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I think adult step daughter is free-loading- it's causing conflict with my husband.

I'm so frustrated! She is almost 24 yrs old and I agreed to let her live with us until she got a job and "got back on her feet." I realize now that I didn't set any boundaries before she moved in and now she's here and it's causing major conflict in my marriage. She did get a job and is making enough money now to at least contribute but my husband thinks I'm "being mean" and that we should just leave her alone until she's ready to move out. Ugh! We don't have lots of extra money to support her either. She calls my husband for a ride from1 work because she doesn't want to wait an hour for the bus and doesn't pay for any gas. She comes home and eats up a bunch of our food, then sits down and watches our cable all night. It's ridiculous! She's a bit manipulative too and I've heard her wait until I'm not in the room to whine to "Daddy" about needing this or that. My husband and I normally communicate pretty well but I am shocked at how defensive he is being about his daughter. Does he feel guilty that he lived far away when she was a teenager and we only saw her for Summers? I was just so mad that I told him to go get an apartment and live with her. Immature, I know- but I'm so bugged! I suggested that we let her save her money for 4-6 months to get a financial cushion and then give her a deadline to be out. My husband says he feels blindsided by me wanting her out and argues that I agreed to have her live with us.


Asked by Kerby at 6:53 PM on Mar. 19, 2011 in Adult Children (18+)

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Answers (10)
  • Since she is 24 yrs old and has a job, she should be contributing to groceries at the very least. If she doesn't want to wait for the bus, she needs to contribute to gas, or she can find a car-pool where she'll have to pay her share or not have a ride. Yes, it's his child and he probably does feel guilty about not being able to be with her as much when she was growing up BUT allowing her to live with you and not contribute to her expenses is not helping her to be responsible. Your idea of allowing her to save up for a few months with a deadline to be on her own is a good one too. You might explain to your hubby that it's not that you want her out, you want her to be the responsible adult you know she can be & the current situation is not allowing her to do that. Add that she'd always be welcome to visit but she needs to be on her own in the near future for her own sake & of course if she needed help, she'd have it.

    Answer by meriana at 7:15 PM on Mar. 19, 2011

  • Sooooooo what does she do with her paychecks then??? No car, no rent, no food cost, no gas, no bills.
    She needs money from daddy for what reason again????
    I really feel like this will come between you two. and she is putting dad right where she wants him. ( we all do with our parents at one tme or another) but Hubby needs to listen to your concerns and what ya'll could do to correct the issues. Even with a 3 way talk and get it out, before this goes too far and resentment sets in. Goodluck

    Answer by kkbird at 7:14 PM on Mar. 19, 2011

  • If she were my child I'd be doing the same thing your DH is doing. That's his child, no matter what the age. You sound as if you may be a bit jealous of her, perhaps.


    Answer by Crafty26 at 6:58 PM on Mar. 19, 2011

  • I agree that jealousy is a factor here whether its subconcious or not. I know how you are feeling b/c my sister was the same with my dad and stepmom. Enabling her is not always healthy but thats his little girl and always will be. Guilt is def something he may be feeling. Same with my dad. He moved to Cali when we were in our 20's (still are) and he sometimes feels guilty for leaving us. When my sister lived with them my stepmom wasnt happy for the same reason. She eventually began to resent my sister. Dont ever compare yourself to her. And speak up when its going to affect you. But in a positive way. Dont let her come between you two. That part is up to you. GL!!!!!

    Answer by Steph319 at 7:04 PM on Mar. 19, 2011

  • I think you know your husband better then anyone here does, maybe he does feel guilty. Either way that is his daughter and he is going to behave the way he feels is right. I am sure people wont agree with me but I have seen it time and time again, people get married to someone with children (raised or not) and then dont understand why they treat the kid the way they do. It is somewhere in the background, but in the end he may well move out with her if you dont address this the right way. Maybe try getting some alone time with him where you can talk about it.

    Answer by gemgem at 7:04 PM on Mar. 19, 2011

  • Thanks for the comment. I'm not sure what you mean by "jealous" though? Jealous of what? I am jealous that I can't just chill in someone's home, eat up all their food, have them drive me wherever I want and pay for my cable TV :) Also, she's not a child- she is a 24 year old adult woman. I do love her dearly and I enjoy her company, but at what age should an adult child with a good job be expected to contribute or show some responsibility? I have 2 adult sons who lived with us and they were expected to contribute to our household once they graduated and got a job. If they want a ride somewhere they offer gas money. My husband and I agreed on that- that's why his response to her free-loading is surprising to me.

    Comment by Kerby (original poster) at 7:10 PM on Mar. 19, 2011

  • I could see if she was 18,19,but she's almost 24. its time she spreads her wings and flies! She may be his child,but she isn't a CHILD anymore

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 7:11 PM on Mar. 19, 2011

  • Thanks for the answers, ladies. I will think about what you're saying :)

    Comment by Kerby (original poster) at 7:14 PM on Mar. 19, 2011

  • Set rules to follow, then let her agreed to her living there, you are causing your own problems with hubby.

    Answer by older at 7:28 PM on Mar. 19, 2011

  • She's an adult. She needs to get her ass out ASAP!

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 7:04 PM on Mar. 19, 2011