Avatar universal

Stepdaughter that hates me

About 6 years ago my husband and I got custody of his 3 children from his first marriage. Their mother has some substance abuse problems that were a challenge throughout the years and have now led to her being permenantly disabled in a facility. I have been the primary care giver for the three children since they moved in with us. Years ago things were very difficult. She would give me a hard time at every turn. Undermining me with her brothers, blogging horrible things about me, and finally coming to blows where she punched me and I was forced to call the police. At this point she tried to live with her mother. She eventually moved back in with us when things took a turn for the worse with her mother. Things seemed better for a while and then since she has been home for the summer from college things have been getting gradually worse. She has become nasty again, writing things on twitter about me, insulting me to her brothers, and just making things generally uncomfortable in the house.

These things are extremely hurtful because I treat her like she is my daughter. I always try to include her in things, take care of anything i can for her, take her shopping, get her nails done, anything I can do to help her or bond with her. Nothing has worked. I am at a loss what to do with her at this point. It causes fights between her father and I, makes me walk on egg shells around the house, and generally feel uncomfortable in my own home.

Any suggestions on what to do?
6 Responses
134578 tn?1614729226
See a therapist.  First by yourself, then with your husband.  The two of you have a problem together and have to decide what to to about it together, and it sounds like without a third party to help you, all you will do is fight about it.
134578 tn?1614729226
PS ---

-  College students often fight with their mothers, whether or not the mom is a stepmom.  It's a bitchy, hormonal and uncertain time of life.

-  Be who you are for your stepsons, don't let her throw you off your stride.  They will decide if what she is saying has any meaning to them.

-  What the goal of the meeting(s) with the counselor would be, is to decide whether letting your stepdaughter come home and be a brat is a great idea for the family.

-  Finally, in case you want to feel a little empathy, here is what she might be going through:  her mom, who she loves and feels loyal to, is a hopeless mess, and you are not a hopeless mess, and she wishes her mom would have the things you have and be a person who is not a hopeless mess.  You having her dad and being together, is not soothing to her, it throws her mom's problems into an even sharper relief.  You represent the world her mom can't get.  And she is a loyal daughter and identifies with her mother.  It might be compared to how a woman feels who wants a child and can't get pregnant, and her best friend keeps getting pregnant with lovely, radiant, healthy babies.  Her friend can't help it but it is not fun for the woman who wants a child so much.
Avatar universal
Agree with AnnieBrooke.
Avatar universal
I agree with everything you have said. Thank you for the advice. Unfortunately, her father does not agree with therapy. I have suggested it many times and it always gets rejected. I have tried for years to be understanding of her situation and her mother. I am just starting to feel defeated because even though I have always been supportive of her, her situation with her mother, the issues they have both had, she has continued to be hurtful and spiteful. I am coming to a point where I am having trouble trying with her. It may sound selfish but I am getting to the point where I am withdrawing from her because I need to worry about myself. I feel like I have no self respect when I continue to do for her and she is doing horrible things to me? How long can I, for lack of better words, "kiss her ***" while she writes about physically harming me, my appearance, my family, my character? It has been six years and  I am becoming tired of "keeping the peace" in my own home.
Avatar universal
"How long can I, for lack of better words, "kiss her ***" while she writes about physically harming me, my appearance, my family, my character? It has been six years and  I am becoming tired of "keeping the peace" in my own home."............

Sounds like you need to just disengage from her as it is taking a toll on you.  Physical threats?  What does your husband think about that?  How old is this stepdaughter?  If she is making physical threats I would not take that lightly.  Sounds like she shouldn't even be in your home.  She is seething with anger, hurt and pain and it is manifesting into this appalling behavior.

Ideally, this stepdaughter needs to be in therapy ASAP and out of your home.  

If your husband doesn't want to go to therapy......well, nothing much you can do about that.  You should go by yourself as this situation definitely needs professional intervention (therapist) and perhaps legal intervention (physical threats).  

Again......if she is making physical threats this needs to be addressed seriously and now.
134578 tn?1614729226
You use the fact that "her father does not agree with therapy" as a way to blow off my first suggestion, which is get yourself some therapy.  He does not have to go, but you need some, in order to cope.  It's surprising what one person changing in a stubborn situation will do to all the other people in the same stubborn situation.  Don't be stubborn about getting yourself some assistance.  You will stubborn yourself into staying stuck.
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