What do you do when you have an evil stepchild?

This is a subject I have wanted to write about for a very long time.  But couldn’t.  It is a very sensitive subject.  Calling my stepchild evil means I am disparaging the child of the person I love more than anything.  However, after many years of dealing with this issue, and the fact that things are getting worse not better, I have decided it is important to talk about this topic.

The answer to the question: What do you do if you have an evil stepchild? is:  NOTHING!  If you truly love that child’s parent, there is NOTHING you can do. You are powerless.  You can’t become evil in return because the your partner will resent you.  You can’t kick the child out because it will cause your relationship to be ruined.  So, if you have an evil stepchild and their parent does nothing to make it better and you love the parent all you can do is what I do.  Cry.  A lot.  Then you just become numb.

I wish more than anything that when Karol and I blended our families, that the children would have the same love for us and each other that we had, but alas that is a fantasy.  Children of re-coupling have their own emotions to deal with.  Possibly jealousy of the new partner or other children.  A sense of loss for the missing parent. Apprehension about moving in with people they don’t know very well. I get all of that, and Bluebell and I were very realistic about all of those issues.  We also understood that we would have to take it easy on “parenting” each others children at first and let them get to know us better.  We didn’t even stay in the same bedroom in the beginning to give the idea of us being together some time to grow on the children.

I read the books, and researched how to be a stepparent.  We felt as though we were doing things well.  I was prepared for the change, the anxiety, the apprehension, the “figuring things out” stage of our new family.  What I wasn’t prepared for was the brick wall of ice in Karol’s daughter.  We realized rather quickly that L was not taking well to living with three boys, nor was she taking well to another parent in the house.  She was 13 at the time.  So I backed off and let Karol deal with her mostly, however, it was impossible for me to never have to give L any directions or “parenting”.  Karol worked long hours, and I was home with the children more than she was.  There were times I would have to direct L to do chores, or pick up after herself, etc.  Not everything could wait until mommy got home.  L rebelled in a BIG way.  Grew sullen at first then downright disrespectful and rude.  She never acknowledged me.  Never spoke to me. Treated me as if I was invisible.

It was awful!

evil stepdaughter

The next few years of  L being in high school were very difficult.  She lived with us off and on, lived with  her father off and on.  Our relationship never improved much, and I just did the best I could to be kind and considerate towards L for the sake of the love I have for her mother.

L graduated and moved to Minnesota to live with her Aunt.  She had a great job welding and making $10.00 an hour (which is good money for a 18 year old kid).  She was safe, and happy.  Then came the call.  “I want to go to school to be a vet tech.  The schools here in Minnesota are too expensive.  I am moving back to Virginia.”  Of course her coming back had nothing to do with school and everything to do with being lonely and missing her friends and a particular boy.

So Karol told me the news and I braced for it.  L was coming home with no job and very little money.  She had bought a car, but that meant a car payment and no job meant we would have to “help” her out.  She came home, and after about a month of “staying with friends” she asked to move back home.  We had no room for her, but told her she could sleep on the couch and put her stuff in a corner in her brother’s room.  We said she could stay until she “got back on her feet”.

What transpired since then has been pure hell.  She did not want to look for a job.  She only wanted “certain” jobs. She refused to do anything around the house to help.  She got a part time job at Taco Bell, then quit.  She got a part time job at Mrs. Fields then got fired. She was pleasant for the first two weeks, then became sullen, moody, and disrespectful.  Mostly towards me.

This is where the crying comes in.  She is a horrible mean person, and I am STUCK!  She won’t even take out the trash!  I will say that in the 6 months she has lived with us she has voluntarily emptied the dishwasher three times, but to me that doesn’t really count.

I am stuck because of the fact that I am not her mother.  If that was MY kid, I would have put her out!  Made her figure out where to stay and how to get her act together.  She would NOT be allowed to live in my house, use my electricity, my water, eat my food and be so disrespectful.

However, Karol is cut from a different cloth.  She feels as though it is her responsibility to “help” her daughter and take care of her.  She does fuss at her, and yell at her to be respectful and help out.  But the bottom line is that makes no difference to L.  She is almost 21 for goodness sake!! She knows that her mom won’t put her out so she just does as she pleases.  She doesn’t care if her mom yells at her. She takes it, and then just goes back to her normal routine.  She doesn’t even apologize.

Now, I suppose you may think I can tell Karol to make a choice, or force her to put her daughter out, and while those options are available to me, if I were to do either one of them, it would damage our relationship beyond repair.  Karol would never truly forgive me, and it would ruin the best relationship I have ever had.  I am not willing to do that, so I suck it up, and know that this will eventually end.

L did get a job recently.  A very good job making $16.00 an hour.  However, she won’t start for another three weeks.  Then of course it will take about a month for her to save up enough money to move out into her own place.    I do see a light at the end of the tunnel for THIS time, but the truth is this will never be over completely.

L recently told her mother, “I don’t like Carol. I don’t want to have a relationship with her.” So my life with Karol will consist of me doing the best I can to be cordial to a young lady who is cruel and unkind.  This is tolerable to me as long as L doesn’t live with us, and I only have to deal with her occasionally.

When we fall in love we don’t realize that if that person has children it is going to be an uphill battle, and sometimes you will never get to the top of the hill.  The walk up the hill can be heartbreaking, but for me I focus on the other side of the hill, when Karol and I are still hand in hand and L is on the other hill.

On a side note, the relationship I have with Karol’s son is awesome, and the one she has with my boys is amazing also.  The 5 of us have a family, and we laugh, and love each other.

L doesn’t want to be a part of that family, and after much talking, and shouting and crying Bluebell and I have come to that conclusion. Karol understands what L does, and how she treats me.  It makes her very sad, because she would never have expected her child to be so unkind and nasty. Especially to someone who has done so much for her. Karol feels badly about it, but she just can’t bring her self to kick her daughter out of our house, so until the day comes that she moves out on her own, I am stuck living with an Evil Stepchild.

I know there are many other people who are going through what I am going through or something very similar but people just don’t want to talk about it.  It is time we stepparents of evil stepchildren come together to support each other!!


One thought on “What do you do when you have an evil stepchild?

  1. I am very proud of you for having the strength and the balls to discuss this…..I wish things would change, but since it sounds like they won’t please know that you are so wonderful, and gave it all you had. Big hug.

    1. Thank you Tammi. Your comment brought tears to my eyes. It is difficult, but I can’t be alone out there. If I don’t broach the subject I am not being true to myself. Hopefully it will help someone else be brave enough to talk about it!

  2. So sorry for you. It is Bluebell’s responsibility to kick L’s ass out of the house and unless she can do it you are stuck. The issue will be if this job fails and this becomes a pattern for her life. Bluebell and L need therapy to help everyone cope and become a stronger parent to her daughter. In the meantime I would just not partake in L’s well being at all.

    1. Madge, I completely agree with you! At this point L is only allowed basics…water, food, electricity. She is not allowed to partake of special foods I buy the boys, WiFi, Netflix, etc. That is for people who are kind to me, not those who are mean. Bluebell is on board with that. I have to respect her wishes, this is her kid. I love her enough to sacrifice.

  3. You mean it’s not like the Brady Bunch?! I once nannied for a couple of kids whose parents had gotten divorced and the mom started a relationship with another woman. They did all they could to make the transition easy, but one of the kids was so bitter and angry. All I could imagine was that he felt threatened and lonely. I often wonder if they ever made amends. In any case, I can’t imagine how difficult it must be. Kudos to you for having the guts to be honest about it. Big hugs to all of you.

  4. What do you mean you can’t do anything about it…#1 I think the cleaning up and caring for herself and others are more of a generational issue. Kids over the last twenty years or so have become idolized and put on giant pedestals. Parents are expected to earn their children’s respect and respect for elderly or older adults is non-existent as families have stopped teaching their children traditional values. That doesn’t mean you can’t have rules in your home…if she is over 16 she is an adult NOT a child. I’m pretty sure when you marry your husband or wife it doesn’t come with the obligation of caring for other perfectly capable adults. Why on earth would you ever feel bad about this? Now about your husband…what he should be saying to his daughter is “You need to respect my wife when you disrespect her you are disrespecting me”. That’s right he or she needs to suck it up and be a parent. With that said you have to be careful because you don’t have a natural motherly bond to the girl so it’s easy to get frustrated easily with her whereas you won’t so easy with your own birth child…that is scientific. Any attempt to ignore that is denial on the step parents part is probably also a part of the problem. With my stepdaughter I make it a point to enforce rules with my birth children and will even remind them that the rules apply to everyone in the house and they won’t be getting special treatment. This helps because she see’s that I am trying to be fair…even though I know it is literally impossible to do so but let her see you are making an attempt. That goes for you and your husband as well. If you falter on your chores or rules you must admit the mistake. She also doesn’t have that same bond to you so she won’t feel guilty for not helping out or following the rules. That is also scientific which is why it is of dire importance that the father is the one to set the ground rules, enforce them and follow through. If she won’t listen to you call your husband…what did you say he is at work, he is taking a nap, he is busy? Too bad… it’s his daughter and he has an obligation to her and to you. For her, his obligation is to raise his daughter to be a respectful part of society and to you, it is to love you. If his daughter is purposely being hurtful to you it should hurt him and he needs to communicate that to her. If she can’t accept that, it’s likely she is just going to need some growing up…on her own…out of the house. You and your husband are not doing her any favors by coddling her.

    1. Hi Lauren,
      Thank you for your thoughtful answer. I am so glad things are different for you. I do want to point out a few things though. Maybe you read my post quickly and didn’t see the gender of my partner. My partner is a woman and the child I had so many problems with was her daughter. I completely agree with your biology assessment. And I understand your point of her parent acting a different way, but I also believe in many cases mothers have a different kind of connection to their children than fathers. My partner already had a tenuous relationship with her daughter and for me to ask her to be tougher wouldn’t have happened. So my choices were: leave my partner and up root my bio kids again, deal with the behavior as best I could knowing she would eventually move out, or stay with my partner but not live with her. I decided to do the best I could to tolerate the situation. I wrote this when Kat was 16 and now she just turned 26. It was a difficult and long road, however I evicted her at 18 and we have since repaired the relationship. Mainly because she grew up, accepted her responsibility and apologized. She goes out of her way now to be kind to me and all is well. However, it was definitely the most difficult few years of my life.

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