I seriously dislike my stepdaughter. She is now 13 and is the youngest of 4 kids, but from a different father. My wife described the circumstances of her birth as an accident, as she didn’t even have a relationship with the girl’s father. She did consider abortion at the time, but followed through with the pregnancy. The girl has always had everything handed to her, and my wife seems to feel guilty, although she tells me, and I see, her trying to educate the girl. The girl is impossible! She is selfish and is incapable of thinking about someone other than herself. Even when she is nice, she is unbearable. I try to participate in her life as much as I can; to try to find activities we can do to get closer, but it seems she doesn’t like me either. There is nothing about her that I like. My wife also seems annoyed by her. She is a good student, though, and has friends. Teachers speak well of her too. She is lazy and believes she is so smart. She is smart, but she just thinks so highly of herself. As much as I try to understand the situation, consider the girl’s past, and to try participate and help my wife, and cannot like this girl. I do believe she is old enough to take responsibility of what she does wrong and to do her part in helping us become a family. I am afraid I will not make it, regardless of how much I love my wife. I do realize that my attitude lately does reflect the fact that I dislike the girl, and I try to not make it as conspicuous for my wife; but it can be pretty obvious, especially when my wife is also annoyed by the girl. My wife works a lot, and the girl spends a lot of time by herself, as she has always have. I’ve suggested that we find activities, but the girl doesn’t want to do anything other than being on her phone and ask for new stuff, which she ends up breaking anyway. She has no regard for other people’s space or things; everything is disposable to her. I feel like I won’t make for another 4-5 years… Please help!
I’m afraid there may not be an easy solution to this problem. You chose to marry your wife knowing her situation. You picked this family. Choices have consequences.
You can try talking to your wife about parenting. Parenting classes could help. Both of you can try reading books about tough love. Even then, it may not be enough to change the family dynamic or how you feel about your stepdaughter, but it is still worth trying.
Unless you choose to leave the family, then you must find a way to tolerate your stepdaughter. Eventually, this problem will likely fix itself after she moves out. Understandably, it may be difficult to endure but consider this: you’ve already done it for over a decade. A few more years may be doable.
Consider meeting with a therapist for a deeper analysis. They might have ideas to assist.
I wish I had a better answer for you but the reality is, not all problems can be fixed. Some problems require patience, tolerance and endurance. This sounds like one of those times. Thanks for your question.
Dr. Kristina Randle
I Don’t Like My Stepdaughter
Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW
Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.
APA Reference Randle, K. (2019). I Don’t Like My Stepdaughter. Psych Central.
Retrieved on August 19, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/03/26/i-dont-like-my-stepdaughter/
Last updated: 25 Mar 2019 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 25 Mar 2019 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.