The couple rekindled their romance, but Steven had a secret past, one he could not share with the woman he loved.The year ended on a sad not when, on the night Nancy Hughes was to give an engagement party for the happy couple, Steven skipped town, leaving Barbara to nurse a broken heart.The Stenbeck fortune first became a problem for the couple when Charles Ivenstrom, whose daughter was pregnant by James' brother, tried to kill them so that his grandchild-to-be, rather than Paul, would inherit the money.Barbara was shot, but survived, and she and James married in her hospital room.In the summer of 1982, Bianca (Barbara's doppelganger) learned this mysterious blonde Englishman's name, Geoffrey.Not long after, at the funeral of James's brother, Lars, Barbara was shocked to see a man who looked exactly like Geoffrey--Gunnar St. Gunnar surprised the Stenbecks by claiming to be James's cousin. Clair orphanage showing that Greta Aldrin, James's ex-nanny, brought him there after his parents died, because James's father didn't want him living in the same house.James ordered an investigation and was determined not let Gunnar claim any rights to the Stenbeck fortune.
Later, at Fashions, Gunnar saw Barbara holding a blue dress and suggested that she buy it.
C.[June 1987] Suspect in the murder of James Stenbeck [not guilty] [Late 1987 - May 1988; served time at Gennersville Prison for this crime she didn't commit] Lied that Gavin Krueger was Jennifer's biological father [January - May 1991] Lied about someone stalking her  Threatened Nikki Munson [January 24 and January 25, 1996] Fraud; pretended to be Carly in a phone call to Memorial [May 6, 1998] Falsely accused Craig Montgomery of causing the explosion at the boathouse  Accomplice in the kidnapping of Emily Stewart, Rose D'Angelo, and Carly Tenney [January to February2002] Drugged a police officer [April 2002] Hired Dusty Donovan to sleep with Rose D'Angelo [Spring 2003] Spray painted graffiti on Paul's apartment and asked her younger son, Will, to confess to it [November 2003] Hired a hit man to kill Rose D'Angelo [November 2003] Removed evidence from a crime scene [December 2003] Planted evidence in Molly Mc Kinnon's room, thus framing her for Rose D'Angelo's murder [December 26, 2003] Falsely confessed to Rose's murder [January 2004] Assaulted Emily Stewart Munson [January 15, 2004] Hid the fact that her son, Will, killed Rose and tried to flee with him to evade justice [January 16, 2004] Lied to Paul and Jennifer that she was having eyesight problems again and so they would take her to New York for "treatment", so as to keep Paul away from Rosanna Cabot and Jennifer away from Jordan Sinclair [July 28, 2004] Sent helicopters to keep James from being sent to a maximum security facility in California (she was coerced by an audio tape from James) [August 12, 2004] Escaped from her arraignment hearing by crashing through a window [August 31, 2004] Held Emily Stewart Munson and Chris Hughes hostage, stole Emily's car, then tied up and abandoned them in the old boathouse [August 31, 2004] Crashed Emily's car into the lobby window of a psychiatric hospital [September 1, 2004] Assaulted a nurse and stole her uniform in order to escape from a mental hospital [September 28, 2004] Colluded with Ric Decker, to distract hospital guard, Otis, and snagged his key and made impressions of the keys to copy them [October 12, 2004] In her ceramics class, made copies [using her jewelry] of the keys [October 13, 2004] Escaped from house arrest [November 19, 2004] Stole a drug from her doctor's office [November 23, 2004] Drugged and hypnotized Emily Stewart Munson, and used her to harass her daughter-in-law, Rosanna Cabot Ryan [December 2, 2004 to early 2005] Stole a diamond necklace from someone at the Lakeview and framed Gwen Norbeck for it [January 31, 2006] Lied that Gwen Norbeck had attacked her [February 7, 2006] Arranged an illegal adoption for Will and Gwen [November 13, 2007] Barbara Ryan was first introduced to the Hughes family when her mother, Jennifer, married Bob Hughes.
Barbara was very happy for her mother and liked having Bob for a stepfather.
Unfortunately, Claudia's husband, Raymond, proved to be an abusive man and,with Tom's help, Barbara was able to secure custody of Paul. Barbara resisted a romantic reunion with the dashing aristocrat and became engaged to Tom, but Stenbeck soon learned that he was Paul's father and confronted her on her wedding day.
Barbara tearfully left Tom at the altar and ran off to the Caribbean with James and they made plans to marry.