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Advice on building a relationship with sds(20 Posts)
My step daughters are 13 and 15 difficult ages but I have known them for 7 years and lived together for 5 with my own dcs 13 and 16!
It's been so difficult to build any sort of relationship with either of them, especially since living together, I hate to say it but their mum has had a lot to do with this, jealousy I think mainly, I know it's hard to see another woman with her dcs but I knew not to stand on her toes and she is their mum. They live with us 50% of the time though so I do a lot for them.
I feel like an invisible woman to them these days, I'm a nobody, not relevant to them. I've taken them out on my own for meals, shopping chat to them,play games with them,help with various matters still they struggle to even speak to me. I've tried backing off and just being ever so nice but not going out of my way for my own sanity if nothing else. Still they treat me like a no one and I'm even finding the same with their friends, best friend will chat away with my dh but not me, I'm invisible or the evil step mum. I don't know how to get out of this rut or if it's even possible. I can't force them to like me or accept me can I?
To be honest it sounds to me like you have tried very hard and unless you have given them a reason to dislike you, they are just being rude at this point. As long as everybody is being polite and civil I would just keep the hand extended but not break your back trying to appeal to them.
I agree with November my 2 dc are 14 & 16 and whilst they are lovely kids it can be a difficult age. I wouldn't over indulge them but step back a bit. I'd leap on sky rudeness though.
Thank you, just finding it difficult as I honestly can't think what I have done. Maybe nothing they just find it hard themselves
Perhaps they find the situation difficult, perhaps they are just being teenagers. Your husband could put measures in place to try and establish if they are struggling, but if your kindness is just being met with rejection all you can really do is continue to be pleasant but leave them to it.
I could of written your post....
I have 2 DSC - now 14 & 11. Known them for 5 years, lived with their dad for 3.
The children’s mother is very bitter and continually bad mouths myself and the children’s father (not sure why as I got with her ex many years after their divorce and i’ve never met the woman)!
No problems whatsoever with the younger boy. Older girl is extremely challenging. In 5 years to all my conversation, i’m ignored, 1 word monosyllabic answers which are usually.... can’t remember.... don’t know.... In fact in 5 years I don’t think she’s ever engaged in conversation.
I’ve tried taking her out, shopping, getting nails done.... but it’s so painful (for us both) that I’ve given up.
Things came to a head last night when her dad and brother went to the supermarket and in the hour we were alone I was ignored the whole time.
TBH..... I don’t see things ever changing. In the 5 years i’ve known her i’ve been nothing but nice, pandered to her fussy eating, picked her knickers out of leggings.....
I’ve told her dad that i’m disengaging from her here on in (for my own sanity). Her dad has tried to parent and asked her to be nice but there’s so much going on with her mum that I don’t think things will get any better.
Good luck OP.
Omg northenspirit that is sooo similar. But we have a similar ex issue too, I think girls are more effected too. Even if I disengage I feel hurt as I notice it is only me they are like this with. It's sooo painful.
You might feel invisible but you're not, you're supporting them financially and giving them guidance and security.
I understand how hard it is for the mother but you are also their family and are parenting them for which they will benefit but never appreciate because kids never appreciate what you do for them. It's not personal it's just hormones.
@sillycat72 same here. I feel so hurt & upset but nothing I do has any impact and anything my OH says to her doesn’t seem to help.
Took her to the theatre over the summer holidays, to her favourite style of food. Not one word of excitement, thanks.
I can’t go on like this. Five years in and personally I think the girl needs done external help to talk about her feelings. But that will never happen.
Protect yourself OP.
Hi Op, I'm sorry to hear that. It sounds like you've done everything right. Remember they're still at difficult ages. I have a DSD12 (going on 17) and it's taken a lot of patience and understanding to get to the point where we're at, but sometimes there are days where she's so moody with everyone.
Could your DP speak to them?
My relationship with step children was v like this till basically they stopped bring teenagers. I was pleasant for about 12 years...now get on fine. It’s not the closest relationship but it’s fine, tBF their mum isn’t awkward.
Can you get any conversation out of them if you go for really neutral topics, like any movies or TV series that they're into? Can be easier to start building up conversation about things like that than getting responses from teens to questions like "how was your day?"
But I'd agree with others that they should be picked up on anything that strays into rudeness
I mean yes I can get conversations out of them if I really really try, but it's painful and they don't want to talk to me sooo... however they will anyone else
My SD is 17, I’ve known her since she was 2 1/2. I cannot stand her. We can say all the excuses in world for our SC - and I used to too- but sometimes we need to be honest. I’ve detached from her. For about a year she didn’t exist in my life at all. Now I can be in the same house as her. Detaching actually taught her a very valuable lesson. Don’t take the piss out of me in own home. You don’t like the rules you can do one. Harsh, but it worked. Because like most women, I done everything for her D, her SB and her. Suddenly her presents were late or wrong and events were forgotten, trips were no longer arranged. She had no clean clothes, no one cooked her favourites foods! The penny drops! “ Witchydearest did all those things, why was a complete cow?” Not anymore she doesn’t. If you act like a doormat then that’s what you are.
I just feel I can't win, I have backed off quite a lot. I don't do the things I used to, I feel that is just an excuse to hate me more. I also end up feeling guilty
Reference guilt- Yeah I don’t... not anymore anyway. I took a lot of shit from my SD and her BM. When I finally decided enough was enough it was an easy decision to make. Ask yourself would you be spoken to or treated by someone the way your SC is treating you?
Honestly if they aren’t engaging then they are old enough to face the consequences. Don’t pander to her fussy eating if she won’t tell you proactively what she wants. Don’t give her extra treats or days out from your money if she won’t talk to you. And don’t let her friends come over if they are rude. Chances are her mum already has rules in place at her house so you shouldn’t be a doormat at yours. Having said this, however, I do think if both kids are behaving this way to you then it’s very possible you have done or said something to make them feel that way.
Well @Teddybear45 I honestly have no idea what I could of possibly done or said, I honestly think a lot of it is to do with their mum, she acts very jealous and I just think it rubs off on them. I do actually think whoever was in my shoes would have a tough ride however that doesn't make me feel any better
I believe it is the most common reason: Girls feel like if we are nice to her we are disloyal to our mum.
Just give them a break. They must feel uncomfortable and torn in their hearts. If you don't force them but keep being so nice as you are, they will always have a memory of happy times in your house.
When they are grown up they will realize they have been bricks to you. Today they are children who are trying to look after their mum who is clearly unhappy with being replaced by you.
I agree, you have to know your value and do not let yourself treated as a doormat. They don't want your company, don't force it. And for god's sake- never try to by them or win them over with presents and treats.
Still stay polite but cold and detached. Not detached and rude.