My adult step daughter

allenc_2010September 17, 2009

I have a step daughter who is approaching 24 years of age. I met my wife when her daughter was already 20. I never even knew her mother when she was growing up. My step daughter was a fully grown adult in college (living on her own in another state.) She has never lived with us either. And now, she has graduated from college, her mother and I just got married last year, and I although I care for my wife's daughter a lot, the daughter has been putting unbelieveable pressures on not just her mother, but myself as well to continue paying for her needs and wants. She wrote a very upsetting e-mail yesterday to her mother that said among other things "When a man marries a woman, and that woman has a child, the man has responsibilities and obligations to that child to take care of his/her needs and wants. When we all try to tell her she's no longer a child, she's an adult who is responsible for herself, she gets furious! She insists that she is still a child and

that I am being immature by not taking care of her needs and wants, like vacations even! She has even threatened to notify my 75 year old father (who is ill) to talk trash about me! I find her behaviour unacceptable and feel that a college graduate in her mid-twenties has an obligation to herself to take care of her own self. I care about her and love her, but she is extremely demanding, and especially demanding when it comes to money, and expensive trips. Always trying to put guilt trips on us. My own father invited my wife and I on a Christmas cruise this year for example. My father is in his 70's and has a nice nestegg to live out the rest of his life. He is paying the $5,000 per person for my wife and I. We both have agreed to alternate between my family and my wifes during the holidays. We spent last year's Thanksgiving and Christmas with my wife's side. This year it is my family's turn and we intend to accept their invite on this cruise. Well, my step daughter is furious and demands that she be taken as well. (even though she has no money and no job) She has threatened to never speak to her mother again if we go. I have expressed that her mother and I cannot afford to take her and she cannot afford to take herself, so the answer is no. That's when she e-mailed us nasty messages about how we don't meet our "obligations" to her. Her mother paid for everything for her all her life, even the first 2 year's of college, and very expensive spring break trips for all 4 years of her college.When does the free ride end? In HER mind NEVER. Any suggestions on how to deal with someone like this???

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Manipulative little brat. But it's your wife who must deal with this situation.

You father is totally off grounds and wife needs to tell her daughter so in no uncertain terms. If stepdaughter is unemployed right now and living in another state, who is paying her way through rent, meals, ect now? You and her mother?

Instead of worrying about going on vacations with her mom and you this girl needs to seriously start looking for employment, even if the position she temporarily gets is not up to what ever degree she has received in school. While she is and will always be her mother's daughter, this girl is no longer a child and for her to insist on being one and demanding mom (and you?) support her way through life is immature. No, I did not say, 'let the girl go hungry or homeless' but it is time this young lady stops expecting to be treated as a teen just out of highschool.

How does 'mom' feel about it all and have to say in all this? Is she agreeing with you or is she on daughter's side and wanting to continue to enable the girl?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 12:18PM
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Because you came here looking for suggestions on dealing with this girl, I don't see her as being the problem. Her mother is the problem. Apparently, she raised a selfish daughter, who continues to be a brat with tantrums and all, and her mother still doesn't know how to deal with her. But I think you should back out of it except where she involves your father or your other family members. As far as her threat is concerned, I suggest you be extremely stern with her, so much so that she thinks you are mean and becomes frightened. I'd tell her in no uncertain terms that she will regret for the rest of her life if she calls/involves your sickly/elderly father. Just the idea that she threatened you with this is awful. Have your father change his phone number right away, and let him know it is for his own protection. Give the new number to other family members, but makes sure no one gives it to her.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 1:33PM
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Do not let this girl control you... She is trying to blackmail both of you. You can't let her get by with this.. Mom has to put it to her right to the point that she is on her own now.. I would warn family members that she may be contacting them. Explain to them she needs to learn how to do it on her own. She will never try if you don't force her.. Do not give in!!!!!!!!!! It is the time to show her what life is all about. She needs to earn your own way.. She will be mad but she will get over it. The time is now for both of you and especially her...

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 11:12PM
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Do you think that the daughter's behavior comes from the way she was raised or does she have some personality disorder?

It's most important that your wife changes her own behavior towards the daughter.

There might be some good books on how to deal with people like this. I'd say /clear terms /strong boundaries /consequences etc, and following through with them are essential. Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 12:17AM
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HUH?! No one has the right to include themselves on a family vacation that the OTHER side of the family is putting together and paying for. Period. This is not even worth stressing about.

It sounds like you want your wife to be happy and this woman, (SD) is striving for her to be unhappy in order to still be financially supported. like justmetoo said, your father is completely off limits and hopefully knows nothing of this ugliness.

If you guys have $5000 to drop on her, then fine. If you don't then you don't and that's it. Plus, she doesn't sound like someone you want on vacation with you anyway. My own parents cut me loose for all intents and purposes when I turned 21 and graduated from college. If they took me somewhere it was clearly a gift and their largesse. I knew better than to expect them to take me along as though I was still a kid.

This girl still wants to be a kid, cossetted and paid for like a child. Hold firm and stop discussing with her to keep your blood pressure down!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 8:07PM
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