dpcowboy's picture

Stepdaughter Problems

I have been married to my wife for a year now and she, her now 17 year old daughter, and I,  live together.
My stepdaughter has known me since she was 14, and has increasingly acted aloof, distant, and rude...and not just to me, but to her mother, other adults, and peers. Her father has her about 40%, and provides little to no leadership or examples of good parenting. She does little or nothing to help in our household, and my wife feels powerless to direct her doughter or require any speicifc rules or tasts, becuase..."her father will just do what he wants when she is with him..."
I have gone out of my way to be firm, supportive, and always available to my step-daughter for anything...which amounts to a lot of chauffering (!). She now is driving and has 'finessed' her mother into buying a car for her, (yes, I 'loaned' her mother the money), and voila! ...the stepdaughter/princess now announces that she is having sex with her boyfriend, which is unacceptable to me (along with her attitudes, rude remarks, and 'all for me' attitude.. What truly is unacceptable though, is the way she treats her mother. She is a user of people, and a young, conniving teen girl in the worst sense of the word. Her mother still feels powerless.
Can anyone out there help me with advice?

camlady's picture


I have a step daughter who is now 18 and she has been with myself and my family and husband since she was 11 and boy oh boy, step daughters are rough.  They are nice one time, then rude, and know everything, and then want you to drive them places.  In my experience, you just have to bit your tongue as Marti says, as soon she will be out on her own. Hopefully her mother and father  should of tried to teach her things as she when she was younger.  Sometimes its up to the teenager, and when they move out they will have a big wakeup call.  I know how hard it is, but sometimes i try to be her friend instead of the step mom, and i find that works.. its a very rough time...If you love her mom, sometimes it is easier to just back off, as you don't want your relationship to be hurt, and that will be done if you get in the middle, i have experienced that, and we just said who are really important, our relationship or a teenager at 18 who will be out on her own soon. 

Good luck with everything....



re123's picture

I think you need to stay united with counceling  every one  included aspecially if you recently re married  your new wife. My 10 year old daughter stepped all over me  We had her move back to her moms she was emancipated by her mom and now has aids 8 years later.

kasi52744's picture

I am a step child and I am currently a step mother.  I never realized how hard it was for my step mother until I became one myself.  My situation is somewhat different then yours because I have a stepson.  His father and I have been together since he was 3/4 and he will be 13 in October.  He has been through a lot and was taken from his mother when he was 6 years old due to her behavior and we had to fight 18 months to keep him ( the system is prejudice towards men).  My husband currently has full custody of him and he has been living with us full time since he was 6. 

This whole situation has been so trying and created a barrier between my husband and I that only GOD can break down.  My son (because that what I see him as) can be very difficult, he is a different child for me than he is for his father, He is mean and resentful at times of his little brothers (his father & my children) and he has incredible bouts with his attitude but remember the sins of the parents fall on the children.  Children do not know how to cope with a lot of things and we as adults have problems coping also.

My advise to you is stand strong put God and your wife first in your life.  Pray, allow your wife to do what she needs to do but always keep a united front with your wife.  Stand strong with her, listen and sometime don't provide advise unless it is asked of you.  As a child, I did not understand that when my father stood by his new wife and not with us but as an adult whose marriage is currentlly on the verge of divorce I now understand.  You are to raise your children to leave home which means that you always need to keep a life of your own.

Love your stepdaughter but sometimes you need to love from a far but ultimately you  need to work through this with your wife.  Yes, she may be out of the house soon but parenting does not end at 18 or 21, it just changes.  Keep the faith and I will pray for you and your family.  God Bless.

jlhowse's picture

You have my sympathy.  You seem frustrated because you cannot control your stepdaughter and you seem to blame her natural parents for not being able to control her either.  The truth is nobody can control her; that's why it is called self-control.  The only thing you can control is your own behavior.  Also, you can't control money that is loaned.  If you can't live with that fact, don't loan it.


You wouldn't accept rude behavior from a peer, so don't accept it from your stepdaughter.  When my son is rude to me, I call him on it.  It goes something like this, "I don't like your tone of voice/your attitude.  I'll talk to you when you can talk to me respectfully."  Then, I leave the room and he's not allowed to hang out with friends.  The rule in our house is if you can't get along with your family, you're not ready for the outside world. When he's ready, he finds me.  Just don't hold your breath or a grudge.  Also, I don't do favors for people who are rude to me.  If you do, you are not helping her with the real world.  People in the real world reject others who are rude to them.


Regarding your stepdaughter's sex life.  That, too, is her decision.  Each time she brings it up again, simply repeat, "It is your choice",and disengage by walking away.  My guess is she is trying to ruffle your feathers with this kind of pronouncement.


Your wife/her mother has to decide for herself what she will or will not accept from her daughter.  However, since she is 17, she is still dependent on her mother.  For me the first thing to go would be the car or cell phone.


Good luck.

priceprice68's picture

Hi, just to say my own daughter was behaving in the same way, she wouldnt speak to me or her father.  So I refused to speak to her but I knew she'd have to come to me as she'd want a lift, money etc. I waited until she came and said sorry, I asked her what for and she didn't know, so I explained that she was embaressing me and that I was ashamed of how she is acting,  If she is going to be treated like a princess she is not going to treat me like this any longer. Also that until she show me some respect she could do her own ironing, catch the train home, and not ask me for money or clothes. 

She told my husband that she didn't dislike us and couldnt help herself sometimes.  I really do believe that you should try and discuss these things as sometimes they don't realise how they are acting.  Also stress the point that if she is old enough to have sex she should be old enough to have a conversation with you both.  i also suggest you get her on the pill, you cant tell teens what to do, just advise them, the sad fact is that teens are having sex, try to put yourself in her shoes at that age.  I know whatever my mother told me not to do I had to go and do it.

Things are much better here hope things are sorted for you soon, it doesn't get any easier, but sometimes when you look at other children the same age as yours and they are much worse behaved be thankful.

regards natalie

junieg's picture

Do you really think YOUR GOD is going to be of help. Look at the world around you! 

hopefulstpmm's picture

I have a 16 yr. old stepdaughter that is very jealous of me and her dad. I have given them time together and encourage it as well. She does not look me in the eye when talking to me, she rarely talks to me at all unless she needs something and even then her dad asks for her or she asks him in the other room and they think I'm supposed to hear it and offer help. I've quit doing that and let someone ask me directly. Anyway, we have been married for 3 yrs. and I thank God everyday for helping me get a little tougher skinned. It is hard to be rejected by someone you live with everyday. She never talks about anything with me, she keeps it all inside. She was going to a counselor a year after we were married but we thought that she was getting better. She does talk to me sometimes like when she was doing a science project I talked to her about it and was interested and she was kind then but rarely. I really enjoy those moments when we can communicate.I realize I'm the one that will have to change and not get my feelings hurt so much at her rejection. I also have a 14 yr.old stepson. He and I get along better but still he is very distant. He respects me a lot more than my stepdaughter. I can't say anything correcting to them at all, so I don't  but when I tell there dad something that I think needs addressing he says I am coming against them even when he asked me to tell him anything I see that may need attention. He is so sensitive. I have to be so careful what I say.I'm trying to just keep my mouth shut.  We may be moving far away because of my husband job situation and that would be taking them from their bio mom who they see everyother weekend and one night a week. They are going to hate leaving there school too.

Thanks for letting me just talk. I have no one to talk too.Have any of you been in this situation before or have any wise counsel for me? I will take it!

Thanks, hopefulstpmm



gail Hanson's picture
gail Hanson

I have constructed this whole little story, which may have little to do with what is going on, but, here are my thoughts.

You have my sympathy, but you did volunteer for this, and yes, it is hard.  The children didn't volunteer.  If they had a vote, it would probably be for having an intact family. 

And now, they don't get a vote again, and they are leaving their mom, and their home and their friends.  I know it isn't your fault, but you are the symbol of all that is wrong in their lives.  They aren't secure enough in their relationships with their mom and dad to take it out on them, so they take it out on you.  And I don't know of any way that you can fix it. 

Either you are tough enough to be unappreciated kindness and stability, or you are not.  I don't know if you even know how tough you are.  I hope you are tough enough. 

adcouts's picture

I have almost the exact same issues with my step-daughter. She moved in with us last november because her mom was moving again (like the 7th time in a year) and she wanted to stay in the same school to graduate with friends. She turned 18 in Sept. 1 week later we found out that she had been dating/sleeping with a 30 yr old man that she worked with. This man is controlling her every move mind you. We as a family including her mother tried to talk to her, she got angry with me and dad, left and has been at her mothers for 5 weeks now. She called last week and told dad she needed to come back because her mom was moving again and she couldnt go with her since this is her last year of school, later that nite she called her dad bawling her eyes out, the b/f had been yelling at her all nite and she needed us to come get her from work (she called back a few minutes later to say never mind the b/f would take her home). So dad, being a dad, decided it was time to put a stop to all of this. Ha boy did he get a rude awakening. she was angry with dad for doing anything at all. She constantly lies on everyone and I mean everyone, she uses all of us, she doesnt have a mind of her own. My husband decided to change the locks on the house a few days ago so she couldnt come in and out when we were not at home, that made her mad as well. She has no home and her mom has moved out of the school district, but she still has her job and b/f. she came last nite to pick up her things. we have no idea wheres shes living/staying nothing. she refuses to talk to her dad. ya know shes a teenage girl, she wont answer her cell phone and claims its dead when we call--Im scared for her as far as her b/f goes, he is very controlling and hes yelled at her several times, he checks her cell phone for # and msgs. Ive been through all of that. I feel for you truely I do. Sometimes you just have to let go and let the world take over, your step daughter will soon learn a few valuable lessons. Its hard to not get involved but sometimes you just have to let go.

I wish you all the best of luck. Just make sure you and your wife let her know that you are there for her. Because eventually she will grow up and realize that she was a terd

metoo's picture

I had a step-dad growing up, and as much as I understood it is hard for him, it tore me up inside! I was never rebelious as your step-daugter seems to be, but I did hate/resent him at certain moments. He was easy to blame. 

She seems like she is pushing all these things because she is craving love. Do not be like my step-dad and me, we have a akward and sometimes impossible relationship, and I am now 26, it's too hard to go back and make those memories together.  What was the hardest for me was him and my mum had other children and I really hated that, and took it out on him. Once they were born I no longer felt like I could get close to him. Mostley I felt sorry for my mom, as I do your wife, they are the glue, and she is getting pulled emotionally in every single direction and probably feels like she does not have any answers. Console and support her, the relationship with your step-daughter will HOPEFULLY improve, but try and understand she sees you and everything you say and just thinks YOU ARE NOT MY DAD! Do not start to resent her or you will lose her. Familys are hard, and hard work. Especially modern familys, try spending some time with just her, show her you love her. Remeber she is at a very confused stage in her life, just before adullthood, take yourself back to when you were her age. And although her parents breaking up is not an excuse, remember how hard it must be for her, living inbetween houses and both parents having new lives. It is HARD and I felt I did not know where I belonged or who I was. Show her you are someone that will ALWAYS be there for her, because you will ALWAYS be FAMILY!