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Stepfather vs. Daughter with mother caught in the middle!

Tagged as: Family, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (23 November 2010) 16 Answers - (Newest, 24 November 2010)
A female United States age 51-59, anonymous writes:

My husband continues to nag at my 15 year old daughter. She is a slop and can be moody, but she is 15. When my daugther is not around, my husband and I get a long awesome...we never argue unless it is about her. She is a good kid (honor roll for years, volunteers at church etc.) but he only sees that she leaves lights on, take too long of showers, eats in her room, doesn't clean the hair out of the sink etc. I can't believe he makes so much out of the little things...I remind him we should not be sweating the small stuff. He has a 20year old son and 17 year old who do not live with us, but live with their mom. They do drugs and don't come over much by us. The 20year old does not go to college and does not work...sleeps all day. My husbands 13 year old son lives with us part-time and of course he can do know wrong. When he leaves lights on or whatever, my husband doesnt seem to notice, but he continue to walk around looking for stuff my daughter has done wrong. He leaves her notes (I picked your stuff up in the bathroom this morning, why are you eating in your room etc.) He even txt message her a few times that she left her light on. He is know watching her water useage and is "taking" is so hard for me to see my daugher so unhappy living with us that she stays in her room. I truly love my husband, he is a good person except for this one issue. I also have a 11 year old son and they seem to get a long quite well. My husband has 5 brothers, not sure if he just is not understand girls or if he truly hates my daughter. I have asked him if he hates her and he says no that he just doesn't understand why she just can't follow the rules. I have talked to my daughter and explained that she needs to follow the "house" rules. We did some therapy, but every suggestion the therapist gave my husband (like getting to know my daughter better) he has not done. He is a little childish in this area is will not back down. He is also a perfectionist and gives 110% at everything he does so I think he can't understand why she can't follow the rules. I am tired of hearing my daugther complaining that he hates her and he is mean...also tired of hearing from my husband that she left the lights on again (or whatever!) HELP!

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A female reader, sappygirl United States +, writes (24 November 2010):

sappygirl agony auntAs a single mom myself, if I met a man who treated my daughter this way, I would kick him to the curb asap.

How could you let this man treat your daughter this way.

As a mother, it is YOUR JOB to protect your daughter. That comes first!!! Men come and go, but you children will always stay. You are sending a clear message to your daughter that your happiness comes before hers.

I'm sorry, but you are the one being selfish here. You need to tell your husband directly that if he doesn't change his behavior towards your daughter, you are outta there. You and your daughter are a package deal and if he truly loves you, then any man will accept that and love your daughter like his own. How could you not seen this before you married him? When I'm dating a guy, this is the first thing I look for. I ask myself, Can this guy love my daughter and treat him right. If the answer is no, then he is not worth it.

You better apologize to your daughter and make things right, or she will not trust you and you will lose whatever close bond you guys have.

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A female reader, FloridaCatGirl United States +, writes (24 November 2010):

FloridaCatGirl agony auntHave you thought about trying a different counselor? I would do that ASAP.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (24 November 2010):

My ex husband treated my daughter this way. He was worse when I wasn't there. I was shocked when I overheard him being nasty saying "your mom can't hear me now...". That is when I decided that enough was enough and left. Now, 15 years later, my daughter still has trouble being around men.

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A female reader, kalykush United States +, writes (23 November 2010):

kalykush agony auntThis is a very distrubing post to even come across...

stepfather v. daughter? REALLY? guess what your 'perfect' husband is a PERFECT S.O.B.! get rid of him. is your happiness really more important than that of your daughters?

i come from a messed up family, and i wish my parents would have THOUGHT about bringing a child into the world before having me!

if you love this man soooo much and he loves you soooooo much then PUNCH HIM IN THE FACE and tell him to knock off the sexist YES SEXIST and BIAIST rules or get the EFF OUT OF THE HOUSE!

you have an HONOR ROLL student who oh wow forgets to flip a switch or clean up a strand of her hair or your's or possibly one of the boys' seeing as most boys have longer hair than girls these days.... did you really need the opinions of complete strangers to tell you that there shouldnt be a fight here you pick your daughter or have your mother of the year award revoked for ever.

disturbing disturbing DISTURBING

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A female reader, Battista United Kingdom +, writes (23 November 2010):

I'm sorry but having read this post, I really feel that you are letting your daughter down badly.

I appreciate that she has a roof over her head and food on the table. But the fact that she would rather go and live with her father who works until 11pm at night really indicates the depth of her unhappiness which you do not seem able to see.

Moreover, she is prepared to leave behind both you, her mother, and her little brother for the sake of getting out of the situation she is in now. Does that not mean anything to you?

What makes me even more sad here is that you can see how upset your daughter is, and yet you seem only to be posting because you are sick of being stuck in the middle. You should be posting because of how upset your daughter is and asking what you can do to change that. It seems quite clear that your husband has had many chances to change his attitude to your daughter but has chosen not to for whatever reason. She is going to grow up hating him, resenting you, and being a deeply unhappy individual as a result of this situation, something which she may never completely shake off. Your daughter is a child but YOU are an adult; you HAVE to address this situation with your husband and decide whose happiness is more important. To me my loyalty would always lie with my child, but you do not seem to be leaning that way. Instead you are about to watch your daughter leave the district because you as her parent seem to be incapable of helping her through this and changing things in her favour.

If you don't do something about the situation you will lose your daughter and it will be completely down to your inaction. It makes me so angry to think that you let your husband get away with treating her like this whereas his son gets off scott free. Why is she any less important? YOU are the only one who can stand up for her. Do it now before it's too late.

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A female reader, KeighleySky United Kingdom +, writes (23 November 2010):

KeighleySky agony auntYou should listen to all the agony's. i am in the same situation as your daughter, my step father is horrible to me. he and my mother argue about me all the time because ive lefta door open, ive left a light on, ive not had time to wash my plate in the morning.

i know exactly how your daughter feels so im going to say to you what ive wanted to say to my mum for years.

your being a bad mother, you need to tell your husband that if the rules apply to YOUR daughter then they apply to his son aswell. i know for a fact that when imove out of my house im never going to talk to my mum again.

its been to the point were my mum has thrown me out of the house because shes chosen him over me. to the point where me and my mum cant argue things out becaus he gets involved and says its all my fault even though my mother causes half of the arguments.

you need to suck up and look after your baby, which she is. you need to tell him that he cannot go into her room, he cannot shout at her for leaving a light on if his son doesnt get in trouble for it.

i am very angry that you've turned this onto yourself - you are not the victim here, is your water supply being monitored? are you the one who gets nagged at by a man you dont even know?

do you know how it makes her feel? because i do and i dont even know her. it makes her feel as if you dont love her, as if he is taking you away from her. it make sme feel as if my mother would rather stay on the bright side of my step dad than look after me when he shouts at me for little things, when he himself does them too.

please stop this now before she gets to the age where she can move out and not want to ever see you again because youll be with him.

please dont let her suffer the way i have, being in a household where you feel unwanted scars you for life. ive been lucky because i have friends and a boyfriend who make up for the love i dont feel at home.

you need to stop this now, please for your daughters sake. i hope this has enlightened you enough into how she is feeling for you to act on it.

please get back to us and tell us what you are going to do about it/ have done x

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A female reader, FloridaCatGirl United States +, writes (23 November 2010):

FloridaCatGirl agony auntFrom what I gather, something about your daughter bothers your husband. The things that you have described… eating in her room, taking long showers, leaving lights on… are typical of any teenager. Since he has older children, this shouldn’t be anything new. Besides, your children seem far more obedient then his children.

I am a perfectionist as well, but your husband is overly preoccupied with finding fault with your daughter. It doesn’t appear that your daughter is rebellious or getting into any serious trouble. If she was getting in trouble at school, breaking the law, or doing drugs… I could see how that would cause stress in the household. But that isn’t the case. Did your daughter say something disrespectful to your husband, or start any heated arguments?

How long have you been married and has his relationship with your daughter always been this strained?

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A female reader, raiders United States +, writes (23 November 2010):

raiders agony auntAre you prepared to have a drug addicted daughter because her self esteem is going to be so low and drugs will be the only way she find happiness. People use drugs to escape reality and your daughter's reality is sad. Your daughter has no need for you to step in and tell her the rules I'm sure she knows them, she needs you to have her side and give her a voice.

Your husband is a grown up and should know better and to single your daughter out and isolate her is just shows his character. You say your husband is a good man but how could he be when he is mentality abusing your daughter. In my eyes your a mother before your a women, you brought them into this world and your suppose to protect your cub, guide them and make them responsible adults, and when they are an adult than you can go back in being a women.

I honestly suggest you let her go live with her dad, a place where she can find love, respect, a place where she can smile and be happy again. Unless your decided into making her and her brother your number one reason for living, your priority, make their happiness number one and let her live with her dad.

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A female reader, romany United Kingdom +, writes (23 November 2010):

romany agony auntI can't believe you'd let your daughter go and live with her father, yeah, she may want to be at her dads, but I bet its only because she cannot live this way anymore.

Now dont get me wrong, I'm not saying that her father, or any man cannot be a great full time dad to a teenage girl, but throwing him in the deep end with a full time teenage daughter is gonna mean massive amounts of change on both of them, and that is just gonna add to your already flailing teenage daugthers self esteem.

Its not about thinking MUM, its about doing, you've been thinking about this long enough, dont plan out strategy's for your confrontation with your controlling husband, say what is in your heart, say it with the passion you feel, and say it with the same sincerity, you had when you held your baby girl in your arms the day she was born, and vowed to her that no one, would ever hurt her.

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A male reader, LazyGuy Netherlands +, writes (23 November 2010):

LazyGuy agony auntTell me, when you go to the pound to adopt a dog, do you think to ask about the history of the dog you are about to take into your home? Perhaps reasoning that if the dog bit its previous owners, it might not make a good pet?

So, how about men? Might a man, divorced, two kids doing drugs NOT be the man to take into the house and expose to your daughter?

This has every sign of a classic story. Usually were the teen daughter ends up hating her mother for putting her lust above her own flesh and blood.

Stop making excuses for him. This man is not fit to be a parent.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (23 November 2010):

She does want to live with her father, but he is in a different school district. she is getting her license in 4 months and I think she will move in with him. I really don't think it is a good idea for her to live with him because he works second shift and she will be alone until 11:30 every night. I know she feels more comfortable at her dads house (the house she grew up in). This whole situation just breaks my heart...I do love my daughter and don't want her to leave. I have a lot to think about :-(

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (23 November 2010):

have you thought about the fact you husband might not want your kid to turn out like his? He might of wanted a second chance of raising a kid right. Or he might just want her out the way, it depends on his character. The best thing is to talk to him about it and let him know it bothers you.

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A female reader, romany United Kingdom +, writes (23 November 2010):

romany agony auntI agree with Aunt Honesty 100%, (fab answer Honesty)

I would never allow this, You say you love him, but how can you respect him, when he has no intentions of making your daughters life happy.

You say you feel stuck in the middle, well its time to get off the fence, and go to your daughters side, thats your place, thats you job, your happiness comes last.

I'm not even sorry if you think this is harsh, but the problem is your husband, and his pathetic rules of water usage, constantly nagging, having rules for one, but not for the other and removing plates from her room, which incidently, why is he going in her room, that is the personal space of a teenage girl. Come on, get a grip, look after your daughter.

If he is half of the good man you say he is, the threat of losing you will make him stand up and take notice, I'm telling you now, the bond you are going to lose with your daughter, if you allow this to continue, will crush you in the long run, You say yourself, your girl aint daft, if you allow this to continue, she will see that you done nothing, and your relationship will be irrepairable. However if you stand shoulder to shoulder with her, you will have her respect and love, forever.

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A female reader, Lovestruck96 Canada +, writes (23 November 2010):

Okay when I was your daughters age my father just came back into my life, and it was really amazing and I was finally getting to see him and spend time with him. A year later he introduced me to his girlfriend, its been three years and I've seen my father about 10 times because she doesnt like me. She doesnt approve of my dad helping me out, so we barely talk. Eventually it led to a giant fight and I felt like dying, I've never felt so unwanted. All because of his girlfriend, she would do things just like your husband but ofcourse her kids could do nothing wrong.

I didnt swear at either my father or his girlfriend, I did not go down to the dock and smoke weed, I wasnt drinking all weekend. I got yelled at for not changing from my pj's and not showering as soon as I got up. Because I didnt feel well and went to bed early.

Recently my father and his girlfriend broke up, now hes offering to take me to get hair cuts and buy me things, but its a little to late I am old enough to do these things for myself. Your daughter is going to give up, and this WILL affect her in everything she does. She is going to feel like nothing she does is right and you are letting your husband break your relationship with your daughter! If you love her and want to keep her apart of your life you need to set him down and come up with YOUR own rules better yet write a note!

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A female reader, celtic_tiger United Kingdom +, writes (23 November 2010):

celtic_tiger agony auntSounds like this is a classic case of step parent not wanting the step child around.

He wants to be in a relationship with you, but not your daughter. He is not willing to compromise. Its HIS rules or not at all.

The fact that "the rules" apply to your daughter and not his son or your son makes him a hippocrite. It sounds like he doesnt like her, and even if she did everything he wanted he probably wouldnt be happy.

Your husband gets on with your son, because he is still a child. He is 11, so has yet to reach the age where he is a real threat to his authority.

At 15 your daughter has opinions. She may well see him as responsible for the fact HER family is no longer together. Her whole world has been tipped upside down, and now her own Mother is taking her new husbands side instead of looking out for her daughter. To her, she probably thinks you dont care or dont love her. She may even think you dont want her there and she is just a burden.

The fact your husband deliberately targets her (is it really ALL her hair in the sink? You have hair, do you clean it out?) to the point where he makes LISTS - that is extreme beyond measure and shows a very cold and calculating personality.

Yes kids can be annoying, but you have not said she has been rude, abusive or violent to him.

You need to have a talk with your husband. What does she need to do?

*Clean the bathroom every time she uses it, regardless of the state it was in before her?

*Turn all lights off even if she didnt turn them on?

*How long is she allowed to shower? Ask him in minutes? 1? 2? 5? 10? How long is acceptable for him? And does that apply to everyone in the house, or just her?

She eats in her room because she doesnt feel welcome in her own home. She doesnt feel loved. And that is a very very sad thing.

She probably sees you and your husband playing happy families with his son, and your son and feels totally unwanted. She is the one who gets yelled at, she is the one who is always wrong, she is the problem.

Your daughter is intelligent, caring, and by the sounds of it hardworking. Yet she is being forced to live in her room and feel like an unwanted house guest. You are her MOTHER. You should be caring for her! Looking after her! lOVING HER.

Who do you love more? Your husband or your daughter? Would you care if she didnt live with you? All I can see is a very unhappy child who will slowly become more and more beaten down. Her grades may fall, and she may well end up being one of those teenagers who slobs about all the time and doesnt amount to anything. That is what happens when parents dont care.

Where is her real father? Maybe she would be happier living with him? Have you asked her what she wants? What she thinks? Or do you do everything your husband tells you, when he tells you?

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (23 November 2010):

aunt honesty agony auntHi ok so i understand that you love your husband a lot but you need to put your children first. This is going to affect your daughter big time, she is going to be unhappy, she is going to have low self asteem and feel she cant do anything right and it will also make it difficult for her to meet men when she is older because she is going to feel like she is not going to be good enough for anyone. At the moment she is isolating herself and feels that her step dad is singling her out and she doesnt belong there, you need to also think of more serious problems like if she becomes depressed or suicidal because believe me young teenagers at this age are very good at hiding it so this needs to be sorted asap.

Sit down with your husband and tell him you cant go on like this anymore, either he trys hard with your daughter or else you are going to have to leave. Your children should be your world and explain to him that you are unhappy because he always seems to be picking on her, tell him this has to stop, taking notes on how much water she is using is horrible to say the least she is going to feel like she cant do anything without him keeping tabs on it, its ridiculous. Explain to him that he needs to stop, he is obviously not used to teenage girls and tell him you understand that but he needs to realise that she is eating in her room because of him and its unhealthy for her to be so excluded from the family. So what if she leaves a light on big deal? She might even be rebelling because she thinks this is the only way she is going to get attention. Tell him he needs to work harder with her and get to know her just like the therapist said and if he doesnt then i think you might want to rethink your relationship with him.

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