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Disrespect from New Husband and Step Daughter

Community Member

Hi. I'm newly remarried in a blended family situation. My husband has 2 adult daughters in their late 20's.

Things were great until his oldest daughter moved in with us. She is usually in some form of crisis. Her dad has always been there to get her out of trouble. She became more money for bills. Husband would just give her his credit card and she would wrack up expenses. She now owes us around $12,000 which she believes she is entitled to this money. I was not consulted on giving her money, he just tells me after he's done it. At one stage he discussed her money situation with his ex-wife, and she wanted us to give more money to his daughters. So he did, but without speaking with me.

When we moved in all together, my presence in the same room was her upsetting her and I had to leave when she was there. This is in my own home. She even did this in front of my husband, storming out of a room in tears because I happened to walk in at the same time. He asked me "what did you do to her?". There were regular tantrums about bizarre things and slights I was supposed to have done to her.

All this time I kept asking my husband to work with me to talk with her and find out what was going on. He didn't want to be involved - saying it was strictly a conflict between the two of us and he was only the meat in the sandwich. He asked me to make sure that she had her own space inside our home and I had to make sure I didn't upset her - as I was causing her depression. I told him she had to move out.

My husband just doesn't want to listen to how I feel, but conceded he thinks she has had bipolar. We have had so many arguments about how to managed this issue. He says that none of this is disrespect, let alone abuse. I am just overdramatizing his daughter's behaviors.

I think she is likely to be uBPD and they are enmeshed. They are co-dependent and enabling her behaviors by turning a blind eye.

So - where to next? We have started marriage counselling, with the counsellor telling me I have no childhood trauma triggers, I have unhelpful thinking and I need to get some CBT. He said I need to "put on my big girl pants and build a bridge". That I'm an aggressive person and my poor husband just wants a life without conflict.

Am I crazy to want to deal with the disrespect? Should I just forget the disrespect and move on? How? I honestly don't want to be married to him anymore. I want to heal from these feelings of disrespect which have resurfaced, by myself.


11 Replies 11


Thanks for the update but I am sorry it has worked out like this. I am also sorry that you cant get closure because ex is stalling and trying to make you wait and cause you more stress.

I once dated a man whose daughter always came first which I understood but when he told me his two previous relationships ended when he found out his previous partners upset his daughter.

I was lucky I found that at the start of relationship.

I am glad you have your health. Sometimes we think we can work through something and if we just try harder but sometimes if our mental health is suffering it may not be worth the effort.

Thanks for your honesty.

Are you getting support?

Thanks quirkywords.

I never knew this would be the case for mine... he would say thing like she's estranged from her mother because they are the same... they antagonise each other etc... he never indicated or said that he would always put his daughter first.

But with her behaviours very much like BPD, my psych and I saw the pattern whereas she was punishing her mother and now me... And my husband didn't support his ex-wife when his ex and his daughter fought.... he took the daughters side... It's through snippets and anecdotes that I'm seeing the puzzle reveal itself. I was in the same pattern as his previous marriage... the daughter would accuse me (and the ex) of imagined slights and issues and he would stick by her... because she's sick. But rather than helping, he's enabling through a co-dependant relationship.

And that's what I meant by trying to work through the mental illness... her illness... but it impacted too much on me and my kids... so for our own health, we had to leave.

Then you feel guilty because you didn't try hard enough to save your marriage, to get his daughter help, to stick with marriage counselling. But I was the only one in this triangle proactively trying to seek positive outcomes, support and help. At some stage you have to call it quits.

I'm getting help but I still feel shattered...