How would you deal with your sd not liking you?

(17 Posts)
Rosewine72 Thu 14-Jul-16 11:20:49

I've always had a pretty good relationship with both my sds as well as my own 2 dcs , we went through a bit of a rocky period when we first moved in together nearly a year now, my older sd 12 and my dd 13 struggled a bit though that has calmed down now. Myself and sd had a few words around this time but really nothing and we carried on getting on ok , days out would take her shopping buy her lunch, talk to her about school etc. Then we started to get Trouble from her mum including texts saying both her girls don't like me, their washing is never done, I'm too over bearing, the house is always filthy etc etc they've never liked me! I was a bit shocked as I just felt we got on well apart from this odd occasion. My dp and his family all said take no notice we can all see she likes you, her mum is a very jealous person and will go out of her way to cause trouble!

A few weeks passed and I started getting texts from my sd saying how she doesn't like me or my dd she didn't like the atmosphere and felt like it for a long time and she was fed up hearing rude comments about her mum 😳 I was really shocked about this especially comments about her mum I was wrecking my brain trying to think of a time I said something. I felt really bad but I couldn't think of a time I did.

Anyway I was hurt obviously and even felt like moving out, we waiting till they were back home with us and then I had a chat with her I said I couldn't think of a time I was rude about her mum but apologised if I did I asked her what I said she couldn't remember she said. I asked what I had done to make her not like me, she said she didn't know she just didn't! She liked her mums husband but she didn't like me 😞. It does seem she's been manipulated by her mum a lot but still I was hurt but I decided to just carry on as normal, not mention it back off from any tension that may arise with their mum and their dad , I let their dad do any disiplining etc, and tbh she's not been rude to me or even behaved like she dislikes me particularly wants to help etc. But still there is a little voice in my head when I'm sorting things out for her, paying for something washing and ironing something quickly that she needs by the next day. Cook tea all those things you just do , does she still not liking me , does she appreciate anything ? It's an odd feeling probably only s step mum could understand, if it was my own dd I would probably talk to her more find out what's going on in her head but with my sd I've kind of backed off , still being chirpy and nice to her never telling her off etc is this the right thing to do or should I be asking how she feels? I do think she's been made to feel she shouldn't like me but it still hurts I guess! There is a slight awkwardness when we're alone I think . I guess it just bothers me as I feel I do quite a lot for all of them.
Would you discuss it with her or just carry on as have been doing?

TimeforaNNChange Thu 14-Jul-16 12:49:49

I'd leave it. When a DC is being placed under pressure by one parent, the last thing they need is pressure from a stepparent.

My DPs DCs "don't like me". This escalated to non-specific allegations in court when DH's ex wanted to stop all contact.

I rarely see them now, but if I do come into contact with them, I behave as I would with a friends child that I don't know. Its uncomfortable, and if regular contact happens in your own home, you may have to develop coping strategies to manage.

Your DSC are coping with an untenable situation in the best way they can. They are subject to overt or covert pressure from their Mum to "dislike" you - but at the same time, they probably recognise that you are doing positive things for them, and that their Dad loves you. They are conflicted and stuck - you can make it easier for them by recognising that and accepting the boundaries that they are putting in place on your relationship. As long as they are polite and respectful, then accept what they feel they can offer and remain a positive person in their lives without pressure.

Rosewine72 Thu 14-Jul-16 13:05:26

Yeh I think so, that's what I have been doing and she is polite so I guess that's all I can hope for, it's hard for them I realise this and I don't want them to feel awkward with us, I just wish that wasn't said that's all they live with us half the time so that makes it harder . Thanks for your post seems like you know how it feels too

Cosmo111 Thu 14-Jul-16 13:06:04

She's hitting an awkward age at the moment, maybe she's genuinely doesn't like the situation and feels the hit or her parents not being together but your DD see your DP every day and lives with him who knows. I would kept a distance for abit. Sounds like taken it hard you moving in together

TimeforaNNChange Thu 14-Jul-16 13:10:18

rose There's likely to a a lot more hurtful moments and comments - sadly, when separated parents are hostile, the DC's are impacted, and those people around them are subject to the fallout.

My DP's DC's relationship with their paternal grandparents has also been affected by their parents hostility. They, like me, have worked hard to remain neutral and provide the DC with the level of support they are happy to accept.

You have to have a thick skin to be a stepparent.

MyKingdomForBrie Thu 14-Jul-16 13:30:06

I think you're doing brilliantly to carry on as normal under such bombardment. I don't think there is anything else you can do unfortunately but I think you're in a horrible situation.

Rosewine72 Thu 14-Jul-16 14:59:31

Cosmo your right with the awkward age however tbh they didn't take it that hard moving in together I've been with their dad 4 years and always got on. They have been seperated for 8 years now but trouble started from the ex wife (mother) pretty much as soon as we moved in, which has made the children more unsettled and unsure. They were living here most of the time too for various reasons , anyway that doesn't change the situation and I haven't got a thick skin so I guess I'm gonna get hurt more 🙄

swingofthings Thu 14-Jul-16 16:40:14

I think she is very lucky that you are taking this in a mature way even if of course it must be hurtful. I agree that I would just give it time as if she sees that you are respecting her feelings as you are, she might start to feel differently about you.

Just a comment on her not being appreciative of the things you do such as cooking and cleaning, I think this is quite normal at that age. I remember taking all this for granted when I was that age, and although my kids are polite and will thank me for cooking, I think they naturally also consider it my role as a mum. If this is an issue for you (that could lead to resentment), then I would tell your OH to do all these things as really, it is his responsibility not yours.

Although I understand that you wouldn't want to discuss it any further with her, I am surprised that your OH isn't doing so, after all, if he/you understood the reasons, it would certainly help.

Rosewine72 Thu 14-Jul-16 17:49:04

Thank you swingofthings, you are of course right about the being appreciative of things it's completely normal my dcs are the same I was the same, she's no different to anyone else of that age , I think it's just because she said the words she doesn't like me etc I would feel the same if it was my dd that said that but then it's unconditional love with your own. Don't get me wrong I do care about my sd a lot and will just carry on looking after her, doing all the normal things as a mum or step mum does, it's just a feeling I get sometimes, then it goes.

Tbh if it was one of my dcs that said they didn't like my dp I would be talking to them quite regularly to see how they were feeling and what it was they didn't like, but he thinks it's been dealt with and put in a box and just carries on which I understand but I don't think he gets how awful it feels really. He says what's the point of dragging it all up again , I think more like a woman I guess

newname99 Thu 14-Jul-16 22:51:53

This is so tough for you.I think the comment re having a thick skin is so valid! Being a stepmum is truly the toughest parenting job.

Time is however on your side as she may mature and start to form her own view.My SD is 18 and has got better.I would like to think it's maturity but it's more likely a result of her mum being in a new relationship so has less focus on dh & myself.

Rosewine72 Fri 15-Jul-16 17:40:00

Well I am a strong person, survived and dealt with many things but I don't have a thick skin but I am learning ways to deal with things/people who upset me. Things definitely got harder when we moved in together and their mum got involved. I was all for being relatively friendly towards their mum as I am with my dcs dad, but she's been so awful and devious I realise I can't so I just stay away have nothing to do with her or mention her, it's such a shame though. It is hard this year has been very hard nothing like I expected. I knew we'd have teething problems but boy !!!!! 😱

CallMeMaybe Wed 20-Jul-16 14:41:47

TBH I would be cautious about assuming that the ex is poisoning her against you, it may just be that she's comfortable talking to her mum about her issues, especially if your DH is refusing to engage with her about it beyond the initial conversation.

My DC have real issues with their dad's DP, they feel unable to talk to him because everything they say to him is echoed straight back to her and he takes her side every time. As such they tell me what is bothering them. And while I wouldn't ever consider texting him to tell him what the issues are with his DP, and neither would I ever condone them texting her as your DSD has done, I do know that I have been painted as the bitch ex who has turned the DC against their dad and his new partner.

It's a positive thing that you have a good relationship with her. but her dad needs to keep the lines of communication open, and get to the bottom of what the issues really are, if there are any. And reassure her if the issues have come from her mum.

swingofthings Wed 20-Jul-16 15:52:37

I think the issue is with your OH. Clearly the matter has not been dealt with, or he is not telling you something. It isn't fair at all to expect to carry on helping him with responsibilities that are his, yet not considering that her not liking you is an issue.

eyebrowsonfleek Thu 21-Jul-16 08:08:19

My kids don't like their father's gf of 4 years.She goes to visit her elderly parents when the kids go round (one or two nights a month) because they won't go round otherwise.

I'm not poisoning them. Their dad gently asked them about it but he doesn't have a relationship with them where they talk about emotions so they clam up. He just puts everything like that in a box and closes the lid because he's a Disney Dad and all about the good times. I have to do the heavy lifting and talk to them about emotional stuff.

They hated it when gf mentions me and thinks that she shouldn't ever do so. Even though they can't mention anything specific, they say that any mention of me by her makes them feel defensive and angry.

TimeforaNNChange Thu 21-Jul-16 11:18:19

eyebrow. Why do you think that is? It's almost as if they feel it necessary to protect you or remain loyal to you.

It's something I struggle to understand because my DD has never shown any hostility towards either of her stepparents. She did struggle initially to adapt to having my DH around, and I do remember her saying that she "didn't like him" once or twice when she was upset - but it wasn't so significant that she refused to be around him.
She's had fallings out with her stepmum, but again, nothing to the extent you describe.

Why are stepparents subject to more hostility than other adults? DCs don't routinely dislike school staff to the extent that they refuse school, or a grandparent to the extent that the refuse to spend the weekend with them, yet unexplained dislike and hostility towards a stepparent seems to be fairly commonplace and often damages the relationship between parent and child.

The other aspect of this is far more concerning. When my DHs DS began to reject me, I contacted Social Services myself as I was so worried about the implications. I'm trained in safeguarding and know that rejection of any adult should be something to note, there should be concerns raised about WHY a DC is unwilling to spend time with a trusted adult. In my experience, it was dismissed as just one of those things, because I am a stepparent.

eyebrowsonfleek Thu 21-Jul-16 17:49:04

I know what you mean. My children form good relationships with their teachers at school and are polite to my friends.
Ex and I come from dysfunctional families and our children don't see any extended family. I wonder if this contributes to them being cautious about ex's gf.
She doesn't have any children and doesn't plan on having any so I wonder if she is making innocent mistakes that annoy them like talking to them like they are toddlers rather than kids who are 10 and over?

Rosewine72 Thu 21-Jul-16 23:10:29

I do know for a fact that the ex (dcs mum) does manipulate them and does say nasty things , it's not that I hate her. I understood her position I was always polite to her and smiley but also cautious , unfortunately she did take a dislike to me quite soon though accusing me of dirty looks or something equally child like. I did try and reassure her I wasn't and I hadn't nothing against her , but that only worked for s short period of time. She tells her dcs lies and I know because they have repeated them but basically whatever she says they believe her and not me. I even saw something in a text to my dp that I swore at her and when someone is lying about u it's really shocking , horrible u feel out of control!

I have completely backed off I don't parent them or get involved with anything much and it has worked , my relationship with the dcs is good they certainly don't act like they dislike me . I think the elder one in particular feels like she shouldn't like me?!

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