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My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

Posted by jennbmal (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 9, 09 at 12:39

My husband has to be tired of hearing this, and I need to blow off steam! I am married to a wonderful older man, I adore him, and we have a gorgeous 4 month old son. The only problem? His 20 year old daughter still lives at home and it is driving a wedge in between us. Here is a little backstory. My husband and I have been together for two years. He babies his daughter unbelievably. She is 20, not in college, and only works 15-20 hours a week at a family business. She is rude to me, and my family. Really, to my husband's family, too. She has never held the baby or even looked at him -- even though he is her little brother! She doesn't have a boyfriend or many friends, and just sits on the couch all day and night. She also doesn't do any housework besides throwing in a load of laundry when she needs something clean.

These are some comments that are typical of her personality:

"Shut up!"
This was when he and I were first dating, she screamed
from the living room to the kitchen because we were
talking too loud for her to hear the tv.
"Can Jennifer's (thats me) family not drink my Mountain Dew when they are over? I am sick of it."
The thing she doesn't seem to understand is that the
soda is bought by either her father or me.
"I shouldn't have to put up with a baby until I have one."
This was a text message she sent to her father when we
were at the hospital in labor. Most people text
congrats.
"Why can't Jennifer just wait to take a shower?"
She wants to get the first shower of the day so that
she has the most hot water, but she doesn't wake up
until about noon most days.

When something is upsetting to her, like, say, I am doing laundry and she had planned on putting something in, she expresses her displeasure by slamming cabinets and stomping up stairs.

Her father currently works for the same family business as her, and so she always bombards him with work concerns even though its not really his job to deal with her, he isn't her direct boss. Her biggest complaint is when they ask her to pick up a Saturday shift. She really said: on what planet is it fair for me to work 2 out of 4 Saturdays this month? Its called Earth.

Lately things have come to a head because I am going to be the one who starts working while husband stays home with the baby. Also, his daughter just put her two weeks notice in at work, even though she doesn't have another job yet. I am appalled by this.

I am so upset over living with her that I really feel a strong desire to take the baby and leave my husband. I am a generally outgoing and nice person, and in the beginning I was very nice to her, birthday cakes, Christmas presents, talk to her about her day, etc. I am shocked at my own ability to hate someone so much. I feel such strong animosity toward her that it is making me feel unhealthy.

Anyway, these are the stipulations I want to give my husband... I know that sounds so business-like, but he hasn't done anything about my complaints so far, so I don't know what else to do. If he won't agree to these, then I am leaving. Please tell me if I am being unfair!!!

1. She has to have a 40 a week job by the time she is 21(January). Or start school. Or move in with her mom. Maybe he doesn't mind supporting her, but I do. I refuse to pay her cell phone bill or buy the list of groceries she puts on the fridge that she wants. Even if I wasn't going to be the one working, I would expect him to say this.

2. By the time the baby is crawling and more alert and aware of people, if she is still ignoring him, she has to get out. I will not have my son growing up in a hostile environment.

3. I want him to say, verbatim, this to her: "Jennifer is my wife and is going nowhere. Do not complain about or insult her or her family to me, I don't want to hear it. Unless she is physically or emotionally harming you, keep it to yourself."

4. She needs to do some household chores. Her hair coats the whole house, and I regularly have to get on my hands and knees and vacuum it up with the hose attachment.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

Sounds reasonable to me! At 20, she's an adult. She needs to start acting like one.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

Your husband--and you know this already--makes it way too cushy for his DD to live at home.

She should be paying rent. She is 20 yrs old and not enrolled in school and working 20 hrs/week for "play money." (I'm assuming all her bills are paid and she just uses what she earns for spending cash?)

Dad is doing his daughter a huge disservice. She is NOT going to be prepared to live on her own.

I've heard of some parents collecting "rent" from their young adult children and then putting the rent money in a savings account, unbeknownst to the kid. Then when said child finally does spread her wings and move out, there's a nice chunk of money to give them as "starter money."

Is this something your DH would do? It teaches DD to be responsible and budget but it might make feel DH less like a meanie.

I agree with your stipulations. DD has 4 options:

1.) work part-time and attend school part-time; live with you, provided she abides by your rules and finishes school

2.) go to school full time and be supported by you guys until she graduates (provided you and DH are okay with this)

3.) work full time and either pay rent or MOVE OUT.

4.) flat out move out

What does your DH say?

As far as the baby goes, I think there's a whole slew of issues going on. Jealousy? I wouldn't expect her to be overwhelmed with joy at having a sib 20 yrs younger. I know he is YOUR baby and you love him, but the age diff. is sooooo huge, I can see how she would not relate to him as a sibling. AND he is still a tiny infant. Her attitude towards him may change as he grows.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

I the rules are within the range of reasoanble, but dad should communicate them to D, and I would say it a little differently I would suggest dad say FT work or FT School or combo. I would not say otherwise you move out as that would not be result I would want as parent. D may still move out, but I wouldnt put it that way.

Of course, she should be civil to you and your son-- but your son is not her brother, it is her sb. With that age difference, I wouldnt necessarily expect bonding.


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reply

"I would not say otherwise you move out as that would not be result I would want as parent."

I think it is FINE to say move out to a 20 year old that refuses to either work full time, go to school full time or do some kind of combo of the two. This is a grown woman, not a 16 year old kid. It's called "tough love" and I don't really see anything that terribly tough about the options, anyway. Sounds like OP and DH ARE willing to help this young woman provided she is doing something positive with her life.

The baby is actually her half-brother, not her stepbrother. But I agree, I would also not expect a ton of bonding, particularly with an infant. Maybe as baby gets older.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

to kkny - I don't expect them to bond, but he is not her stepbrother, they have the same father, so, half brother.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

You're right of course, HB.

SD may be embarrassed to have dad having kid at his age (not saying right or wrong, just looking at it from her POV)

Hadley -- all I am saying is I would give the two options I could live with. Actually I would never have let dd get to 20 without being in school.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy. 2

Just ranting a little more, cause I let myself get so worked up over her. Another example of her attitude. I had the baby in my arms and he was crying so I was a little frantic - I am a new mother! The doorbell rings. SD gets up, peeks out the window, sees its my sister, and sits back down! So I have to run to the door with baby fussing in my arms.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

Hmmm... i see a lot going on here. you expect her to be gracious, but she doesn't feel that's needed.

No offense, please don't take any, but how old are you to be having a baby with a man who is old enough to have a 20 year old? Personally, I'd be a little disgusted if my dad had a baby when I was 20. They were trying when I was 24, and I was repulsed. I wouldn't have done diddly for my SM and "her" baby, but then, I wasn't living in her house at that age either :)


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

First, stop letting every little thing she does annoy you to pieces. Yeah, she's being a brat, but your last post, of 'she made you have to answer the door with a fussing baby in your arms' says a lot.

It's your baby. If she was not there you'd be answering the door with the same fussing baby in your arms.

Right now you're so angry at the girl you're even steaming over the girl's hair. This is not a good mood and/or frame of mind to be in if you are planning on confronting your husband, her father, about the girl.

I did not say you don't have a right for some respect or that having some expectations of the girl is wrong. But don't do the 'her or me' bit, it might bit ya in the butt.

No, it's not unreasonable to have a discussion with hubby about expecting respect for yourself, your visitors, household chores, working, ect. You say husband is tired of hearing about all this. Does that mean he blows off your concerns and thinks you are making a fuss over nothing? Does he not see what you see? Does he not agree she should work, go to school, help out around the house?

Did girl live with Dad prior to your arrival? Could be girl is seeing you as the one who is invading her home and her way of life. Is so, Dad created her feeling by letting her become a spoiled brat with no expectations of her.

She may not be able to meet all your list of demands. Her age bracket with no higher education are high n the unemployment ratings right now. Get a job, good, but she may have to really hunt for several to make fulltime. But it is no wrong of you to expect her to be working. And once she has a steady income, she can pay rent or go live with her mother. No education and low paying part time jobs are not likely to afford her an apartment.

Talk to her father, tell him what you expect and that you can not have two adult women living in the same house with one still acting like a teenager with no goals and responsiblities.

How much older or you than the daughter? Is she having trouble thinking of your as a adult in her eyes that she should treated on the level as her father? Yes, dad married you and she should respect you as her dad's new wife, but that does not mean that right now the girl is seeing it that way.


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RE: My stepdaughter is still driving me crazy.

I do expect her to be gracious, because she lives in the home. Her father and I are gracious to her ... we buy the groceries she likes, he gets her car fixed when it messes up, things that like, and so I expect that, as an adult, she treats people they way they treat her, with manners and respect.

I think being repulsed by your father having a baby, no matter how old he is or isn't, is immature and childish. Her father does everything for her, and out of respect for him, she should respect his decisions. She doesn't have to like them, but she lives in his house.

Maybe I just grew up with a different respect and fondness for my parents, but my dad remarried someone younger than me, and I would never tell her to shut up or anything like that, because my dad would put me in my place in a nanosecond.

I am 26. And you don't have to be that old to have a 20 year old daughter, you can be 36.


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Work - resignation

Whose family business is this? Will they let her retract resignation?


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I hope this clarifies.

I understand what everyone says, and I see things from her point of view. I know I would have to answer the door, its not that I mind answering the door, its that it makes you feel like you don't exist when someone acts like that. If I am making it seem like I don't want to answer the door, I am not articulating my point. I can answer doors, but I don't understand someone's mindset that would peek out the window and then sit back down??

Especially when I am contributing money to the household.

I may not be decades older than her, but I have worked full time since I was sixteen, have a bachelors and masters degree, a husband and child, and have not lived with my parents since I was eighteen, so if I don't seem like an adult, than I don't know what an adult is.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

"I am 26"

This sheds a lot more light on the situation to me.

At 20, she is a grown woman, but 20 years olds are still immature.

I am 29 now and I look back to when I was 20...wow. I had my DD at 21, and I know I was a good mom from the start, but I was definitely less mature than I am now. A lot of that just comes from life experience and perspective. I know ten years from NOW I will have more wisdom and maturity. That's just how life works.

So--at 20---she is struggling to come into her own and having some issues "failing to launch." But you are not that much older than her, which I think is breeding some serious competition issues here. Could it be she is jealous of you because you are accomplished and successful?

My dad's long-term GF is 33, the same age as my husband. It is odd at times and makes me feel a little awkward. (my dad is 60.) I cannot IMAGINE being 20 and living with my dad and his 24 yr old GF. WOW. That would have been just toooooo weird for me.

How long have you been married? I also wonder---was she living there and then you moved in? In that case, I can see her feel like you are invading *her* turf.

I'm not excusing her behavior by any means, but I can see how the situation might have been created. Dad's primary focus needs to be on getting her equipped to handle adult-hood. I think the same stipulations should still apply, but I do have more empathy for this girl now that I know more of the background.

I think she is clearly immature and she's having issues w/your marriage and her immaturity is showing.

By gently pushing her into school/work and slowly out of the nest, you will be helping to build her maturity.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be offensive. But if my father were having a child with someone six years older than me, I would probably have issues too. Not that I would be right or that she is right to do what she is doing, but I think this is to be expected. And I think it's normal for kids to be repulsed when their parents make babies.

IMO, if a person is 16 when they have a child they will have a harder time separating the friend/parent relationship.

I agree with you about the door issue, if someone is already up, they should answer the door.

It appears to me that there may be a lot of competitive feelings here. Not that she is right, but I can see where she may feel a little displaced, and her behavior may come out as irrational.

I agree that you are an adult. She is too, in my eyes. Over 18 is lawfully an adult, regardless of accomplishment.

You say you ..."feel like you don't exist when someone acts like that. "

She may be feeling a bit like that too. Prior to you I'm assuming she had a different, closer relationship to daddy. Now you are here, someone who is almost her age and takes up his time, and is now with a baby that will take up even more time.


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This really is my last post, I am cleaning house.

To lovehadley --

I really see what you are saying, and thank you for articulating it so slowy and thoughtfully. I know there are issues there, and thats why in the beginning, I was really nice to her. I don't expect her to treat me as a mother figure, just as another human being.

And I don't expect her to change overnight, I know its hard to find a job right now, especially with no degree. But why would you quit the job you do have without another one lined up? Its this "in your face" attitude of hers that bothers me. A lot of the things her father does for her, I wouldn't mind, if she ever said thank you.

And let me clarify, our income is not huge, we cover our bills with little to no overflow for savings. I would think she should feel guilty to quit her job and put that kind of strain on her father.

I know a lot of it is her father, also. Example: he asked her to turn the tv down, because the baby was sleeping, and she says no. (So, its not just me she treats this way, its her own father, too). And he doesn't punish her for talking to him like that in his own house. How can I convince him to parent her properly when she is already this old???? He doesn't let anyone else treat him this way.


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More on that resignation

Can she rescind the resignation? Is dad close to the family?


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RE: Age

How old was he when he had her? How old is her mother? Is her mother in the picture?


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

Yes, I know you can answer a door all by yourself, and so does the SD. For whatever reason, she chose to be childish about it and make you do it yourself. Likely to annoy you--and it worked. She did annoy you, enough so that you told us about it. But the baby in your arms while meaning something to you was not a consideration of hers, she didn't stand up and sit back down because you had a baby in your arms. Yeah it was rude of her, but from the way you mention it and state if gives the impression you expect the daughter to give you a break because you are a new mother and because your baby is fussing. She's not going to cut you a break because you are a new mom and have fussing baby and that should not be the reason you expect one , yet that is the reason you gave.

In her mind it's likely 'your baby, your sister, your problem'.

She's going from being the only 'child' (in her opinion, still a child) to suddenly having a baby in her home, she's not thinking about boyfriends yet, let alone babies. And face it, while you think baby is wonderful, she hears and sees it as a screaming stinky barfing bay that gets lots of attention and wakes her up at all hours.

I'm not defending her, she's being a brat and is immature, but I'm trying to see her side and your side.


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to kkny; to silversword

They would let her rescind the two weeks notice, but she won't. He told her he thinks she should keep working there until she finds a new job if she doesn't like working with the family. She said absolutely no way, no how. I mean, how can he physically make her work?

I understand that she might feel jealous, but I don't know how her father or I could make her feel better. We have invited her out to dinner with us, to movies, and she always just says no. When I make dinner, I try to make things she likes, I always leave some meat aside and put less seasoning on it, because she doesn't like spicy stuff. I gave her a baby shower invitation and she told her dad "no way, I am not going". Even all her aunts and cousins asked where she was.

What can I do.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

J,

With all due respect, if you can not see that SD might feel threatened or embarassed by the baby (no one said repulsed), I do not think you are as mature as you think you are. Maybe you think the situation is common, as your dad did marry someone much younger. Whether it is common or not (I dont think it is as common as you think), it certainly appears that SDs reaction is she wants no part of baby at this time.

Stop with the dinner and movie invitations. See if dad can talk to her.

I do remember when I was a new mother, but please try to remember not everyone thinks the world revolves around your baby.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

I really do not see where SD being threatened or embarassed by a baby has anything to do with this situation. Her father did not need her permission to marry and have a baby. Sd is an adult so if the situation bugs her that much she can move out. She doesn't have to stay there and if she chosses to she has to be decent to the ones wiping her grown behind no matter HOW close in age they are to her.

I don't mean to be blunt but there is a price you pay for not being independant and eating sh*t with a smile when it comes to the rent paying adults in the home falls under that catergory. It's an unfortunate consequence for grown kids that won't fly the coop but it's life. You can't have your cake and eat it too.


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RE: tough one

Hi Jen,
He can't physically make her work. He can give ultimatums. It sounds to me like they had a routine going (you've been together 2 years, so she was 18 when you started dating?) and now that is changing and it is changing because of you. Not that you are bad, but it's easy to see how she might feel. She and dad had a good thing going until Jen came along. Now it's all about Jen and the baby. I can imagine the thought process:

What about me? I was here first! Why is everything changing and I am the only one negatively impacted? Life is so unfair! I hate Jen. I'll never like that stupid baby. I've been consulted about everything before and now they just go and change everything. No one thought about me. I'm insignificant.

And she's probably jealous and crazy-mixed-up. No, she doesn't want Dad for her sexual partner, but she resents that you are now closer to him than she is.

We only children tend to be a little self-absorbed :) When you say you make dinner and do some special stuff, she probably feels it's her due. She's the kid! Parents are supposed to do nice things for their kids. I always take out the broccoli from my dd's plate because she doesn't like it. I prepare mushrooms but remove them from my husband's plate because he doesn't prefer them. That's something normal that is done, not something special. It may seem like you are making an effort, but that is something I would expect as a family member.

If she's not happy about the baby, I can see why she wouldn't want to go to a party celebrating you and the baby. It doesn't make it right, but I do understand.

I agree with Justme, she's being a brat. And.........


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

Doodle, thats fine, but I dont think it how Dad sees it. At least not from what was provided above. You can make all the rules you want for your kids, but it doesnt seem like OPs DH sees things that way. That is why my advice would be to calm down and discuss rationally.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

You have 2 problems, but the bigger one, that contributes to & enables the louder & more dangerous one, is your husband.

I can just imagine what my father would have said to me had I had the audacity to act the way this young woman has acted.

&, as old as I am, & if I live to be a hundred, if he were still here & I pulled that kind of nonsense, he wouldn't stand for it today either.

Her behavior doesn't sound like she's embarrassed by her father's having reproduced; it sounds like rage & hostility & entitlement expressed as verbal *aggression*.

& verbal aggression escalates to physical aggression.

I wouldn't let her near my baby.

Regardless of a 20-year-old *woman* (she's much too old for teen-aged angst) feeling "embarrassed" over her father's new baby or resentful at his having married (or at his having married a younger woman), she has no business taking her rage out on other human beings.

Her father needs to lay down the law & make it stick, & if he won't...

well, as I said, I'd keep my baby safe.

I wish you the best.


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KKNY you may be right...

Well then if that's the case KKNY I'd be packing my bags with my baby and let the creep continue to let his grown child run his life with out me:) I wouldn't for one second have a grown up treating me like poo in my house. If it was my home the person causing me grief would get bounced and if it wasn't MY house I would divorce the turd, he'd pay me child support and I'd leave.

Sounds like thats OP's options.


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I'm with sylvia on this

"I wouldn't let her near my baby."

OP, this is good advice. Don't leave her alone around the baby. It isn't worth the risk.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

KKNY, I said repulsed. I said "And I think it's normal for kids to be repulsed when their parents make babies. "

Doodle, you have a point.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

Folks are already judgmental when they come across significant age gap relationships. Although it is wrong, I would be very surprised if you haven't already dealt with others disapproval....

With that said, I'm sure SD is acutely aware of that judgment. You really have no idea what others have said to her and believe me, they do say things or imply things. It is shocking and/or very amusing to some people. And people are jerks lol.

And yes, it is embarassing and can be seen as threatening when your parents have children in a 20 year plus age gap. Its strange. Situations can be very awkward. There is this pressure put on you to take some special interest in the baby...when you really aren't there in your time of life or you're thinking I am old enough to be this "siblings" mother. It's an understatement to say it's just awkward lol. It gets even worse when the older one does have children, there is the pressure for the half sibs to bond or whatever the parents think but the oldest one is moving into a different phase of life, having their own children.

With all that said, her reactions and behavior is not acceptable. It might help to have a heart to heart conversation with her....let her tell you guys these things, even though it may hurt you and Dad, it also hurts SD carrying it around.


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I do agree with Nivea

I do agree with Nivea and KKNY that if there hasn't been a big family sit down and pour out session...it's past due. EVERYONE, not just SD, needs to get feelings as well as expectations (meaning expectations of SD) out in the open. Feelings need to be aknowledged as well as limits to clear up any confusion.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

oh wow, doodle? is that you? lol, nice seeing you back.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

My stepdaughters are 15 and 16 and our newest addition is 10 months. Neither have had any adjustment issues whatsoever - to the contrary, both have been absolutely wonderful and held my hand throughout the pregnancy, cheered me on during labor and absolutely adore their baby brother. Of course, my stepdaughters are the bestest teenagers in the whole wide worlds so perhaps that's the reason!!! I don't think an age gap between the children and/or the fact that SM is younger than DH has anything to do with it - I think everything depends upon the family's overall feelings toward one another. Just my thoughts...


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

How she feels or why she feels it is not your problem, and I'm sorry you had to be bombarded with that. I know you have already spoken with your husband umpteen times, so I hope you give him your list of stipulations and mean what you say. If he doesn't do as you wish, which is entirely reasonable, then DO move out and not just threaten that you will. Otherwise, what is the point besides the appearance of your version of a temper tantrum? I do have a problem with item #2. You cannot make her pay attention to the baby and you shouldn't want to (and really should keep her away from him as suggested), but you can control the environment he lives in. Between now and the time that he is "crawling and more alert and aware of people" is plenty of advance notice she cannot still be living in his home, or it is plenty advance notice that you and your son should not still be living there.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

His 20 year old daughter still lives at home and it is driving a wedge in between us. Here is a little backstory. My husband and I have been together for two years. He babies his daughter unbelievably. She is 20, not in college, and only works 15-20 hours a week at a family business. She is rude to me, and my family.

so, was this the situation when you married him?

Anyway, these are the stipulations I want to give my husband... I know that sounds so business-like, but he hasn't done anything about my complaints so far, so I don't know what else to do. If he won't agree to these, then I am leaving. Please tell me if I am being unfair!!!

The specific things you are asking for are, in and of themselves, fair. However, if the situation is the same now as it was when you married, and if none of this was hidden from you ahead of time, then yes imo it is unfair to marry him knowing the situation and the deal with the daughter and then two years later unilaterally decide to demand things change to your specification or you will take his baby and leave.

Just to be clear; the specific things you want are reasonable. But if you are under the impression that you can marry and have a child with someone THEN change him to better suit you, that is not only likely to be seen by him as incredibly unfair, but, more importantly, highly likely to be unsuccessful.

To use a completely unrelated example, many people would find it fair and reasonable to expect your spouse to refrain from becoming morbidly obese. However, if you marry someone who weighs 500 pounds, then two years later give him an ultimatum to lose the weight, that is certainly unfair. So, did your husband "babie(d) his daughter unbelievably" when you married him? (when she was, what, 18?)If so, yes, expecting him to stop now is unfair, even though the specific living situation you are looking for is totally reasonable.

So... do you truly want to divorce if the specifics you have detailed aren't met? You have every right to make that choice. If you made a mistake and married someone you shouldn't have, and are unwilling to live in the situation as you find it, you have every right to correct the situation and divorce the bum. And, you also have every right to let him know ahead of time "this is the bare minimum of what I need to stay. if you can't meet this, i'm gone". But, if what you have in mind is deciding that what you want is "fair" and therefore giving him an ultimatum and thinking he will meet it... I suspect you will not get the results you want.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

Jen-

Your situation is very unfortunate. Your SD is obviously quite immature and perhaps on the spoiled side, but I think the bigger issue is that she is jealous of you.

IMO her jealousy is two-fold. I think in many instances kids feel displaced and angry when a BP remarries. I know I had many problems with my adult SD's. Your problem is compounded by the fact that you are only SIX years older than your SD. If you met her under any other circumstances, say at an exercise class, or as a coworker, you'd probably be her peer or perhaps she'd be a manager with some say over her work life. As she sees it, you have her dad's ear and some say over her home life. I know, if you really had his ear this situation wouldn't be as bad as it is, but you get my point.

Regarding her half bro, you are so much closer in age to her than she is to him. I don't buy the crap that she is disgusted or embarrassed that her dad had relations. She's just pi$$ed. It's true that no one wants to know that their parent has sex, but again I think it's more the age difference between you and her than between him and you. You're nearly her age and took her father and she sure is heck isn't going to listen to anything that you have to say nor respect you because you would at most be her peer.

You're right to speak with your DH. I would do the same. Also, I think it's pretty rude to get up, see who's at the door and then go back to the couch because it's your relative, but she is immature and I guess her passive aggressive behavior is the only way she knows how to express herself. Good luck.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

Gerina, I dont know how you can possibly know whether the SD is embarrassed. My D (not that much younger than the SD in question) is grossed out when older men hit on her or her friends. And in this situation, SD may think are friends are much closer in age to SM than to her. Yes of course she should speak to her DH, but I dont see how you can be so sure of her motives.


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To KKNY

KKNY-

Boy, if you aren't the pot calling the kettle black! You are the QUEEN of making your assumptions fact. You can't possibly "know for certain" all of the crap that you assume and spew as fact, and yet you force it upon rest of us much of the time. A few of the responses here, mainly yours as I just reread some of the posts, think SD is embarrassed (an opinion not a fact) and I am offering up another thought. I don't know that the SD is embarrassed or not, but I think she is a lot more angry than she is embarrassed and that's just my opinion.

If the SD in question is grossed out by "older men" hitting on gals her age, then I think her issue would be with her father. I don't believe that ten years difference between spouses is a big deal, but because this SM is only six years older than the SD it is significant.

It isn't unreasonable or wrong for a 36 year-old man, as the OP alluded as his age, to become a father. I have a 38 year-old friend who recently married for the first time and he plans to start a family soon. It's a lot more unreasonable and unfortunate for a 16 year-old to become father, but accidents like that happen all of the time. There are so many teenagers who become parents. They haven't even grown up themselves. Is it wrong for them to want to have a child when they are older and hopefully more mature and able to provide for their family?

Anyway, I'm not condemning the SD, but merely suggesting another angle to explain her disrespectful behavior.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

jennbmal, you have to be able to wade through all the speculation and other nonsense. I guess confusion would happen no matter who you speak to, whether in person, on the phone, or on the internet as it were. At least one thing was stated though that I would completely agree with under other circumstances, which is you are wrong to expect to change him after marrying him or change the living situation. I would agree with this and have said it myself a number of times, but I don't think it applies to your stipulations. What you ask for are nothing other than simple respect.

Item #1 is right because you, yourself, do not have to become the bread winner in the house and be expected to take care of and provide for his grown, disrespecful, inconsiderate, selfish, demanding, childish, and ungrateful daughter. You have not been doing it. He has. But he won't be the one anymore. Naturally that would be expected to change. He cannot expect you to go along with that program because the program will no longer be the same.

Item #3 is something he should already have done. It is sad and sorry that he hasn't and that you have to pose the request to him as an ultimatum. Shameful actually. He not only condones his daughter's disrespect of his wife, he supports and enables it. You are now at the point of being so sick of it that you want to leave your husband in order to be comfortable and happy in your own home. You are absolutely right to demand this of him now in no uncertain terms. I don't care if it is 2 years later or 10 years later. You've been asking him to take care of it to the point that you're sure he is tired of hearing you. Please ignore any suggestion to the contrary. You are tired of enduring it, and that is all that counts. He should have taken care of it himself, but he thought too little of you to heed your constant prompting.

Item #4 is the same as #1. The program will change, therefore you have every reason and right to expect she be expected to change along with it. There is no one on this earth who wants to work a job all day, come home to an infant, and do whatever else you must (cook, laundry, cleaning, or whatever), and have to clean up after her. She lives there and contributes to the need for household chores and should be expected to contribute in doing those chores.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

I think the daughter is push, push, pushing so that she does get kicked out of the home...that way she'll get sympathy or can gritch up a storm for some one else being the A$$hole. She's wanting someone, anyone to get up in her face, just like a hormonal teenager.
I'm just wondering how much the father will take of this nonsense.

I absolutely cannot imagine anyone talking to me in the manner described, cannot imagine it. I also cannot imagine tolerating it either.

It seems obvious she's trying hard to get a rise or reaction. And like some of the others are suggesting I think that she'll keep raising the bar until it more than likely gets physical.

I'd imagine your hubby must be feeling quite strung out with two women tugging in opposite directions for his attention. And at this point it sounds as though he's paralyzed by fear of losing, no matter what action he takes.
My suggestion would be changing the way you've communicated your issues with his daughter. Sometimes by simply using different verbiage can make a world of difference. For instance, you might be telling your hubby you "need" him to do something about his daughter, or "help" you do something about her. You might consider changing the word "need" or "help" to "I'd like you to take charge of this situation".
Sometimes men respond well to the "take charge" verbiage :)
It's his job as a father to take his head out of the sand and TEACH his daughter that basically having a temper tantrum at the age of 20 is unacceptable, that there are consequences to her unseemly behavior. By him not addressing this situation is one of the most harmful parenting decisions he'll ever make. I mean who wants a woman, because that's what she is, treating her future mother in law with total disregard? (Oh, and she will if someone doesn't put the brakes on it this instant).

Not to make you feel worse than you already do J, but have you told your husband that by him NOT putting a halt to the way she speaks to you that he may as well be saying these things himself? His silence makes him an active participant in my opinion.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

Where did OP allude to dad being 36? I thought she just meant to say that the child's mother COULD be as young as 36.

OP refusing to understand how SD could be upset by age issues to me shows a lack of empathy and of her own maturity isssues. The first step in dealing with a problem is understanding it. Dad may be seeing the entire picture.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

kkny, being embarassed that dad has young children is not a good excuse.

DD is 21 and she has a year old brother. She is neither embarassed nor ignoring him, she loves him. and no, he is not stepbrother he is her brother. and DD's SM is 28 (dad is 42). yet i don't think any of that would excuse such behavior. DD is still loving to her brother and respectful to dad's wife. maybe because we raised her to be somewhat decent around people.

what this lady does is unacceptable. keep embrassments to herself. and if she is that embarassed, she should get out and live elsewhere. she doesn't want to be around baby? go elsewhere where there is no babies. don't like SM? go live somewhere else.

yes it is OK to live wiht your parents at 20, but you have to be at school or work full time and help around the house and be respcteful and certainly yelling "shut up" is a bad idea.
This woman behaves like she is 16. your expectations are reasonable and dad should do somehting about it. i think it is somewhat his fault she was raised like that (spolied possibly). time to make it right; either behave work go to school or get out.


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what is discusting now? to have children in older age? what?????

Too funny. I mentioned once here that i am 43 and think it is late for me to have more children (I can't, but if I could).

And i was told on this forum that it is still young and perfectly acceptable even though my DD is 21.

Now all of a sudden it is wrong to have children if your older children are 20 or older. All of a sudden it is discusting. Why?

how is that discusting that this man has a baby but wouldn't be discusting for me to have a baby when my older daughter is over 20?

plenty of people have babies afer 40 and especially men. my ex is 42 and looks about 32, he had a baby when he was 41 last year and DD was 20, so it is wrong for him to have children, but it is OK for me? why is it so?

what kind of attitude is that?

and frankly age difference is a personal preference. My grandpa was 13 years older than my grandma. nobody ever said anything maybe because it was intact family. but now all of a sudden age difference is embrassing. so if i am marry a man who is is in late 50s it would be embrassing? why? how would it be anyones business.


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kkny

I don't have a lack of understanding about the age issues. I understand that she might feel weird about it. The word I took issue with was "repulsed" -- when someone said she may be repulsed by her father having a son now.

I didn't like my dad's second wife at first, cause she was this young ski bunny type, and at first with, my stepdaughter, I opened up to her about this, and told her how I know it is funky at first and how your friends might be like, that's your dad's fiance??(this was in the beginning). I also told her how I came to understand that if this woman made my father happy, then I was happy for them.

Whether or not she is ever happy for us is not the issue, I don't expect her emotions to change, what I expect is her actions to change -- she can be embarrassed or threatened or repulsed, but she is 20 years old and should be able to control her emotions and not let them come out in her actions.

Also, I just said that my husband could have a 20 year old at 36. He also could at 50. He is neither of those ages. I think his age isn't important. To me, worrying about the age of two people in a relationship is as bad as worrying about race.


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to lighten the mood

I know this isn't a problem that can be solved overnight, and I am tired of stressing and not enjoying my baby. So, to lighten the mood, here he is :

Here is a link that might be useful: Baby


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

"Whether or not she is ever happy for us is not the issue, I don't expect her emotions to change, what I expect is her actions to change -- she can be embarrassed or threatened or repulsed, but she is 20 years old and should be able to control her emotions and not let them come out in her actions"

Well, there ya go.

I was tossing & turning last night/this morning, & there was an infomercial where a therapist was selling a book or tape or something that's supposed to make your obstinate, obstructive, confrontative children nicer.

He said this:

"You don't get better behavior from better feelings,
you get better feelings from better behavior."

We demand that somebody make us happy, & our bad behavior makes us unhappy.

We engage in acceptable behavior & we're happy.

but don't let her around that baby.

I just talked to a mental health professional (yeah, I know, it's way overdue! really, she's a homebuyer client), who told me this true story:

A woman adopted 2 abused children, a 12-year old girl & her toddler brother.

The girl was perfect at first, but she had had no affection or attention in her entire life.

So now she's started smacking her brother, & every time she smacks him...somebody makes a big fuss!
Mission accomplished-she has someone's attention.

The counsellor told the mother that she must prevent this kind of thing, & she must not leave the 2 children alone together.

If/when "something happens", the mother would go to jail for child endangerment.

don't know about the rest of the world, but in Texas, "child endangerment" is what they charge you with when you didn't actually kill your child yourself but your child is nontheless dead.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

Jen,

It sounds like it's just going to take time for this gal to mature. You anticipated and tried to speak with your SD about age with the following:

*I didn't like my dad's second wife at first, cause she was this young ski bunny type, and at first with, my stepdaughter, I opened up to her about this, and told her how I know it is funky at first and how your friends might be like, that's your dad's fiance??(this was in the beginning). I also told her how I came to understand that if this woman made my father happy, then I was happy for them. *

You respectfully gave her the benefit of the doubt to relate, but she just didn't have the maturity for what you said. She sounds like 20 going on 13.

...and back to the age difference between she and your DS. My sister and I aren't quite that far apart in age, but close. She was married when I was in kindergarten and I became an aunt in 4th grade. She and I were especially close before she married and I adored her. We would go places together and people always assumed that she was my mom. I always corrected them and said, "No, she is my sissy!", and she never seemed embarrassed by my statement. The only problem I had with her was during my teenage years because as a mother herself, she overstepped her bounds and tried to mother and mold me into the type of gal she was when I was first born. Believe you me, one mother is more than enough sometimes.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

OP said it so well. we can feel embarassed, threatened, frightened, confused yet as adults we are expected to act appropriatelly. problem is not with how SD feels but how she acts. and frankly hating her SM or disliking the baby shouldn't prevent her from working and going to school and helping around the house.


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baby

what a cute little baby. I would want to have a little brother like this now, wouldn't be embarassed. well my parents are a bit too old for having babies, LOL LOL but who wouldn't like a cutie like this!


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

Baby is adorable, Jen. What a cutie.

For the record, I suppose no one here would approve of my age or DH's age either raising my youngest one. My world does not spin on what other people think. I'm 50 and DH is 60 and our last to raise will be 10 in December. My oldest is 32.

When DS32 was little I was the youngest mommy among the other parents at school. When I ws 43 and pushing my little one and my grandson (now GS8) around in the double stroller for exercise nobody knew what to say when they stopped to chat. Most just stuck with "my, what cute kids".


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

Absolute cutie pie!
And yes the families life does revolve around the baby. Its a new baby...what are you suppose to do ? ignore him?
She is a grown adult, 21 soon, is lazy, taking advantage of her family business, working part time at her age, no school.
Time to give her the boot.
All yoru expectations are reasonalbe. Nothing wrong there.
She is feeling threatened by the baby, replaced but she must be a veyr insecure adult to feel this. She should be otu enjoying her life, her freedom.
And anyone who tells me to shut up wold have had their a** out the door immediately. She wants to talk like that? then she can pay her own rent and bills and have her own place.
I didn't like my fathers rules, so i left. Its respect towards another human being. ANd this adult woman dosn't have that for anyone.
I say, stand yoru ground with yourhusband, give her a few months and if he does nothing thenits time to think for yourself and yoru babies safety. i wouldnt leave the baby alone with her.
ITS HER HALF BROTHER NOT HER STEPBROTHER. Blood is related through same father. She has no connection, she has issues.
And as for dealing withyour baby, if she doesn't like the noise, she can move out.
She sees herself as the boss of the house and you invading it. I think it would be best for you and your dh to invest in a new home together.
It sounds from her attitude that you moved in with him, He is much older and she is not comfie with relationship


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

We dont know whose family business this is, just a family buiness.

OP knew the facts. She was dating dad when all of this was evident. If she were a freind of mine I would have said run.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

I wouldn't assume that the daughter acted this way when OP & her husband were dating.

I'd guess that the daughter didn't mind her father *dating*, but bringing another woman into *her* home was an entirely different matter.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

That's why i suggested its best to sell the original home and buy a new one together. This is a very strong act of a Starting a new family with the territory clearly stating thats its the ADULTs, no feeling of ownership by the child.
In this case she is not a child. shes a young adult woman, who's dad has let her run amuck due to guilt parenting and probably due to many other facts not stating here on this site.
BUt i find it best when two families join , that they start on neutral ground. I too was a stepchild, and when my first stepmom came inot the pic , she moved into my birth house....yes, mine, because that is how i felt and saw it. So you do tend to get territorial. Not because a person is selfcentered...its because its the only homeyou have ever known, and havinga stranger move inot the only safe place you call home.
I noticed a change in my sd after my dh and i bought a house together.
1. it wasnt' her fathers apartment
2. it wasn't her territory
3. the new home my ownership and dad's
4. We call the shots.
You can feel it, that she behaves different. Not from hate or fear. I've alway got along with my sd but had bumps along the road , like many other on this forum.

Jenbmal, is the main home you are living in, your husband home??? If so , maybe its time to get a new one together and this way also prepare 21 year old to have her own home apartment. She's an adult. Its time ot leave the nest.
Tell her to get a job and start saving money while the house is on the market.
I know its tough...but a new baby, she dosen't care for her new brother and she verbal aggressive..i done trust this scenario.
What does her father do when she says shut up to you?
Thsi woman sees this house as hers and you as a sleep in guest treading on her territory. Time to sell and get your own house, making it clear she has to get her own as well.
sorry...jmo.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

Slyvia -- I agree that in general kids can react different to dads date vs. dads wife, but --

OPs first post -- "These are some comments that are typical of her personality:

"Shut up!"
This was when he and I were first dating, she screamed
from the living room to the kitchen because we were
talking too loud for her to hear the tv. "

Also, if my D, at 24, were dating a man with a 18 YO, after I got done crying and begging her to reconsider, I would at a minimum advise her to find out what the story is with 18YO. Is she going to college? Joining the army? etc etc.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

"Also, if my D, at 24, were dating a man with a 18 YO, after I got done crying and begging her to reconsider, I would at a minimum advise her to find out what the story is with 18YO. Is she going to college? Joining the army? etc etc."

This would have been an equally good question for OP to ask her DH before marrying a man with a 20 year old "child" sill living at home. Whats up with your kid? Is she planning on going to college? Joining the army? Will she EVER leave????? LOL. great tings to address BEFORE marriage. It would have been at the top of my list amyway.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

Well...
OP will know better next time.

but for now, she's a new wife & young mother, & however she got there, she asked for help/insight/something.

Husband's relationship with his daughter sounds creepy to me (I've developed the opinion that there's *always* a reason when people act hostile, angry, bizarre, whatever, & if one party in a relationship acts crazy & the other one is cool calm & collected...the cool one is the one who hurt the other.)

& the one who has been hurt can be dangerous.

My mother was the meanest devil in the world, beat the stuffing out of us with a razor strap-3 kids, one after the other, all of us screaming in terror & pain-& she wouldn't stop until her arm gave out & her rage was slaked.

In between times, she terrified us every single day.

but I've reflected on it over the years, & I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that her father abused her.

so, while I can understand how my mother's rage developed, I would not live in the same household as her, & I especially wouldn't live in the same household as her & her father.

& I never, ever would have left a child alone with her.

Protect that baby.


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Sylvia

I agree with everything you said above.

Protect the baby for sure.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

Sylvia, I am so sorry for what you had to endure.

It would never occur to me to even think what you have suggested -- but you may be right. Of course, it also could be that Dad is just a bad case of guilt. I think OP needs to talk to Dad, and I think therapy is a good idea. Even if therapy doesnt change the situation -- maybe it can help OP understand the situation. Becuase if it is what you suspect, then, IMHO, much more serious therapy is needed before the baby is safe. If ever.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

I know that the reason my stepdaughter and her father are the way they are of because of his guilt. My stepdaughters mom left my husband for another man, and my husband always wanted to make sure his daughter felt wanted and secure... she always felt that her mom abandoned her and he didn't want her to think he would, too... but it backfired in his face. All he has ever done is bend over backward for her.

I have told him numerous times, though, that she needs to see a psychiatrist. She doesn't even socialize with her own family.. she has seen her grandmother twice in the last year, even though the woman is a saint and the whole family, all the aunts and uncles and grandkids get together every single Sunday. My stepdaughter even refuses to have the curtains open.


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...more

She just sits on the couch with the shades drawn, on her laptop. She also sends an obscene amount of text messages per month, 14, 000 last month! They are unlimited, but, she doesn't even have any friends we have seen..

Her problems go so deep, and you are all right, I shouldn't have been so in love and jumped into marriage. I have told my husband that, knowing what I know how, I would never have even dated him...if only you could go back in time.

The thing is, whether or not I jumped into it, I am married now, and I want it to work, I love my husband, and he's a good man.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

With each additional posting OP reveals more and more and as pieces keep coming, I fear increased concern for the baby. If not just his safety, also his mental well being.

What baby should sit in a gloomy dark room with a hostile depressed bump sitting on the couch snarling at any and everything?

I'm thinking now that the OP list of 'demands' may not be the priority--getting the daughter pro help is. I think the daughter has way too many issues she must face and overcome before she can get a full time job and become a productive caring functioning adult.

I also think Dad will have trouble getting daughter to seek and get the help she needs. If I you, it would be top on my demand list. Dad needs to get daughter emotionally healthy, he's doing the whole family harm by letting this continue.

I would talk to your husband and tell him that this is unhealthy for all and it can not be allowed to continue. That you do not intend to go to work and leave baby home with him and daughter, that baby has to be your priority and even though you love him dearly you can not and will not enable any part of the current situation any longer.

You're well educated, young and healthy and have a beautiful little one, you have nothing to gain and everything to lose if you don't take control of the environment your son is being subjected to. You can do this on your own (raise baby)if need be and baby will be happy and thrive. Dad and you have some serious discussion to decide.


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justmetoo hit the nail on the head

"What baby should sit in a gloomy dark room with a hostile depressed bump sitting on the couch snarling at any and everything?"

You couldn't have said this any better. This is precisely the same mental picture I formed from OP's posts. So so so not fair to not only the baby but the OP and her family as well.


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justmetoo

Justmetoo, you are exactly right, and thats why things that I let slide which I shouldn't have during dating have come to a head now, because I don't want my baby around her.

At least we have a large house with two family rooms, so my baby and I spend most of our time in the big family room with all his toys and playpen and swing. My husband just thinks its normal spoiled-ness and sibling jealousy, but I think she is mean and crazy. I am beginning to fear that the only solution is to leave.


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Update

Since everyone has been so helpful with this problem, I just wanted to give an update. My husband and I talked and we are having a big family sit down and give the SD some rules and expectations (therapy, manners, housework). Because of her hostility toward me, do you all think I should or shouldn't be included in the sit down??? DH would never kick her out, but there will be consequences if she doesn't heed the guidelines, no cell phone, no internet, etc. We think a 6 month time frame is realistic to find a full time job... we don't even want her to pay rent, just a couple of her own small bills, and then start a savings account, so she can start to realize she has to have her own life.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

There's nothing sibling rivalry about her bahavior. The resentment, embarrassment, and other feelings described here concerning a much, much younger sibling is nonsense, justified as normal or legitimate because they had no one to tell them their feelings were wrong. People think and feel all kinds of things, but just because it's the way one feels doesn't make it right, hence there is murder and much other wrongful doing in the world. If they had someone to set them straight, the subjects would never have entered into your thread as anything of concern or consideration. Given any opportunity, I think your SD will abuse the baby - smack him, pinch him, or anything she can do to make him cry, if not *accidentally* drop him - because she lives in a very dark place mentally and emotionally, and she wants the whole world to be as angry, sad, and unhappy as she is. For him to think it nothing more than sibling rivalry is turning a blind eye. He needs an intervention to make him realize and understand the damage he's doing his daughter, and therefore his marriage and his son. You might talk to a health care professional and tell them the same as you've told us (and everything you haven't told us). Then, ask them to help you talk to your husband.

I know you don't want to leave, but I'm truly impressed you are seriously considering it as more than just threatening in order to get your way. I don't know how the women who threaten end up feeling when they don't get their way and don't leave either. You can't keep being walked on like this, but he isn't going to listen to you. He isn't going to do any more than he has been doing no matter how much you threaten. It might take you leaving to get his attention, and then you can demand he go with you to talk to the professional. You might demand it before leaving but if he refuses, then you have to walk out the door, realizing it is likely forever and no amount of tears and begging you to come back can change your mind unless he changes his.

If you don't leave, then please don't leave the baby with him when you go back to work. He has a cautious mother to protect him right now. Who will protect him when you're gone? His father never will believe there is any danger or concern.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.... . ... . . ... .

Guess I took too long to type that LOL. Yes, you should be included and contributing to the sit down. Not because of her hostility toward you but because you are his wife, the woman of house, and equal-to-him head of the household.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

I am glad people stopped saying "oh poor girl is just embarassed daddy has children in "old" age" and recognize much deeper issue.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

You are helping to pay the bills, arn't you? Hell yes you should be included! I hate to say it needs to be a family versus SD type sitaution but everyone except her seems to be jiving. She needs to be handed the ultimatum, fly with the flock or jump the nesy. This is an adult and her behavior is not fair for you and your family and it actually SCRAES me for your child.

Bottom line: She needs to be told if you don't like it....leave. Simple as that.


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and also

I agree with thermometer, SD sounds sick.


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Thank you

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone her for understanding it how I do. My husband has always though I was crazy... I sleep in the baby's room and keep his formula hidden, he thinks I'm nuts, but I just don't trust her.

Things will work out. I will give you guys the update after the talk. The offer at my new job is plenty to make it, so if I have to, I will leave.


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RE: My stepdaughter is driving me crazy.

Thanks, kk.

"My husband has always though I was crazy."

Well, of course;
it's always somebody else.

Daughter is crazy, you're crazy, husband is the only normal one.

I'd bet money that *he* is the reason that his daughter is so disturbed.

*& he knows it.*

He knows it isn't you, but he'll blame it on you until the baby is hurt or dead, & then he'll blame it on the "personality conflict" & "competition" between you & his daughter & he'll enjoy a martyr role (poor guy, wife crazy, daughter in jail/hospital, baby dead)...until he finds his next wife, who will believe his version of his life story just like you believe it now.

Take a step back & look at this from a longer, larger perspective;
there was *something* going on in the father/daughter relationship that made her 'crazy' (hmmm...like you're crazy now?) before you came along.

What was it?

The only "data" you have is what your husband has told you, & people never say, "it was my fault, I was too mean, I abused so-&-so, I was too hard on her, I fixed it so she was wrong no matter what";
they always say they were too nice & too generous & the crazy person is crazy because she expects too much.

Unless there's an actual brain disfunction, children don't just grow up moody & jealous & mean & possessive & depressed;
when you look at a relationship in which one person is cool calm & collected & one is angry, jealous, & bitter, the angry one is the one who has been hurt.

& the calm one is the one who did it.

If you do have a "family meeting", stay detached & observe;

It's likely to be an eye-opening experience.

I wish you the best.



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