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Step daughter / partner's ex wife

Community Member

Really this is an pretty appalling post as my 22 year old son, Sean, committed suicide in Cairns in 2016, and since then my elder son (now 28) has been diagnosed with whatever the mental health professionals can come up with(bi-polar, borderline personality disaffective disorder etc).Sam has spent many months in hospital. He is very, very, very, ill one day, and just blooming with positivity the next. He made an attempt on in his life in 2017 and despite surviving is crippled for life with numerous rods and so forth enabling him to walk. Yes, I am grateful he is alive and thankfully can walk but not so grateful for the constant 24 hour burden his mental ills take on me. I feel like I am trying to rescue a drowning person and being dragged under. Constantly suffocated. I feel relief when I hear from him; then panic and fear that I am about to take on another crisis. His illness seems to drag him into law and order disputes ie his flat just got trashed and everything I bought him destroyed (mattress slashed, hateful graffitti all over flat) because he trusted someone to paint his flat whilst away and he spent Xmas with me.

On top of this, which now sounds petty and ridiculous, but to me is straw that breaks camels back is my partner's daughter. 21. She lives in Brisbane, so do we. It's still 30 clicks away but in 5 years this now 21 year old still lives with her mother(in a stunning home with Mum's new partner) and has never visited us. Not once. (In 5 years...plenty of visits from us for birthdays etc) She rang my partner the other day to say we 'had to provide her with a new car for driving lessons as Mum's car was 'too powerful' and we have 'lavish' holidays. And if we can afford to buy a home we 'can afford' her a new car! And if not, we can get stuffed etc.

We haven't taken on board but just adds up to dismay and despair.

This has torn my partner up as it is such rubbish, where do you start?

I am so so bummed by all of this and really what can you to stop all the hateful stuff on top of trying to cope?






5 Replies 5

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Kiwihelenm and welcome to Beyond Blue forums

I am very sorry for your loss. How hard that must be for you and your family. My heart goes out to you as his death has impacted you and your elder son. Maybe you and he are both still in the grieving process? This would not help you manage and cope with the other difficult things happening in your life - e.g. the trashing of your son's flat, the conflict with the step daughter and your partner's ex.

There is a lot going on for you at the moment and it sounds like you are feeling very down trying to cope with it all. Do you have anyone you can talk to? E.g. close family member or trusted friend? Talking does help immensely.

I'd also go to the doctors and get a referral to a counsellor or psychologist. I find talking things out with someone removed from the situation helps to see it more clearly. They can also give you some practical tools to help cope through these times.

Alternatively you could phone one of the support services available -

  • Relationships Australia 1300 364 277
  • Lifeline 13 11 14 (or use their chat line www.lifeline.org.au/Get-Help/Online-Services/crisis-chat)
  • Beyone Blue Support Services 1300 224 636 (or use their chat line - click on the link at the bottom of this page)

If you feel up to it, also do a search in Beyond Blue website for 'family member who committed suicide'. There are some good threads which may help you through this painful period.

Keep reaching out if and when you want Kiwihelenm. You are not alone.

Kind regards


Hi and welcome

I'm also sorry for your loss. I've lost my brother...it will be 40 years this July. Time flies but one never forgets.

PamelaR has posted a terrific response.

I'd like you both (hubby and you) to try something a little different. Rage can come about so easily and unexpectedly from family members word or actions...and attitude. She is still young. It's like my niece that at 21yo stated "my cousin has a Mazda sports car so she is rich beyond my wildest dreams". I asked her if she had the capacity to get the same car on finance and she replied "yes". "So once you got the car and was paying $800 a month would you be rich?" I asked. She got my point.

So, it appears she is just immature and her mother likely told her to "ask your father".

I've been in this same situation with my youngest daughter. With my eldest she really did need a car (the alternative was to travel by train after midnight in Melbourne) so I bought a car for $2700. My youngest at 16yo needed major teeth and jaw surgery and I paid the lot $16,000. Yet when she got to 21yo she demanded $2700 for compensation for me buying one for the older child. Now, the issue is- I cant financially carry such ongoing burdens. I said "No, be grateful you have that million dollar smile".

The tack I think you and hubby should take is simply not pay her. There is no real practicality in allowing her or others to get you in such a state over her ignorance and immaturity. Just don't pay it. Also ignore any negativity from her mother or the possibility she told her daughter to ask her father. Just laugh it off.

Easier said than done, I know. But it is worth working on because your hubby has a new life now. That new life doesn't mean discarding his daughter, just discarding the immature side and silly requests. It doesn't mean you wont help her out emotionally or in any other way even financially a little bit but ...develop fair and firm boundaries together and stick by them.

Parents will become a bank if their adult children are allowed to withdraw. So, let them go to a proper bank. If the banks wont lend them money then they don't qualify for a loan anywhere. They'll just have to work for what they want.

I wouldn't allow such issues to effect my life and such issues will be ongoing so best to take my suggested approach. If she takes that approach as not loving her, that is out of your husbands control. Get on with your life together. Be happy.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi kiwihelenm

I too welcome you to the community here. I see that PamelaR and TonyWK have already responded and offered ideas and suggestions for you.

So sorry to read of one son's death and the situation your other son is in. Both my husband and I have various mental health issues, so we bounce off each other now and then. As already mentioned, it does help if you have someone you can talk with about how you are feeling, or maybe writing here will help you as well.

Other people's expectations can be difficult to deal with. It is very sad the daughter of your partner has high demands but is not willing to spend time with you, I can understand how upsetting that is. If she did visit regularly, would your feelings about this issue be different?

Sometimes it can be just one more thing that drags us to the end of our tether. I hope you are able to find ways to deal with the various issues you have. Maybe tackle one at a time if that is possible. Looking at everything together can be overwhelming!

From Dools

Hi all

very grateful that anyone read and surprised to see people responded as afterwards I felt like I had had a 'hissy fit' and really felt rude.

I looked this up tonight to delete it as thought someone would recognise it was me and I would be embarassed. I am so glad I saw responses. Thanks.

Hi kiwihelenm,

You are more than welcome to share how you are feeling on this forum. If you find some of my posts on various threads, you will see that what you called a hissy fit is more than acceptable here! There are times when I have been quite in despair and have written very openly.

The community here is amazing, the way people reach out and support each other. I hope you feel welcome here and comfortable. This is a safe place to write and share your thoughts.

You were not rude at all. You were openly expressing yourself and reaching t out maybe.

Hope you find some solace in sharing here and receiving responses.

Cheers from Dools