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just had the worst weekend [sad]

(8 Posts)
mrshibbins Mon 02-Nov-09 11:55:53

I don't know if i want advice or just to let off steam. feeling very unhappy with OH and SD and ashamed of myself for not being a bigger better person.

I want to preface this with the fact that SD and I normally have an affectionate relationship, but that SD has problems with anger and insecurity and controlling behaviour and has a reputation for manipulating situations so that she appears to be the victim. And while I can fully understand the psychology of it all, because of what's happened with her mum, I'm not mother bloody Theresa and occasionally also have enough and lose my temper.

so SDs mum has fallen off the wagon again, resulting in a complete absence of goodnight calls to SD, and the last contact centre visit cancelled. Basically she's on (yet another) bender...

SDs reaction is I guess understandably for an 8.5 yr old is that she become either clingy and babyish with me and won't leave me be for a minute at a time (claustrophobic) or won't do anything she's asked, rolls her eyes and gets very sarcastic and nasty, has a smart alec answer for everything, and has a tantrum or bursts into very noisy tears at the drop of a hat - about even so little as switching off TV to come for dinner. I am without doubt her kicking post, and I always get the brunt of her negative feelings when her mum has let us all down.

I had this all day on Saturday, with SD following me everywhere clingy but at the same time being really unpleasant and unfriendly. it just went on and on and in the end I lost my temper and sent her to her room. As soon as my back is turned she immediately runs downstairs to her Dad's office and grizzles and tells him I've been so mean to her. OH and I had a huge row, with OH saying leave her alone stop being so hard on her, me saying I'm not going to put up with her behaving so badly for any reason, and with SD gloating smugly at me from behind his legs. Later on it gets worse when she walks into the kitchen while I'm loading up the fridge with shopping, walks straight into the fridge door and hurts her head, screams at me 'what did you do that for?" and again goes and tells her dad that I've opened the fridge door into her face and hurt her. Cue another row, with OH telling me off!!

Now OH and I aren't talking, he slept on the sofa last night, and SD is merrily flitting around the house as if nothing has happened. angry

I feel like walking out on both of them today ... sad

Please can someone tell me to pull myself together or how to handle this better in future because I seem to be at my wits end right now....

Acanthus Mon 02-Nov-09 12:04:22

The first thing that springs to mind is that you need a rule taht your OH backs you up AT ALL TIMES and you don't talk about DD/DSD in front of her. If he takes the line that his view is more important than your then he can do all the bloody wokrk with her. That should get him to listen to reason.

What a tough situation for you all - I think anyone would struggle with it.

LaaDeDa Mon 02-Nov-09 12:12:52

That is a very difficult situation.

I think, you are best to take all the mother's antics out of the equation - yes, you are aware that her not phoning, meeting sd is what is causing the bad behaviour (and understandably so) but the fact is, that kind of behaviour wouldn't be tolerated at any other time and shouldn't be tolerated now.

Keeping firm but fair with sd will be the best help to her in the long run. Particularly if her mother may give erratic and unreliable care and attention it is important she has a loving and stable home where she knows where the boundaries are and that she is loved. Sounds to me like you are doing that but maybe a (calm!) chat with your dh will help you both get on the same page and provide that consistency so you don't get undermined or played by her.

Feel for you all. A lot for a little girl to deal with and a tricky situation for you to navigate.

autumnsun Mon 02-Nov-09 19:25:01

Yours really is a difficult situation. I have faced similar beahviours from SS and SD but luckily my DH is supportive and will not stand for that kind of behaviour although he doesn't always notice what is going on around him!

You need to tackle this first with your DH as your SD will (and probably already does) exploit the situation to her full advantage.

Pease don't feel ashamed or guilty. This kind of situation is intolerable and not something you would put up with from your own child. Being a step parent and particularly a step mum means that very often you feel totally out of control and that's very hard to bear in your own home!

Try to take some control back by setting out some clear house rules (but that must be totally backed up by your DH).

I found a reward chart useful when my SS and SD were this age. They enjoyed collecting stars for doing things round the house to help out (I gave them a list of suggestions to start them off).

I really hope things improve for you but totally understand how you feel in the meantime!

NanaNina Mon 02-Nov-09 20:08:21

Oh MrsHibbins - I DO so feel for you and read your posts on the other SP thread. This sounds so much like what used to go on in our house and I used to get so angry and frustrated with my P for always taking the side of his kids and yes just like you so many rows. I don't know what I can say really other than I understand just how you must be feeling.

I know people are talking about your H backing you up etc but it's so difficult. My P was also a step parent to one of my sons and I fought like a tiger for him if he even looked at him the wrong way!

To be honest if I had my time again i don't think I would have stayed so long in the r/ship because it caused me so much anguish and unhappiness.

Sorry not very helpful but just wanted to respond somehow.

mrsjammi Mon 02-Nov-09 20:12:40

Message withdrawn

mrshibbins Mon 02-Nov-09 20:54:24

so me and SD have kissed and made up, and she's been contrite and sorry and full of hugs, but OH is still sulking skulking in his office...

he is also full of anger with his ex, and with himself for ever getting mixed up with her or letting her get pregnant (lazy careless man) and i'm starting to think that i'm just the easy target in this set up

will attempt again to talk to him about consistency and not undermining each other when he has come off his high horse...

mrshibbins Thu 05-Nov-09 15:28:34

was finally felt able to have long discussion with OH about this ... he agrees with i had to say all in principle, let's see how it all pans out ...

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