yes i am new & need advise

sharicoleNovember 20, 2010

married for 7 years, ss 25 sd 29 both step kids have good jobs and r dating someone. the kids are always trying to get dh to purchase something they will benefit from. usually it is something we dh and i will not benefit from. i try to talk w dh about how we do not need the item he gets defensive. there are things we as a couple we need but can't afford but dh will want to purchase want sks are asking for. my ? is how do dh and i talk about it without him becoming defensive? thanks

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If your finances are separate, as long as it doesn't affect his contribution to the household... try not to worry about it, but it sounds like you have joint expenses & there isn't the extra money. Sometimes it becomes a power struggle or contest to see how loyal dad is still to them versus you, I assume you are the one they blame when dad says no. Dad wants to keep peace with his kids, feels guilty, etc.?

There is no way to control whether he gets defensive but I would say "if you think we can afford it." when he says he's buying _____. That takes the power struggle out of it and lays it on your DH when ___ bill can't be paid or you can't afford _____.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 11:29AM
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Ima-good point...take the responsibility off of your hands by telling DH, "If you think we can afford it..."

I am not married yet, but was very close. We have talked about combining accounts, but I am very reluctant because I forsee such issues. I know this makes me sound aweful and selfish, but I just want to avoid problems.

My solution...which is probably not realistic to someone who has been married for as long as you have and is as invested...separate your accounts.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 12:12AM
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Nope Bonnie, doesn't sound selfish at all-sounds smart!


    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 2:37AM
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Bonnie, I dont think not combining accounts make you selfish at all. As long as you are not expecting HIM to support you and YOU keep what you earn -- which it does notsound to me like you are suggesting.

Many second marriages do not fully combine $$. I would just say, listen we can each pay our share of house, etc, and this way we wont complain when the other spends disposal funds in a way the other would not agree with.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 7:48AM
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what great ideas. thanks. i would love to separate accounts, but dh does not have health insurance so he is on mine, which, is taking out of my check automaticly by my employer each month. dh is retired due to disability. we are one year apart in age. we are both able to support ourselves but we can save by combining our expenses. we both agreed this is how we will work it. also, we use alot of the tax breaks that my employer offers through my company to save, such as 401k and flex accounts. i finally figured out that i end up spending anywhere from $300.00 to $400.00 a month more than dh to run our household. this ends up making me have less money than dh each month to do things we/i want to do. i have always felt a marriage should be we or ours not his, hers or mine. we have tried to discuss it but dh gets defensive. the sk kids ask for things that are not necessities they are pleasurable items that even we do not have and we would like to have. i want to talk with dh about these logical issues but he shuts down. how do i get him to talk and think logical about this?

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 8:21AM
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We have separate accounts and one joint account. In the joint account, we deposit just enough to pay the joint bills. Create a spreadsheet or budget showing your expenses, his expenses and joint expenses. Then show your income and his income. IF he sees it in black & white (and maybe in the red), he might get it. He might also get it if you do the same showing the numbers combining expenses versus separate expenses to show just how much it saves you/him. As for his defensiveness with the SK's, he likely either feels guilty or that it's his responsibility still. (whether that is realistic or not, those may be his FEELINGS & guys aren't always good at discussing feelings)

With my husband, it was an issue though that when he got any child support for SD, that he put that into a third account set aside specifically to be used on SD. In my opinion, the child support should go into the main account since that is what we use to pay for food, utilities, etc. I pay for a lot of extra's for SD that DH can't afford as well as the doctor co-pays from my account so when BM ever does pay her half of the doctor co-pays, it goes to me. When there's money in the "SD account", I don't buy extra's until he uses that up. I have never liked HIS system but BM pays so little & infrequently, it wasn't worth arguing over. Yesterday, I got a decent chunk of back support owed to me for my DD20 that still lives at home. It is now mine to spend how I please since it's really reimbursement for when DD was a minor~ before I met DH. He can't expect me to put it into the joint account because he keeps his CS separate... well, not to mention it's from years ago. OF course, DD also asked if she is entitled to it since she's now an adult. I told her no, it's reimbursement for her diapers!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 9:12AM
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This is a such tricky situation. I had/have the identical thing with adult s-kids basically financially devestating DH and he STILL shells it out, pays the one sons rent/house pyt and the kid (now 30) just moved another girl and her child into his (DH's) house. He won't take care of his own household expenses-so now my hubs will keep shelling it out.

Our finances are completely seperate though I have expectations that DH will contribute 3/4 of household expenses here as he makes a lot more than I do and I carry his health/dental/life ins. Though if we split I could maintain my lifestyle on my own.

So if he wants to spend his discretionary fund supporting another household fine-but the on he lives in comes first.
And I do what I want with mine.
It works for us, I do not say a word to him about, but it was a long rocky road getting here.

You may want to reconsider seperating your funds until your DH is willing to make a budget an stick to it. Otherwise you'll always get the short end of the stick and it will cause a LOT of resentment. And nothing tears apart a marriage quicker than resentment.

I fully believe everyone woman should have her own access to cash, her own bank account & retirement, no matter how hapy the marriage. Life has a way of blindsiding you at times. Have a backup plan.


    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 1:12AM
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Our finances are completely separate; we both have designated expenses which we pay and we will agree on emergency or special expenses. I do, to an extent, think of money as "ours". I wouldn't want DH to be strapped for cash while I was flush, but I prefer that we keep "our" money in separate accounts.

I would be very unhappy if DH were not contributing a fair share to the household but spending that money on adult skids (or on new fishing lures, or dining out, or any other non-essentials). It's tough in a step-family situation, especially if the one without the bio kids makes more than the one who is the step. It's a touchy situation where you can feel like you're either saying "They're your kids - you pay for them" and leaving bio-parent dead broke, or where you are paying for them. That's fine if they're great kids but if they're badly behaved and treat you badly then that's not good either.

At any rate, gifts for adult skids (or any kids), fall into the category of luxury spending, IMO. Sharicole, if BF cannot afford to both pay his fair share and buy extras for his adult kids, it's not fair to expect you to pay the difference.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 7:32AM
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Disagreements over Kids & Money are usually the biggest issues in a marriage. It's so much more complicated when it's a subsequent marriage & partners try to share money but have their own kids (and then kids together sometimes

But when the kids are adults & you're on a limited or fixed income or you just want to save for retirement and/or even be able to spend on what YOU want to enjoy because you've worked all your life & now the kids are grown & gone... it's even more complicated when they disagree because the "kids" are adults that should be taking care of themselves and not draining their parent because who is going to take care of the parent if they spend money that should be saved for retirement, on adult kids' whims?

My dad had the same issue in his second marriage... his wife's adult kids were always asking for things, money, etc. They kept funds separate from the beginning and she usually gave them what they asked for. Then when she got sick (she was in a vegetative state after a brain aneurysm for 12 years) and my dad cared for her at home using her disability & retirement funds... and taking the rest of what was needed out of HIS pocket (a couple thousand dollars a month), just before she died, her adult kids hired an attorney & had my dad in court... trying to get what they could from what they thought was their mom's money. They wouldn't accept that there was nothing left... after 12 years of home care. They not only didn't offer $$ to help take care of their mom, they didn't even thank my dad for taking care of their mom daily while still working full time ~ then they sued him & fortunately they lost. (which cost my dad over 5k in attorney bills, besides the stress) I guess my point is that even when you keep the money separate, you can't change what someone else does (in my dad's case, he couldn't change his stepkids from being greedy, self entitled sloths that never visited their mother & still thought they were owed something up to the very end). I only hope their mother didn't have enough brain function to know how her children treated her in her time of need & her final days. and my father did what he could to not allow himself to have any resentment toward them because that would have made HIS life more miserable.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 9:35AM
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thanks for all the great advise. i went ahead and put our expenses in black and white. this opened DH's eyes. i was paying $500.00 more than DH a month toward our combined household expenses. He was willing to discuss my concern and we are working on a plan. he wants to keep my health care and my company's tax advantage programs so he is willing to work together on deciding what to spend our moneys on. wish me luck i hope his openness continues. thanks again.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 12:35PM
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