Internet Urges Woman Not to Help Homeless Stepdaughter and Her 2 Kids
In an article written by Newsweek; Alex is featured given expert analysis on the topic.
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Internet users have urged a woman against helping her homeless stepdaughter and family in a viral Reddit post, but a psychotherapist told Newsweek this is not the answer.
User Public_Pair5540 began the post that has more than 7,900 upvotes by writing that she has been married to her husband for 14 years and his daughter “Trudi”, now 36, has never liked her. The mom-of-two wrote that she moved into his home many years ago but kept her apartment for short-term rentals and to accommodate 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,” the Reddit user wrote.
However, she has now had a change of heart after witnessing the mess Trudi and her two kids make. The poster described living with them as hell and wrote that the only one that helps clean up is the husband, when he finishes work.
“I have spoken to all of them, including my husband about this. My son-in-law is the only one who makes an effort,” the Reddit user wrote.
“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,” she added.
After the lack of support, the wife moved into her apartment and revoked her offer, which has upset the family.
“[Trudi] 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),” the poster wrote.
“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,” the stepmom added.
On January 16, she turned to the internet for advice after staying at the apartment for one week. “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,” she wrote.
The couple headed to the house and she found it was disgusting with an unpleasant smell. The stepmom left and asked her husband if he wants to move into the apartment, but the retired man declined as he likes where he is.
The poster concluded the post by writing: “Trudi’s husband is the only one who understands my position. I will no longer agree to let them in my apartment at I will also only move back once they leave.”
While the Reddit post appears to be about the living space, the conflict is much deeper, psychotherapist Alex Iga Golabek told Newsweek.
“It’s actually about boundaries and a sense of safety for both women. Both seem to be struggling with establishing their place within the blended family. It’s likely that Trudi may perceive her stepmother as a threat to her relationship with her biological father and, despite the fact that 14 years have passed since her father’s remarriage, it is likely she has not been able to feel safe in the reestablished family,” Golabek said.
Golabek, the owner of Ego Therapy in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, added that the two women have different values and personalities.
“The stepmom prioritizes cleanliness, perhaps because that also provides her with a sense of order and, therefore, safety. For Trudi, the mess in the house may not mean a great deal so, without an honest conversation about the meaning of this factor, it may feel impossible to progress.
“Conversely, it also could be that Trudi is aware of the significance the tidy house has for her stepmother and is trying to establish her power through rebellion by leaving it messy. Conflicts are rarely about the surface issues like mess; here, it is evident that misunderstanding and powerplay may be present and need addressing to create a better relationship between both women,” the psychotherapist said.
Golabek has suggested a family therapist to resolve their issues, but other Reddit users aren’t as reasonable. So far, the post has almost 900 comments and the top one has 11,200 votes.
The comment read: “His 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. Oh and NTA [not the a******] of course. And equally of course you’d be insane to let them trash your place.”
“If it’s ‘his house’ according to Trudi, and he’s not fighting her on that, it can be his house, and his mess. OP [The original poster] can have her house without cleaning up after somebody else,” posted another.
A third comment read: “You’re better off letting Trudi’s husband move in with you, seems like you’re the only two who aren’t ok living in filth.”
Newsweek reached out to u/Public_Pair5540 via Reddit for comment. We could not verify the details of the case.