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I have a disrecpectful adult step daughter.
My husband stands by silent when she snubs or yells at me. I feel I deserve the support of my spouse. The daughter works in my husband’s family business. Each day he leaves for work I feel he is consorting with my enemy. I don’t know how to deal with the situation or my feelings. Help
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Try talking to him about ti and ask for more support. ALso just try calmly sitting down with the step daughter and explain that you aren’t trying to start anything, that you just want a quiet life. Ask her what she doesn’t like about you, or whatever the source of the problem is, and try to reason with her.
If she doesn’t respond, she probably hasn’t come to terms with the whole step parent thing yet. IT may take her a long time. Be patient, but don’t take a beating for it. Be reasonable when dhe goes off on one, and eventually she’ll come round.
And try not to give her a chance to use the “You’re not my REAL mother!” line. It’ll hurt you, and reinforce the barrier in her head.
She sees you as an interloper, someone daring to take the place of her mother.
Your husband should support you, but he may be hamstrung by guilt.
What to do?
The next time you are the victim of yelling or a snub, immediately confront the behavior and state in no uncertain terms that you are tired of it and that it is going to stop, or you are going elsewhere.
You can tell your stepdaughter, “I am not trying to replace your mother. I would like to be your friend–but I am not deserving of the ill treatment you are giving me, and while you may never love or even like me, I am going to insist on at least civil treatment. I love you, and I am trying to like you, and you can at least do your part.”
Confronted and shocked by your own “outburst,” you will bring your stepdaughter up short, and your husband will have to take a stand.
After things have cooled off, and everything is out in the open, you can all work on rebuilding your relationships in the proper way!
SHOCK treatment is often the best response to ILL treatment!
All I can do is write from the standpoint of the daughter and say mixed families are HARD. Try and get to know her, shes probably hurting. If you can build a relationship with her and do things with her it will probably make it easier for her to respect you.
she is not your enemy, she is his child. why would he alienate his child? this is your issue with her to sort out, not his to deal with. he is not a ringmaster.
That’s why you should bring her up short the next time she insults you.
Friendship often follows in the wake of a “fight” that gets everything out into the open!
Ignore her when she says wrong things, pay attention when she does good things. Pavlo ok?
I am for quick resolution of things. I don’t see the need or the use to drag things out for months or years. The issues need to be identified, brought front and center and dealt with forthrightly.
It doesn’t do the family any good whatsoever for this stepmom to take her stepdaughter’s guff. The daughter is behaving inappropriately and her father is a Caspar Milquetoast kind of guy, so the stepmom is going to have to bring the issues front and center.
People work best when they know what the boundaries are and when they cross them. The daughter is crossing a boundary on a regular basis, and she needs to be reined in. There is NOBODY in the family to do that except the stepmom.
The stepmom doesn’t have to put down the stepdaughter in any way; she just needs to say that she’s tired of the ill behavior . . . the snubs and the insults. She needs to tell the stepdaughter that she is her father’s wife and that if they are to be in the same “space” from time to time, there needs to be mutual respect. The stepmom should emphasize that she has treated other family members with respect, and they should reciprocate. She should tell her stepdaughter that she is not trying to take the place of her mother, and the insults need to stop.
Believe me–I know–if the stepmom doesn’t assert herself, the problem will get worse, not better. It’s a huge mistake to think that taking abuse will eventually end in a good relationship–it won’t. When the stepmom is silent, the daughter feels that she has brought the stepmom to “justice” and will keep doing it–and not only keep doing it, but intensifying her efforts.
Instead, bring the stepdaughter up short by telling her that you’re not accepting any more garbage from her–and that if she cannot say something nice, to just keep her comments to herself.
Whenever you are faced with bad behavior, you must confront it and ensure that the perpetrator knows that it must come to an end. Accepting abuse can drag out the problem for another decade and a half.
I absolutely agree. For 11 years my adult stepdaughter has been rude and mean. She’s manipulative - says she wants to be friends so I open my heart back up and then says I don’t understand her definition of friends - her definition is I back off, stay on the side and she hangs out with her Dad. I believe Dads and daughters should have good relationships but she snubs me and is rude. When I told her that I was genuinely trying to get to know her and be her friend because she’s the only person who I’ve ever had this much difficulty getting to know and to know me, she said, “that’s very noble”. She accuses me of be confrontative in my comments when I say that I don’t like the way she treats me then turns around and yells and screams at me. It’s completely dysfunctional. My husband has decided that, from now on, he’ll visit her from time to time but she is not welcomed in our home anymore.
Sorry Bobosnickums, but you are wrong. It is absolutely impossible for the stepmother to sort out this situation without the support of her husband. As for your comment “he is not a ringmaster.” In actual fact, by treating his wife in such a disrespectful way, his daughter is also disrespecting her father, and he, not the stepmother should be pointing that out. It would appear that he has allowed this situation to escalate, and like you, thinks it is between his daughter and his wife….IT IS NOT. This young woman is his child, and he is the one who should be dealing with her bad behaviour. My opinion would be that daddy has never taken his daughter’s behaviour in hand, and she has turned out to be a spoilt brat who wants everything her own way. If the father and the daughter had had a good realationship before the marriage this problem would not be happening. So Bobosnikums you see it is his place to sort it out, he caused it, he brought a new wife into the situation and as a father it was and is his responsibility to make sure his child/children treat her with respect, they don’t have to love her, they don’t have to even like her, but they do have to be civil. How dare he stand by while his daughter yells at his wife. This man is weak, and his daughter knows it.
I agree with Marimar. It is the husbands place to stick up for his wife.
If a husband doesn’t stand behind his wife he will then lose her. First marriages stay together for the children, second marriages end because of the children.
I agree with emryx00. It is completely up to dad to make 18 y/o step-daughter be respectful. My husband will say nothing to make his daughter stop stealing, lying, cheating and expecting money for nothing (when she already received $4000/month from him for her expensive private Christian university tuition/room/board… Baylor… which she only is going to because Texas A&M would not accept her in any capacity due to low GPA and low SAT and, I think, background check showing shoplifting… and she would not lower herself to going to Stephen F. Austin or any junior college… her own words). This step-daughter has me coded in her cell phone as “Devil-C***”. Ahhh… when I told my husband this when she left her phone out for me to see this, he did nothing. In fact, after I caught her telling a lie to my husband on Sunday that she’d been home overnight (came in for the weekend from school but didn’t tell us that was her plan and we didn’t know because she really wasn’t here but was using the house as a little hotel to store her overnight stuff I guess) at our house when she was really waltzing in at 10:30 a.m. in her PJ’s from her ex-BF’s house, my husband started screaming at me when I corrected her false statement –to SHUT-UP and quit bullying her. Ahhh… how could I bully her if all I did was quietly/civilly correct her false statement that she didn’t come “home” last night. Insane. It makes me not want to be in the house and married to a man that will not (and has never) teach is daughter right from wrong by at least acknowledging that she lied even on this small thing… because this 18 y/o lies about everything for no reason. My husband screaming at me to SHUT-UP when I passively corrected her lie and made her somehow out to be a victim (of my setting the record straight I guess) made me not want to be in the same room with him… again… ever. Like his repetitively condoning her lying, stealing, whoring, cheating and defaming me without ever saying anything to her (in fact rewarding with cash to her whenever she puts a guilt trip on him about how he should have saved up more for her to get better car because that is what good parents do) when it is painfully obvious she is acting bad (like the immature cheese in the Cheez-it commercial… except worse because she is legitimately lying and stealing). Ick. This man I totally adore, my soul-mate, I’m starting to hate and not want to be around at all.
I think this generation is trying to live the life that all of us, older ones have worked oursevles to death to get to!!!!Now that we are there, the only chance for them is to GET all of our benifits, so that WE can live in shame, with our health problems and such!!! It makes me VERY angry, as when you are older..That this generation does not care if we have heart problems, Fibromyalgia, strokes, anything!!! It seems they are not there for us, BUT, we still have to be there for them…WE are tired, worn out! I say now it is time for them to experience what we did, and to have respect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There is no respect, whatso ever, and it makes me ill to think that we are still suppose to be there for them…Yes we love them, yes we care…BUT it is your time, to pull through!!! We are not your heros, we are suppose to be your examples…So FLY, and keep in mind what we did, and NOW it is your turn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have the same problem with an adult step child. Harsh and very mean. My husband stands by and watches too. He loves his little girl (22 married and out of the house) and wants the best for her and does not want to see what is happening. I have read two books that have helped. Joyce Landrof’s Irregular People and Battle field of the mind by Joyce Meyer. I bring them out again when she visits. I have tried to confront her with no response. I have been to counseling with the advice to drop it the insult like a slug (it’s your choice to accept it). You don’t have to let what she is doing affect you. It’s the hardest thing i have ever done in my life. Try to do something real nice for her. It’s not for her but for you showing yourself you can unconditionally love someone. I reupholstered a chair for my step dau for her photo business and got a “well i guess i could use it for Christmas pictures…” It’s not quite a thank you, but when you do it for you… life will be okay! Keep your chin up!
My heart goes out to you. My 34yr.old step-daughter to this day after 24yrrs. of marriage tries to hurt me by sending x- mas gifts back and not even opening them.Just because I wouldn’t buy her a wii game. She’s been married 13 yrs.no kids. She can buy her own toys. I try to buy them things for their home that any grown adult would love. Not her. A toy is better. Buy her expensive gifts for ocassions she tells me I don.t like it.So. here’s my advice to you. Drop her like a ball.Do not call,buy or show her the time of day. Stop sending cards with money for Birthdays, etc. Let this go for weeks or months. She.ll finally ask whats wrong. Invite her over with her husband or friend, even her Nother is better.and let her have it with both barrels. You are like me. I have for all these yrs. felt sorry for her due to her parents don.t take the time to teach her how to respect people. Stand up for yourself. Your what counts. Hold your head up and tell yourself that you did the best you could trying to be a desent roll parent. You Can’t dispiline her due to courts.And the parents want to blame you for every little thing that she did. I said if I were to write a book or pass a law. No one could get married with step-children NO RESPECT. YOU DESERVE A MEDAL!!!!
I have started a new approach with my step dau…show unconditional love to her even when I get nothing back in return and target her husband with love. After years of very little progress with targeted uncondtional love with the daughter. The son in law is more receptive. I wrote him a letter/card for fathers day (even though he’s only a puppy daddy) he light up like a Christmas tree when he read it. Neve stop on showing love it will prevail!
This is an OLD post, but I found it after searching for “Biblical response to bullying stepdaughter.” Many of the people who’ve answered here have no idea whatsoever how stepfamily dynamics works, and how spouses should respond to issues of disrespect.
A wonderful resource is: http://www.smartstepfamilies.com/ (though it’s a Christian resource, so not for everyone, maybe).
The responses above range from well-meaning but naive and simplistic, to judgmental and unrealistic.
Also a great resource is the book Stepmonster, by Wednesday Martin: http://www.wednesdaymartin.com/
Being in a stepfamily runs the gamut from challenging to excruciating. Don’t listen to the folks who give you the, “Shame on you, you should…” treatment. A marriage will only survive the long haul if a couple prioritizes their marriage, while working together to address issues around children/stepchildren’s struggles. And, yes, requiring respect toward a stepparent is CRUCIAL for everyone’s survival in a stepfamily. There is a reason that 75% of second marriages WITH children fail. These issues are not for the faint of heart.
As for what to do: Patience is key, gentleness should guide you. But, there may come a time when a line does need to be drawn with a stepchild who might continually hold his or her parent hostage to guilt, and be wholly committed to cruelly using a stepparent as a scapegoat in a misguided attempt to put their anger and grief somewhere, instead of allowing healing and grace into their heart. At certain ages, this just isn’t possible. But, this post is about an adult stepchild. A person grown-up enough to know where decent behavior leaves off, and mistreatment begins.
Just FYI: I am a stepmother to four young ladies. They were different ages and different personalities when I first married their dad. They all had difficulty, but each one individually began to work through her challenges around their parents’ unfortunate divorce, and their dad moving on a few years later with a new wife. One of my stepdaughter’s, all these years later, is still committed to rejecting me and saying cruel, unfeeling things to me. I’ve offered nothing but unconditional love and understanding, but it’s gotten to the point where I am realizing that this has become abuse. And, this peaceful, loving, understanding approach I’ve sustained for so many years, is beginning to feel very foolish. I’ve attempted to gently coax her to share her feelings. When I do, she lashes out cruelly.
Not looking for advice, necessarily, just a perspective on how each child can be very different, I guess. (I do know that her mom has recently burdened her with some really inaccurate and unhealthy ideas, so I think that input fuels some of what comes my way–but, I feel that is just a losing battle all around to even try to address that.)
Hi, Try reading the book Irregular People by Joyce Landorf. This was the advice my pastor gave me while going through issues with my step daughter. It has taught me to not impower her negative attitude and celebrate her for who she is. Don’t get me wrong this has been a difficult painful road for me. I am the one who had to change with Gods help. I have learned to not let the comments bother me. Drawing a battle line would have done me no good in my situation only causing war. Since she is not currently seeking God her aptitude to be transformed is minimal. Living as an example of love and communicating with my husband has helped me. Also for my husband to see my perspective and watch me rise above his daughters own personal issues has grown his love for me. Best of luck
Leave it ain’t gonna change!!
I don’t know what to say except that I feel for all on this thread. It is a day to to struggle. I am the father and I have a great wife and a great daughter. The daughter aint perfect and frankly I don’t have a clue what she wants to do with he adult life. She is working. I think she can think of herself a lot. I love my wife but I also think she is quick to anger. Most of the time I am walking on eggshells. I don’t thin either of them knows how scared I am/how really scared I am that I will lose the other if I totally side with the other. Neither one is all the time right. So I remain silent in fear…hoping that things will pass. Overall I have a good kid/selfish at times/wrong priorities most of the time. Before I met my wife I had to fight for every minute of visitation with my kids…so I am in no hurry to push her out of my life. I don’t know what to do. Frankly both wear me down. Just wanting to be a great husband and an awesome father. Worn Out and ON EGGSHELLS
PLEASE HELP PLEASE
I’m sorry you are feeling so caught in the middle. It’s a horrible place to be. I watched my husband be in that same place. He watched me struggle with a relationship with his daughter who was hurting from her past. Advice take or leave… Love on them both. Life is so short, treat your wife the way you want your daughters husband to be. This sets an example to your daughter. Being the man of the house set the boundary for your daughter. If she is being disrespectful to your wife tell her it won’t be tolerated. If its anything like my situation I was in so much pain and just needed my hubby to say “I see the way she treats you and I’m so sorry. You don’t deserve to be treated that way”. He did this too. No action no fix it for me just be there.
Time has made my situation somewhat better. Being a step parent is a hard thankless job. Your power as the step parent is knowledge. If you expect to be in the cross hairs you can prepare yourself. If you show love and kindness with every encounter you can hold your head high. If you pray for a loving heart and strength to be resilient He will answer.
Sheathe, what most dads don’t realize is that THEY hold the power to stop this. Ask yourself, would you allow your daughter to treat anyone else this way? Of course not. So, when you stand by and ALLOW this behavior, you are giving unspoken consent… and your daughter gleefully doubles her efforts to torture your wife and your wife knows you’ve abandoned her to the wolves.
My experience from watching this all play out. My step daughter was not only treating me poorly but others. She is now divorcing. I would not have wished this upon anyone especially her. I hope this natural consequences are changing her to make positive life choices. Moral is when someone is treating you bad it feels horrible. But most likely that person is causing more pain in other parts of their life then just you. It would not have been so horrible for me to sit quietly and endure. She has created a miserable exhistance for herself all on her own. She has very few friends, has a horrible self esteem and if she continues hurting those who love her she will live a very lonely life. There was no need for my husband to stand up for me.
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