My name is Tasha and I just joined the group. I have 1 stepdaughter who just turned 10 in May. My husband and I also have a 4 year old daughter together and a little boy that is due at the end of this year. I have been with my husband for a little more than 5 years now and we just got married last year.
When my husband and I first got together my stepdaughter was 4 years old and we got along really well. After my husband and I had been together for about a year and right before our daughter was born his ex took him to court to obtain custody of their daughter and that is when things took a turn for the worst in my relationship with my stepdaughter. From the time the custody battle started up until today his ex has been telling their daughter that she does not have to listen, respect or even acknowledge me when she is visiting with us. Due to the courts and the custody battle we have a very strange visitation schedule and that alone causes alot of stress and confusion. I have tried my best to get along with my stepdaughter and at my whits end. No matter what I do or try to do the only words out of her mouth is that I am not her mom and her mom says that she doesn't have to listen to me. My husband and I have sat down together with her to explain to her that when she is with her mom she listen and do what her mom and her moms family asks and tells her to do. But that when she is with us she needs to listen and do what we ask her to do. I try not to be the disciplinarian in the family dynamic but at times its hard not to because I am the one who is left to care for her on the weekends when my husband is at work. I have asked his family for help and they basically tell me no they will not watch her because she needs to be at home with me.
When my husband is around my stepdaughter pretty much behaves. When he is around she has her moments but for the most part does what we ask her to do. But when my husband is not around she give me attitude, speaks disrespectfully to me, lies straight to my face, refuses to do the things I ask her to do, and has been a bad influence on my 4 year old daughter. She has told me straight to my face that she can do whatever she wants because her mom said that I am not important and that she does not have to listen to or respect me. Sometimes she pushes me to the point where I am soo mad and frustrated that I am aftaid I am going to snap. And at this point I send her to her room and have to go to my own room to cool down and wait for my husband to come home. My in-laws refuse to watch her even though they see how hard it has been for me. They keep telling me that she is going to get better and that things will improve but in the past 5 years it has only gotten worst. and as she gets older things are only getting worse because now she is smart enough to know that she has behave in front of others to show that she is trying and then when its just me and her she reverts to her old behavior because she knows that I am not allowed to discipline her.
At this point I have tried all suggestions that have been made by my family and friends and nothing has worked. My husband and I have even been to counceling together to see what we can do and have included my stepdaughter in on a few of the sessions but no improvement has been made. We have also asked my husbands ex if she would agree to go to parenting/family counseling with my husband and their daughter so that they can learn to co-parent together and if we could send my stepdaughter to counceling as well to help to improve our relationship but she has refused saying there is nothing wrong with their situation.
Please help I am at my whits end and I just don't know what to do anymore...