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Update: SD making this marriage thing HARD!

Posted by on Jun. 6, 2014 at 11:57 PM
  • 8 Replies

I have 2 sd's- 8 and 9. Unfortunanty the 9 yr old is getting unbearable to deal with. She is constantly vying for dh's attention and literally separating us (she actually put her hand between us the other day and said move away from my daddy). She is disrespectful, rude, mean to our ds (my son with dh and her half brother) when we are not looking, and she has started lying about everything! I have bent over backwards to make sure they have their own daddy-daughter time, make sure she always sits by him, just generally makng her happy. We spend more on her than the other children because she just seems to like more expensive things and my dh can't resist. The girls live with us majority of the time and their mom has visitation and pays chid support. Since she took us to court and lost it seems like when the 9 yr old returns from visitations she is at her worst. Now, I will say- she is dh fav. Always has been. I get that, but she gets away with a lot that the other kids don't. I am fearful that we might not make this marriage work because everytime I talk to dh about it he will "talk" to her and then her behavior only improves for a short time. I don't want to walk away, but I almost feel like I have no choice. I have concidered therapy, but broke :(  I just take it one day at a time and breathe a sigh of relief when its "mom's weekend". I honestly love her to death and love my dh even more, but the issues are too hard to deal with and/or ignore. Any advice on how I can cope? Or is this an instance where I may need to step away? BTW- I was a stepchild and now a step mother so I know exactly how I would want to be treated by my stepmother and do so. I just want a nice, blended family! Thanks for letting me vent!


banging head into wall


So you all have read my post and I really appreciate the advice and support. I talked to dh and he says he will try "again" to stop, however, the youngest sd was sick, but his "favorite" slept in. I can't tell you how many times he went to check on the well kid to make sure she was ok vs the sick kid! Then when she finally got out of bed I heard her name over and over till I was sick of it (he was talking to her). Well I decided I will start hanging back and letting them have even more time together and making sure that my kids with him have enough undivided attention from me. I will do the normal stuff like cook and clean for the family, but if she needs something in particular she will need to have her parents do for her. I do have one good note- the youngest sd was chosen for extra testing to see if she will be placed in gifted classes! S proud of her!!!  DH's fave was upset that her sister is testing. I didn't say anything, but let dh fumble through his explanation. I finally had to step in and say you are smart, very smart, but your sister may be a little more exceptional- as the term is used in school, so she will test. I hate to say it but that felt good to say. Shame on me.

by on Jun. 6, 2014 at 11:57 PM
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Replies (1-8):
Tigress22304
by Platinum Member on Jun. 7, 2014 at 12:47 AM

Whats dad doing to correct the behavior?!

Polkadotted
by Gold Member on Jun. 7, 2014 at 1:24 AM
3 moms liked this

I just got back from a 3 day trip with the class of 4th graders. All the girls were sassy, disrespectful, attention hungry little brats at some point or another. Some of this is just hormonal normal.  But it sounds like your DH also has to start saying no and get control of her or else you will have a major problem. 

momof2ex1
by Ruby Member on Jun. 7, 2014 at 2:25 AM
Bless your soul lol

Such a hard age. I just spent an evening with a bunch of 13 year olds in love with the Fault in our stars book and we watched the movie! Gasp!! All the crying made me need a margarita.

OP - it seems that dad's favoritism has come around two fold. Dad needs to stop showing so much favoritism. HE is causing the problem. Children are not born bratty, catty and mean. They are made this way. He has taught her what behaviors are acceptable and she is just following along with what dad allows.

Yes - take a step back. That doesn't mean leave your marriage. Just leave him to deal with her. I ignore my kids when they are in bad moods or are being sassy. I won't respond to ugly tone so I hope they aren't bleeding to death because I will not respond to an attitude. Just ignore her. When she figures out what tone and behavior you will respond to, she will start using it.

And fwiw, the sticking the hand between you and what not is some what common. My husband and I share a child and he does this when he is tired. We don't mind. Dh and I don't have to sit together always. We don't always have to be on top of each other. We share a bed so it's ok for us to watch a show without touching. Or go to the store without holding hands. Yes it would be nice to just be able to walk romantically down the road without one kid or another swinging on our hands ... But that's what date nights are for. We make sure to get in plenty. We also sleep holding hands so maybe that's why we don't need to do it at other times.

Quoting Polkadotted:

I just got back from a 3 day trip with the class of 4th graders. All the girls were sassy, disrespectful, attention hungry little brats at some point or another. Some of this is just hormonal normal.  But it sounds like your DH also has to start saying no and get control of her or else you will have a major problem. 

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leegirl_jm
by Platinum Member on Jun. 7, 2014 at 7:18 AM
She sounds very rude to me and this due to your husband allowing the behaviour. I know kids can be territorial and I think little girls are sometimes the worst but this Dad isn't handling it properly, he is the problem.
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teaching_kids
by Bronze Member on Jun. 7, 2014 at 8:23 AM
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If my SD did those "he belongs to me" things-it would be handled on the spot. And trust me, she's his only daughter...so she's his absolute favorite lol!!!!

Handled - by my husband that is. When she was 3 she used to have tantrums if he even came near me. And he couldn't be a more attentive father. There was no lack of attention or love going her way. What I discussed with my husband (boyfriend at the time) was more her long term best interest and her ability to handle her father having relationships with other people. Primarily, that there was plenty of love to go around.
We implemented a plan-every time she had a tantrum -he stopped going over to her. We would just wit until she was done with her tantrum and he would tell her he needs to be able to love otger people too and if she wanted a hug she needed to just ask for it. Or he would say I love you and you can't act like that. I'm going to hug other people too, just like you hug other people too.

She felt safe very quickly and it wasn't long before the tantrums stopped and it's been years now that whenever he comes toward me to hug or kiss me she lights UP. Someone's claps and will often say "aww" or "love and smooches" (making fun of us)

I'm sure it was easier to handle with a 3 year old (who will soon be 13)

There is probably a conflict in your husband. He may like that she does that. It may make him feel special. So it's really not her who is creating the problem. She's been allowed to have that power by him. Probably because she is the favorite and probably because on some level-it makes him feel good to have his little girl be possessive of him.
He's the person you need to focus on-not her.

Every time something like that happens-he can handle it by handling it on the spot.
"I love you and I need you to stop doing that."
She's continuing because it's not handled each time it happens. And it should be handled on the spot. A conversation so that she doesn't grow up to be a possessive inappropriate woman who may just grow up re-creating this dynamic by becoming someone's mistress who wants to take a man away from his wife and family.
People rarely think about the long term consequence of allowing little girls to power over Dads relationship with his wife. Often you will here really bad advice about how she should be allowed to do those things-but those same people giving that terrible advice-are all pissed at a woman who would have an affair with a married man...very often-that woman grew up in a dynamic where she was allowed to get in between mom and dad or whatever....
No forward thinking.
You need to explain this to your husband. Chances are, he won't want her to live that kind of life as a woman....
It's not her fault but make it about her future life and ability to handle and respect all relationships.
XXanonymousXX
by Bronze Member on Jun. 7, 2014 at 10:18 AM
Exactly! By not handling it properly DH will be doing his DD a disservice.

Quoting teaching_kids: If my SD did those "he belongs to me" things-it would be handled on the spot. And trust me, she's his only daughter...so she's his absolute favorite lol!!!!

Handled - by my husband that is. When she was 3 she used to have tantrums if he even came near me. And he couldn't be a more attentive father. There was no lack of attention or love going her way. What I discussed with my husband (boyfriend at the time) was more her long term best interest and her ability to handle her father having relationships with other people. Primarily, that there was plenty of love to go around.
We implemented a plan-every time she had a tantrum -he stopped going over to her. We would just wit until she was done with her tantrum and he would tell her he needs to be able to love otger people too and if she wanted a hug she needed to just ask for it. Or he would say I love you and you can't act like that. I'm going to hug other people too, just like you hug other people too.

She felt safe very quickly and it wasn't long before the tantrums stopped and it's been years now that whenever he comes toward me to hug or kiss me she lights UP. Someone's claps and will often say "aww" or "love and smooches" (making fun of us)

I'm sure it was easier to handle with a 3 year old (who will soon be 13)

There is probably a conflict in your husband. He may like that she does that. It may make him feel special. So it's really not her who is creating the problem. She's been allowed to have that power by him. Probably because she is the favorite and probably because on some level-it makes him feel good to have his little girl be possessive of him.
He's the person you need to focus on-not her.

Every time something like that happens-he can handle it by handling it on the spot.
"I love you and I need you to stop doing that."
She's continuing because it's not handled each time it happens. And it should be handled on the spot. A conversation so that she doesn't grow up to be a possessive inappropriate woman who may just grow up re-creating this dynamic by becoming someone's mistress who wants to take a man away from his wife and family.
People rarely think about the long term consequence of allowing little girls to power over Dads relationship with his wife. Often you will here really bad advice about how she should be allowed to do those things-but those same people giving that terrible advice-are all pissed at a woman who would have an affair with a married man...very often-that woman grew up in a dynamic where she was allowed to get in between mom and dad or whatever....
No forward thinking.
You need to explain this to your husband. Chances are, he won't want her to live that kind of life as a woman....
It's not her fault but make it about her future life and ability to handle and respect all relationships.
Birdseed
by Platinum Member on Jun. 7, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Agree that the physical separation thing is pretty standard. 

You've already gotten good advice about how to encourage your husband to handle it.  But one thing I wanted to point out based on your comment that it's worse when she comes back from Mom--it probably has nothing to do with Mom.  Transitions are just plain hard for a lot of kids.

My DH/BM shared 50/50.  The first day or two after the transition were often a little challenging.  What we started doing was having "Taco Friday".  A routine where all of us were making a meal together, sat down together at the table and talked about our plans for the next week, then played a game or watched a movie.  It was a good "reset button" for all of us.  The first day back was also a "free" day.  Kept expectations of chores and responsibilities pretty low.  The rules at our house vs BM's were and still are quite different but kids are capable of behaving and being respectful in different environments.

Just be careful not to fall into the trap of blaming someone else who sees the kiddo 4 days a month for behaviors that are happening in your home.  Your DH has created the monster behavior and he needs to correct it.

Seychelles1409
by Silver Member on Jun. 7, 2014 at 11:31 PM

If your DH won't do his part, try one last with SD thing:   have a talk with SD letting her know you love her, aren't trying to take her daddy away from her, want to spend time with her---just the two of you, etc. and want all of you to be a family.     Let her know that you understand how much she misses her mother and ask her if there is anything you can do to make things easier for her.   In other words kill her with kindness.  

I'd also make one more attempt to get through to DH.   Make notes if you have to, but explain your feelings and what you feel SD's behavior is doing to your marriage.   Let him know if you leave he will have two homes and two sets of children without an intact home so why not fix this problem before it gets worse.

If none of this works, then I would back off.  Spend more time in your bedroom, outside, taking walks, going shopping, exercising when SD is around and spend time doing things with your DS.   Leave the house as much as you can.   I'm not saying do this permanently, but long enough to give things time to change and to make DH understand you are not going to continue to live like you have been.

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