Man Confused By The Blowback To His Attempts To 'Rehome' His Teenage Stepdaughter — 'I Just Don't Get What I Did Wrong'

She's been shuffled around all her life, and now he wants rid of her too.

man arguing with teen stepdaughter Dmytro Zinkevych / Shutterstock

Blending families together is never, ever easy, and bad relations between stepparents and stepchildren is so common it's been a cliché for ages.

But one stepfather's proposed solution to the difficulties with his teen stepdaughter really is a whole new approach — and one that has left people both online and in his own home furious.

The man wants to 'rehome' his stepdaughter because she's 'a nuisance.'

"Rehome"? He does realize she's a child and not a dog, right? You'd hope so, but it really doesn't seem like it. 


Admittedly, it sounds like his stepdaughter has presented quite a challenge. But there are reasons why she's difficult and, of course, situations like these ultimately come down to simple facts — a stepchild is a child, who predates their stepparent in their parent's life. They take precedence on principle.


This dad definitely doesn't see it this way, however.

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The 15-year-old stepdaughter has been shuffled between caregivers and houses her entire life.

The stepdad writes that his stepdaughter, Lilly, was conceived during a "one-night stand" that was traumatizing for his wife, and given that she was so young when Lilly was born, the baby was given to her parents to raise while she went to work on her career.

Later, Lilly was sent to her other grandparents' house to live. Then, for a while, she lived with her father's sister. After that, Lilly's mom and her parents took turns raising Lilly.


In short, the girl has been shuffled around for her entire life until the last couple years, when the stepdad married Lilly's mom.

The stepdad tried to form a bond with Lilly, but he says she is 'manipulative' and 'vindictive.'

When they married, the stepdad's wife asked him to try to bond with Lilly. He admits that we was skeptical, given her background, but he "pushed through for my wife's sake."

It has not gone well, however. "Lilly in my opinion is manipulative and a pathological liar," he writes of his stepdaughter. "Living with her has been awful, and my wife turns a blind eye and refuses to acknowledge or do much about her behavior because she feels guilt for not being there for her much when she was younger."



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Given the upbringing the girl has, her acting out is certainly not surprising, and it sounds like it creates genuine challenges. Still, he doesn't seem to understand that he is dealing with a literal child, even as he refers to her as such.

"Everyday is a nightmare because she does things to provoke everyone around her," he writes. "I’ve never [met a more] conniving and vindictive child."

His solution is to send his stepdaughter to live with her father, despite everyone's objections.

Recently, Lilly's father has taken more of an interest in her life, and the stepdad has seen a golden opportunity. He writes that her dad "has been pushing for taking complete custody of her."

Lilly wants no part of that arrangement — she's not even sure she wants a relationship with her dad at all. And her mother is against it too. "My wife has disagreed completely saying it will uproot her life and that as her mother she knows what’s best for her," the stepdad writes.




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Nevertheless, he's gone behind both their backs to work with Lilly's father to come up with a plan for convincing her mom to send her to her dad's. Understandably, that went over about as well as you'd expect.

He writes that his wife "berated" him and accused him of having "always hated Lilly" and said that "she didn’t understand how I, a grown man, could have such a grudge towards a child." He adds that their family and friends are also on her side, but he just doesn't get what he did wrong.


Becoming a stepparent is a responsibility that can't be taken lightly, and this man has gone about it in precisely the wrong way.

The fact that the man wants to rehome his stepdaugther in the first place pretty much sums it all up, but from a clinical perspective, he really is doing the opposite of what he should. 

As Dr. Karen Finn told us in 2019, one of the cardinal rules of stepparenting is remembering that you're not the child's parent and maintaining the appropriate boundaries. Going behind not just the child's but her mom's back to try to re-engineer her custody arrangement is… well, it's a lot of things, but it's also a profound violation of this boundary. 

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Parenting expert Midori Verity says that another key to a successful stepparent-stepchild relationship is being willing to roll with the often frustrating punches for as long as they last. Having patience and leaving space for the kid's experience is key, as is adopting a "never give up" mentality. Verity says stepparents will "naturally work harder and come up with more creative solutions" when they come from this approach.

The real heart of the matter here is that Lilly is traumatized by her childhood. The adults in her life, try as they might, failed to give her a stable upbringing, which is incredibly damaging and hurtful to a child's developing mind. 

Treating her like "a nuisance" because of it is not just cruel, it's having expectations of her that are laughably absurd — children cannot be what they haven't been taught how to be.




Instead of trying to have some empathy and rise to the occasion of being a parental figure to Lilly, this stepdad is treating her like exactly what he implies she is to him — something he never wanted to deal with in the first place.

He probably should have thought about that before he married her mom, though. She was here first, after all.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.