I became a step mum at 33. My SDs were 16 and 14. I knew the eldest was going to be hard work before I met her as every friend/relative I met would ask my partner “have you introduced “daughter” yet? And would then proceed to tell me how protective she was of her dad and jealous etc.
I knew from the moment I met her that I would never like her. I know that sounds mean but she was such a spoilt kid and an attention seeker and would manipulate her sister and anyone else who took her fancy.
Fast forward 8 months and I move in with my partner. 4 days before move in day, the BM and eldest SD had a row and BM kicked her out. I had no say in it and I had no option but to go with the new full time SM role for the next 3 years.
In those 3 years my SD caused so much drama and problems for us and would make my life a misery at any given opportunity. I stuck around as I love my partner and knew that she would not live with us forever.
Which is where we are now. She is in her mid 20’s, lives with her boyfriend and seems to have turned her life around and has been making a real effort with me lately too. She adores her two little sisters (we have a 4 year old and 2 year old) and my partner and family are over the moon to have their little girl back.
Me? Well, I’m just not there yet. If I’m being honest, I’m not sure I’ll ever be. I know she’s trying but I’m constantly waiting for her old ways to come back and I’m scared to let my guard down as she caused me so much trauma for too many years.
my partner understands. I just need time to trust her. But my MIL is constantly pulling me up on it and says I’m making my partner ill and shouldn’t put him in this predicament and I should not hold on to things she did to me as a teenager and I’m looking for things when they’re not there etc.
How should I handle this? Grin and bare it? Avoid her when possible? Lie to my partner and MIL? Or just get over it and learn to trust again?
I told my MIL last night that I think it’s best she doesn’t bring SD with me again as we’re not reading off the same page at the moment and I didnt want to fall out.
thanks in advance x
This really resonated with me. My SD is 12 and I've known her for 3 years. She mainly lives with her mum which I am so grateful for. She has never shown me any warmth. I've gone to great lengths to make her like me but all have failed. When she is with us she manipulates and monopolises her dad. Always ignoring me. She used to bully my daughter who is now 9 but they get on very well now. The only person she doesn't care about is me. Family holidays are a hoot! Can't wait for the teenage years. Every other weekend I dred her coming. She treats her dad hot and cold to keep him on his toes. So basically I hear you!.
I hear you, sister. Same with my SD. she’s an adult now, not a child and you are not responsible for her happiness. Withdraw yourself to protect yourself. Don’t message her if she doesn’t reply - she’s manipulating you like the seasoned coercive controller that she is. Step back. Smile happily when you see her, ask her how she is, make all the right noises and then exit stage left to the shops, cinema, gym or whatever. When your MIL speaks to you, deny all knowledge of any bad feeling on your side, big smile and say you have a FABULOUS relationship with the SD. Then exit stage left to the shops, cinema etc.
So difficult for you and I'm sorry it is affecting your mental health :(
Have a look at our upcoming workshop on 7th April. I think it could be really helpful for you in working out a roadmap on this one. Is it affecting your relationship with your partner?
It is so hard when the SD is one way with you and one way when others are watching....
Good suggestion from stepmum space.
Also you clearly endured a helluva lot to get through it. You’re human. You maybe have resentment. That’s ok!
What about seeing a counsellor and working through the resentment, figure out how you want tom move forward.
Your SD’s family aren’t really able to validate your experience. Such is the step mum’s lot.
We can though!
Or I can. I’m in a not dissimilar situation myself. I sympathise. You’re allowed to have these feelings.
Hey, sounds like you've been through it! and WELL DONE for making it this far!
Are you able to talk with SD about what has happened in the past and try and really open up to one another and build a new relationship from today, as two adult women? x