J.F. asks from South Amboy, NJ on January 22, 2011
Help - South Amboy,NJ
been married for 5 years.. have a chld of my own.. And a stepdaugher.. She only visits on weekends.. but she is so disprepectfful to me.. She lives like a slob.. never cleans up after herself.. leaves all her garbage around the house.. clothes on the floor.. doesnt flush the toilet.. and when i ask her to throw her garbage away? she ignores me? doesnt know how to turn out the lights.. and says.its not my problem your bills are high. i didnt tell you to buy a house?
well when i talk to my husband he says im crazy selfish, and to ignore her? are u kidding? my little girl will pu on these actions. and thats not how i was raised.. the biggest prob. is her mother cant handle her.. and my husband wants her to come live here.. hes happy about it and im not.. so im cnosidering.. leaving? any advice?
R.M. answers from Topeka on January 22, 2011
You didn't tell us how old this child is? At least an adolescent, if not a teenager. I can tell you, from personal experience that stepchildren who have been raised in a different way that you are used to can be a huge source of stress and disagreement in a marriage. BUT I think you are making a huge leap to be talking about leaving your marriage!!
You and your husband need to find a 3rd party ( pastor, counselor etc) to sit down and talk over all of the issues surrounding this. But you need to be willing to view your stepdaughter as a confused child who is possibly acting out to try and make her parents sit up and take notice of her. Think of how you would handle this if it were YOUR daughter doing these things. You can't just demand that she live according to your standards...you need to start by building a relationship with her...as a friend and mentor...find teachable moments to help her learn the right way of doing things.
As I said before...it is hard to really give you good solid advice without know what age your stepdaughter is.
Please don't give up....my own stepson who is now in his late 40's was SUCH a handfull as a child...he lived with us for a total of about 7 years and I am not ashamed to tell you that I felt like throwing a PARTY when he left for the last time...and was joining the military so I KNEW he wouldnt be moving back in again!!! But...fast forward to 2011...although his home is not exactly what we would like for him to have as far as the way he is raising his children and grandson...we have formed a real friendship...we enjoy each other...and he feels much closer to me than he does to his biological Mother.
Good luck...you will need big stores of patience and love and concern.
3 moms found this helpful
D.P. answers from Pittsburgh on January 22, 2011
Your husband's child is part of the deal. When you married him, you more than likely knew about his daughter. Not sure how old the child is but I think a list of house rules and consequences that apply to everyone equally seems fair. But it's not going to happen if your husband is not on board. His child=his responsibility to discipline her.
2 moms found this helpful
T.T. answers from Chicago on January 22, 2011
she needs to follow the rules of the house. you and the hubby need to sit down and talk about this or it will put a wedge between you two. she is only doing it because she can get away with it. after you two decide house rules , she needs to be informed and then informed of the consequence to not following the house rules. good luck !
1 mom found this helpful
A.S. answers from Boca Raton on January 22, 2011
I agree 100% with KansasMom.
And if you can't do those things, you should consider getting out due to the damage you may cause. Just know that, if you leave, you risk creating the same situation with your own daughter (i.e., if your husband were to get in yet another relationship or re-marry). Not to mention, your daughter will have to spend time (unsupervised by you) with dad and half sister. Would that be OK with you?
There is a reason that 2nd marriages have even higher divorce rates - it's extremely stressful to blend families, make new kids, etc. Do some people do it very well? Yes. But imho they are the exceptions to the rule.
If I were you I would do my very best to make it work. I would go to counseling to learn how to work with my husband, and love this child as much as I possibly could. I would read lots of books about teen development too.
1 mom found this helpful
R.Y. answers from New York on January 23, 2011
Before you get ready to leave, try counseling. Teenagers and step kids are both extra difficult. Tell your husband if he wants his daughter to live with you, you need to figure out the house rules before she moves in. Id' recommend a counselor or other third party help you with that. In general you need to have a united front and it is better for him to take the lead with discipline.
I am not a step parent but I watched family friends negotiate a difficult blended family situation. Basically when the 2 of them got together it was marriage number 3 for each of them and they each had children (5 between them). They started couples counseling before the wedding and have been together for about 20 years so far. There were a lot of bumps in the road, especially when the older kids were teenagers but starting with a strong foundation definitely helped.
D.B. answers from Charlotte on January 22, 2011
J., I wrote on your other thread before I read this one. I'm not going to change what I wrote. But in this thread you don't mention that the stepdaughter is 14 - your child is 5. The 14 year old is the one with the problem.
I like what Denise says - it's for teens, and your SD is a teen. But... I'll bet Denise's husband is on board with this. Your husband would not be. If you cannot get him on the same page as you in disciplining her, your life will be hell. She will rule the household.
I would tell him that you will not live with him unless he goes to counseling with you BEFORE she moves in. Without agreements between you two concerning her, you will not take care of his daughter. And mean it. Don't threat what you won't do. But don't be a doormat. Without him allowing you to discipline his daughter, she will not be disciplined.
The mother and father rule the house - not the kids. Otherwise, you shouldn't be there.
M.R. answers from New York on January 26, 2011
I would have a serious talk with your husband about your feelings and see what he says if the tables were turned? everyone HAS to get along - and RESPECT is demanded - just because she's only there part time doesn't mean she can get away with things - she has to respect the rules of the house ... or not come around.
E.P. answers from New York on January 23, 2011
Don't have much advice except that I think the problem isn't so much your step daughter, I think it's your husband. Sorry but any husband that is unwilling to go to counseling and tells you that YOU are crazy, is a problem. You express to your husband that there IS a problem and you want help to work it out with him - he should man up and be willing to get some outside help even if he does think you're crazy. If the problem is YOU (which I don't think it is) then he shouldn't be afraid to have a third party look at the situation. I suspect he knows he's not manning up and setting the rules for the house like a good father/husband should. He doesn't want to get help because he doesn't want to be told he has to DO anything. Best of luck to you and you are NOT crazy.