My Adult Stepdaughter and Her Kids Turned Our Home Upside Down, I Left and Refuse to Return Until They Are There

2 months ago

In life, we often find ourselves navigating unexpected twists and turns, confronting challenges we never imagined. One such curveball arrived in the form of an adult stepdaughter and her children. What began as an opportunity to welcome them into their home soon turned into a whirlwind of trouble for one Reddit user. This is a story of love, boundaries, and the difficult choices we sometimes must make for our own well-being.

The woman shared her side of the story.

I married my husband when his daughter, Trudi, was 22, she is now 36. He was 47 and I was 32. I have two kids, 20 and 18 now. Both are away at college.

Trudi never liked me, and that was fine. She has a mother, and she was a full adult living on her own when we met. Her parents had been divorced for six years when I met her father.

We live in a city with lots of tourism, so it was an easy decision to keep my apartment and do short-term rentals when my kids and I moved in with my husband. We also use it for out-of-town guests.

Trudi and her husband ran into some financial problems last year. Trudi and her family of four moved in with us. We agreed that after the holidays, I would stop taking reservations for my apartment, and they could move in there. They would sign a lease, and we would “rent” it to them without collecting rent so they could build up rental history and money.

Trudi moved in last October. It was hell. She doesn’t help around the house, and neither do her kids. Her husband is working hard to get money together for them, so he comes home exhausted. And he is more help than her or their kids.

The three of them leave dirty dishes everywhere. Dirty laundry everywhere. The house is just a mess. I have spoken to all of them, including my husband, about this. My son-in-law is the only one who makes an effort. Trudi literally said that I live in her father’s house, so I don’t get to tell her what to do. My husband did not back me up.

So I moved out. My apartment is now empty since the holidays are over. I said I didn’t want them treating my property like they were treating my husband’s home.

They are all mad at me for leaving and changing the plan. She actually threatened to sue me since they have a signed lease. I told her to go ahead, since I could prove that I never got the agreed-upon deposit or the first and last month’s rent (which we were going to “cover” to help them start over).

I’ve been here for a week now and it is great. No noise, no mess, and a much better commute for me to my work. My husband has been spending a few nights a week here with me. He wants me to come home and give them the apartment like we agreed. I said I would do that if we went back to his house that minute, and it was in good shape.

The narrator’s voiceover goes here, “It was not.” It was disgusting, like it smelled bad. It was as if five teenage boys were living there with no supervision.

She saw me looking around in disgust and said that it wasn’t her fault and that the mess was because they didn’t have their own living space. Yeah, sure. I turned around and went back to my place.

I offered to let my husband move in with me if he wanted them to have their own space. He won’t because he is retired and likes where he is.

So like I said, they are all mad at me. My husband, Trudi, and her kids. Trudi’s husband is the only one who understands my position. I will no longer agree to let them in my apartment and I will also only move back once they leave.

People backed her up.

  • “Your husband’s lack of firmness, his failure to back you up, that is what created this mess. He doesn’t get to use your sanctuary to evade that. Stop giving him this getaway. Make him live in the squalor that he is enabling.” notforcommentinohgoo / Reddit
  • “I get that divorced or remarried dads often have a bit of a guilt complex around their kids, especially daughters. But he’s already doing all that he can. You can’t expect to stay with people long-term and be a burden on them with chores and housekeeping. It seems the son-in-law totally understands the situation. I wonder if your husband can talk to your son-in-law about it.” monsterseatmonsters / Reddit
  • “Your husband is going to need to be given an ultimatum: you or them. And stop letting him sleep over. You are letting him get away from it. Make sure you are not paying any of the bills for your husband’s house, tell him you won’t move back till they have gone, and the whole place has been professionally deep cleaned (he is paying for that)!” Successful_Bath1200 / Reddit

We can only change ourselves not others who are already over the age of accountabliity which is in some faiths already at age 8. when you are gone at least your own said property someone else will have to then take on will not be a mess which will take at least a few years clean up to make it liveable at all.

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  • “You have been supportive and gracious. You have tried to compromise. All of it has been rejected. It’s time to consult an attorney to discuss your options and protect your interests. It’s obvious your husband won’t.” GTFU-Already / Reddit
  • “You aren’t being firm enough in your response, your husband clearly doesn’t understand that he’s allowing not only your home to be disrespected, but he’s allowing YOU to be disrespected. That’s not ok. Why would you want to go back to that environment at all? I won’t say divorce — but therapy could be a very good option.” Adorable-Substance21 / Reddit
  • “You should help family, but they don’t act like they are your family. The opposite, Trudi shows you, that she very much does not plan on seeing you as part of the family, so why should you give up your place, an additional income for them to live like that? And by the sound of it, they would trash your place as well. So you would have to pay for renovation after not getting any rent from them.” Trevena_Ice / Reddit

While OP’s decision to step away from her home was undoubtedly one of the hardest decisions she has ever faced, it was also an act of self-preservation, a necessary boundary drawn in the name of her own mental and emotional health. Yet, amidst the pain and uncertainty, there remains a glimmer of hope—a hope that one day, through communication, understanding, and perhaps even reconciliation, her family can find its way back to a place of harmony and mutual respect.

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