troubledmama's picture
troubledmama

17 yr old stepdaughter breaking us up

As I have read many hours of articles on this topic I am seeking advice. It seems to be a very common story.... Marrried 1 year this month my husband and I were introduce by both our daughter (were Friends) who are 17 now, 2yrs ago. of course we expected challenges and decided to move in together in my home first about 8 months prior to getting married . We sat down with the girls and discussed challenges of how and what was expected of them. Both being only children found it difficult and it became competitive but in all fairness better than expected. Now things have turned to the worse. I admit that my stepdaughter had a difficult life moving from relative to relative until she was 9 yrs old when her dad took over. The problem is that she has never had any rules or responsibilities and also has never been held accountable for anything. Trust me my daughter is a pain in the neck at times too, but being her parent i follow thru and PARENT!
My husband does not and of course whenever there is a problem I go to him for help and since things are getting worse all he can say is.. "What do you want me to do I've talked to her and she doesn't listen.". She is a slob leaves dirty stinky laundy all over , feeds all her friends does'nt clean up ignores me when I ask her to do it, I could go on but I am sure you know where I'm heading. The real problem is that along with caring for a family and home I work 3 jobs and feel I really need the help. Also we have been fighting so much that he keeps telling me that he will ask her to leave but he will have to go to! Its not what I want, but I'm losing my mind. He has also told me that I should get over it because hshe is his responsibility and intends on having her stay here as long as she wants so she can have a good start through college.Can you believe this. As of today I have made an appointment for counseling he said he would go also my daughter, his said she will not. Help



gail's picture
gail

Find someone who wants the work and hire them every afternoon for an hour ($15 to $25), to clean up after the stepdaughter.  Then when she wants to do something that costs money say you are sorry, but you are spending the money on household help.  I know that's $500 a month.  I bet it wouldn't take too many weeks for step-daughter and husband to gain perspective on the situation.

stephy's picture
stephy

Gail, I find myself agreeing with you. I think the help idea is a good one. 

troubledmama's picture
troubledmama

Hi gail I did think of that smae thing an I thinking I should try it even if 1times a week but is this really teaching her anything well i suppose it does'nt matter as long as it gets done and solves the problem. She is pretty self sufficent other that the $5 daily for lunch at school so that would't make a difference would it? I am getting to the point where I hardly talk to her. Still think we need counseling as a couple he really does'nt see where I'm coming from and it makes me feel unimportant.

gail's picture
gail

I'm wondering if the household money going out to household help wouldn't be a great eye-opener for your husband.  Just leaving it for him or for his daughter to clean up probably wouldn't make any difference, but there's something about spending money on these things that makes them suddenly more important.

  $5 for lunch?  That is where I'd get the money.  "Sweetie, I'm sorry that we don't have that money anymore.  Here's the bread, the peanut butter,  the carrot sticks and the baggies. "

troubledmama's picture
troubledmama

Oh another weekend is over and stepdaughter returns with a packfull of dirty laundy from wherever shes been more to add to the pile. anyway brought up that solution to hubby and he said"deprive my daughter from food cuz she doesn't pick up, I don't think so". I was making both of them lunches in the first several months together until she told me she doesn't eat it anyway So now I just help get my daughter going . I never really minded helping either out but I refuse to do anymore . This morning after she left her weekend pile on the floor along with her shower towels on the bath floor. I picked them up (after suggesting that she throw them in the washer before school)and put them in the front seat of her fathers car. He was not happy when he was ready to leave for work. I am acting childish I know but I really feel that by making him accountable for her behavior or her mess that maybe he will tire of it and do something. Is this crazy?

gail's picture
gail

I don't think you are crazy.  You are in a crappy situation.  A marriage is different than what you are describing.  Even a business arrangement is different than what you are describing.  I would find a place where you and your daughter can live.  If you are already working three jobs, I hope you are making enough that you can afford that.  That is so sad.  But you can't make people be different than they are.  Whatever the dynamic is between your husband and his daughter, he is not helping her to grow up into a competent adult.  And right now, neither are you.  Whatever your marriage contract was, it isn't working for you, for your daughter, or for his daughter.  It needs to change, or end. 

troubledmama's picture
troubledmama

well the living arrangements are in my home and I/ve gotten by before by taking in a roommate(have a inlaw apt thats where the kids are)Tomorrowo I see a counselor myself , he said he would come later. I don't know what to expect Will she have advise for us will he take it . I'll have to see. Maybe I'm in the wrong and I have to step back? My daughter questions what is happening although I think at 17 she knows and also asks me why there are different rules for the stepsister. My feeling is I am not going to take 17yrs of what I taught my daughter on how to be independent and responsible and considerate of others and throw it out the window. I know the stepdaughter will not change I'm just hoping he will if even 10 percent.

gail's picture
gail

I have had some good results with counseling.  I will be thinking of you!

vicki105's picture
vicki105

I agree with Gail, he is not helping her grow up to be a competent adult.  Its not at all about the dirty laundry, it is about disrespect.  Her father allows it which just doubles the disrepect.  You cannot change the dynamics of their relationship and how he is with her so you have to accept it and let her be the horrible adult she will be because of it or end it. 

tamz's picture
tamz

Wow! Although I think these individuals have some great ideas about getting paid help and using the lunch money to pay, I do not agree with ending your marriage.  Did you say they lived in your home for 8 months before you married?  I think people end marriage too easily... the girl is 17 she should be on her own soon ... She may not be a well adjusted respectful adult, but she will not be your problem.. or not as much your problem anyway ...