Step parenting hell

(28 Posts)
yeoman1979 Thu 05-Jul-18 12:14:54

I am struggling and need some other step mums to help me feel Im not alone, I have a 8 year old step child from hell Ive been dating her dad for 3 years now and I feel my relationship is on the line all thanks to his child.

It started off amazingly I was on cloud 9 and I found his little girl quite difficult but thought Id give her time and space as this was a big deal for her and as I have 2 children could sympathize with how they all felt and I put my feelings aside to ensure the kids were put first and felt secure and happy.

I started to notice little cracks forming when she would come crying to me saying my kids hurt her and I felt terrible as I'd tell my children off without looking into it till I caught her in the act lying and saying to my daughter give me what I want or I will tell my dad you hit me. I was furious and had words but she would lie and say but daddy I didnt and start crying.

he still carries her and each time I say cant you just walk she bounces in front of him till he picks her up and I get the smug look and she smiles over his shoulder so he cant see.
I find I cook her tea and she spits in her food and gags on it after I cook what she has asked for and now me and my partner have spoken about marriage she said daddy youre choosing her over me and broke down after she came over to me and said Im going to make my dad get back with my mum and you cant marry him, she was like a miniature devil child to the point I broke down then cos I was in shock. He even tried to keep her happy by saying she can walk down the aisle before me I though what the hell is this nonsense!!! she hits her dad and screams and shouts when she doesn't get her own way she constantly rolls her eyes and tells me to shut up and whatever s me a lot!!! I'm so unhappy when she is around but I absolutely adore her dad and even he has admitted she is so naughty but hes torn and said if he keeps on at her she wont want to come over but she is extremely clever and knows what she is doing and is quite proud to point it out to me on the sly. I have waited a long time to find the love of my life I really have but what can I do about this situation cos I'm worried I will have to lose him cos I cannot take much more of his child and both my kids are done as well. I have boundaries and respect in my house and she clearly has none of this, Ive never met her mum and all i hear is how she gives her anything she wants and always gets her own way but I cant judge a woman I have never met this would be unfair ..... please help me as I feel like a step mum from hell myself and should I be trying harder

OP’s posts: |
jumblefun2 Thu 05-Jul-18 12:16:36

What age is she?

MycatsaPirate Thu 05-Jul-18 12:23:25

Extreme Disney parenting from her dad.

He won't tell her off so she keeps coming over. He is turning her into a child who knows how to play him and he is just repeating the same mistakes over and over.

I would distance yourself and your dc from her and him when she is over. Take your children out and do something with them yourself and leave them to have some time together. Tell your dp why you are doing it and say it's best for his DD to have her dad to himself.

You also need to tell her what she said about him getting back together with her mum and get him to talk to her about that. She needs reassurance from him that he isn't putting you first but rather expanding the family, which she is still part of.

How does he get on with her mum? This is really something that needs to be dealt with by both parents. If they can't both get on board with dealing with this, things won't change. Certainly if he keeps pandering to her and refusing to deal with her behaviour then nothing will change. What will happen is he will end up with a teenage daughter completely out of control.

If he doesn't believe you when you say what's going on then record her on your phone and show him. I also feel sorry for your dc who are getting into trouble because of her lies. I have been through similar and it was awful.

AWomanIsAnAdultHumanFemale Thu 05-Jul-18 12:24:20

It says in the 2nd line she is 8.

OP genuinely, I would call it a day on geb relationship. Your partner has had 3 years to deal with this and he hasn’t done it. He won’t. That won’t change if you marry him. This will be your life.

Snappedandfarted2018 Thu 05-Jul-18 12:28:02

Life’s too short it sounds like you and her will never get on id walk away.

yeoman1979 Thu 05-Jul-18 12:52:53

He does try to address some of her behaviour but he’s petrified of what will come of it as it’s his only child he doesn’t get on with the mum as she is like a spoiled brat herself, and how can I walk away from him he is my perfect world it’s just when she is about I feel so on edge! I thought about recording her but then thought would he feel I’ve tried to set her up ? I really don’t want to walk away but I do want to put my foot down and say enough is enough she really is very manipulative and clever and I just don’t get how my kids don’t behave this way but she does she even has an older step sister by her mum so she isnt an only child, I feel like I’m growing to hate her and it’s making me feels so down how can anyone hate a child? I see my future with her dad we are both older and I want to settle down I just need to address her and her vile Behaviour toward everyone xx

OP’s posts: |
NorthernSpirit Thu 05-Jul-18 13:03:37

She is feeling insecure (hence the inappropriate behaviour).

Your OH needs to deal with this as the problems going to get bigger and bigger. If your relationship doesn’t survive it’s likely to happen again.

Does your OH realise there is a problem?

You and him need to be on the same page. He needs to set boundaries and agree when it’s your place to discipline. For example - I have 2 DSC - dad disciplines when we are together, but if i’m on my own with the kids we’ve agreed that I can discipline.

Kids are manipulative and need cmboundaties. She’s manipulating you both, it needs to be dealt with.

An 8 year old shouldn’t be carried. For god sake - she must weigh a tonne! Your OH needs to nip that in the bud, she’s not a toddler.

Spitting out food is unacceptable. She needs to be taught some manners. If you cook and she doesn’t want to eat it, fine, she leaves it. But offer nothing else.

Rolling her eyes - a form of passive aggression is unacceptable. Is she punished?

And I wouldn’t tolerate being told to ‘shut up’ by an 8 year old. She needs consequences.

Thanks f this isn’t dealt with she’s going to become a pretty unpleasant adult.


Isadora2007 Thu 05-Jul-18 13:10:33

I think the previous advice to leave her and her dad to it when she is over and reduce the time you all spend together is actually spot on. She has to share her dad with other children (who get to see him more) and another woman through no fault of her own. This is a tough burden for any child and an 8 year old is no different. She is struggling to manage her big emotions and is failing. She has horrible feelings and isn’t putting them onto her dad but onto you.
Step back and give her what she wants- which is her daddy all to herself- but for a limited time. She gets that one day a week or whatever. Use the time to spend with your own kids or coordinate it to be time to yourself if your kids see their dad.
Speak to your partner about being a little firmer. Loving means setting boundaries too and guiding our children to be kinder and loving. It doesn’t mean letting them act horribly.

Aprilshouldhavebeenmyname Thu 05-Jul-18 13:14:46

When I split from exh the relief I felt not having to deal with similar was mind blowing.
He isn't your world, the idea of him is maybe..
You certainly aren't his tbh, and I would advise you to find a man who can parent properly or ultimately your dc are going to suffer seeing Madam get away with things they won't with a decent dm around.
Putting your dc first means ltb unfortunately.

AWomanIsAnAdultHumanFemale Thu 05-Jul-18 13:18:34

and how can I walk away from him he is my perfect world it’s just when she is about I feel so on edge!

Well then he isn’t your perfect world. Because he will never not come with his daughter. She is the package. She is him. His child is a huge part of who he is, so if she, and the way he deals with her, have you on edge like this then no, he isn’t your perfect world. He has a massive part of him that is causing you severe stress.

I thought about recording her but then thought would he feel I’ve tried to set her up

Seriously? Have a step back and imagine this was someone saying this about your child? Can you not see how bad a situation is when you are thinking of secretly recording a member of your family?

If you see a future with him then step back, move out and just have a relationship with him. Dong blend your families. Wait until your chidlren are grown and flown before moving in and marrying.

kitchenrollinrollinrollin Thu 05-Jul-18 14:01:53

Have you thought about family counselling? A good family therapist might get the situation into the light of day - and suggest ways of dealing with it. Just talking about it in front of her dad might make her less inclined to go on with the behaviour. Seems like it thrives on secrecy.

Harpingon Thu 05-Jul-18 14:28:36

You could talk to her together and set some rules, let her know that you are both aware of what has been going on and that it has to stop for everyone's sake. If your partner won't tackle it I don't see what you can do but step back.

swingofthings Thu 05-Jul-18 15:51:51

she started at some point at attributing you as competition to her dad's affection and attention. Unfortunately, instead of giving her reassurance at this point, you rose to it and now you are finding yourself competiting with a kid which inevitably is making you feel very inadequate.

You need to regain your position as an adult, both in terms of not rising to her provocation, ie. don't let it upset you, and then by showing some understanding that she acts this way because deep inside, she feels insecure.

It's only if you can reset your position by actually standing out of it and not rising to her behaviour that you might have a chance to get her to respect you.

TooSassy Thu 05-Jul-18 16:25:03

Wow. OP I feel for you.

As a first step, I would remove myself and my DC from the dynamic as much as possible when she visits. And put some initial coping strategies in place.

She spits your food out? Tell her you find that unacceptable and stop cooking for her. She threatens your kids? Don’t let them spend any time alone together. Remove your kids and play a game one on one with them. Take them to the cinema. Get some space and perspective and detach from her massively.

Tell your DP that you are going to do this and your reasons why. Your DP is not setting any of the boundaries, you have to. Give him some space and see what he does. If nothing changes then I would strongly suggest placing any wedding (if already booked) on hold.

This isn’t going to get any better it will get worse unless he appreciates that he has to change how he deals with it. The only part I have a different view of is the wedding. I would be fine with my DP doing that with his DC. I’d simply do the same with mine. But I equally appreciate that if the motive was the same as this 8 year old, I would not hold that view.

His child is important to him, of course she is. But her has to figure out how important you and your needs are in all of this. The compromise cannot all be on your part x

Pbpepbien Thu 05-Jul-18 17:39:23

Not same as my situation but here's my story.

I got with the Mrs when her daughter was 12 first few years were Ok, i said i didn't want to play a part as a parent to which she insisted and every decision i made Mrs would step in and overturn it which left me confused and left out and then i would get the smirk over her shoulder as if to say ha ha.

She's now 18 kicked out of college failed 2 courses No job and just chasing boys on Facebook and recently she stole a tin of money approx £200 that Mrs was saving for her holiday and blamed it on me all the while knowing a week before she accepted a gift and a card that i bought her to say sorry for giving too much of a s**t about her and being harsh at times which totally destroyed me.

I've now totally backed off don't talk to her or even look at her as i feel i've wasted many years on her.

I told the Mrs when she was 12 that if you don't give her chores like i tried she will be a nothing and not have any respect and that's exactly what happened.

I put this down to the Mrs, she made me look unimportant in front of her like i didn't matter rather than make me look important to her she just made me look like some bloke that Mrs sleeps with rather than a parent father figure.

So in a nutshell step away let him deal with her advise your kids to just walk away and ignore, concentrate on your own. Or you will be getting similar things like what happened to me being blamed for stuff you didn't do. I protect myself now and say nothing say nothing and she has no ammo to throw at me as accusations could get worse.

lunar1 Fri 06-Jul-18 00:14:11

There is no happy ending for you here. This is how he parents. This is how he is bringing up his child. You have ended up in competition with her and are now trying to win a prize.

All that will happen here is that either the dd wins and you remain miserable or you win and the dd blames you for here dad turning on her.

Either way, the prize is a crappy dad and lousy partner.

YummySushi Fri 06-Jul-18 00:31:19

This is sad OP.
Very hard to deal with manipulative kids because whatever happens you get blamed and they’re branded as innocent.

I second that u distance urself in he rpresence and let her have Dad to herself. She isn’t ready to blend. As a step child I feel she shouldn’t be pressured into blending and might have been pressured into it.

Secondly, if u distance urself in her presence, and don’t get sucked into her drama , she will work out a way to get attention from her dad for how she feels in a constructive way.. because u won’t provide her with an option of manipulating the situation.

Please do deal with it in a compassionate manner or firm assertive manner , but be sure to write things down in a journal or inform the Dad of how u managed things, so things won’t be taken out of context .

He does need to manage things better before he can marry you because this is unfair on u.

Not sure where his ex wife is in this picture ... but perhaps she might not be much help..

However, ur husband needs to be clear and say “ i love you, always will, loved you before I met xyz, and never will stop loving you. But I love you as a daughter, and I care for your mother because she brought u Ito this world .. I understand that u might not love my partner but you need to respect her regardless . If you don’t respect her you cause me stress and unhappiness, and if you love me , you would try to make sure I’m happy just like I make sure you are too. “

WhiteCat1704 Fri 06-Jul-18 08:57:12

There is no happy ending for you here. This is how he parents. This is how he is bringing up his child. You have ended up in competition with her and are now trying to win a prize.


If he is not sorting it out there is not much you can do...and I would seriously question is a men who can't deal with his own daughters disrespect towards his partner is so "perfect". Do you realize that if she is like that at 8 she will be milion times worse as a teenager? She will split you up...he will let might as well regain some self respect and prioritise your own children for a change by distancing yourself separately, date him, don't see his daughter

KeiTeNgeNge Fri 06-Jul-18 09:13:58

This is how it is. He is not going to change how he parents. You can’t win this.

Aprilshouldhavebeenmyname Fri 06-Jul-18 09:40:20

Your dc will lose out by staying, you are flogging a dead horse thinking he will change. .
Call it a day - and tell him why too!!
Your dc can't be exposed to this any longer.

rainingcatsanddog Fri 06-Jul-18 12:05:12

Your poor kids. You need to leave so they aren't witnessing this shit.
She's like this because he won't discipline her. Whatever you decide don't have a child with him. They will be treated even worse than you.

Pbpepbien Fri 06-Jul-18 17:23:25

Yes hence why the Mrs 18 Year old daughter is the way she is, no discipline or nothing. It will only get worse imagine when she gets to 16.

It will be hell.

rainingcatsanddog Fri 06-Jul-18 18:09:24

It will never end either. She'll be an adult she amping her feet

MachineBee Fri 06-Jul-18 18:19:49

I would leave now and make it clear why. Not just to him to your own DC. They need to know you have their backs too.

I had a similar situation and stayed, although my own DCs were adults before DH and I moved in together Now things are not quite as bad it has been a long hard journey. My DHs permissive parenting style is now resulting in a lot of chickens coming home to roost with his now adult DCs.

If I did it again, I wouldn’t have moved in together but moved closer and kept my own home. Would that be a possible option for you? Your DSD would get more time alone with her DF, but he would have to everything including meals, laundry etc. Your DCs would not be subject to bullying in their own home and they would get more time with you.

MattBerrysHair Fri 06-Jul-18 18:21:11

She behaves like this because her dad has taught her that it gets her what she wants. She isn't a devil child, she's a little girl who wants her mum and dad back together, what child doesn't want that??? Since your dp cannot bring himself to teach her appropriate behaviour through clear boundaries then you have to accept that this is how it is and won't change. Either you can live with it or you can't. And I'm not being flippant, I had to ask my dp and dss to leave as Dss's behaviour was unacceptable and I have 2 small dc to focus on.

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