hopefulstpmm's picture

Jealous Teenage Stepdaughter

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

hopefulstpmm's picture

Thanks Marti,

I am so glad you wrote. It's really good to hear from another step-daughter. You are very encouraging. I am trying to do what you said and also trying to give she and my step-son time away from me also to be with their father. I like to buy her favorite gum and put it on her bed or the candy she likes and make sure I have the food she likes to take in her lunches.  I really look forward to the day we can be friends.

If you have any other advise about anything you think of please let me know.

It's great that you and your step-mom are friends now. I know she is so happy and proud of you.



slimshady1968's picture

Dear Hopeful,

I know how u feel vI have 15yr step-daughter that will be turning 16 in Dec. She like 2 play her dad and I against each other, and I get upset but it seems he takes het side all the time. Another thing when she does something wrong I have 2 tell him someone else told then he will believe me then. So I know what your going thru Us step-mothers we try our best too make them like us and no matter what we do they do if do or not correct? so from now on I'm myself an if she don't like it then I guess she has 2 put up with it. Because I'm tired of  breaking my a** to please her as long I;m happy I guess. And I'll be married for an year on the 18th of this month 2 her father.

haymeg's picture

Hi hopeful,

My husband and I are both in our second marriage - he has three children  from 1st and I have one and we have one together so they go 14,13 (mine), 12, 10, and 3 (ours).  His children live with their mother and we do not get along at all.  My husband and I don't agree on their upbringing and I really have no place in their life, since they have a mother, so I end up being a maid most weekends.  My 13 yr old daughter, who lives with us, has never had a father and I had hoped my second husband would be one.  However, he has struggled in being a father to her.  This is a very tough age for her - lots of changes, etc.  She needs a father.  However, the only time he does anything with her, is when his kids are around. 

So, from what I have witnessed, this I can say for sure.  Take the time to do something special with your step-daughter.  Take her shopping - get involved in her favorite hobbies - go to a book store and spend the afternoon, then get coffee together. Talk to her everyday about school and her friends.  Don't be put off by the eyes not meeting yours or the attitude that may shine through.  Just keep plugging away and show you care.  Let your husband know that he needs to encourage her to talk to you directly when she needs something.  We can never assume our husbands know anything! 

Most importantly, say hello, good-bye and good-night every day (you didn't say if she lives with you full-time or not).  My husband doesn't do this.  He will say it to our 3 yr old and leave my 13 yr old out, even if she is sitting right there.  No matter if your step daughter doesn't answer at first.  She'll hear you. 

I know it can be hard to stay positive when you get negative reaction, but you are the adult, it is your responsiblity to set a good example.  In a couple of years, your step daugther will remember your efforts.  Maybe she will give you attitude at home, maybe she is trying to be respectful to her mother, but around her friends, she will talk you up and  show respect to you in that way. 

Good luck - and don't expect change right away.  Start with the small things - "hello's and good-bye's" - and move up from there. 

krispypickles's picture


You married a divorced man with two children who's lives were torn apart by divorce and you expected things to be different?


Well, I hate to say this, but I have to agree with Dr. Laura on this issue... people who have children and then divorce should not remarry until the children are grown and out of the house for this very reason. 


Read "Bad Childhood, Good Life" by Dr. Laura, and you will find that your stepdaughter's behavior is typical of a daughter who's dad has remarried.  You can also expect competetiveness with other girls/women, early sexual activity, ungratefulness, reluctance to give of herself.   I'm not saying these behaviors are appropriate or excusable, but they are reality... just as it's inappropriate and inexcusable for parents to bring children into the world and then split up, get remarried and think everything is going to be ok. 


I think you're just going to have to buck up for the next four years until these children go off to college. 

snapowl's picture

Dear Hopeful,

I am the biological mom of 2 teens. Their father remarried very quickly after the divorce.

some suggestions:

do not try to replace their mom.

Keep your own personality and interests.

Make time for them on your own. My kids' stepmother has NEVER in 8 years taken them to a movie or anything on her own.

In fact one evening that he was working, the "stepmom" told my kids that she was going out since he was working--instead of treating this as an opportunity to spend time with the kids ON HER own.

Encourage their dad to take them out the odd time without you--camping, to a movie, a ball game.Both the dad and the kids willl respect you for allowing them time alone together as they would have had in the original family unit.

As far as I am concerned she has never been a stepmom. She is the new wife.Stepmom contains the word "Mom" and having at least some traits of a parent is helpful.

A 16 year old girl is a challenge to ALL adults involved.

As you said, you are the adult and also the one who needs to accomodate.The child is the one who is hurting and it is the job of all the adults involved to help her, not the other way around.

whymex3's picture

Dear Hopeful, I to am a stepmother. She is now 13 yearsold. I have been there since she was about 4 years old. I am so sorry that you are going through what have so far. I went through some of the same thing when my stepdaughter was younger. When my husband and I first got married she was the only child in both of our lives. Then after a year of marriage we had our son. Things started changing little at a time. Then a few years after that we had my daughter. That's when all hell broke loose. After all we went thru with this child. I must say now at the age of 13 she is begging her dad and I to get custody of her. It was never the child that had the problem, it has always been her mom. I have treated this child as if she was my own. I have discipline her, as well as love her. And she knows it now. She would rather talk to me about boys, sex, drugs, her grades, and all of the other things that comes with teenagers. I disagree with Dr. ? that said that people should not  remarry until their kids are out of the house. I do believe that I have did a better job than her mom with raising her. Just act as if your stepdaughter was your child. Forget that she has a bio mother, treat her, and do things with and for her as if she was yours, and see  what happens. Sit down and talk to her, without your husband, and tell her, that you are here to stay, and that she can do it your way, and everyone gets along and be happy, or she can do it her way, and continue to be disrespectful, but let her know that her way, means that she is own her own when it comes down to whatever she may need you for. Please don't give up on her, You are probably just what she needs in life. My stepdaughter too is in counseling. And it has help us so greatly. I wish there was a way I can talk to you more one on one. You take care. and hang in there.

beatifulmom23's picture

it is very hard for a child to see their father in a realationship i'm sure. All i can say is take it easy keep doing what your doing and it will get better let them know you will always be there for them and their father try spending one on one time with each of them doing what they like to do it will open your eyes more to them try also explaining that you are hurt. remember kids love their parents and they usually blame themselves for their parents split i know i did they will blame you if just even in their head.things will get better time is the best cure

mominthemiddle's picture

I have been in a similar situation except I have been the step mom (now divorced) and now I am in your husbands position. My kids are 14 (daughter) and 9 (son). It might sound dumb, but we sometimes (most of the time) take criticism about our kids as an insult that we didn't do things right as a parent with them - like your way would be better. I know better, but it took awhile!  I am not married, but will be in the next year. I live with my boyfriend and over the past few months I have basically gotten off the pity pot!  We are all living together as a family unit so it's not him against us or vice versa.  What I did is sit down with my boyfriend and tell him that he has equal authority over my kids. The biggest advantage my kids had on him was that he would always go through me to implement any discipline or offer any suggestions.  I told him that since we are committed to each other, he needs to step up to the plate and involve himself.   I sat my kids down and told them that my boyfriend was an equal authority. Since your step kids are at that age where they want to be treated like adults, your husband needs to tell them to act like they want to be treated - he needs to tell them that you have equal authority and they need to start respecting you. Teenage girls are the worse - my own daughter is a handful too!  Most of all, your husband needs to support your role in your "family unit". It's his responsibility to set his kids straight. It's not going to get easier after you move, because they will have that much more to be bitter about!  After reading some of the other posts, I think taking the back seat is the worst thing you could do! Don't be "in their face" annoying or anything, but they need to also deal with the changes. Patronizing them or ignoring them isn't going to help them any! I had 2 stepsons in my previous life and if I could go back and change one thing, it would be the way I treated those kids. They are adults now and I have been told by them that I was more of a mom to them than their real mom, but I sure didn't think I did anything to help them. I took the attitude that how they handled their parent's divorce was their own problem, and I was here to stay whether they liked it or not. Well guess what? I apparently wasn't there to stay, but I know I should have done better. Good luck.

stephy's picture

I think as the situation has already happened, it is wrong for any of us to sit here being judgemental and saying she should never have married him. She is asking for good sound advice, not criticism. Sure, we all know that when a marriage breaks up, the children suffer more than us, but sometimes you have to move on. It all depends on why the marriage broke up in the first place. Do you think it is right to keep a marriage going if there is alcoholism or abuse going on. Should the children be brought up in this atmosphere? Second marriages can and do work. There are more happy step children than unhappy ones. 

stepdaughters16's picture

Dear Hopeful,

I wish I could say that I was hopeful. I also have a 16 yr old stepdaughter that is extremely jealous of her father's relationship with me. We've been married for a year and I swore that I would be able to win her over but now I know that is never gonna happen. She has pushed me to the point of no return. In the past she has called me vulgar names, she has forged my name to get out of school, she's sneaks boys in her room and has sex with them in our home, there has been pictures on websites of her drunk and kissing girls, she walks out as she pleases when her father is not around, she's threatened to hit me if I say anything to her,  and she goes months without saying a word to me. She doesn't leave her room. She has made herself a prisoner of her own home. This past week we had our first altercation. I told her I was tired of her behavior and she responded "what are you gonna do about it!" She is disrespectful to her father and to me. She is forcing her father to make a choice between us and it's killing him because of course he loves his daughter. My husband (her father) is going to be deployed in december and I will be left alone with her and I can't deal with her on my own. I fear that one day  I may go outside and find my tires slashed and if I say something, "will she hit me!" It's crazy I'm walking on eggs shells in my own home. As of now my husbands decision is to send her away to live with her aunt but will he resent me later and blame this whole thing on me, I'm afraid that regardless of what happens at this point that my marriage will not survive. I don't know what to do. Does anyone at all have any suggestions?