Stepdaughter is Pregnant - Need Advice

Karen10125July 10, 2013

My 28 year old married stepdaughter is expecting in about a month. The relationship between her, her father and me has not been very good for the past 5 years or so. Nevertheless, we helped pay for her wedding 2 years ago, threw a party for her, and numerous other things to help celebrate her engagement and wedding. Right after the wedding, she started treating us bad again. I believe she just uses us. She lives in another state and when she comes to town for a week or so, my husband is lucky if she gives im 15 min. of her time. Sometimes it's actually an hour, but that because he's buying her dinner. Anyway, now she's pregnant and during one of her visits she mentioned him flying out to see her and the baby once she delivers, but only after her mother and everyone else leaves. He was going to do that and I was ok with that, in spite of the fact that I wasn't invited. He asked her to reach out to me since I had done that numerous times to her, but she said having a relationship with me is not important to her. I was ok with that too, I mean if that's how she feels, so be it. I know I gave it my best shot. Now the time is nearing for the baby to come and he decided to tell her that if she's not going to be on friendly terms with me, he's not flying out to see her and the baby. This was his idea, not mine. I see where he's being loyal to me, but I also feel bad for him. Should I encourage him to go visit or just leave it alone? Also I was not invited to her baby shower, which I had already purchased a gift for, and that really made him angry at her. I don't get angry anymore though, I try to make the best out of a bad situation. I returned the gift and bought myself a new bathing suit. I refuse to get my feelings hurt anymore. But still, I need advice on how to handle this with my husband. This is still his daughter.

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I think you should encourage him to have a relationship with his daughter. She obviously does not live close to you and so his involvement with her is rare. Odds are if he refuses to visit her if she can't be friendly to you, she will think that it is you that is discouraging their relationship, even if it isn't, and that will cause an even greater resentment than she already has for you, for whatever reason she has it.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 2:43PM
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My husband would never visit his kids if I didn't go. It was the way he wanted it not me. I respected him and loved him more for his choice. He told me you are my wife and you are going to be included or or I won't go. He got a Valentine card one year which did not include me. He went to see his daughter and told her to never do anything like that again. It did not hurt his relationship with his kids. They were respectful to me and I know it was because he set the boundries.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 8:10PM
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Just to clarify, SD and I have gotten along on and off over the past several years. When it's off, I'm convinced it's her mother's influence. My husband's ex-wife is extremely bitter about things, even though she's the one who wanted a divorce and walked out on her husband and kids. Anyway, SD is old enough though to make up her own mind so I can't use her mom as an excuse anymore. At this point, I want what's best for my husband. His kids and some people in their family tend to want to call the shots with everything and determine who can attend certain events and who can't. My husband believes that if we let that continue, it will get out of hand. We've seen it with other people in the family who aren't allowed to attend events with their spouse and sometimes even children are involved. I see his point and I appreciate his loyalty toward me, but I can also see him not being able to see his own grandchild. And at the same time, it's wrong to placate people who think they control everything. It's really a tough situation.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 8:37AM
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"My husband believes that if we let that continue, it will get out of hand."

Bless him, he's giving her a lot of grace by not saying it's entirely out of hand already & his daughter is acting like a spoiled brat who doesn't know how to act.

I don't think there's any reason to try to encourage him to go or not go;
it's his place to choose what to do.

but I do admire him for showing some spine.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 3:43PM
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Express your concern and thank him for his consideration of your feelings and let him make his choice.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 10:31AM
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Thanks everyone. I have expressed my feelings to him and will let him decide what to do without being concerned about my feelings. He hadn't heard from her for 3 weeks, after repeated calls and emails. I told him to call her again yesterday, she answered and told him she was too tired to talk, so it was a 15-second conversation. At this point, she is the one influencing his decision. Her loss, he's a great father and stepgrandfather to my grandchildren.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 11:58AM
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Lucky smart gal you are :)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 5:42PM
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I must say, I agree with EmmaR. I would never allow my grown children to treat my husband that way! Or an other way than complete respect. He is such a great SD to them. We are a couple and we will stand together. It is a good man who stands up for their wife when he knows the kids are being unfair.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 6:47PM
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You are smart to distance yourself from this situation that is only going to cause you pain. I would encourage your husband to not make this about you, but about his relationship with his daughter. Having said this, ask him if he would allow his daughter to treat a family friend, a teacher, or any other adult with such disrespect as she treats him. I believe that it is always our job to parent, no matter how old our kids are. If we allow our kids to behave badly, no matter how old they are, we are NOT doing our jobs. If he thinks he is going to improve his relationship with his daughter by letting her run the show, he is WRONG. She will lose respect for him as a father and as a man. We can't truly love someone we can't respect.

It also sounds like there is a whole family of manipulators involved and encourage him to think whether he wants to have his grandchild see this manipulation accepted. Why does he have to wait until everyone else is gone before he comes to see her and the baby? Is he not important enough to her? And her husband should be quaking in his boots to see how his wife treats her father. He should see what the future holds for him! I have experienced a similar situation, and what is ironic is that these adult step-kids don't understand that when outsiders see their bad behavior, the step-kids are viewed in a very bad light. When they bad-mouth their parents and step-parents, they are showing how petty and shallow they are. You should consider yourself lucky to be left out of this situation.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 9:24PM
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