I’m currently 32, and married about 10 years. Over the past three years my stepdaughter has lived with us full time. She’s now 12. She has turned into his daughter/wife and totally disrespects me. When I talk with him about it he condemns me and sees nothing wrong with her actions. Through all of this I’m expected to come home from work and cater to him and her, no matter how badly I’m treated. I’m constantly ganged up on by the two of them and I live on eggshells.
I have this overwhelming feeling that I need to leave for my own sanity. I have no peace of mind in my own home as he works nights, and keeps me up all night which hinders me in my demanding job. Sexually he complains we never do anything but refuses to initiate and when I do, he rejects me.
We’ve discussed divorce seriously recently and when I mentioned I’m strongly considering it, he apologized and vowed to change. Two days later … same old thing.
My life is not healthy in this relationship. I cannot continue to be controlled by him and his manipulative daughter.
Why can’t I just tell him I’m done!???? I love him but I feel stifled. Please advise me on gathering the strength to say good bye. I feel bullied and emotionally abused. I fantasize about a life of my own…. without any man.
I’m tired of being a wimp, and I know I deserve more.
First of all, I am so sorry you are living in an environment that is causing you so much unhappiness. I’m sure you dread walking in the door every night, and that is no way to live. I’m not going to tell you that you should leave, but I will say that something has to change. You cannot go on like this.
The first issue I want to address is the daughter. It sounds like she is running the show. Why is that? You are the adult, she is the child. Having stepchildren is tricky. There will always be a sense of guilt and loyalty your husband feels for his child. He shouldn’t feel guilty, but he does because her mother is not around—not that it’s his fault, but that’s why he is overcompensating and letting her take control.
Listen to me. You will never win the competition with her. Ever. So, stop trying to be in one. You aren’t. You are his wife. She is his CHILD. You need to set down house ground rules—this should have been done when she moved in. This is YOUR home too. You need to show them both that you are in charge. It’s never too late.
You also need to talk to your husband and have this conversation. See if he is on the same page and if he realizes that you are the woman of the house and that his daughter needs to respect you and listen to you. If he disagrees, then I don’t believe your marriage stands a chance. If he is willing to be an adult and let his daughter learn that she has to respect both her parents, then there’s hope.
But, let’s talk about him for a minute. I have other issues.
1. His keeping you up at night when he gets home from work is selfish and disrespectful.
2. From what you are saying about your sex life, it feels as if you can’t win. Plus, rejection is a terrible feeling and is beyond hurtful.
You say you are walking on eggshells. You say you feel stifled. You say you feel bullied and emotionally abused. This is no way to live. I’m not saying you should walk out the door tomorrow, but something has to change. You say you’ve tried talking with him, but the way the two of you talk has to change. In other words, it’s not working. Considering couples counseling if you haven’t already, or just a better platform for constructive communication.
Also, it sounds like you and the daughter really need to get things straight—or rather, you and your husband need to get her under control. Try to remember that she is a child and that you can’t put yourself on the same level. You are the adult. Does that make sense? With more discipline from you, and your taking control, she will thank you later. Trust me.
Have you ever had any kind of good relationship with her? Is there love here? Do you care about her? If you can get to a place where she respects that you are the adult and one of her two guardians, you might be able to start to build a good relationship with her, which might in turn improve your relationship with your husband. Maybe the stress of his daughter and you is causing his resentment and his bad treatment of you. I’m not saying that is acceptable at all, but that might explain it.
In closing, if you are tired of being a wimp, than don’t be one! Change something. To continue putting up with a life that isn’t making you happy doesn’t make sense. It’s not easy to make changes, but sometimes the biggest rewards come with difficult decisions. Whether that means leaving or taking steps to make your life with them better is up to you. Best of luck with everything!
Like this blog post? Check out: “11 things people say to justify staying in an unhappy marriage.”