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Struggling to be Christlike

Posted by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 9:42 AM
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I am struggling to emulate God in my interactions with my 16 year old sd who lives with us. I need prayers and some direction. I am finding it extremely difficult to show love or even like to a child who cannot even address me by my name, is constantly disrepectful and throws a fit when it's time to do her chores, which is basically dishes once a week. This is the same sd who uses the car we bought her to pick her mom up from work, drives 25 minutes to babysit for her mom at least twice weekly and takes her younger brother and sister (half siblings from her mom second marriage) to their ball games every week. And yes, I am resentful and feels guilty for feeling that way because I know that is not what God expects from me. Lately, I have just disengaged and now feels sad because my husband is sad. He wants so much for us to have a good relationship because her BM is a recovery addict who still has all the addict behaviors. God requires obedience from us and intellectual I understand what I need to do but emotionally I have no desire to engage. Anyone has some good Godly advise? I would really appreciate the help. Thank you.

by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 9:42 AM
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by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 9:56 AM

It is nice of her to take her brother and sister to their games, and to baby sit for her mom. Why does it bother you that she does that?

What does she call you (if not your name?)

I have another more important question though. You say your husband "wants so much for us to have a good relationship because her BM is a recovery addict."  What does your relationship with your SD have to do with her mother being an addict? Is that the reason he wants you to have a good relationship? why are the two connected? I know that seems  like a picky question but there is a reason I ask. Do you feel that your relationhip with your SD is somehow impacted (negatively) by HER relationship with her mother? The two relationships should have nothing to do with each other.

by on Oct. 10, 2013 at 12:30 PM
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Aw, I hear ya! I too felt awful when trying to commincate with my eldest ss. Oh was he disrespectful. And his brother! The only Godly advice I have is strive for peace first. If that means you have to disengage, so be it. It is better than strife in the home and marriage. My husband wanted the perfect family, all getting along and loving. And me the Christian wife, I was supposed to make that happen. Well, it did not. So - I chose my battles. What was most important? Yes, to be respected, but if their attitude was one that needed adjusting - I prayed for guidance, spoke with my husband about it and then backed down, because it isn't worth me getting upset. God doesn't want you to struggle either. Pray for solutions that would bring peace. Keep open, loving communication with your dh, because he needs to find ways to discipline his dd over her disrespect. Will be praying, Monica

by New Member on Oct. 10, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Thanks Monica for the encouragement and prayers!

by Member on Oct. 12, 2013 at 7:25 PM
I love Monica's advice, it's very encouraging:) yea my 11 year old stepson can be like that too he doesn't call me anything an he lives with me full time. I have disengaged because its just more easier for me to be drama free, ill pray for you, take care an just know your not alone:)
by New Member on Oct. 22, 2013 at 3:06 PM
I once was an anxty teenage SD. My dad and his stepmom had a life of their own and they disengaged with me with the notion they shouldn't push and should let me come to them. BACKFIRED. All I wanted was for us to feel like family and to be wanted and included. Everything in our family became transactional and not relational. I would encourage you to do the opposite. Its really hard to stay angry and grumpy around someone who's always happy and loving and including. Have family movie nights where he picks the food and movie. Don't let him hurt you and give him no choice but to eventually shut up or be nice because you don't back down being kind and patient. If he says horrible things and runs up to his room, bring him a snack and tell him you love him no matter how awful he is to you, that it's not gonna work on you. Be strong. Be a shield. Be welcoming and pursuant.
by New Member on Oct. 24, 2013 at 9:04 PM
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I am with you.  I SO struggle with the being Christ like!!  I have a 14 year old SD and have been married to her dad for nearly 5 years.  He so spoils, enables her behaviors, and I resent him and her more every day.  I am ALWAYS the one who has to be the bad guy.  Her BM is in and out of the picture, taking NO resonsibility in her raising.  She lives with us full time and her mother works on the road sometimes 4-6 months at a time without seeing her.  The SD has so many issues....grades,and what I cant tell is either OCD or just plain ole lack of self discipline, taking 2+ hours to get read for school or anywhere else.  Isn't that a problem???? I just don't want to resent her and even now her dad because he so enables her behaviors!  I too want to disengage, but I think a little control freak in me CANT.  And dad also wants us to have a relationship.  A therapist a couple years ago encouraged me to hug her at least twice a day.  At this point, I can't even do it once a day.  And I KNOW that is not what Christ wants:(

by Member on Oct. 24, 2013 at 10:57 PM
Hi sal6670, I totally know how you feel, I started to resent my husband for enabling my stepson's behaviors. Like me my stepson lives in my house full time as well and it's soo hard I feel like crying because yes I always have to be the bad guy also. It's sad that I have felt this way in my own house:(
by Member on Nov. 2, 2013 at 10:22 AM
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I think you are doing a great job. First off you can admit that you are struggling and asking for prayers. Give yourself some credit :). Teenagers are horrid and someone else's teenagers , even worse. Disengagement might be the best option for you right now. I know dh might be sad, but he is not the one being hurt, you are. God is in control and as long as you are humble (as you seem to be) and keep praying and seeking him, you will get through this. He is your strength and your rock. Continue to pray for her as well. I hope everything works out
by Member on Nov. 5, 2013 at 11:02 AM

It is so hard to be loving to someone else's kids. It just is. I can't tell you how many times guilt has run through my mind when I realize I don't really love my stepkids. It is very challenging - not to mention when they act like they hate you! Sometimes what you need is to take a step back.  Do something for yourself and remember that yes, she is your stepdaughter, but you still have a life. You are still you apart from her and apart from your stepfamily. You have your own goals, dreams, hobbies, and talents apart from your family,  right? ;) If you don't, find some. It will make you feel better about yourself and okay with being "rejected". Also - I don't have teens yet, but - it sounds like she is pushing the boundaries and being as difficult as possible to see what she can do to control you and make you stop trying to take charge of her.  When kids lives feel out of control, they try to take back control by being difficult - in hopes that you will back down and say, "okay, nevermind. You don't have to do the dishes."  What helps in these situations is to remember that you are in charge. You and your husband hold the keys. If she can't do her chores, she doesn't get the car. If she can't do what little you've asked her, you (or your husband) are going to make it harder.  If she can't do the dishes and whines about it, she can do dishes two nights a week. Still whining? Three nights.  It is a power struggle but in the end when she realizes that you will not take no for an answer and you have what she wants (car keys, etc) then she will obey you and do what you ask of her. And it will make her be a better person in the long run because you are not encouraging her to be selfish. She has responsibility and a role in helping with the household chores because she lives there. Let her know that you are in charge and she still is under your roof.  Then she will realize that she can't get away with disrespect and disobedience. Yeah it is hard to set boundaries like that but I think deep down she will respect you for not letting her get away with stuff.  But you can do it not just to gain her respect (which you might not) but to let her know you and your husband are head of household and that means that what you say goes.  You don't have to take my advice. I know what I am saying sounds harsh. Sometimes what is more necessary at the time than having a "perfect relationship" is you asking that she treat you with respect and care.  She doesn't have to love you, but there should be consequences for being rude, hateful, and throwing fits. Hang in there, you are doing the best you can!

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