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I didn’t raise my stepdaughter. She’s 26 and I’ve only been married to her father for six years, but God, when she decides to leave her unplanned pregnancy to her father and me, I think I deserve an opinion.
He moved out last month and we were constantly at odds. It won’t help with basic tasks like cooking or laundry because it is sensitive to odors. He decided that he did not want the father to be involved and would not request child support. Instead of continuing to work for insurance and paying for a nanny, she decided she’d rather stay home with the baby. His perfect world, it seems, is that his father and I fully support him for the next 18 years without the slightest sadness. I was okay with her moving here to save money and decide her next steps, but I wasn’t okay with her stepping on us.
My stepdaughter has told me over and over that I have no idea and that I should mind my own business. When he dumped this whole mess in our lap, I told him he was making this my job. Luckily we have enough space at home so we basically have separate living spaces, but I’ve seen enough of my peers get stuck raising grandchildren while parents go their own ways that I don’t get stuck in that trap. My husband is begging me to give him time, but a ticking time bomb will arrive in less than six months. My step daughter is 26, not 16. He’s old enough to know better and plan ahead. His siblings also agree with me. I do not know what to do. Help!
—Six Months and Counting
Dear Six Months and Counting,
Wow, this situation seems difficult. I spoke with Clinical Psychologist and expert Aura De Los Santos. E-HEALTH projectFor his insight on how to approach this situation.
First of all, Santos states: lack of clear boundaries There is a problem between the three of you; This is especially worrying since you all now reside in the same house. “The stepmother has been married to her stepdaughter’s father for a while, they have their own house, and the rules of this house are set by the stepmother and father,” he said. So no, your stepdaughter can’t tell you what to do and stay out of her business. “If he decides not to seek child support, that’s his decision, but the decisions he makes are not made with consideration of how they will affect others,” Santos said.
It’s a time set clear boundaries before the situation becomes even more unmanageable. The next step is to sit down with your husband and explain honestly, in a firm but kind way, how you feel about this situation. Make a list of the things that bother you and then think of some solutions to these problems. For example, Santos notes that you can talk about expenses incurred when your daughter is allowed to live at home. “You can agree on expenses, because it’s a big responsibility and your daughter needs to shoulder what’s hers,” Santos said. You must clearly state your position to your husband and explain what costs you are willing and unwilling to incur. But ultimately your husband must confront his daughter and take responsibility.
Shortly after we moved in together, I noticed that my husband had a problem with chocolate. If there is someone at home, he will eat them all. I’ll keep a bag of candy in the fridge and eat one a day. He will eat the entire bag in one sitting. I bought her her own bag, thinking that would alleviate the problem, but it didn’t. If I don’t eat the chocolate I bought right away, it will run out the next day.