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How Do Deal With My Step Kids

I married the love of my life.....I was happy to accept his two girls 12 and 16. i also have twin girls who are 8. I guess I was stupid to think we could be a family. We only have his girls every other weekend so I thought how hard could it be. It has been a year and it seems to be getting worse.
What do you think of this ...want someones opinion. I find his girls very selfish ....He pays support to his ex as he should, he stops by after work sometimes and takes them out...tries to talk to them about their problems etc....so very present in their life. i realize they are angry about him leaving their Mother, but ....wow they give nothing back. I'm also sure they are jealous that he is with my girls and not them...but when they come on the weekend we make sure he has one on one time with them...but still they give nothing back.
Week before Father's day he bought his oldest daughter glasses because his ex wouldn't.....no thank you. He took them out to a movie after work...no thank you and I bought tickets to take them to a show...the oldest didn't want to go so no thank you....when he tried to give her a prgram on the show wouldn't take it. So he told them if they don't start appreciating thinks that people do for them they will stop doing things for them....still no thank you. Their Mom I know blames him for everything...even though we all know that it takes two to make a marriage work. She was very verbally abusive in the marriage and she is very low class...no manners....uses bad language, etc....We never say anything about their Mom to them....though I'm sure she says things about us....On Father's day weekend the eldest said what are we doing this weekend and my husband said well I'm resting and opening up cards...they both stated they didn't get him anything....which hurt him. My daughters made him cards at school and bought him a chocolate bar that they know he likes. I said that they didn't need to give it to him in front of his girls if it would make them uncomfortable...but he said no...they should because that would be wrong to hurt their feelings as he is their step Dad. So the day of Father's day they did make him a card....after he showed them how to on the computer....but don't you think they should been more thoughtful....could they not have spent 5 dollars on a coffee card for him or a dollar on his favorite candy.....have no trouble spending their money on themselves......just frustrated. My husbands says all teenagers are all about themselves...but I don't believe this....I thave met thought ful teenagers. I don't know why their maners are so bad. I never get a thank you for making their favorite meal. I asked them when their dance recital was so we would be their for them....since they didn't tell us when, but I knew it was coming up. They said they didn't know and when we kept asking they told us the day of. I bought them flowers....acted like they could care...frustrated
theresa27 theresa27 41-45, F 18 Responses Jun 22, 2011

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Hi
I'm just on the other side of the fence at this stage. I only see my kids every second weekend and believe me they've got manners, but now I sit with my wife's kid of 8 years old with no manners and I see her every day the kid's dad immigrated to England so she doesn't go there at all.

So now before starting the "fight' with each other do you really know how he feels about your kids. I know how I feel about my wife's kid but I'm not 100% sure how she feels bout mine.

And the sad part of all of this you never want to say anything to the kid coz you don't want to cause a fight in your relationship so you just keep quit and all this stress and anger builds up and then the friction between the two of you builds up anyway and then you drift apart.

i cant give you any advice just know there are more of us out there with the same problems

Its funny, because I came across this article by goggling "disrespectful children". Since people are sharing here, so will I. I have a 14 yr old stepchild and have been married to her mother for nearly 5 years now, but have been with them for 7 yrs. This year has been terrible for me and dealing with disrespect. Respect is what I have identified as one of my essential needs, actually its at the top of my list. Regardless, in the last 3 years I have not gotten a Fathers Day present or Christmas present or card or anything from her. Trust me I am not a needy person, but I would like to be acknowledged at least. Her dad has not sent a card, present or even called in the last 5 years - so he is out of the picture. Recently on another part-time job in addition to my 40 hr per week job so I could get things for the girls that we would normally not buy because of expense - but yesterday at the store I told her we could not get the $30 stuffed animal for my niece because it was too expensive..... In response I got: "We never get anything because we are so poor, I might as well not even help shopping because we are so poor". We have a 3 bedroom house, 4 acre organic farm, farm animals, 2 vehicles, lights, heating, internet and all of the other "necessities" of modern life, but it just drives me crazy when she calls us poor, I don't work all week to be poor. Today I get a call from my wife who told me our daughter refuses to leave to shop for a present for me for the holidays - again, its not that I want a gift, but I do want to be thought of.

This may not seem like a proper response to the article written above, but sometimes its best to have people relate than give you an answer.

I don't know what to tell you. I have been married for almost 8 years...together we have 6 kids. I had 3..who were 10 months, 2 and 4 when we got together. his were 7 and 11...then we had one together. I have never gotten along with the one that was 7..who is 15 now. She has made my life HELL. his kids have a horrible entitlement attitude..the world owes the something. its sickening. the one that's 15 has spent nearly 8 years trying to pit her dad against me. everybody else sees her for what she is except him and his family of course. He just thinks I pick on her. Her and I don't like each other..i dislike greatly who she is as a person...its been nearly 8 years and now I have to some how learn to ignore who she is in order to save my marriage. Shes selfish and mean...I don't know how to look past that. that's all I see when I look at her...always has been. Now I do have bpd which I know plays a big part on my feelings towards her...to much to get in to...and I am working on getting help for my bpd. Unlike you though..she lives with us full time. She has been gone for 3 weeks with her mom and aunt..she comes home sunday and my stomach is turning. My anxiety goes through the roof when she comes home. I really wish she lived with her mom. I could deal with every other weekend.

Sounds like they dont even want to associate with your lovely little family theresa27 and thats awful of them. If I were their father I'd give up on it and say well you both dont appreciate anything and you arent real interested in being part of things we do so go for it stay with your mum, have a nice life and seeya later :) I can relate I have 2 stepsons :/ 6 and 12 and its very hard they go back to their mother with rubbish they have made up and come to us with things about their mother and step father. I must say sometimes I wish it didnt have to be this way but I guess same as you I love their father and this is life :) Hope things get easier for you x

I just came upon this. I see it's over a year old. I swear it sounds like we have the same kids and bio-mom in our lives. I won't even go into my story, but I'd like to know if things have changed or improved at all for you since you wrote this??

Sounds horrible... Definitely stop trying to please these kids that are not yours love your own, show them good manners unlike your husband kids that probably being brainwash by their monster mother... Enjoy your new life and don't let these kids get in the way don't expect anything from them...they hv anger but why should you pay for their frustrations. Eventually they will be adults and in this world most likely will end up with a divorcee and go through the same thing you did ,,,, till then they will probably recognize everything that you n your husband did for them. Pray that you hv strength and to forgive because they don't know better.

Iam a school teacher and fell deeply in love with another woman. She had two children to an abusive man. Her mother played an enormous role in the childrens life and it seemed like my partner was competing with her when it came to the children. We married and the eldest child wanted to stay with nanna and so we agrred that he would stay. Then my mother in law became terminally ill and became needy of my step son. Concerned for his emotional well being we demanded he return to our care. Then my mother in law along with the childrens father took my partner and i to court for custody of the elder child. While my step son was in her care my mother in law passed away one day off a year this day. She would give him anything materialistically and allow him to do things sane minded people would usually say no too. Now my step son along with his hormones is unbearable. I care for him, pay for him, provide for him, and try to meet his wishes when it comes to birthdays and christmas's. Still its never enough in fact he has learnt to now run away from respoinsibility and hide out at his fathers home and come back when he wants. My point is he has always been ungrateful, selfish, demanding and manipulative. I have dealt with behavioural children in foster care as a teacher and I have witnesses children wishing for just someone to love them, even to the extent where they allow for abuse to happen just to get a little love and I tell ya it makes my heart bleed. One student's family could not visit him in foster care one year and all he wanted from santa was some lego. You guessed it against professional conduct policy there I was at the door of his foster care home with a beautifully wrapped gift of lego for this young boy. He wasn't there but I knew he would be grateful. Two years later I was at school when I heard two rather large men chasing a boy screaming my name. It was the boy I had given the lego too. He stood some 6feet tall and I went out to him. With tears in his eyes he gave me the biggest hug and thanked me. He went on to say he tried to contact me but was unable, his taxi service happened to have a primary student in his taxi who attended my school and he saic i had to take the opportunity and hope that i still worked at his old primary school. He went on to say you are still my favourite teacher and that he missed me dearly. I couldn't help but cry knowing the ungrateful step son I have and how low my internal dialogue had become. As a school teacher I think there are children out there who are not feed, clothed or simply provided for and here we are making excuses for spoilt brats. Thats what they are and we as adults need to stop making excuses for these kids and teach them some life skills like appreciation. As a successful person I have had to use thank you alot in my life and I have always been sincere and I think all children could benefit from gratitude. Your poor husband my heart goes out to you, your husband and your children. Why should your children feel less because of those other children. Stuff them and keep up the zealous work of love that your little family resound.<br />
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Sincerely Natalie Emery

It's nice to know that I'm not alone, my boyfriends kids live hundreds of miles away and as per the court order only come twice a year. Once in the summer for 40 days and once either for Christmas or spring break. When they come they stay with us in the home that I grew up in. One is 7 the other is 5. We've always had trouble with the younger one. She lies constantly, destroys the house, ie gum on the floor, gymnastics off the towel rack, kool aid all over the couch. When you confront her about it she'll say she's too little to know better. We know she gets punished a lot back home so we try the positive reinforcement route and as long as she tells the truth she won't get in trouble. That will work every now and again but because we barely have the kids it's impossible to be consistent. It's been 3 years that my boyfriend and I have lived together and I'm finding myself dreading their visits more each time. I feel like a bad person because I should love them unconditionally but all I can think about is how If they were my children things would be diffrent. Sometimes I feel like my space is being invaded and both my boyfriend and I breathe a sigh of relief when they finally go back home. I do love the girls but I also fear that each year will bring more and more problems because their mother is a self absorbed nut case and tries to get the kids to hate us. Shes so neglectful that when the kids are witn us theyre needy to the point of excess! Every summer i find myself moving heaven and earth just to give these girls stability for even a short time. But the tantrums, lying, and all around bad behavior has me exausted. I guess we're all meant to love the men we love and try to be the best we can be to our step children but some of us gave up our right to our own children just to help raise our "ex wives" kids. I know my boyfriend understands how I feel and for that I'm grateful. And to find other people here who understand my frustration has helped me tremendously!

I'm in the same boat. How are things now?

My step daughter is 26 and is still immature and cant get over issues. Life happens.....On fathers day this year her selfish a$$ didn't get her father anything but a headache. She is constantly having a pitty party. On mothers day he got her a lovely plant (and she is his daughter, not his mother) She thinks the world revolves around her. According to her, you better speak to her first or else she will ignore you. I told her the other day, this is a two way street, relationships do not work when only one person is putting forth all the effort. I litterally told her i was tired of kissing her ***...either love me or hate me!! As you could tell im pretty frustrated and feel like im done dealing with her nasty attitude...Funny thing is , her father is tired of her attitude too, because he sees how she acts.

I am a step mom and don't have my own children. I am not part of raising them as this was a rule when I met my husband. It has been 4 yrs and i have no bond with them. I am not disrespectful towards them and they are the same in return. My marriage is not the greatest and im not sure if we will stay together. I don't want to pay for things they need or want. my husband doesn't understand my feelings and the separation of our lives. i never took his name because he ex wife still has his name. I feel like i am not part of his life and feel very uncomfortable around the 3 of them. I feel like there is something mentally wrong with me. I wanted my own child but this is not a priority with my husband because he already has children. he has not said this but he needs to have a reversal and has not completed the procedure. I don't know why I feel separated and come up with excuses for taking off when they are around. I often wish i could have a husband with no ex wife or step kids. I am writing this info because we just had another fight about his kids and how removed i feel. I often worry that all of my investments will go to his kids if i pass away first. Any suggestions from anyone?

I had to respond to your post because the way you feel is EXACTLY the way I feel.

1. No bond with the kids (girl 9 yrs old, boy 5 yrs old). When they were a little younger I felt closer to them, but I find myself distancing myself from them every weekend they come to our house.
2. I feel very uncomfortable and try to stay away when they are around. I usually say that I have some work to do and shut myself out in the office...
3. I wanted to have kids, but because of the current family dynamic, I think bringing another child into the mix would make things worse.

It was nice to hear someone else out there also feels the same way as I do. I think it will be helpful for you to know that too. There isn't anything mentally wrong with us. It's just that we are in a situation that we thought originally we could have handled, but now circumstances are changing, and everything is very difficult to dissect and deal with especially when I can't seem to find an exact reason for why I feel the way I do.

Try to focus on yourself and your marriage first and foremost, at least that is what I try to do when the kids are not around. When they are around, I think we both need to try and not isolate ourselves from them and try to find even a small thing in common with them (baking a cake or playing a board game), which will help spend even just an hour or two with them. I think it's a good start. If we don't try I don't think the relationship will be sustainable. Do you agree?

I know how you feel. I feel the same way. You have to make a decision. Is this guy even worth your effort, first of all. If the marriage is important to you and his happiness as well, then you have to do the right thing and establish a relationship as those kids' step mom. You took on that responsibility when you married him. You're not a girlfriend anymore. I know you don't want to do that and you don't feel what you think you need to feel. But the thing is -if you go through the motions long enough, the feelings will come. To a certain extent anyway. You don't get anywhere in life being selfish and it kind of sounds like that's what you're doing. Please don't be offended. I'm in the same situation. The only way you get what you want out of life is by giving that very thing to other people. Open yourself up and give. To your husband and his kids. If you still want a child, then MAKE it a priority with him. If he's agreed to do the reversal, then hold him to it. Take the lead and create the life that you want for yourself and hopefully both your husband and his kids will follow suit.

I have been with my husband for over 2 years and married 2 him for a year and 1/2. my stepson is 7years old. hes very rude 2 me, and my 3 year old daughter. he hits her all the time and has hit me. my husband doesnt bbelieve me when i tell him. my stepson's mother tell him he doesnt have 2 listen 2 me. she doesnt like me and hasnt liked me since day 1. she is always talkin down on me to everyone. tells people im abusive,calls me names etc... ive been so nice to my stepson but he disrespects me and backtalks me non stop.. his father wont put his foot down. his mother threatens me. she called CPS on me bcuz i spanked him when he hit my daughter. he left bruises on her and he dug his nails into my skin. idk what to do at all. im about 2 leave my husband because of his childs behavior towards me and my daughter. im my husbands 1st wife too.

I also am in a similar situation and I completely feel for you. Stepchildren can be horrible if both their biological parents do not parent them lovingly and similarly. It's bittersweet for me because my stepkids mom died a few years ago which allowed us to have my stepkids full time. I was excited about becoming their full time (step) mom but I had no idea how much damage had already been done. My SS is 13 and still can't do anything without being told first, brushing teeth, cleaning room, flushing the toilet (!), etc. Forget the deodorant, any thing hygienic, he's oblivious to it. My SD is almost 11 and equally as bad as my SS. A few months back we found out she wasn't even properly wiping herself after peeing, in fact she didn't even wipe! I've even made a list of what her schedule should be on school days and non school days, but she still doesn't follow it. She's started a habit of lying and blaming all her mistakes and punishments on her father and I. Both my stepkids have ADD as well as ODD. And it sucks. Teaching them to pick up after themselves, taking care of hygiene, showing respect, care and concern for others has been a 6+ year long process. I do blame their mom for smoking cigarettes and marijuana when she was prego and breastfeeding. My husband says he did do his best to stop her, but she did it anyways when he wasn't home/ at work, etc. Those 2 drug uses can lead to developmental, behavioral, emotional, mental dsyfunction in babies/kids. Which also leads to them being unappreciative in many areas of life. Yes, they are only 13 and almost 11, but they act entitled to everything. What's frustrating is when I talk to my in-laws about their behaviors, I get the 'Well you know their mother died....' BS They were this way before she died. After her death, they entered pre-teen age and have only gotten worse. I don't even bother bringing them to my family events because I end up looking like an evil stepmom (by my own family's judgement) when I discipline them. My mom has pulled me aside a few times telling me 'treat them very nicely so they don't hate you.' Whatever! I treat them fairly and just the same as I treat my own 2 yr old son. My mom's theory is to treat them BETTER than my biological son! (My mom is from the old country, all about karma and beliefs that my stepkids bio mom will come back and haunt me BS.) <br />
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Anyways, went off there...<br />
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But know that you're not alone. Stepkids and kids can be taught good manners and appreciation, all that good stuff BUT all parents need to be on board. Sorry that your stepkids bio mom is a loser, so we're my stepkids bio mom. I prayed hard for a miracle to happen and in a way it did. Do pray. To whomever or whatever you believe in. Ask for guidance and patience, tolerance... Anything you need or want. I truly believe that you'll recieve an answer or whatever is hindering your stepkids will cease. It's hard, but you must think about the love you have for your husband, is it worth it? If it is, hang tight, pray hard. And always remember that stepkids do grow up, once they become adults, if they still have issues with you or their dad, that's on them, as 'thestepchild' has shown. Just count down the days/years... There is an end to them being your responsibility.

I understand to a point what you are going through. I am married and my stepson is 8 months older than my bio. son. Its is hard sometime to look at them equal, because no matter how we say love them the same, you have that extra for your your own. I think we should just try be that we know we should be and stop tring to get them to love you as equal as they would their bio parents. Remember they are going through that seperation too, but they are children and they dont have the skills we has adults have to deal with stressful issues. So they deal with it the best way they can and sometime that is disrespect and ungreatfulness for the hurt that they think you are putting them through. Just be a parent and dont make them feel as if they owe you for what you are doing. You brought them in this world (bio parents) and it is your job to do whats is right for them. What they do with it is on them. we can only pray that they appreciate it and see that we have thier best interest at heart. They know, sometime they just push to see your reaction and when they see it hurt are upset you, the kids will keep on doing it because they are unhappy with the new family that they didnt want. Just provide a parent love and support and dont expect too much. Try not to compare your bio kids with the step kids, because your own have a special connection with you and can feel your pain so they try not to hurt you. A stepchild dont have that connect with you and in their head you are causing the pain. You may hear stories about adoptive and step kidswho love and respect thier parents, but you have to think about it. They might be coming from a home without love and respect. And that family showed them love and respect that they never had. Step kids live in a home with love, even if it is from the one parent they reside with. So again, just do your job that you are suppose to do and nothing less, you can do more but not less and dont expect too much. Because at the end of the day when you lay your head to rest, you know with inself you did all you were suppose to do. And your all should be good enough. Trust me they appreciate it, but they will be damn if they let you know..lol Step-parents, you already have shown how selfless we are when we marry into a blended family and are willing to take on the roll. God know your heart and he will reward you for that.. I hope i was of some help.. good luck..

Alot of children now days are ungrateful and disrespectful. I have a 14 yr old, 4 yr old, my boyfriend has a 9 yr old and we have a 10 month old and i am 8 months pregnant, All boys. He has issues with my 14 yr old, mostly because of my ex-husbands encouraging fights and tells him he doesn't have to listen to my boyfriend. I have the same issues with my 14 yr old just not quite as bad. I have issues with his 9 yr old being spoiled, hurting my 4 yr old, trying to control him, not taking responsibility, trying to get others in trouble, crying to get out of trouble and many other issues.. There are stages children go through but no matter the stage or the age they should show respect and have manners. It needs to be demanded from the teenagers just like the younger kids or the younger kids will follow suit when the realize the teenagers are being allowed to get away with more stuff "just because". I wish you the best.

I'm very upset by your comment "the stepchild".....I'm jumping to the defensive line for yes...some respect but also for my husband. It is one thing to disrespect me....I understand I need to gain their respect but for them to treat their Dad soo poorly is terrible. He is always been their for them and continues to be....they have to take responsbility of their own actions too. You can't alway take and give nothing back just because your a child of divorce....you have to give a little too to get something back from others.

"thestepchild" seems bitter about the way she was raised, and she is taking it out on you theresa27. This forum is about "community based on authenticity, support, and respect." it is posted above and below the comment section for everyone to read. It says to keep these values in mind when you post. We are not here to judge others based on our beliefs. Everyone's situation is different, and thus, must be handled differently.

Now, theresa27, I feel for you in the step parent department. I think it's harder being a stepmom, than it is to be a stepdad. And trust me, teens in general are a bit much to deal with at times. Yes, they can be respectful and loving/nice, etc. However, they can also be bitter, unthankful, and down right rude. It is my experience that today's generation (omg, that makes me sound old lol) expects to have everything they want at the drop of a hat without question. My stepson is the same way, although he's not a teen, I was once a teen and understand how I acted towards my parents/step dad. Currently, my stepson is an only child - I will be having my own bundle of joy in October. My stepson doesn't appreciate things like I think he should appreciate things. My husband and I take him to the movies ALL the time, we go out to eat, and do other fun things with him, and we get no thanks. It's very disheartening to know that he is getting to do all these fun things, and doesn't appreciate them. It's not like money grows on tree's! When I was a child, I was pretty much on my own to figure out things to do, because my parents never had the money, nor did they want to do anything with me. The only time I got to do fun things was during the summer when I would visit my aunt. I would always express to her how thankful I was, because I knew she was taking time out of her day to make sure my day was enjoyable. Maybe, if you didn't do as much fun stuff with the teens, and gave them more responsibility; such as chores, etc. (not sure if they do chores or not) it would teach them to be more respectful. One of my friends used to make her children give away one present they received on their birthday and Christmas to charity. They couldn't open it to see what it was first, they just had to pick one. Or, maybe they could volunteer at a pet shelter? It sounds like they need a healthy dose of humility so they can appreciate more things in life. Or, maybe you and your husband could go out and do something by yourself that's fun :)

Good luck :)

I never said I wanted my step kids to move on I said I was frustrated. I wrote this comment ony to get advise from others who have step children too. I also never compared my 8 year olds to his teenage daughters. I only stated that I had children so people would know that I'm a mother....granted not a mother with teenagers but still a mother. I wrote about my daughters giving their step Dad a present on fathers day and his own not, not to make them look bad but to state that it is hard to know what to do and what is right so not to hurt anyones feelings in a blended family. I'm not stupid...I know it is easy to give presents and card to a step parent as a child because your right...they want to please. I don't ever expect a Mother's day card from them....I realize I'm not their mother and they have a mother. However, as hard as it is for them it is hard for everyone and bad behavior is bad behavior......I'm only expecting a thank you and a little acknowledgment that I'm trying.....When I gave them flowers and took them to the show and they said nothing....I never said anything to them......I don't expect much...just some common repect , the same that I give them.....everyone deserves respect...that is all I'm asking for.

It's hard being a step-parent, plain and simple. The hardest part is thinking of his kids as your own. No matter what, you will always be biased. Sometimes step-parents have more expectations for their stepchildren than biological parents do. You cannot compare your 8-year old girls to teenagers. I may be just looking at this from the stepchildren's point of view, but my stepmom always had high expectations for me. She always thought I was ungrateful and miserable and I didn't appreciate anything anyone ever did for me. She also always compared me to her young son. You can't compare a teenager to a young child because young children are always trying to please everybody and that's the last thing a 16 year old wants. You're just making things worse by expecting them to show gratitude the way YOU want it. You're not their parent so you have to back off or it will only get worse. If you had brought your 2 girls into a new relationship when they became teenagers, your spouse would have the same problems you do. They're older so they're less ready to accept you. Both of you guys have said that your stepchildren are thankless and you want them to move on. That's horrible! You're married to their Dad!!!!!! It hurts to read this because it sounds exactly like something my stepmom would write about me and my sister. We're adults now and we still dislike our stepmother because of reasons like this. No matter what we did or how we acted we were still soo ungrateful. We were just never good enough. She went to our band recitals and bought us gifts for our birthdays, but she always made us feel guilty about it because somehow we just never thanked her enough. It simply comes down to the fact that you are not their parents so you will not see them the way you see your own children. Stop hating them so much and wishing they would go away. It's so easy to judge when they're not your own, but just wait until your kids grow up a little and your spouse starts having issues. You'll be the first one to jump to the defensive line.

Why are you even in this group? You aren't a stepmom, so you have no idea what we are even talking about. Deal with your issues with your father instead of coming here and blasting every stepmom you can!

Oh, wow I just checked your profile, your age group is 26-30? So you have serious issues. Please do not make any more comments here. You are not a stepmom, you are not welcome.

It is helpful to get different points of view. "Thestepchild" probably has many other stepchildren nodding their heads in agreement. I know I do. My stepmother never thought I was grateful enough, but I never thought she was good enough either. Counseling would have been a good idea. I hope others will seek professional advice and read as many books on the subject as possible.

I'm sorry you had such a hard time with your stepmom and could not move past the hurts to develop at least a functioning relationship as an adult.

I have two older children and now a younger step daughter. My experiences are very similar to the ones written about by theresa27 and it has nothing to do with higher expectations.

If anything, I have lowered my expectations in order to try and make my SD more comfortable in our home which has only created resentment and anger by the other kids in the house and the behavior has not improved which is creating resentment and arguments between my fiance and I.

My SD has a mom on the other side that is very angry and bitter and calls me the "replacement mom" and our family "the replacement family" so in my eyes, my SD has decided to put up walls and barriers in order to not accept me because her bio mom has made it a "her or me" situation.

I'm not looking for overt gratitude or to be loved unconditionally by my SD, all I ask is a little respect that she honour our house rules and accept me as her dad's partner and possibly show a little generosity of spirit (in other words just be nice and not selfish).

I don't hate my SD but I am finding it very challenging to like her and as I said to my fiance last night effort can't be made by one person all the time to make a relationship work. SD needs to put effort in too (yes, I know she is a child but children are accountable for their behavior just like anyone else).

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I agree with you on the whole manners thing. Teenagers can have manners - if they are taught from the beginning. My husband makes excuses for his kids all the time - that is just how teenagers are. We BS on that. Not all teenagers are thankless and self-entitled but my step kids are. After being married to my husband for almost three years (and he has custody), it just makes me feel like I don't want to bother to do anything nice for them anymore.....why would I, they don't appreciate a thing nor do they ever say it. I used to beat myself up for thinking the things that I do, but as time has gone on, I realize, it isn't me. I long for when they graduate and move on.