My stepdaughter is 23. She lives in a different city than us for work. My husband and I have 3 other daughters - 12, 10 and 8. They absolutely worship and adore their older sister, look up to her, want to copy her, the whole 9 yards.
We are Christians and are raising our girls with the concept of sex being for marriage. I know that’s not the most common in this day and age, but it’s something we feel strongly about.
Anyway, my stepdaughter has had a boyfriend for 2 years. They live together, which we don’t agree with, but she’s financially independent. For the last two years, every time she comes to visit, they stay in a hotel 25 minutes away (it’s the closest one) because we don’t allow them to share a room here.
There would be enough beds - he could take the spare room, and she could bunk in a queen bed with any of her sisters. Two years ago it wasn’t a big deal, but now my girls have put together why she won’t stay here, the youngest even said she’ll do the same when she’s her age which I was pretty upset by.
Two weeks ago she was supposed to come to celebrate the two September birthdays of her sisters. I asked if she could stay at our house because her sisters have been noticing she won’t. She said no immediately.
I’ll admit I could have phrased it better, but I said they were at an age where her setting a good example is more important than ever and she wasn’t doing they. She got offended, we started to argue and then she told me to eff off, she’s not coming.
She didn’t come, which her sisters were upset by since she had said she would. She sent them a gift and gave them a call. When they asked why she didn’t come, she specifically said it was because I was rude to her, so my girls were then mad at me.
I sent her a text telling her I didn’t appreciate it, she texted back “I don’t care” and we haven’t spoken since.
Was ITA for making that request? I’m kind of blown away it’s turned into such a big thing, but sad that she’s already said she’s not coming for our other daughter’s November birthday and I don’t know how to make it right.
I understand the ESH because I was admittedly not gracious on how I worded it to her. I just didn’t expect she’d hurt her sister’s feelings by ditching their birthdays over an argument with me. And I didn’t think she’d tell my girls about it, which I don’t think was appropriate.
YTA. She stays at a hotel to make her sex life totally outside the realm of your concern. Either let them sleep together at your house or shut up about where they stay. It's very generous of them to come anyway and foot a hotel bill so she can see her sisters.
What if she became an uber-Catholic and refused to let you and your husband share a bed at her house, because Catholics believe second marriages are adulterous?
You do know how to make this right. It’s easy. “Stepdaughter, I want to apologize. You respected the rules in our home, even when you didn’t agree with them. I disrespected your choices because I disagreed with them. I apologize for doing that, and hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.”
I'm a Christian. A pretty big one. Actually in ministry, and I have two grown children. My religion is not their religion. My beliefs are my beliefs. Do I hope they share the same beliefs, yeah? But at the end of the day, my relationship with my children is more important than making sure they follow a set of rules of a religion they don't follow.
(I do have one child who is a practicing Christian and one who is not. Guess how they get treated? EXACTLY THE SAME BECAUSE THEY'RE MY KIDS AND I LOVE THEM )
If you're trying to set an example for your younger children, then you let your daughter and her boyfriend stay at your house together because that's what family does ... and you have a genuine conversation with your younger kids.
Explain that your eldest doesn't believe the way you do (and that's okay), but explain why you believe what they believe and that when they're older they'll have their own choices to make and why you choose what you choose. And be very specific that you'll love them and accept them regardless of what they choose.
NTA necessarily for making that request; YTA for thinking that she owes you playing a role model, though. A request is fine if you gracefully accept a rejection and leave it at that. She’s a fully grown woman and doesn’t owe you explanations or alterations regarding her behavior.