Marriage problem caused by Step Daughter

maryjheywoodAugust 7, 2013

Hi Everyone

I wondered if someone could help. :(

I married my husband 3 years ago. His first wife died of cancer. He has two children. One boy who has a stable marriage and a daughter who has married a no hoper. There have been massive problems with his daughter's marriage. She has a child from a previous relationship who is now 15 years old (a boy), she has a second son by her present husband and is now pregnant again before the first son is even one year old.

Her husband does not have a job and they have bled my husband dry to the tune of �40,000 so even though he has paid his mortgage off, he may as well have another, and they are still taking money off him.

His daughter has come home several times when she has fallen out with her husband. She stays a few days and leaves. This time, she came back with the intention of staying here as her husband - according to her 15 year old son who doesnt like him - has been chatting someone else up on facebook.

They are very immature and in debt up to their necks. They have been running around in a car with no tax or insurance for months and have never been caught!!! The car would be crushed if it had been.

It was clear that I was supposed to be the skivvy in the house. My husband would go to work and so would my step daughter, whilst her 15 year old son sat in a corner on my husbands laptop, looking at youtube and playing FIFA all day, waiting to be fed and watered.

They made the house a tip, never tided up after up after themselves and left washing for me to do. I have really tried in this situation but also my husband treats me differently when she is here. He seems to like it in some odd way and I wonder if its because she reminds him of his dead wife.

Last night he spoke to sharply to me and was all moon light and roses with her. I went upstairs and he came up and that's when I hit the roof. I told him that I was withdrawing any and all help and would not be looking after any babies and children, that his daughter was obviously intent on staying here this time and I would be moving out. I told him I was sick of how he spoke to me when she was here. I let him have it both barrels.

She moved out last night after he told her that I did not want her here anymore. I didn't - but that isn't how the argument started. So, having put up with situation several times over the last three years, I now the she-doodle from hell because I have put my foot down.

My husband,in his infinte wisdom, isn't speaking to me now. I really don't know what to do now. My only option seems to be to get out of this situation and let them come back together as a family unit. I love my husband very very much, but I can't stand this situation. Any advice please?

Many thanks
Mary xx

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" I would be moving out"
I think your instincts are good on this one. As much as you love your husband, it doesn't seem like it is reciprocated to the same degree; certainly he doesn't have _your_ back. By treating you poorly in his daughter's presence, making you out to be the bad guy and giving you the silent treatment, he's letting you know that for him you are the low woman on the totem pole.
You need to have a serious talk with him about this. If he won't talk, then you have your answer.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 10:31AM
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Actually, while the post title is Marriage problem caused by Step Daughter I would argue it should say Marriage problem caused by Husband.

If you decide to stay in this marriage you will have to accept that this issue will recur again and again. Your husband's first loyalty is to his children and this daughter in particular will continue to consume his resources and emotional energy.

You would have to accept being the scapegoat for your husband's unwillingness to take a stand and sequester your own financial resources so that every dollar isn't consumed by his offsprings' demands.

Is this what you want?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 2:21PM
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I really think there are several issues here.
First of all your husband is not acting like a partner in your marriage. Have you sat down and talked about your budget and finances? I know a lot of people think is a second marriage there are his and her funds. Try telling that to a judge when you get a divorce.
Second is there are serious boundary issues. It is your house, too. You should have a say when it comes to people moving in.
Third is there is an adult woman who needs to find her own way. You and your husband are contributing to a poor lesson that her son is watching.

If you are serious about staying in your marriage then consoling is probably the way to go. I wonder if your husband is still morning the loss of his first wife. That may be a bigger hurdle.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 8:28PM
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This is easier for an outsider to see, but the real problem here is not yours or your husband's. Your SD and her husband are adults, I'm assuming that with a 15 year old, they're at least in their 30's. They are irresponsible with money and their choices and they need to be made accountable. As parent/step parent, you and your husband are responsible for giving her advice, helping out with babysitting occasionally and perhaps an occasional check for something important that would help them get back on track. You're not responsible for all of their needs and a couple that old with 2 kids and one on the way should be in their own place or they shouldn't be having more kids. If your husband doesn't get that, then he needs to make a choice. You should be his first priority at this stage of life.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 12:58PM
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'He seems to like it'

He does like it;
he has 2 women competing for him,
& he's playing one against the other.

He didn't tell his daughter to leave;
he told her she had to leave because you wanted her to,
getting himself off the hook & putting you on it.

Then he sulked & gave you the silent treatment so you'll be mad at the daughter...

It's really convoluted & messed-up, it got that way long before you arrived on the scene, & they have no reason to change the course of a relationship that works for them.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 3:59PM
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By blaming you, your husband really did throw you under the bus. If you want your marriage to work, he has to understand how hurtful that is, and not just say he understands. He also needs to have a talk with his daughter and her husband about what his and your role is financially, and what is their responsibility.

I agree that counseling is needed if you want to straighten things out. You probably also need to have a meeting with his kids and stand together on these issues. If he won't do both, you should get out now before you allow him to ruin you financially.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 9:05PM
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