Backstabbing Adult Stepchildren

ericsdarlinApril 20, 2006

I'm not at all sure what approach I should take with this. I don't even know if I'm just plain wrong to feel as I do or not.

I have four grown stepchildren. I've tried very hard for 10 years to encourage their father to stay in touch with them, be there for them, etc. I walk on egg shells in my own home because if I say or do anything that can be is. They NEVER say anything to my face (or my husband's); but they pick apart everything I do.

If their Dad makes a decision they don't like it's because I brainwashed him. If I'm not available for them at their whim I'm terrible. (I fix their computers for nothing, give them computer components, make huge family meals every time we get together, etc.) The youngest (only girl) exaggerates things and I end up a bad guy. For example, she has a very bad rash around her mouth. It actually looks as thought it could scar it's so bad. She and her "like a sister" girlfriend stopped by and I asked her if she needs help paying for a doctor to get it looked at. I told her I was afraid she'd get infection or scar or worse. She said she had plenty of $ and the subject dropped. Two weeks later I find out that I "jumped all over her in front of people" and embarrassed her. I had no right because I'm not her mother. Blah, Blah, Blah. I raised this child from the time she was 8 years old because her mother is mentally ill. She's now 19 and all of a sudden I can't ask her if she needs our financial help for a medical condition.

None the less, I find out that (with the exception of one of the kids) this has been the status quo for years. Basically I'd better please them or I'm the worst person in the world.

What do you think? What should I do about these ungrateful, backstabbing brats?

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You have two options:

ONE: Continue to live your life in the futile effort to please them - and it sounds like the only way you can really please them is to keel over dead after making them the beneficiaries on a huge life insurance policy.

TWO: Accept that they will blame you for everything that is wrong with their lives, it's apparently not possible to please them. Stop trying to make them like you and get on with living. (warn your husband, the amount of whining this produces will be horrendous at first)

If you choose #2, let each of them know, in a brief 1-1 conversation, that you have tried to please them, your efforts are not working, and you are not going to worry about whether they are happy with your actions or not.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 5:58PM
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Hi, I have much the same problem with my 2 adult stepchildren. I can never do anything right. I make them uncomfortable by being me and being their dad's wife. I help pay for many things they need including health insurance, but for some reason they think that is not a benefit, just something I should do/give to them. They are very ungrateful and disrespectful to me. I stopped trying about 8 to 9 months ago and have found myself being much happier. I can not please them and they will always find some fault with me. So go with #2 and enjoy your life. Don't worry about them.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 7:35PM
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Hi Again:

I very much appreciate the advice! What I did was tell my husband that I will be socially polite and civil with his kids. I will not make an issue of their behavior as long as it doesn't happen in our home. And I will also quit making the big family dinners, fixing the computers, etc. Actually, I feel liberted! I don't feel like I have to continue trying for him or for them any longer and it's a big load off.

Thank you for the good advice. I really appreciate it.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2006 at 10:28PM
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Ericsdarlin, you did the right thing. I wish that I had done that years ago. I had the same situation. They wanted me to do everything, but when it was done, it was wrong or not enough. I helped support them emotionally, physically and financially but never was it appreciated or good enough. They lived under my roof, wore clothes that I purchased, ate food from my pantry, and so on. But no matter how much was given, all I ever got from them was complaints and whining. Their mother who never shelled out a dime for them and rarely saw them, got all the praise and love and hugs. I can understand that. She is their mother. They are going to love her no matter what. But it would have been nice if I had at least received some respect. I can handle the whole "no love" thing. I was prepared for that. I was not prepared for the constant disrespect.

I finally made the decision to do the basics, things that I needed to have done for them in order to simplify MY life, and forgot about the extras. I will cook their meals, but there are no more fancy holiday feasts unless I decide to do one for my friends. I will buy what they need, but if they want something, they'll have to get it from another source. They hate the new system, but it sure makes life easier for me.

I tried and tried, but after 8 years, I got tired of trying. They are old enough now to realize that there are consequences to the way they treat me. I will do what needs to be done, but no more than that. They can count on me to be there for them. But I stopped with the extra mile a while ago. And it's made my life a lot easier.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2006 at 4:14PM
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I so agree. I started not caring on Christmas 2005, and it was so liberating. It felt so good to say "I don't care" when my step-son cussed me out during Christmas dinner.
What I stopped caring, it changed everything. All of a sudden, they had no one to manipulate. All of a sudden there was peace in my life.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 9:05PM
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Everyone provided excellent examples of how to handle those who cause stress in your life.

You can only change yourself; you can't change anyone else.

You don't have to eliminate "emotional blackmailers" from your life because that does not solve the problem; it only shoves it under the rug. All you have to do is stop allowing yourself to fall victim to the blackmailer - it works every time.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 8:26AM
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So True.

A friend gave me a copy of the book "Tough Love". I think it's out of print, but anyway, it talked about how most dysfunctional relationships involve at least 3 people: The emotional blackmailer, the enabler, and the bad guy.

In our case, the emotional blackmailer is the step-child, the enabler is the biologic parent (often your spouse or your spouse's ex-), and the bad guy, ofen the step-parent.

This is an excerpt from a review of Tough Love:

"you can't change your child, you can only change the way you relate to them, thus forcing them to relate to you differently. It's about taking stands and setting boundaries and not letting your children manipulate you. It's about putting the anxiety and responsibility for our children's lives where it belongs, on the children."

It has really made a difference for us, and has really helped our marriage. My husband has begun to realize that
I am not a bad guy, but rather someone who wants stability and reason in our lives.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 9:52AM
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They are adults and they need to stop acting like children. Call a family meeting and tell them how you feel. In an open forum in front of everyone hash it out. Maybe you all need better communication. See where it goes from there.
If that doesn't work, stop worrying about it, again they are adults!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 1:23PM
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I have stopped worrying about it long ago.

In our case, it's not a communication problem...far from it.
They are very good at "communicating" exactly how they feel, and with many choice words. Believe me, it is clear how they and their mother feel about Dad remarrying.

The thing is that I don't care. And that has put an end to conflict.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 5:39PM
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I am a divorcee with 2 children and 2 adult step-children.
When I saw the title of Angel's post, I thought it was about
Wedding Etiquette, i.e., where does the evil stepmother sit at the wedding, etc.

I am going to say something really controversial.
You and your stepmother have been going at it since you were a child. Maybe, just maybe, this is a golden opportunity for you to bury the hatchet. Whether your father pays for your wedding or not, is up to him, and his graciousness and generosity. Maybe he will, and maybe he won't. But it you take this as an opportunity to make peace with everyone, this can be a really big step forward.
If you want a dream wedding, then go to the bank and borrow $40,000, and pay for it. Maybe your father will make the decision to re-imburse you, but if he doesn't then you have to understand that. But either way, this is a good time to mend fences, and forget the bitterness and jealousy. Take the high road.

My first wedding was the big cathedral wedding with everything, 8:00 at night, Lavish flowers, cathedral wedding dress, formal everything, hotel reception, and it cost a fortune. The wedding was the best part of our marriage.

My second marriage cost $3,000. I had the wedding in a garden at a bed & breakfast with the reception to follow. It was not "punch and cookies", it was champaigne and strawberries. There were 4 total attendants, and a harpist who played for the ceremony and the reception. I made my dress out of ecru muslin and a lace collar, ankle length, with a bouquet of white roses. The attendants dressed similarly. It was a 4:00 in the afternoon, and we had a beautiful all white wedding cake with real flowers on the top, champaign, strawberries and iced shrimp. It was lovely. There were about 40 guests. It was not expensive, but it was wonderful. Really, does anyone have more than 40 close friends?

Believe me, the cost of the wedding doesn't not correlate with the success of the marriage--it's just a fantasy for a day. And do you really want to pay for dinner and drinks for all those people that you probably don't like all that well, anyway? And if you don't think it's important enough to pay for yourself, is it fair to ask you father to do it?

I'm just going to take a guess here. I think if you plan your fantasy wedding, and borrow the money, and ask your father and your step father to walk you down the aisle, and ask your mom and step-mom to sit on the first pew, and involve both sets of parents in the planning, (not let them plan it, but involve them in showers, etc) that your Dad will come through. I think that he is sad about things, too, and I think he will come through for you. But again, if he doesn't, you will have to understand. I wish my stepdaughter would do that, but there is so much water under the bridge that I couldn't even hope for that.
Love to you, sweetie.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 11:20AM
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You are not alone in this... I think at one point even when a SP feels they have a good relationship with their SC. They find out from other sources that the step-child has a very different story to others. When children are young it is common place for them to transfer blame for things they do onto parents. Some outgrow this, others become the "victims" their whole lives. The latter is the case with my SD. To our faces my husband and I get glowing remarks on how much she loves and appreciates us.. then behind our backs it's "they never loved me, they treated me differently than the other children." Which is totally untrue. You learn to ignore these remarks due to the fact that normally brought to their attention they will just say "I never said that" and the fight never ends. Those who choose to play the victim forever will be miserable and if allowed will make you miserable as well.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 1:23PM
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'Victims' indeed! You hit the nail right on the head Sandstone! After 20 plus years of being held to the highest standards where others (the bio parents are held to none), loving my two steps (stepson and stepdaughter) as my own, told I was their "mom', only to realize (finally, I had suspected it for some time) that this profession of love was largely fake; years of paying the price for their bio mom's desertion of them and lack of interest in their early lives through their active use of me as scapegoat, this stepmom is more than relieved to turn in her timecard for the very last time and to leave these two maladjusted 'victims' to their own devices, either to finally deal with long overdue issues concerning their past or to continue to play the victims whilst searching for an alternative scapegoat. I, wholeheartedly choose option #2.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 2:01AM
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Okay so what do you do when the stepson is only two months younger than you, you have no kids of your own, all of the other stepkids are grown and taking care of themselves, yet the one stepson and his two kids 3 & 7 have had to live with you 4 seperate times in 3 years because he won't not can't work, won't watch or be responsible for his own children. their mother left, does this not say it all, the kids are very good but typical for their ages they need supervision is all. Not bad children. I could take them any day as long as his ass wasn't included. His father can't see anything negative this is his favorite child and he can do no wrong. Not even when he lost the kids to DHR for failing drug tests. Should I just bail, I love this man but this kid is my age, he won't get it together and I am not gonna support him and his kids. I'm the only one working, I also do all the laundry, dishes, picking up after, driving to and from school, and cooking, shopping, etc... Reading this you must think I'm crazy but this kid was never around when his father and I got together, we kept the grandkids every now and then, but never did i know i would have to give up my home, furniture, vehicles, privacy, life and paycheck, to this lazy brat, when his father and I said I DO

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 6:02PM
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This thread is so timely for me. I really like all of the responses and need some help with almost the same situation, but mine is just a little different. I met my husband 10 yrs ago/married 8 yrs ago. My stepdaughter was 11 when I met him and almost 13 when we got married. Mom is psycho and although remarried still hates my husband and I like it was yesterday. She has done almost everything imaginable (except accuse him of child abuse) in these years, but has not been successful in alienating the kids. (I also have a step-son is is 17 and lives with us full time.) Mom, is selfish and pathological. She will hurt her kids no matter how bad in an effort to hurt us. Before she got married, she was the town trollop and has a drinking problem. Well, my step-daughter had/has a lot of issues but she and I were very close when she lived in CA. (bc her Mom never made time for her and always put my step-son before her). We went through all the internet BS with her, 2 episodes of shoplifting (with me representing her in ct on the last one after she turned 18 - I am a lawyer), hanging out with the wrong crowd, failing all of her college classes, etc., etc., and finally 2 years ago (when she was almost 19), she went to live with my sister and her hsuband in RI to "start over" - - going to a new community college in RI where my brother-in-law is a tenured professor. When she lived in Ca, I always blamed every screw up to her Mom.

Well, it didn't take long before she was a nightmare there as well, and of course bc she is now screwing over MY family, things have taken a very serious turn for the worse. I basically threw her out of their home last May. She continues to lie about school (she was not even registered last semester, but told everyone she took 4 classes and got a 3.0 Mom bought her a new Apple I-Book bc of these great grades), and our relationship is basically non-existent bc now that she is away (and does not need me for anything), she feels she can be completely disrespecful to me. She just had a melt down bc I told my sisters that her boyfriend broke up with her, telling me she could not TRUST me! She acts like I should be proud that, as she put it, she is not laying in a gutter with a needle hanging out of her arm; that all I do is focus on her flaws and will not let the past go - and when she means past, she means not that very long ago. I guess I could let go of her "past" if she showed that she was any different! (Oh, I forgot to mention that I had a health scare and we all thought that I had a brain tumor and she did not even bother to call to see how my 2nd brain MRI came out.)

Anyway, I know I need to let go, but I don't know how. I also don't know how to let go of my anger towards her. Help.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 10:25AM
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It hurts a LOT to be betrayed in such a deep way when you have opened up your family to SD to help her and she has caused havoc in their home as well:(

It seems that she is the one who cannot be trusted and all you can do is protect yourself from further damage from her in the hope that one day she will mature enough to see the harm she has caused. Don't hold your breath waiting though.

Your husband has hopefully discussed this with his daughter.

It is awfully too bad that SD has for all intents and purposes destroyed what could have been a positive, nurturing relationship for her.

I really have no idea how to get rid of the anger. It seems that often stepmoms are treated like objects to be used rather than real people with real feelings.

I don't suppose she would consider an apology?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 1:25PM
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I feel so much better after reading these comments (sounds bad, but i dont feel so alone). My fiancee is 41 and has 5 stepkids. he raised the kids bc their mother didnt want anything to do with them. They disrespect him and me and it drives me nuts. he doesnt really care bc he is used to it. They ignore him for the most part unless they want something. The youngest two are twins and 20 so that is a conflict. I am only 24. The one twin is fine, the other has had mental issues and has a history of cutting. One step kid doesnt really bother us much, the other two basically acknowledge him. Unless i speak up. My fiancee doesnt really know how to address the issue with them and it is very infuriating for me. I was raised to respect my parental figures and the way these step kids act disgust me. But there is nothing i can do. I feel frustrated at times, but reading these other stories has really helped me. I have already gave up trying to help any of them or talk to them in any form bc of the way they snuffed me when I tried. I hope this all makes sense, i havent got all this out before and i didnt know what to say first.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 10:28PM
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Hello everyone so far I only heard from the stepmothers, what about the stepfathers? Well, I'm a stepfather and I have been with my wife for 15 going on 16 years. I have 4 children totaled, 2 biological children with my wife, and 2 stepchildren. When I met my wife she already had 2 young daughters. From the beginning has been rough due to a lack of discipline and consistency. As a man coming from a stepparent household I understood the change, but embraced it because here is a person my mother brought home and he now is part of our family. He has no biological ties to me or my brother, but he does everything our natural father did not, so I asked myself how can I disrespect him and he is doing things for me that he really doesn't have to. I realize common sense is not a given, so being naive I went into this relationship with the same aspirations as my step dad did, with the best intentions possible. The reception I got was less then welcoming, I tolerated the situation for a long time saying they are just children and things will get better. I come from a family where the kids know their places and do not venture to far out of line due to the fear of DISCIPLINE, but that was not the case here. As years have gone by and they are adults now I find myself dealing with the same issues. The problems have gotten to the point it causes stress between my wife and I. They play the divide and conquer game, and as long as my wife and I are at odds they normally find a way to get what they want. Its usually stated my wife is only saying no or not doing what they want because of me and my rules, or how come you do this for him and not me. In turn now my wife feels she must compensate them to make them feel loved. I have tried my best to forgive and forget when my character is attacked, but I'm human just like the next person and have feelings. I watch as they manipulate my wife to do what they want, with nothing in return. I have tried to explain my position on the matter several times but it always comes back to I'm over exaggerating the issue. When there is a disagreement my wife has nothing to say until I lose my temper and air the room out. Then its I could have handled the situation better, but she offers no solution to the problem. As I read each and every post in this forum, it was like the same story over and over again, so I knew then I was not crazy in thinking it was time for me to stop trying to make people happy that obviously have no concern of how I feel or what I think. As long as I'm there to do what they need me to do we are fine, but as soon as I make a decision IN MY OWN HOUSE there's a problem. My next issue is the oldest and her son. I love my grand son with all my heart, he is a ball of energy. What I don't like is how he is dropped off with no regard of what we have to do, or what plans we may have, and we are forced to find suitable arrangements for him so we can live our lives. My wife gets the guilt trip of that's your grandson you should want to watch and spend time with him, I agree but not every weekend. It has gotten to the point where nobody respects our time or privacy, I complain but it does no good because she justifies the actions. We have never been on a honeymoon or on vacation by ourselves, because the moment we decide to go somewhere here comes the quilt trip of how its not fair for us to go anywhere and not include them (MIND YOU DID I SAY THEY WERE GROWN, and then want to go for free. I am tired, tired I tell you, but I thank you all for some great advice. I have been feeling used for years and I too now feel liberated

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 8:11PM
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I understand. When you try to do the best for them with all good intentions. Because what you do for them is the reflection of the love that you have for their parent. They can twist things so much that it makes you look like a total horrible person. But, your spouse has to now deep down inside that you aren't. There is a reason why that person is with you and then decided to get married to you. If the step child is saying things about you that horrible and keep making you feel bad for there purposes then you know that you are doing the right thing. They just want to break your spirit and make you miserable and leave lol if only it was that easy lol because they aren't getting there way like they would want it. They see how you and your spouse is close and how your spouse is HAPPY!! They thought they were the only thing that made your spouse HAPPY!! Wrong there is a difference between your spouse and children. They should never be crossed!! Your children are your children and your spouse is someone your making a home with a partner. So, your children are your children they get to be grown but your spouse is suppose to be your person side by side. So, your spouse is as much to blame just as the kids. If the spouse put the kids in there places it would never happen. Why should they make you feel unhappy in your own home that you guys together are providing for them. Keep your head up and be liberated!! Wow I should take my own advice.. :-)

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 2:53PM
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As a step dad that just raised a step daughter for 21 years as my own and adopted her I can say without a shadow of a doubt if you ever even think about trying to raise someone else's kids you are a moron and need to have your head checked. I gave to this kid all the way through college and we told this week she never really wanted me to adopt her all along. Well guess what she is CUT OFF and out of the inheritence from this moment on. Oh and her $800 a month prescription bill is all hers now because I just dropped her off my insurance.

1 Like    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 1:47PM
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i thought i was the crazy one for thinking i was the only one who saw this as very unfair, disrespectful, and immature. i've been with my son's father for 6 years. he's an older man with grown kids who are also older than me with kids of their own. i couldn't believe how they treated their dad. they're grown adults who keep asking for money, who expect to stay for free in our home (we got pushed out), expect me to cook and clean for them all the time, expect us to take care of their animals, and they get what they want all the time. if i say something to my son's father about their behavior, he gets so defensive. i remind him that they're all adults and should act like one. i never thought to treat my own parents that way and no one else should. when there are family gatherings, i resent it because that's when they all team up and say mean things about me in front of me. i can't even stand up for myself because they tell me i'm younger than them and they basically cut me off on what i try to explain. no one sees things my way and no one will stand up for me there. its like being thrown to the wolves. i'm so frustrated that my son's father and i have split. i so dearly love him but i cannot understand why they feel as though i'm the bad person when all i've done is try to help them. its ridiculous.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 12:06PM
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As I read through each of these posts, it is so very similar to what I am and still somewhat going through with my three horrid stepchildren. As it has been stated, I drew the line in the sand last year and didn't go around any of them and they were not welcome at home either. It was a wonderful year of liberation and peace in our home. My husband and I have been married for almost 6 years (he was a widower) and all of his kids have never been supported of us and especially of me. I could be the most famous person on the planet and give them everything and they would show NO appreciation, NO recognition for what I have done for them, and NO respect. After 6 years instead of the relationship getting better, it has gotten worse. Over this past 6 years, I have bought one of them a new car when she graduated high school, the other a job and donated a fair amount to her wedding, paid tuition for college and anything else he needed etc etc etc - no appreciation. I think the BEST decision I have made is drawing the line in the sand and making them realize that their behavior will not be tolerated and we don't want them around. It has been absolutely wonderful not having the drama and the disruption of our household from BRATS!

In the meantime of all of this my hubby and I have adopted three kids of our own and it has been a wonderful experience. Of course the steps are NOT supportive of this either but who cares their feelings, emotions, opinions don't matter. Once you come to terms that dysfunctional peeps have NO place in your life, it is so wonderful.

Thank you for all your posts they were very insightful and validated/confirmed many things!!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 11:53PM
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Blazin.. Believe me, I understand.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 6:14PM
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I have two adult step sons living with me. I believe that step children are damaged goods and are much less likely to grow up and go out on their own than biological children. The younger son moved his wife in with us and the elder son has moved in his girlfriend and her two illegitimate children (sired by two different men not my step son). Her two children have fetal alcohol syndrome with some retardation.

The older of the two is a large eight year old boy that is on ADD drugs and tends to scream especially when playing the adult video games that his mother gives him. The daughter is six years old and does not speak in full sentences yet and frequently bursts into screaming crying with no cause throughout the day.

My father told me to not date any women that already have children and I wish that I had taken his advice.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 3:38PM
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I am married to a man with 3 grown children: 2 whom live off of us and 1 with borderline personality disorder who hates me. After trying for 3 years to get along with her, we've cut her out of our lives. The other two are maladjusted, lazy, self-centered liars who can't support themselves. The youngest stole tuition money and falsely used credit cards for a year before flunking out of college. Her alcoholic brother is pushing 30 and can't keep a job so dad fixed him up at the business the two of us started together. This rotten arrangement has been made all the worse by the economy. This jerk lies, breaks things, loses things, and is completely, utterly disrespectful to both of us but especially to me. Like the other posters, everything is my fault. I'm the scapegoat. Both sleep until 2:00 on the weekends and do nothing. Who in their right mind would want to hire them? I told my husband 2012 is going to be different. I don't care about their problems they can go live with their mom for all I care but they cant' continue to live under our roof and mistreat me. My husband is a kind man but a poor communicator, a procrastinator who avoids conflict and tries to be their friend with predictably bad results. I've had it with trying to make nice with this family. I wish I had followed my instinct when we first started dating and dropped him when I realized his adult kids didn't want him to be happy. If you're reading this and dating a person with adult step children who behave cooly toward you: do not think time will change things, do not think the addition of a child or children will soften their hearts towards you (it won't), don't believe they will grow up. They ARE grown up and guess what? They will still hate you. They will always hate you. Your ONLY recourse is to set firm boundaries and follow through for your own self preservation. And stop caring. Nobody will remember the nice things you do, least of all the ungrateful brats. And that includes your husband because he doesn't want to be reminded about the fact that he's part of the problem and hasn't figured out what do to about it. If nothing changes, nothing changes.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 1:11AM
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My husband and I have been married 20 years. He has 3 children and I have 1 from our previous marriages. My daughter has always lived with us. His ex-wife had custody of his 3 children. Same scenario as in many. He paid child support every month (taken from his paycheck). His
ex-wife would tell the kids he never paid. He would send cards and gifts and of course their Mom said they never got them. But after all said and done we finally had a good relationship with the kids. Of course when they needed money we heard from them. And we gave it when we could. When they needed a place to stay we always gave it. Of course they always acted resentful of my daughter but we figured that was normal. As they grew and had children of their own, we were very proud Grandparents. In all those 20 years I have never given those kids anything but love and support. The only time I said anything was when they acted disrespectful towards their Father. We always welcomed them in our home, gave them money and support when we could, and treated them with kindness and love. When they all came and stayed for a week at a time, I cooked, cleaned up after them, and made it as comfortable as possible for them. Even when they got into their late twenties. Still cleaned up after them and the Grandsons. When they finally came over for the weekend to see us, I would gladly babysit so they could spend time with their friends. Every holiday we planned around what they were doing and went from there. We respected what they wanted to do even if it never seemed to be with the whole family. When my daughter got married we let it slide that they “had” to leave right after the meal. The son never showed up. And we let it slide that they made “fun” of the wedding and how everybody looked bored. (It was a great wedding). My daughter and her husband paid for it mostly by themselves.
Last year my husband fell at work and hurt his shoulder. He had to have surgery. Then his plant closed down. So he is on workmans comp and unemployed. So because money is getting short. I came up with the “brilliant” idea, instead of having two different Christmas celebrations, one with my stepchildren and one with my daughter, we are going to have only one. So I emailed the girls telling them the plan. Our youngest stepdaughter’s reply was and she is 30. “We planned on the 17th and you promised. We all ready made plans for Christmas. We will not be there for Christmas or any other day. Do not send us presents ever. She went on about how terrible I am, that I am selfish and childish and deranged. Boy what a Wake Up call that was! Three weeks before that we did sit down and discuss Christmas and I kept saying “let’s find out when Jane and Mike can come because we would like it the same day”. Her and her Sister were sending me emails going back to the last 20 years and finding fault with everything that their Dad and I did. It seems we never supported or did anything for them in all of these years! Then they went back to the divorce before I knew any of them and how their Dad should never have left them. (He left so their Mother’s boyfriend could move in) but they don’t seem to remember that. The youngest stepdaughter said she will blame me forever for never seeing her Father again. Their Mother lied and manipulated them for so long. I felt terrible. I cried and cried. We will never see our Grandsons again. What else could I have done to ever please these kids? I always welcomed them in our home and doted on them. The youngest daughter even called me Mom. And her last email said “Don’t ever call me your daughter again. Don’t tell anybody I am your Daughter. You are not my Mother.” Apparently they have had resentment for us for so long that it would never go away, no matter what we did. I finally put my foot down and said no this Christmas we are going to do it this way and they didn’t like it, and everything came out in the wash. My husband read the emails and he is so disappointed in them. He is supporting me all the way. We were being manipulated all this time to keep them happy and that made us feel we could never do enough for them. And after reading your experiences it makes me feel lifted. We have come to realize that they have very deep seated issues that they need to get help with. We aren’t going to keep beating ourselves up on what we should have said or done. We treated them right and did our best to show we loved them. And that is all you can do.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 12:20PM
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Pamy, that's so sad, and very similar to a situation with my DD's ex-BF's mother and step dad. His step dad was widowed and remarried ex-BF's mother (a divorcee with children of her own), they blended their families and she cared for his children and grandchildren as you have, then suddenly they all turned on her and told her how they had all hated her for years etc. It made everyone very unhappy and the parents have no idea where it all came from. I can't understand it myself, so hurtful and unnecessary. Stay strong!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 8:02PM
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I am so happy to know that others are in my position. I'm not happy to see it but relieved to know I'm not alone. I married a man 4 1/2 years ago after dating for two years. He had an ex and three daughters he raised on his own really. The ex had custody every other weekend. The kid didn't ever experience a real divorce because despite the fact that they were divorced, the all did everything together...traveled together to basketball tournaments, slept in the same room, celebrations, etc. A little history...the mom left when all 3 were young for another man, lived with him and their dad never really dated much. Anyway, I came along and we had a great relationship. He'd bring me to the games with his ex there who befriended me. Me being stupid had no idea what her real plan was. She was trying to get her ex of 12 years back when she realized we were getting serious. She volunteered where he and I worked together, she'd do things with us. It became uncomfortable. The girls started acting out and being very rude and disrespectful to me and then to both of us too. Their father just tried to keep the peace basically out of fear of losing them. We get engaged and they move out of their dads house. Their mother told him if he didn't get back together with her even though she was still with the guy she left him for, she'd get the girls to hate him. She told them awful lies about me. She keyed my car 'bit^h', threw a rock through my apartment window, dumped water on my car seat, etc. She has gotten in my face and I did nothing. The kids had come after me to attack me and I did nothing. They would swear at me, spit on me, intentionally try to physically hurt me. Their dad really didn't do much about any of this and to this day I regret not leaving. But now we are married and have two little kids. They are the most important thing to me. Last year is when I drew the line. The oldest daughter posted something on FB saying, "I wish she would disappear" and underneath the comments asked who, etc. Turns out she was talking about me. I did nothing to deserve this treatment. I asked her to removed it and she refused. The sisters and ex got involved and it turned into a FB conversation about much they hate me, etc. I soon started to get death threats on my cell, on FB, etc. I decided to give my husband an ultimadum. If it didn't stop in three days, I was calling a criminal lawyer and the police. I ended up having to do this and they could have been arrested but I was nice. We saught counceling and the pastor basically said he needed to divorce the kids until they could accept our marriage with no negative activity. I slept in my car all that week. I felt horrible for allowing this to get this bad. I was 8 months pregnant. So he did divorce his kids and the only way they could come back into their lives is if they appologize and accept our marriage. About a year later, one did. I vomited all over her with words about what she had done for over an hour. She cried the whole time. A year and a half later the other two still post things about me on FB and try to cause problems. For the most part, my husband and I have been better but when the kids interfer somehow, it obviously causes problems. I've been tempted to leave many times but for the sake of my kids, I stay. I love him and just want to be happy again but I don't know if that will ever happen again. It's pretty sad that this is what my life will be forever.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 9:41PM
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Dear wickedstepmommyinnyr

I hear you. I would definitely block them from your Facebook and their family members also. That is what I had to do. Don't take whatever they say to you personally. Because they would be doing this to anybody that married their Father. They are just jealous of you and your kids.And they really need professional help. I am lucky that I have the support of my husband. He went today and redid his Will and took them out of it. We know that after all they said, it will never be back to normal. But we realize we did what we could and it is their loss. Hang in there and stay strong! It really does help to know you are not alone.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 8:14PM
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How ironic, back stabbing adult stepchildren, well I'm reaching my senior menopausal years and life isn't so good when I go over to visit my father and my stepmother, she is in the process of trying to confiscate everything my brother owns, my brother and my sister in law having been renting a house from my father for $2500 a month, that's quite a bit of money in rent alone not to mention that my stepmother is fairly wealthy and doesn't need the extra money. My brother and his wife have been renting the house from my father before my stepmother married my father.

When he started renting it, it was unfurnished. My brother and my sister in law added furniture over the years and my nieces have also bought things for their rooms. There is also a verbal agreement on the rent and it is payed monthly by check, they do have tenets insurance, but no lease and/or contract, if something happened to my father, the furnishings my brother and his wife, and also his kids bought end up in probate by my stepmother since there is no lease. My brother said they have tried to keep as many receipts as possible, but sometimes they get lost, they have taken photos of what they added and have wrote a list of things down. But since there is tension between my stepmother and my father's children/grandchildren, does she have the legal right to claim the house and their contents that belong to my brother as hers if the house is willed to her? This is a horrible mess if I have ever known one.

The furnishings in my brother's rented house could be considered as property of my father since there is only a verbal agreement and not a legal contract or lease. In other words my brother and his wife loose everything they own in this verbal agreement if something happened to my father, and then my stepmother would take it since she would be the surviving spouse of my father.

My stepmother is the type of resentful woman that stated that she wouldn't let my father give old family photos of my grandparents and g-grandparents to his kids and grandchildren.

It's no wonder stepkids no matter what their ages are complaining.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 12:06AM
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I guess i dont like the title "backstapping step-children" because i love mine, i have had conflict with 1 out of 3 and it use to bother me once the Lord exposed her true character...but once i accepted her true character, i was free. I hope this encourges someone that you cant change people only yourself, and if you Love yourself, and you have a conflict with a birth child or stepchild you can resolve it through prayer. Everyone of us has a something or someone in our life that dont like us, kid or stepkids, and its all good, just pray for them and keep moving. I dont allow my 1 stepchild whom has done icky things to me to ruin or even have any energy in my life...I pray for her when God puts it on my heart, drop a card now and then and keep living for me and the ones that i have positive relationships with....It doesnt bother me one bit how she feels about me as a "stepmom" or dad wife...not one bit,,,why? because I Love me first....and my realtionship is strong with my husband, so God made me his rib and we will never get that out of order.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 2:22AM
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Feel your pain. Agree that you should just start thinking of your own happiness. They will drag you down. Trust me they will be nice to your face, but stab you every chance they get. Don't let your guard down. They will try to make you feel like you are at fault for everything, even for the bad things that happen in their pathetic lives; but don't let get them get to you. Most are evil creatures !! That's why blended families are the worst. Best of luck.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 2:35PM
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Interesting discussion. I have a different twist on the same story. My fiancee's so-called "adult" daughter (27) resents her for marrying her previous busband. She never passes an opportunity to tell her how she was neglected 20 years ago and suffered "abuse" (investigation of husband by social services for unfounded accusations - the guy was bad but not that bad) thereby destroying her childhood innocence.
"But I lo-o-o-o-ve my mummy and its not my fault if mummy ends up in tears every time we meet. I am only being honest and mummy always taught me that honesty is all important."

I saw one of these rows before I was even going around with my fiancee - it was over "mum" showing more favour to waifs and strays than to 27 year daughters who have left home. More favour in this case meaning giving lodging to a disadvantaged chap who had been referred by the local care... But he upped and off and stole little bratkin's motor bike clothes. Except he didn't - she had forgotten where she'd left them. But is was still mummy's fault because mummy's mistake in marrying the schmuck 20 years ago has made baby brat think bad of everyone.

Needless to say, I am the latest subject of resentment. I had just put the engagement ring on my fiancee's finger and we were enjoying a shared, very happy moment. She then checked her e-mail, as we'd asked close friends and family if they had any prior arrangements so we could chose a date that would be convenient for everyone. Unsuspectingly she opened the daughter-from-hell's message who , it turned out, was informing her mummy that we were marrying far too fast (we have known each other very well for five years) and must be doing it just for the sex (we are in our 60's) and that she would not come to something she did not approve of. The happy mood evaporated.

A week later she announced she would be dropping in to chat, by which time we were looking at a rather longer enagagement anyway. When she eventually turned up there was another outpouring of nastiness. I was peacefully dozing in another room but woke to overhear daughter castigating mother for all her "dalliances" over the last 14 years - most of which were casual friends anyway. I could not stand any more of it and attempted to step in.

Daughter then shot out of the house shouting she would never speak to mother again. I was mortified; fiancee was upset - with daughter, not me. I have no idea whether I was wrong or not.

Thus we enter a second week of misery at a time that should have been happy and carefree. At the risk of generalizing, good advice may work where the family is somewhat normal. In a dysfunctional madhouse, I am rapidly coming to the conclusion it is better not to try. Grown-ups make their own choices: if someone is damaged through an unfortunate marriage, they can seek professional help to move on.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 9:03AM
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Hi, I have 3 adult stepkids; 2 of them are pretty indiferent to me,one of then rarelly come inside the house and the olderone when she come to visit she talks with her dad and acts like I'm no there ,no matter if I try to get involve in the chatting.( not always it was like that, we use to have better relatioship back in my firsts years when i moved to live with my husband )I have been married for 10 year alresdy and you would think that we all sould have nice relationship but is not.
I got the felling that they dont put their guard down on
me. Is sad because I dont know what happened, or why they are like that to me or what made them change .I try to be kind with them and tolerant, but latelly I started to realize what they do is not fair, I did talked to my husband to see if he can talk to them, he yes but dont do it; many times he just let me down so his kids dont get mad at him.
I used to have Christmas dinner, no any more.
When his older daugther does Saint Given dinner ,I go and I have to stand their mother talking about what my husband did or when they were together, or paying videos from when were all together and that make me feel out of place.
So, I was thinking if there was some way for me to talk to someone and help to figure out better this siuation.
Sorry English is not my primary language and there is a lot of grammer mistakes in my writting.
I will apreciate any comment about

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 4:05PM
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I have been dating my daughter's dad for nearly 7 yrs. Our daughter is 4 yrs old. We got engaged last February. He has 2 grown daughters and I have one.

When we first started dating, he barely had any relationship at all with his daughters. They treated him liked their personal mechanic/wallet. It would take them months to return his calls if at all. His wife had filed 6 mths before we met. She had been seeing another man for the past 3 yrs and others. She nearly wrecked atleast 2 other marriages that I know of. She even had one guy open a safety deposit box for her to hide cash in. about 100,000 by our estimates. She had files for divorce 10 yrs earlier, wiped out their savings, bought a house and furnished it. And left for a yr. This is just the tip of what this crazy ex is like. The daughters have been very cold towards me from the begining. The ex even calls during every visit to make sure they don't forget her or something. The first time I met them, she literally called them the minute they got in the car with for a full run down on me. They are not allowed to like me and they don't.

Anyway when we decided to have a child together, I really thought this would be great, some common ground. But when my boyfriend kept refusing to even tell them I was prenant for 5 months I knew I was in for it. We lost our son the yr before and they still don't know about him (5 yrs later). They didn't come to see their sister, the youngest one won't even come to the baptism. When I ran into her at her Father's work, she held my daughter like she was going to drop her. She was 5 wks early and very small. I think if I had turned my back for even a quick second she would have faked an accident. I know how horrible that sounds but I feel it in my gut.

They have never been around for any of her birthdays or even their Father's for that matter. Last Father's day was the first time they came around. One yr the youngest couldn't come because she had to babysit a dog, a dog, a perfectly healthy dog. They have no problem bringing their 5, yes 5 dogs to my house. One will poop at a moments notice. We have two dogs and a cat and I don't allow any of them in our bedrroms because of bad allergies. But they don't think this should apply to them. They trash my rooms , my house. The oldest one even cut her hair at the kitchen table while we were eating. I don't even brush my hair walking through my kitchen.

His ex had sent out many evil emails about my guy to their kids and everyone they know before I came along. She couldn't wait to be rid of him etc. The past few yrs she has suddenly taken to friendly emails and calls with bs excuses to talk to him. I told him she wants him back. He thought I was crazy till she hit on him 2 months after we got engaged. When the youngest daughter found out, she thought she'd help things along by sending a horrible email to my daughter, They went back and forth and it was ugly. Needless to say, his daughter called him in tears. She took on the wrong person when she went after my daughter and attacked my granddaughter in her emails. My daughter went back at her and let her had. The best part is she told me she held back.

They haven't been around since last Christmas and other than them bashing me on facebook and sending me emails to be nice to their mother since I'm marrying their father at the same time (they are blocked from emailing me and my facebook and my daughters) it has been a great yr.

Here is what I did. You should know the whole story. Last Christmas, his ex sent him one of her bs emails of people in walmart. I thanked her for the pictures, we enjoyed them, Merry Christmas and signed both our names. My guy knows I see his emails, I don't sneak it, I told what I did. Two months later she sent more funny pix of people in Walmart. It was feb 13th. On feb 14th, I saw the email and again I thanked her for the pictures and wished her a Happy Valentine's Day (I didn't know her and her boyfriend broke up the month or so before)Anyway, she responded by sending pictures of roses her daughters sent her saying HER daughters sent Her flowers and SHe must have done something right. This upset me. I'm so tired of her making my guy out as a bad guy so I thought I had his back when I wrote back "I want to thank you too because last himand I got engaged. I had know idea he was going to ask me. He had bought me a set of rings before and I hid them before he could ask so he bought another one.(his daughter dont know this either)

Well, she turned into a basket case of our engagement. So much for getting on with her life. She always told him nobody would ever love him and called him a Dumb F. She is a horrble person and swears he'll never go back but he doesn't tell her that and just before we got engaged after 6 yrs his youngest ased him if he would go back to her mom. They will never get over this divorce. They think they can make me go away like I never existed or their half sister. They hate how close he is to her and how much she loves him. I have a granddaughter who lives with us and he does everything for both of them. He bought my daughter a car he said because he bought one for ea of his daughters. I beg him several times not too. I told him it was a big mistake. Now his daughters give us greif about it and all he does for us. they hate when they here about him spending money on us. They want to know about his will. When they are in my house, they ask who bought what. I worked for 28 yrs before I had my youngest, usually two jobs as a single Mom. Now, I am able to stay home with our daughter and we both want it but they make it sound like I'm some brainless lazy stay-at home Mom. I bought my house on my own, I owned my car and had no debt and still don't when I met their Dad. I don't deserve to be treated like some user or loser. I make home made meals every day all day and my house is spotless even with a 4 & 5 yr old in it. They are slobs with no kids. They one that is married bought an extra freezer for her tv dinners. LAZY. And she has her mother-in-law and mother clean her house and yes they workfor a living and have their own homes to car for. I have gone on and on and could write so much more. Here is my problem;

we are going to my parent for Thanksgiving and his oldest daughter wants to stop by that weekend for a quick visit. (the youngest isn't allowed in my home) So we have to cut my visit short and will have nothing in the house so clearly she doesn't want dinner. I think she has the intention of starting up more problems for her dad and I. I use too go out of my way to make them feel at home, I would everything I knew they loved, big meals and desserts, clean comfortable bed, all their needs met before they even asked. I could tell they didn't like me even if their dad denied it. Now I have the emails to prove it. I was thinking of telling him that we'd me her at a restuarant on her way back to her place.

I don't think he'll go for it and I know her mom and sister will be planning how she will let me have it. I'm tired of the drama. I was really enjoying being left out of all their bs. I know when they come around their dad at his work because he comes home and belittles me, nags and nit picks at the smallest of things. He never has my back even though they show him no respect either. They are very malniputive. I think he's aafriad they'll cut him out of his life if he says anything at allagainst him. I really don't care what she has to say to me, they mean nothing to me. I guess I'm worried about what he will and won't say.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 11:31PM
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Help!!!!!!my stepdaughter has the manners from by the worst of them all. For the past several years I have bought xmas gifts for her and her daughter I don't get as much as a thank you or screw you. I cook for meals etc she comes collects her gifts and leaves. She is pregnant and having a baby shower as im not invited. I have tried to talk to her but she has a sense of entitlement. I have talked to my husband and he will not help me out IM ON MY OWN. What do I do? I truly don't want to be around the girl

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 1:57PM
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Hi Seether. Your husband needs to stand with you. Your step is grown and having her own baby and needs to act like an adult now that she IS one. My daughter treats my husband like he doesn't exist---these stepkids are ALL disrespectful and that will never change. Spouses need to stand together to protect their marriage lest the home be wrecked again.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 7:51AM
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I think "tough love" may be the answer here. But if I knew the answer I wouldn't have just posted somthing similar on a new thread. Anyway, if these were my own children being ungrateful and backstabbing, I would have approached it differently and the problem would most likely be resolved. So maybe we shouldn't be treating stepchildren any differently.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 7:18PM
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"I have talked to my husband and he will not help me out IM ON MY OWN."

I don't see anything good in your future if you remain in this poisonous, hostile, borderline abusive situation, but, if you are determined to remain with someone who not only allows *anybody* to ill-treat you but who ill-treats you himself, the only strategy I can see, not even for resolution of the problem but simply for maintaining some shred of your sanity, is disengagement.

Don't invite her, don't smile at her, don't buy presents, don't make conversation.

When she comes over, go somewhere enjoyable.

Don't discuss her with your husband;
he's her father, let him get the full benefit of her hostility.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 7:43PM
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Hi everyone - I am new and wanted to express my own frustration with being a step parent. I have been married to my husband for 8 years and still his daughter will not except me. By the way she is 30 and not a child. I can handle that she hates me but the family, aunts, uncles cousins all except me and invite me to family gatherings. When I go with my husband she is rude and uses inappropriate words about me to other family members who do not like it. She has been asked to not attend until she shows some kind of respect and now she hates me and her Dad as she thinks we have swayed the family against her. They are her family.. my question is should I step aside when there is going to be a family gathering or should she continue to be left out because of her behavior?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 7:33PM
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Well, it would seem the rest of the family like you, as you say they have accepted you and asked your SD not to attend unless she can be civil. They haven't asked you not to attend so they can enjoy _her_ company unfettered so I would think that's the way they want it.
So, keep attending the family gatherings you are invited to- the only thing preventing your SD attending is her poor behaviour. At 30 she's old enough to be able to hold her tongue and behave civilly if not cordially.
Perhaps the family also prefer this arrangement because even if you are not there SD is unpleasant to be around...something to consider.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 10:29PM
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Thank you colleenoz - just hearing someone from outside the situation express what they think helps. And yes SD is a difficult person to deal with weather I am there are not. I just feel bad as after all they are her family.. also I am feeling bad for my husband, it is a tough position to be in. But I will continue to attend and when and if she can come around it would be wonderful for all of the family.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 11:42AM
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My stepchildren are all adults... 2 were adults already when my husband and I started dating. The youngest was 14. He was a lying backstabbing kid from day one. He didn't want his dad to be with anybody but him. I bent over backwards for him only to trashed and lied about behind my back. The other two step kids were only too happy to jump on his bandwagon and treat me like crap. Their mother also joined in and the four of them played their stupid little games. My husband was so gullible until he caught the youngest in enough lies and never caught me lying. The mother is mentally ill and the 3 kids are the most narcissistic group I have ever known. While reading Dr. Phil's "Life Code" book, I felt like I was reading about them on the users and abusers part. I have done a lot for those ungrateful little brats over the years only to be slapped in the face. They are poor excuses for human beings. They have told their dad they wish he was dead, he is a useless piece of dung, not their father, etc... and this was before I EVER came on the scene. They flip-flop back and forth between love and hate. It's so incredibly STUPID!! After years of thinking my stepdaughter and oldest stepson were finally getting along, I found out last year, after my stepdaughter told me... they all had a "fake" relationship with me so they could see their dad. I never once stopped them from seeing their dad... in fact I encouraged him to call them more. They are just sick. NOW, I want nothing to do with them AT ALL. I have better things to do and enough sweet people in my life to spend my time and energy on. I say... if they hurt you enough... forget them. I know I can have a happy life without them in it. If my husband wants to see them I don't care, but leave me out of it. I will not invite them to anymore of my family dinners on the holidays or any other time. I will not share happy occasions with people who just want to ruin it. I told my husband if he wants to have a dinner with his kids then he can cook it and plan it... and I will find something else to do for the day. I know I sound mean... but they hurt me so much I can't deal with them anymore.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2013 at 10:51PM
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Maybe it's your husband you should be speaking to about this. If he allows others/his kids to mistreat you & he's not prepared to man up & stand by you, then he obviously doesn't love or respect or value you.
Our behavior is the truest thing about each of us. Our actions always tell the truth about us. Your husband's behavior is telling you loud & clear where you stand. You have 2 choices. You can stay married to him & suck it up or you can leave & offer yourself the opportunity to meet someone who's man enough to treat you with dignity, courtesy, consideration & respect. Preferably someone with no past baggage.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 6:27PM
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Wow .... until I found this, I felt so alone and tortured. However, I'm lucky to have a partner that can see the truth and is very supportive of me. The only problem is, I think he'd like to see us all "kiss and make up" but the crap never stops ... his son is manipulative, sneaky, nice to my face as is his partner. However, their nastiness doesn't stop with me and I have actually formed a loose friendship with my partner's ex. And she fills me in on all the horrible things they say about me.

I've banned the son's partner from my house after an argument with her. It's so hard because they have a son, my partner's first grandchild. They all lived with us while she was pregnant and she was always sick so couldn't lift a finger. It continued when she had the child. The son is always asking for money. I know he is trying to turn my partner's family against me. He is pretty much a narcissist from what I can gather.

Most of the time I can deal with it, but every now and again I have mini meltdowns. Something always seems to happen when my partner is working away. I've seen some great suggestions on here. Just wish there were some follow ups from the earlier posts .... how the "not giving a damn" was working out?

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 8:25PM
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I'm so happy to be climbing out of a sick relationship with my nasty, petty stepdaughters. I'm working on my own wellbeing now, keeping my energy healthy (not over-extending toward them) and slowly letting them flow out of my life. I don't see them that often because they are married and out of state, so that's lucky, but they were recently visiting and it was so tough on me that I got sick.

However, a friend told me about this site, and as I read everyone's concerns and replays to "backstabbing stepchildren," it helped me form my own path in getting away from my cruel stepdaughters. The farther away I get, the happier I feel. Reading everyone's experiences also gave me courage to talk with my husband about his 30-something girls, and let him know how uncomfortable, sad, disturbed, rattled (you name it) that his girl's petty, cruel remarks make me feel. Now he knows, and together we're working it out. My evil stepdaughters can kiss my @ss.

Thanks, everyone!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 11:20PM
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