I dont like my step daughter(53 Posts)
I feel very ashamed, but would love some advice from anyone who's been in a similar situation.
I have an 8 year old daughter with me ex partner. My Fiancé has a 6yr old daughter with his ex partner. My Fiancé and I have been together for nearly 5 years (engaged for 4) and have a mortgage together.
Some brief history about my partners ex ... She left him when she was 6 months pregnant and refused him contact. He did his very best to provide for his daughter, buying her clothes and nappy's, he paid maintenance to his ex and set up a savings account for his daughter. When his daughter was 2, she appeared with his ex on his birthday as a surprise. She allowed him half an hour. After that, visitation went back to nothing. Having talked about it and finding some money, we decided to seek the advice of a solicitor as he has paternal rights. Communication fired up between his ex and our solicitor, he saw a mediator which broke down because of her, he tried re arranging another appointment, however she didn't show. She then agreed with our solicitor that my partner could have access for 2 hours every Saturday under her supervision and that myself nor my daughter were to be involved. We agreed to that, as my partner was just desperate to see his little girl, and I understood that he needed to bond with her.
This supervision went on for a year. My partner ended up each weekend following his ex around doing things she wanted to do, and just pushing his daughter around ... who conveniently would have a nap around his access. When we went back to the solicitors to sort better access, the ex refused access again, claiming he was an unfit father, and put their daughter into church every weekend, so he couldn't gain visitation.
My partner and I had just moved into our new house, and the savings we had were for our wedding.
We knew solicitors were trying their best, but we were heading towards court and more money was needed, so we cancelled the wedding lost deposits and I gave him the ring back to sell.
We ended up being at battle against her for nearly two years, and cost us nearly £8K. His ex would find every excuse (all lies) for her daughter not to come to ours. Everything from us apparently growing drugs in the loft, to i lock my daughter in her room, we've had accusations that my daughter (6 at the time) was showing her daughter how to strangle someone, she's apparently suddenly allergic to our two dogs (a lab and a Dalmatian) and the final straw was claiming that her daughter was raped by her dad ... All lies and we were checked out by police and other authorities. Cafcass sided with us and the ex complained about the officer and had her removed off the case, she even complained about the judge. We obtained a court order and was allowed visitations at home every other weekend Friday to Sunday, and every Wednesday from 5:15-6.30 with the opportunity to increase it as she's older. She adhered to this for 3 months and then broke it by denying access again. We then had to pay extra to enforce it. (She broke that again) so we now have 3 court orders against her and she has been warned by the judge that if she was to break it again, she would be reprimanded. (So far touch wood ... It's been a year and we've had no reason to take her to court) We obtained the stepdaughters medical notes and it was shocking ... 40 a4 pages front and back of notes, the ex had basically taken his daughter with complaints about us, but claiming they were the daughters issues. She had cried rape on an old boyfriend of hers too, (which was the first my partner had heard about it) there were 2 full a4 pages of medication that the daughter had been prescribed (laxatives and lotions) When we confronted the drs, it had appeared she had played the system ... jumping from one dr to the other, and they asked us if we would consider taking the child on full time, and they would go to a board meeting about removing the child from the care of the mother.
My history is my ex cheated on me when our daughter was 10 days old and he's not very involved ... He's the dad that likes the best of both worlds and when it suits him to be a dad, he'll be there. At the moment he sees our daughter every other Sunday from 2-6 and I've managed to push one of those to 11-6 ... I love my daughter dearly - I just need a break sometimes. My fiancé has been in her life since she was 3, he's been to school plays and parents evenings, he's taught her to ride a bike and be independent.
Now my issue at hand is that after all this time, I have just started suffering anxiety attacks and I'm pretty sure my fiancés daughter is the trigger. I seem to get them when she's here or she's about to arrive.
I can't put my finger on what's wrong, I just don't like my stepdaughter.
She's a lovely girl and is very bright - her mother has put her into private education and advanced her to the year above (so she's 6 but with 7-8 yr olds) she's great at reading but lacks every other skill .. She has no spacial awareness, cannot dress herself (I taught her how to put a tshirt on when she was 5) she uses the toilet every 10 mins even if she doesn't want to go, someone has to wipe her bum still and use baby wipes, she acts like a complete baby. (her mother has taught her not to use the toilet whilst at school due to the fact the teachers cannot wipe her bum) My daughter goes to a state school just down the road, and its a lovely school, and my daughter is excelling in all areas. Im not jealous of my step daughter going to private school, but I do pitty her sometimes as shes at the stage now where she has no friends her age, and she is struggling in all other areas except reading. I cant help but think that if she was to go into mainstream school, she would suffer. The head teacher there has tried to put her back into the year she should be, but the mother is not excepting it. My partner has supported the headteacher, although nothing has been done.
I suppose it's the way she's been bought up which is quite different to how I raised My daughter and she just irritates me. Whenever she's here I can feel that I'm not my usual self and I just don't want to spend time with her. She's also starting to grate on My daughter who last week said she was getting annoyed with her. I get that I'm coming across like a bitch but I just can't help it.
I've acknowledged the problem and it could be a clash of personalities - who knows. I'm not trying to blame her for the issue I have. she doesn't seem to pick up on the fact I don't like her? Maybe I'm projecting some of the negative feelings from His ex onto her - but I'm trying not to. There is nothing bad that she's done, she's a lovely girl, but she grates on me. The way she talks the things she says the sounds she makes. It all irritates me. She puts me on edge - nothing specific apart from her immaturity I suppose. I don't find her 'innocence', or her inability to do general life skills endearing, I find it annoying.
I do want to say that although she irritates me, I am nice to her when she's here and we do things together although I don't deny that my annoyance is always well hid. I just can't wait for her to go home. I am ashamed but I am just being honest. I struggle that she thinks she's better than My daughter educationally and everyone from her side of the family thinks she's perfect. I can see how it crushes My daughter.
My partner and I are at loggerheads now and are about to split because of the kids. (I'm a dental nurse in the day and had to take on two extra jobs (one on some eves and one on a Saturday to pay off debt caused by court) he now feels he's a babysitter to my daughter.
Hes completely different around my daughter when his daughter is here, and there are a lot of arguments. My daughter is quite head strong and will give attitude. His daughter lies all the time, and often points the blame onto my daughter who will stand up for herself. My daughter then gets sent to her room (for basically telling the truth)
If I take my daughter to work with me, to give him a break and for him to spend some time with his daughter, he will take her swimming and then out for lunch and do a spot of shopping ... everything that he knows will upset my daughter. He then makes me out to be the bad guy because I was the one who decided to take my daughter with me and that's why she couldn't go. Im aware that he is entitled to time with his daughter, but hurting another child in the process is not on in my books. As soon as his daughter has gone, its like a haze has lifted and everything returns to normal. its bizarre!
We took our kids to butlins once as our holiday to get away from court rooms and solicitors ... Yet his ex phoned everyday to speak to their daughter. She was feeding her questions, like do you want to come home, shall mummy pick you up etc .. It stressed me out and ruined our holiday. This year we didn't take his daughter away and his ex got snotty that we weren't taking their daughter. There is no right or wrong!! I don't want to spend my life ruled by his ex and id love to get on with his daughter, but she's just a spoilt brat who lies all the time.
I honestly don't know what to do ... I don't like having these anxiety attacks and I love my fiancée dearly, we've got the same circle of friends and we're soul mates ... But he can't handle that I don't accept his daughter and says if I dont then there's no us. Neither of us want to actually end it, and when he upsets me from the things he says, he will say he was never intent on hurting me and he loves me and always will, and still calls me babe etc, then he changes and its horrible.
Obviously its not a case of just moving out ... we'd have to sell the house and divide assets.
Just seems a lot to lose.
I'm not asking him to chose between me and his daughter, and i know i come across like a bitch, I just need to know if anyone has dealt with not bonding with their step kid and how you resolved it! (Sorry for the essay!)
Thanks in advance
Gosh, it sounds tough OP. The drama with the ex sounds particularly horrific. I can only imagine how confess your step daughter is about her dad thanks to her mum. Have you considered she might be acting younger than she is because she wants more of her dad's attention? She sounds insecure, poor thing as to your relationship, I'm not sure what to suggest. If my partner didn't like my child, no matter how well they hid it, I simply couldn't be with them. I suppose the best thing you can do is have an honest talk about how to resolve the fact your household has become fractured.
You need to try and separate your feelings about the ex totally from your stepdaughter, that should be your main goal I think. The mother sounds nuts.
Are you able to spend any one to one time with her? I know she gets limited time with you but it'd be nice if you could take her out and treat her to a grown up girl afternoon, your fiancé could do the same with your daughter to try and improve their relationship? I think it's something you can both work on. Good luck
Have you tried counselling?
Tbh it doesn't sound good if you and your daughter resent her. Might be a damaging situation all round.
I think you should split up for everyone's sakes. It sounds a right nightmare.
All the other stuff is kinda of irrevelant. You don't like your step daughter. She hasn't done anything to cause this. Sounds like her mother has done abit of a number on her. The situation as it stands can't go on its not fair on either girls. Sounds like you know what the solution is.
You're not a bitch and you've obviously all been through hell and back with your DP trying to establish his relationship with his daughter.
What cost has it all had to your own daughter?
It must be devastating that after fighting so hard for the time you now get with her it's so difficult.
I don't see how you can avoid projecting your feelings towards her mother and all the pain the years of fighting have caused you on to DSC, especially now you find the relationships all so fractious. It's not fair but it's surely inevitable. And that's just part of it. You can see the negative impact the whole situation is having on your daughter, and you know it's never going to get better.
You say your DP is annoyed a having to be your babysitter while you're out working, but is that because you've gone and got an extra job to pay off debt run up in HIS battle to get contact with HIS daughter? Have I got that right?
It does really sound like you dislike your step daughter because you dislike her mother, which is understandable considering what shes put you through but although its her child and maybe she has some of her traits, she is also your DP child and you should really make an effort to get on with her. If your DP wants to take her on days out then that shouldnt be a problem for you or your daughter, maybe he could bring your daughter a small present back or some sweets so she dosent feel as if shes majorly missed out and shes still being thought about even though shes not there. I think you've been very supportive to your DP regarding access to his daughter and cancelling your wedding must have been very hard on you, he needs to be more considerate and understand what you have given up to help him.
My daughter is ok, she enjoys it when her step sister comes over, as its like a big play session. Its just when the step daughter lies, my daughter gets the brunt of it and 90% of the time its not her fault.
Our step daughter took rude pictures of herself naked and told her dad that my daughter took them. His daughter was adamant it was my daughter until she let slip that my daughter was In the room next door. There was a lot of tears and arguments.
My daughter understands that her step sisters mum isn't all there and things that happen aren't necessarily our or her step sisters fault. My daughter has dealt with a lot through all of this and I am immensely proud of how she has handled it.
During the court case, funds from the wedding/savings ran out so we had to put it all onto credit cards. At the time, he couldn't afford the repayments and basically living, I.e paying for running of his car, food bills etc. I helped him with some of the court bills to try and keep him afloat as we were a family and I wanted to help. Everything has amounted up and it was easier for me to get extra jobs around my hours, than it was him working in the evenings/weekends.
this is obviously very hard for you.
The feeling you have towards your step daughter and the anxiety you feel I think is quiet normal. What I mean by this is that you have sacrificed a lot both financially and emotionally in supporting your partner gaining proper access to his daughter. You have literally spent years being consumed by the battle of having access to his daughter. This gives you tunnel vision in a sense because your so focused on the end goal, you forget to concern yourself with what it will really be like and how you will deal with it when it actually happens. You have spent many years trying to get access with the picture in mind that when you do, won't it be great he can see his daughter, won't it be lovely to spend time all together as a family and great for you daughter and his daughter to develop a relationship etc.
The problem is after all the battle and struggle you have finally arrived at your destination and things are actually quiet hard and not as rosy as you pictured. After all you've been through trying to get proper access to your step daughter I think its quiet normal that you should feel resentment that after all you've done to get here you life is still fraught with problems surrounding your step daughter.
I think your tactile enough to understand that all of this is not your stepdaughter fault and obviously don't show her how you feel. Thing is, its quiet normal for blended families to struggle with the general things you have mentioned about parenting styles and attitudes etc and it is quiet usual for it to be a struggle to settle into a comfortable state. However, this is harder for you as the battle to get where you are has taken its toll on you, and I think its causing you to lack the patience and compassion needed to blend the family.
The things you mention about your stepdaughter are all things they may have grated on you even if you hadn't had to fight so hard for time with her, but I think if you hadn't had to have such a fight I think you would have found it much easier to overcome. Yes all the struggle you've had, all the things you've given up, the money you have spent to have something that you partner should have because he is father is totally unjust and I think you need to allow yourself time and space to be angry over that and grieve for the things you've given up or missed out on.
Just because you feel like this now does not mean that you have to be stuck in this. You need to have a frank discussion with your partner about your feelings and your struggles and you need to come to an agreement that you both stick to on a fair as possible way to parent both girls when your stepdaughter is around. It may be different from what both girls are used to the rest of the time but there needs to be some middle ground where everybody has to meet in the middle. In time the girls will come to expect that this is the way things are and it is what is most fair and equal for everybody. It takes time to get there, it takes a lot of compromise but it can be done.
For you - allow yourself to be angry and upset and forgive yourself for you how you feel because no doubt you've had yourself feeling guilty for disliking your stepdaughter.
Our step daughter took rude pictures of herself naked
Hang on, she's six yes? That would be ringing massive alarm bells for me and I would have involved social services.
To be perfectly blunt I think you should split up. Both children seem to be suffering from this relationship and it's not doing anyone any favours.
God that all sounds hideous.
You need to talk through this with a counsellor imo. Especially as you ate having panic attacks
Have you been to the Dr?
I think the stepdaughter sounds like something else is going on too and the mums behaviour is abusive anyway, from what you have written. Not sure how you move forward with that, but it doesn't sound right at all
Sorry-I really don't see a future here. This isn't "soulmates". Soulmates go to the ends of the earth for each other. You struggle to accept his daughter, and he resents yours and takes you for granted.
I don't think this relationship is healthy for any of the parties involved. You're doing a lot of giving, he's doing all the taking. Not a good environment for the children at all.
Yes our stepdaughter has a Barbie doll with an integrated camera in it (was a present) and took some naked pictures of herself, in some rude poses. We asked her if she had seen anyone do this, as this was not normal. (thinking she may have seen her mum, or her nan or even me or her dad) She says she hasn't, she just did them.
She gave it to us to show us nice 'selfies' of her and my daughter and upon flicking through, we came across the naughty pictures. We tried to talk to her mum, who denied that their daughter could ever do such a thing and it must be influenced by us, thus trying to stop contact at our house again. We have informed the drs and social services and cafcass, however unless there is physical harm, theres not a lot they can do, but have kept it on file.
Thank you everyone for your advice
She definitely has seen it somewhere, six year olds don't naturally do sexually provocative poses and take photos. That poor girl, massive red flag for sexual abuse happening somewhere. I can't believe they aren't taking it seriously.
That's what we said and actually brought it up in court that there is definitely a loop hole in the system. Neither the police, cafcass, social services, drs, or her school actually talk to one another. When Social services contacted us about my partner apparently raping his daughter, (which they did in a 5 min phone call) they didn't know she had cried rape before on another ex. - the reason being, apparently at the age of 1, the step daughter had a sexual tone in her voice, therefor she must be being sexually abused by her ex.
The step daughter also got caught out at school, by flashing her bum at the class, and obviously her mum got called in. She then immediately came to ours and started screaming at my daughter (who was 7) about how disgusting she was showing her daughter how to act this way etc. I sent my daughter upstairs immediately so she didn't have to hear all the verbal abuse. I told the mum that I would speak to my daughter and I will phone the dad immediately and get him to contact her. My daughter was hysterical, she didn't show her stepsister anything. When my partner came home, he gave my daughter a huge cuddle. He had spoken with their daughter, who admitted it was a lie and my daughter had nothing to do with it. Did the mum come round to apologise to my daughter? Don't be silly!!!
The mum still tests our limits now even with 3 court orders. We can take her back to court to gain sole custody but we cannot afford it. Services don't seem very keen on removing the daughter from her mother. - Even though they know shes poison!
OP this sound so difficult for you all. But before you can start to fix everything else I would be on it SS about these pics! That's really not right...coupled with her mums crus or rape id be taking this further. This girl could also probably do wth counselling. Only when this is sorted can you deal with the mum (just don't answer the phone) and trying to build a family unit.
Totally horrible situation. You really cannot stay with your partner unless you become able to accept his daughter though.
I second pp who suggest counselling for you. The whole back story is dreadful and it's not surprising that it's affected everyone.
Very difficult, but you all need to work on bonding and understanding each others stresses and concerns before you can move forward. Both DDs, your partner and yourself will be very much unsettled and Somewhat traumatised by this whole mammoth process. Understand that it's going to manifest in different ways for each of you. No blame, no victimizing, just aim for acceptance and understanding of each others' worries (and for the dds, how they are expressed).
I think it will be a long process though
I have a horrible feeling your SD is being sexually abused somewhere in all this. Does her mum have a partner?
to my knowledge his ex doesn't have a partner. Shes 32 and lives with her mum still - who is just as toxic. The ex's mum doesn't like men and treated the ex like shes treating the daughter. Its just a knock on effect. Id love for the ex to find someone or at least move out and get some independence.
The mum and nan, have been feeding the step daughter antibiotics that haven't been prescribed but I feel have been bought back from work (The nan is a nurse) They come to us with no labels and sometimes out of date. As a nurse myself I have tried to make the hospital aware, but I cannot provide actual proof.
Why would they do that? I hope you are not giving them to her (or sending them back with her)
The photo's dont necessarily mean shes been abused but i would get her checked by doctors to rule it out. Has she got any older siblings? Does her mum have a partner? Do you think the mother could be capable of doing it?. The behavior does seem very worrying.
Because she's poorly around ours then, or it gives the ex an excuse not to bring her over. Its all in the court notes. I can reassure you that I do not send any medication back with the stepdaughter unless it now has a prescription note attached to it.
The step daughter ended up having an urachal cyst due to the amount of laxatives shes been given, and it says in the surgeons notes that he believes its due to the amount of medication shes been on, but even this isn't enough to have her removed from her care.
Honestly, I have enough for a novel on her. The system is just one big joke. We've been taking pics and keeping a diary on the happenings. Doesn't seem to phase the mum that we're on to her.
It's starting to sound like Munchhausen syndrome by proxy, poor kid
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