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Woman shares saga of her 'doomed' relationship with 13 yo stepdaughter. 'She's my husband's golden child.' AITA? PART 1; UPDATED 4X

Woman shares saga of her 'doomed' relationship with 13 yo stepdaughter. 'She's my husband's golden child.' AITA? PART 1; UPDATED 4X


When this woman shares the saga of her relationship to her stepkids, she asks the internet:

"I do NOT get along with my youngest stepdaughter. AITA? A story in two parts"

Background* I have two stepdaughters (13 & 17). I love them both but the 13yo and I just don’t get along. She’s very mouthy, thinks house rules do not apply to her, never cleans up after herself, and she is such a bully to her older sister.

My best friend came from across the county to visit me and she was around my stepdaughter for 3 hours and was already irritated with her. That’s how overwhelming she can be.

My hubby turns a blind eye to her behavior because he just wants to be the “fun” dad. He feels like because they don’t come over a lot, when they do it should be fun fun fun and no boundaries.

I never really pushed the issue with her, when she’s over I’d just avoid her as much as possible for the sake of having peace. Her disrespect was never directed at me so I just left it alone or I’d mention it to my hubby and he’d just tell me she’s just playing or she didn’t mean it like that.

This past weekend, apparently I sent her home crying because she tried to be disrespectful to me and I snapped back at her after holding it in for almost a year...

and basically told her she’s not going to talk to me any kind of way and if she’s going to come over she needs to learn how to be respectful like the rest of the children in the home.

My oldest SD jumped in telling SD13 to stop being disrespectful and calm down and she went into her bully ways and yelling at her and just making a huge scene.

So I put my foot down with hubby and told him, he needs to do his visitation her at her home for a while because I can’t take another weekend of pure hell from her. Every week it gets worse because he won’t correct her.

We got a text from BM saying I made her cry and I was out of line for yelling at her and she doesn’t want to come back over. In my head I’m relieved I get a break from her and then the other side of my feels like TA...

for not walking away and letting her dad handle it but then again, his way of handling it is coddling her and telling her everything is going to be okay. Everyone else would be at fault but her.

In a nutshell, the whole thing was over me not letting my SD17 drive them to Dunkin’ Donuts at 8pm. She thought throwing a tantrum would make me say yes. AITA for making hubby go to their house for visitation until her behavior is corrected? My SD17 still comes over because she wants too.

Before we give you OP's 4 updates from Part 1, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

conchaa writes:

I’m leaning toward ESH. Her behaviour sounds pretty normal for a 13yo girl but you and your husband need need to agree to set and maintain expectations about basic civility in your home.

Of course you’re going to snap eventually if nothing is done, you could certainly have intervened before now and done so in a less confrontational manner.

It might be worth suggesting BM ask the older daughter about what happened so she can get a better idea of the situation.

She and your husband probably also need to agree on what is acceptable behaviour from the daughter and how to respond when she’s out of line.

The main issue seems like there needs to be better communication between all coparents and some consistency across the board.

creepypercent writes:

YTA because you're treating her as if she's a visitor that you can refuse entry to. This is her home too because it's where her father lives. It may not be her primary residence but she's not a guest.

If you have a problem with her behaviour then you handle it by dealing with the behaviour - the same way you would if she was your bio child. Though it seems she's not really the problem - your husband is - so in this case I'd be having serious words with him, perhaps taking parenting classes together or the like.

ficklewillow8 writes:

ESH. I don't know how marriage survives when you tell your spouse his child isn't allowed to come over to the home you share. Your husband sucks for not being a parent and correcting his daughters bad behavior.

You suck for snapping at her when the bigger issue is with your husband not disciplining/correcting his child's behavior. You let your frustration and anger at her behavior and the lack of discipline from your husband build up until you finally lashed out at her.

Correcting behavior is one thing but letting your angry build up until you finally just lash out at a kid isn't ok in my book. Yes the 13 year old needs to be disciplined/have her behavior corrected but that isn't what you did.

yavanna12 writes:

ESH. Kids need boundaries. They act out when they don’t. And she’s 13. Perfect age to be testing the limits of how far she can go.

But she is still a young kid and banning her from the house will not solve anything but will make things worse. You will be known as the person who kept her from her dad and that will negate any hope you have of her behavior improving.

My stepkids did something similar to see how they could push the boundaries. I sat with them and we made a contract together. What do they want from me and what I want from them.

We made compromises, wrote it up and we both signed it. That really made a difference in mine and stepkids relationship. There were clear expectations and boundaries which is honestly what young teens need to feel safe.

floatingvan writes:

NTA- don’t listen to the others, this behaviour is not normal and you set very clear boundaries. The parents should be following through to check to see if she is this way at school or does she save it up for just you.

Add a pinch of anger control classes and or therapy, Either way imagine her at 18 and still acting entitled as shit Next step fighting in public and bingo she starts getting in trouble with the law.

Naughty screaming kids age in way that when they finally go bananas and hurt some everyone will excuse her actions because she knows how get away with it.

mellejane writes:

ESH. Your husband needs to parent his daughter and you’ve allowed boundary breaking for so long your reaction probably seems out of the blue to SD13.

I don’t think chucking her out is the right thing to do, but having a discussion as a family about behaviour and boundaries is sensible. Maybe even involving the ex wife as well.

I do feel really sorry for SD17 getting bullied by her younger sister, and having seen your comment that SD17 is adopted and SD13 is your partners biological daughter and gets treated as the golden child, maybe there is something to be said for some family therapy for everyone involved.

Teenagers can be AH. I went through a total AH stage at 14 but she will come out of it and you, your husband and his ex need to help her grow into a better person. Snapping won’t do it, consistency of expectations will.

12hriwr writes:

NTA. It's not like kicked her out with nowhere to go She has a mother who has a bed for her. I especially say this given that you have told your husband many times and he fails to do anything, it's like another commenter and said if you failed the parent your children society will do it for you.

You have outsourced parenting to your husband because she is your step daughter and if he refuses to do anything about it reality is going to slap the step daughter in the face that people are not going to tolerate her bullshit.

vividmaster5 writes:

NTA. I think a lot of the YTA comments are ignoring the fact that with good discipline, THIS WHOLE THING COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED. I'm so tired of coming on this subreddit and seeing people essentially diminish bad behavior from kids just because they're kids and "still growing."

By 13, I knew better and understood respect and how NOT to act like this. The point is, HAD THE dad actually stepped up and disciplined his daughter like he was supposed to, THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED.

Space is probably the best thing for now until the 13-year-old gets her attitude in check and she NEEDS to finally start understanding that her consequences have actions that don't just get overlooked "because she's a kid."

lexiconique writes:

This sounds like an ESH situation. Your husband was choosing to be complicit with her poor behaviour. Although I understand his reason, it's not okay to leave a child to her devices if it affects others negatively. Discipline is important, so he doesn't get a pass.

You, too, were complicit by not trying to set boundaries or appropriately communicate that the behaviour was not acceptable in a more mature and timely manner.

You bottled it up and, once it got to be too much for you, you escalated the situation to a point it might not be able to come back from. While you shouldn't have had to put up with this situation, your choices were the wrong ones and relationships have been damaged as a result.

Developmentally speaking, teenage brains are wired for selfishness and carelessness.

As parental figures, you and your husband had the job of teaching her to be better. Instead of supporting and guiding her development, he decided not to be a parent and you chose resentment and anger. You and your husband were supposed to be the adults.

puzzlehead65 writes:

NTA. Everyone else is. These comments are ridiculous. Whenever there is a disrespectful child and a parent complaining about it, people always give the same tired excuse of “their brains are still developing, they’re learning to express themselves you can’t punish them for that”.

That is bullshit. You shouldn’t have to tolerate that level of disrespect from your step-daughter, frankly her dad needs to be the one giving her consequences so that she can learn and so that you won’t feel like you’re over stepping boundaries.

I wouldn’t let someone disrespect me in my own home either, just because she’s a teenager doesn’t mean you have to just take it. Period. She doesn’t get reprimanded for her behavior which is why she feels like she can do whatever she wants to do and that is her dad’s fault.

Your husband also favors her because she is his biological daughter, which is why she feels like she can do anything without getting in trouble. This isn’t just her being a teenager, this is entitlement.

Rules don’t apply to her but they apply to everyone else because her parents clearly favor her over the 17 year old due to the biological aspect, and that’s really terrible for the 17 year old

She’s a bully and a brat and he needs to put his foot down. She can’t get her way any time she wants and it’s different ways for teenagers to express their angst, without being disrespectful.

ms866 writes:

YTA. You’re the adult and she’s a child. It’s her home too. You don’t just ban a child when you’re frustrated or when their behavior is bad. You also don’t ignore a child to “keep the peace.”

You’ve made the issue worse by acting like you can just exclude her from the household now. Snapping/yelling at a 13 year old is no way to teach them to be respectful, and neither is ignoring her.

You and your husband are the assholes. Both of you. To her and to each other for not being on the same page and parenting, like, at all. The kid is never the asshole in these situations.

concfra writes:

YTA. Do you understand how hard it is to be a step child who is clearly not wanted? 13 is tough. Puberty, s at schools, self confidence issues, etc. Obviously bullying isn't acceptable, but did anyone even bother to try to figure out why that was happening?

Is she also being bullied somewhere else and too scared to come forward about it and was waiting for her parents to step up? Instead of avoiding her, since you clearly stated her issues weren't with you, you might try bonding with her instead of pretending she doesn't exist. Having split parents is tough.

I got a great Stepmom, but a stepdad who abused, assaulted, and bullied me to attempting unaliving multiple times. Alienating her in a time of turmoil regular for new teens, especially girls, might have pushed her to act out more.

You may never have another chance to try to make things right with her after this, because you've cemented to her that you love her sister -- but not her. 13 year olds are brats. I get it, I was one almost a decade ago.

But she needs stability, and if you needed to be gently firm with her instead of pretending she didn't exist to make your life easier, then it might've been worth trying to talk to her mother to see what stability she has at her house to help the girl. I would try to still talk to her mom. Apologize, and you'll prompt her to, too.

"I know emotions were running high, but I am sorry for reacting the way I did, neither of us were at our best, and it doesn't mean I don't love you. I wanted to look out for your safety, and even though we don't always get along, I am here for you if you ever need to talk."

Something as simple as that may help. Maybe it needs to be mediated by dad/mom, idk, I'm not privy to your whole dynamic. But she's still got at least 5 years of being a minor and having that visitation with her father.

You don't want to be the enemy. She's going through a lot of changes. Just try to extend the olive branch. And if she doesn't take it, then be firm with your husband, and have a sit-down with him and her mother.

It's high-time for some stable ground rules. If there's discord and completely different structures in the two homes, she'll never settle into a routine and adjust her behavior.

Unfortunately, that means dad can't always be "fun dad" but that's a major contributor to the issue, too. He needs to be able to discipline her appropriately. appropriately.

Just some things to think about from a stepkid perspective.

And now, OP's first update:

She has a sense of entitlement about her that irks me lol Mainly because she’s my husbands golden child (she’s the only biological girl of his, his other is adopted by him).

When I came into the picture I pointed out to him that he shows a lot of favoritism to her. He’s gotten a lot better at hiding it but it created a monster in her. She follows no rules in this house and never has. She told my husband to his face she does what she wants because he doesn’t care lol.

Don’t get me wrong she’s a typical teenager so I know this comes with the territory but she two parents who think her behavior is cute and her mom loves that it drives me nuts.

Update 2:

I was going through nursing school and we have a 1 year old together. So leaving at the time wasn’t an option but I graduated and I can afford to leave with my kiddos. This was my final straw and hopefully he sees that I am seriously over her behavior and it needs to change or I’m leaving.

I’m in my 20s for one. Two, when we got together his children lived in another state so I didn’t officially meet them in person until 3 years into our relationship. So no I didn’t know what I was getting into. I knew he was a very involved father but I didn’t know he was allowing all of this.

In order for him to change, he has to recognize the issue. Their dynamic is not of a parent and child. They have a friendship dynamic and he doesn’t realize it. Yes, there is a 10 year age gap. I’m 28 and [my husband is] 38.

I don’t want to abandon any child. Im all for staying in my marriage if my spouse put his child in her place so we can all live in harmony again.

But if you’re wondering if I’ll choose my peace over my SD… peace. Sorry not sorry. I love them dearly but I love me more.

Update 3:

I’ve already said he can choose her. However, my personal opinion is i will always prioritize my spouse over my kids. Both are important and I will never starve my kids for the sake of my husband having the last bite of food but our kids grow up and leave. Your spouse is with you for life.

Sure he can divorce me but when his daughter grows up and finds her a husband, you think she’s going to prioritize her dad? No and at the point he will realize he shouldn’t allowed his child to come between him and his wife. I don’t have these issues with my bio kids but my kids are taught to respect all adults.

Update 4:

She loves comes over because she likes to spend time with her siblings she doesn’t see everyday. She comes over because we don’t just sit in the house every weekend and be boring.

She comes over because she and I have a great relationship . My SD13 and I didn’t have a terrible relationship prior to this argument.

Everyone is taking my “I avoid her” comment way too far. I avoid her when she start exhibiting bad behavior because if I deal with it it will stir up a lot of drama with her mother. That’s an uphill battle I’m not willing to fight.

He’s been in the military her whole life shes use to him not around for long periods at a time. There divorce was somewhat civil and the kids were well prepared before it even happened.

It could be though but I’m not picking up the vibes that that’s the reason. I think her behavior is simply because she allowed too. I’ve had conversations with her and she’s always jokingly said her dad doesn’t care. So that’s her way of telling me she’s doing it because she can.

Take a look at Part 2 of OP's story.

Sources: Reddit
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