disrespectful stepdaughter - FamilyEducation
disrespectful stepdaughter
11/17/2010 at 16:15 PM


I am a 38 year old woman, my husband is 52. We are happily married, I love him so much, he is the best husband ever.
I do not have any children, but he has a 12 year old daughter who is being raised by my husband ex wife, almost all week, my husband sees her only Wednesdays and Saturdays.
I have 3 degrees in teaching, I was a higly respected English and Literature teacher .I have a university degree as well.I always loved children and I always wanted to teach them. I have taught about 1000 children while I was a teacher and I have learned children psychology for 4 years.
I was so happy that we will have a nice family, she was 10 years old then I was eager to be with her. My husband explained to her he loves me and her so much as well, I will be his wife and I will take care of them as well. I was very nice to them, I pleased them, cooked for them, kept the house clean, took care of them. I bought little surprises for her, baked her favourite cookies, cooked her favourite meals . But she never appreciate this, never accepted me, never was close to me, never respected me, she is always against me, talks back to me, sasses, and I can ask anything her answer is : I do not know, I do not care.

My husband talked to her again like: "Please be nice to her because she is very nice to you. She does everything for us, she is wonderful. I think she just does not want to accept anybody who is around her father!!!She is jelaous and refuse everything what I want. If I want to go to walk, she does not want to, if I want to do what she always like, she does not want either.
We have moved into a new house in June, we were very happy, and I got pregnant, but after 8 weeks I miscarried our baby. It was an unplanned pregnancy, and my blood suger and blood pressure were very high.
We told her that we will have brand new furniture, brand new appliances, TV everthing, they were not cheap so please take care of everything. We set simple rules in the house: shoes off, clean after yourself, brush teeth, put pijama on, no internet after 10 etc. It was very very difficult for her to keep them, but finally she does them.
She never listens to me, I have asked her not to remove her nailpolish on the brand new table...she did not say anything, then she ruined the table with the nailpolish, and I told her, look what have you done...she asked back: SOOOOOOOOO??????? She hates me, and she hates everything which related to me.
I have a wonderful sweet dwarf hanging ear bunny at home, she is our pet, she is free in the whole house, and I brough her from Hungary. Every children was crazy about her, and my husband daughter never every pads her, she ignores her.

She is always bored at us, she never likes anything, so the last few weekends when her mother picked her up, she was always crying because she told her mother I did not let her anything, I am not fun, I am stupid, I am not cool, so I am the bad person in her eyes.
I take 4 medication every day for my high blood pressure, because usually it is 160 /100, I was at the emergency many times with high blood pressure. Every Wednesday and every weekend when she is around my blood pressure is 210/140 I am near the strokes or heart attack. I do not need this. The doctors told me that my life is in danger with 210/140 blood pressure.
The main problem is I try to discipline her or train her, because her father never tells her what she should not do. He has only 2 afternoons a week and he wants to be with her without disciplining.He is very blind, he always defends her daughter.He does not want to spoil their relationship or time together that's why he lets her everything.

Her mom does not discipline her at all, she is very liberal, she lets her daughter doing anything.
We have reached that point two weeks ago that in a car, when my husband was driving, after a little argument (when she was defending till death one of her stepsister) she kicked my shoulder very bad and talked back to me like trash.
After this I have texted to my husband exwife and asked for help and I told her that I have problems with her daughter.She was always nice to me and helpful. But after this she sent a message back, that I am unreasonable, demanding, mean spirited and I did not earn to the right for being a stepmom of her daughter. I was shocked, that how she dared to say this after I did everything for her daughter, and I just asked for help.
And I texted back to her, that I did not expect this one, it is not intelligent, because she raises her daughter this way , her daughter is really very disrespectful and sassing, does not respect me, so she is not welcome in my home anymore with this behavior.
Since then she is not in my house I am calm and peaceful, my husband goes and see her every Wednesday and Saturday. It is much better for me, but painful for my husband. I think they/ we must go to a family therapist or psychologist, because my husband wants to make a family, but he could not make it so far.

Please tell me your opinion about this situation, I would like to have my husband read your opinion, maybe he will realizes that he was blind and look for a family therapist.

This is very typical, though unacceptable and disappointing, teen stepdaughter behavior. You and your husband appproached this very thoughtfully. You have put forth a great deal of effort out of love and desire for a family and are fortunate to have "the best husband ever". Your very brave statement that the main problem is you trying to discipline your stepdaughter is accurate. ALL of the discipline needs to be done by the parents. Therapy will help you and your husband establish boundaries and mutually acceptable family expectations. Once your stepdaughter sees her father is willing to provide all the discipline for her, things will likely improve in your relationship. For now, in the interest of your health, it is best for your husband to continue to see his daughter outside of your home. Sincerely wishing the best for you and your family.

I'm so sorry your having to deal with this unfortunate event. Divorce is tough enough on adults let alone the children. I applaud your efforts for trying to provide a loving, caring, enviroment for your stepdaughter. Having said that, a loving and caring enviroment includes disipline and boundries. Your step daughter does not understand that by setting rules and limitations, you are providing the love and support she really needs: You care enough to set limits and boundries so she can learn within a comfort zone. Accountability is also needed. There needs to be some type of accountability for her actions. For example the incident with the nail polish. She needs to have a privledge revoked or something. Her actions and non actions have consequences. Your husband needs to enforce the limits and boundries as well, as well as the other authority figures in her life. Consistency is very important. If only one person tries to enforce the rules, it will not work. A good therapist can show you how to implement the rules and boundries she needs. I know it wil be tough for all of you in the beginning, but it is necessary for your husband to be able to have her in his/your home. They will both resent not being able to be in the home with you. If I would have to guess she is probably a great kid and just needs a little TLC.. and limits. You can get through this together. I would recommend finding a good therapist who specializes in Family Therapy. It would be even better if her bio mom could work with you as well. Good luck to you all!