Need advice - and some hand-holding on second marriage issue

hope_fullFebruary 16, 2008

Married more than a couple years now and I married someone who makes more than I do and has more assets than I do and we talked about that and that seemed like no big deal, until...

Today we were talking and I learned that he has been sending his daughter $1,000 a month (allowance) to help with expenses at her high-dollar college and has been doing so for more than a year. This is in addition to his paying for tuition and all other expenses, which is also a significant sum. This young person (very early 20s) works part time at school and that's it.

Meanwhile, my daughter is also at college and is really struggling because she's trying to work 40 hours a week at a low-wage job and take a full load of college classes and keep up her GPA so she won't lose some scholarship money.

I send her what I can, which is maybe $1,200 a year and that's not much and that's eeked out of my own income, which is pretty modest.

My question is, I'm upset because there is such a severe dichotomy between these two children - my child and his child.

Would you be upset? Or is this just what happens in second marriages - when one partner has a higher income? I guess I'm a fool but I'd been *striving* to think of ours as a blended family - with no dark lines separating my kid and his kid.

He's not wealthy by any means but he makes an income that's a little above average. Lately, he's been telling me we have to be so very careful with our expenses because "things are tight and there's no spare cash."

Well, now I know why "things are tight."

Please be kind. I've been crying over this because it's so painful to think of my daughter working so hard and to think of my step-daughter (whom I do love and care for) getting everything handed over on a silver platter.


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Have you talked to you dh about the how much your daughter is struggling and the fact that you would like to help her out more financially?

This is a tuff situation. If your dh has been sending his daughter that much money for a year she is probably used to it and counts on it. If he was to lessen that to help your daughter out that would most likely cause serious resentments. Though, I do think that is a LOT of money to send a college student each month!

I would think if money is so tight with you and him though then he should lessen the amount he sends his daughter and just tell her he can not afford to send so much anymore.

I wish I had an easy answer.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 8:32PM
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Well, there *is* a division, one that he created & kept secret, because it gives him & his daughter an advantage.

Last time I went to a wedding, the ceremony still included something like "all my worldly goods I thee endow".

If there had been caveats like "except for what I choose to hide or give to some member of my family", I'm pretty sure I'd have remembered.

He's acted in bad faith by holding out on you & your daughter & by using your efforts & your income to subsidize the household so he can keep doing it.

& children, yours/his/ours, are equally members of the couple's family & should be treated the same.

He knows it's wrong, too:
if he hadn't known it was wrong, he wouldn't have kept it a secret.

& to have the gall to tell you that you have to tighten your belt...
I'd sock him.

& I'd open my own bank account & not pay one dime toward the household.

Let him & his daughter tighten their belts.

& I'd take a new, detached look at this man's character & decide if I wanted to be married to the man he really is, since I didn't get the man I thought he was.

because what you've got isn't something most people would have chosen.
I'm so sorry, & I wish you the best.

sending you strong red energy for power, determination, focus, & courage.

one more thought:

People are consistent.
If he's hidden one thing, he's likely hidden others, & since his deceit involved money, what he has hidden is likely money or other assets.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 8:36PM
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I can see why you're so upset...
But you sound like a pretty smart cookie, and I can see your husband's viewpoint as well. Sylvia's take on the situation - that he's knows it's wrong - also strikes me as very on-target.

I'd plan this conversation very, very carefully. Be calm, quiet, state the facts simply and in a very few words. Don't accuse, yell, blame - no sarcasm, no contempt. (Your demeanor should be 100% that you are hurt, 0% that you're angry.) Then tell him simply how very hurt you feel over the vastly unequal treatment your two children have been given -- then, no matter how difficult it is -- don't say another word and WAIT for his response.

It is unfair. He knows it. He also knows that some adjustment in your (plural you) level of giving to both sides is in order. If you can remain quiet enough long enough, I'm betting he'll say so... Then a few words of appreciation for his "fairness and generosity" and you can both feel good again. Hopefully...

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 11:57AM
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Did he adopt your daughter? I mean is he legally responsible for her in any way?

Would you expect that his daughter should get less than he would be able to give her if he hadn't married you? When you got married did you expect that he would help put your daughter through school?

How about household expenses? Do you each contribute a set amount to the costs? Are there "our kids" at home that need to be supported as well? What other demands are there on your income that you are able to give your daughter so little?

I'm sure it is a bit worrysome to see his daughter get more toward her education than your daughter, but I imagine your daughter gets more from you than you would be able to give her had you not married this man. Single mothers have a rough row to hoe.

I would try not to be upset. She was his daughter before you came into the picture and will be still if you should decide to leave.
It's just unfair that some people have more to give to their children than others, but that's the way it is. I am sure he's not supporting his daughter to spite you, but because she is his daughter and he wants to give her ev erything he can to make her life easier. We all want that for our kids, some just have more income to do it with.
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 12:52PM
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It's hard without knowing all the specifics. Where is your Ex? Does he pay anything for your daughter's education? Was there an agreement with your husband (his EX) and his daughter about his financial responsiblity with her college even before you came into the picture? I would bet there was at least some planning. His Ex may have even agreed to less child support provided the fact that he cover his daughter this way for college.

All things considered, I generally think his daughter is getting too much. If all expenses are paid; $1000 for fun seems a little too extravagant. And, your poor daughter, I don't know anyone who went to college full time and held down a full time job. That sounds really hard. But, like linda mentioned, is she doing better, worse or the same financially because of your marriage? You can't really expect another man to pay for your daughter's college.

It's hard to divide up money for colleges even when step children aren't involved. When one child goes to a more expensive college, how does that get evened out? If one goes on to medical school or to get a masters, do parent's contribute there equally too? How are scholarships figured? It's almost impossible to be completely fair.

I'd have a talk with your husband mainly focusing on you wanting to help your daughter out more (although, she will probably end up the more mature one because of having to earn her own way herself). I wouldn't make your husband pull any money from his daughter unless it's totally his idea, but I would try to work out a plan to send your daughter more money and hopefully, your husband will be "fair" enough to not have that money pulled only from your spending money.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 1:25PM
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don't know what's wrong with my brain, didn't think of this before:

Have you seen the checkbook?
the cancelled check?

$1,000 a month may be going somewhere other than to his daughter.

He may be sending her $500 & doing something else with the other $500.

In any case, he's proven that he'll take advantage of you financially, that he'll use you to subsidize a $1,000 a month expenditure, so *don't let him get his hands on your money or income*.

Take care of yourself & your daughter;
nobody else is going to.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 1:27PM
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If he was doing that before he married you, I don't see why he should stop. BUT he should have told you before he married you. That was definitely wrong of him. If I were in your place and he didn't have enough left over to support you and the household, I certainly wouldn't make up the shortage and let your daughter have to work so hard. I would put some money away for a rainy day, she will probably always be wanting money even when she gets a job.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 10:54PM
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1000 a month??? what kind of allowance is it? this is a LOT of money? and did he ever suggest helping your daughter? and why didn't he tell you about it???

I am not married so my experience is irrelevant here but my DD has to be very very frugal while in college. her tuition is paid by her dad and she gets minimal help for paying for room, everything else is whatever she earns working- food, transportation, clothing. no allowances.

My BF's DD gets tuition and room and board and car paid and yet she gets allowances from both parents (she ocassionally tells dad that she gets nothign from mom so he will give her more). Theh she ends up eating in resturants and he is upset she is in coolege but lives like high class. My answer was: she eats in restaurants because she can afford it with your money, DD cooks at home because she cannot afford it. and then my BF says we have to be frugal and shouldn't be eating out because it is too expensive. At the same his college student DD eats in restaurants sometimes breakfast, lunch and dinner! And not even mentioning expensive clothers she buys monthly.

Your SD has to work harder and tighten her belt and your DH has to stop lying to you. You and your DD should not be suffering because he wants to spoil his kid. How unfair!!!!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 12:03PM
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Thanks for the advice - and the handholding. :) I've returned to this site to read these posts over and over again.

I think this whole mess is VERY UNFAIR to both me and my daughter for many reasons. As to why I expect some man to help support MY daughter, that's a simple question but it's a more complex issue.

This IS my child but because of our marriage, this is now his step-daughter. We're not just two acquaintances; we are MARRIED and I thought that marriage was a true blending of two people's lives. I see now that I was wrong, wrong, wrong.

Call me a cheap woman, but the $1,000 a month allowance is a HUGE sum of money for a college student. There are many signs that this girl is not using the money wisely (eating out a lot, drinking, smoking, etc, etc.)

To think of my daughter working her butt off and trying to keep her grades above 3.0 and working 'til midnight cause there's a little more hourly pay for that shift, well, I'm a mother. It's hard to see her going through this and then turn around and see HIS kid at the polar opposite of the spectrum. I know that many parents pay for their kid's tuition but this is tuition and allowance. It makes no sense to me.

Sylvia, thanks for your comments and yes, I have seen evidence that this money all goes to his daughter. I'm not worried about that aspect. And there is no court order or court decree. This is all voluntary.

As to another man being responsible for my child, I think accountability is the better term. I think he has some accountability here. One, he is blessed with a good career and a healthy paycheck. Two, he went through many years of college and post-grad and no one gave him a dime. He should understand what my daughter is going through. Three, he stood at the altar with me and said all the things that people say when they're taking a life partner.

Lastly, if the roles were switched, I don't think I could watch my husband's child slaving away like my daughter is now and say, NOT MY KID, NOT MY PROBLEM. Now he has NOT said those words (and he never would, he's a decent guy), but I feel like he's making that statement with his actions.

Thanks again for your posts. It helps just to know I'm alone in feeling that this isn't right.


    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 1:37PM
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I think i accidentally put a question mark at the end of a sentence so it might sound like I am questioning if 1000 is A lot of money. I meant IT IS A LOT of money, no questioning.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 2:09PM
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I have known Lots and lots of people who attend college full time and work a full time job....AND who are parents and have a child or 2. Not much time left for socializing...that's for sure...but it's done all the time and the person is none the worse for wear. And your daughter is always free to cut down on her hours and take another 2 years to get her degree, but I am sure your husband doesn't want his daughter to do that as she is on his bill so to speak.
You say he pays for and board? Books? Is she on a meal plan? Does that $1000 pay for her meals?

If you are so disturbed by this, why don't you discuss it with your husband? Was the matter of your childrens' college education discussed before you wre married? And do either of you have other children besides these 2 girls/
And you didn't say anything about the father oif your daughter....what is he contributing?
And a good carear and a good paycheck do not necessarily mean that you should pay more for your step daughter's education and less for your own daughter's.
You say he put himself through college and grad school. Well then he knows it can be done....and he likely wants to use what he gained from his hard work to give his daughter an easier time.
Sorry....sometimes life just ain't fair !

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 2:16PM
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I find it so odd that some of you think that this is ok!

My Dad remarried my stepmother (a horrid woman btw), who had 2 kids who are two and three years older than me.

If anything they get more than I do because they live closer. My Father gave us a small cash gift a year ago, and I found out that he'd given it to the 2 stepkids first. Am I delighted that stuff that would have been mine, all mine (lol) is now split 3 ways? Not really if I'm honest, but I would never expect him to do anything else.

When two families merge, they merge. If the OP's husband wanted to hoard all his cash for his daughter then he shouldn't have married again. Now that he has chosen to marry again, this kind of behaviour is unacceptable.

I hope the OP can sit down with her husband and discuss how hurt she is by this without anger. If she does that he may just hear her and adjust his attitude.
Save the anger for if he doesn't hear you the first time! Good luck and please update us on the outcome.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 2:53PM
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It might help us to have more information. You said that you have such a small income, and you can only give your daughter $1200 a year or $100 a month. With more income than you--I would think that your husband pays the mortgage, utilities, etc. surely you aren't splitting expenses?
Do you work outside the home?
I surely think that you can sit down and talk with your husband and ask if its possible to send some additional money to your daughter. He may not have thought of it. I don't see that you should be angry with him. Its not his daughter. He may feel he can only support one and why should it not be his own daughter? An adult stepdaughter is not the same thing as a cute little kid that you raised who calls you daddy. He may have made promises within his family that he would send her to college when he got the divorce. I promised my kids that I would help them, and I saved money for years for that purpose.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 4:59PM
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I guess I am surprised that anyone thinks a man has an obligation to help support his adult stepdaughter. You seem upset that your daughter is not profiting financially from you marrying well. He married you, not your child. I can see treating children living under the same roof similarly. But these are not children. If one of my parents married someone wealthy I wouldn't expect it to benefit me.

But honestly, these things should have been worked out before you got married. And I think it is wrong that he hid this from you of you have combined finances. Do you have combined finances? If he passed away do you expect him to leave your daughter the same amount he leaves his?

Another thing I found odd is that you think his daughter doesn't work enough (" part time at school and that's it...") and that your daugher works too much (full time). What would be the perfect balance? I'm actually surprised his daughter works at all considering the size of her allowance (which I agree is excessive).

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 6:06PM
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It's very interesting that people view this so differently.

If I went to my Father and asked if he was planning on leaving me more than my step siblings, he would be absolutely horrified. Of course we will all be treated equally. Sucks for me financially, but I would think less of him as a man if he did anything else. This way I respect his morals at least.

Honestly if he passes away my expectation is that his horrid wife would inherit everything and would be expected to distribute everything equally when she dies. As I would be unlikely to see anything from her, I think it is far more likely that my step siblings would inherit everything and I will get nothing. Kind of ironic really.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 6:24PM
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This is less a question of equality between adult daughters than it is about communication and negotiation. It sounds like things have been hidden. Why? It looks like things have not been discussed. Why not? It also appears that finances are controlled by one and trusted by another. If that's not working for you, then have a conversation about that. This is not about the daughters being treated the same - although that might be an outcome of said conversations. Then again, it might not - but as long as you feel listened to and understood you'll be able to work out a solution that works for both of you.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 7:59PM
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I'm curious how long you've been married to this man?

I would never expect a stepdad to support his wife's adult children. Just because he has the $$ to help support his own child, does not mean he is obligated or responsible to support your child. After all, she is an adult, and not even living in your home.

However, if your marriage took place when your child was young and DH practically raised her, than that's a different story.

I came from a similar situation and would never have expected my stepdad to support me or any of my sisters as adults. We were in our mid teens to 20s when mom remarried to a man better off than us. We grew up poor, but somehow we all managed. Frankly, I appreciate my early struggles because it made me a stronger person, and I came out ahead in the long run. If my stepdad offered to help on his own merit, I probably would have felt uncomfortable accepting because I was not his responsibility just because he married my mom.

I'm not saying that keeping this a secret from you is right, and certainly providing $1K monthly to a college kid is not wise, but it's his child.

I do think that if DH is suggesting you both watch your spending, it's time to let him know you are on to him. This child is already spoiled and more than likely is wasting a good portion of that $1K on unnecessary crap. I'm sure she's living like a princess on campus and being taking advantage of because she has $$. I'd suggest asking DH to cut back on what he sends his daughter which will help your household finances.

Sorry, but I can't support you on this one, other than have a talk with DH and let him know what you know. If he offers to help his adult stepdaughter, good for him (and her), but I wouldn't expect anything.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 1:51PM
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Is your daughter age 24 or over? If so, she can qualify for federal financial aid for college independent of your and your spouses' income. If she is under that age, she could possibly qualify, depending on how much your combined income is and the number of people in your family. The fact that there is another family member also in college will help. I am not talking about scholarships, but the FAFSA, which is the federal financial aid form. (If she lives or attends college in CA she could also be eligible for the CalGrant. Deadline in CA is March 2nd.)

She should go immediately to her financial aid office at college and make an appointment. Scholarships are fine, too, but you have to work to get them and they are usually smaller than a FAFSA.

She can get either a grant (no pay back!) work experience (they give her a job on campus and pay her) or a very low cost loan that she does not have to pay back until she leaves college. She may also get a combo of any of these. Never mind your stingy husband, Financial Aid is the way to pay for college!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 8:09PM
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Now there's a thought:

the federal government counts household/family income in qualifying a student for financial aid.

sounds like the govt thinks household/family income ought to be available to the student.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 8:16AM
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Thanks for the thoughts and comments and insight. I've still not figured all this out but I'm feeling some better.

I'm also wondering if it's just a matter of my being old-fashioned or what. I just assumed that when someone married for life that there was no his or hers but just "ours". I see now - in a second marriage - that such a thing is a false assumption. My thought is, the rules are very different for a second marriage.

I've been coming back here several times to read these responses and they're very helpful, so thank you very much for your replies. It helps a lot.

I still don't know what I'm going to do. I'm still smarting from all this and I need some time to sort it all out.

Thanks again.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 8:41AM
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hope full,

Not sure if you know, but some states may require that your Ex has to take some responsibility for college for your daughter... which may both help your own daughter out, and explain your husband's behavior if it's something he has to do. (You really should look into this -- Below is a link, but I am not sure if it is 100% correct, but it may help a little).

I still though can't imagine marrying someone when my kids were older and thinking they would help pay for my kid's college. I don't know how else to say this, but it would make me feel a little whorish. They aren't his kids, or or his financial responsbility, IMHO and I wouldn't feel comfortable taking my new husband's money for another man's kids -- just because you EX 'can't' provide isn't an excuse (Now if he were dead, I may feel differently, but he's not). Plus, we're not really talking about kids, and one isn't getting a cheap doll and, the other one, a huge dollhouse. They are adults; so nothing is really owed to them, IMHO. It's not an expense that should be passed on to whoever the mom decides to marry, IMHO. It's something that should have been thought of and planned out since birth. Just because your EX wasn't able to take care of it financially, doesn't mean it's your new man's responsibility.

I think part of the problem is that maybe you have been in relationships where you are allowing men to support you (not that's that bad) but in doing so, the men become the responsible financial parties for the kids... so your Ex is really the one that should be paying for your daughter's college and your husband, for his daughters. If the men are making the money providing for their kids... It's their kids they need to be saving and providing for. If you had all along been the bread winner, you'd obviously be in a different place. I do think though that you could theoretically use your part time income to help subsidize your daughter's college. There are many stay at home moms that go back to work for a period to help their kids get through college.

Has your daughter applied for a loan? My bet would be she would still qualify for something even if they figure in everyone's salary. I still can't see someone working a full time job, plus full time college...that's 15 hrs in class with an additional 2 to 3X out of class (that's another 30-45). So, that at least 45 hrs. for school work, plus at least 40 hours for work a week. That's just too much, IMHO.

Oh, and one other thing you may want to clear the air with your husband about... and that's weddings. I have a feeling some of the same issues may arise when it comes to who is paying for what for the girl's weddings. And, again, don't forget, your EX really needs to be pitching in for his daughter.

Here's a question for you... if your Ex sudendly won the lottery and your own daughter was allowed a dream wedding, a dream house, dream car, dream trips, etc...(anything her heart desired), would your step daughter be allowed the same things? How would you even that out? Also, would/could your own daughter share her wealth with her step sister (and mom and dad -- Brady Bunch style?) You're not The Brady Bunch because your kids are adults, and they each still have other parents that should share in the responsibilities for them. Your not "one" big happy family; you answer to 3 different families -- all with obligations.

Here is a link that might be useful: Duty to Provide College Support

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 12:13PM
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but OP's ex is not married to OP's husband:

I'd think that lottery winnings would be shared with one's spouse, & the 2 of you would decide how to share them with offspring or other family.

If OP won the lottery, would she share with husband?

If OP's husband won, would he share with her?

Based on what's going on right now, I'd guess she'd share with him, but he wouldn't share with her.

Because right now she's sharing with him, & he isn't sharing with her.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 6:30PM
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As a once second wife I have to say that you, OP, are completely justified in your concerns. You are supposed to be one family, not two families (him and his daughter and you and your daughter), and I understand your hurt in that him providing better for his is the demonstration that your have blended and he has not.

I also understand the difficulty in not being able to talk to him right away about this as if he left the toilet seat up, or didnt fill the gas tank; this issue is within your heart and therefore nerve wracking in confronting it.

The two girls situations being so different for them would be justifiable if the mother of his daughter was supplying the extra, but HE is supplying the extra to HIS, while he is joined to you and yours. This has a real sense of betrayal about it. How two members of the same family could be provided for differently, you both being the parents and they the children is hard to understand, when one of the parents is skewing the lines of equality for HIS.

In my first marriage, his second, I sacrificed for his kids as thought they were mine, skipping vacation etc. when the older needed braces and so on. Fortunately we never faced the issue you are, but boy would I have blown my top if we had. You are doing the best thing, get help on the issue before you confront it, it needs to change. You are giving for both of you and he needs to as well, I donÂt care what anyone says.

I do not believe that if you daughterÂs father is not picking up the slack then she is in the wind on her own, she is a very real party to this family and BD not picking up her needs do not make HER NEEDS less relevant, she is working hard to save the family money on her schooling in that she earned a scholarship and is making difficult efforts to both further her life, maintain her life, and keep herself in school, wow, she has a family doesnÂt she? She IS maintaining her scholarship, and her life in as if she is on her own.

I am also concerned as to how he could do stuff with the family finances that you are not aware of, two salaries coming in or not, you should have a sense of control over the family finances by being aware of what is going on, FYI this is how men hide assets (a different topic for another time I guess).

I agree with sweeby, donÂt be angry and judgemental, be prepared, even make notes of what you want to say, addressing all the issues you have, this forum has given you lots of info, and sit calmly and address it fully educated and ready for his rebuttal, and believe me he will have a rebuttal as to why he can do what he wants with his child, and that him doing so really means nothing about yours (yeah right).

Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 9:54PM
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Ebern, thank you so much for taking the time to write out such a thoughtful post. And I agree with everything you've said (and many of the other posts here, too).

You wrote, "I do not believe that if you daughters father is not picking up the slack then she is in the wind on her own, she is a very real party to this family and BD not picking up her needs do not make HER NEEDS less relevant..."

I agree with that 100%, too. My ex-husband (daughter's biological father) is a decent man and a hardworking man and he is *not* shirking his responsibility but he has had a string of misfortune (including illness) and just does not have the extra money. He sends her what he can when he can but it's very modest. But he really is a good father and he's really trying to do right by his daughter.

As to my current marriage: I know legions of women who have "married well" (although I cringe at that term because it's typically used to describe women who marry above their financial station in life) and it is not uncommon for divorced women (who have little or no savings) to marry men who are significantly wealthier. I've observed that in those relationships, the new wife's name goes on the checkbook and the assets and that's that.

I don't know what to say or think or do and I just wish he and I could go to a marriage counselor because this problem is too thorny for me to resolve alone.

Thanks for the insights.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 9:14AM
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Hope Full, pardon me for beating you over the head with a stick - a REALLY BIG stick - but I feel that I did not capture your attention before: FINANCIAL AID Office - have your daughter go to it. Every campus has one. Most people can qualify for some type of Financial Aid.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 4:37PM
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OP's daughter's college expenses & need for financial support is only a sliver of the problem (& the Financial Aid office will likely consider *household* income & assets when qualifying a student for assistance).

The elephant in the room is
the husband's treating his wife like she is an employee, a way for him to profit so as to improve his & his daughter's financial position,
his treating her & her daughter like they are not family,
& his concealment of financial matters from the person he married.

Hope full is right:

her name should have gone on the checkbook the day before the wedding.

& both of them should have sat down at the kitchen table with their bank books & financial records & disclosed their entire financial data to each other.

If hubs doesn't want to make a financial commitment to a wife, & that includes recognizing & respecting her obligations to her loved ones, he should pick a wife who has more money than he has.

but such a wife would undoubtedly have a good lawyer write a pre-nup, which he wouldn't like either, because then he wouldn't be able to tell her to "tighten her belt" so he could use some of her money to subsidize his daughter...

Just a thought...
What would be your opinions if it were OP's elderly *mother* who needed financial help?

To me, it's the same thing:

If you love someone & that person needs help, you provide it the best you can, & if you marry someone, you do your best to see that your partner is able to help his/her loved ones.

My brother's wife has an older sister who has had terrible health problems for a number of years, & as a result, her standard of living hit what I'd call rock bottom some time back.

SIL goes to the grocery store every payday & buys extra & takes it to her sister, & if she finds something on sale, like tee-shirts or warm gloves, she takes that to her, too.

She told me one day, when we were getting gloomy & morbid & talking about our funerals & stuff, that she had told my brother that, if she pre-deceases him, he will get a nice little chunk of insurance money.

She told him she doesn't care what he spends it on, as long as he helps her sister.

& my brother, who would like a new truck & an expensive tiller & a whole bunch of stuff, will help her sister.

That's what decent people do.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 6:29PM
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Love is love and money is money. Marriage is not only an emotional committment, but a financial venture. Since the OP did NOT make secure financial agreements before they married, just a little talk, they now find themselves with differing opinions about how he spends HIS money. I doubt if this will be resolved in the way she wants it to be. The fact that he has kept this $1K contribution quiet is very telling, but he was technically within his rights to use his own earnings as he sees fit.

The heart of this matter is that the stepdaughter should and probably can finance her own education. The formula used in figuring financial aid is family income, number in the family, how many of that number are in college and cost of the college. That is why I say that she should see her FA office. If she is 24 she does not need to use the family income.

As for the OP, I think she has had her eyes opened. A rather painful lesson, but it's better to know than to assume he has the same financial morals as his wife.

As for what decent people do - when it comes to the Almighty Dollar, decency is the first thing to fly out the window.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2008 at 2:30PM
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At least give him the chance to show either his decency or his selfishness.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2008 at 6:10PM
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Yes, and don't judge him too harshly. When it comes to money,everybody is a little weird.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 1:27PM
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I think he's already shown his "decency or his selfishness".

& hiding the fact that you're spending $1000 a month on your daughter & nothing on your spouse's daughter while also telling your spouse to "tighten her belt" is more than "a little weird".

sorry, at some point there's just no getting around the fact that someone is using their partner, being dishonest with their partner, & not being a partner to their partner.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 6:52PM
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yeah, I don't see a problem with a father sending his child any amount of money for college. I don't necessarily think he should contribute to his step child's college, she has two parents that should be helping. If he has a decent/good relationship with his step child, he can help if he wants. (I'd think he would have more of an obligation to help a step child if he expected his wife to stay home and thus keep her from working & contributing to her child, while he contributes to his.... that's not fair) But the big problem here is that he isn't being straightforward with his wife and that becomes a trust issue in the marriage, not an issue of supporting kids in college (bio or step). He needs to be open and communicate about finances with his wife, there should be no financial secrets in a marriage.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 5:52PM
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Wow.. I can't see your point at all.. you are responsible for you daughter and no one else. Whatever he chooses to do for your daughter is a plus, not a requirement. In my opinion there is something wrong with your basic assumption and approach to this issue. You have no entitlement to that which he chooses to give his daughter over yours. You would be in this situation without him. If it is effect your life directly and your life with him that might be another issue, but to me it sounds like you resent his daughter, the fact he can do more for his daughter than you can for yours. A little soul searching is required on your part. Why did you marry him? Was it financially based?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 8:45PM
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I have been married for over 4 years and we both live in my home with a monthly mortgage that I have to pay. My husband thinks that it is my house so he doesn't want to pay rent for me to help out with the monthly payment. All he wants is to share half of all the utilities and food costs. I think it doesn't mather where he lives, he still needs to pay rent. I need some advice. Thanks,

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 1:50AM
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I'd suggest that since he thinks it is your house you get him to sign a legally binding contract to that effect. Otherwise if you do split up, he might well end up with half of the house YOU have so obligingly paid for. Then you can decide if you want to charge rent. Frankly I think he is a not-nice-person if that's his attitude.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 3:41AM
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Hope_Full -- What happened with your situation?

And Lelaura - I agree with Colleenoz that if Hubby says the house is all yours, he should be willing to put it in writing. Actually, it seems to me that in your case, putting all financial arrangements in writing would make sense. Anytime you have someone who insists on counting, that strikes me as someone who's afraid of getting 'cheated' and someone who is more likely to shortchange the other partner...

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 12:10PM
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Lelaura, Colleenoz and Sweeby are right.

Run don't walk to someone for legal advice in your community. In most jurisdictions, a couple are both entitled to a share in the family home just because they are married. If you both want the house to belong only to you, you need to get good legal advice on whether this is possible where you live.

If you take hubby with you, "just to make sure its all legal", then the lawyer can make it clear to him that he is taking advantage of you.

If he is the kind of man who still wants you to pay all the costs related to the house after he knows the law, then you have to ask if he is someone who has your best interests at heart.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 9:01PM
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I'd ask about a "Quick claim deed." I don't know about the state you reside in but it worked for me when I got a divorce.
We had separated and I was paying (and had for some time) the house payment. I called and asked him if he would sign a quick claim deed. He did and when I filed for divorce a year later the house was all mine. But, if you want this assurance (and to me it sounds like you need it) you CANNOT let him make any part of the house payment in the future. He could pay all of the utilities, food, what ever but make sure the check you write it on is just in your name and your account, or it will dissolve the deed. It cousts about 100.00 for the deed and it is filed at the court house. I am sure glad I got one-it saved me so much money and worry. In fact, because the kids were grown and the house settled I did my own divorce.
It's a thought for you especially since he hasn't been paying on the house.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 7:49AM
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I think you'll find that's a "Quit claim deed", not a "Quick claim deed" when you're looking into it. Good idea though.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 9:41AM
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Actually colleen it is a QUICK CLAIM DEED! Read all about

see it even has the words...QUICK claim deed in the link..
so much for making ME look stupid, huh?

Now that's setting boundaries.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 11:06AM
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colleen actually it's common to use both quit and quick. Either way, a title company will know what you want when you request one. They are good that away. So I think the main point is they are quick, easy, inexpensive and hold up in a divorce situation.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 11:21AM
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lindac noted in the link posted by need to get a "quit claim deed form" in order to file.
The term is quit claim deed...
Google "quick claim deed" and it will direct you to pages about quit claim deeds. Those who use quick claim are mis understanding the term. A quit claim deed is a tool where the grantor "quits a claim" on a piece of property.
has nothing to do with a "quick claim"...

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 10:43PM
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Well I guess I should have said "there is this thing" I got the name wrong after all. ...oh well, go Forest: "stupid is as stupid does"....

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 4:45AM
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Straycat, it was not my intention to make you look stupid so much as to assist lelaura to find the right information. That's why I noted it was a good idea, which it is.
Perhaps you should try to give others the benefit of the doubt, and not be so quick to take offence.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 7:18AM
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It's happened before when you have posted replies to my comments...and I noticed I am not the only one who has been offended by your replies to comments they have made. In fact, I recall other people also questioning a reply you made to me, saying, it wasn't typical of your usual replies.So, naturally I took offense. So, instead of me being quick to "take offense" you may want to look at how you present your replies.
And, yes, I probably am too sensitive. It's a side affect of my life I guess.I'll work on it.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 10:18PM
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You are confusing me with the other colleen (can't recall her full posting name but I feel there are numbers there or something). She is the one who that particular comment was made about. So, you're still beating me up for something I didn't do. Thanks.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 10:18AM
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I am sorry, I did mix you up. For a while on the "parents" site there were a lot of posts basically questioning parenting skills as opposed to listening and supporting. Some of the "expectations" of harm came from another side-sorry I took offense.I had just started to post a little after taking a break due to some hurtful remarks so I was inclined to think the worst.
Back to hand-holding. :)

    Bookmark   December 7, 2008 at 10:25PM
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Well, thanks for all the posts. I'm kinda surprised this thread is still kicking around after all these months.

Not surprisingly, our marriage is still in what I'd call "a struggling phase." If I could find (and afford) a marriage counselor, I'd seek one out. Our problems continue and i guess that's just part of life.

Last week, he helped my daughter with a thorny problem. He's a professional and was able to give her some sound counsel on a financial matter. I was so grateful that he was willing to do that. And then when he came home that day, he groused and groused about how he had to skip lunch because of *my* daughter and her problems and it took him two hours to do the research and then send her a note explaining what he'd found and how he sure would have liked to have had lunch and blah, blah, blah.

I keep revisiting the Ann Landers question: Am I better off with him or without him and I still don't have an answer. He's just so selfish sometimes and he's smarter than I am (by a lot) so he wins all the arguments.

My self-esteem has plummeted since I met him and I've gained 25 pounds and some days, I just sit and cry.

Still glad you asked?

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 9:40AM
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"I keep revisiting the Ann Landers question: Am I better off with him or without him and I still don't have an answer.
"My self-esteem has plummeted since I met him and I've gained 25 pounds and some days, I just sit and cry."
I think you've answered your question there. Seems to me you'd be better off without someone who kills your self esteem and makes you cry.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 10:12AM
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