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Am I being unreasonable?

Posted by sofrustrated (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 2, 09 at 17:44

First time poster here. Thank goodness I found you all b/c I am literally going insane here. I've been married to DH for almost 2 years now. He has two kids (SS - 6 and SD -4) and I have 2 kids (DS -4 and DD 2). We have primary custody for my kids and sole custody of his kids. I am the breadwinner for us all. DH stays home with SD and DD. The two boys are in school. We get child support for my two but he gets nothing for his and he refuses to go after BM for anything (don't even get me started on this!)

We just found out that our taxes doubled and our mortgage payment has shot up $200. We were just barely scraping by on my salary and child support. We have high medical bills right now too due to some surgeries that DH and I both had. It's been tough in our house to say the least.

Here is where the problem is. DH's mom is contstantly buying his two kids all kinds of crap that they don't need. She doesn't do this for ALL the kids - only her two bio grandchildren. They come home with new toys every weekend when they go visit her (they stay overnight at her house 1 night on the weekend). She gives SS money every week so he can buy his lunch at school, she gives him money for everything the school sends home asking for money for, she even went so far as to get 6 year old SS a cell phone for when he's on the bus with DS! We literally live 2 miles from the school and are on the bus for half an hour if that! She gives SS and allowance for "yard work" which is a complete joke b/c she has a lawn service. She also gives him money for being good in school. He gets all kinds of grades from As to Fs. He still gets money even if he gets Fs. She feels like if he's trying, then he deserves money. She obviously has all kinds of money to shell out b/c someone that is hard up would not have that kind of money to blow. Last month alone she spent at least $75 on them (and that's stuff I SAW!) She claims she's destitute though (insert eye rolly here).

Since the mortgage payment went up, I've asked DH to ask her if she could channel some of the "crap money" into buying the kids things they NEED - like new clothes, dental insurance, hair cuts... DH REFUSED! He said it's our responsibiliy to provide these things for them and he refuses to ask her. I said, well, if the parents are struggling and 2 of the kids are getting spoiled rotten, it would stand to reason that we could ask her for a little help that would benefit EVERYONE. Don't even get me started on how unfair it is that she just buys for her two bio-grandkids and not all of them. My parents are not in a financial position to help at all right now. If they were, I would ask. They rarely ever get my kids anything except on holidays and birthdays. They just can't swing it right now (father on disability and mother has to take care of him and my elderly grandmother).

DH says I'm being totally unreasonable and that his mom should be able to do whatever she wants with her money. In the meantime, I'm struggling to make ends meet. I work overtime every Saturday and I also have my own Ebay business that I do on the weekends too. I also do all the laundry and grocery shopping as well as a lot of the cleaning in the house. It's not an easy life. I rarely get to buy myself anything, let alone buy my kids anything. What really sucks is that $1200 a month of my income is from my ex for my two kids but I've been using that money to support us.

I know what y'all are thinking - why doesn't he get a job. I have suggested that and tell him that's what I wish he would do but he hasn't taken any steps to do that. I've told him not to ask me for anything anymore and if he sees something he wants, or his kids want or need, he needs to ask his mother (or BM - yeah freaking right!). I just can't handle all the bills anymore myself. He refuses and tells me that we WILL be arguing again if his kids need something and I refuse.

I do not understand why his Mom can't redirect her help to get these kids things they need?! Am I wrong to want help? He won't go after BM for support and I am struggling!!! I am hurt that he can't see how hard this is for me or that I deserve to have things too. It's so hard to swallow seeing his kids getting everything they want while I work my a$$ off and I can't even buy myself clothes that fit me (I've been losing weight due to all the stress). I am so angry at him and wonder how I can put up with this? I am in counseling and my therapist thinks I'm crazy to stay. She thinks I'm hoping for him to morph into something he will never be. We have such different values on a lot of things too. We argue a lot. It's getting so we are arguing more than not. I hate this and I don't know what to do anymore.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

oh my... this does not sound good. Can I ask you why you are willing not only support your husband, but his two children as well. I am sure that he enjoys staying home and caring for his children... I myself did that when they were little, but their father and I agreed that I would be a stay at home mom. That changed when we divorced.

Your husband needs to step up to the plate and support himself. Period. No discussions. If you let him make all the decisions regarding this...you already know who he is going to take care of and it is NOT going to be you.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

When we married, we both decided he would stay home b/c at the time we would have had 4 kids in daycare. That meant a ton of $$$$ and he would have been working to pay for daycare. At the time, my job was better than his money-wise. His job was part commission based and we never knew how much income he would have. Now, it's just 2 at home so it's more do-able as far as daycare goes.

I like the idea of a stay at home parent IF and only IF that parent is carrying their weight. DH complains whenever I ask him to do anything. I had to practically beg him to vacuum and swiffer mop the kitchen twice a week. It really needs to be done more often with the traffic we have in our house but I settled for twice a week (he refused to do it anymore so what choice did I have). I am so drained when I come home at night (I have a high stress job - I'm a manager that handles people all day).

I am going to stand my ground and not buy anything for his kids anymore. I've told him that he's got two options, ask mommy dearest or get a job! Hopefully he will get my frustration and do one of those two things. I just think it is so wrong that his two get spoiled rotten, while me and my kids and him for that matter get nothing. IT's like he wants his kids to have this great house, good food, nice clothes, etc AND get to have all the little extras that his Mom provides. In the meantime, me and my kids don't get ANY of that extra stuff. I bought cinnamon buns this week as a treat for him b/c DH was sick and I thought it would cheer him up. He actually threw it in my face today during the argument and said that I shouldn't be spending money we don't have on cinnamon buns - that I should have used that money to buy his kid pajamas!

Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!! Why can't grandma that just spent $25 on BOOK FAIR BOOKS take that money and buy pjs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

Sorry -- But you already know the answer here...

Have you flat-out asked Hubby why he hasn't found a job? Wait until all the kids are in bed, turn off the TV, sit down with him, and CALMLY, explain that your family's household can't survive on your income alone and that you've been running yourself ragged. That you appreciate all he does for the family and children, but that you need him to pull his weight financially as well.

Then ask him WHY he hasn't found a job and WAIT.
Do not say another word until he answers your question.
If he evades, ask it again.
If he has excuses, pin him down.
But he needs to give you an answer.
The conversation should not end until he commits to a specific plan of action with deadlines -- put them in writing -- or he admits that he's for some reason, unable to support himself financially -- at which point, you have a whole new set of problems.

By the way, my answer would be the same if the genders were reversed ---


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Which problem are you asking about?

I think you're focusing on the wrong problem...

For Hubby to ask his Mom to pay for 'necessities' instead of 'extras' would put him in a very embarassing position -- That of having to tell his mother that he cannot support his children financially. That's why he's so reluctant to do it. It's also turning her 'gifts' into requests, which is impolite. Plus, even if Grandma did provide PJs instead of Book Fair books, it's like putting a little bandaid on a cut that needs stitches -- it would embarass Hubby and not really solve the problem.

But back to what is IMO, the real problem --
Hubby ISN'T supporting his children financially.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

Your MIL doesn't sound like a very nice person at all. If she were, then she wouldn't leave your kids out. But, there's nothing you can do about her. It's not fair, but that's what she wants to do and how she wants to spend her money. You can not control that.

Your husband sounds like he is the problem. I would not have married him since he has not asked for child support from his ex. The children deserve the financial support of both parents. His children only have you and whatever goodies that grandma buy for them.

You're in a tough situation for sure. I agree with your therapist. He won't change and you're hoping he will change. He should, at least, get some part-time job in the evenings and on the weekends.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

So I am assuming if you have a 2 year old and your dh have been married 2 years that you maybe have been together about 2 1/2 years. It sounds like you rushed into marriage.

Usually I would say that this can be worked out. But to me it sounds like for the sake of your own kids you should cut your losses and end it.

Your kids are suffering. They are seeing their stepsiblings get spoiled as they get nothing. As they get older it will be more obvious. Their father is paying $1200 a month in child support and they are not getting any benefits from it! I am not saying I spend my child support buying my child toys. But he does not lack fitting clothes and he can be in activities that interest him.

Your dh sounds very selfish. He is not going to change and your enabling him to be this way.

Honestly I would tell him its time to go. One of you need to move out and each support yourselves and your own 2 children. Sounds like he is enjoying your free ride. STaying home when it is necessary and agreed upon is one thing. But flat out refusing to get a job when it is needed is just wrong!


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

You are all right. He is embarrassed to ask her. He's admitted to that. He's said that he will get a job before he asks his mother for help. Then he does nothing. Then he asks me for something else and the cycle repeats.

He will say that he can't get a job that's going to pay more than minimum wage now, that he's been out of the workforce too long ( 2 years), that he would have to work at night (sticking me with all 4 kids while he's at work and I REFUSE to have that happen after I've been working all day.) I'd rather have him working just to pay daycare than be stuck with all 4 kids every night. His two are WILD and I'd rather be a single mom to 2 kids than a practically single Mom to 4!

I am done with the excuses though. I'm tired of him freeloading off of me. I'm tired of feeling like I"m being taken advantage of. My son wet the bed last night and he couldn't even get his sheets washed and put back on the bed today. I came home and had to do it all myself.

I'm sorry for just ranting like this but I'm so hurt and tired and I want to just be happy. I want to not feel like this anymore. I want to just be normal. What the heck is normal anymore. I don't even know anymore.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

I agree with what the others are saying, and I also like to add that it's very worrying that DH does not want to get CS from BM. Is he scared to approach BM? What stops him? He's comfortable enough with you paying for everything?

And did he literally throw the donuts at you? That is overstepping a big boundary as far as I'm concerned. I have to agree with others that he does not sound like a nice guy. Or his family for that matter.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

I disagree lola that there is nothing they can do about what grandma does. If my mom or dad were to treat my stepkids in a way that I felt was unfair, I would certainly tell them how I feel. If it bothers your husband, then he should tell them. If it doesn't bother your husband but it bothers only you, then the problem is between you and your husband, not his parents. I don't think grandparents 'have' to treat all kids equally... even in intact families, unfortunately some grandparents favor one over another. There is nothing you can do about that. But, in my opinion, family should consider each others' feelings. Your husband should consider yours and your kids'. His parents should consider his (and even yours), etc.

I don't agree with dictating how a gift is given. If they want to buy unnecessary junk, that's their business. It's your husbands job to support his kids, not yours. If he isn't going to get a job, the LEAST he can do is file for support from the kids mother. It costs nothing to open up a case with DCSS and it's better than doing nothing at all.

If you do nothing, this will become a wedge between you if it isn't already. I agree with everything sweeby said, and it wouldn't change if it were a SAHM. If you have kids, you have to support them and it's wonderful if someone else steps in and lets you stay home, but as soon as that isn't working out anymore.. it's time to go get a job! Or at the very least, renegotiate the terms.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

Oh, this sounds familiar to me. I did this for 3 years. My sons dad quit his job 2 weeks before I gave birth to our son. With the support he was supposed to be paying on his older two kids, and the cost to put an infant in daycare he decided to stay home--FOR THREE YEARS. I remember complaining I couldn't do it all and I asked him to take ONE bill and be responsible for it, he actually said, can't I just give you the money and you pay it? Totally defeating the purpose. His mom did help out when she could bless her heart, but those were awful years for my sanity. He was not willing to work for our family and I had to leave for him to find motivation to work again.
Once I kicked him out, he was able to land a great job making twice what I made! I rememer being really angry that he wasn't willing to do that for us.

I've totally been where you are and honey I'm sorry, but I second your therapist. I remember the weight loss, the stress of which bill to pay or put off, the tears, shoot, I actually had heart palpitations. That kind of stress affects you in so many ways. You aren't asking too much, but are you prepared to take action if you don't get what you ask for?


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

The problem is not your MIL. Grandparents spoil and they often have favorites. I don't find it fair that they don't do as much for your kids, but it is understandable. Your DH doesn't appear to put them on equal footing with his kids, so why should his mom?

Your DH is the problem, plain and simple. He is selfish and unreasonable, and unless you see a tree falling from the sky, hitting him in the head and knocking some sense into him I can't imagine why you are still there.

If DH can not find a way to be an equal contributor to the family - if not in pay then in time and effort - and can' not understand why he should be expected to, then I don't see much reason for you to keep beating your head against the brick wall that is your marriage.

So sorry for you.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

I have to agree with your therapist in this situation. Why should your husband get a job? You are supporting him and his kids. He has a free ride and you are giving it to him. Until you stop doing all that for him, then nothing will change.
Geez, I would hate to imagine how he treats your kids while you are at work. I mean if he can't even change the bedding on a wet bed all day.....yeah.....anyway. I would kick him to the curb and see if he changes his tune then.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

I can SO relate to the OP. It is 2 years this month since my wonderful husband walked off his job of 14 years due to "stress." No, I did not agree to support the family. For the first year of his "vacation" (my word, not his) I BEGGED him to go back to work. Begged, literally. I was met with blank stares and told that he "didn't WANT to work for anybody else again." Yeah, well, who does?

The last six months have been the hardest of my life. I haven't been able to make all of the bills--even with working two jobs. His child support is woefully behind (his problem, not mine). Our credit is probably damaged beyond repair at this point. When I leave I will not be able to buy a house for a long time--and may have trouble renting with my destroyed credit.

One thing I will NOT do is take the blame for it, though. I have done everything that I could. My conscience is clear at least. His actions are what put us in this position.

Now that he wants to, he is having trouble finding a job. (Imagine that!) So he's broke and he destroyed his family and MANY friendships.

I have no advice for the OP except pack up and cut bait. Don't wait. It doesn't get better and the bad taste doesn't go away. Once you have lost respect for a person like this, it's VERY hard to get it back--almost impossible. I stay because of my stepkids. I LOVE them and deserting them just seems so awful when out of the 4 parental units they have, 3 are complete morons. I don't have any kids of my own so the only person I'm compromising is myself. I don't know if I could make the same decision if I had children of my own. Probably not.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

Thank you to everyone that posted. I am so glad that I found a place like this to come for advice, to vent and to commiserate.

We had a talk last night and he has promised me that he will look for a job. He said that he understands now how frustrated that I am and that he didn't realize how bad off we are now that the mortgage has jumped up. To his credit, I do pay all the bills so he wouldn't know unless I told him. I have been telling him but not like - we are in trouble telling him - more like - I can't afford that right now or can we wait on that type of thing. I did mention that we would have to cut back and I thought he understood I was serious but I guess not.

He told me that he loves me very much and that if him getting a job is what it will take to make this work again, then that's what he will do. He said he never thought it would be so hard with him staying home and me working. I guess until you try something you just really don't know. I do have a ton of resentments with him staying home and hopefully that will subside when he starts working. I know we will have a whole new set of problems then (childcare issues mainly and a new division of housework to contend with) but I think that overall, him working will be so much better on so many different levels.

To answer the question about the cinnamon buns - he didn't literally throw them in my face - what I meant was he was using it against me to make a point. I would not stand to have anyone literally throw anything at me. I would be gone in a heartbeat if that were to ever happen.

Thank you again for helping me and for offering advice. I do love him and that's what makes this so very difficult.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

Sofrustrated, i can hear the frustration...but, Why are you doing the laundry and cleaning the house when he stays at home?
Even if your hubby gets a job , i think sharing the house work is also a necessity here.
When my hubby is home on vacation, he washes a load of laundry, granted he does not hang it correctly but i button my mouth because he did a load. He attempts to clean some dishes....he does tidy up the house like making the bed, picking up dirty clothes and toys. Feeding the pets, and cleanign the litter box. Even cleaning the bathroom!
If your husband is a stay home dad, than he should have those responsibilities. AND he should have time to go grocery shopping! my husband does that as well and takes our son with him.
I'm glad you guys spoke and hope that is does work out.
As for his mother, its her money and yes, your dh is embarassed to ask her...but...he could still put her aside and give a comment like ' i'm glad you buy things for them but maybe you can buy them something more useful.' You would think a GM would think a little. my child gets things from his grandparents but they buy clothes for him not toys because we've asked them not to buy toys. period.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

Sofrustrated, I agree with organicmaria, why are you doing laundry and housework? Good for you for telling how you feel about his not working and having him agree to looking for a job.

While he's looking for a job which can take a while, he should take up the slack on the housework front.

On the grandmother, I agree with everyone else that the problem is less her than your husband. If he is embarrassed to ask her to give your family the money then at least one of you can tell her she should be more fair on the gift giving. She's not your mother, but, your kids are being affected by what she is doing for her bio kids. If he won't ask her to be more fair with the gift giving then I would have that conversation with her myself.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

Oh wow. I agree with pretty much everything that has already been said. Hubby needs a job AND he needs to pull his weight around the house, too.

I think it is really sad that your kids get $1200/month in child support yet they're still wanting for things. :( The child support you get for them should NOT be used to support your husband's kids. It would be one thing if your DH were working and bringing in money, and ALL the money was going in one communal pot. But that's not what's happening.

As far as MIL goes, I agree that it's not really appropriate to dictate to her what and how she spends her money. I think it is a grandparent's privilige to spoil the grandkids---if she wants to buy the extras, that's her choice.

What I DO think is wrong is how obviously left out your own children are. I think, at the very least, grandma needs to be more discreet with her gift giving. Do your own kids visit their father? Maybe grandma could limit her gifts to her grandkids for times when your kids are not at the house? I also think that DH should speak to her about how this hurts your children's feelings. It may or may not change anything with MIL but at least it puts it out there on the table---and you never know, maybe she will start making an effort to be more fair.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

He thinks that taking care of the kids is too hard to do all by himself all day AND do chores. He's goes on and on about how much he does during the day and I'm not there to see it so I can't really argue with him. I do know that when I'm home with 2 kids that I can get a heck of a lot more done than him but that argument falls on deaf ears. I know what he does all day - he plays online video games. He will be on the internet ALOT and I used to get all bent out of shape about it but then I realized that I'm in control of the money and what little we have left *I* decide how it gets spent and if I want to go grab a cup of coffee or eat a lunch out with co-workers, I can do that (if I have the money which isn't that often). He doesn't get that same luxury. So there is trade-offs and that's how I see it balancing out. I still complain about it when it seems I'm spending all my free time running around and working and doing chores while he's home on the computer goofing off. He actually had the nerve to tell me once that he needs computer time to relax and refuel otherwise he will not be a happy person. I was like - well what about ME and he's like - you should do the same - let some things go. I was like - I can't just not go grocery shopping or else we have no food to eat. I can't not do laundry - we would have no clothes to wear, Ican't not clean the bathroom - that's just GROSS! And the list goes on. He has different standards of cleanliness than me and I am no spic and span Mrs. Clean I can guarantee you that but I'm also no slob. I like order and for things to be tidy. Him....not so much.

As far as MIL - I mentioned the thing about how it's unfair that she's getting things only for her bio-grandkids and DH says that when my kids start noticing it and saying things, then she will make it more fair. I was like, okay - so just b/c they don't express it (which I think they do but I just ignore b/c I have felt that there's nothing I could do about it) then it will continue. And let me just add that my 4 year old has a mild developmental disability so he doesn't act like a quote unquote normal child. And the 2 year old wouldn't understand. But lord have mercy if MY parents did what MIL is doing. The two skids would be ALL OVER THAT saying, why didn't WE get this or that? It's such a double standard and it's not right. I can't really argue with him about it though b/c he's right - my kids don't say anything like it's not fair. So maybe the issue is with me seeing it be unfair and not liking it and the kids could care less??!! Not sure here...


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

"He thinks that taking care of the kids is too hard to do all by himself all day AND do chores."

That's a bunch of BS. He's just making excuses to be lazy. Plenty of SAHMs take care of the kids, go grocery shopping, run errands, keep the house clean, do laundry, and somehow "make it all work."


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

If you have extra money to spend, spend it on your own children. not on a man and his kids. we discussed similar stituation here before...to what degree is it OK to support grown man and his children?

It is OK for one parent to stay home but he can still get a part time job on the weekends or something to help wiht the bills. he takes advantage of you, not MIL's fault. His fault.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

your hubby is a lazy sob. I think 2 years of vacation has suited him enough. Ultimatum, get a job in 30 days or move out of this house take your kids withyou to your mothers house since she loves to splurge her money she can take care of all of you.
I know its harsh..but lets look at facts
1. you get 1200 in CS..(you are lucky you are getting that) BUT you use it to support him and his kids..BIG red flag! He tells you his kids need pj's? sorry....this money is from cs, it goes to my kids accounts. I personally would set aside cash from that into accounts for both your kids to protect them.
2. You are working 2 jobs! TWO! and you come home to clean?! I would have booted him out of the curb a loooong time ago. I'm a wife, not a slave to a slob at home with 2 spoiled kids by grandma while my two kids gets scrap. sorry that's how you've described it here.
3. He has full custody but no CS? Another ultimatum. GO FILE FOR CS! The kids need the cash...even if its a small amount it will be theirs.
4. internet eh? well....times are tough...right? bills to pay...guess what, internet will have to be cut , its a luxury i cannot afford to pay any longer.
Yes , its cut throat and cruel. But you runnign around frustrated and not making ends meet is morally degrading and you are a doormatt.
Again i'm glad you have spoken with eachother..but i hope he's not just saying he's gonna get a job and then hang you out to dry for another 6 months eh?
For me its what's listed up there.
1. get a job in one month.
2. he must file for cs for his kids. no ifs or butts!
3. he must clean around the house.
4. no toy policy, kids have too much. grandma can buy clothes or useful things for her grandkids.
5. set aside some of the cs for your kids only..and yours alone andhe has no say in it.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

How much is daycare in your area? In mine it is anywhere from 600 to 800 a month just at regular daycare.

I think if you are resentful, then it is not working for your situation clearly and he needs to get a job.

But reading through these replies there does seem to be a bias against men staying at home. Of course he should be cleaning/cooking but clean is subjective. But considering the amount he saves you in daycare, that could potentially be his rent and contribution to your bills as well. Or at least it is a significant savings.

But anyway the point is moot since you feel resentful but I just find some of the replies in this thread to be kinda out there.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

I'll be the first one to say that I think that a man needs to be working and supporting his family. I believe that there is an inherent difference in the sexes (or else why would there be two?) and women are FAR better suited in general to be primary caregivers for children and homekeepers. It has to do with women being better at multitasking and organizational things for me.

Just my opinion, though. Probably not worth much...


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

Vivian, you're entitled to your opinion but c'mon. What you just said makes no sense on a couple of different levels. First, there are two sexes because that's necessary to procreate. (Well, maybe not anymore but it used to be) and while I agree women are usually better suited to be primary caregiver and home keepers, that is not always the case. My husband's ex would rather party than parent. My husband enjoys cleaning WAY more than I do... and he's better at it because it's not my passion. And if women are better at multitasking and organizational things, then they should be running the business world, not men.

nivea, which ones are 'out there'? I don't see it. A guy should be supporting his kids. Saving her money in childcare should be considered his contribution/rent? OMG! That almost sounds like BM telling DH that since he is keeping SD, he can also keep the child support he was ordered to pay her... that would be HER contribution to him. Backwards thinking, in my opinion.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

I think the roles are reversed a lot in this same situation. Wife doesn't get CS but stays at home, blah blah blah and yes I think that the responses would be a lot different.

Some are making it sound like he is doing nothing, lazy slob etc etc. Staying home with kids is not a walk in the park. I've heard that is one of the hardest and under appreciated jobs out there. A few of my friends that do this say how hard it is to keep anything clean since the kids are there all day. Husband comes home and expects to do nothing because that is wife's job. I've heard it enough...lol but I do get the point that just because you stay at home, you do all the chores...the working parent must contribute too or someone is going to go insane.

I don't get the notion that his contributions don't count since they are not strictly financial, but hers do. It does not make sense to me to only factor in the hers vs his on certain subjects, but they are a family on others.

But again, people should do what works for their situation..this isn't working so find something that does.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

"And if women are better at multitasking and organizational things, then they should be running the business world, not men."

Many of them are.

I only speak in very general terms. The traditional roles for men and women were traditional for a reason. They worked--for the most part. There's nothing wrong with them.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

why is it backwards thinking? If he was ordered to pay CS and he didn't, then he owes it to her. I know mom was ordered to pay CS as well, and now she owes him. So if SD lives with dad now, then mom says that he does not have to pay to her. How is it backwards.

nivea it is OK for men to stay home but this woman is having trouble supporting him and 4 children, two of them are his. She even has to ask MIL for help. Unacceptable.


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RE: finedreams

I agree Finedreams, but I do think if the genders were not mentioned a lot of the responses here and everywhere for that matter, would be different.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

"nivea it is OK for men to stay home but this woman is having trouble supporting him and 4 children, two of them are his. She even has to ask MIL for help. Unacceptable"

I agree.

I think the real issue here, gender aside, is that this situation is not working financially.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

I'm going to mentally reverse the genders --

So now SHE is a SAHM and HE is working to support them and their four kids. They agreed at first that she would stay home since her earnings would barely cover childcare for four, but now two are in school and money is TIGHT. To top it off, her mother buys all sort of 'extras' for her kids so she doesn't seem to internalize how difficult the family finances are. I've asked her to get a job, but so far, it hasn't happened. And even though she's home all day, there's frequently housework and errands that haven't been done.

OK -- So with genders switched:
"Throw the bum out!" sounds too harsh.
But "She needs to get a job and pull her financial weight" still works.


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throw the bum out?

Nah, I'd still say 'throw the bum out!' if it were a woman. My SD's mom moved in with her BF. Neither has kids living there full time but he let her stay home 'at first' but then they moved to a bigger house because she agreed to get a job & help out. She hasn't and if someone refuses to pull their own weight when asked (and the weight of their own children as in this case), then yes, "throw the bum out"... of course that's after you've asked them to get a job and pull their own financial weight and they refuse. If you aren't gonna throw them out, quit complaining.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

My mom was a SAHM who worked sporatically throughout our childhood. Since we've all been out of the house, she hasn't had a job. Why? Who knows......Dad tells her she's going to have to start contributing. She cries and whines that he's going to divorce her. But she does nothing. She finally got a job contracting to a newspaper. She hasn't been paid in I-don't-know-how-many months and refuses to go put her foot down and ask for the money.

I'd say "throw the bum out" to my own father! I think I've actually said something like that in the past to him.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

I tutor part time but mostly am a SAHM now. But if we couldn't afford to buy PJs for DD and SS, I'd be back to teaching in a heartbeat.

The issue here is that OP is working TWO jobs, trying to support 4 kids and her own kids aren't getting what they need. Instead of OP having to work two jobs, what about DAD getting a job at night? Say OP works 8-5--DH could get a job working 3-11 and they could hire a sitter for those couple hours in between.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

or dad can work a graveyard shift after kids are asleep.

My ex and I had 6 kids and when he worked graveyard, I worked days. When he worked day shift, I worked swing. We did what we had to before all the kids were in school. Then, we both worked days. We changed the hours and circumstances as the needs of the family changed.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

I'm sorry that I've caused such a stir. I know that when traditional gender roles are challenged that all sorts of feelings come out about it. Honestly, it works for some but I think for the vast majority, it's too hard to get past the traditional role of what I am supposed to do as a woman and what he's supposed to do as a man. I feel like it's my job to clean some even though he's home all day. I feel like it's also my job to care for my kids when I'm home from work. I'm a VERY driven person and I always have been. He's not but when we were dating he put himself out there like he was. It was almost a little smoke and mirrors but we all do that when we are dating a little bit, I know this.

I don't exactly know how I'm going to broach the subject of putting some of my kids child support away for them. I know he's going to be really upset when I tell him that's what I want now that he is working. After all, he has the same opportunity to go after BM but he chooses not too. She lives on the other side of the country from us (she moved right after we got married), never sees the kids and never calls them. It's really sad. DH says he's just lucky to have his kids out of the deal and that he's not willing to go after her for support b/c he fears losing the kids. I know his thinking is very backward (he'd never lose those kids to a deadbeat mother like she is) but I can't tell him that he must take that chance b/c what if by some twist of fate, he does lose them. So therein lies my problem with that whole mess.

But - I do think that I should be able to do whatever I please with my children's child support. I fought hard for that support with my ex and just b/c he makes good money and I didn't have kids with a loser (like BM) my kids should have the benefits of that support to themselves. Am I wrong to feel that way? Is that a bad way of thinking and will it ultimately divide our family?

G-d, some days I just hate being in a stepfamily. It's so so hard. Harder than I ever thought it would be. The Brady Bunch can go suck an egg. ROFL!


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

"I do think that I should be able to do whatever I please with my children's child support. I fought hard for that support with my ex and just b/c he makes good money and I didn't have kids with a loser (like BM) my kids should have the benefits of that support to themselves. Am I wrong to feel that way?"

Absolutely not! Honestly, if I were your ex-husband, I would be TICKED OFF to know that the money I was sending to MY children wasn't even really going to them.

Like I said before, it would be one thing if your DH was working and contributing money to a "communal pot." But he's not. He's basically taking the child support that's meant for your TWO children and trying to divide it among FOUR. That's not okay. You have every right to put that money into an account for your kids.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

I agree with Lovehadley 100%. It's not fair to your children to spread their support between 4 kids. It isn't fair to their Dad either, and I'd be hot if I were him.

I also agree with a deadline I read above...it's easy to say "I'll get a job" but actions speak louder than words. Have a deadline and stick to it.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

"I do think that I should be able to do whatever I please with my children's child support. I fought hard for that support with my ex and just b/c he makes good money and I didn't have kids with a loser (like BM) my kids should have the benefits of that support to themselves. Am I wrong to feel that way?"

Well, I can certainly see why you'd feel that way -- but it won't help your marriage. You know how peeved you are now that His kids enjoy a higher standard of living than yours. He'd probably feel the same way if the situation were reversed.

Another angle to consider -- Child support is also intended to cover housing, utilities, and all sorts of expenses incurred in running the kids' household. So a good portion of that CS money really goes toward paying the mortgage and taxes. Pretending that it's all discretionary wouldn't be fair.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

I agree with Sweeby on the child support issue. You also have to think that DH is/has been providing daycare for the moment which CS would be a part of as well.

It might be better to come up with a household budget and show him. If he is not handling finances, he might have no idea. You will also want to lay out clearly what you expect him to contribute.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

Ok, so maybe it's not okay for OP to spend all of the child support on her children. I do agree that a good portion of it is meant to be used for mortgage/rent, utilities, food etc.

BUT it's meant to help provide those things for TWO children, not four. And if there are 4 children living in this family instead of 2, it stands to reason that they probably have a larger mortgage payment because they had to buy a bigger house to accomodate everyone; I'm sure their grocery bill is higher for 6 people than it would be for 3. And these extra costs have made it so that OP's two children don't even have the smallest extras. That's not okay.

I keep saying it but I will say it again. I could understand if OP and DH had a joint back account and each deposited X amount of dollars per month for the family to spend as needed. But I also think it's fair and RIGHT for OP to say "I am taking $300 of this child support money and spending it on MY children, for whatever they need or want." And then if DH doesn't like it, HE can get a job and he can make his own "spending money" for HIS kids.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

lovehadley, you are right. The child support is meant for the support of THE CHILDREN. Not all the children, but just the children for whom it was ordered. If the dad that is paying, knew his kids were doing without while the other kids that aren't being 'supported' by their parents are enjoying lots of gifts and extra's while his kids get none, well I think he'd be upset by that. Those other kids are being supported with HIS money AND they get more. I'm assuming the grandparents give them those things to at least partially compensate for them not having a mom around supporting them and dad is not working. The grandparents may think 'their' grandkids are at a disadvantage because the step-grandkids have a mom that IS working and a dad that is paying support and maybe they are trying to even things out by giving just to their bio-grandkids. That's just an assumption/theory.

If OP's DH is contributing to the household by providing childcare, then that is his contribution. It doesn't entitle him to live off the child support that OP's kids get. Half the kids he provides childcare for are HIS! He should also be working, at least part time, to contribute to the support of his kids. I'm with taking a bit of the child support and spending it directly on the kiddies it's intended for... get them the things they need and then use the rest for the family. Even if it's one new outfit a month, but it's for the kids and they should share in the same standard of living as everyone else. I wouldn't hesitate to tell the grandparents how much you appreciate the toys and all but their grandkids could really use.... clothes, food, utilities.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

Your husband is living off you *& off your children* (what if their dad finds out his children's support money is paying to keep a grown man???), & when the gravy train dries up, your husband will find another naive, trusting woman & he'll sponge off her.

Since he isn't working, cleaning, cooking, shopping, or doing laundry...
this user may be spending his time grooming his next victim.

(I'm sorry, I know that sounds brutal, but I think it's the simple truth.)


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

I appreciate what everyone has to say and sometimes the cold hard truth is what i need to hear. I get a weekly dose of it when I go to see my therapist. She thinks I'm afraid to be alone and that's why I put up with all the garbage. I think she's right. I need to learn how to be on my own before I can go any further in life and if it means that this marriage has to go to do that, then that's what it means.

I'm hoping and trying to change something that will never be changed. I'm realizing more and more after reading what everyone has wrote that it's not right, and it's not fair. And y'all are 100% right in that it's easy for someone to say they are going to get a job and help and a far other thing to actually do it. He will most likely drag his feet forever and G-d help me if he tries to get alimony from me. I would be TOAST if that happened.

I know that whatever happens, I will get through this whole ordeal and I will be a stronger person because of it. I hope that everyone here continues to support me in this time of need.


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RE: Am I being unreasonable?

I am sure all of us will welcome you back to support you in your time of need. We all need a shoulder to lean on and an ear to vent and listen.

As for alimony....i dont think your husband would be entitled to much...the judge will look at the fact that he had a job for 14 years which he willing quit to take care of the kids at home which he did not adaquately do and this is why you asked him to get a job again. And 2 years off doesn't entitle a man to get alimony for the rest of his life especially if he has not mental disability and is age is young enough and capable enough of work. So i dont think a judge would make you pay money tohim to support him and his two kids when he can apply for cs from BM as a money source first which he is entitled to and back draft money owed as well. Plus you have your own kids to support so i dont think you should worry about alimony.
Stick to your guns and tell him to get a job...any job...and file for cs. He should NOT be afraid of losing his kids. His ex has set the precedant of abandonment of two very young children. That is unnatural for any mother to do and she will NEVER get child custody due to her actions and the fact you have basically raised them. So its just another excuse on yoru hubbies part. I know alot of men dont like stirring the pot but hey....its for your kids...do it.


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