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Step daughter showed absolute disrespect

Community Member

We were left with Step daughter's cat when she moved out (about two years) - this was fine and I took the cat as one of our own. He had lived in that house all his 14 year life, so it was fine. I loved him! Out of the blue, it seemed, while Step daughter's dad was working away, she came and took the cat. No note on the door for me. No text. Call or advice this was going to take place (I searched for the cat but did think he had gone ""walk about"" like he had previously). I found out only when her dad landed, she texted HIM to tell him she had taken the cat two nights ago.

I feel this is total disrespect to us as a couple. Me for looking after the cat. Yes -the cat was hers but no advice she was or did take the cat! Just took him:( Her dad was angry and told her it was disrespectful to which she told him off and even told him off. At the time, she mentioned that she hoped when she has kids that they get to know their grandfather ....... she was NOT wrong for her actions.

Well - no apology nothing. Nothing. A month or so later, she visits her dad (when I'm not there) to tell him she was pregnant (three weeks pregnant). Still no apology to him for disrespecting us/ our home. They are now back in good communcation. I am still so angry/ hurt. More so because, at the time, we agreed we would stand firm on her actions and make her see we were a couple...... I am now the person in the wrong.

Any comments??

3 Replies 3

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi NGA, welcome

I feel your situation is so commmon to me. I was a step dad to a child in my 20's and a step dad to two teens when in my 40's, the younger of which was lots of trouble for me and his mother.

Step parent situations are complex and there is always three sides of such complexity. Three different sets of hurt, reasons for actions and words. The child, the blood parent and the step parent.

Such complexity depends on the individuals themselves so its pointless of anyone assuming too much into the toxicity of your situation. I'd rather focus on you and what you can do alone...just helping you.

I found that when my stepson(for whatever reason, jealousy is likely) tried to claw his mother away from me...it was best to allow him to think he was successful.

You have every reason to feel hurt over her cat and she has likely succeeded in her objective in hurting you...thats why no apology came your way. As this was her objective, right or wrong doesnt enter her head because she knows shes wrong, she knows she isnt respecting you, thats the plan.

So, what is the best plan for you?...inaction! Focus away from her.

The best approach a step parent can hope to have with a step child is one of friendship beyond that is a bonus. In a toxic step parent situation you have to distance yourself to preserve your relationship with the blood parent and allow them both maximum chance of their relationship to flourish.

The above approach is an ideal perspective for you to adopt. In adopting the above as your position, you also automatically put up a wall of insulation between you and what is currently a nasty person

Other smaller actions like limiting your chat time with your partner to support only is my recommendation and keeping more occupied with activities like hobbies and sports which allows you to focus your mind away from your step daughter.

Live in hope that one day she might say to you "I treated you really badly around that time of my life". Its taking the more mature stance compared to her.

finally. Here is a few threads that might help. Use google and thanks for posting.

Topic: fortress of survival- beyondblue

Topic: people, apples of empathy- beyondblue

Tony WK

Thank you for your response - certainly gives me food for thought.

I do feel her actions were a direct slap in my face but also to her father, our home and marriage. This angers me so much!

But how do I swallow the fact hubby did not stand up for us and ask her to return when we were both present. How can he just act like the pregnancy announcement sorts it all out. Yes. The daughter has succeeded in highlighting a marriage problem. Her dad seems to say things which are supportive and strong, but in realty doesn't carry through. To be told I don't have children so I don't understand is not a fair call. She is not a little child! Perhaps I am unforgiving but I feel it to be so wrong that he has let her "get away" with it and so long as he and her are good again, nothing else matters. Just feel like I've got it all wrong. Our marriage/ home has to mean something.

Perhaps its not and he agrees with her ""unsaid"" statement...


Yes you are not in the wrong, however how others think doesnt mean they are wrong either.

Let me divert.

In 1987 I had a crisis. I was in law enforcement and fined a politician. His dig was never confined. My boss told me to not fine him again etc. Mini corruption.

I stood by my decision and fined him again. Was I right? If so why did I get the sack 10 months later?.

I was under a therapist. He identified I was a black and white person. He told me "how do you as a black and white person survive in a grey world? But I wasnt wrong! But, there are ways to mould yourself to survive in the job, not knee-jerk.

Other people think differently to you and its hard to accept. While you dont have children is a common rock thrown by some (and it shouldnt) it does have some merit because the blood parents eill always have more tolerance and such flexibility can be infuriating.

Stewing over these issues isnt healthy. It is also prolonged through lack of closure. You have not a lot of options.

You need to get your role clear in your mind. Your step daughters pregnancy is strictly an issue for her parents. Its an issue you can remain fully separated from. Any involvement would be judged as interfering for example.

Her cat us hers. Her method of taking it might be immature or nasty but sometimes we cant control what others do. Another hoogle thread

Topic: running around trying to save the world- beyondblue

Tony WK