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I Feel So Guilty.

I am the adult so I should not be acting this way, but I cannot STAND my step-daughter. My husband and I have been married for only six months. We eloped and I must admit that I really didnt know what I was getting into. He and his ex have split custody so she is with us a week at the time. It has taken me six months just to teach her simple table manners. She eats like a horse and eats more than my dh. She is 11 and weighs 120 lbs. No one says anything to her about her consumption of food. My mother-in-law lets her eat anything she wants and so does my dh. They also have terrible eating habits. She dresses like a hobo and wont wear anything nice that I buy her. She bosses my 6 year old around like he is a dog. My dh always makes excuses for her no matter how she behaves. I dread the week that she is coming and feel relief when she is gone. I try to plan events when she is not going to be with us because my nerves are always shot when she is around. She is extremely immature, even for 11. I feel guilty for feeling this way but she gets under my skin so bad. My son loved her at first but now he has grown tired of her bad manners and bossiness as well. I truly feel like it is coming between me and my dh because he always sticks up for her and I just feel like the mean step-mother always fussing about too much butter, too much mayo, too much juice, go comb your hair, clean up your mess. If I fix her food for her, she still gets more because she is starving. I have only been married for six months and I am growing more miserable by the day because all I can think about is how much I despise this kid. I feel like the problem lies within me, not her. HELP!!!!!!!! Her mother's last boyfriend didn't work out because he didnt like the daughter either, so I'm not just being picky.

owensmom owensmom 31-35, F 23 Responses Dec 2, 2008

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I agree and sympathize. Are you still married? B/c my stepdaughter is fifteen and that might make yours around the same age now. She dresses so scantily it's embaressing.

oh gad im not the only one .... I refuse to go out with her until she changes because she either dresses like a homeless person or a total *****. Its so embarrassing. And when she dresses like a homeless person she wears the same amount of makeup caked on and it takes her like 2 hours. And she still looks like ****! I dont get it!

I think Tulick is a child given the spelling errors and reactions...quite possibly even a step daughter. Your concerns are fair. You are the adult and if you are living with her in your home 50% of the time, you have every right to say or at the very least think what you want about this child. It reflects on parents when children dress like they are homeless. The fact that she eats uncontrollably should be addressed by her father if she doesn't listen to you. I would say she could eat as often as she likes, minus the mayo, sugar, salt added. I have a step daughter who is also 11 and it's hard. Mine is super skinny but she pounds the sugar if she gets her hands on it. I've raised concerns because of her face breaking out horribly rather than weight issues.

there was plenty of guidence in my house

and no i'm not a child and no I didn't have a step mother but if i had this woman for one i would have promptly figured out how to kill myself- no joke no exageration

Have you ever considered that she eats because she is depressed. Over eating is an eating disorder like any other. Maybe you should try understanding her more. You don't know the pain she holds inside. Maybe there's a reason that she eats so much, and you just can't see it.

Someone is immature. Don't be jealous just cause' her dad AND her grandmother love her more than youu.

Disgruntled stepdaughter alert! Haha.

Bitter old stepmother alert!

boy you hit the nail on the head :)

A long time after your original post, and I hope that things have gotten better for you.



My advice to you is to stop trying to make a difference to her. She has 2 parents, who are capable of raising their daughter.



Your relationship is with your husband - you married him because you love him. By YOU being the one to make a fuss about manners, clothes, or anything else, and her showing you no respect, you are making your husband into the "good guy" and letting him off the hook by not having to parent his daughter. This in turn makes you the bad guy all the time by asking for things (even though what you are asking for is quite reasonable)



So what if she stinks, her hair is a mess, or she has bad manners - she's not your responsibility. By leaving all of these things to your husband to deal with AS HER PARENT, it will allow you space to hopefully develop a nice relationship with your SD.



Believe me - I know how strong those feelings of (dare we say it...) HATE can be. I have a 13 year old SD. She wears inappropriate clothing (got called "jailbait" by a passing car in the local shopping centre carpark a few weeks back), arrives at our house regularly wearing underpants that absolutely reek, and obviously have been worn for more than a day (my guess is about 4 days) along with clothes that have bleach stains on them and holes, displays inappropriate behaviour in public (asked somebody that she had never met before to buy her an ice cream because her dad and I refused)... I could go on, but you get the picture.



She is manipulative, dirty ,and certainly NOT the way I would raise my children. I have two sons with my husband, and I worry that her bad manners and filth will rub off onto them.



Stop doing things for her. Give her responsibility for her own actions. I know that you are only trying to be the way a stepmum should be - in an ideal world - but she seems to want no part of that, and you cannot keep investing your time, efforts, and energy for so little or no return on your INVESTMENT. Your 6 year old son deserves your time and energy, as does your husband. Once you make your husband responsible for her behaviour, it will take away his good guy status, and he will realise that what you have been saying is true.



Once you stop doing things for her, you will feel relief that she is not your responsibility, and then maybe things will get better. Don't drive her places, don't buy special things for her - these things are not appreciated by her, and only make you feel bad when you are rebuffed. You don't put a dollar into the bank, and expect to get 50 cents back out - but this is what she is doing to your feelings - so it's not a good investment, put the effort into your son where you'll make the 2 bucks from the dollar.

WOW! I know this is an old post but I felt I had to tell Owensmum that I TOTALLY understand your situation!

Tulick - by the language you chose to use on the post I'm guessing there wasn't much guidance in your home either. Do you have kids of your own and step kids? It is an awful situation. Our jobs as parents is to teach and prepare our kids for the big wide world and believe it or not things like table manners make a big difference.. have you ever been in a 5* restaurant & felt uncomfortable as you were unsure of the etiquette? Or on a date with someone who ate with their mouths open(&might otherwise have been a great potential partner?)

Someone elses child who demands attention and has an influence on your own child by example is a big deal. If this was a friend from school you could simply just not invite them again but to have this constant image effecting your own child is hard going esp as in most case your DH is making excuses or ignoring the behaviour.

On the clothes part though I have to agree.. let her dress how she wants but dont spend your own money dressing her that way. Save your pennies for your own son whilst trying to help him develop his own style and dress sense.

Being Stepmum with your own child involved is very different to simply being a stepmum it adds a whole new dimension to an already difficult situation.

what do you mean the laguage i chose to use I'm over 21 i can use whatever words i chose or don't; i don't know where you live but I live in the US and we believe in this little thing called FEEDOM OF SPEECH the author of this story is free to put her horrid thoughts on a child here I as a member of the site as well am free to comment- none of which has anything to do with the giudence that was or was not in my house growing up

you're another one of these prim proper people who won't say certain things because they are impolite (forget if they need to be said) you're one of these people who won't say something because it's politically incorrect (again sans if it needs to be said)

I will say what I think regardless of who likes it or not, who thinks it's right or wrong, who wants to get in my face or up my *** about it if that makes me your definition of rude, crass, whatever THEN I WILL WEAR IT AS A BADGE OF HONOR not as a condemnation

The other problem with what you are saying 85% of American's are NEVER in a 5* restraunt so of course "don't know the etiquette" and 90% of amercians are not teaching 5 * restraunt etiquette at their dinner table NOR SHOULD THEY

they also don't know or have any use to know the difference between a salad fork dinner fork and the 4-5 others table spoons and tea spoons are cooking messurements not itinsals

but back to this woman's story- if her 6 year old uses his untilsals, says please and thank you thats all you can expect from a 6 year old if she expects more she's in the wrong

my friend has 3 kids 7-5-3 she teaches them please, thank you, untinsal use and things like excuse me (if they burp)

it is still unclear if eating like a horse has anything to do with manners or if it's about how much and what she eats but if the 11 year old is using her untinsals saying please and thank you- or avoiding occasions where she has to, chewing with her mouth closed, she's on par with every other kid in America(and no that's not a slight to kids in America ) it just further illistrates the problem is with the woman not the 11 year old

she dresses like a hobo (meaning she likes things with holes) thats been a style with kids hated by parents for 20-30 years sounds like the kid is a tom boy and step monster wants her to be a girly girl kids also chage their tastes almost as quickly as their clothing size so chill out

plus when do they get to have a style of their own too soon she's going to have to worry about dressing for a job, dressing for that big wide world any kid of hers or yours will be unpreparaired for (too polite, too reserved, slated to be victims or dooormats) so for now let her be let her have a style and get over yourself

if the 6 year old is whining because the mom never fusses at the girl she needs to examine why she's fussing at all and then SHUT UP neither kid needs to hear it

I stand by what i said about the nagging making things worse not better, her best hope is to be a freind to the child not a parent, nagging about food only will increase her "over eating" the change of an eating disorder. Instead of getting to know her and know what she likes she calls her immature for liking webkins and some horse things the step mother doesn't think she should like at 11 she's here whining about her feelings but hasn't once considered that her step daughter and her son both have feelings too, how insulted she would be if someone talked about her the way she talks about this child- for example called her an elitist, a snob or an overly rich person based on her well put together outfit

OH my...Yeah my step daughter is an adult, and she has to be told to take a bath and brush her teeth...I totally sympathize with you.......Luckily she moved out.

I am in the same boat, except my step-daughter thinks she runs the damn house. Owen'smom, you are not alone. I keep telling my wife that their is a huge problem with the kid, but it just gets swept under the rug. What it boils down to is a complete lack of respect, on both sides. We as adults, no matter what our label is be it parent or step-parent, forget that we are the adult. No matter how hard it gets, be patient. But do not cave in, and do not let them forget who is the BOSS. Establish dominance, let everyone know that you are in charge including your spouse, and don't put up with ANY bull-****!! I was quiet, passive and rather docile until I snapped. And I can say without any regret that it was the kid's fault. My step-daughter told my mother that I can't afford chritmas presents because I spent all the money at a bar. I blew up. Now I can assure you that I am a hard working man who enjoys his beer. But I have not set foot in a bar in many, many years, so her claims are completely unsubstansiated. And my mother knows that and she knows what I am up against, so I have the support of my family. I pulled my wife aside and told her to do a better job of keeping your kid in line. I gave my wife the ultimatum of disiplining her or I will. Now I am completely against any type of physical disipline or emotinal or anything else that can be construde as abusive. But be firm and assertive. And try to mask the hatred you have. Insted show love, even if you have to fake it. Accept her and keep trying.

Hmm, I'm not trying to dismiss the situation you are describing--not at all. However, I would look on the other side also: My problem with my step-daughter is an opposite problem. She is pretty, bright, outgoing, has seemingly-good manners. Her father thinks she is just fabulous. However, she's really rather sociopathic. She writes hateful, awful things. She constantly seeks to find subtle, sneaky (and obvious, too!) ways to undermine my authority and act like she's a perfect primadonna while I'm beneath her.



Of course, when daddy is home, she acts like a sweet little angel. She's 21 and lives at home while she's finishing college.



I can't WAIT for her to get the heck out of MY HOUSE. She has no real empathy or sympathy. She is a self-absorbed, lying, deceitful, and thinks she's some martyr. She never gives credit for anyone or anything who has helped (or continues to help) her. She lies behind our backs and to us.



Papa won't see it. If I try and talk to him, he changes the subject. If I try and talk to her she either ignores me, acts like i'm delusional, or throws a tantrum like a two-year-old. Then, daddy just refuses to get "involved" at all, so I have NO support.



I'm sure trying to disengage, but let me tell you, some times it is darned hard. . .

Hey Tulick - you sound like a very judgemental amateur psychologist. Got a stepdaughter?

I have 2 with eating disorders and I have been with their father for nearly 6 years. They are now 17 and 14. It doesn't get better (their behaviour) it gets worse.

I have given up cooking for them and leave it to their father with the junk food.

I love him, but I have thought of splitting up with him many times, ONLY because of his kids.

I have 2 of my own - over 20, and late 50s and brought them up on my own.

My partner accepts that I am tired of kids and their rude and inconsiderate behaviour (Christmas was epic). So now, when they come, I go.

It doesn't make me a bad person: I do get feelings of intense loathing and wishing they weren't there.

I AM ENTITLED TO THOSE FEELINGS.

Why the f.ck should I be a martyr when I don't know how many years I have left?

I am heartily sick of those people who say that I SHOULD feel sorry for them, I SHOULD be nice, I SHOULD be an adult. Bottom line - kids learn manipulative behaviour at a very early age. The youngest one was manipulative from the word go - lying etc, followed by stealing, followed by incredible behaviour Christmas day, taking wine from my son's glass, getting absolutely out of her head and then screaming and shouting all evening.

Her mother is a nightmare - not their fault, but not my concern either.

I cannot manufacture feelings I don't have.

So for goodness sake, Tulick try to be less judgemental of a woman who has made a mistake - marrying a guy with an obviously hideous kid - who is now struggling and reaching out for someone to say "Don't feel bad about your negative feelings towards this being. Look after yourself". Oh, and by the way owensmum - it won't get better. You cannot manufacture feelings. I would consider cutting my losses and moving on. Alternatively, I would find a way to get time out when she is in your house. Although I love my man I would have left if I had had to put up with his children every second week. What a nightmare.

Hey Tulick - you sound like a very judgemental amateur psychologist. Got a stepdaughter?

I have 2 with eating disorders and I have been with their father for nearly 6 years. They are now 17 and 14. It doesn't get better (their behaviour) it gets worse.

I have given up cooking for them and leave it to their father with the junk food.

I love him, but I have thought of splitting up with him many times, ONLY because of his kids.

I have 2 of my own - over 20, and late 50s and brought them up on my own.

My partner accepts that I am tired of kids and their rude and inconsiderate behaviour (Christmas was epic). So now, when they come, I go.

It doesn't make me a bad person: I do get feelings of intense loathing and wishing they weren't there.

I AM ENTITLED TO THOSE FEELINGS.

Why the f.ck should I be a martyr when I don't know how many years I have left?

I am heartily sick of those people who say that I SHOULD feel sorry for them, I SHOULD be nice, I SHOULD be an adult. Bottom line - kids learn manipulative behaviour at a very early age. The youngest one was manipulative from the word go - lying etc, followed by stealing, followed by incredible behaviour Christmas day, taking wine from my son's glass, getting absolutely out of her head and then screaming and shouting all evening.

Her mother is a nightmare - not their fault, but not my concern either.

I cannot manufacture feelings I don't have.

So for goodness sake, Tulick try to be less judgemental of a woman who has made a mistake - marrying a guy with an obviously hideous kid - who is now struggling and reaching out for someone to say "Don't feel bad about your negative feelings towards this being. Look after yourself". Oh, and by the way owensmum - it won't get better. You cannot manufacture feelings. I would consider cutting my losses and moving on. Alternatively, I would find a way to get time out when she is in your house. Although I love my man I would have left if I had had to put up with his children every second week. What a nightmare.

if your tiried of me think of how she feels and she can pick up on your dislike which isn't going to improve anything only make things worse



and he thinks its funnny she licks the plate- SO WHAT your biggest problem with this kid is that she eats too much and her parents are responsible for upadating her clothing it has nothnig to do with you



and if someone is always buying her new clothes how can she dress like a hobo unless it is just a stlye you don't like

i doubt that would help either as i can see she's not getting away with anything wrong she's not doing anythng wrong



and why would anyone want to listen to someone who has a problem with everything about them the only BAD table manner listed here is she eats like a horse fine descriotion she dresses like a hobo as i said be glad its not a ho who would want to listen to someone who says that about them and even if you don't say it she feels it



the best you can hope for is to be this childs freind find out why tshe likes webkins why she likes those hore things you mentioned give her time to feel safe with you and open up to you and you might find that she has more of a personality than a rock and don't get mad that if it doesn't happen



and the name calling and sterotyping for an 11 year old you and your appoach is the problem

First of all, I don't harp on her. I barely say anything to her and that is the whole issue. I dont want to seem like all I do is fuss, so I dont say very much at all and that is what is driving me nuts, WANTING to say things to her. We have to constantly update her wardrobe and it's not because its not good enough its because she cant fit in it. She is 11 and wears a ladies size 8. I think your personal attacks on me are getting pretty old Tulick. I have had about enough and will not respond to any more of your comments.



As far as my husband not saying anything to her, thank you!! She is his little princess and he thinks it funny when she picks up the plate and licks it!!

she'll 11 she doesn't listen to anyone least of all you is she realy unapciative or is it that she doesn't like you



how bout youj go through the next week your with her without nagging about food without nagging about clothes without always being a harpie and see what happens when you contnue to do that



and its only been 6 months and in that time what did you do harp on her table manners buy her other clothes because the ones she has and wants arent good enough



i',m not 11 and i would be insulted



there is a word for that SNOB

ya need to smack the **** outta your husband!!! she is 11 of course if dad lets her get away with anything she is going to do jsut that! tell him to step up and be a father!



hate the kid, no, hate the parents who have obviously not spent the time with her to raise her as a proper kid.

Hate is a very strong word. It was on Monday, after spending Thanksgiving weekend with her at the beach where she was so unappreciative of everything and completely annoying. I'll go back to my hole and won't ever use that word again. But I sure don't like her much. She doesn't listen to anyone, her dad, her grandmother. I dont know why I ever thought I would make a difference and I guess that turned me against her. I tried really hard at first and I have given up on her. If this is the saddest story, obviously I am the only honest person on the planet. You can't be honest with the ones you love and you can't be honest with strangers either.

well as i said if the clothes are clean ie free of stains and do not stink thet WILL be presentable in public



if your son or either one of them uses their untinsils and says please and thank you THEY HAVE GOOD TABLE MANNERS you did not indicate that either one of them was NOT doing so



and you either have healthy food in the house you don't have healthy food in the house if the food is healthy don't spaz so much about the things she puts on it



and DO NOT NAG her about food because even though she doesn't listen SHE HEARS YOU and will internalize that



frankly i feel sorry for her and your son for having to deal with such a nagging prim propper person that doesn't seem to care about anything other than table manners and how good they look in public i wonder are you embarassed that this kid is so fat are you upset because she doesn't look the way YOU want when she is not just a child but a PERSON with a personality and tastes all her own



and do not forget who you are to her you are the new person in her fathers life while her parents are no longer together you may be seen in her eyes as the thing that is keeping them apart or simply something she does not like because your in his life



frankly you sound as whinny as you claim she is get though the week or however long you have her with her in one peaice and returen her to her mother THE REST OF IT IS NOT YOUR PROBLEM

Oh my god, seriously? Shut up and stop berating this woman for how she feels! We post here to vent, not to be judged by other people. You sound like a jilted stepdaughter to me. Maybe YOUR stepmother actually made you watch what you eat and look decent when you go out and public, and you're resentful for it. Well la-dee-da, you were raised properly. Get over it. Stop putting your bratty 2 cents in to this woman who was just trying to vent a little frustration. Go judge and harp on people elsewhere.

I hardly think I am making mini adults out of them for wanting them to have decent table manners and look presentable in public. I guess I will just visit her in the hospital when she is 16 and having gastric bypass when she weighs 300 lbs because it wasn't my business how she ate as a child.



AuroraB, I have no relationship with her mom. As a matter of fact, she had the child call last night to find out if I was pregnant because she had heard so. #1 I am not pregnant and #2, if I were, I think we would announce it to the child when we felt like the time was right - not because her mom was being nosey. I am not aware of any really trauma. They seperated when she was 2 but I dont know of anything major that has happened other than that. Thanks for your concern.

so she eats everyones left overs and likes weird food combination BIG DEAL lighten up



and DON"T be so rigid with your son either he's 6 you don;t need to fuss st hill all the time if he uses his utisiles says please and thank you thats

enough



Let them both wear what they want provided its clean even if she wore it the day before if its not stained or stinky let go



you sound like a prim propper control freak who needs to lighten up and let your son and your step daugnhter be KIDS not little adults

IThe only time I ever get on her is about what she eats. She doesnt listen to me anyway. But I feel like she is setting a bad example for my son by the way she acts and eats. We dont have bad things in the house, its what she puts on them that makes me sick. The amounts of salt, ketchup, mayo, peanut butter, etc. She can ruin anything. And if we go out to eat, she eats everyone's left overs like she hasn't eaten all week. Believe me, it's the feeling of not being able to correct her that is killing me. I may tell her to get her fingers out of her nose or something but I have no control over her behavior and my six year old just looks at her like she is having all the fun. He has even said to me - how come you love her more because you never fuss at her? I know exactly what kind of clothes she likes. Anything with holes in it and what she wore the day before. But good point about not dressing like a ho. Although she doesnt want any of her fat showing. She doesnt have any favorite subjects in school except failing. And the only toys she likes are webkins and horses. That's it, nothing else - NOTHING. WOoo hoooo how much is there to talk about horses and webkins? That takes five whole minutes. She has the personality of a rock. If I try to buy her something different, she has every webkin there is and every freaking Breyer horse known to man and doesnt want anything thing else. Now what? Anything else would be what I want to buy her or what I want to talk about. Anything else I try to suggest she say, "naw" or "I don't really like that". She hates me, I hate her. We are even. I could make it if she was there for a weekend but a whole week at the time until she is 18? This is not good.

lady CHILL OUT



she dresses like a hobo BE GLAD ITS NOT A HO



do not get on her all the time and nag about what she eats you cause her to eat more make sure their are only healthy foods in the house



you are the step mom it is not your job to teach her anything only hewr parents can do tyhat



you mentioned complementing her on panting hernails trying to do girl stuff trying to do girl stuff with her



how bout you do what SHE likes get to know what kind of clothes she likes what are her favorite subjets in school favorite things to do and do those things iwth her

AuroraBorealis, I have tried alone time with her, asking about school and trying to find things to compliment, painting her nails and trying to do girl stuff. All she can do is complain. She loves to complain. Everything hurts. Look at this cut, my toe hurts, my ear hurts. It's actually a running joke that she should live at the hospital. Complaining is her favorite past time. If anyone else is getting some attention, she starts her pains. But even when I try to do girl stuff, all she can talk about is what is wrong with her. I was a step-mother in my first marriage and I absolutely adored my step-daughter so I know I can do this. I am used to being a step-mother but this one is really getting me down.