Feeling resentment towards my step kids

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    I know that sound horrible, but my grown pampered step kids drive me insane! I didn’t feel this way when they were little, but now that their supposedly grown adults I fear they will never move out. Background info the girl is 20 yr old, never had a job, doesn’t even have a drivers permit, and just recently started school 3 months ago. The boy is 23 again never had a job, blew all his father’s GI Bill money on games and cards, doesn’t have a car, only goes to school 3 nights a week and has to use my car and gas to go anywhere. Between the 2 of them their nightly chores are load dishwasher, wipe counters, scoop litter box and feed dogs dinner. I do everything else, one day I asked husband to get Bash to mop floors. He told me no because he had school that night. It was 12, he doesn’t go to school until 6. I drove Cecily to the mall, did I feel like it no, but thought I’d be nice. In the car she informed me that she feels like she shouldn’t have to do chores on weekends.Wow, she only has 2 chores a night. Anyways, When we got home I asked her If she would mind helping me clean the house. She had the nerve to tell me no, she didn’t feel like it. I mentioned it to my husband and he kinda chuckled and said well I did give her the option. I’m just burnt out. If I try and talk to my husband about my concerns he automatically becomes defensive. God there is just so much more, but I don’t feel like typing it out. They’re honestly just so pampered there is no reason for them to ever want to move out. My question is how do I let go of this anger and resentment that has built up? Trust me I already tried talking to hubby, but I just get shot to the side.


    This site has a tab called letting go. Hopefully those articles will help. Next, focus on what the real problem may be. If the kids weren’t there would you do the cleaning anyway? You didn’t particularly say that they were slobs themselves but you did mention three times that you’d like them to move out (they’re driving you insane, you fear they’ll never move out, they’re pampered too much to want to move out). Also, they didn’t bother you when they were little. Maybe you need to have a serious talk with your husband about them getting their own place. Set a time frame and stick to it. You’ll need to really lose the anger even if you’re faking it so that this becomes a positive life step for your family. In case they all forgot, remind them that usually your first apartment is sometimes a giant step down from your parents’ house. Good luck.


    Hi piper,

    Honestly, reading your post make ME feel resentment towards your step kids!

    So maybe that means I’m the last person that should be posting?

    I don’t understand why some parents think it is ok to have chore expectations of 20 year old “kids” as though they can only perform at the level of a 10 year old and then other parents have their 10 year olds doing many responsibilities. We all have our abilities, and we all may function at different levels but it sounds like your step “kids” are more capable than they are performing and expecting too little from themselves and too much of the “adults” in their life.

    My post is sounding full of judgement… I wish it didn’t. This is certainly a sore spot for me.

    It sounds like the “kids” and your husband see them still as kids and not the adults they are capable of being.

    It also sounds like you are struggling with treating them like kids vs adults and not wanting to make waves and wanting not to be in their disfavor too much.

    I think you need to listen to yourself and take care of yourself. I don’t know what that means. I don’t know if it means letting go of your expectations for your own peace. Or maybe it means being more selfish in your actions and putting yourself first.

    This is where I struggle. I struggle with feeling that I am acting compassionately but then finding myself neglected or frustrated somehow. Like I am busy taking care of others happiness and my own gets forgotten. How do we get these things in harmony? How can a ride to the mall also be loving to ourselves? If it can’t, then what is in harmony with our own nurturing?


    Hello Pyper-

    My opinion, based on reading what you have written, is that the problem you are having is not with the children so much as with your husband.

    Your husband should be valuing your needs as much or more than his children, now that they are adults. Really, he should be the one who is upset about the way the children are acting. If he does not find it troubling that his children have not progressed to a state of growth where they are willing to contribute more to the household than they are now, then it sounds like maybe the struggle for getting more out of the children will need to begin with getting more out of your husband.

    It sounds like the second part of this problem is “Trust me I already tried talking to hubby, but I just get shot to the side.” You are in an unequal relationship. My guess is that your husband may be just fine with the way the children are behaving because that it easier for him than having to try to get them to behave more as equally participatory adults. To this point you have accepted this, and so there is no reason to change.

    Though talking with your husband has not been productive to this point, I believe that is how you are going to solve your dilemma. You will need to find a way have him accept your views as equivalent to his; have him find importance in your needs; and ultimately that should lead to him being the one to correct his children’s behavior, rather than you.

    There are all sorts of destructive ways to do this like threatening to leave, or refusing to do any household work until others do, or selectively not cleaning up after the children — but all of these will likely just lead to resentment with you as the step-parent. My advice would be to tell your husband that you are unhappy with the situation; that you feel like you are in an unequal relationship; and then solicit the help of a good LMFT to work on correcting those issues.

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