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Hostile Stepdaughter - Don’t know What to do

(128 Posts)
Jaffacakes Wed 14-Oct-20 14:08:51

Help Please !
I have been married to my second husband now for 21 years. I first met him in 1998. When we first met I was divorced and had been on my own happily for 12 years. My children were then 23 & 19, my eldest daughter had left home and was happy pursuing her career & my youngest son had just started university. My now husband had been separated from his then wife for 5 years they had sold the family home and divided the assets and each had their own home. It was his first wife who wanted their marriage to end. His children were 10, 15 & 18 when I first him. The children lived with their mum during the week and my husband had them to stay every weekend. I was first introduced to his children 11 months after meeting him. The youngest son who was 10 seemed to quite like me but the older 2 were very reserved which I could quite understand. I was extremely careful about not over encroaching on their family time at weekends and would occasionally just pop in and say hello and spend an hour or so with them all to try & get to know them. After 2 years of us being together my now husband asked his first wife for a divorce, they had then been separated for 7 years by then and he told her he had asked me to marry him. The divorce proceedings started, my husband offered an extremely generous divorce package which was accepted, but it was then that his soon to be ex wife started to hurl awful abuse towards me. His daughter then started to be very hostile towards me and would have nothing to do with me. I asked to meet with his ex wife as I couldn’t understand why all this anger was being aimed at me. At the meeting his ex wife told me very clearly that all the children really disliked me, she also said she still cared very much for her ex husband. I was very polite to her but then she got up said she should never have agreed to meet me & stormed off. This episode really did make me wobble. My husbands mother & his sisters & my own chikdren were all extremely supportive of my relationship with my now husband and said you must just get on with your own lives. We went on to marry, his younger son spent many happy weekends & long school holidays with us but the older 2 children would have nothing to do with me. My husband would meet up separately with his 2 older children without me. His eldest daughter who is now in her forties comes to the the house but treats me as if I didn’t exist and on some occasions just completely ignores me. She’s civil but has no interest in talking to me In fact I feel extremely uncomfortable in my own home when she visits. I always go out of my way to try & make her & her 3 children feel welcome. I will always make cakes and biscuits for the little ones as I want them to have a lovely time with their Grandfather. My hope is that one day she might accept me but perhaps not. I am sorry if I have waffled on, but I really do find her attitude towards me extremely upsetting and I still don’t know how to deal with it. My husband tells me to just ignore her behaviour. The older I get the harder it seems to get. I would be most grateful for any advice. Thank you.

Grandmabatty Wed 14-Oct-20 14:19:23

This sounds so sad. To be honest, I would be telling dh that if she can't be polite and pleasant then she is not invited to your home. She's an adult and can behave like one.

sharon103 Wed 14-Oct-20 14:27:43

Why is your husband allowing his daughter to behave like that towards you. He needs to speak up and have words with her.

NannyJan53 Wed 14-Oct-20 14:32:51

I agree with Grandmabatty. For you to be made to feel uncomfortable in your own home is just not on. I would suggest to your DH that he meets his daughter either at her house, or a cafe etc.

Oopsadaisy4 Wed 14-Oct-20 14:53:18

My advice is the same, don’t invite her, get your DH to meet her and her children elsewhere.

Or get your DH to have a few words with her about her behaviour, if she is acting like a child treat her like one.

Fuchsiarose Wed 14-Oct-20 14:56:04

You have been in his life a long time, but you might have no idea of how the WRONGED ex wife fills in her daughter to make it seem all is your fault. I think your husband needs to have a quiet chat with his daughter and inform her of how it really was from his perspective. I curse the day I never told my daughter the truth as I saw it, whereas his family and himself dug the dirt on me since she was 9 years old. I let her make up her own mind. She is now moving towards me after a ten year abuse cycle from his family. Yout Hs girl is old enough to know the truth from this side. Then she can ,make an informed decision on you and him

Toadinthehole Wed 14-Oct-20 15:09:09

They’re in their forties for goodness sake. They should get over it, or not be allowed in your home. Your husband shouldn’t be expecting you to put up with this. It’s childish and downright rude. What example are they setting the grandchildren, who will just end up copying their ignorant parents? This sort of thing makes me so angry. DON’T put up with this one minute longer. They should shape up or ship out!😡

Lewie Wed 14-Oct-20 15:15:53

I agree 100% with Toadinthehole - it's your home for goodness sake.

Granniesunite Wed 14-Oct-20 15:22:02

Agreed totally withfuchsiarose she might be forty now, but she was young at the time of divorce and if shes has suffered allianation from a parent well, that can linger for a lifetime causing mayhem.

Unless you've been in that position its hard to understand i know and its not widely discussed. But it does happen. We as a family have first hand experience of it.
Her father needs to tread carefully and i think he knows that.
I think meeting away from his home is the answer and in time telling her his truth.
Its very difficult.

Luckygirl Wed 14-Oct-20 15:26:17

It is not unusual for an ex-partner to bad mouth their replacement - but his ex-wife has been harbouring a grudge for a very long time.

Your stepchildren are grown adults with families of their own presumably. They should have a better idea of how the world works; its imperfections and the need for compromise.

You can either ignore their antics, or challenge it. Which, in your judgement, would cause the least long term upheaval to your relationship with your OH - because that is what matters above all else.

If these "children" cannot sort themselves out then that is their problem. You should do whatever you believe will cause the least damage to you and your OH as a happy couple.

DiscoDancer1975 Wed 14-Oct-20 15:31:34

I agree with Toad and others who say they’re old enough to know better. How was the ex wife ‘ wronged’. She ended the marriage. Of course,we don’t know why, but it’s so long ago, and absolutely nothing to do with the OP. She didn’t meet her husband for another five years. There has been plenty of time for conversations. This shouldn’t be affecting Jaffacakes at all.

sodapop Wed 14-Oct-20 15:34:08

I agree with Toadinthehole as well. Extremely rude behaviour from an adult. Your husband should be on side Jaffacakes and tell her that her behaviour is unacceptable. If he is not prepared to do that then he should meet up with his daughter elsewhere.
I would think that as this has been going on for some time your husband does not want any confrontation. I would take myself out if that is the case and have a nice day out with friends.

phoenix Wed 14-Oct-20 15:36:19


You have been in his life a long time, but you might have no idea of how the WRONGED ex wife fills in her daughter to make it seem all is your fault. I think your husband needs to have a quiet chat with his daughter and inform her of how it really was from his perspective. I curse the day I never told my daughter the truth as I saw it, whereas his family and himself dug the dirt on me since she was 9 years old. I let her make up her own mind. She is now moving towards me after a ten year abuse cycle from his family. Yout Hs girl is old enough to know the truth from this side. Then she can ,make an informed decision on you and him

The "wronged" ex wife? If you go back to the OP, Fuschiarose you will see that it is the ex wife who initiated the separation and divorce!

lemsip Wed 14-Oct-20 15:39:15

you have been married for 21 years so she should have got over any animosity....... Did you move into his house or buy one together?......

Smileless2012 Wed 14-Oct-20 15:39:54

I agree with everyone who says if she can't be civil she shouldn't come to your home.

For goodness sake, you've been married to her father for 21 years. How dare she treat you this way, and I'm sorry Jaffacakes but how dare your H, her father, let her get away with it.

DiscoDancer1975 Wed 14-Oct-20 15:43:02

I said that phoenix. She could very well have felt ‘wronged’, and because of that, ended the marriage, but it’s so long ago, and there’s been ample time for talking. It’s nothing to do with Jaffacakes, and she shouldn’t put up with it.

lemsip Wed 14-Oct-20 15:44:09

The OP says his first wife initiated the separation, then goes on to say, the husband asked her for a divorce 7 years later when he met her! .....

trisher Wed 14-Oct-20 16:20:35

Children often harbour fantasies of their parents being reconciled long after it is remotely possible. You can't judge one child's behaviour against another's each is entitled to their own feelings. What I do wonder is why you feel you have to make an effort to get your step daughter to like you? She plainly doesn't want a connection. Unllike others I wouldn't stop her coming to the house- he is her father. I would just go out and leave them to it. Leave cakes and biscuits if you want to but I'd just buy some. Sometimes the more you push for something the less progress you make.

Jaffacakes Wed 14-Oct-20 16:43:24

Thank you for your responses. When we married ( Lemsip ) we both sold our respective homes and bought a a home together, each putting in 50%. My husbands ex wife ended the marriage ( discodancer ) because she said she fell out of love with him, they met & married within 9 months of meeting each other. My husband does have a problem with confrontation especially where his daughter is concerned as he doesn’t want to upset her and I do understand that, that is why I have never really said anything before as I don’t want to cause problems between the two of them. But I have now reached a point where I now dread her coming to the house. Sometimes when she says she’s coming to see her father with he children I will make them tea & cakes and then pretend I’d already pre arranged to meet a friend and leave them to have time together as I feel so very uncomfortable. This is really starting to make me feel depressed.

Smileless2012 Wed 14-Oct-20 16:47:45

I really don't think that you should be the one who leaves your own home because your step daughter makes you feel so uncomfortable Jaffacakes.

If your H for whatever reason is unable to talk to her about this, I agree with sodapop, that he should arrange to meet her elsewhere.

lemsip Wed 14-Oct-20 16:57:37

Let her father make the tea and provide the cakes and take yourself off to a friends for a natter. Not that you should have to leave your home of course! She sounds like a really nasty person who lacks manners to treat you that way! I feel for you.

Chewbacca Wed 14-Oct-20 17:19:44

I disagree with you being out of the house when she calls. It is your Nome and you shouldn't be made to feel awkward and uncomfortable in it. If you DH wants to meet with his daughter, they should meet in a coffee shop, pub or her home. That way, she won't have to "put up" with meeting you either so she should be happy that's she'll have her father to herself for a few hours. Pity she can't grow up and mature a bit first though.

Chewbacca Wed 14-Oct-20 17:23:03

It's not your Nome! It's your home!

PetitFromage Wed 14-Oct-20 17:28:59

I think that, after all this time, you need to be realistic and accept that civility is as good as it's going to get. Your husband is right to say that you should ignore it, but I can quite understand that it is easier said than done. I should just stop trying so hard and leave your husband to it.

trisher Wed 14-Oct-20 17:36:11

You have all on here condemned the step daughter with no real knowledge of her point of view. The OP may be correct and she may be unreasonable, but it is entirely possible that she sees the OP in a very negative light and only wants a relationship with her father. She may find the constant neediness of the OP irritating, she may feel if she starts a relationship she will be letting down her mother, she may just be disinterested in the OP. She was an adult when the OP married her father, perhaps she felt she didn't need a step mother. Why on earth should someone like the person their father married? The OP has said she is civil.