by me to go all the way upstairs to go into my bedroom (while my wife is changing!) and asks my wife's permission if she could take her own car to church. I didn't even know this until we were leaving. She could've said something to me."...If your wife doesn't care if she goes into her bedroom while she is changing, why do you? I talk to my mom while she is changing all of the big deal to her or to me. Do you think she should've asked your permission to drive her own car to church? Why should a 20 something person need to ask anybody's permission? You are just looking for things to be ticked off about. You need to listen to the great advice you have been offered on this board and change your inner dialogue. You can make yourself miserable or you can choose to change your attitude. Respect must be mutual and you clearly do not respect her.

"(3) She will reach way across the dinner table instead of asking me to pass something like the butter"...Really? This is all you have to complain about? You are this ticked off over her reaching for the butter? I tend to think that if she asked you to pass it you would complain that it was within her reach and that she should have just grabbed it herself. That she thinks you are her slave because she asked you to pass the butter. This girl can't win with you.

"(4) She will not ask me if I can take her heavy travel bag to her car." guess is that she would have rather carried it out there herself rather than to ask you to lift a finger on her behalf. Her mom was probably asking you to do it to help her out. She most likely doesn't trust you with her things because it is so glaringly obvious that you don't like her and don't respect her. Therefore why would you respect her property? It wouldn't surprise me at all if I were your SD if you were to go through her things.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 2:58PM
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KKNY, I like Silvers answer too. Thurman did say he s acting selfish, so he is admitting fault I think....Raek, I can identify with Thurman, because altho everyone is calling this issues minor, I can see where he s coming from..1. Asking how money was spent for brother.I dont have the half sib deal, but I find SSs asking how much something cost very intrusive 2.Church trip, own car, yeah this would hurt me too, you dont even want to be in the SAME CAR with me? 3. Reaching for butter. No communication with me at the table,icy chill, that would also hurt me.4. Carrying bag..DO NOT TOUCH my things. You DO NOT EXIST..Also hurtful.....Two ways to look at the story....

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 6:00PM
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Thanks guys :)

I do feel for Thurman too though, and think Dotz has a point. The problem is this has gone on for sooooooooooo long!!!!!!!!!!

How can he untangle this mess? Any suggestions there? We've all gotten ourselves in a little further than we could swim before, and at least Thurman is acknowledging his part.

Now what?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 6:17PM
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I totally agree with raek. first thurman complained that SD doesn't clean after him, doesn't pick up items that he drops etc. Now he complains that she doesn't ask him for help or doesn't ask HIM a permission. I think SD cannot win wiht him.

I honestly do not see what needs to be done. she only comes 2-3 times a year for a short period of time. she is not in anyone's face. nothing needs to be done about it.

i think thurman antagonized her over the years and now sees that she treats him the same way he treated her. it is possible she disrespects him but it is a result not the cause.

all he can do now is suffer through her visits.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 6:35PM
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Dotz...I see what you are saying, however, there is only one person Thurman can change and that is Thurman. I absolutely believe that if he changes his attitude and behavior toward his SD that things will change with their relationship.

It would be awful to have to be around somebody that can only see you in a negative light and I believe that is what Thurman does.

You can't expect to be respected by another human being if you don't respect them...just like Sweeby said, there is no doubt about the fact that Thurman doesn't like her and I can pretty much assume that she knows it. How can she be expected to do anything other than just tolerate his existence when visiting her family when he feels that way about her? Everything she does is taken badly. For example, she sent a card to his parents (in honor of mother's day and father's day) and Thurman took that as a personal attack against him.

The fact of the matter is, we could sit here picking apart everything everybody around us does or we could change our own behavior in order to make it impossible for those around us to feel any bad feelings toward us. We can choose to be liked by being likable or we can choose to be hated by being hateful or we can choose to be tolerated by tolerating others. In other words, you get what you give. If Thurman wants something better from his SD, he needs to GIVE better.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 6:40PM
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I just recalled that thurman didn't want SD to attend his father's funeral. Even though he knew SD since she was a little girl she only saw his parents twice or so. Obviously we cannot expect a little girl go visit stepgrandparents on her own, he had to arrange it, he didn't. Looks like he didn't want her to be part of his extended family. When she became an adult and made her own attempts to connect with them such as sending them cards, he didn't like it either.

All of this is hurtful for SD and her mother and I am not surprised she treats her stepdad the way she does. I also find important the fact that everyone gets along with SD except thurman. It says a lot.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 6:58PM
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What came first, the chicken, or the egg? I (we) have no way of knowing....Thurman seems to be vilified for seeing SD in only a negative light, but who started this bleek scenario? Maybe he did his best, but if you have one intractable person, its possible its the SD who is wanting to carry this on and he just wants peace.But I must say, if its 2 to 3 times a year, I d probably just shut up and deal, my hurt feelins aside......

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 11:27PM
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Respect is earned, not given. I think that goes for both parties here. Talk about a vicious circle. . . . who will be the adult and attempt to stop it?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 12:00AM
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I honestly cannot see where SD could stop this cycle. For the life of me, I can't. Unless she just stops visiting and I think that's what Thurman is after.

Let's look at this visits "disrespect."

-Didn't ask to pass the butter. Maybe SD just shouldn't eat at her mothers house.

-Didn't ask Thurman to help carry her bags. Maybe SD just shouldn't pack bags to visit her mother.

-Went into her Mother's room, while the Mother is okay and welcomes it, Thurman finds it disgusting. Maybe SD should not feel as if they are Mother and Daughter and ignore her Mother's wishes to appease Thurman.

-Didn't ask Thurman if she could drive her own car to church. A grown up didn't ask to drive her own car, lol. Maybe SD should just not drive her car to her mother's house.

-Asked about financial activity for brother at the church. Maybe SD should just not ask about anything concerning her brother or church, cause that's family business you know. And SD's well...not part of the cozy family.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 12:28AM
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Some very good points ---and questions--- have been raised here. Most recently the question "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" and the possibility that if we look hard enough, we'll all find a ton of fault with even those people we love the best and think can do no wrong. So many things can be read multiple ways... yes, often times passive-aggressive people will do something slyly and then claim you "misinterpreted".... but sometimes it really is a misinterpretation and sometimes a given person is in a no-win situation. It could be either or both, for you and/or your SD, and at this point it wouldn't surprise me if you both are treating each other with less than upmost respect and consideration. Don't forget, both of you are human beings, after all, so some of that is pretty inevitable anyway.

But again, many things are just so vague, minor, and open to interpretation. For example, the car: did you actually find out the reason she wanted to take her own car? Could it have been that she wanted to drive somewhere from there afterwards, or a few minutes to think, or a chance tomake a private call, or even just to listen to a new favorite song?

Other things are very open to strife simply because of cultural and/or personality differences. For example, SD talking to her mom while changing: absolutely no big deal for me & my mom, but some others (including you apparently) somewhere along the line were taught that was taboo or disrespectful or just never experienced it before. Just a matter of individual difference.

Another very important distinction to make is the difference between a person being inconsiderate ---maybe even dreadfully selfish, for the sake of argument--- and that person seriously wishing to hurt you directly. It's the difference between someone being a little clueless or needing to be gently corrected on their etiquette and being a cruel b*stard. An example you gave is the SD reaching over you for the butter. An example I can think of from my own life is when I made the very naive ---and in retrospect inconsiderate--- decision when I was about 18 to bring a pile of old family photos [my Dad's whole extended family] to show my Dad & SM, one or two of which included my mother (the ex-wife). At the time I was totally confused and blindsided by the immediate and cruel reaction of my SM, which was basically to hurl childish and slightly racist insults about my mom's nose. (Yes, her NOSE.) But if SHE was thinking that my intent was to be cruel to her and rub her face in the fact that my Dad was married before (and hadn't yet married her, btw), well, it doesn't mean she'd win any Nobel Peace Prize for maturity, but I could certainly see more why her dander would have been up. But in 1000% honesty, it never even occured to me for a nanosecond that there would be any threat or insult taken, it truly was "hey check out these neat old pix I found". I believe this incident so many years ago was one of the formative ones in the overall downward spiral in her and my relationship. It's only within the past year, reading and posting on this forum, that I've been able to retroactively divine my SM's behavior that day. The point is the whole incident and its after-effects was based on misinterpretation, hers and mine. And the cruelty she attributed to me was really only my cluelessness. So I'm inclined to think your SD has little to no idea of what she has done to get you so upset and suspicious, and that many of the little snubs you describe having perceived are things that she couldn't even dream up.

Here's a few Psych 101 type questions to ask yourself (take your time and you don't have to share all your answers if you don't want to) in trying to pinpoint when/how all this conflict started:

-was there a "B.C." period ("Before Conflict") which had a fairly sudden switcheroo into full-on conflict mode? If so, what do YOU attribute the change to? An event, a life change, a health issue? Do you think she would describe the same things, or even the same incident or issue?

-If the decline has been more gradual, what do you think explains that, and agian would she say the same things? Do you think it's due to personality and/or cultural differences that just don't mix well?

-Does she hit a nerve with you that activates any unpleasant memories from your past? Does she remind you of someone (a sibling, mother, ex) that you have had strong issues with? Do you think you hit a nerve from SD's past or remind her of someone?

-What precise quality(ies) of hers makes you most feel out of control over your negative emotions? And why?

-Of these negative emotions, if you had to pick ONE that most describes the way you feel about SD, which would it be? Anger? Fear? Abandonment? Loss? Competition? Frustration? How do you think SD would answer this, about you?

-What event, scenario, outcome or feeling do you most FEAR in connection with SD, and what do you think she fears most about you? (Examples could be fear of losing your wife/her mother's love, fear of losing self-control and doing something foolish, fear of being abused with no power or recourse to stop it...)

-If many of your answers you think would be different from SD's, what do you think explains the differences, and are those differences irreconcilable (In direct conflict) or can a practical solution be found to resolve the issues on both sides?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 12:51AM
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Nivea, we are all human beings and all should respect one another. As i stated in my post , both thurman and his sd should not insult each other and yes with my logic, sd can tell thurman to muzzle it as well.
BUt i haven't seen thurman insult sd???? I see sd runnign to mommy all the time and mommy defending her.
Good example for supper table showing that SD can reach over but when SS does it , its rude?
The main problem is that his wife is not and has not in the years put her foot donw with her own daughter. And over the years, thurman to me, has become resentful.
Its not the sd is bad. i'm sure she is a good girl but over the years of tension and misunderstandings and probabaly alot of teen year issues, thurman got disrespected by his wife through sd actions.
We all do not know further detail on SD part and probably never will.
I'm sure some situations were thurmans fault and some were SD
Liek i've said, both are adults and both should behave.
Thurman, she doesn't live there, she visits, try to swallow things up and bide your time until she leaves.

I just had a serious talk with my husband about my feelings with his daughter and i truly told him that i dont think his daughter is a bad person. i do not like how she is being raised and how she behaves shows a lack of respect to him not to me. But i do not like seeing my husband hurt and i'm started to resent her. I've told him, i know you love her, you'll forgive her no matter how many things she does to you. But she is not my daughter and i will not forgive her. now given those two points, i'm losing concern of her over the years. and its coming ot the point where i will no longer care about...which is dangerous. i told my husband i know that it hurts him to hear that I , his wife, do nto like her. But he is my husband, i dont hide these feelings and i want him to know the reasons as well.
i dont' know if you thurman spoke to your wife like this in the past about your sd and your feelings with her. If you didnt' , this is why, i think, over the years you became resentful ( i understand that part) but your wife had no clue about your feelings and that being said...of course she will say her daughter is perfect. She loves her.
I think out of respect for yoru wife, even though she hasn't protected yoru back on certain things, you should set aside those hard feelings and let your family enjoy SD home visit. Sd even though she does ot like you, it has come ot the point where that doesn't matter. She has the right to visit and see her family.
I understand that its none of her business with money but youknmow what...even if you spent the money on yoru son..there is nothing she can do about that. If she has a problem with the cash you delved out , that her problem to deal wiht it. She cannot stop you from spending it.
Those things, should slide off your back like butter and let her boil with the info if she doesn't like what she hears.
I get that all the time with my Sd...asks how much her dad has spent on our son husband...tells her its none of your business. That its adult business and its private business. Which menas its between a wife and husband. Not a child or anotehr adult.
If your wife never set those boundaries then its your wifes fault and diservice to her daughter.
Thurman, in the end, your Sd is an adult who doesn't live with you. Let go of your feelings and enjoy your life. i know its tense when she comes home...but i'm sure she feels her own tension as well. You both do nto like one another. Its fine....just be civil wiht one another. You are both adults!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 8:53AM
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Maria..."BUt i haven't seen thurman insult sd???? I see sd runnign to mommy all the time and mommy defending her." I don't think that SD did run to anybody to defend her. I think Thurman goes to his wife because he's ticked at every little perceived slight, and the wife defends her daughter because she knows Thurman is just looking for reasons to be mad at her DD.

It doesn't sound like the SD was upset with her Mom and Thurman for spending the money on her brother for the church trip. Maybe she was just curious on the cost because she wants to plan a similar trip. There is nothing said as to her reaction to the information given.

They are both adults and it really, truly doesn't sound to me as if the SD is doing anything that Thurman has reason to be so angry about. It's just silly little things that would mean nothing if some other person were doing it. I really don't think she means to make him mad. It sounds like she does all she can to avoid him so that she won't make him mad, but then she makes him mad by avoiding him. It's madness.

The fact is that it probably doesn't matter to her if Thurman doesn't like her because nothing she could do would please him anyway. If Thurman wants things to change, he needs to be proactive about it. He should make her a part of his cozy little family rather than treating her like an outsider. That way he wouldn't also feel like an outsider when she is around.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 5:15PM
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Hi folks~

I think part of anger too is that my SD is the teflon kid. She has two sides. One is the side she shows when mommy is around or when people in the church can see her. Friendly, respectful, kind. Then there is the side that I see, that others just do not. I feel she has been able to manipulate and get away with this and no one calls her on it. I feel like the voice of one crying in the wilderness, trying to expose her for the monster she is, but to no avail.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 8:22PM
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My guess is that SD has realized you don't want her around, you have tried to isolate her mother and she tries to minimize time with you etc. And she feels sad for her mom. If she gets along with everyone else but you, I would ask why that is.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 8:55PM
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"I feel she has been able to manipulate and get away with this and no one calls her on it. I feel like the voice of one crying in the wilderness, trying to expose her for the monster she is, but to no avail."

Thurman, what exactly is your SD getting away with? What kind of monstrous acts has she done? If it is the same stuff you've posted, then no doubt people don't see her as a manipulative monster. She sounds like a human, who has flaws like most people.

I have a feeling your SD could be Mother Theresa but it wouldn't matter, she's still breaking up your cozy family.

Seriously, if you cannot do it for yourself, try counseling for your wife's sake. I can't imagine any parent exposing their child to this much hate and vitirol from their spouse. I can't imagine any parent staying with their spouse under these kind of circumstances.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 9:11PM
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raek you really want things to change, or do you just want to complain?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 9:47PM
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"...trying to expose her for the monster she is, but to no avail."

Thurman... this is what gets you stuck on the spit and roasted.

I think most of us can relate to not getting along with steps (parents and kids) but there are few monsters in the world. Dahmer comes to mind. Bundy comes to mind. Manson comes to mind.

Thurman's step-daughter... not so much.

Care to elaborate, or were you just being melodramatic? In which case, I say to stuff it and get over it. Life is too short. You're a grown man. It's a family member. God knows I have a ton of family I can't stand and push my buttons and seem to do it on purpose and drive me CRAZY!!!!!!!!

Get over it.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 11:46PM
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I dont have enough details of your life for the last 15 years you have delt with her to give an opinion.
alot of people hear are defend her...but ...i'm dealing with a 2 faced SD myself and now dad is seeing it with his own eyes.
My own sd acts nice and believe me she's good at it...i even begin to retrust her ...then she says one thing to one person, one thing to antoher..i put the two together and voila!....
You obviously do not trust her...but can you give examples..and please no talbe stuff....cause that is honestly objective....
What exactly has she done to you only and then acts nicely in front of others.
My Sd has hugged me in front of dad....but then wehn i would approach her she would ignore me blatantly...
But her behaviour now is back and forth...its a rollercoaster. She can be 2 faces sometimes...and honestly sincere the next...maybe she's bipolar...i dont know anymore.
BUt you have to give examples. You can't lable your sd as a monster. She's educated, and she doesnt sound all that bad except the fact that both of you do not see eye to eye.....
Ifyou are now complaining about petty stuff.....stop it. Get a hold of yourself and get over it.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 12:32PM
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I am yet to see what makes SD a monster. After all this endless saga about horrible SD, thurman is the one who exhibits some less than wonderful behaviors.

Under the circumstances SD exhibits a lot of patience towards her stepfather, I am surprised she didn't stop visiting all together.

The funniest complain is that she went to mom's bedroom while mom was changing LOL. i and DD are changing in the same room wiht no problem, i do the same with my mom. Now thurman wants to deny them mother/daughter bond. Ridicilous and controlling behavior.

His wife is still SD's mother and she is not going to stop being one even if she married thurman.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 12:49PM
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"you have tried to isolate her mother"


You may have, as my little cousin used to say, hit the nail right on the button.

The wife's daughter's main offense is...being there.

thurman won't be happy unless he can run her off.

leaving her mother isolated with a rage-a-holic.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 5:19PM
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"...trying to expose her for the monster she is, but to no avail."

Thurman... this is what gets you stuck on the spit and roasted.


How else can your wife respond (other than protectively) when she sees you constantly trying to 'expose' her daughter for a monster. There are two sides to every story, and while I suspect your wife really can see your side, it doesn't sound like you are able to see SD's side...

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 8:17PM
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This will sound funny, and I don't mean to sound trite, but when I took my shoes off, my SD made a face. But when my wife or son take their shoes off, and their feet reek to high heaven, she doesn't do anything. It's not worth thinking about it, it's so silly, right? Now multiply that by hundreds if not thousands of little things like that. It adds up.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 5:03PM
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(Delurking) Why are you looking at her face when everyone takes their shoes off?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 10:40PM
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"Why are you looking at her face when everyone takes their shoes off?"

note to forum members:

Coffee, when applied in a spray pattern, is an effective screen cleaner.

He's looking at her face because he's always watching her.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 11:25AM
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And she's making a face because she doesn't like you.
And she doesn't like you because you don't like her.
And you don't like her because she doesn't like you.
And she doesn't like you because you don't like her.
And you don't like her because she doesn't like you.
And she doesn't like you because you don't like her.
And you don't like her because she doesn't like you.
And she doesn't like you because you don't like her.
And you don't like her because she doesn't like you.
And she doesn't like you because you don't like her.
And you don't like her because she doesn't like you.
And she doesn't like you because you don't like her.
And you don't like her because she doesn't like you.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 12:17PM
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LOL Sweeby.

Thurman, just be the 'bigger man' - be the grown-up. If, for every slight she gives you (and you must admit, they're pretty mild slights, for a 'monster' - she's not sidling up to you and saying unspeakable things to you) turn the other cheek. Treat contempt with sweetness (don't overdo it or be sarcastic) and don't sweat the small stuff.

If your wife had big-time Alzheimer's, and asked the same question every five minutes, would you a) just answer it, and accept she doesn't know/can't help it or b) bust a gasket, become enraged, rant and rave because she 'ought to know better?"

What would be the better approach, and which approach would be better and healthier for you?

You get back, what you give out. Sweeby has hit the nail on the head (thank goodness for copy+paste)

If you ignore these tiny perceived slights, and behave absolutely normally, if sd continues her 'monstrous' behaviour, 1) you will be the better person 2) perhaps wife will notice, and prepare the wooden stake or whatever, or, most likely, 3) relations with sd will improve, and, regardless, you will feel better because you won't be getting yourself into a state.

If sd is in med school, there's an excellent chance she's not socially well-adjusted. Highly intelligent, highly educated people have often become so at the expense of other skills.

Again, be the grown-up.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 12:36PM
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I suggest the whole family starts using some kind of foot spray so SD doesn't have to make faces.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 12:49PM
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Thurman, i understand you just gave an example of her sillinest...i completely understand. BUT you also gave a good exampleof yourself on how sensitive you are for all details.
1. You both do not like each other and most probably never will.
ACCEPT IT! and start to NOT CARE WHAT FACES SHE MAKES. doesnt' matter anymore. You should learn to ignore these petty little things that she does to you and ignore them. I'm sure you do things that completly annoy her because both of you are at a level of annoyance to begin with.
I know we all come here to vent....we vent...its venting....we cant do it to our partners because it would cause friction and we dont want to hurt them and we are human and we need to vent.
BUt all these things that build up thurman....after a while you just have to laugh and dust off the flakes and go about your life.
How about this...if you let your feet stink more than your wifes and sons...its a sure way to keep sd away from
come on thurman! she's human...just begin to let go and let it be with her. I'm sure both of you are tired of this tennis match.
Sweeby described it nice.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 1:09PM
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"If sd is in med school, there's an excellent chance she's not socially well-adjusted. Highly intelligent, highly educated people have often become so at the expense of other skills. "

Really -- do you have any support for that.

Why is it when posters children do well, it is cause for celebration, but no matter what steps do, its not good.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 1:20PM
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You know how them smart people are KK --
Thay ain't got no common sense and there all kinda wierd.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 2:38PM
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hahah sweeby

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 3:20PM
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This has been going on long enough. I totally understand why these petty little add up and annoy you because I went through it myself with an adult SK. Sweeby is right about the vicious cycle of complete and utter dislike the two of you have for one another. I think you only solution is to pee or get off of the pot. Pull her aside, just the two of you and you tell her how you feel when she does this stuff. You can let her know that you feel she does things deliberately to annoy you (things that she doesn't do to anyone else in the house), and that it does annoy you and consequently you dread her visits and you want this crap to stop. You can tell her that this dysfunctional dance between the two of you has gone on for so many years that it just needs to end. Tell her that has an impact on her mother and brother, acknowledge your part in this, give her a chance to acknowledge her participation as well (if she chooses). You then tell her that she doesn't have to like you, but as long as she is staying in your home and visiting with her mom and bro, that you expect to be treated with the same amount of respect and dignity as the other people who live in your home. Let her know that you don't have any expectations for a relationship with her, but you just want the BS to stop. And most importantly, you will need to apologize for you part in this.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 1:56PM
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