Manipulative Step Daughter

I have been in a relationship with a my partner for 9 years how.  I have lived with him for six of those years.  On and off it's been rocky due to the kids.  I have a 12 y.o. son who is on the autism spectrum - high functioning. I've done a darn good job of getting him all the help and support he needs on my own with no support emotionally or physically from my partner. He has two children.  One is 16 and the other is 20.  The other one is a girl.  In the beginning of our relationship, my partner made an effort to have the kids do things with me and ask me for help with schoolwork etc.  However the very day I moved in and sat down to talk with my partner about how we should figure out how we'd all 'work' together under one roof - I was shot down with a very loud, "you are not allowed to tell my kids what to do or to ask them to do anything. Otherwise you can just move right back out of this house!"  It was such a departure of what seemed to be his effort to blend the family prior to my moving in.

Of course if I were to forget and ask something as innocents as 'hey, could you open that door for me so I can put these heavy dishes away?'  to a child standing between me and the cabinet...they would actually run from the room, find thier father, tell him I asked them do help with the 'chores' and dad would come running to again chastise me for asking them to do anything.

Every August there's an issue.  it's like clockwork.  one year the oldest wrote a letter to her father saying she and her brother didn't want to come to our house anymore because of me.  And they didn't like that my son paid so much attention to their cat (who by the way has never been fed by either of them.  really. I don't exaggerate. Even when we go on a vacation and the oldest is around, the neighbor has to come feed the cat.)  Anyway - dad decides that I have to leave the house because his kids don't like me anymore. He then takes his son on a two week vacation to Wash. D.C. because son wanted to see the Declaration of Independence  in person!!!  So off they go.  Dad returns and tells me that I can't leave and he'll talk to the kids. 

Next summer comes and grandma visits.  Grandma and Grandpa dislike children with disabilities. Think they are 'dirty.'  To be honest...Dad is an ex Nazi.  Really. German. Both he and his wife moved to the US just after the war.  They are both nasy people. They live far away. But grandma visits once a year.  So she shares eye rolling and dirty looks with her son, every time my son is around.  This prompts another bout of 'you have to leave, this is not working.

He takes it back asks me to stay

Next summer. We go on road trip.  myself, dad, his two kids.  We're gone for two weeks.  The entire trip I was the 4th wheel.  Dad couldn't even take a walk with me without both of the kids hanging onhim and injecting what they wanted to do 'at the minute' and of course, he would do whatever they asked. 

I could go on. It hasn't changed.  I did get a load off my chest though last summer when this came about and I'd had it. I was waiting for Aug 2nd to come 'round and for him to 'kick me out.'  It's always about my son.

His kids do not have to do anything at this house. NOTHING.  They leave dishes in the sink, trash wherever they choose, lights on, slam doors when everyone is sleeping, and ask for the moon financially. Dad just says yes.  Daughter calls from school cuz she wants a new gives her his credit card and tells her to get whatever she needs.  Son decides he wants yet another surf boad, so off they go that very minute to buy one!  He just got a new bike. His second. He now wants a third. Dad is looking for one now.  Son wants to go on a 10 day bike trip up the coast.  Dad says, 'sounds great! when do you want to leave?"  Oh, I forgot to tell you. Dad is not working right now and hasn't since December of 2008.  : )  Kids don't seem to care...they just want what they want.  Kid needs to go to surf camp this summer. One month was $2000. That's a mortgage payment.  Dad doesn't care.  He's exhausted his retirement due to alimony and child support - that was just reduced to nothing 0 thank god.   But he's got nothing. Next thing to go will be the house equity.

He treats my child like I don't even know what. He rarely talks to him and when he does it's to say something mean or snide.  My son ame to me one day and said, " I know he doesn't like me. I think he tries sometimes. Can we pelase not live here?

I have to say that I look around and I see opportunity for a better life if I could leave this city and move back to where I'm from.  I think I stay because now I have a good job and since I don't pay to live here I have put the money away in savings and have saved quite a bit. well over six figures right now.

Daughter is here this week from college and she and her brother are really coming up with the nasty attitude toward me and the sweet as honey tude toward dad. I really don't know what to do. I am so sad sometimes but then grateful that we are not married.  I wish I could find the nerve to move out of here and find happines somewhere else.  My son is such a generous human being.  It's such contract to my partners typical kid. 

tomorrow is the 16 yos bday. I asked last week what we should do and was told that they'd get back to me.  Well, I overheard them talking yesterday that they were going to spend the day at Disneyland and then the three of them would go out to a nice dinner on Wed. when I'm in class and my son is at his dads.  I've decided not to say a word and will definitely not be participating in buying the boy a gift.  All of this is so far removed from the way I was raised. 

oh, and no..they've never spent one birthday in 9 years with my son.  : )  not one.  I've gone from giving them great gifts that they threw away or hid in closets and drawers, to gift cards, to less generous gift cards, to now nothing. 

I think my partner has definitly been the instigator in how his children treat me.  I think he's done the same damage with how my son in treated in this house.  When his kids aren't around he's sullen and mopey and it's all about money worry...yet they bounce in and bam!  he's a different guy..spending money like a drunken sailor. He took everyone out to dinner last night and I held back what I wanted to eat and drink and went for something reasonable on the menu. His daughter (who eats like a freakin bird) ordered an appetizer and a $17 entree of meatloaf and a drink.  She ate 4 bites of the meatloaf and then had the nerve to order a dessert.  I ordered a 10 dollar dish, no appetizer, no cocktail, an ice tea and no dessert. 

I see this pattern, that I let my son and I be the victims, the house keepers, the pet feeder (my son feeds the cat every day and night) the lawn keepers, the grocery shoppers and buyers.

ugh.  just writing this makes me feel sick.


Thsi is so not the life I thought I'd be living at 53.


bonnidoon bonnidoon
13 Responses Aug 10, 2009

You said, "He treats my child like I don't even know what. He rarely talks to him and when he does it's to say something mean or snide. My son came to me one day and said, 'I know he doesn't like me. I think he tries sometimes. Can we please not live here?'" and you also said you'd saved six figures. What are you waiting for? You know what is more important than money? Sons. Sons are much more important, especially while they are still children and still dependent on you. Your son won't be a little boy much longer, and he shouldn't have to spend his childhood with somebody who doesn't like him. Hurry up and give him a happier home. And your step children aren't going to get any better as time passes. They remind me of mine, who were 18 and 20 when I met them. I've been married to their dad 22 years now. My stepson is 42 and is a drug addict, my step daughter is 43 now and working on her third divorce. They're still full of drama and their father still always tells them they were right and everyone else was wrong. He is hateful only in the context of his children, about whom he feels very guilty. I'm 63 now and too old to leave anybody but I just recently decided to avoid my stepchildren from now on. I give up, I'm not going to try to get along with them anymore. They twist and contort events and then all talk smack about me to each other. Their hatred is so palpable it hurts my heart and my health. I don't have anymore time to devote to their drama, but I do wish I'd left their father years ago. My stepchildren don't even get along with or speak to their own mother, so, 'nuff said. I doubt your stepchildren from hell will improve any; their dad reacts to them wholly out of guilt and can be manipulated into being a tyrant.

This is not how your son should be raised. It is abuse. Get him and yourself out of there. Just leave one day when they are all out. Have the money sent to a bank where your moving and go. I know it is scary, but it will be worth it, your are worth it and so is your son. Don't be afraid. Go!

I so feel your pain. I have been married not even 2 years I have 2 step kids who live with us full time and I have 2 children of my own. Everything u say here is exactly what I live day to day. I am so confused on what to do yet I feel so traped

I know I am reading this 2 years later at which point I would have hoped that you left this man. He sounds like he's related to my boyfriend who I read your story and it sounds all to familiar. Lots of these men are weak when it comes to knowing the boundaries with kids and knowing how to build there foundation with there partners cause that is what teaches the future kids how to be good partners. Me I'm looking for an apartment to just run the hell out. I'm better that this nonsense that some of these fathers think there partners are maids and don't know how to treat there partners. They all need to sort out there garbage before they look for a new mate.

Yes, you need to leave imediately!! My husband has checked the hell out of his adult daughter because she has disrespected me. I didn't have to say anything, he knew by the look onmy face that something was wrong. His daughter had begged me to watch our child and we met up at her grandmom's house. When she arrived there, she just totally ignored me, and went straight to talking to my child and snatched my son out of my arms, and had the nerve to rush me into getting him ready. I was highly offended by what she did and I told my husband and he lit right into her immediately. You and your child deserve to be treated with respect and he is not worth your time. Gid rid of him quickly.

i no exactly how you feel.but i will say once these kids treat you like crap they always will it NEVER CHANGES and nothing you do or say will make any difference.i too am a nothing and i am very sad as i loved with all my heart and these kids are just plain disrespectful to the point of one of them the girl cryed wolf too many times and manipulated the whole family and have heard forgiveness is the key apparently i have to forgive either that or walk away.i suggest to you get out now i have plans to no matter how many years wasted with the nasty disrespectful behaviour believe me it just doesnt change as when you got a weak father or man your doomed

And with a U-haul truck it won't be the life you will be having at 54.<br />
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I have been through this exact same thing. The best thing you can do is leave, no more "Talking". It obviously isn't working out with this guy and is not going to improve. He is in a relationship with his kids, NOT YOU. You are th maid-servant. Don't wait until you are in your 60's and look back and hate yourself by asking over and over again "WHY didn't I leave when I had the chance"...

Those kinds need to GROW UP>

What a low life man and his rotten kids. Find a way out somehow. He won't change....I speak from experience.

Good heavens! Why didn't you take your child away from that hateful situation a LONG time ago? I guess if you want to put up with that stuff it's one thing...but your son looks to you for protection. I guess I'm about a year late in posting this...but if you haven't already left that loser, please (for the sake of your son) leave NOW.

You are better then this!!! I assure you, you are!!!

Wow, these people make my stepchildrden seem like angels. I know it's very hard but I think you need to tell all of them to kiss your *** & leave & make sure the cat comes too because it's always there for you no matter what.

please leave this man and his kids. No job or any of that stuff is worth it. Take that cat too.