Grown Stepchildren Showdown

Cruella49November 12, 2013

I've been married to my husband now for nearly nine years and we've been together since 1998, living together since 2000. When I met him, his kids were both in their early 20's; the son was married and the daughter soon to be married. My husband's divorce was the result of his ex-wife having an affair. It was devastating for him and, I'm sure, for the kids as well. He'd been divorced nearly four years by the time we got together.

His daughter, now nearly 40, has always been somewhat ambivalent toward me. I could always sense an underlying spite from her; she and her mother are very close and she feels like her mother didn't do anything wrong fooling around on her father. She wants her mother and father to be "friends" to which my husband just laughs and says it will never happen and he wishes his daughter would stop expecting them to "play nice" one day.

On Saturday night, my husband went over to his daughter's house for dinner. She'd invited us the week before and I was down with a stomach bug, so he went alone. When he arrived, it was obvious she'd forgotten she asked us to dinner. My husband said he felt like a total jerk, just showing up to what amounted to being unannounced. He said he didn't mention anything to her about the dinner invite, but he stayed for dinner anyway.

When he got home, he relayed the story to me, and mentioned several times over the course of the evening how stupid he felt, showing up like that; "odd man out" is how he phrased it. I could clearly see it bothered him that she'd forgotten. After all, it was for his birthday allegedly.

I stewed over this overnight and the next morning, yesterday morning, I messaged her to say she'd invited us to dinner on Saturday and her father felt like a jerk coming in "unannounced" because she'd forgotten. I went on to say that I didn't "want any more dinner invites"; I was done having to see her father's disappointment over her actions.

Around 6 o'clock last evening, she showed up at our house, wheeled into the living room and apologized to her father, and then instructed him to come out into the kitchen where I was so "he could hear this." She then went on to say: I've never liked you, this is the second time you've tried to destroy our family, this isn't YOUR house, it's Dad's and I lived here longer than you have; you've always treated me and my brother like crap; and, you are no longer welcome in my home.

My responses are not fit to print and border on a tirade that is way too long to share.

After she left, my husband and I went to sit down, take it all in. I apologized for going off on her like that in front of him. His response shocked me. He said "My kids wouldn't have liked anyone I married. That's just how they are." He went on to say that it was his ex-wife's actions that destroyed his daughter's idea of family, not me.

We're good, me and him, but there's no fixing what happened between me and her. At least I know my sense about her not liking me or having a grudge of some kind was spot-on. Yay me.

I don't know what to do moving forward except love my husband and have our life together like we always have.

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The best thing about bringing things out into the open is that...
there they are, out there in the open.

no more guessing,
no more fretting,
no more doubting your own perceptions ("was she *really* that rude, or am I too sensitive?"),
no more wondering if you should paste a silly grin on your face & endure whatever comes along, just in case that *someday* *something* will make *somebody* a nice person.

Your hubs is right.

Give him a gold star & maybe a hug.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 3:14PM
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I hope you'll allow me to chime in here. This is my first post on this forum, although I sometimes lurk.

I don't disagree with anything you've said - I think it's good that the elephant in the room has been named, and it's so unfortunate that you and your husband's daughter have this type of conflict. And ... your husband is a gem!

I do have to ask: Do you think the whole uproar could've been avoided if you had called to let her know that you weren't going to be able to go because you were sick? Thanking her for the invitation but declining and letting her know that there would be one less person (instead of just not showing up). Perhaps the context was different, but that would've seemed the courteous thing to do.

That way, she'd have been reminded of the invitation (how the heck did she forget!) and had the opportunity to recover and prepare, and also appreciate your courtesy.

Just wondering. Of course, it's probably not a bad thing that the level is now set, but maybe it's this type of thing that rubs you both the wrong way.

Hope you're feeling better, by the way.


This post was edited by suzieque on Fri, Nov 15, 13 at 16:25

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 1:17PM
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After 33 years of marriage, I finally broke with my husband's kids. From what I have read in here his kids treated me well even though I did not think so. The final straw was when I asked for help with their Dad. I was with him 48 hours in the hospital and needed some sleep and my blood pressure was in the stroked zone. I asked his daughters to split a night of watching out for him in the hospital. He had to be watched or they would put him in lock up. They would not help. when I went home I took down every one of their pictures and every memento that was on display. The irony was that they never knew it. I think they were afraid to come over after saying no to helping me.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 4:58PM
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Emma, I'm so sorry.

I don't know why it always surprises & disappoints us (me?) when things like this happen;
I *know*, mentally, that "blood kin" are very very often the worst elements in a vulnerable person's life, but still...
it surprises & disappoints.

If you haven't taken steps to protect yourself physically & legally, I strongly urge you to do so.

People will steal things from a surviving spouse, & often the police won't treat it as a crime, claiming that they don't know that the things weren't the property of the person who took them or that it's a civil matter, not a criminal one.

Due to painful experience, I'm now an advocate of changing the locks when anybody in the house gets sick or has an accident!
(& *not* telling *anybody* where the spare key is hidden.)

& grown "children" who haven't been heard from in years will suddenly decide to take control of their parent's "affairs", ie, the assets & the pension check.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 3:01PM
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I think you and your husband should just go on with your marriage like you said and don't worry anymore about her. She obviously is a drama queen, probably just like her mother, and enough is enough. You've done all you can to try and mend fences with her and if she hates you that's her issue, not yours. After a certain point you just have to accept that you've done all you can and go on. If she hasn't changed her mind about you by now, she probably never will. Especially when she has her mother to side with her and to fuel here fire. If she sides with her mother after she cheated on her dad, she is already seeing things from the wrong perspective. She needs to stop butting onto your life and live her own, she's a grown women for crying out loud!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 3:37PM
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Slyvia, When you are caring for a husband with AZ, the steps are a small thing. One good thing about that incident was that if freed me from them forever. I was very lucky regarding the steps and I didn't realize at that time how lucky I was until I started reading in this site. If you had met his kids you would liked them and thought them to be responsible people. The main problem we had was borrowing money from us. Every 6 months someone would ask. Over the years we were asked for a couple of thousand to $100,000. which could have turned into a $300,00 for a security bond if defaulted on. That would have taken everything we had and more. They would ask their Dad and he would tell them he discusses everything with me and we decide together. Of course that put the blame on me and I never told him no until one daughter tried to borrow money from him on the sly when he was in Alzheimers. That was very wrong of her. He believed everything she told him and would have probably loaned here every dime we had if she promised to pay him back next week if I had not stepped. When I asked him what she wanted he did not lie to me. I went down that day and put all the money in my name with him as beneficiary. I believe in locking the barn door before the horse is taken. We only saw 2 of them a couple of times in the last 4 years of his life. I think they were afraid of me asking for help again.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 11:25AM
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People can be dispicable, & I think they lose their heads entirely when they realize how much they can get by stealing it from their 'nearest & dearest'.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 5:05PM
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Not having read any of the replies, sorry, I would just like to say. No good comes from sending texts to people if you want to address issues. Sending a text is passive aggressive. Always face a person, or at least call them so they can hear the intonation of your voice. Of course your SD was never going to be impressed getting a text, no matter you are right or wrong, that was not a smart move!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 10:08AM
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Well, thanks for the mostly good advice. Yabber, I would say, I pretty much know it was a bad idea. Stating the obvious was only useful to you.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 7:57AM
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Hello everyone I have the same problem my stepdaughter had been with me since she was 5 years old I would pick her up so she could spend time with my two kids and my self so her father could have a little brake from her and her grandmother also long story short we moved in together lived to together raised the three kids for ten years and decided to get married in total we will be together for 15 years my daughter has married and has a son my step daughter just had twin boys thinking this was the right thing for her but she still has not changed no job no high school education no money an goes from one house to another still I have helped as much as I could but she always stabs me in the back along with my mother n law between the both of them I am sick and tried can any one help me.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 12:45AM
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Cruella49, you pretty much have the same situation as me. I've been with my 2nd husband for almost 11 years now, stepchildren were in their early 20's when we first got together and obviously should have matured by now. My husband's ex-wife walked out on him, left him with the kids, all the bills, etc. and now years later when he's financially sound, they take their frustration out on him! It's so ridiculous and has caused so many problems, arguments, etc. that about 2 weeks ago I told my husband that I thought the best way to move forward was for us not to discuss his adult children anymore. I have no problems with him seeing them, etc., but that he and I would avoid the topic as best as possible. I have stuck to my promise no matter how hard it's been and it's been wonderful. For the past two weeks, it's like a huge weight has been lifted. Bottom line, you can't change people who are almost 30, especially when they have a mom who is encouraging the bad behavior. Nothing you can do about it. My husband realizes that I've done everything possible to have a good relationship with them. They have done NOTHING in return, in fact they don't even know how to say thank you. I can't fix that. You can't fix your SD either. Another poster said you could have just called prior to the dinner date and then the whole uproar would have been avoided. Maybe so, but to me that's just putting a bandaid on a much bigger wound. She obviously had an issue with you and was just waiting for something like this so she could blow up. So why keep that festering? Let her have her say, and you have yours, now it's out in the open. She's probably angry that her mom had an affair and disappointed her and you're just the logical person to take it out on.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 6:25AM
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" He went on to say that it was his ex-wife's actions that destroyed his daughter's idea of family, not me." Thank your husband for saying this. In my situation, the toxic ex-wife IS the reason why 2SD, 1SS (all adults now) have a distorted view of how things should be. They (3 steps and ex wife) are forever trying to drive a wedge in my marriage, covertly, and exactly according to the example their unhealthy Mom showed them since DH and l married. Anyway, you/your husband's words really hit the spot for me tonight. Thank you.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 9:48PM
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