Need advice - step children causing me so much upset.

(109 Posts)
oldgoatlep Tue 17-Dec-19 05:20:49

I will try to be brief. I have been with my partner for 10 happy years the only issue between us is his children (now over 18) they have always 'tolerated' me, never rude but indifferent and one word responses. He met me soon after he split up with their mum so I guess they see me as an obstacle (she has remained single). Over the years I have always welcomed them and tried to be friendly we used to have them every other weekend and at Christmas, took them on holidays etc. I always expected that when they became over 18 they would stop coming round as to me it was always obvious they did not want me around. It is the same with my 2 children who have tried very hard over the years to establish a relationship with them unsuccessfully. They are both now over 18 and as expected they no longer visit, they see their dad at the pub or out for dinner occasionally and it is obvious I am not welcome, they are not horrible to me just cold and they go quiet so over the last couple of years I have stopped going with him as I find it very upsetting. My partner has tried to talk to them but they state there is no issue. We usually have them over on boxing day and this is where the problem is this year. My partner and I have noticed this year that his daughter is becoming very distant she does not answer his texts or calls and I have not seen her since last year. To make matters worse last year we finally got my partners house back (they and their mum were living in it but he paid her a large sum of money that she was not entitled to legally, to move out so we could sell the house as he has been paying the mortgage on it for 10 years, he is sole owner they were not married) she was in agreement to leave as quite happy with the large payment (morally my partner felt he had to give her a sizeable sum of which I agreed) He hoped to sell the house but houses are not selling here currently and we could no longer afford to pay the mortgage/bills on that house and our own rent and bills so we moved in temporarily to get some work done on the property to hopefully sell it next year when the market picks up. I lost my father last week, he died very suddenly and I am devastated so is my partner we cared for him for the last few years. His daughter has chosen this week (before the funeral) to call him and rant at him saying he has not been there for her and she is furious about the house. He has met her and talked and tried to explain why we have had to move in (none of us are happy about it, its weird for me!) and told her she is out of order re some of things she has said he has always been there for her very much so - they are both the only children in his side of the family and very spoilt. She is now refusing to come on boxing day (I usually have my dad bless him and my children too) and demanding he see her elsewhere, to keep the peace he has agreed to take her to the pub on boxing day to do the presents. He has been extremely upset over this along with the loss of my dad and I am struggling to cope with the loss and what I feel is the selfishness of his daughter her timing was awful she is aware my dad has passed away and she has caused so much upset in the week before the funeral. I am supportive of my partner and understand why he has chosen to agree to upset our usual boxing day routine but at the same time I am so angry. This means she will never come to this house whilst we are here and I will not see her at all. I have said I am so hurt by her actions re her timing I will not want to see her until she apologises I should have been grieving instead I have had to deal with a very tearful partner and an angry spoilt child. I do 'get it' I am not unsympathetic to how she feels but I hoped being nearly 20 now she would try to view things from our side. She lives up North now anyway. It has been left that he will see his children boxing day morning on his own and join us for our usual buffet and games later in the day, I know this is going to cause upset on the day as I feel for him and I am very hurt myself. I only buried my father last week I do not need this stress and neither does he. I cannot see a way forward.

OP’s posts: |
Mintjulia Tue 17-Dec-19 05:36:43

I think you should stop showing her how hurt you are because that’s what she’s trying to achieve. You have done your best for a decade. She is now an adult and has moved away.
Continue to be supportive of your dp but let him get on with it. Have a lovely morning with your children. She needs to grow up.

Soontobe60 Tue 17-Dec-19 05:44:38

Of course she's going to be furious! She's still very young, and from her perspective her mother has just been thrown out of their home by your partner. She probably thinks you had something to do with her parents splitting up, even if you were not on the scene at the time, and that's something she won't really get over.
If she's so horrible to you, why are you upset that she doesn't want to come to your house, the house she shared with HER mother up til recently? Given the circumstances, this is very understandable. You could all meet up at the pub on Boxing Day, not just your dp and her.

Soontobe60 Tue 17-Dec-19 05:45:37

You, she does need to grow up, but she's barely a child herself! In time she will see things differently.

Marleyisme Tue 17-Dec-19 05:55:59

I would see this as an opportunity.

Yes your boxing day routine is being changed. That happens. But surely having 2 adults in the house that clearly show they dont like you is stressful.

I can see how things looked from her point of view and understand yours. She doesnt want to attend christmas in what was her mums home, with you and her dad.

Getting upset on the day is only going to serve to make the day worse, than it already would be without your dad.

That's only damaging you. I think this solution is best all round.

Clymene Tue 17-Dec-19 05:59:14

Whatever the ins and outs, she will see it as you kicked her out of the house she grew up in so you could move in.

Surely you can see the optics are terrible?

WendyMoiraAngelaDarling Tue 17-Dec-19 06:06:15

I'm sorry about your Dad.

That said, no one has to have a relationship with you. His children are perfectly entitled to not want to be close with you and your children and you say they've been courteous. I'm sorry but I think you have expected far too much and made quite the meal of it in finding their boundaries so "upsetting". I think his daughters feelings about the house are valid and she owes you nothing. She hasn't done anything wrong imvho though obviously the timing is difficult for you.


ElluesPichulobu Tue 17-Dec-19 06:08:31

these young adults are never ever going to like you or want to spend time with you. accept that. you do not have to be liked by everyone. your partner can continue to see them on neutral territory if they wish, and you don't have to be involved.

it is most certainly unreasonable for you to expect them to visit you in the house they grew up in, where their mum used to live but was made to leave. it is most certainly unreasonable to expect them to see it from your point of view.

sounds like your dp has been about 75% of a total shit to his previous family. 25% non-shit as he has at least provided some decent financial support. that's enough for him to be able to maintain a somewhat strained but tolerable relationship with his kids. stretching that for them to also like and appreciate you too is frankly unrealistic.

sorry about your dad dying, that will be heightening your general emotional responses but your step kids are not responsible for helping to ease your grief.

they may be legally adults but they will still be very emotionally immature and will have been screwed up in a variety of ways from the effects of their parents relationship breakdown and how things have been managed over the last decade. They won't be able to start trying to be more understanding for a good decade or so yet, and then only if they feel so inclined

choli Tue 17-Dec-19 06:13:48

Ignore her attention seeking antics and be very very glad she won't enter your home.

jamdhanihash Tue 17-Dec-19 06:47:39

Sorry for your loss thanks. You said you expected a loss of contact when she turned 18 and that's what's happened. It's been a long time coming. She doesn't care about the reasons why you're in her house. She's too young with no frame of reference to understand your bereavement. She won't get it for a long time probably. Are you projecting your grief onto her? It's a stressful time of year and I hope it gets easier for you.

Oblomov19 Tue 17-Dec-19 06:48:33

Your reasoning is subject! Very one sided views. You can't see how you two moving into her childhood home is upsetting to her? And her mum? Who may have 'said' that she was ok, but once mum moved out, she felt hurt, lost, anger at the life she hoped for taken away?
You never should have moved in.

But if she is that unwelcoming, let his dd go and don't bother making any effort anymore.

Gave you ever sat her down and asked her?

user1493413286 Tue 17-Dec-19 06:55:47

I’m sorry for your loss.
I do understand why she doesn’t want to come to what she will see as her mums home/family home and see you living there; her timing has been very selfish but it’s not abnormal for 20 year olds to still be quite self centred.
I would really try to just let it pass you by and not fall into the trap of putting all your anger towards your stepdaughter when much of the emotion is probably related to your grief.

Hepsibar Tue 17-Dec-19 06:57:05

I would have thought it's a relief for all them not coming round on Boxing Day. Perhaps they never ever wanted to but felt they had to for dad.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the house, can you imagine going to your childhood home and all playing happy families in these circumstances ... how awful for them, even if they are young adults. Even if they do or come to understand the legal and financial position in time, now it is still raw ... this is the burden for offspring of broken families.

I am very sorry your father has died and realise you too are in a heightened state emotionally and quite understandably, that's why it's I feel all of you feeling this way on Boxing Day probably better not happening.

BlouseAndSkirt Tue 17-Dec-19 07:13:16

OP, I am so sorry about your Dad.

But from the outside, it is easier to understand why the children are upset, and especially why the Dd does not want to come to her old house, in which she would normally have spent Christmas Day with her Mum..,

Of course her Mum deserved a big chunk of equity; had she been married and living in the family home looking after his kids, she would have been entitled. You say ‘morally’ as if he did get a big favour.

You say you stopped attending the lunches because their behaviour upset you. Maybe what they needed was alone time with their Dad all along, not always you there on holiday etc. It’s not personal to you. But so many people seem to expect the children to accept them as part of a new couple rather than spend time as parent.

From his Dd’s POV she is out of the old family home just before Christmas. She sees her Dad focussed on his Dp’s deceased father, not in her.

You don’t need to be focussed on her and what is going on with her Dad. She doesn’t owe you an apology, it’s nothing to do with you. You focus on your Father’s funeral,

Step back, shoulders relaxed, deep breath.


notnowmaybelater Tue 17-Dec-19 07:22:40

Sorry to hear about your dad.

It's very, very easy to understand why your partner's daughter feels as she does though. Her reaction is really very normal given the circumstances you describe, so much so that this could almost be a well framed reverse...

You must understand that the situation with the family home will feel like an absolutely gigantic betrayal on multiple levels, no matter how many extenuating circumstances caused the chain of events, don't you?

Fairylea Tue 17-Dec-19 07:28:01

Surely you can understand why your step dd is behaving this way?

You talk as if your dh is doing his ex a favour by paying her something from the house - !! She would have been entitled to at least half, that was their family home, she’d been living in it and bringing up the children in it. I think he’s behaved like an absolute dickhead to be honest. No wonder his dd is angry.

Bluntness100 Tue 17-Dec-19 07:33:38

I'm going to guess there are two sides to this story and I'd be interested to see what the step kids would write about you op., I suspect this is not as one sided as you're making out.

On a seperate note I'm sorry about the loss of your father.

Bootstraps Tue 17-Dec-19 07:37:17

It’s an especially tough time of year to lose a parent so you have my sympathies.

But as for your stepdaughter, look at your own phrase here, with my emphasis on a particular word: “last year we finally got my partner’s house back”.

It may have been his house on paper but in practice it was the mother and children’s house. It sounds like you couldn’t wait to oust her, and did so when your stepdaughter was 18/19 so only just legally an adult. From the outside this looks very crass and I can see why your stepdaughter is angry with her father.

Dontdisturbmenow Tue 17-Dec-19 08:31:32

You have one version of what happened and she will have hers. In her world, things have not been as good as you see it. She has her reasons to never have felt close to you and being very upset about what has happened over the house.

In the end, as you've said, they have never considered part of the reformed family and it was unlikely to ever happen. All they care for is some form of relationship with their dad and that is fair enough. For him to spend a few hours with her once a year is surely not that much to ask for.

I'd really stay out of it, it's between your OH and his kids to sort out.

aSofaNearYou Tue 17-Dec-19 09:03:30

I can see why she would be upset with the house situation, honestly, but I think the thing that is out of line is that you've had to be comforting your partner over the past couple of weeks due to her outburst. You've just lost your dad, he should be the one looking after you. There's very little that should take precedence over that and this fall out isn't it.

Kimbo180 Tue 17-Dec-19 16:53:50

Sometimes you need to put urself in there shoes and see what way you would feel. Personally meself i wouldnt live in a house were your partners ex lived ewwww. Anyway that been said that has been that childs home for the last 18 years no wonder shes upset.
Sorry about your ather xxxx

Anuta77 Tue 17-Dec-19 17:24:54

I'm sorry about your dad passing. I know it's not easy....

This means she will never come to this house whilst we are here and I will not see her at all.

But why do you want to see her at all?

If you have made efforts to have a good relationships and these "children" never accepted you, you should make an effort to let it go for your own sake. You have a loving husband, something that many people don't have, you have your own children and for sure, other good people in your life. Forget about these people's attitudes.

My dad left my mom for another woman at a difficult moment in our life (immigration and I was a teenager). My mom was furious, but I forgave them, because I loved my dad and I thought that he had the right to live his life with whoever he wanted. I don't buy this BS about how forever damaging the separation is..... They lived in another country and when I came to meet her (I was 23, 9 years without seeing him), I even brought a little gift. The relationship wasn't great, because despite me and my sister visiting once every few years, she always seemed tense and looked like she couldn't wait for us to leave. But if she were nice, things would have been better. Yet, when my dad passed away, I even phoned her.

All this to say that I think your SS are selfish and not nice. There comes a moment when one should get over oneself and move on. If they loved and respected their dad, they would respect his choices too.

About living in their family home, well, people always pursue their own interests and you have the right to do so as well. Just go on about your life and don't feel bad, because nothing will change. Your husband's daugther would have been cold with you anyway.

So don't waste time worrying about their attitude, them not coming is less stress for you honestly.

WendyMoiraAngelaDarling Tue 17-Dec-19 17:34:31

* If they loved and respected their dad, they would respect his choices too.*

Well clearly they don't respect his choices so this must mean they don't much respect him then.

Magda72 Tue 17-Dec-19 18:11:58

@oldgoatlep - do yourself & your mental well-being a massive favour & delete this thread. You're in no emotional state to deal with the bashing you're getting (& will continue to get) from the anti-sm moral majority.
I'm very sorry for your loss - your head must be all over the place & sudden death is particularly traumatic. Whatever the circumstances of your housing situation at the moment, kind & decent ADULT children would step back a little a discuss issues calmly with their parent(s) not throw tantrums & strops.
Get off here, focus on your kids & extended family, let dp deal with his dd, tell dp you can't provide support atm as you need to take care if yourself atm - the loss of a parent is massive - & regroup in the NY.

BlouseAndSkirt Tue 17-Dec-19 18:34:38

Magda: whilst I sympathise with the OP because she is so vulnerable and grieving and this thread will make her more so, I think it is unfair to blame this in anti-sm sentiment.
Especially when you rightly expect s grown woman, the OP, to have a head all over the place, but expect a still-growing 19 yo young woman to be fine with the history of loss of her parents together, loss of her family home...,

All people are doing is showing empathy with the Dsd.

Everyone in the OP’s extended family is in distress. Reciprocal Blame and anger won’t help anyone.

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