Stepdaughter Boundaries

Andy C

Well-Known Member
Tough situation Cheeky, and lots of good comments provided.

Your husband no doubt feels what is best, after so many years of watching her fail from a distance, is for her to be under your roof, where he can directly try and make an impact. His feelings on this is hard to override, as thats his daughter, he has not been part of her daily upbringing, and this is a last chance effort in providing help before she becomes a legal adult.

You have said he is probably close to finally accepting Jesus as his Savior. You, obviously are already saved, and maybe the sacrifice you would have to make is just what he would need to see and live through, to bring him to our Lord. Maybe a stretch, but certainly him seeing you agree to what is very important to him as a father would have a big impact on him.

The pending arrival of your little one does complicate matters, as you want to live in a stress free environment while you can, because soon, the little one born will test both of you.....

Unless the daughter has some other problems you have not mentioned....ie drugs, alcohol abuse, I would lean towards allowing her to move in, but with strict rules, and ENFORCING those rules through tough love. A stable home situation may just be the piece that has been missing from her life.

I know you are deep in prayer about this, and I pray you will receive direction in what the best decision is.
 

cheeky200386

Well-Known Member
If she comes to live with you, can you and your husband at least make it on a trial basis of a certain amount of time?
Perhaps a six month period to see if she will be dependable, responsible for herself, and adhere to some basic rules of the home?
If it doesn't work out, she understands that she will have to rent a room somewhere else, or get her own/or shared
apartment and be responsible for herself? Or, go back to her mom?

Just a thought.......... maybe a compromise with an end date attached?

I can't seem to get him to come up with an end date or any sort of rules or consequences from him. That's the part that bothers me. I'm not comfortable with her living with us and then having to bring up issues as they come up only to have to deal with him dragging his feet to do anything. That's the part I know will strain our marriage. When I bring this up he just stays quiet. That's not reassuring me at all. And I have this new baby that will challenge us both and it just seems like an intruder will come in with all the chaos she will bring. I just find myself feeling on the defensive having to go into protection mode for our son and marriage.
 

cheeky200386

Well-Known Member
Tough situation Cheeky, and lots of good comments provided.

Your husband no doubt feels what is best, after so many years of watching her fail from a distance, is for her to be under your roof, where he can directly try and make an impact. His feelings on this is hard to override, as thats his daughter, he has not been part of her daily upbringing, and this is a last chance effort in providing help before she becomes a legal adult.

You have said he is probably close to finally accepting Jesus as his Savior. You, obviously are already saved, and maybe the sacrifice you would have to make is just what he would need to see and live through, to bring him to our Lord. Maybe a stretch, but certainly him seeing you agree to what is very important to him as a father would have a big impact on him.

The pending arrival of your little one does complicate matters, as you want to live in a stress free environment while you can, because soon, the little one born will test both of you.....

Unless the daughter has some other problems you have not mentioned....ie drugs, alcohol abuse, I would lean towards allowing her to move in, but with strict rules, and ENFORCING those rules through tough love. A stable home situation may just be the piece that has been missing from her life.

I know you are deep in prayer about this, and I pray you will receive direction in what the best decision is.

Well she'll be a legal adult this August thankfully. If I didn't have a baby coming, I'd be more willing but his lack of coming up with any sort of strict rules, consequences bothers me. I bring up examples of things she continually does and he just stays quiet. We have no idea if she does anything like drugs because she lives in FL and lies to us. He just found out she's been failing high school and was kept back a grade. He had been asking her for her grades for years and she never followed up.

Those are the behaviors I'm not interested in dealing with in my home, the secretive deceptive, lying, and manipulative behavior. I want to focus on our son and having a Godly home. Unfortunately, I don't trust my husband to enforce any rules with her or to be consistent. I'm not ok with that and just going in blindly without having a concrete plan of how these issues will be addressed, what the final straw will be, etc... I see it becoming a battle between me vs. him and his daughter very quickly.
 

Tall Timbers

Imperfect but forgiven
I can't seem to get him to come up with an end date or any sort of rules or consequences from him. That's the part that bothers me. I'm not comfortable with her living with us and then having to bring up issues as they come up only to have to deal with him dragging his feet to do anything. That's the part I know will strain our marriage. When I bring this up he just stays quiet. That's not reassuring me at all. And I have this new baby that will challenge us both and it just seems like an intruder will come in with all the chaos she will bring. I just find myself feeling on the defensive having to go into protection mode for our son and marriage.

You should read and pray around Proverbs 31 and other portions of the Bible that characterize a righteous wife. Sometimes the best path to take is the hardest.
 

Andiamo

"Let's go!"
Well she'll be a legal adult this August thankfully. If I didn't have a baby coming, I'd be more willing but his lack of coming up with any sort of strict rules, consequences bothers me. I bring up examples of things she continually does and he just stays quiet. We have no idea if she does anything like drugs because she lives in FL and lies to us. He just found out she's been failing high school and was kept back a grade. He had been asking her for her grades for years and she never followed up.

Those are the behaviors I'm not interested in dealing with in my home, the secretive deceptive, lying, and manipulative behavior. I want to focus on our son and having a Godly home. Unfortunately, I don't trust my husband to enforce any rules with her or to be consistent. I'm not ok with that and just going in blindly without having a concrete plan of how these issues will be addressed, what the final straw will be, etc... I see it becoming a battle between me vs. him and his daughter very quickly.
This whole thing could be a non issue, because if she doesn't want to live with you she won't go. I am thinking she won't want to live with you, because she already avoids you during the summers because she knows you have expectations and the relatives do not. I feel bad that your husband feels guilty. He must be having issues come up as he sees her growing up and a new baby about to be born.
 

cheeky200386

Well-Known Member
This whole thing could be a non issue, because if she doesn't want to live with you she won't go. I am thinking she won't want to live with you, because she already avoids you during the summers because she knows you have expectations and the relatives do not. I feel bad that your husband feels guilty. He must be having issues come up as he sees her growing up and a new baby about to be born.

That's true too. She already isn't calling him consistently like she said she would after he told her there would be rules if she lived with us. She did express some hesitation last summer around concerns with expectations in living with us. Again it was this last minute plan my husband wanted and I ended up with daily headaches because everything felt so rushed and chaotic. He wouldn't talk to me about my concerns and it turned out to be a non-issue as we didn't see her again for the rest of her time up here. This is the kind of thing I hate. She shows up like a whirlwind and he wants to drop everything without a care of what could be an issue to accommodate her. Yet she lies, manipulates, and ends up not wanting anything that he's offering. All it does is put a strain on our marriage. :furious

I really want my husband to know that God will forgive him of his past sins, and that even this can be used for good. Although there are long-term consequences, it's not too late for him to reconcile with his daughter even if she doesn't live with us. He does know this is a difficult for most and that many desire a relationship with their parents in their mid to late 20's.
 
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alisani

Well-Known Member
I know, I just know someone is going to want to smack me after this post, but I have lived the reality of submitting to my husband and after prayer, have decided to post anyway. A little background: I have been married for 24 years. My husband is saved, was saved when we started dating. I got saved around the same time we got married. Some things happened to my husband that caused him to struggle in his walk with God. My husband was going through such a profound depression that, for a time, he was just checked out of our home life, bless him. I was still young enough, both age-wise and in the Lord to think I could just dictate to him, over-ride him. The truth is, I was fearful of his being so removed and, as a consequence, I didn't trust him to make good decisions for our family. Our men may like to play dumb sometimes, but they aren't dumb. They know when they enjoy the trust of their wives and when they don't. So here goes:

The word submission in marriage is difficult to accept, even in Christian circles. But that is exactly what wives are called to do. Godly submission does not denote weakness or inferiority. Submission in a godly marriage is a sign of strength. Strength of character and strength in faith. It is a choice to show respect towards our husbands, regardless of how we may feel about some of their choices. It is an attitude that we are called to adapt that allows us to be true helpmeets. Biblical submission does not mean that we wives go silent or say yes to everything. Nor does it mean we forsake ourselves or our opinions in favor of our husbands. Rather, it means that we choose, above all else, to be supportive of our husbands, even if we can see potential negative consequences to their choices. When we make that choice, we empower our husbands to be more careful about just what they are choosing to do in any given situation. By showing unconditional respect, we free them to find their self-respect. This may be the very last puzzle piece that is needed for your husband's salvation. Men who have the unconditional trust of their wives are more likely to become the kind of men who accept their responsibilities in the home. They become more drawn to do what God intends: protect and provide for and lead their families to pursue godly lives.

When a man has been given this unconditional respect, it is inevitable that he will look upon his wife with similar eyes. Such is the joy of the woman in Proverbs 31. This becomes a healthy cycle of marital satisfaction. If a man fears his wife's scorn, he will often shut down. Cheeky, I have no doubt that you are being nothing but gentle, but from what you've described, it seems there is a strong possibility that he fears, even if that is not reality, that he has been judged and is avoiding conflict by shutting down the subject completely. He needs his confidence restored and you both need a peaceful home. I am praying for all of the circumstances you've described. And I'm sure satan would love to use the disruption of his daughter as a means of keeping you from having such a strong witness, as a means to undermine your private practice and to destroy yet another family. But, if you will trust God, even if you feel you cannot trust your husband, if you will choose to learn and seek for understanding on biblical submission, I am certain that you will reap a beautiful harvest for yourself and your family. I had to start practicing just as I described above. It didn't happen overnight, hence the word practice, but I enjoy a marriage today in which I submit with joy. My husband is fully inhabiting his role as husband, and I as wife. The cycle of mutual respect constantly refreshes itself. I trust God to bring the same blessing to you and yours.
 

fl2007rn

Well-Known Member
I just saw this thread Cheeky and I will be praying for you and your family. :pray Everyone has given excellent advice and opinions about your situation. Should your step daughter come to live with you there is one sticking point I would not negotiate on and that is if she brings alcohol or drugs into your home. Your husband is a police officer and you are a licensed therapist and both have careers that could be negatively impacted or even terminated by a minor child doing these things in your home. You also have a new baby on the way and you need to know that your home will not be affected by alcohol/drugs. I pray your husband will at least agree to this simple rule. :pray
 

cheeky200386

Well-Known Member
I know, I just know someone is going to want to smack me after this post, but I have lived the reality of submitting to my husband and after prayer, have decided to post anyway. A little background: I have been married for 24 years. My husband is saved, was saved when we started dating. I got saved around the same time we got married. Some things happened to my husband that caused him to struggle in his walk with God. My husband was going through such a profound depression that, for a time, he was just checked out of our home life, bless him. I was still young enough, both age-wise and in the Lord to think I could just dictate to him, over-ride him. The truth is, I was fearful of his being so removed and, as a consequence, I didn't trust him to make good decisions for our family. Our men may like to play dumb sometimes, but they aren't dumb. They know when they enjoy the trust of their wives and when they don't. So here goes:

The word submission in marriage is difficult to accept, even in Christian circles. But that is exactly what wives are called to do. Godly submission does not denote weakness or inferiority. Submission in a godly marriage is a sign of strength. Strength of character and strength in faith. It is a choice to show respect towards our husbands, regardless of how we may feel about some of their choices. It is an attitude that we are called to adapt that allows us to be true helpmeets. Biblical submission does not mean that we wives go silent or say yes to everything. Nor does it mean we forsake ourselves or our opinions in favor of our husbands. Rather, it means that we choose, above all else, to be supportive of our husbands, even if we can see potential negative consequences to their choices. When we make that choice, we empower our husbands to be more careful about just what they are choosing to do in any given situation. By showing unconditional respect, we free them to find their self-respect. This may be the very last puzzle piece that is needed for your husband's salvation. Men who have the unconditional trust of their wives are more likely to become the kind of men who accept their responsibilities in the home. They become more drawn to do what God intends: protect and provide for and lead their families to pursue godly lives.

When a man has been given this unconditional respect, it is inevitable that he will look upon his wife with similar eyes. Such is the joy of the woman in Proverbs 31. This becomes a healthy cycle of marital satisfaction. If a man fears his wife's scorn, he will often shut down. Cheeky, I have no doubt that you are being nothing but gentle, but from what you've described, it seems there is a strong possibility that he fears, even if that is not reality, that he has been judged and is avoiding conflict by shutting down the subject completely. He needs his confidence restored and you both need a peaceful home. I am praying for all of the circumstances you've described. And I'm sure satan would love to use the disruption of his daughter as a means of keeping you from having such a strong witness, as a means to undermine your private practice and to destroy yet another family. But, if you will trust God, even if you feel you cannot trust your husband, if you will choose to learn and seek for understanding on biblical submission, I am certain that you will reap a beautiful harvest for yourself and your family. I had to start practicing just as I described above. It didn't happen overnight, hence the word practice, but I enjoy a marriage today in which I submit with joy. My husband is fully inhabiting his role as husband, and I as wife. The cycle of mutual respect constantly refreshes itself. I trust God to bring the same blessing to you and yours.

This is exactly why I would love for us to meet with my Pastor. He can hear our sides and speak wisdom to us both. I want to submit while also sharing my concerns that he's not wanting to discuss. I'm bringing this to God and trust he will intervene as he has already.
 
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alisani

Well-Known Member
This is exactly why I would love for us to meet with my Pastor. He can hear our sides and speak wisdom to us both. I want to submit while also sharing my concerns that he's not wanting to discuss. I'm bringing this to God and trust he will intervene as he has already.
Amen sister. It is so clear in your posts that you have a heart for God and that your heart reflects your obedience to Him. And I'm praying that God does the work in your husband to not only be saved but to be the man your godly heart desires. Your love for your husband is a testimony on this forum!!!
 

cheeky200386

Well-Known Member
Amen sister. It is so clear in your posts that you have a heart for God and that your heart reflects your obedience to Him. And I'm praying that God does the work in your husband to not only be saved but to be the man your godly heart desires. Your love for your husband is a testimony on this forum!!!

I truly hope so. I will definitely be studying Proverbs 31 and 1 Peter 3 some more in the interim because I know I have been critical and harsh towards him.
 

alisani

Well-Known Member
I truly hope so. I will definitely be studying Proverbs 31 and 1 Peter 3 some more in the interim because I know I have been critical and harsh towards him.
I can understand. I had the same attitude. God dealt with me quite gently on it all things considered. I came to understand that God wanted me to extend the respect whether my DH showed he was worthy of it or not. Sometimes we have to love people not as they are in that moment but for who they can be in Christ if we will just trust. You've got the strength and the love. Now God will get to work.
 

Andiamo

"Let's go!"
I know, I just know someone is going to want to smack me after this post, but I have lived the reality of submitting to my husband and after prayer, have decided to post anyway. A little background: I have been married for 24 years. My husband is saved, was saved when we started dating. I got saved around the same time we got married. Some things happened to my husband that caused him to struggle in his walk with God. My husband was going through such a profound depression that, for a time, he was just checked out of our home life, bless him. I was still young enough, both age-wise and in the Lord to think I could just dictate to him, over-ride him. The truth is, I was fearful of his being so removed and, as a consequence, I didn't trust him to make good decisions for our family. Our men may like to play dumb sometimes, but they aren't dumb. They know when they enjoy the trust of their wives and when they don't. So here goes:

The word submission in marriage is difficult to accept, even in Christian circles. But that is exactly what wives are called to do. Godly submission does not denote weakness or inferiority. Submission in a godly marriage is a sign of strength. Strength of character and strength in faith. It is a choice to show respect towards our husbands, regardless of how we may feel about some of their choices. It is an attitude that we are called to adapt that allows us to be true helpmeets. Biblical submission does not mean that we wives go silent or say yes to everything. Nor does it mean we forsake ourselves or our opinions in favor of our husbands. Rather, it means that we choose, above all else, to be supportive of our husbands, even if we can see potential negative consequences to their choices. When we make that choice, we empower our husbands to be more careful about just what they are choosing to do in any given situation. By showing unconditional respect, we free them to find their self-respect. This may be the very last puzzle piece that is needed for your husband's salvation. Men who have the unconditional trust of their wives are more likely to become the kind of men who accept their responsibilities in the home. They become more drawn to do what God intends: protect and provide for and lead their families to pursue godly lives.

When a man has been given this unconditional respect, it is inevitable that he will look upon his wife with similar eyes. Such is the joy of the woman in Proverbs 31. This becomes a healthy cycle of marital satisfaction. If a man fears his wife's scorn, he will often shut down. Cheeky, I have no doubt that you are being nothing but gentle, but from what you've described, it seems there is a strong possibility that he fears, even if that is not reality, that he has been judged and is avoiding conflict by shutting down the subject completely. He needs his confidence restored and you both need a peaceful home. I am praying for all of the circumstances you've described. And I'm sure satan would love to use the disruption of his daughter as a means of keeping you from having such a strong witness, as a means to undermine your private practice and to destroy yet another family. But, if you will trust God, even if you feel you cannot trust your husband, if you will choose to learn and seek for understanding on biblical submission, I am certain that you will reap a beautiful harvest for yourself and your family. I had to start practicing just as I described above. It didn't happen overnight, hence the word practice, but I enjoy a marriage today in which I submit with joy. My husband is fully inhabiting his role as husband, and I as wife. The cycle of mutual respect constantly refreshes itself. I trust God to bring the same blessing to you and yours.
This is a beautiful post, but I would like to add this comment for the benefit of anyone lurking who may be reading this:
Biblical submission to one's spouse may only be completely followed under the condition that there are no addictions or abuse in the marriage. God does not expect you to submit to a husband who is abusing you in any way, or who is using you to enable his addiction.
 

alisani

Well-Known Member
This is a beautiful post, but I would like to add this comment for the benefit of anyone lurking who may be reading this:
Biblical submission to one's spouse may only be completely followed under the condition that there are no addictions or abuse in the marriage. God does not expect you to submit to a husband who is abusing you in any way, or who is using you to enable his addiction.
Thank you for making that clarification for potential non-believers or those very new in Christ. We are never to be doormats and abuse of any kind is not of God and we are not called by God to endure it.
 

cheeky200386

Well-Known Member
I followed up with my husband and apologized for not being respectful and after much prayer I told him I will support his decision. I have been reflecting on Sarah's example with Abraham and how she expressed her concerns with Ishmael and how Abraham disagreed. Yet God intervened on her behalf that time and many times before.

I haven't trusted God in this and have just focused on how my husband isn't doing what I want based on my concerns. I did make one request that we see the Pastor in preparation should she live with us. He said he would like that since establishing rules will be new for us with her.

I'm extremely grateful for all of the Godly counsel I received here. I knew I would get the truth and not be appeased. I am grateful I can serve God in this way by obeying his command to respect and obey my husband. I pray that God will use this to lead them both to salvation.

I will definitely need a lot of prayers to endure whatever comes whether she moves in or not. It will be difficult and test me just as becoming a mother will. God bless you my brothers and sisters in Christ!
 

FaithnHope

Loved and changed by Jesus.
I do have one suggestion but have only been a step kid and never a stepmom so take it as just a suggestion. Why not have her on the lease too? If she stays, great! It will build her credit score. If she refuses then you know she wasn’t planning on staying with you anyway and likely won’t even more. I wouldn’t get an apartment without that stipulation. Not for the money but to see if she is going to be a flight risk. This way both sides are making a sacrifice. I am praying for all of you! :hug
 

cheeky200386

Well-Known Member
I do have one suggestion but have only been a step kid and never a stepmom so take it as just a suggestion. Why not have her on the lease too? If she stays, great! It will build her credit score. If she refuses then you know she wasn’t planning on staying with you anyway and likely won’t even more. I wouldn’t get an apartment without that stipulation. Not for the money but to see if she is going to be a flight risk. This way both sides are making a sacrifice. I am praying for all of you! :hug
I love this idea. I'll definitely mention it when and if the conversation comes back up.
 

yrrek

Well-Known Member
No... just no. He needs to focus on you and your baby. If she’s going to turn 18 and it’s a bad situation... you don’t want to bring that into your life when you’re about to have a baby. It’s hard enough parenting a newborn. You need a strong marriage and him pushing this on you isn’t right if you’re not on board. I can tell he wants to save her but at this point it’s too late. I’m from a dysfunctional family. I’ve seen this type of situation played out over and over. It will not end well.

I know I’m coming off harsh but I’m wanting to save you from a lot of pain and tears in the end. I have step parents on both sides and I’ve seen this... I’m screaming here... “Don’t do it!”
 
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