Need advice on accepting step-daughter

confused9009

I know I'm going to sound selfish, mean, and/or rude for what I'm about to post, but I don't know what else to do anymore.
I'm having trouble accepting my step-daughter now-a-days, and I'm not all sure as to why. I just have so many different reasoning in my head. It never used to be this way either, her father and I have been together practically her whole life. She was 8 months when I got together with him, and she's 4 now. When him and I first got together, I gave plenty of space so I didn't move so quickly into their lives. I didn't act like she was my child, I never made her dad feel like he needed to choose who to give his time to.
Her mom was 15 when she had her, and she used to hate me. She was always worried that I was going to try to be a mom to her daughter, even though I clearly made it show I wasn't, and she tried making my and my fiances relationship very hard by telling lies to get us to break up, and just being plain rude and disrespectful all the time. We still have issues, but not nearly as bad as they were because I learned to ignore her behavior instead of feed into it. But it's got to the point to where I'm starting to resent the daughter because she looks, and acts, just like her mom. Naturally. I try so hard to remember that it's not her fault, but it's hard.
The reason why it's hard is because on top of looking, and acting just like her mom, she doesn't listen to me all that well. I have a child with her father, my son is 2, and he listens better than his 4 year old sister does. She acts out, and deliberately disobeys people. She'll argue with me if I tell her not to do something, and she wants to do it, and she'll go behind my back and do it anyways. She knows better, and I know she knows better because she will tell me that whatever she did that was bad, is bad. I know kids will be kids, but I don't want my son seeing what she does, and doing it too thinking it's okay.
I spank her, and I put her in the corner when she's being bad. I also get after my son for the same things, so that way it's even. I don't believe in treating a child differently from another, so I try very hard to keep it equal. But lately, she's been bullying her brother. I've found 4 bite marks on him in one day, she'll do something and blame it on him so he gets in trouble. So lately I haven't been punishing my son for anything she says he did/does unless I see it with my own eyes.
I'm never over hard on her. I don't take pride in disciplining her, and I don't look for things to yell at her for. But I don't like her being around, and I resent having to watch her while her dad is working.
We only get her every other weekend because of her being in pre-school/daycare, and my fiance works schedule. That's more than enough for me to handle. Because every time she's here, she does what I had described, and then her dad and I are constantly at each other's throats because he doesn't feel like I'm being "nice to her." So her acting out hasn't only put stress on me, but it puts stress on my relationship with the father of my child as well...
He's called me "evil" in front of her, made her think I can't discipline her, and made her think that "daddy will save me" if I get after her for something. When I do watch her, there are days she's really good for me, and we will be just fine. But as soon as her dad comes home she turns into this whiny, crying over everything kid, and honestly it's very irritating to hear it because most of it comes from me asking her *nicely*, I may add, not to do something, or to do something. It kind of comes out like an 'I'm out to get her' sort of feel. Like as if I've been mean to her all day or something. For example; the other day my fiance was in the bathroom, and I asked her nicely to not jump in the apartment (we live on the 3rd floor and it was 9pm, so I was trying to not only be courteous to our neighbors, but to also get her settled down to bed), and she completely ignored me. I asked her again, and no response was given. So I went up, and swatted her on the butt to get her attention, and told her to not jump. She starts hysterically crying as if I just beat the crap out of her, and cries for daddy. So of course here comes my fiance questioning me as if I did something wrong. So, yeah generally I got really upset about it. So then we start arguing. And she'll make comments like "you need to go to your grandma's" or "you need to leave" at me. So it just makes me even more angry at her.
But that's just some of the stuff she does. Not nearly all of it. And mind you, she's 4, and acting like this. It worries me that it'll just get worse. So I talked to my fiance about how I refuse to watch her anymore, so now he only gets to see her 6 days out of the month. Part of me feels guilty, but then the other part of me feels relieved that I don't have to deal with her. When she's not around, my fiance and I don't fight at all. We're in good moods, and get along great. But as soon as she comes around, we are always fighting. Always.
Another thing that bothers me, is that my fiances friends and family act like his daughter is so amazing, and they put her on a pedestal, but yet act like my son was just a mistake. Hardly anyone knows about him because he's never talked about by anyone. No one comments on his pictures, expressing how adorable he is and all that. Only his sisters do they do that. And maybe I'm wrong for this, but it irritates me greatly, and on top of everything else, makes me wish my fiances daughter was never born. I hate to say that too, because I've known her for so long.
I have all these emotions, and feelings that I can't discuss with anyone else because they don't understand. No one I know has had to be a step-parent to a child so young, and maybe I am just being evil and jealous. But I can't take it anymore. I need advice so badly on what to do.
I've thought about, and told my fiance that I wanted to break up because of his daughter, because that's how much stress she puts on me. I'm not one to give up either, especially not 4 years. He's been cracking down on her attitude the past couple of times we've had her since I told him that. He tries seeing my side of the situation before jumping to the conclusion that I'm being "evil" to her, and instead of defending her when I do punishing, he ignores her cries. But it doesn't seem to be working. And I can't get rid of the bad feelings I have toward her, no matter how hard I try.

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colleenoz

You should not be "swatting [your not-quite-stepdaughter] on the butt" for any reason, whether you want to be fair to both her and your son or not. Don't be swatting either child. How would you feel if someone else was spanking _your_ son, however richly they felt he deserved it?
I'm not going to get into the argument of spanking vs not spanking, because that isn't the issue. The issue is your laying hands on a child who is not yours.
You _do_ have the right to expect your fiance to look after his child and to discipline her as he sees fit. You _should_ expect him to do this and not to be left babysitting his child if she is going to be a discipline problem. You _should_ expect him to require her not to speak to you disrespectfully.
You need to disengage, and let your fiance take up the responsibility of caring for his own child. If he wants her to visit, he can look after her. If she isn't going to be cooperative for you (without you resorting to physical punishment) then do her no favours. Disengage.
How his family treat your son is another issue entirely and one you need to discuss with your fiance.

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confused9009

Her mother and father both gave me the okay to spank if needed. So don't tell me I shouldn't do it. I dont care about 'what if someone else was spankimg my son', if he needs it, he needs it. As long as he's not being abused. I've tried to get him to do it, but he's always too engrossed in his games to even notice when she's being bad. So if I don't get after her, she gets away with a lot. He doesn't get her as often anymore because I refuse to watch her, and we can't afford a babysitter for no reason. He says "I'm keeping him from his daughter," but doesn't realize what kind of stress she puts me through having her around. I've talked to him about a lot of the issues going on, and it seems to fall on deaf ears. I'm also pregnant, and seriously don't need this stress.

This post was edited by confused9009 on Thu, Mar 27, 14 at 22:11

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suzieque

Oh my gosh. Have you not yet learned what causes pregnancy? You're pregnant again? Perhaps it was planned. Who knows. But really...another child when your relationship is in such jeopardy and you are not even married yet?

Sorry...no, actually I'm not sorry. I'm aghast.

As for the behavior of the little girl, I agree that she sounds like a handful. But your boyfriend needs to pay attention to the family he has created and that includes her. Good luck to you all.

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Amber3902

>> I've tried to get him to do it, but he's always too engrossed in his games to even notice when she's being bad. And this is the man you have decided to have kids with. Nice.

Yeah, best thing is for you to break up with him. His daughter stresses you out and he stresses you out because he blames you for his failure to parent his child. Sure, he gave you the okay to spank his kid, he's too busy playing video games to actually be a parent himself.

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confused9009

It never used to be this way at all. It just started getting this bad about 4-5 months ago. We've been together for four years. Yeah this baby was planned, I'm also 23 with a college degree, and a good job. I never used to believe in marriage, that's why I'm not married to him yet. He proposed for the 3rd time in December. I finally said yes. Don't talk to me like I'm some kind of teenager (which I'm sure you assumed I was). I'm also getting my tubes tied after this one too, so back off on the criticism.
I love my step-daughter to be to death, I would do, and have done anything for her. I've done more for her than her own mother. I don't know if maybe she's acting like this because she doesn't get attention at her mom's or what. But you all are giving terrible advice. I didn't post my situation to get criticized by people who think they're perfect. I posted it to get advice. Hence the title.
Like I said two other times, it never used to be this way. It might just be my hormones. I'm not sure. But I'm done with this forum because you people clearly don't know what you're doing.

This post was edited by confused9009 on Sat, Mar 29, 14 at 13:51

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sushipup1

Hey, sweetheart, if you don't want to hear the truth, don't post on public forums.

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colleenoz

Wow! 23 and a college degree! I'm impressed. You must know it all, then.
You say,
" I've tried to get him to do it, but he's always too engrossed in his games to even notice when she's being bad."
So why is he too engrosed in his games to parent his daughter? If , as he claims, "[You're] keeping him from his daughter," , why is he spending what little precious time he does have with her, playing games and ignoring her?

You also say, "I've talked to him about a lot of the issues going on, and it seems to fall on deaf ears. I'm also pregnant, and seriously don't need this stress." So, why is he not listening to you? Why does he seemingly not care about the stress that you, pregnant with what will be the _second_ of your children together, are suffering? I would have expected a caring partner would want to smooth the way for the mother of his child.
If, as you say, " It just started getting this bad about 4-5 months ago. ", what changed? What was different then (besides the behaviour)?
But, seriously, if his contribution to parenting his children is going to continue to be playing games and ignoring them while allowing you to physically discipline them as you see fit and do all the watching and organising, IMO you'd be better off not marrying him and parenting two children on your own instead of three.

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Amber3902

I love it when people on post here about situations that are unfixable and beyond their control, but don’t want to hear the advice from those who have BTDT.

OP, you’re talked to like a teenager because you’re making decisions like a teenager.

By all means, stay with your BF. Pay no attention your feelings. Push them down deep inside where they’ll fester and ferment.

And whatever you do, don’t break up with your BF. In fact, I’d buy him MORE video games to play.

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sylviatexas1

Just stop hitting this child.

Just stop.

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catlettuce

I've got nothing.

Wait, yes I do. Stop hitting this child. Violence teaches violence. Throw the video game console in the trash. Tell your BF to man-up, grow some balls and take care of his kid. Don't get married.

That's it for me.
~Cat

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XXanonymousXX

It sounds to me like your SD is having issues other than the standard misbehaving 4 year old stuff. Maybe she is having trouble with the split households - spending time away from one family when she is with the other, acclimating to a different set of rules and expectations when she is at your home, etc. She is probably also picking up on the issues you are having with your fiance and that he is not supporting your efforts to discipline or supporting you as an authoritative figure in her life. And for all you know she could be having issues at home with her mom that are causing her her to act out negatively. If the problem stems from any emotional issues like this discipline likely won't help, but may make it worse.

I would suggest a family counselor. He/she can help pin down the source of the problem with your SD, and also help you and your fiance get on the same page. Because, honestly, either you guys can work together in raising your SD when she is in your home, and you can build a healthy family together, or he can raise her without your help (which you are by no means required to provide), but that's not good for anyone, especially your SD, and IMO doesn't make for a happy life.

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