Step Mum in distress

anne1964July 7, 2010

Help, I have 20yr old daughter and 19yr old SD. Married 8 yrs.Girls very different,mine very independant and hard worker, SD has been spoon fed and very lazy. I have tried to discipline and ask for respect but now no response. Lies in bed all day, room a disgrace, disrespectful,steals, verbal. 3 months ago she informed me she would make me and her dad divorce, well I think is coming to that. Dad very poor with discipline, anything for a quiet life. SD has lived with us now for last 2 years as her Mum won't have her. Things were ok with us before.Dad always threatens punishments, ie take car off her but nothing ever followed through.Just uses OUR house as a hotel.Just her name now makes me angry.Dad will not kick out, which I understand and dont expect, I just want her to respect and adhere to the house rules. Dad has now decided to rent somewhere for her to live ... lets not solve the issues lets just put her in a nice flat ahhhhh. The issues are not solved by moving her out. He thinks its better for me and her which I agree when she is not there there is no problem.Her grandparent gives her money and does not back us when we ask her not to. My husband is constantly nagged at by his Mum, thinking we or me are too hard on her so we have 3 adults in our relationship.He says he has to try and please everyone. SD lost her job last week and today I found out that husband and gran knew but decided not to tell me and would deal with it in there way, they are now trying to find a job for her, she's nearly 20 why cant they make her take responsibility for herself, she will never grow up.We had this with my daughter at 14ish and I put my husband first and told her that, where as now is telling me his daughter comes first.... I feel so lonely and like I am being made to be the problem not the SD. I just can't understand why they can't see that they are not helping her or me or themselves.Any advice?

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I can understand why you feel so frustrated. An almost 20 year old lying around not working, being a disrespectful lazy slob would drive me nuts too. And I also agree that just paying for a flat for her will not change her ways either. BUT, take a deep breath and a step back. Your husband is trying to make this situation better. SD will be out of your home, so you won't have to deal with her every day. It sounds like DH is trying to compromise by having her out of the house; can you meet him halfway?

I know that sometimes when I get really stressed by a situation, I can decide what the "right" answer is and get completely focused on getting to that "correct" solution. But I have learned that sometimes someone else's solution will still get me what I want - and even if it's not what I would have done, that doesn't really matter if it's getting me a decent result for the moment.

So, you have to decide if it is more important to you that your DH start trying to have his daughter become a responsible adult right now, or if it's more important that you and he can work through this with some breathing room since SD will be out of the house. I'd go with the latter. You and I both strongly suspect that SD is going to continue to take advantage of everyone around her - well, they're grown adults. Let them be taken advantage of if they choose. At least she won't be there with you.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 9:14AM
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Agree with Mattie.

And I don't really see this as your husband putting his daughter 'first' over you. Your miserable and talking divorce, he's putting the daughter up elsewhere to remove you from the situation. Obviously after living together for two years of fighting and trying to make SD be responsible isn't working. The husband's short term quick fix to the 'problem' appears to be what he thinks is best for all of you.

I think what comes after the moving out is what will be of importance. How long does dad plan on paying the SD's way? Maybe once living out on her own she will begin to appreciate adulthood and step up. Nobody to cook and clean for her. Nobody to tell her when to be home or how to behave in the home. Nobody to fight with, nobody to make sure she gets up and goes to a new job.

When one looks at it this way, it just might turn out to be a real fast growing up period for this SD. Talk to your husband about setting timeline goals. How long will he pay the full cost? What goals does the daughter have to reach to continue to get dad's assistance on the cost of flat?

Give the SD a chance to see what she can do out there, she might just surprise you with how fast she grows up or she might fall on her face and see she needs to make some serious adjustments in her life and attitude. Let your husband try it his way, which is also good for you (she is not living in your home causing trouble)'ve been trying it your way for the last two years and nothing is changing...let dad his way now.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 10:16AM
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Thank you so much for your advice. Just sat down and talked about the issues, another blow. H has now said if it comes to putting his daughter in a flat he will move out for 6 months to live with her as she won't be able to cope on her own... I think the end is near.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 4:17PM
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--"H has now said if it comes to putting his daughter in a flat he will move out for 6 months to live with her as she won't be able to cope on her own... I think the end is near."--

My jaw just dropped. Obviously much more serious situation than your original posting indicated. DH won't make daughter have any responsiblities nor give any respect at home and now he's going to move out to live with her cause she can't cope on her own. You did say this girl was 19, right? Your husband has not raised a daughter to be a well adjusted young lady ready for adulthood, fact is he seems to have failed in raising his daughter up at all...she seems to be stuck at about age 12.

I hope you are able to find peace and happiness after all the dust settles. You got some pretty heavy thinking and decisions to make inwhich only you can make. Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 4:53PM
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I'm so sorry, Anne. I just don't even know what to say. I wish you well.

I'm astonished as well that your husband thinks that moving in with his daughter is a good idea in any way. Wow.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 5:06PM
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