Stepdaughter ruining our marriage

SteppedONmomNovember 6, 2011

HELP...please! I've been dealing with this for far too long, and afraid that it may end up in a divorce. My husband and I have been married for 8 years. We have 2 children together, both are special needs (Autism). I have an older daughter, he has 2 daughters from previous relationships. The daughter that visits us is turning 10 this week. And, in all honesty, it's not even her that is causing any's my husband. She doesn't ask to be favored, or catered she is...sickeningly. She and I have a decent relationship together, and she often tells me things that she does not tell her father. I spend more time with her. I am the caregiver...I do EVERYTHING while my husband sleeps until 1 pm, then gets up and caters to her. Again, we have special needs kids too.

Yesterday, my stepdaughter decided to sleep in until 10:30, about 15 minutes before we had to leave for, when she got up, there wasn't time for breakfast. She knows, and heard the rest of us get up, but decided to sleep in. But, as she knows, after I make breakfast, if she is not there to eat, I'm not going to make a special breakfast for her. She is ok with that. So, we went, came home, and I immediately got lunch ready for the kids. I made chicken sandwiches with swiss for all of them...they all got the same thing. While they were eating, my husband woke up. I went into the garage, and as soon as I did, I heard her throw her sandwich in the garbage, and tell her Dad that she was hungry, that she didn't have any breakfast. He gives her some blueberry scones. When I came in, I told him that she had just threw her sandwich out. He immediately started with the excuses..."She didn't like it"..."She's too skinny"..."I'm not going to let her go hungry"...I WAS FURIOUS!! We came into the garage, and I asked him why he caters to her...why, when he offered her the scone, in the very least, why didn't he offer it to the other kids too?? He told me, "I cater to her because you don't". SERIOUSLY???? We have special needs kids...and I'm supposed to cater to her...because SOMEBODY must???

He will drive 4 hours every other weekend just to go get her, yet I can't get him to go to our 5 year old Autistic sons open house...or go to see our autistic daughter test at taekwondo...or trick and treat...or ANYTHING. I have a hard time getting him to take us to our daughters psychiatrist appointments. EVER. NOTHING. WON'T EVEN GET OUT OF BED. I have even heard him call our daughter his, "full time kid" if everything about his daughter dictates our family. I can't do it anymore.

I do not blame her, because she's doing what any kid of divorce does...I blame him. This is ruining our marriage, and he WILL lose us if he keeps it up. It's not fair to our children, and it undermines me, especially when I am the only one that actually parents this girl.

I have tried for 8 years to talk to him about this, and he just feels that she deserves special treatment...every other weekend...regardless of what effect it has on our children. I'm fed up with doing EVERYTHING, being undermined, and having our family put second.

Please if anyone can help, before I take our children and leave, I would be very grateful.

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So why title your posting 'Stepdaughter is ruining your marriage'? The only person from your thread 'ruining' your marriage in the way you'd like your marriage (and coparent of your children to be) is your husband.

So the stepdaughter comes every other weekend? What does husband do owith and for his other two kids the other days of the month? Why is he sleeping until way afternoon? Regular event or just on SD's weekends to visit?

Seriously. Sit the husband down and discuss this. The problem is being focused on his child from a previous relationship as the ruination of your 'relationship'...but lady, you got far more problems than this SD. You need to put the focus where the problem actually lays...with your husband.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 11:26AM
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Sounds like your stepdaughter is NOT the problem and she is NOT ruining your relationship. Sounds like your husband is 100% the problem and your resentment is pointed directly at the wrong person.

How are things when your stepdaughter isn't around? Does your husband still sleep all day when she isn't there? What is his work schedule? What time is he going to bed at night?

My daughter is 10 and unless she is staying up all night, she does not sleep past 9 (at the latest on a weekend). And she is a sleeper. She has a very dark and cool bedroom and she sleeps very deeply. But she gets up before 9. So how much sleep is your sd getting at night? Is she staying up late?

I think the way you dealt with the breakfast was fine. This is what I would have done too. Why didn't your sd stay home with her dad instead of having to get up and go with you? Could she stay with dad? Would it be easier on you?

I can understand how Dh favoring her drives you insane... But as you said in your post, she didn't ask to be catered to or favored. He is doing a great deservice to her. He is teaching her how to grow up and be a big brat that feels entitled to be catered to by everyone in her life.

You should suggest to your husband to read 'Love and Logic' I believe it is actually called 'Parenting with Love and Logic'. If he refuses, then you'll have to decide what you want to do with your future but if he can read this book. He will realize what he is doing to her and what he is also doing to his other children by treating them different.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 2:36PM
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As I read your post about the food issue it sounds just like my husband and stepson who is 10!! My stepson will be fine with what I put in front of him...but if hubby is around he becomes picky and demanding of special meals. And hubby runs around catering to him and I get sooo mad because it is ridiculous. My hubby often makes those same excuses of "he is too skinny" or "I just want him to eat". And then hubby tells me of restricting food being wrong and in his childhood he could eat whatever was in the house. I am not cool with that. I feel like kids should eat their meals and they can help themselves to healthy snacks...but desserts and stuff are something they need permission for. And I am against the extra meal to cater to them stuff!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 11:40PM
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Poor you. Your husband is definitely living in a fantasy world where he has one perfectly normal child. Meanwhile, you are carrying the burden of two special needs children all alone. I think that your husband needs help. If he doesn't get it, he will lose his family, and be spending weekends alone with a child that he can't even bother to wake up for.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 7:29PM
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