Being a step-parent is hard, much harder than you’d think. It can be an emotional roller coaster ride between dealing with your own feelings and insecurities about the challenges of raising another person’s child. If you are lucky enough to have a positive relationship with your step daughter, this can make things easier but even then, it’s still a challenge.
Challenges can be not only from your step daughter who just doesn’t like you to be one member of her family but also from some relatives who always imbue the girl with negative thoughts about her step-parent. When this happens, tensions can rise and tempers flare, leaving you feeling hurt and confused about what could have been done to prevent this from happening in the first place.
In this article, we’ll discuss the reasons for your stepdaughter sabotaging your marriage, and some effective methods to build a close relationship between you and your step daughter.
Why Is Your Step Daughter Sabotaging Your Marriage?
There are many reasons for your step daughter sabotaging your marriage in different cases:
1. Hate. She knows it is you making her parents divorce and destroying her happy family. In this case, you should really feel guilty about what you did. That’s shameful to be the third person in a marriage. There won’t have any methods for you to know how to deal with a difficult step daughter since you and your partner are the only mistakes in this relationship. Hope you are not this one.
2. Jealousy. It is just difficult for her to accept a stranger who randomly appears in her family and occupies her love from her mother or father. Your existence in the family makes her feel ignored by her parent. Everything that belonged to her is now shared by another person, which makes her feel unfair.
3. Insecurity. Everyone will worry about unknown things. She will worry that whether you will truly love her as her mother or father did, and whether you will still love her when you have your own baby. She will worry that whether she will be abandoned by everyone.
These are three of the most common causes. The thought of losing her mother or father as a primary caregiver can be very scary for a child and lead them to act out in order to keep the family together, even if this means hurting someone else in the process.
If your step daughter is angry at you for taking over responsibility for the family or replacing her mother or father in the house, then all you can do is reassure her that you love being around her and will continue being there for her no matter what happens between your spouse. It is frustrating to have a difficult step daughter, but there are always ways to deal with it. Keep on reading.
How to Deal with a Difficult Step Daughter? Here are Tips for Building a Relationship with Your Step Daughter
1. Understanding Behind The Scenes Is Essential
Understanding the dynamics in your step daughter’s family is essential to understanding why she may be sabotaging your marriage. As a stepparent, you are not her biological parent and therefore have no legal authority over her. She has a mother and father who love her and it is important that you understand that they did not want to divorce or break up their family.
They were forced into making this decision by an ex-spouse with whom they had a difficult relationship. Your ultimate goal in life should be to raise happy children who will go on to live happy lives as adults. If you want this for yourself, then it’s imperative that you learn how to handle the situation effectively so as not only to ensure the happiness of your stepchild but also yours as well!
2. Change Your Expectations
You have to let go of the idea that she’ll be your little princess, and instead think of her as a person who is growing up and trying to figure out where she fits in the world. If you help her do this by being supportive and firm with boundaries, then you can expect more positive results than if you try to dictate what kind of person she should be.
It’s also important that you don’t force yourself into their relationship too much — stepmothers have been known to do this because they feel so left out or excluded from their stepchildren’s lives. Your step daughter needs space from both sides if she’s going to grow into an independent adult who has healthy relationships with both parents.
3. Bonding With Your Step daughter Takes Time
Bonding with your step daughter takes time. Well, let us rephrase that—bonding with a step daughter is not something that happens overnight. If you’ve been married for six months and she still doesn’t seem to like you, don’t blame yourself. Don’t blame her. It takes a lot of work from both parties in order for this kind of relationship to flourish and grow over time, so don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t happen right away!
You can do everything right in terms of setting boundaries and making sure your new step daughter knows where they stand with you (and vice versa), but if she doesn’t reciprocate those efforts on her end, then all the good intentions in the world won’t amount to much when it comes down to it—no matter how hard she tries or how much effort goes into maintaining this relationship between you.
4. Check In With Your Spouse
Talk, talk, talk. Talk to your partner and make sure that they are on board with all this new information. Understand the situation from their perspective and consider what they can do to help with the situation. Talk about how you feel about it too, because how you feel is important in all of this!
Finally, talk about expectations for the future—you may want to write them down or at least come up with some guidelines for dealing with stepchildren and what should be expected of them. How will you know when things are going well and when things aren’t? You might even want to create an “issue tracker” where everyone keeps track of issues pertaining to stepchildren so you don’t get sidetracked by small details every time an issue arises.
5. Don’t Say Negative Things Regarding Your Spouse’s Ex
It’s tempting to badmouth the ex-spouse when you’re angry about something related to your stepchild. For example, if a child is doing poorly in school and is bringing home poor grades, it can be easy to blame the other parent for failing as a parent or not teaching them properly.
However, this will only cause resentment between you and your stepchild toward each other. If there are issues with behavior or grades, then speak directly with your spouse about what needs improvement instead of blaming their ex behind their back or talking negatively about their ex.
6. Step Back From Discipline
Your partner will be the one who is in charge of disciplining their child. The best thing that you can do for your marriage is not to get involved and let them handle it. If you become involved in the discipline of your step daughter, it will only become a power struggle between her and yourself, rather than her learning anything from what she has done wrong.
You should not try to control your step daughter either because this will just cause conflict within the family unit as well as make her feel like she is being treated unfairly because there are different rules for each parent (remember: she may have been raised by someone else). Also, avoid making any moral issue out of things that happen with or around your step daughter – don’t make it personal!
7. Keep Your Marriage Strong
This is the most important step in any relationship, and it’s easy to forget how to do this when you’re dealing with a step daughter. Don’t let that happen. Remember that no matter what, your partner is there for you and your marriage. You can get through anything if you’re together!
Don’t ever forget how important they are to you. By keeping your partner close by at all times and making time for them every day, not only will it make them feel loved but it will also keep the bond between both of you strong so that nothing can come between you two! This will help prevent any outside forces from coming into play when trying to sabotage your union.
8. Educate Yourself on the Dynamics of Step Daughters
Getting your step daughter on board means educating yourself on the dynamics of step daughters. It’s important to keep in mind that a lot of negative behaviors and attitudes can stem from jealousy, anger, or resentment.
If your daughter is acting out against you or your spouse, it may be because they’re angry with your spouse for not being around as much as they want. Sometimes this can even lead them to resent their own parent, which includes you in the process.
On the other hand, some children may act out if they feel threatened by their stepmother because they have replaced their biological parent or because they feel like an intruder in the family unit.
In either case, it’s important that you try not to take any of these behaviors personally because they aren’t necessarily about how much time or attention you’re putting into things—they’re about what was going on before you entered into everyone’s lives!
9. Don’t Expect Them to Call You Mom or Dad
You can’t expect your step daughter to call you Mom or Dad. That’s not to say that it’s not possible, and if it happens, it will be one of the most magical moments of your life. But don’t count on it happening as soon as you walk through the door with a box full of snacks from Costco.
Instead, think about why they may not be willing to do so at first:
- Maybe she feels like calling someone else “Mom” makes her own mother seem less relevant in her life.
- Maybe they don’t want to take away from the importance of their biological parent in their life by referring to any other parent as such.
- Maybe they want to keep things simple because everything else is complicated enough right now.
If you’ve got a step daughter sabotaging your marriage, first take a breath. Yes, it’s frustrating when she refuses to talk to you or rolls her eyes at every word that comes out of your mouth.
You may be tempted to get even with her by being mean right back. But don’t do it! Instead, try the suggestions described here. Don’t give up on relationships with people that you love because they’re difficult sometimes, but it’s worth it.