How to love a hated stepdaughter

I am writing the story of my client in the first person: the plot is real, the names, appearances and passwords are fictitious. The article is reprinted with the permission of the main character.

First meeting

When I first found out that the man of my dreams has a daughter from his first marriage, I was scared. As it turned out later, not in vain. He, of course, assured me that there was no reason for concern, repeating: “she is a real angel, you will see, you will get along right away.”

The fact is that she was an angel five years ago, when Yakov, her father and my fiance, lived under the same roof with his ex-wife. Since then, from a sweet angel child, she has turned into a teenage devil. Yakov himself did not expect such a turn of events.

stepdaughter drawing

My stepdaughter’s name is Irina. She is 15 years old, me 27, my husband 42. We met at work, we had an affair, it was love at first sight and for life. None of us doubted it. Jacob was already divorced, nothing darkened our happiness until the very acquaintance with his daughter.

We agreed to meet at a restaurant. I myself chose the place, I wanted to please, since the girl grew up in luxury since childhood. Mom was the daughter of a successful businessman, dad also did not lag behind, pampering his only daughter. They had a kind of competition, who had “the coolest eggs and the more expensive gift.” Mom was engaged in her beauty and status, so she was far from her daughter. I knew about this from Yakov’s short stories, I assumed that with such a childhood the girl’s character would not be simple, but every time he assured me that this was not so. As a result, I believed in a miracle: I imagined how we would become friends, we would go shopping together, exhibitions, salons and so on. Fool, in a word. As if she doesn’t have friends for that …

Read also: Do you resent your mom? Psychopathy from Olga Fatum

Irina came to the restaurant an hour late, defiantly threw an expensive phone on the table, ignoring me, without undressing, said, turning to her father: “I have half an hour, say what you need.”

– What does half an hour mean? – Jacob was indignant, – we made an appointment in advance! I warned you that this is important to me, I want to introduce you to a special person for me!

– Yeah, – Irina grinned, – is it with this sucker, or what? Have you seen how she dresses? What did you find in her? Was your mother Miss Moscow? Who’s that? The secretary …

stepdaughter figure 2

Irina did not have time to finish the phrase in rhyme, as her father suddenly jumped up and hit her in the face. It was the first time, I will immediately acquit him, and in a state of passion. We both expected the meeting to be different. Perhaps not smoothly. But it’s not like that.


We tried to mend the relationship several more times, all to no avail. I scored, my husband met with her separately. Somehow everything worked out without that. Mom kept telling me that there was no need to breed this nepotism: “You will improve your relationship with your daughter, you will have to be friends with your mother, but do you need it?”. One way or another, I would have come to terms with such a situation, if not for the subsequent events that changed my attitude towards my stepdaughter.

We got married, we had a child, a son, Irina’s only brother, who never wanted to get to know him. And then I was covered by everyone at once: resentment, anger and jealousy. I was shaken and destroyed by any mention, any hint or accidentally voiced name “Irina”, not even directly related to the culprit of my well-being.

This could not but affect our relationship with my husband: I was jealous of him every time he was going to meet her, and they saw each other regularly. The child became capricious, did not sleep at night, refused to breastfeed, then I started lactostasis, antibiotics, abrupt weaning, sleepless nights in hysterics and the threat of divorce, since I began to take out all my fatigue and hatred on my husband: “You ignore me, you spend all your time at work or with her (I hinted at Irina)! I’m the only one here to solve all the problems, and you don’t care. “


Yakov really began to avoid me, of course, I was not adequate. The only thing that stopped me from falling into depression was the attitude towards the family, which I had dreamed of for so long. I could not, had no right to lose her.

The rescue

The right people come to me on request. I myself deduced this random pattern. Of course, I don’t sit on the heap and don’t wait to be rescued, but I don’t refuse help anymore when it’s suddenly offered. So this time: a friend told about being in a women’s online club, where mothers and different specialists support each other and help find a resource in difficult maternity days. Usually I am not fooled by this kind of sectarianism, but then I volunteered myself, boiling from within.

I was lucky, because just a couple of days later I got into a chat at the online event “Resource Monday”. We analyzed metaphorical cards, we had to find our resource in the image. Instead, I sank into despair all the time. But this image of a girl from a circus with three lions on fire hooked me so much that I asked myself for a personal consultation with the organizer and a psychologist. Olga Fatum.


This turned out to be a very timely decision. Cards are only part of the pie. Thanks to the therapy I received, I changed my attitude towards Irina and her place in our family system in general. It was a surprise when she suddenly called herself after a while and expressed a desire to see her brother. For the first time we communicated humanly, without gnashing resentments and reproaches on our teeth.

I can’t say that I love or don’t love my stepdaughter now, this is a different feeling. She is the point. I do not deny her, I do not create illusions about our relationship with her and do not try to become a friend. We are just planets, different planets, but at the same time we revolve in the same energy field, communicate with people whom we love and respect each other’s right to be who we are.

world drawing

How else to explain it more simply from the words of my psychologist. We often try to impose a model of concrete behavior on the world and those around us. It seems to us that we know better how, but in fact the concept of “better or worse” does not exist, so if you let it go, it will become easier. In words. In fact, behind this, of course, there is a deep inner study of oneself, childhood traumas, attitudes, self-esteem and so on (everyone has their own list), but the road will be mastered by the walker. And when you know what or who is waiting for you at the end of this path – a loving husband, a healthy child, a happy family – you are ready to go forward, believe in a miracle and work miracles yourself!

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