When you dislike your step-children for no real reason

(82 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

Gerz Tue 03-Aug-10 15:24:41

I am currently in the process of moving out with my own DC as I KNOW I am being mean, unreasonable, a bitch etc.
I have also name-changed for the same reason!

I just wonder if anyone can offer a psychological explanation for the way I am feeling towards my step-daughter (13).

When I first met her, I liked her. She seemed quiet and sweet. But the more time I spent with her, the more she would wind me up. She would slag off my son, saying he will be a doley drop out etc and that he will never get a girlfriend because he's too ugly. I put it down to jealousy and tried to let it go but deep down I really started to dislike her.

It's got to the point now where I can't stand her near me. When I hear her bedroom door open, my heart sinks. If she sits near me I have to move away because she always smells awful (never gets a shower). I hate the way she speaks, I hate the way she eats, I hate the way she walks. I get so annoyed when she clings to DP like a two year old and when DP tries to big up something she's done I have to really try hard to hide my lack of interest. The way I see it she's lazy, bitchy and manipulative.

I KNOW I am being unreasonable and for all of our sakes, I am moving out but WHY am I such a nasty step parent? I don't mean to me. She just annoys me so much without even trying to.

I'll never get with anyone with kids again.

Has anyone else ever experienced this? what causes it???

OP’s posts: |
GypsyMoth Tue 03-Aug-10 15:26:22

having read your post i'm wondering now if my boyfriend feels this way about my own children....

GlassInHand Tue 03-Aug-10 15:29:36

You sound quite jealous of her relationship with your dp to be honest.

Llamasarequadrapeds Tue 03-Aug-10 15:31:02

I've been in the role of your SD. It was no fun but at least you are admitting it and moving out, I had to put up with it until I left home. I didn't hang off my DM right enough but I wasn't allowed to be excited about anything as SF didn't like me talking, being in the room, taking attention of him...

Nemofish Fri 06-Aug-10 21:47:18

I know that we are 'programmed' at a biological level to find older children to be a threat if we have young children / babies - I read it somewhere confused grin

Tbh the fact that you are expected to treat random children as if they were your own at the drop of a hat is very unrealistic... But perhaps we move in too quickly with new partners and so create that problem ourselves? (not saying that you ahve btw)

ninah Fri 06-Aug-10 21:53:13

I think with someone who already has a family, you have to bond with dc as much as you do with the partner
I got on v well with my ex's son, and love him dearly
but a subsequent relationship failed and a big part of that was that one of his ds's didn't want to share his dad or face change
I am tempted to say I'll not date anyone with dc again but it's such a huge generalisation

FallingWithStyle Fri 06-Aug-10 21:58:24

I think step parenting is bloody hard, I know I'd struggle to deal well with another child encroaching on my home, time and love etc for my own dc no matter how hard I might try. Incredibly selfish I know.
I would never be a step-parent for this reason, it just wouldn't be fair.
I think its really brave of you to face up to the situation and remove yourself from it.


pocketmonster Mon 09-Aug-10 17:09:08

She is obviously threatened by your relationship with her father and I would suggest that you are probably a little threatened by her relationship with him too.
That isn't a judgement - I have 2 DSD's and I have had to work very hard to build a relationship with them. Don't get me wrong, I have felt like you (to a degree) but as I have also been in Llamas position I am luck enough to understand the emotions on both sides of the relationship.

Does your DP support you properly? For example my DSD used to behave appallingly and deliberately disregards something I had told her, and then latch onto my DH kissing him and telling him she loved him, all the while smirking at me over his shoulder. It used to drive me insane !! But I explained to him what was going on and how it made me feel, and he sorted it by making it clear to DSD that she couldn't play us off. It took time, but it was worth it, as we now have a good relationship.

If your relationship with your DP is good, surely you could talk to him and find ways to resolve the feelings between you and your DSD?

Suda Tue 10-Aug-10 19:19:12

I think its like a marriage really your relationship with your step children - you know when the little things like leaving toilet seat up , top off toothpaste , dirty clothes lying around etc. etc start to irritate. If any of these bad habits or minor personality traits arent tackled and they annoy one of you they just grow into huge issues. You become more sensitised to them in other words - thats why you ve even got to the stage where the way she walks annoys you - because - as you say - you once liked her. I know 20/20 vision of hindsight is useless but if certain behaviours such as her abuse to your son had been nipped in the bud and she had been given a fair but firm telling off and realised that wouldnt be tolerated then I dont think things would have deteriorated to the degree they have. Its very sad - does your husband even know some of why your leaving - is he not prepared to put up even some of a fight. Why dont you tell him how you feel and why and maybe he 'll see your side more than you think. You know sometimes I think these natural parents especialy men know deep down their children are behaving badly but they just want a quiet life. What have you got to lose if you're already packing ! Very best wishes to you - really feel for you - got grown up stepchildren myself and like you I got to stage where one in particular walked into room and my heart would sink - and I am not a nasty person - and neither are you. All the best.

sunshinerainbow Tue 31-Aug-10 09:28:20

I agree with the last poster.

If the nasty comments were dealt with and made quite clear that "we don't talk about each other in that manner in this house", then I wonder if things would have escalated in this way at all.

If your partner hasn't been supporting you and backing you up, then I think the real issue lies with him and not this 13 year old girl.

Suda Tue 31-Aug-10 11:29:28

Thank you sunshine - the sad thing is I didnt realise all that years ago - couldve saved myself a lot of grief - I really really feel for the OP.
What actually kills me about her situation and others like it especially with teen/older SC - is that these SC are often the death knell for a marriage or relationship and then when they have destroyed that - a few years later off they trot to enjoy their own lives / relationships !!
Often leaving their natural parent on their own with only memories of their marriage - when they should be starting out on that quality 'just the two of us' stage of their relationship.

caramelwaffle Thu 02-Sep-10 13:26:27

Never a truer word said Suda: very, very good last post.

Sorry to hear of your situation Gerz

Gerz Fri 03-Sep-10 08:22:47

Thanks for the replies, glad to see some understand where I'm coming from but not suprised to see that some don't.
This summer holidays has been terrible. DSD will do NOTHING and has barely left the house for 7 weeks. She stays in bed until 1pm, comes down for food, buggers off back upstairs and then AS SOON as DP opens the front door, she's flying down the stairs - gets to the bottom and then puts on a depressed face, shuffles over to him, makes a whingey noise and asks for a hug and then clings to him until he physically peels her off him. She's nearly 14 ffs, I used to act like this when I was 5.
He just doesn't see anything wrong with it.

We went away for the weekend a couple of weeks ago and he was bombarded with texts from her all the time. We're sat in a nice Indian resteraunt, his mobile buzzes, he picks it up and then smiles to himself. I ask "what's up?" and he shows me a text from DSD saying "you smell". He replies "so do you, poo face" 3 minutes later "you smell like wee" - que - more giggling from DP as he types a stupid reply - I mean, ffs we're supposed to be enjoying a romantic meal together and she even manages to get involved in that from 200 miles away.

The whole thing just winds me up so much but I know he is to blame for it more than she is. Why can't he just tell her???

Its the small stuff - like yesterday he's dishing dinner out - he has a normal portion of chicken, veg, potatoes etc - my DS and I get a smaller than average portion as I can't eat much and DS is trying to lose a bit of weight - and DSD's plate is piled high with a HUGE chicken leg with thigh, a massive pile of mash, lashings of gravy - it just winds me up to see her swanning off with the best dinner. Why does he need to give her so much? and then they complain that her clothes are getting too tight?

Its like the money that gets wasted on her too. She nattered for some white jeans, he bought her some and she has NEVER worn them. He bought her some school trousers, they were too tight but she refused to get bigger size as it implied she was 'fat'. Needless to say, when the new term arrived they were FAR TOO TIGHT and she couldn't wear them. Too late to send them back, he orders 2 new pairs. She takes the tags etc off and then complains that she doesn't like the colour. He tells me she has to keep them - a week later he comes home with 2 MORE pairs, this time her majesty approved them - its ok DSD, only £60+ we've wasted on your school trousers hmm

She's been bought TWO new school bags over the summer holidays, obviously never used either of them as school starts next week - yesterday she came home with ANOTHER new one she'd bought herself so the two DP bought are now useless. Another £40 wasted.

Ok, I'm just ranting now. Its nice to be able to rant about it on here because I sure as hell can't say fuck off out loud as DSD does no wrong and god forbid I say otherwise.

OP’s posts: |
Gerz Fri 03-Sep-10 08:39:50

Oh and another one -

DP and I talked a few days ago about the kids being responsible for tidying their own bedrooms. They're 11 and 13 ffs, they're capable.

As far as I was concerned, we both agreed.

So I told DS to tidy his room, I didn't help him and he did a good job. 3 days later, DSD's room is still a tip with used cups, plates, dirty clothes, crisp packets, pens, bags - god knows what all over the bedroom floor. Every night DP comes home and says:

dp - "I want that bedroom tidied DD"
DSD - "uhhhh"
DP - "I mean it"


So last night he came home and said to me "her bedroom is a disgrac, I'll help her with it tonight". What he means is, she'll sit on the bed and watch him tidy it up as always. She's almost 14 and he's still tidying her room whilst she watches him like a bloody 5 year old.

I said to him "no, DS had to tidy his own room, she's older than him and she should be doing her own too, we agreed" and he replied "yes, you're right, I'll stand over her and make sure she does it right" hmm I said "no, because you will take over, like you always do, let her do it by herself like DS had to". His reply:

"Ok, I'll tell her she has to try and do it without my help this time"

WTF??? "try"??? She's almost 14, there should be no "trying" about it. And then he wonders why I get so cross.

OP’s posts: |
onionlove Fri 03-Sep-10 09:22:46

Hi Gerz,
Just wanted to send you some support, I understand how you feel, although my DSD is only 10, I can see the potential for future difficulties as my DH refuses to parent her and is her buddy too much in my opinion.
You can see the detail of my situation in my posts so I don't want to take over your thread by going on about it again.
Suffice to say, if I had known then what I know now I might have seriously considered whether I want this situation. I am struggling to deal with it and it is affecting other areas of my life. I have taken the decision that DH has to deal with it as I don't want the repercussions to come back and bite me, I am just hoping that DH will realise that he is creating a monster teenager before its too late. It must be so difficult for you when your DS has to abide by the rules and DSD doesn't, I'm not sure how I would cope with that, I suppose I'm lucky that my DS is only 8 months so its less of a peer relationship with DSD.
My DH has to have a serious chat with DSD this weekend as she is very upset and doesn't want to come and see us, but he told me he is unable to tell her things she may not want to hear because the situation is so sensitive, I don't think he realises the implications if he doesn't, its not possible to be a popular parent all the time is it?
I really feel for you and I really second Suda's post, the thing that makes me have a wry smile is that I was in touch with DH for two years via email and internet before we got together (I was with someone else) and he never mentioned he had a child once and when we got together he didn't tell me for a whole month. I think in the back of his mind he knew it would be difficult for anyone to take this on given the relationship he has with her mother.
Anyway, I wish you luck my dear, keep posting, this site is a godsend!!

AlmostSM Fri 03-Sep-10 13:02:26

I just wanted to send you my support and tell you I don't think your a nasty step-parent - its such a difficult relationship.

The key to it IMHO is your DP/DH. Have you spoken to him and told him you are moving out because of it?

Gerz Fri 03-Sep-10 14:31:33

DP will end up on his own forever because once I've gone, it would take someone with the patience of a saint to put up with it. He keeps going on about how when she gets a's in her GCSEs (very unlikely, she's struggling with maths and is still on level 4 with science, despite going into year 9) she will complete her a-levels and go onto uni and become a nurse. He lives in a dream world, she didn't choose this career, he did. He decided nursing was a good job for her to get so that's what she's doing.
And apparantly, when she's a nurse and leaves home, he's going to travel the world.
The reality of it is she won't leave home until she really has to and even when she does, she'll never be independant because she's never had to do anything for herself.

I just can't wait to be out of it.

OP’s posts: |
Suda Fri 03-Sep-10 22:58:52

Thank you CARAMEL and ONION and anyone else (like accepting an oscar thisgrin}for positive feedback on my last posts.

I'm apparently at my most fluent when I'm angry - and this sort of thing REALLY makes me angry...especially them trotting off a few years later without so much as a backward glance at the carnage of broken hearts they leave behind - especially when there are half brothers and sisters involved. It is so bloody unfair.

But like the OP (I think?) said it is the NP that is more to blame than the SC for either letting them get away with it or by being too blinded by completely OTT defensiveness to even see it !!
My adult SS can practically play a tune on his dad - he just so knows how to work him. But while its less comfortable to blame your DH or DP especially if despite everything you still love them and its much easier to direct your resentfulness at the SC it is a fact that DH's or DP's are more to blame.

If ever me and DH do split up over you know who (and if he stays many more years we will sadly) I am going to make damn sure DH is in no doubt its because of his darling son - I even recorded him once saying he wishes I would piss off and just be back to him and his dad - this is in my own house ffs - would make DH's hair stand on end - but sorry if he kills my marriage the gloves are off and I will sing like a bloody canary.

fuschiagroan Fri 03-Sep-10 23:06:01

TBh (speaking as a stepchild) I think expecting a harmonious relationship between step-parent and stepchild is unrealistic. Basic facts - both SP and SC only love the third corner of the triangle - ie. the mum/dad or wife/husband. In an ideal world, the third person wouldn't exist. You just have to work round it somehow, I don't have any bright ideas on that.

She sounds horrendous though, I would definitely get stroppy with DP and tell him that it is getting to you so much that you may end the relationship. See if he wants to spend the next 4 years tidying her room before she grows up and leaves home and then be lonely, or make her behave reasonably and maintain a happy relationship with a woman. His choice

Gerz Sat 04-Sep-10 09:00:34

I too would let him know as I go exactly why I'm going. He needs to know but I honestly don't think it will register, he'll just assume I'm being unreasonable as his darling daughter can't put a foot wrong.

Last night he came in from work, went into the kitchen, she shuffled in after him and I heard her whinge "I need a hug" hmm I then heard this in whispers:

"Hows your bedroom coming on, you tidied it yet?"

dsd "a bit of it, there's just so much to do though, I'm so tired"

"I'll help you with it later" (while I'm out he would have meant).

I challanged him on it and he said "oh no, I never said that" - I fucking heard him!!!!

She was supposed to be sleeping at a friends house last night so come 7pm she's snuggled up to DP on the sofa. He says "are you going to start getting ready then?" and she replies "but I don't want to go - I'm tired" and this carried on for well over an hour.

Roughly translated "I don't want to leave the house as I'm frightened to death Gerz will sit next to you and I want to cling to you all night"

She eventually went, but then oncame the bloody texts all night.

OP’s posts: |
grapeandlemon Sat 04-Sep-10 09:20:51

I can relate to so much of what you say. Im my situation it wasn't as bad as yours but the descriptions are v familiar.

DH used to agree with a lot of what I felt but I do think that Father's hands are tied to some respect. They are trying to please everyone and can't see what is going on behind the surface of things when we see clearly the manipulation and hear the nasty comments.

In my situation, the SC moved very far away with their Mother and her new husband and it was the best thing that happened to our relationship. The distance did us all the world of good - they grew up into really lovely, loving children and the turning point was when their Mother and I had another child at around the same time they just started being really nice and respectful and have a great relationship with DD.

I don't want to hijack your thread. But I can honestly say hand on heart that I was going to leave DH because of his DC and it hurt so much. I felt so angry that our lives were being sabotaged when I had been nothing but kind and loving to them. They hated me.

It was SO hard and it was just by luck that it had a happy ending really. Just wanted to add my support for what you are going through.

Petal02 Sat 04-Sep-10 11:50:23

Gerz, it sounds like your partner is a DisneyLand Dad (a great phrase I picked up on another thread) - the guilt ridden father who will go to ANY length to appease their offspring.

My stepson is a nice lad, but my husband is so desperate to keep him onside, that we have to create Teenage Paradise when stepson is with us. We've just got home from holiday (minus stepson) and husband has headed into town to buy him some computer games to 'apologise' for our going on holiday. I recently had an operation, my discharge from hospital clashed with an access weekend, and my husband purchased some sort of Nintendo/PS device (approx £300) for his son, again to 'compensate' for a abnormal weekend caused my discharge and subsequent temporary immobility. And all this is for a child of 16.

I realise your situation is in a different league to mine, but just wanted to send you some moral support, and let you know that DisneyLand Dads are quite common, please don't think that you are to blame.

Gerz Mon 06-Sep-10 11:49:46

She's getting worse. Today has been awful. She usually stays in bed until 1pm but if she knows her father is off work she'll purposely get up early to maximise clinging time. So straight away, she follows him into the kitchen, demands hug after hug and he just stands there like a bloody idiot whilst she attaches herself to him. He then makes her some ready brek as she "doesn't know how to do it" (yes, she's almost 14) so she eats that snuggled next to him on the sofa. We then escape to shop without her. As soon as we get back she "Needs" a few more hugs. She follows him around room to room, at one point I couldn't help myself, I asked her if she was lost because she seems to be following her dad around as if she is. That didn't go down well but I'm so sick of it. She continued to cling however, followed him into the garden, followed him back into the kitchen, hug hug hug - at one point she actually knocked him into the oven.
So he was due to leave for work at 11.30 so she made sure she clung to him for dear life from 11am onwards. I needed to talk to him. She knew it and made sure we got no time alone.
11.30 came he said he was going to work. So I got him in the hallway and closed the living room door, started on what I needed to talk to him about and 5 seconds later, she opened the door and said she needed a "Goodbye hug". She's almost 14 ffs. When she'd eventually let go (after peering over his shoulder at me and smirking) I pushed DP outside, went out after him and locked the fucking front door because it was the only way to get rid of her. I carried on what I was saying to which he said "ok" got in the car, closed the door and started pratting around with the sat nav. Leaving me stood there like a fucking idiot.

Now that he's gone she'll disapear for the rest of the day and come back down to resume clinging as soon as he gets in.

She's driving me insane. She's now refusing to go out with her mother on a weekend, she refuses to go to friends, she's supposed to be staying at his parents house on saturday night and I've heard her whispering to him trying to get out of that too. I never get a fucking break from her. I don't care if I sound like a bitch, I wish her mother would apply for residency and win.

OP’s posts: |
BitOfFun Mon 06-Sep-10 12:04:02

This is the boxroom poster, isn't it? You have posted repeatedly about this situation, hoping for what, I'm not sure.

This is meant kindly, but I really think you need some real life help now. Rehashing all this on the internet is clearly not making any difference.

The advice you have received before is good- get yourself referred for some therapy by the GP, and contact social services to get some help for this very troubled young girl too. Women's Aid may be able to help you with leaving and with counselling.

It is becoming quite distressing to see you continue like this. How many threads now, under how many different names?

Please do something positive for your mental health.

onionlove Tue 07-Sep-10 20:24:28

BitOfFun - this is a site meant to support people, I think you've been a bit unfair on the OP with your comments. I understand you want to encourage her to get some help for herself but that is her decision when and if she decides to do this, in the meantime I think she should be free to use this site as much as she likes. Personally sometimes I have found it the only place to turn.

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