so many issues

d21156August 22, 2011

Wow after reading some of the posts, I realize stepfamilies really have a LOT of issues. Where to start....

First, I am much older than DH. I have grown children and grand children the age of his children. Believe it or not, its not the children that create the problems.

Secondly, DH makes decent money but almost half of DH hubby's paycheck goes to XW. I make very good wages, having been in my career for over 25 years. The problem comes in when DH wants to buy and spend on his children, which there is nothing wrong with that, if you can still carry your half of the household, which he cannot. I cant make him understand that whatever he spends, I have to make up. He literally has just a bit over 200 a week after cs and insurance. I always buy clothes, shoes, christmas, birthday gifts, whatever! I have tried to talk to him and all he hears is money! He refuses to see the bigger picture. I am tired of being broke. I am tired of carrying the responsibility for children that I did not bring into this world. We went on vacation in July, spent over $1000.00 which I am just getting out of- now last week he spent 95 to pay for SS football fees, this week they all 3 had to have shoes for school, and they are going to KIngs Island next month. Im so tired, so sick of living like this. I didnt raise my kids like this. They were taught to live within our means. Im just ready to walk away, because I feel like I am being used simply for the money and lifestyle...btw..

Any suggestions how to get through to him without throwing away the last 7 years....b/c I cant take it anymore.

weary wife in Ohio

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Hmmm, $200 a paycheck left (assuming he gets one a week?)and he wants to spend well over $300 on a fun day at an amusement park? Uh, no. I understand his wanting to show his kids one fun day at least a summer, but parents that just bought supplies and enrolled kids in school must look at their budget book and judge whether or not the money is still there.

I get your frustration (especially on the timing of the one day event thing), but I'm going to what DH has now after CS/insururance comparable to what he also had when you met and married him? Is it your feelings have changed or is something really different in his financial picture between then and now?

Cs, insurance, basic needs, school, healthcare over insurance cost blah blah are all normal childhood costs...expensive one day outings, totally different. Has DH had his CS reviewed since intial order? Has his income decreased and/or not risen accordingly over the last seven years?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 8:40AM
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Oh, I know this one! DH is not the best at managing his finances either. (I'm not very good, to be honest - but I'm better than DH.) We've had some very serious discussions about this and the end result is that I will taking care of household finances - DH will give me what is needed from his pay for his part of the finances and what he does with the rest is his business. If he blows it all on something and can't buy a coffee at work for two weeks that will be on him. It sucks; I never wanted to be bossy demanding wife, which is the way that I feel - but I'll be da----d if I'll be destitute bankrupt wife either.

I understand the paranoia that I'm just being used as a cash cow and free child care as well. I suspect that where that really comes from, at least in my case, is because it was drilled into my head as a little girl that women are to marry men who are "good providers". I was never supposed to be the "good provider"!! LOL!

My situation is different in that SS lives with us - but I understand the frustration of feeling expected to just cough up money for expenses. It's not that I don't want to spend money on big treats for SS - it's that I don't like being made to feel obligated to do so, if that makes sense.

So my new theory is to act like a man. Seriously. If I were a step-dad rather than a step-mother, and my spouse came to me and said that s/he didn't have money for bills because s/he'd spent $X dollars on treats for his/her kids, what would I do? I'd put my foot down, of course. I'd say exactly what JustMeToo did; needs before wants. And I'd not think twice about doing so, and I doubt that any outsider would think badly of me for refusing to spend money on extras rather than necessities (like retirement!) I think the flip side of "Women are supposed to marry good providers" is that women are "supposed" to spend every spare cent on children. That's fine if the "good provider" husbands are there to reign in the outflow of cash - but it's no longer both ways here. If I'm going to be in the traditional "male" role than I'm going to be all of the traditional male role - and that includes keeping at least the bare necessity control of finances.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 11:31AM
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You have my sympathy.

I was married to a man who blew his paycheck on the hobby-du-jour;
model trains, model airplanes, cars (not models, unfortunately, the real thing), half a dozen pipes with special tobaccos, etc.

I was always broke & "poor" & paid the bills & he was Peter Pan.

because he could!

& he refused to sell the biggish house & move in to a smaller one;
he was not going to live like a pauper so that we could split bills equally!

I realize now that I should have let the electricity get disconnected, I should have done a lot of things (or not done them!) so that he had to take some responsibility.

My free advice, maybe not expert but at least it's from someone who's been there, is to *stop*.

Sit down & figure up the expenses & divide them in half, & show the figures to him, & tell him that as of right this minute you'll pay half of the bills & that's all.

Put your check into your own account & write your half of the bills from it.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 12:20PM
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I agree with Sylviatexas....

"Sit down & figure up the expenses & divide them in half, & show the figures to him, & tell him that as of right this minute you'll pay half of the bills & that's all".

And if that doesn't work, start stashing money. If you are married you are responsible for all bills if he doesn't pay just as he is if you don't pay. Marriage is a contract, if he walks out on will haave to pay them all. They collect from who ever is the easiest to find.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 4:27PM
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I agree that a sit down meeting is needed. He needs to know when he just can not do that extra trip or whatever it is. We have just went through a similar issue.
My SD15 made Varsity Pom, we are very proud of her BUT (yea here come the BUT) she is also in Company dance. Both of these combined have already cost us almost $4000 extra this year. Her mother orders all kinds of stuff and was just sending us the bill. I had to finally put a stop to it. I had a meeting with my DH we agreed that we would only pay for one activity. She could still take a regular technical dance class and that was figured into child support already. Dh then had a meeting with BM and it was settled. Also find out what is covered under child support. We were getting reciepts for reimburstment for clothes, shoes, basic school supplies, ink for BM printer. All of which is covered under child support. DH finally had to tell her we just can not pay for all the extras anymore. Our business has been effected by this economy and our income has gone down by at least 50%. When he made a very good salary he did not question the extras but things have changed.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 4:43PM
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