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preteen stepdaughter is testing my marriage

Posted by on Sep. 30, 2013 at 10:08 PM
  • 70 Replies

Hi all! I haven't been to cafemom in a while and probably should have to avoid the struggles I'm having today!

Last year I tried disengagement with my stepdaughter after several years of extreme disrespect, bad behavior and school work not up to par. I had a 2 year old son at the time and my time was too wrapped up in discipline than enjoying his young life. My SD has lived in our home since she was 6 and for many years, although I was never treated as mama by her, I did everything! Cheerleading coach, volunteer at school, took her to church...and no, dad did not participate in those activities unless he had to. As she grew a little older the damage by her behavior became worse which tried our marriage but now it is almost to the point that I will leave with my son and move closer to my family out of state. 

The disrespect is at an all time high, and I really feel as if I can't take any more. I wanted to have more children and at 34 it's about time for another but honestly I can't imagine living like this for any more time. 

Disengagement was a disaster and I'm looking for any advice. Is counseling our only option? How detrimental is this behavior on my son? Would it be better if she went back with her mother? Is it me? I'm open to any ideas. I don't want a divorce but I can't deal with the fighting any longer. 

~A


by on Sep. 30, 2013 at 10:08 PM
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Replies (1-10):
CFSTBSM27
by Silver Member on Sep. 30, 2013 at 10:11 PM
What exactly is she doing? And what preteen isn't a pain the ass.
sandeeyo
by Le Bonjour Chat on Sep. 30, 2013 at 10:13 PM

What is your DH doing while she is disrespecting you?

Honestly it sounds like a DH could give a shit and is letting you deal with his daughter.  I'd tell him that he either steps up or you're stepping out.  And if he refuses to step up, GET TO STEPPING. Because it will be obvious that he could give two shits about how you feel.

Kholt
by Member on Sep. 30, 2013 at 10:15 PM
1 mom liked this
Preteens (esp girls I think) are hard and trying for everyone. Not juat because she is sd. My 3 dds make me want to run away from home half the time. Take a deep breath and jump back in. Teena are a struggle for us all and it shouldn't stop you from having another child if you want
lovingflamama
by Member on Sep. 30, 2013 at 10:16 PM

I guess it's typical preteen behavior but there is not one day that goes by without her lying. That is the main issue. I feel like constant, daily lying can't be tolerated. Of course, we have the huffing and puffing and refusal to do homework, chores, blah blah. I could handle part of this but EVERY DAY? My husband constantly fights with me, says I'm making a mountain out of a mole hill, always a fight. He would rather me "take it" and let him discipline. As you can tell, it hasn't/doesn't work. 

lovingflamama
by Member on Sep. 30, 2013 at 10:18 PM

Most times I think he could care less. He just wants everyone to be quiet so he can watch TV. He sometimes buries himself in a chore so he is taken out of the equation. There are lots of issues. I had him almost convinced a couple months back it was manipulation on the SD's part and he had fallen victim....that was short lived. Tonight was a huge arguement because again she didn't do her homework. 

whatIknownow
by Ruby Member on Sep. 30, 2013 at 10:19 PM
2 moms liked this

Why not just start all over with her? be nice to her, be a good role model, be kind and respectful of her. And let her father worry about grades and discipline.

It is very rare that a stepparent can be the primary parent when the custodial bioparent isn't interested in being a parent. You can't take his place. The only thing you can do is be a good role model, and "do no harm."  You are not responsible for how she turns out, and if her father is not interested in being a parent, you can't save her. So why go down with the ship? 

megz0511
by Member on Sep. 30, 2013 at 10:21 PM
1 mom liked this
I have to tell you, I was probably this preteen step daughter lol. My step dad was the only dad I ever knew and I'll tell you straight, I was the BIGGEST pain in his ass. It actually wasn't until I moved out that things changed. He became my dad at age 5. Sorry I have no advice, but here's to hoping things get better with time like our situation did
lovingflamama
by Member on Sep. 30, 2013 at 10:23 PM
1 mom liked this

That's the best idea, and what I've been considering. What do I do when she is disrespectful or lies to my face? She does terrible in school when I don't keep up with things....I'm lost with it really. Sometimes I just don't care, I don't have the capacity to even deal with it then other times I'm sad, then angry....


Quoting whatIknownow:

Why not just start all over with her? be nice to her, be a good role model, be kind and respectful of her. And let her father worry about grades and discipline.

It is very rare that a stepparent can be the primary parent when the custodial bioparent isn't interested in being a parent. You can't take his place. The only thing you can do is be a good role model, and "do no harm."  You are not responsible for how she turns out, and if her father is not interested in being a parent, you can't save her. So why go down with the ship? 



lovingflamama
by Member on Sep. 30, 2013 at 10:25 PM

I'm glad you were able to make it...I hope we do. It's so much more than I ever imagined. 


Quoting megz0511:

I have to tell you, I was probably this preteen step daughter lol. My step dad was the only dad I ever knew and I'll tell you straight, I was the BIGGEST pain in his ass. It actually wasn't until I moved out that things changed. He became my dad at age 5. Sorry I have no advice, but here's to hoping things get better with time like our situation did



whatIknownow
by Ruby Member on Sep. 30, 2013 at 10:27 PM
2 moms liked this

Use this phrase, "I'm sorry you feel that way."

or

"ok let me know if you change your mind."

or

"ok great, I'm sure your father can handle it. I'm going shopping/taking a nap/watching TV now. See you in the morning."

You don't have to worry about how she does in school. As you have learned, you can't change the course of things there. Only her father can, and he's not interested. So why spin your wheels and make yoruself unhappy? Don't worry about her schoolwork. 


Quoting lovingflamama:

That's the best idea, and what I've been considering. What do I do when she is disrespectful or lies to my face? She does terrible in school when I don't keep up with things....I'm lost with it really. Sometimes I just don't care, I don't have the capacity to even deal with it then other times I'm sad, then angry....


Quoting whatIknownow:

Why not just start all over with her? be nice to her, be a good role model, be kind and respectful of her. And let her father worry about grades and discipline.

It is very rare that a stepparent can be the primary parent when the custodial bioparent isn't interested in being a parent. You can't take his place. The only thing you can do is be a good role model, and "do no harm."  You are not responsible for how she turns out, and if her father is not interested in being a parent, you can't save her. So why go down with the ship? 





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