Return to the Stepfamily Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Adult Stepchildren

Posted by tryingmybest (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 26, 06 at 9:31

My Fiance has 2 adult children. we had met right after they seperated (no he never cheated). There Mom however has told them he did and it was with me. I have given his 24 year old a car and helped him in other ways as well. His other son will no longer speak to either of us. He is however posting lies accusations and insults on the internet and to whomever will listen. He is 26.I have 3 children myself 17,12 and 6. I am so very concerned with them hearing any of this. These are not typical rantings they are nasty horrible hateful words. Any suggestions on how to handle this?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

First, he is an adult. You can't control what he does or does not do. Bashing your children, etc. on the internet sounds like a cowardly way of doing things. Sounds like he has deep rooted problems of another variety and he's taking it out on you. Where is dad in all of this? Have you and dad discussed the issue at all? Sit down with dad and discuss your concerns, find out if there are deep underlying, unresolved issues with his son. Is he jealous of your relationship? Is he resentful because you treated the other son differently? Has he always felt this way, etc and the most important question, what are dad's options in helping resolve the conflict. This man is not your son. Would you let a total stranger say those type of things to you or your children? Stand up for yourself and be proactive. Nothing will ever be resolved without communicating your concerns to dad or communicating your concerns directly to the son. Good luck!!!!


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

Thank you.
His Father and I have both tried explaining the truth to him. But the Mother has no one else and continuously uses this son as a therapist. Dad has tried telling his Mom she is hurting her son. I feel badly for all parties.


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

I would give serious consideration to exposing my own children to that kind of vitriol and abhorrent behavior.

Mother/sons....take your pick.

If your fiancee cannot handle this situation, it will only get worse in the future.

Think HARD.


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

How long have you and your fiance been together? Is it possible the mom really believes he was cheating with you? Just because he tells her he wasn't (even if it's true) may not be enough to make her believe it, especially if he's the one who ended the marriage. So let's assume mom does think you "stole" her husband and that you're a conniving deceitful little home-wrecker. She's feeling hurt, angry, resentful, and not a tad irrational, and spewing all this poison onto her children. And between you and their mother, who will they believe? Mom, of course.

First off, don't take it personally, because it really isn't about you at all -- it's about showing loyalty for their mother.

And no, you shouldn't just take it. But realize also that you can't fight this fire with more fire. That will just create an ugly firestorm that will cause greater damage. IMO, the best thing you can do is just communicate the short clear message that:

1) Their mother is very angry and upset right now, so she's saying a lot of ugly things.
2) None of what their mother is saying about you is true.
3) That you are confident that once they get to know you, they will realize you're not the kind of person they are hearing you are.
4) But that you understand that now is not the best time for them to get to know you, so you'll back off.

Have your fiance deliver the message, or write them each a short note. Then stay in the background for a while until things cool down.


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

The real truth is that none of the details you've shared about how soon you dated or the mother being angry and the adult children being influenced by her were the complete cause of the behavior. What's going on is a typical pattern that happens to many of us when we are older and plan to remarry. There's a wonderful book called Step Wars directed at older adults who remarry and find the adult children angry about it. You can find it for sale on the internet. The authors have also reprinted it under a gentler name, so be cautious about ordering both. We did. I gave the extra one to a fried. Here's a site to hear an interview with the author:

http://www.eyeonbooks.com/ibp.php?ISBN=0312290993

If, like my new husband's children do, the adult kids withdraw and shun the new couple, it's very hard to work with them at all. In our case, the kids were 32 and 37. I was what I've always thought was a normal 58-year-old woman who had friends and was well-liked, but these two, without really knowing me express hate for me. The picture of the daughter at our wedding says is all - arms crossed and a glowering face! Dad had been divorced with no strings attached for 2 years.

Their mom was more than able to support herself as a lawyer, functional in her career, but seriously mentally disordered in her personal life, out of the picture states away with the kids shunning her, too, so you'd think they would have been happy to see their dad happy. Not. It isn't like there's a lot of money involved - dad divorced at 60 and lost 1/2 of the results of a modest but solid career. The kids are professionals and doing very well, themselves. But the rage is unbelievable! By the end of the first year of our marrage, both kids had pretty much cut their father out of thier lives.

The daughter was the over-spoiled girl child who dad began to ask her to grow up and the response was bitterness. In a year, she'll be making $200,000 when the last phase of her education is done. The son married a girl who'd been a stripper for 6 years and who is almost certainly bipolar (I'm a psychologist). And they feel I am the problem! Our situation could not be more like a soap opera. So we have really worked on understanding the matter.

The trouble is that if your situation is milder, it is easy to think you are doing something wrong. You are not. You are dealing with a family that was struggling in the first place, and that inability to cope and function is now following the parent of those kids. In our case, when I married the father, I knew the kids had been raised by a very troubled mother and there would be difficulty. I just didn't know how it would present itself.

Despite understanding, I was enormously hurt for a long time and pained to see my husband so broken hearted. Kids are masters at knowing how to hurt, especially those from troubled families. Just when we think it's evening out, something new happens. We are lulled into thinking it's blowing over and it's not. The anger and grudges remain.

I've come to the conclusion through this that the more troubled the family, the more potential there is for this sort of thing to happen. If feels so painful and the parent of the chidren is stunned their own kids have such potential for cruelty within them.

Get the book. It may help you both let go of being hurt by something that is irrational and that many others are living through. It took us both months and months to gain some distance. My husband took legal steps to keep me protected from the chilrens' wrath if he died, and you might consider doing the same. When we are older, death becomes more of a reality, and it can be an awful time to be dealing with very angry step children.

Don't let the children spoil finding one another. We were lucky. It didn't really begin in earnest until after we were married, but I can see how it could drive an unmarried couple apart!

Best wishes. Stay strong and brave.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bill Thompson's Eye on Books


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

Thank you so much for that.I feel for your situation as well.
We have since decided to have an out of state wedding. They do not want to come. This way they can not choose to ruin it.
The ex has started (for some reason that cannot be explained rationally) having her mail delivered to my house. Which for the record was my house prior to meeting him. She has now also made written accusations that I will not be attending my own wedding. The fun continues.


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

I need help. Now in my story it may be a little hard to keep track of the players. I was 42 & single for over 5 years when my daughter and soninlaw introduced me to his father (soninlaws's) who was 54 and retiring after 37 years in the Army. I was a law enforcement officer in South Florida and he resided in North Florida so dating was a commuting experience. He had 4 children and I had 3 and we actually shared a grandson by my daughter and his son. WOW
We married in early 90, all children and grandchildren were in the wedding with the exception of his youngest son who at the last minute refused to pick up his tux. Now,I am his 4th wife and he is my third husband. I must be a pretty good person as all my motherinlaws love me except for the last who did until she passed, all my husband's children are EXCEPtionally good to me as are mine to him, with the exception of his youngest who is now 38, married to a woman (who mistreats and drives him nuts on a regular basis)with 2 children that he adores. They have been married since 96. He literally hates me......yet loves my daughter that is married to his brother and for many years was very close to my youngest daughter until he recently went off on me to her and she definitely took the upper hand putting him in his place. He keeps going on aboutus leaving everything in our will to all seven children, he thinks it should all go to his father's kids, and then he rambles about previous stepmothers, stepsiblings, etc. none of which I had anything to do with. Did I mention that I am very close to my husband's first wife who is a teriffic lady and we enjoy spending time together. He gave his father a father's day card and rambled all through it about me and how I was keeping them apart. Hello? Our home is open to all the children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. We love them all including his. I have always been there for him....financially, emotionally, and whenever he has been ill. What to do? Should we cut him out of our lives completely until he accepts our relationship. He called his sisters house on Christmas Day where we were having breakfast and spoke to everyone except me and when his dad asked him if he'd like to he said"got nothing to say to her". I am even looking for a book for him if anyone has any ideas. We are not getting younger and his father has been through 3 open heart surgeries. My children will always be there for me and their "DAD", my first husband, their father, passed away. So will his daughter whom I adore like my own and his oldest son who just returned home, Praise the Lord, from Kuwait. Please help me get to him that while we will never always like each other that I do love him and want to be his friend. :) Thanks so much!!


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

Did I fail to mention that the youngest sons 2 children that he adores were his wife's by her first mariiage yet he makes excuses even though their relationship to him is identical to mine with him. :)


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

I would make sure those nasty internet comments are coming from him and then I would take legal action against him. He is cyberbullying you and should NOT get away with it. The internet is a far reaching place with the power to destroy your career, your family, your sanity and your reputation. Go after this little creep with everything you have. He is 26 years old and is supposed to be an adult.


 o
For SweetAnnie -

Your situation sounds very similar to mine. DH and I are planning to see an estate attorney soon. Being that step-families are a touchy subject to deal with, I'm curious if you might be willing to shed a little light on how your DH is protecting you in the event of his death. If you do not feel comfortable sharing, I understand.

Thank you.


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

My dad & step mom got married 21 years ago (this Valentines day is their 21st anniversary). She has three kids and her stepson that she raised. My dad has the four of us. The youngest were her daughter & my sister, both 16 (they were best friends in HS and actually introduced them to each other).

From the beginning, they tried to blend the family, but most were living on our own. There were a couple of holiday gatherings and all the kids were invited. We (my siblings & I) stayed in the living room but her kids migrated to another part of the house. They were not interested in being around us. I'll admit, my sister was not shy about voicing her opinion of them either, so it wasn't just one sided. So, dad and SM decided to have two gatherings. We got to come over either on Xmas eve or Xmas day. Her kids came over on the opposite day. This was very upsetting to both of them and now, as a step parent, I understand that frustration better.

Ten years ago, my step mom was going to celebrate her 50th birthday. My dad invited her kids over for a party but all of them made excuses.. one had a blind date. another had to work (delivering pizzas) and the other just said he was busy. She spent her birthday alone and I'm sure she felt sad that her kids didn't come see her. Six months later, she had a brain aneurysm. She underwent brain surgery to stop the bleed and survived but is vegetative. Her kids don't come see her and act as if she died when it happened.

My dad has taken care of her for ten years. She requires 24 hour care (being fed through a tube, bathing, diapering, medications, etc.) and it costs him a few thousand dollars a month, above and beyond what she gets in disability. Instead of a "thank you for taking care of my mom" or "how is she doing?", her kids had the nerve to drag him into court to account for her money and assets. He's already given them (her daughter anyways) her new Mustang she bought a year before she got sick (after HE paid if off), all her clothes, jewelery, family heirlooms, pictures, etc. He had also included her daughter in his will, which he changed when she jumped on board with her brothers in their lawsuit.

It's sad that the children she loved so dearly and was a loving mother to, would abandon her in her time of need. If she had died, their true colors would never had been revealed. It has changed my outlook on automatic inheritances toward adult children. They really showed her their true colors by not going to her birthday party but she made excuses for them, probably not wanting to admit that they were selfish a$$es. I don't think she realized (or wanted to realize) how greedy and self centered they are.


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

The word describing your step-siblings is "entitlement".

We parents have earned our money and we will leave whatever remains to whomever we wish. It is very sad when adult children believe it is their inherent right to expect an inheritance. They may be sorely disappointed to learn this when their parent/s die.


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

She hasn't died and she doesn't have a will. However, she discussed things with my dad before this happened to her and wanted to provide for her kids. (they were all adults by then) I truly believe that if she has any comprehension of her situation, or of how her kids have abandoned her and if she could speak, she would not feel the same.

My dad has given her kids everything she owned when they were married, except community assets (their home). Since she has been sick, he's purchased a second property (million dollar ranch) and a sports car (Jaguar) and they feel that those are half their mothers... they tried to claim his business was also community property, but he inherited it from my grandfather. What they don't realize is that he is the spouse and she has no will. When she dies, he gets everything (including the debt). He has a will. If he dies first, he is first providing for her care until she dies. They still get nothing. It may end up costing them, because after the marital debt is paid, the marital assets would be sold to pay for her care and if it isn't enough, the adult children can then be held responsible to take care of their parent.


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

God forbid her care would be left to such ungrateful and uncaring children as it appears they could truly care less about her.


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

I am actually next in line to take over should anything happen to my dad. Right now, my daughter & I take care of her while he works and I wouldn't hand it over to her kids. (and I don't think they would fight that either, except to put her in a home where she would more likely die).

I guess if there is something for others to learn from this, it's teach your children that family is more important than money, possessions, status or power. In the end, you can't take any of those things with you and it's our personal relationships that will matter most. If you stick your parents in a home or don't take care of them when they are sick and need you, then when you get old and need your kids, they may just do what you've taught them, which is to leave it to someone else. That is what my step siblings are teaching their kids.


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

If I am ever in the state your father's wife is, I hope that my kids would do whatever they could, within legal boundaries, to make sure I quickly shuffled off this mortal coil. Unfortunately, living wills are not recognized in my state. I don't want anybody spending money keeping me alive if I am in a vegetative state, or even not reasonably functional.


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

They have had a DNR and stopped treating her for anything several years ago. She has a remarkable ability to fight off infections and illness without antibiotics. She is only given pain medications to make her comfortable. She didn't have a living will but then again, she isn't on life support.


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

TOS,

My mother who is 88 and in relatively good health (but will still likely come to live with me soon, as she will not be driving much longer) has made that absolutely clear. When you get older, make certain your children undertand what to do -- it may not be according to Hoyle, but where I live the doctors listne to the children.


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

In this day and age it seems that parents can only attempt to teach their children to respect them and others. No matter how well we think we parent our kids, when they become adult children they will make their own choices in life and we take the chance of only becoming more burdensome to them as we grow older. Very sad for us individually and for the American family as a society.


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

Euthanasia is illegal, so if you aren't on life support and don't want to live in a vegetative state or not reasonably functional, it's not up to you. We don't get to make all our own decisions on that. And I believe it is an advance directive that states what "heroic" measures you want or don't want.

I believe that if you don't have a durable power of attorney, then the first one in line to make your decisions is your spouse, then adult children if no spouse, then parents if no spouse or adult children.


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

This message is for "tryingmybest". Hello, I like your posting name I too have been trying my best for 8 years with my adult stepkids. I have gone through similiar situations with my SD (26 years old) & SS (22 years old).

The last thing SS & SD have been attempting is to make me look bad to my in-laws, which by the way is not working. My in laws/husbands family members have known me 8 years and we have always gotten along wonderfully. They know my true being and know I would not do any of the things that the stepkids hint that I am doing. The stepkids have always been hard to get along with even for my inlaws to get along with. The in laws have told me some of the un-thoughtful things the stepkids have done to my husband's relatives.

So to answer your question of what to do. I do not have children of my own so everything my stepkids have done have only been to me and is now starting to hurt their own father. But what I would suggest is to block anything that can come through on your computer so your children will not see any of the bad things. Pray alot. Ignore/disengage as much as possible and remember what bad things someone does to others will come back to them in a bad way. Speak up to the adult stepkids when it is appropriate and when they are out of line. Remember they are adults and not little children who do not know better.

Those are my suggestions and remember you are not alone I have been living this for 8 years. The adult stepkids are not coming around much, which I have mixed emotions about. I truely like it because they are not causing problems or hurting us emotionally, but then I feel sad for DH not have his kids treat him good and coming around to just be with their dad. I would like to have a nice relationship with them as friends, but the adult stepkids have not helped with this. Also, I too believe BM has had alot to do with them causing problems in our life. I could give you many examples but it would take days. Feel free to read my other posts over the last couple years.

Best of luck "tryingmybest".


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

What to do? My husband and I have been married 21 yrs..In the last few years my husband has started receiving a call once in a while from his daughter that disowned him after he was divorced from her mother for 12 yrs. She was 15 when we got married..I met her in a drug rehab for the first time..I guess she better now, but heard working in a bar..I did at one time try to talk to her about my husband about 10 yrs ago, she made it clear her Dad was her stepfather and her father was called by his first name...so I left it alone..now after 21 yrs she is wanting to become part of our life..we do not have children..I never had children prior..we have been blessed with a lovely niece that has always been like the daughter we never had..she is highly educated and a very nice young woman and would do anything for either of us..we made the decision about 10 yrs ago in the event of our death we leave everything to her.. the daughter of my husband is now almost 36 and has said she would come to visit, as usual she didnt...I bought Christmas presents, she called after Christmas and the only comment was to mail them to her..not even a card from her..now she is saying she will come in March..I honestly do not want to deal with this, yet she isn't my daughter..my husband I THINK is just not sure..he doesn't know what to think, she has done so many hurtful things to him, very hurtful things I will not say here..the lies are just horrible..so here we are 21 yrs later with a grown adult wanting back in our life and I just dont think I can do this..I do not trust her. It acutally makes me sick to my stomach because of the things she has done..I know people can change, but, I do not want to live her drama..she made her last decision as an adult and now trying to change it again....life is just to short to be upset. Has anyone had any experience like this?


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

How wonderful for your husband that his daughter wants to work on what sounds like has been a very difficult relationship for both of them in the past. I'm sure with enough patience, time and open-heartedness on both her part and his they can rebuild their bond. My best to them both.


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

Julie, If I were your husband, i would proceed with caution. It would be wonderful if she has matured and is ready to be a family again, but you can't blindly ignore the past.

My two younger children grew up without their fathers. My daughter's father met her once when she was 12. He made a promise to call her and set up time to see her. Then, he moved out of state without telling us. She was devastated and now that she's 17, he wants another chance. She doesn't trust him and there's a part of her that wants to believe him but she hasn't forgiven him so, she's being very cautious and is much less forgiving when he 'forgets' to call her back or doesn't do something he says. She wants him to earn back the trust and he should. So should your DH's daughter.

My son's father began calling him in January. My son is 18 1/2 and has only met him once. After years of denying he was the father (we proved he is), he now wants to forget the past and look on to the future. He's showering my son with expensive gifts and while my son likes the 'things' he's getting, he still isn't sure he can trust this guy. He is angry that his dad wants him to forget the pain he's felt not having a dad all his life or the couple of times his dad saw us in public and turned the other way, or stood up in court and protested taking a DNA test (my son was 18 when that happened and was in court as a party because he wanted to prove that he was his dad)

In your husbands case, I'd try to forgive and move toward rebuilding a relationship with her. It will take a lot of patience, time and open heartedness but it will also take the earning of trust. I don't know the things she's said or done in the past, but when drugs/alcohol are involved, that has an affect and some people can change if they stop using and get help. Your husband may need to accept that she is who she is. She is not the 'wonderful' niece and she may never be what he wants her to be. (and i wouldn't go running to the lawyer to add her into your wills just yet, their relationship is independent of inheritance)

I can understand how you feel because you love him and don't want to see him get hurt again but it's his daughter and as we get older, it becomes more important to make amends. It's too late when he's gone or when she's gone. Then there is only regrets or the sad thought of what could have been.


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

I agree with Ima about the trust needing to be rebuilt, and this taking time. I don't know all the details of both of their sides to this story (and they do both have their sides... for example, SD being 15 and in rehab is very young. Whether or not it even has anything to do with her father, that is clearly something that she has struggled with since basically a child and points to some kind of deep-rooted early pain.) So, she might be feeling the same (that HE needs to re-earn HER trust, depending on her version of events) but the fact that she is at least *trying* to reach out pro-actively, of her own accord, suggests to my eyes that she really wants to work on the relationship. Certainly it is natural for both of them to be apprehensive and even scared to approach the other (maybe a reason she chickened out on her plans to visit?) b/c nobody wants to be open to getting hurt repeatedly. So yeah, some caution on both sides is appropriate, and is probably going to be there anyway. They do need to keep working at rebuilding their trust in each other. And as long as it doesn't slip into anybody developing a "prove it" attitude that's more *closed* than *open* to the possibility of moving forward/getting closer, it should steadily improve over time.

As for wills, I was a bit surprised to see that brought up. Is he terminally ill? Certainly it is way too early to rush to the lawyer and change wills... but if after a period of time they have rebuilt their relationship to the point where they are both pleased with it and both consider themselves father and daughter, then he might decide to change his will at that time to include her. (And he can change it as many times as he wants...) Wouldn't mean *your will* would have to change and you could still leave as much to your niece as you want.


 o
Serenity

I brought up wills because Julie says "I never had children prior..we have been blessed with a lovely niece that has always been like the daughter we never had..she is highly educated and a very nice young woman and would do anything for either of us..we made the decision about 10 yrs ago in the event of our death we leave everything to her.. the daughter of my husband is now almost 36 and has said she would come to visit, as usual she didnt."

I wasn't sure if she is implying the daughter is trying to re-establish a relationship because her father is getting older and she wants to weasel her way into an inheritance. It was just a thought and maybe I read too much into that. But, I think that he should not feel obligated to change his will until he wants to, when he feels comfortable to include her.


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

My husband has had a heart attack and we are in our late 50's, not having any children of my own and my husband's child not having anything to do with him..we made the decision to have a will and we trust my niece that she will make sure we are taken care of if we become ill,in case of death, I know she will make sure I am buried,in my family plot as my husband will be buried there, also..so YES we did decide on someone we trust to do the right things and not just blow the money...her mother passed a few years ago and she said "If it had to be my Mom or my Dad (stepfather, she calls him Dad not her BD) I am glad my Mom died, it was strange to hear that. At this time she is working in a bar, my niece has a Degree and is a RN, she is the one that calls, that helps me when I need help. She keeps her word and she does not lie all the time..we have a good size insurance policy, money, that we told our niece to make sure that the daughter gets upon our passing..which is more than fair at this time..I will not change my mind after 36 yrs of trusting a wonderful niece that adores us both with all that we have worked so hard for to be used on booze and drugs are heaven knows what...our niece is a very giving and loving Christian woman I have no doubt would consider helping her if she helps herself but not give her money to help her addictions.. Within 3 weeks of his heart attack is when she showed up, not at the hospital, but when he was home doing well, Our niece was at the hospital watching over my husband and helping me and we both can depend on her in a crisis, the daughter, at that time we didn't even know if he would be able to go back to work, asked for $500.00 we gave it to her. Since then the only times she has called is for money or gifts...so what am I to think at this time?


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

Julie, I think you are doing the right thing. You are a wise woman & you are correct, I'm sure, in your thinking. I would never give hard earned money to any addict. Your neice sounds trustworthy, loyal, & respectful. Why did you give the daughter the $500.00? Just curious.


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

She came by the first day, wanted money for gas, etc, then left and went to see old friends where she had lived with her Mother, to see her ex mother in law, not really sure.
My niece said that my husband did not need to be upset during that time. So I guess I just gave it to her in shock and total disbelief that she could ask me at that time. The amounts since have not been but 100.00 increments here and there, plus gifts I buy she doesnt show, then calls and says OH! just mail it to me. Its hard when your not use to someone being rude and not thoughtful of what is going on, so I think I am doing it to just not have any problems.


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

"...case of death, I know she will make sure I am buried... I will not change my mind after 36 yrs of trusting a wonderful niece that adores us both..."

Again, no reason why YOU should have to change YOUR will leaving whatever you wish to YOUR niece, regardless of whatever may evolve between your husband and his daughter. His will = his decision; your will = your decision.


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

It's an old story, not even a new twist.

Just like criminals tend to find religion when they're facing sentencing or prison, relatives tend to have changes of heart when it's likely to benefit them financially.

My friend Jan had a truly horrible mother (child abuse severe enough that Jan, nearly 60 years old, still has occasional nightmares & panic attacks).

One day her mother showed up on the doorstep wanting to be all sweetness & light, & Jan told her to leave.

When she told me about it the next day, she was still shaking.

Jan said she knew her mother's character, & "wanting to mend fences" was a cover to get Jan to take care of her now that she was old & her own mother (who had raised Jan & Jan's brother) had died.

Jan's mother moved in with her sister (Jan's aunt), who was incensed that Jan would be so "heartless".

Within a week, the sister was exhausted, nervous, anxious, angry, & ready to throw in the towel.

When someone turns up with a "changed heart", smile & be welcoming if you want, but lock up the silverware, cash, & bank books, hide your purse, block access to your computer, & don't let 'em have a key to the house.

I wish you the best.


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

"Just like criminals tend to find religion when they're facing sentencing or prison, relatives tend to have changes of heart when it's likely to benefit them financially."

Sylvia, I'd be inclined to agree with your view more (even though it's pessimistic... hey, nothing wrong with a healthy amount of pessimism b/c sometimes in this world you have to watch your back!) if there had been some major change recently in circumstances, such as Dad being diagnosed with a major illness, or daughter having a sudden major bout of financial trouble, etc. OP: have any such occurences taken place? If so, it might make me a bit more pessimistic, too. But if not, it's harder to see where these doubts should automatically eclipse the natural tendency of biological relatives to want to have a good close relationship with one another, especially parent and child. Let's face it, parents and their children often have disagreements, often nasty ones... especially where divorce/remarriage are concerned, and especially if heavy drugs are thrown in the mix. If a parent and child don't want to stay estranged forever but want to rebuild their relationship after years of pain, how is this ***in itself*** so suspect, and why wouldn't it be welcomed? Yes, it's important to be aware of possible motives, but these usually jump out like red flags, i.e. someone about to die. Dad in his 50's is very young! Nowhere near the average expected age of dying--- if *daughter* was obsessed about his will, don't you think she'd just "do her thing" and be MIA for quite a while longer before bothering to sweeten Dad up, pre-bucket-kicking?

Again, there may be details I'm unaware of that may make it more likely she has a financial motive... which is why I'm asking OP to share them.

I follow the wisdom of "prepare for the worst, hope for/be open to the best", and in the case of someone who's battled drug addiction for many years this probably SHOULD include locking valuables away when she visits. Take whatever precautions you feel you need to take if you are concerned about money, valuables, etc. And once they've been safeguarded to a reasonable extent, it should be fine for you to welcome her in. (And hope she actually shows up this time!)

As for daughter asking for financial help, I wouldn't bring up the issue at all. IF SHE brings it up, certainly YOU have the right to tell her you won't help her. Your husband has this right, legally, as well, which he may choose to exercise or he may not. Depending on what she might need money for, he may decide to help her. He may decide to pay whatever debt or bill it is directly, or he may decide on an amount which he believes should permanently get her out of whatever trouble it might be provided she allocates it appropriately (the idea being that from this point on she shouldn't have to ask again, and he probably should tell her this intention straight-up). If, after that, she mis-spends his money, he can say "I'm sorry, but what I gave you last time should have covered it. I told you that was going to be it, so this shouldn't be a surprise" without guilt. Or he may decide to make it a loan, or give her nothing at all... can't predict. Then, depending on attitude daughter takes towards him after that, you might be proven correct that money probably played a big role in her desire to be closer. In other words, you won't really know if that's true or not until after-the-fact, and so there's no sense *presuming* that's the case. But you can certainly *prepare* for that possibility by taking precautions with your stuff, knowing what both you and your husband will do (which may very well be two different things) if SD asks for money, and hoping for the best. She can ask, but neither you nor DH *have* to give. YOU definitely don't, from a legal nor a moral obligation. DH doesn't legally, but depending on what it may be for, he might feel obligated morally (i.e. she's literally about to be thrown onto the street, or she has a disease that she can't pay for treatment for, and without treatment, she'll be in unbearable pain the rest of her life...) In these instances or anything like it, more I think about it, if DH pays, he should pay the bill directly and not necessarily trust her to pay it herself unless/until she's shown over a long period of time that she can be trusted to do so.

In general, though, unless daughter brings it up, I would mentally separate the issue of finances from the possibility of Dad & daughter re-establishing peace long-term. At least for the time being. They should be separate issues anyway, and if *anyone* involved here pushes the issue of finances too soon or too forcefully it's not a good sign.


 o
RE: Adult Stepchildren

I wouldn't give money on the basis she is an addict. I think her wanting to start a good relationship is a wonderful thing, but giving money to an addict isn't.
Keeping finances separate is a good idea. I would give my adult child food, buy them clothes, or pay an electric bill if they were in dire need(the woman is 36). She should be able to support herself & if not maybe needs resources available in the way of vocational rehabilitation, counseling, or community services. It's hard to form healthy, good relationships if drugs/alcohol are in the way.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Stepfamily Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here