Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

8 Bumps

How do I get my 29-year-old stepdaughter to realize that my husband and I are a couple?

She has planned an out-of-state trip in Sept JUST for her dad and her--despite the fact that she is also married (with a toddler). She is saying this is his birthday gift from her. They will be visiting people that have become my friends also--actually, members of her mother's family that I have met and gotten along great with (as I do with her mother). Of course her father is going; apparently he sees nothing wrong with this. And I only found out about it because I mentioned that she posted on fb that she was going and my husband then told me that she had already talked to him about going. Otherwise I wouldn't have found out about this until his bd in late Aug.
I have never had a problem with them spending time alone together (dinners, etc) but a TRIP?! She tried to do this a few years ago on a much larger scale (10 days in Italy) and he and I nearly divorced over it (later, the 4 of us went; me, hubby, her, her hubby) and had a great time (in spite of the fact that she sent me an email that basically said, don't mess up this trip or I will make sure your marriage is over--which I never dignified with an reply--nor did I walk on eggshells.)
Her dad has always made it clear that she is his favorite child, which means that her 4 older half-siblings are estranged from the 2 of them. They both see this as petty jealousy on the older 4's part and see nothing wrong with 25 years having them and their families unfavorably compared to this daughter.
She and I have had a very rocky relationship but the last few years have been relatively peaceful since I have made it a point to just go along with her & her dad and not rock the boat. I choose my battles carefully and speak up when I don't agree. Of course they discount my opinions (because I don't agree with them) but if I feel strongly about something I say so. I can honestly say that I have done nothing to deserve being treated like I don't exist and this whole thing, while not surprising in retrospect, is still a shot out of no where to me. I'm not jealous--I'm hurt. And angry.
Her dad and her are the masters of the hit and run method of "discussion" (which I didn't find out until too late)--they have their say and then refuse to listen to any other opinions (which ultimately caused the rift with older 4). Whenever I stand up for myself, they simply walk away or accuse me of Whining and being in the wrong--it's my fault I'm upset, it's my fault I'm hurt because I'm too sensitive, etc.
She and I had actually gotten to the point of getting along quite well and hugging each other, etc. Since Sunday (when I heard about this trip) I am civil to her but have NO desire to spend time with her or talk to her or anything. I will not put my husband in the middle because she is an adult now and responsible for her own actions. He goes along with her because it's what he does and I can't change him.
My leaving is not an option at this time. And, yes, a lot of that is because I will not give her the satisfaction of causing our break-up.
I'm all for turning the other cheek, etc but when and HOW do I stop letting her walk all over me? I don't have kids of my own so I never learned how to set boundaries with kids and all that stuff that parents learn along the way.

Answer Question

Asked by phinz at 1:10 PM on Jul. 6, 2011 in Adult Children (18+)

Level 2 (8 Credits)
Answers (37)
  • I think your husband should talk to her about boundaries and that you are a part of him and will do things together. He is the one that needs to draw a line with her and she needs to respect that and you. He also needs to respect your wishes as his wife and let his daughter be his daughter and not control and dictate him. Good luck.


    Answer by amazinggrace83 at 1:14 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • Start planning trips with friends or family and not inviting your husband. He will see what its like and start standing up to his daughter. If not, you get a trip away from both of every once once in awhile.

    Answer by sugamama3 at 1:16 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • As a girl who has 2 Moms, an amazing step mom and the one who gave birth to me, I dont see why they cant go away just the 2 of them> I understand that she is an awful brat and treats you like crap. But its her Dad. No matter how old, its her Dad. I would let them know it hurt you to think you were not welcomed to go, and maybe you will see your hubby didnt think of it. Let her know that too, and let her know that you would love to spend 1on1 time with her as well at some point. Maybe she isnt feeling like you 2 click. Im sorry you have to deal with a spoild brat, but your hubby created her, and from the way it sounds, the apple didnt fall far from the tree....

    Answer by ashley_hatty at 1:19 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • I understand your frustration. However, I did take my dad on a special trip for just the two of us a few years back. The tickets to our fav. football team were his father's day gift & the rest was a combined Christmas & B-day present. We had a blast! It's good for even grown children to have special time w/ their parents. You may be asking for more trouble than it's worth if you try to get in the middle of their relationship. It is wrong of her to say she will destroy your marriage, & she obviously holds a bit of resentment toward you. That is sad. She should want her dad to be happy. You have to decide for youself how much you can take & how much importance you are going to place on this father/dau trip. Best of luck to you. :)

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 1:20 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • I know all too well about grown step children not approving of you marrying their father. I'm going through that as well. The disrespect and hatred is very hard to deal with, especially when its unfounded. Try to understand the jealousy is on HER part. SHE is jealous that YOU came into his world and shes no longer the sole focas of his attention. Grown or not, it sounds like shes used to being "daddy's spoiled little brat".
    However, that being said, I dont think you should blow the trip too far out. its a trip for her and him. If it involved her husband and children, or her mother, or siblings....something like that, and didnt include you, I'd say you have every right to raise hell. But, its just a father daughter trip. I think thats a bit more understandable. Even if shes doing it out of spite to you, its not completely off the wall. You husband has every right to have time with his daughter...even a trip.

    Answer by mlmkjw at 1:22 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • Sorry, I think you are right to just let them have their time. Inspite of the fact that you are blindsided and aren't invited. You can either let it get to you or just make the best of it. When they are gone, do some extra special things for yourself. Get a weekend get a way at a great hotel with a spa to pamper yourself and a good book to escape into. It is all how you look at this. You are only responsible for what you do and your reactions or actions. Just keep loving the people in your life and make each day what you can. Ultimately when others' choices are involved and we are powerless over them it is our only option. Hopefully through time, she will get busier in her own life and these things will not come up. My father is gone, many years now. I think it is wonderful they have this time and these memories together... Keep smiling and rise above it. Hugs !!

    Answer by LeJane at 1:25 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • How long is the trip?

    Answer by Mom_to_Skyler at 1:25 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • (cont)
    Maybe try to plan something special for before or after the trip for you and him so you can be a special part of the birthday too. Other than that, I'd let it go.
    And, I agree you need to really have a talk with you husband about the disrespect. Explain to him that when she disrespect you, she's actually disrecpecting HIM as well. You were HIS choice. HE chose a life with YOU. When she hurts you and does spiteful things toward you, its like her spitting in HIS face as well. Maybe he'll see things a bt different. My husband has always understood that...I never had to point it out to him. He doesnt deal with it from his daughter.....but it doesnt stop her from doing it. She's grown, she has to be responsible for her own actions. Its hard when you've learned to love someone in your husbands life, and they act like that. I feel for you!!

    Answer by mlmkjw at 1:26 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • I understand your feelings, but I having a hard time deciding if you should demand that your feelings are taken into consideration. A daddy daughter trip is cute.....

    But, it's not about the daughter. If your husband didn't like the idea, he wouldn't go. This discussion is between you and him only, and be sure he knows that. If he decides not to go, he can't say it was all your fault. He has to take responsiblity for his decisions, whether he goes or not.

    Answer by Candi1024 at 1:29 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

  • Good ideas, both of you, thanks!
    Sugarmama3--my husband has no desire to spend time with my family anyways. He went back with me twice in our first year together and found out that it wasn't all about him and his daughter there, so he doesn't go any more, under the guise of "You have a better time without me." He also managed to alienate all of my friends and most of my family when he WAS there, so while your idea would probably work for a normal man, sadly it won't here.

    Grace--I agree with you also. It would be GREAT if he would set the boundaries. I actually consider it progress that at least this time he asked her, "what about (my wife) &(your husband)" which he didn't even consider before the Italy trip. But since he takes her "side" in all things involving her, I have serious doubts about him doing that here. I hesitate to make it an issue with him since causing a fight would give her great satisfaction.

    Comment by phinz (original poster) at 1:34 PM on Jul. 6, 2011

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.