Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
STEPDAUGHTER FROM HELL !!!!(35 Posts)
Ok. so that's a bit of an exageration.
Where to start. My stepdaughter is 26 yrs old and has a very poor education, therefore can only do menial jobs. She cleans and waitresses. She starts a job, loves it then leaves. She is always pleading poverty and dropping hints about how poor she is. Her Dad in the past has bailed her out far too much and so have her Grandparents which has made it all too easy.
On top of this, she smokes dope daily and seems to me to be a bit of an emotional wreck. Cries very easily and always seems to be in a bad place.
Her manners are apalling and she seems to think the world owes her a living. Its all about Me, Me, Me. What can I get out of my Dad, he owes me, kind of attitude.
I am trying really hard to bite my tongue but am finding it increasingly difficult to like her, let alone, love her. What dosnt help, is my husband says nothing. Dosnt want to upset her as he rarely sees her.
It is driving me mad. I cannot say anything without it causing a row. Should I just put up and shut up or should I continue to try to make him see what a mess she is and man up and say something to her, in the hope she may see sense???
Put up and shut up, definitely. Not your role to intervene - it won't worked and you won't be thanked.
I would say nothing and do nothing. It must be hard but ultimately, it's her life and if she wants to spend it unemployed and smoking dope that's her choice - it might not be mine or yours, but its hers.
Let her get on with it.
OK, I hear what you are saying. I will take that on board.
I think what I find hardest is, Dad is expected to help her all the time financially when she cannot be bothered to sort her life out.
The manners are also difficult but I think I must learn to bite my tongue.
Feel for you, must be hard but yes, you will have to keep out, it's between them two.
How do you and DH configure your finances? If you run everything jointly you may want to talk to him about that, as, if he is putty in his DDs hands when she wants money, then in effect the money he is giving her is part yours. If you have a spouse with very different views from yourself on how money should be spent, best to have separate finances I would say.
Yes, good point. We both put money into our "living" account which covers bills, food, petrol etc. And we each have our own bank account. I only work part time so really are not left with much after paying my bit.
I think I need to but out really. Sounds like the general consensus is to leave them to get on with it.
Yes, maybe... but I would be pretty pissed off if my OH was giving his 26 yr old DD money that ended up being spent on weed... because that's where his money will be going.
To be fair, he has curtailed his "bailing her out" over the last year (unless he hides it from me)
It's the constant hints from her about how skint she is and her car is on its last legs, always listing things she wants done i.e nails, hair etc.
It would be nice to see her on the odd occasion, where she didnt talk about money or the lack of it !!!
Just a little frustrating for me, but I know what I need to do now.
How do you decide what goes in the pot?
Dh earns more than me and with him and his dc (partially res) outnumbering me and ds he clearly has to put more in the pot.
You work parttime, I hope you don't put in 50%. Parttime probably means you put in more work at home, shopping, cooking etc which is then not being considered valuable. Work out a fairer deal for yourself so you also have spending money.
If your dh likes handing out money make sure you are treated also. Do you get taken out, on holiday etc where dh pays all?
I think regardless what she spends her money on, it's up to your DH what he gives her, I know that sounds unfair but honestly it would be more stress for you if you start nit picking at how much he is giving her and what she is doing with it.
And of course, make you really look like the wicked stepmother.
There's no harm in you speaking to him about your concerns though but I doubt it would make any difference.
Is anyone advising her about possibly re-training or taking adult education classes? Does she have good enough literacy skills to apply for different jobs? She is young and could change the path her life is taking her.
At the moment it sounds like she is reacting to circumstances in her life rather than planning ahead. A bit lost and out of control. Perhaps she needs some guidance rather than being bailed out all the time?
Although she is 26, from what you have said she sounds like a young 26 and possibly a vulnerable person.
She admits to smoking dope daily?
Well that won't be helping will it!? She can't be in a good place mentally.
Maybe no-one has confronted her with the facts about how that drug can totally sap your energy and ability to deal with even simple things in life. If she's not careful she'll wake up in a few years wondering what the hell she's been doing wasting her life and prospects. Maybe her Dad or GP's (Definitely not you!!) need to present her with concerns about this and evidence. And let her know that she is valued and loved for who she is and they (perhaps) miss the person who is now a stoned mess? Hard but might make her think.
Maybe another crack at education she's interested in now she's older would work wonders.
I would say bite your tongue,
she's 26, not 16.
Its her life,
She's not abusing you in anyway , just being annoying.
Apart from bad manners , you can pick her up on bad manners.
culycatkin - She has been smoking dope sinse she was 14 apparently. Totally hooked. Cannot function without it.
All the family have tried to warn her of the downward spiral this drug will get you into but she just says " Its not that easy to stop when you have been smoking it as long as me"
As far as education, she would not be remotely interested. Just wants to bumble along, doing as little as possible. Her words, not mine.
fairenuff - I think she is very vulnerable and a very immature 26. She is not interested in re-training. Thinks she can just get by doing the bare minimum.
Emptychairs - Until recently my DH was putting in £100 more than me a month. This has led to huge resentment and he is now going to put in double (I do have 2 children at home, although 1 is off to uni in 2 weeks)
This will feel much more fair and then maybe I wont care so much what he gives her?
I think it's worth looking at what she may have been through in her young life. It sounds like she has low self esteem and needs support. Of course, no-one can force help on another adult but there are plenty of ways to gently support.
If you listen with a sympathetic ear and don't judge, she will be more likely to open up to you
If you open the doors of your home to her, she will feel that she has a safe place to go
If you ignore obviously challenging behaviour with calm dignity, she will feel cared for even when she is badly behaved
If you educate yourself about drug addiction you will be better equipped to discuss it with her
You can build up a relationship where she starts to trust you, as another adult, not just as a stepmum.
Would you be interested in any of that OP? Because if you are I think you could have a discussion with your dh about the best way to support her. Giving money that will be spent on drugs is not really a solution. But between you you could work out a plan of action and sit down with her and spell it out.
I imagine its hugely frustrating but it seems like you've got it sorted. I hope the extra cash your DH will now put in the joint account will make you feel less irritated about the money he gives her, which is, after all, his business.
However. He is enabling her half-life. His support of her do-nothing bumbling along is helping to prevent her from doing anything positive with her life. He is, in his own small way, partially responsible for her unhappiness, unfortunately.
She's 26 now but she'll get older like all of us, and be stuck in minimum wage jobs. She potentially has a life of poverty ahead of her. The dope smoking is an unbelievable waste too of course.
Every time your DH funds her car/nails/whatever he is funding her dope habit.
Maybe he could tell her he is starting a savings account for her specifically for training or other positive actions - instead of giving her cash. Controlling, perhaps. But preferable to killing her with kindness, maybe?
Fairenuff - great advise. Really is.... only one problem. My husband will not discuss his daughters behaviour with me. Its as though he has given up. He says she is what she is and is beyond redemption. I then argue that he must never give up on trying with her, even if it ends in a row, which it inevitably does.
I have said she is always welcome in our home, but she rarely comes.
I think she has no self esteem hence the constant tears.
As her stepmother, I will try my best to support her gently and not judge. Thank you, good advice
LemonPeculiarJones - I have had so many rows with him about the taking responsibilty for her behavior. He needs to do that, but constantly blames her mother. He says he has not had enough influence in her life.
He has not been the best role model for work. He only works 2/3 days a week on average.
Ah, now I'm starting to see where her low self esteem might come from. Would he consider family counselling, do you think. He has an opportunity to be an influence in her life now, is he man enough to step up?
Fairenuff - NO, not in a million years becuase he is in total denial. Honestly beleives this has got nothing to do with his past behaviour. He can be very arrogant at times. He is always right !!!
Just says, its her life, let her get on with it :-(
Thank you for your advice btw
Well it sounds as if he gives her money to salve his own conscience but doesn't want to make the effort to actually do anything practical to help her.
All you can do is make the best relationship you can with her and let them both make their own decisions.
I hope he is better with your children?
My children, even if I say it myself, are a credit to me. They are the total opposite. Work hard at school, 1 is off to Uni and have impecable manners. People are forever commenting on how beatiful they are, inside and out.
He is not the best at emotional support and hates conflict.
I have found all of your advise very useful and will continue with trying to have a good relationship with her, without being too involved.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.