Rude stepdaughter

laVerneMaynard7October 8, 2012

I have been married for 12 years to a man whose wife left him after a 30 year marriage. His adult daughter has been rude to me the entire time. I babysat for her baby for about a year, and never once did she say thank you. She, her husband and child come to supper weekly. Never one time has she said thank you, offered to help wash dishes or clear the table, or brought anything. Many many times they call after they should have been here to say they aren't coming. They have even asked to bring people along , I said yes, and then they just don't show up knowing I have cooked a big meal. She has not invited us to her home for a meal. Even if they come to dine on her father's birthday, she does not bring a card or even acknowledge it is his birthday. I always make a cake for her birthday, and for her husband and child too. Now she has another child ( the other is 7 years old) and when I said I won't babysit, she told her father then he can't see the 7 year old. I told my husband I will not be blackmailed! She constantly makes rude comments to me; I am very tired of her rudeness-- I have ALWAYS been polite. She is so vindictive, if I tell her she is out of line, my husband will be deprived of his grandchildren. I am quite weary of the situation. Any help out there?

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I think you've more than done your time.-
no wonder you're weary!

You've politely disengaged;
don't allow anyone to suck you back into this maelstrom.

If husband "will be deprived of his grandchildren", it's between him & his daughter.

(& if I were in your husband's boots, I'd believe her threats when they actually happened.)

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 1:42PM
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It's too bad your husband didn't assert himself in the early days and tell his daughter that sort of rudeness wasn't acceptable.

You are being abused and bullied; disengaging is an appropriate response. Actually it's the least adversarial.

I would not be hosting any more dinners or making any cakes (except perhaps for the grandchildren). To continue to give in these circumstances is to reward bad behavior. I would quit doing anything for these people.

I agree also that if she chooses to withhold her children, that's on her. It's your husband's place to attempt a resolution. I don't know where he's been in this picture previously, but it's time he stepped up to the plate.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 2:02PM
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Sylvia and Reading; thank you! I am doing my best to disengage as politely as possible. The last time they were scheduled to come eat, I left town; my husband cooked a huge meal--- and they no showed. At least he got the full force of their rudeness! I think his empathy for me increased. And you're right. It's his to deal with and I'm not even going to set the table.
In fact, I might just need to run to a friends or somewhere! Is that too rude? I don't want to act like they do. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 8:12PM
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I think running to a friend's or to a Starbucks or to the beauty shop or the library or wherever is an excellent idea.

& don't respond if either one of them calls you "rude" or makes accusations or anything else.
Dynamics like this depend on a scapegoat/bad guy/etc to keep things going.

Do not engage.

If accusations are leveled, it just means you came home too early.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 8:56PM
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I agree. Give yourself some much-deserved time off. If your husband wishes to have them as guests in the home, of course that's his right. But nothing obligates you to be there or run yourself ragged for unappreciative and rude individuals.

Before the next occasion arises you might want to take a few moments to think of some really enjoyable activities you don't usually have time for. Small indulgences, like a movie or dinner out, a pedicure, whichever mini-getaways are most appealing.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 4:21AM
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You are right to let your husband do the hard work, and then face the consequences of his daughter's rudeness. After a couple of failed meal attempts, he'll give up. Middle aged men aren't likely to keep cooking for people who don't show up.

On the rudeness issue, rudeness will ruin the atmosphere in your house. Your stepdaughter was raised badly, and now she's badly raising children of her own. The 7 year old child will be very aware of his mother's rude behaviour toward you and he will copy it, both with you and with other adults. If you tolerate this behaviour, in a few years, you will have a teenager monster showing up to dinner.

I agree with the recommendations that you stop hosting meals, babysitting etc. and find more interesting people to invite to dinner. If he wants to have his daughter over, just make sure that the only available times are convenient for you in terms of making other plans. The stepdaughter is an adult that you didn't raise and she may well be obnoxious for life. Best to establish a polite distance now so that you don't have to endure it.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 1:21PM
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Thanks Stepmomofthree,
This week, I came back from a long weekend out of state, to find my husband had indeed invited them- new baby, 7 yr old and the 2 adults. I stayed in the bedroom reading. Two weeks ago, a week before their baby was born, my sister passed away very suddenly -- and do you think either if them said a word to me? They couldn't bother to even say they were sorry. And you're right. The 7 yr old eats with his hands at the table ! He actually picks up corn, beans , whatever we're having w his hands! I tell him to use his fork and she glares at me. This is at a set table, tablecloth-- the works. I have no idea why anyone wouldn't teach a child to use silverware at the table!
So, next week, I'll take in a movie or something.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 7:27PM
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I am very sorry to hear about your sister. Empathy is also something that children need to be taught, and it looks like the children won't be getting much instruction there either.

As for the dinners, my prediction is that this problem will fade away. I suspect that your husband has been relying on you for years to create a pleasant dining environment and smooth over the evenings that his daughter is present. He may have a bit of bravado to keep him going for a while, but he'll soon find evenings alone with messy kids and rude adults to be tiresome and not worth the trouble.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 10:11AM
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Thank you. I so miss my sister!
As for the rude SD, she is no better. They have all come to dinner for the past 3 weeks; last night rude SD stayed home and had her husband bring the baby and the other boy. And of course, she told her husband to "bring me a plate". Like we're a take out restaurant.
Did I mention she did not want this baby and still doesn't ? It's so sad to watch. Still doesn't mean I'll bail her out. I feel badly for the baby, but I will not be blackmailed, even when she tries to use him to do so.
I have made it very clear to my husband I won't cook for them again. So he dashes around the kitchen and now insists they help him with cleaning the table and loading the dishwasher. Finally.
They were here the other evening, and I tried to start a conversation with SD; she actually turned her back. I left the room to read. And when I later explained to my husband, he said "she has problems". It's a start!
Thanks for the replies! It does help me not feel so all alone in this!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 6:38AM
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now, there, y'see?

You tried to engage.

& it gave her the chance to snub you.

& when you "attempted to explain" (*why*? what did you think you had to explain???), you were trying to engage with hubs.

& it gave him a chance to make an excuse for her & thereby underscore his abandonment of you.




Needlepoint it on a sampler & hang it on the wall.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 9:57AM
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Lol, Sylvia. You're right. I was trying to be nice. I'm basically nice I reckon. I'm just thrilled my husband recognizes the problem is her ( and not me!)

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 5:36PM
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So sorry for all that has happened. I can tell you that you have only a little influence on her but ultimately, the bio-mom will have a much greater one. Eventually she will learn how to care about others, or she will realize that people will stop caring about her.

I see this in my step-daughters now (at 8 and 15) and I am hoping I can influence them to at least be gracious to my husband, even if they don't care much for my boys or me. I know, however, that every time I say something it will cause a big stink. My own boys, ask me every day how my day was and genuinely listen for the answer (they are 8 and 13). They honestly care about everyone in the house and show it in a polite way.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 3:18PM
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I'm not so sure, I'd mentally allow rude SD to rattle my chain. I think there is more to the meaning of 'disengage' than physically removing one's self. While I do agree with going off to read your book if you truly are not enjoying the company of the other 'guest'...h*ll would freeze before I'd leave the room if I were indeed enjoying the other guest just because some snot nosed brat snubbed me.

A polite civil greeting was your only 'requirement'. From there on if SD choices to be childish, the problem causer isn't me and I have no reason to feel I must leave IF I am enjoying the visit with the other guest. Part of disengaging is one's self coming to the point of abilty to be able of removing this rude brat's power in your head. In otherwords, in how brat's actions/inactions affect you.

She intimidated with her snub of her back. She made you feel you MUST justify/explain your action of fleeing to read to your husband. Pfff. For me, a successful true disengagement is to remove the brat outta of head. Unless you really want to leave the room I'd have no problems sitting and enjoying chatting with the one children or the son-in-law (if he were civil and likeable). I'd not care if little miss back to me was there or not. I'd also not feel I had any need to discuss it afterwards with hubby.

I'd also not concern myself with what's going on in the kitchen. You've made clear to husband there will be no cooking out of you (stick to that now), no cleaning up ect. So now take (disengage) the issue from your head. He invited them, he cooked for them, he is cleaning up after them (oh, and it's about time he insisted they help, good for him!) if hubby wants to send a plate home you can just think of it as less leftovers for hubby's lunch tomorrow. Is it rude of SD? Absolutely. But is it worth taking up space in her head? Nope. Kick the brat and her childish behavior right outta your head. Take the power away from her. She has no power over you, unless you give it to her.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 6:57AM
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Making, thank you for your input. You sound compassionate. I appreciate your thoughts. Keep it up with your children.
Just ; I was reading when they came over and with all the commotion, I couldn't continue to read in there. Hence, I left that room to continue what I was doing when they dropped by. My husband was talking to son in law, and SD was interacting with the 7 yr old with some toys I picked up at a yard sale. He came to our house from school, and was spending the night with us. His parents came by to drop off clothes for an outdoor trip the next day. Anyway. I didn't leave the room for any reason except to read.
I do live with my husband and don't plan to disengage from him! Lol. I believe together we can make more progress with this than alone. I'm just not willing to be put out because of it. Actually, I enjoy cooking for others, and I love to bake bread, etc. I'm just unwilling to cook and then have the no shows!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 6:55PM
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