I’ve been married a year and a half; my husband is good and all. I have a eighteen year old by a previous marriage and he really likes my husband. My husband has a ten year old girl; she doesn’t care if she has a relationship with me or not. I have went above and beyond as any of my friends would tell you. My husband’s best friend says she is the most spoiled girl he knows.
At Christmas, she quickly opened the presents and then asked what time it was and wanted to leave. I was not the “other woman” by any means. I would never do that. My question is how can I deal with the little girl? My husband is blind sighted by her. She would love to have him to herself again; it is making life miserable. On Christmas I hugged her and was so kind and had tons of gifts, but she didn’t hardly want to say bye. She is cold to my parents and son as well.
It’s like I could never know what it is I’m supposed to be doing to get her to like me. On the way home from Christmas with us, she told my husband she didn’t want to come again. He tried to talk to her about it. I told him that he should not make her think life is about her. That is my style of parenting. I believe you can spoil a little but also teach respect – and courtesy is so important.
I am worn out with trying planning to detach and rest. My husband is beginning to get resentful, I can feel it. I hate tension in the home but I am at wits end. Help.
Dear Step Mom,
Your stepdaughter sounds like a pain and I feel for you. However she seems to be acting in a way very typical for a girl her age and in her circumstances.
I understand what you want. You want these people to function in a way that is healthier; however, if they ever manage to do this, it will be in their own way and on their own time schedule and in fact the harder you push, the more resistance you are likely to meet.
And you mention your husband is becoming resentful so you have to start asking yourself at this point, what it is that you want. Do you want to keep him? Because if you do, you’re going to have to take a new tack. Because like it or not, this is their family system. This is how they operate and you should never underestimate the power of a family bond. Families don’t like outsiders telling them how to be!
See, he resents you and you resent his daughter. And if you wonder about that, just read your mail. On the surface you are buying her gifts… but beneath that, you have as much contempt for her as she does for you.
And you are building a case against her. Against a 10 year old! Not only will your friends support you, his friend will support you! And I don’t mention this to poke holes in you. I am trying to help you by showing you what you’re doing, so you can cease and desist and get your power back. Because you are an adult woman! And you do not need to be battling a 10 year old girl! So here’s another plan… for your Capricorn Moon who likes them.
Forget about fighting this girl. Forget about convincing your husband his daughter sucks and forget about telling him how he ought to parent. And it’s not because I don’t agree with you, because I do! It’s because it’s not working!
Focus instead on setting an example. Be an incredible adult role model. Refuse to be dragged down. Leave the house if you must. Anything to resist your urge… your compulsion to control the way these people act. Your stepdaughter will have a heck of a time getting to you when she doesn’t get to you, huh?
And as an added bonus, if you can manage this, not only will be much happier, your sense of who you are will be more solid which will increase your attractiveness as a human being ten-fold. So you get the idea. Stop doing something that doesn’t work and start doing something that will. If you change, they’ll change. This is a law of nature.
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