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Adult step children

I have 3 stepdaughters and 2 step sons. The daughters hate our marriage and me. My husband took care of their deceased Mom for 8 years and only the oldest helped. She died 4 years ago. I just lost my dad and I am a very compassionate person. The oldest uses put downs and rude and bold inappropriate questions. Another daughter gives silent treatment to us, the last one threatened our wedding with destruction and to kill my dog. We have seen therapists. Recently my husband wrote a second letter to the 3, asking that they explain their actions. The 1st letter was in August. No answers! They want to meet ALONE with him and 3 therapists advised against this. The reason he says NO to meeting is because they did not answer letters and therapists say that is against my rights. He has never shown demonstrative anger at them and I believe this is a real problem. He needs to be my armor & shield.


Asked by Anonymous at 1:41 PM on Dec. 11, 2008 in Adult Children (18+)

This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • I think you should allow them to speak with him but you will be there you are a team and if they get him alone it's a divide and conquer theory in their sub conscience. it confuses me why is he writing letters? is it the only way he can talk to them? you both need to sit them down and lay down the law? i've been the stepchild twice now and don't agree with a lot of what my mom and (step) dad do but that's their life and now at 23 i have my own. they either need to be supportive of their dad or just go away all together. that sounds harsh but you say they are grown? they are adult enough to talk about things in a manner that is acceptable in an ADULT world!

    Answer by watersgirls at 1:47 PM on Dec. 11, 2008

  • He shouldn't show anger towards them, he should show that he is not happy with their actions but anger is never the answer. I think that if they refuse to answer his letters then he should politely tell them if you can't respect my wife and respect me then I'm sorry we can't see you anymore. I wish that it didn't have to be this way, but you won't respond when I ask you why you are acting this way and I feel this is the only way to get through to you.

    Answer by feesharose at 1:44 PM on Dec. 11, 2008

  • To Feesharosee, thank you for your comments. When I said 'anger' I meant show FIRMNESS which he has not. He is a kind and sweet person. There are many types of anger and on occasion, I believe that some are justified. I could not write the whole story, but they have really actually been abusive, and in my opinion, loving anger (or raising voice, or showing he is in control) is the only way. I have seen them manipulate him at times. Manipulation needs its own treatment and being passive cannot work. The one daughter is so bold it takes my breath away. She once referred to my granddaughter having a different father than the others in the family. Incredible boldness. Again, thank you. I will show to my husband and I believe it will help. Jan

    Answer by freespirit44 at 2:14 PM on Dec. 11, 2008

  • To Watersgirls, thanks for your perspective as a step child. To explain, we do want to see them TOGETHER, but they said NO. It truly would be divide and conquer. To answer, about the email. No, we have not been able to sit down and talk with them as they want to talk to him, me excluded. He rightly says NO to that. My husband wrote a LONG email to the most challenging daughter, explaining we will not tolerate her devaluation of me, us, or our marriage, setting forth all the things that were UNACCEPTABLE. That was in August. Recently, they asked a brother to ask their Dad for a meeting ALONE. My spouse said NO. He wrote them another very short email, stating they must answer the first letter and we will go from there That was a week ago and nothing! I I hate this situation, but we CANNOT GIVE IN or we lose our self respect and we will continue on being controlled. Thanks, Jan

    Answer by freespirit44 at 2:31 PM on Dec. 11, 2008

  • Well, as a parent I would never let anyone say I could not talk to my children alone.....and as a "child" (adult, of course) I would resent anyone who would not let me talk to my father alone. Maybe they should talk to him alone with a therapist present....He is their Dad. They have lost their mother. They are not behaving appropriately now, but stonewalling them isn't going to improve the situation either. Maybe they need to know their Dad will always be there for them. Parenthood doesn't end because the parent meets someone new, even if the kids are adults. We all want to feel closeness with our parents and to be certain that nothing will change that. The reaction of refusing to deal with them one on one may be contributing to their bad feelings towards you. It is complicated and he shouldn't side against you of course, but making them feel secure in their relationship with HIM is not a bad thing.

    Answer by BJoan at 6:14 PM on Dec. 11, 2008

  • I agree under normal circumstances. These are not normal. One daughter threatened to do damage at our wedding and kill my dog. One daughter has done nothing but put downs and whispered in front of Dad, that I am an opportunist. We did a prenup VERY fav. to the kids. another daughter has given him the silent treatment since we met 3 years ago. What you don't know is that from the beginning I went OVERBOARD to welcome them into the house that our pastor said we should NOT live in. I asked them to come look at albums, reminisce with their Dad, etc. I had birthday party and father's day for him and they misbehaved. They had NOT celebrated these holidays with him for decades. Therapists said DO NOT meet in regard to our problems ALONE without me. Divide and conquer!!! I have NOT kept them from their Dad. They have done this all by themselves with their incredibly bold and malicious behaviour.

    Answer by freespirit44 at 6:26 PM on Dec. 11, 2008

  • BJoan:: One and sometimes two have engaged in devaluations, they have insinuated my family was dysfunctional because of divorce. However, they have severe dysfunction in their Mom's family. From the beginning I made myself accessible to please them. The oldest and the most malicious, asked me why my grand daughter had a different last name than the rest of the family. The therapist said, "Inappropriate" of her. The FIRST time we met she asked her Dad in front of us (we WERE committed in love at the time and she knew it) if he were going to STAY on In other words, "Dad, will you look for a different woman". I am no match for their cruelty. Again, he can surely see them, but all books, therapists, friends, etc, say, DO NOT DISCUSS me without my presence. IT is all over our town that they did not like our getting married. The oldest got up and danced all of our wedding song/dance. Definance!

    Answer by freespirit44 at 6:41 PM on Dec. 11, 2008

  • Bjoan:Their Dad took care of their Mom for 8 years of Alzheimers. One one out of FIVE children helped him in all those years. Some came over to eat and leave.. She died 4 years ago. I cried with them and hugged them and said I was sorry. They are cold. My Dad just died and I understand and I am compassionate. They saw me one week after his death and pretended like it did not happen. My husband and myself have almost gone crazy over their cruelty and I refuse to believe that I am bad and a keeping them from their Dad. He can see them any time. He has written to them and told them so, as SOON as they can accept our marriage and not engage in cruelty. I did not try to replace their mother, etc. I have tried with all my powers. One sister in law told me she has been the subject of the SAME BEHAVIOUR for 30 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is not me.


    Answer by freespirit44 at 6:46 PM on Dec. 11, 2008

  • Bjoan: one more thing. I read and re-read your comments and feel stonewalled myself. You say they could not see their Dad. He did not want to do things separately from them at the beginning. Mostly because they ignored him most of the time he needed help with their Mom. He did it all alone. I came along and suddenly they worried about their inheritance. Prenup - remember? From the beginning we saw the oldest and her husband EVERY Friday night for fish fry. And I mean EVERY. And the put downs continued and Dad continued on pretending they were not there. Finally I started asking if he head them. The daughter in law who has suffered 30 years at the 3 girl's hands, said that now all that is sad about our marriage behind our backs is negative. Last comment: Why is it that of the two male children, one likes me and one says he loves me? I know I am good and I know I am lovable.

    Answer by freespirit44 at 6:55 PM on Dec. 11, 2008