My Stepdaughter & My Mental Health

Like most of you on here I have a similar experience with my SD. I always thought I was the only one until I was approached by someone at my work who asked me for some advice on dealing with her stepchildren. My SD is six years old...and she is a terror. In the three years that I have been with her father she has caused me to have two complete nervous breakdowns because of her behavior and how she treats me.

the catch is, she's only six. at her mothers house she is spoiled rotten and has become a miserable little girl. when I first met her we hit it off and got along great she enjoyed spending time with me and doing things with her father and I. she talked to me a lot about her day and what she liked to do. However when her father and I moved into a home together the story changed. whenever I am around she just stands there and gives me dirty looks and I tell her this is not appropriate or nice and she needs to stop. Her father tells her as well but to no avail. she makes me completely miserable and is essentially destroying my mental health one pout lip at a time.

we have her every other week for the entire week and it is a living hell for me. I dread Sundays when we have to pick her up and the entire week we don't have her all I do is count down the days until i am in hell with her again. she refuses to follow rules, refuses to listen and is not happy unless everything is about her...and i mean EVERYTHING. when you talk to her about anything whether it is her father or I she stares off into space and makes it very obvious she is not listening to you at all. any attempts to get her attention back is met with disdain and a dirty look.

her father and I are getting married soon and have talked about having children together however I am unsure because I am petrified she will abuse my children and/or her negative behavior will rub off on them. I believe in running a structured environment and having rules that every child follows just the same. In my house we do not act the way she does and I have told her this multiple times to no avail.

she refuses to let me help her with anything, let me near her or her room. the only time she will allow my attention is when I am buying her something. even then she shows no gratitude. in one day she destroyed a brand new dress I bought her just to do it. she is sneaky and she lies constantly to everyone. you never know what to believe because she barely tells any truth. I have mildly discussed this with my fiance and explained to him how things have to change. I have not told him however how his daughter ruins my day every time I see her. she drives me 100% nuts and she knows it and enjoys it. shes out of control and it is making me wonder sometimes if I am going to be able to stay in this home with my fiance and her.

please help me, I've run out of ideas!
xoxotigerlilyxoxo xoxotigerlilyxoxo
5 Responses Aug 29, 2012

I also wanted to tell you from my own experience in retrospect that these children are very good at manipulation. Maybe your SD sees or senses your weaknesses and goes out of her way to exploit them i.e. knowing which buttons to push with you like giving you dirty looks, ruining gifts, etc. If you choose to ignore her attempts, it will frustrate her to no end. Happiness is the best revenge...never let her see you frustrated. Go to the bathroom and have a good cry in private, shadow box in there, curse under your breath, etc. Whatever it takes to get it out of your system. Wishing you peace of mind!

I will say that Love does not conquer all. Your love for your fiance will not magically make a happily ever after for your new family. A lot of times I think women going into relationships where there are prospective step children are in denial sadly. We tend to overlook the negatives and how the stepchild or children relate to us. Truth be told, if they hate us at the beginning, they most likely will hate us to the end. I would tell you to sit down and have a talk with your fiance. Lay all of your cards on the table and tell him how her behaviour makes YOU feel...and not focus so much on your SD`s behaviour and how difficult she is, because that will just make him shut down and become defensive or worse yet, look at you as the one with the problem. I would suggest he sit down and have a heart to heart with his daughter and ask her all of the important questions, while encouraging her to be honest and not be fearful that her answers will be held against her. He needs to ask her why she doesn`t like you, how it makes her feel to have you in the home, what her fears are, etc. He then needs to take those answers(providing she`s honest) and take her to a therapist. Sometimes kids can`t articulate how they feel or afraid to, so they act out their feelings. Please don`t say I do to this man until you get this thing on the right path. If you don`t fix it now, you are setting yourself up for a lifetime full of nervous breakdowns. Take the advice of the ladies on this forum. There are too many of us saying the same thing with the same bad experiences for it to be just a coincidence. Good luck!

i understand how difficult these kinds of situations can be, however, i'm a bit jealous because my step-daughter lives with me. her mother died and there are no other relatives, so she's here 24-7, i really feel like if i only had to deal with her every other week it would be like heaven.

Don't marry this man. Things with this child will only get worse.

Ick. I suggest you come clean with the fiancé. Who knows? Maybe he'll be willing to enact change. Or even have a custody change. I've seen men do more for the women they love.