DSS is moving in a month after he graduates - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 29 Old 01-06-2010, 01:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've just been told DSS is moving in a month after he graduates. For years, DSS's mom has been difficult, tried to control our holidays, wouldn't agree to more visitation, etc, etc but now that the cs will be ending she is sending him to us. I kind of knew this would happen, and I don't have a problem with DSS moving in, it's just so irritating when a mother doesn't want her child when the money stops coming in.

She did the same thing with DSS's sister (not DH's child), she didn't have anywhere to go so she moved in with us. We took care of that girl for three years, bought her a car and helped pay for her college. When we had a baby and had to cut back on paying for her expenses she moved back in with her mom. The entire time she lived with us, everything revolved around her mom. She couldn't help us with xyz because she had to go to her mom's and help with xyz. Every holiday celebration revolved around her mom's. I am getting stressed thinking about history repeating itself. I hate to say this, but I think his mom is keeping him around an extra month so she can claim him as a tax deduction. Tax deductions are very important to her. Even though her daughter was living with us and she was providing no support, she told DH some kind of BS and she claimed her on her taxes for the three years we supported her.

So does anyone have any advice? Has anyone else had their DSC move in when the child support ended? The three years his sister lived with us was the worst of my life. In the beginning, she was great, but as time went on she became sassy and disrespectful. She had a terrible attitude and brought so much negative energy into my home and my life. DSS is a great kid but I still have a fear of history repeating itself. DH works away from home a lot, sometimes he is away for more than 6 months at a time so I will be doing this by myself the majority of the time and I am scared.
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#2 of 29 Old 01-06-2010, 12:54 PM
 
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Maybe this is a dumb question, but if he's graduated and CS has stopped, then he should be 18, right? So why can't he get a job and live on his own? Does he have health issues that prevent this?

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#3 of 29 Old 01-06-2010, 03:10 PM
 
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Or, if he is eighteen, he could just move in with you as soon as he graduates. Then you'll get the tax deduction.

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#4 of 29 Old 01-06-2010, 03:15 PM
 
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Bio-kids, stepkids - to me, when you graduate, you move out and are independent. I will help financially, but much as I love you it is my job to make sure your bed is not in my house. Adult = big world. College, job, whichever path you choose but go ahead and choose it.

Unless there is a delay of some sort as another poster mentioned, I wouldn't have an adult move in. It isn't helping them become an adult IMO.
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#5 of 29 Old 01-06-2010, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He will be 18 and is perfectly healthy. I agree that 18 = an adult and he should be taking care of himself. DH didn't discuss this with me at all but that is another thread. I also mentioned to DH that he should be moving in as soon as he graduates, not a month later because his mom is doing that to get the tax deduction but his response is that he can't make him . Basically it boils down to DSS's mom doesn't want him anymore because he isn't bringing in any money , but he doesn't want to take care of himself either. I can't tell you how long he has been saying he can't go to college because there isn't any money and my response has always been that's what student loans are for. He just doesn't want to be responsible. I think he has been making DH feel guilty because we helped his sister, but looking back I can see what a BIG mistake it was to do so much for her. I think DH is also bribing him to come live with us maybe he feels like he has missed out on something because DSS has lived with his mom for the past 15 years. I have 2 small children that I care for by myself most of the time because of my husbands work and I don't want to have to worry about taking care of another person.

I totally agree with Kirsten. It isn't helping him become an adult but how to I get DH to see it that way?
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#6 of 29 Old 01-06-2010, 06:09 PM
 
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"DH didn't discuss this with me at all but that is another thread."


That's a marriage-wrecker, is what that is.

You need to stand up for yourself and your younger children and refuse to do this. It's pretty clear from your post that you already know this. But your dh cannot move another adult into your home without your consent.

Having drawn that line, I totally think that your home should be open for college breaks, summers, etc. This isn't really your dss' fault. If he had been raised to a different standard, he wouldn't be thinking about moving in with Dad -he'd be thinking about college and/or his own apartment and job. Since he wasn't raised to that standard, he's going to need a little push...
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#7 of 29 Old 01-06-2010, 06:49 PM
 
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well, I think it is fine to live with a parent after graduation IF he either has a full-time job and/or is attending school. If he just plans on "hanging out" while living with dad, that would definitey be a no-go. I think you and your dh need to set very very clear boundaries about what you expect re: either him attending college (using student loans,, NOT on your dime) or him contributing to the household if he is working (maybe paying rent? chipping in for groceries? or even just saving for his own place) so that you don't feel like he is taking advantage of you.

Since your dh didn't ask you about this before he agreed (which yes, I would be furious about) he needs to work with you now to make this work, especially since you are the primary parent at home.

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#8 of 29 Old 01-06-2010, 06:55 PM
 
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well, I think it is fine to live with a parent after graduation IF he either has a full-time job and/or is attending school. If he just plans on "hanging out" while living with dad, that would definitey be a no-go. I think you and your dh need to set very very clear boundaries about what you expect re: either him attending college (using student loans,, NOT on your dime) or him contributing to the household if he is working (maybe paying rent? chipping in for groceries? or even just saving for his own place) so that you don't feel like he is taking advantage of you.

Since your dh didn't ask you about this before he agreed (which yes, I would be furious about) he needs to work with you now to make this work, especially since you are the primary parent at home.
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#9 of 29 Old 01-06-2010, 07:22 PM
 
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I could be a minority here, but I just wanted to chime in with the fact that I am very much okay with 18 y.o. living with their parents. In fact, despite the fact that I know dsd can't wait to start life on her own, I will make sure she knows she will ALWAYS have a place to return to, rebuild, refresh in life, and that place is our home. If she chooses to live here until she finishes college - I won't even blink twice (tax return or not).I can't fathom saying to my kid "you have to move out, you are done living here".

At the same time, it doesn't mean I'm okay with an 18 y.o. staying at home doing nothing, btw. I'm all for full-time jobs and paying for your own expenses, and pulling your own weight, and going to school, etc. etc. etc. Naturally, if some or any of it wasn't happening, we'd have to look for a solution. But living with a parent? How is it that everyone is supposed to become an adult at the same age? Why is it so universal? What if someone is not ready? What if someone has good enough relationship with their parents to stay with them an extra year or two? What if someone is smart enough to save every penny as they work full time and go to college on scholarship, so that they have thousands saved up by the time they are in their early twenties?

To me it's kind of like co-sleeping - provided everything is normal and healthy, a person will WANT to move out to start their own life soon enough, it just might not happen at 18, but that doesn't mean that they will depend on their parents for the rest of their life, or that there is something is wrong with them or their parents for staying in the house through college years, kwim?

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#10 of 29 Old 01-06-2010, 07:54 PM
 
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Having drawn that line, I totally think that your home should be open for college breaks, summers, etc. This isn't really your dss' fault. If he had been raised to a different standard, he wouldn't be thinking about moving in with Dad -he'd be thinking about college and/or his own apartment and job. Since he wasn't raised to that standard, he's going to need a little push...
I just assumed he would be going to college or working.

I agree with the above quote - he is going to need a little push. But that push should come with a firm timeline, "you have X amount of time with which to either get a job and start contributing to the family, or enroll in school."

My brother lived with my dad and stepmom until he was 25, but he worked 50 hours/week, did chores, and paid rent. He saved well and was able to purchase a house a couple of years ago - he just needed a few years to really mature and figure out what he wanted from life. So living with your parents can be helpful WRT becoming a responsible adult, but it also can enable irresponsible behavior. How you and your DH handle this will play a big part in what happens.

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#11 of 29 Old 01-06-2010, 08:36 PM
 
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I remember what it is like to be 18 and I was a responsible 18 yr old but I also remember my friends who weren't at all equipped to handle life on their own. If his mother didn't teach him the skills to handle life as an adult, I think that you have to plan to do this if you let him live with you. If he needs to live with someone, he still needs a parent. I would consider things like rent, a requirement that he go to school, taking a full adult load of chores, things like that. If your DH is reasonable, he will see that teaching dss to act like an adult is the ONLY option if he is living with you.
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#12 of 29 Old 01-06-2010, 09:14 PM
 
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"I just assumed he would be going to college or working."

I didn't get that impression from the OP.

I don't think that there's anything intrinsically wrong with an 18-year-old living at home - but an 18-year-old stepkid moving in with me full-time for the first time, when I have two younger kids to parent and his father is gone for months at a time? No thanks. That is an unfair expectation IMNSHO, and I would refuse to do it.
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#13 of 29 Old 01-06-2010, 09:35 PM
 
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but an 18-year-old stepkid moving in with me full-time for the first time, when I have two younger kids to parent and his father is gone for months at a time? No thanks. That is an unfair expectation IMNSHO, and I would refuse to do it.
Why is a child of a man you love moving in with you is unfair? Can you imagine giving up living with your kids, and then not being able to do it EVEN after the kid turned 18 and wanted to find out what it's like to live with your own dad who loves you, but didn't have the custody? What if YOUR spouse told you your children were not welcome to stay with you? I'm just trying to come from a different perspective here, kwim?

I am 100% certain that if dsd wasn't allowed to move in with us at 14, she'd move in at 18, even if just to find out what it's like to be under the same roof day in and day out with her dad. I bet it's not unusual for the kids with non-custodial parents to wonder "what would it be like?.."

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I remember what it is like to be 18 and I was a responsible 18 yr old but I also remember my friends who weren't at all equipped to handle life on their own. If his mother didn't teach him the skills to handle life as an adult, I think that you have to plan to do this if you let him live with you. If he needs to live with someone, he still needs a parent. I would consider things like rent, a requirement that he go to school, taking a full adult load of chores, things like that. If your DH is reasonable, he will see that teaching dss to act like an adult is the ONLY option if he is living with you.
I see the situation the same way. And as difficult as it is, I do believe that the right thing to do is to open up the door to this kid.

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#14 of 29 Old 01-06-2010, 09:43 PM
 
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I see where you're coming from, Oriole - but I still wouldn't do it. Not under the circumstances described, which would require me to be put in extensive periods as the sole parent for the 18 y.o., rather than simply being affectionate and supportive while my dh did the daily parenting.

Also, the day my dh invites anybody to move into my house without first obtaining my consent is the day I get arrested for assault with intent to maim. But I think we can all empathize with the OP on that score.
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#15 of 29 Old 01-06-2010, 09:50 PM
 
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I see where you're coming from, Oriole - but I still wouldn't do it. Not under the circumstances described, which would require me to be put in extensive periods as the sole parent for the 18 y.o., rather than simply being affectionate and supportive while my dh did the daily parenting.

Also, the day my dh invites anybody to move into my house without first obtaining my consent is the day I get arrested for assault with intent to maim. But I think we can all empathize with the OP on that score.
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#16 of 29 Old 01-06-2010, 09:53 PM
 
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oh, but when it comes to children - I don't think permission is needed, btw. Understanding? yes. Permission? not really.

Anyone else in the world - parent, sibling, friend, friend of a friend - definitely, you should ask permission, but a child? it's just understood - the door is always open to the child in a house of a parent, kwim?

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#17 of 29 Old 01-06-2010, 10:16 PM
 
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I totally think that your home should be open for college breaks, summers, etc. This isn't really your dss' fault. If he had been raised to a different standard, he wouldn't be thinking about moving in with Dad -he'd be thinking about college and/or his own apartment and job. Since he wasn't raised to that standard, he's going to need a little push...
Totally agree about college breaks. And I agree that it isn't his fault if he wasn't raised to become independent - but he can get there with some help.

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I can't fathom saying to my kid "you have to move out, you are done living here".

How is it that everyone is supposed to become an adult at the same age? Why is it so universal? What if someone is not ready? What if someone has good enough relationship with their parents to stay with them an extra year or two? What if someone is smart enough to save every penny as they work full time and go to college on scholarship, so that they have thousands saved up by the time they are in their early twenties?
I wouldn't say the quoted words - 'cause my kids (even my 1st grader) know that they'll move off to college when they graduate. They've heard stories about how adults in their lives did that, and they've seen their high school babysitters graduate and do that. Just as they don't question that high school is after middle school, they don't question that college is after high school. Moving out is both part of the growing up process and pretty darn fun - even if you do have a good relationship with your parents!

In my opinion, it is - in the US at least - pretty universal that 18 or high school graduation is that line. You can vote. You can make your own legal decisions. Barring any developmental delays, I think a loving push towards independence is a gift not a punishment.

And I don't think you can put a price on maturing into an independent and functional adult. The money saved by living at home isn't worth it unless it is the absolute only option financially.

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Anyone else in the world - parent, sibling, friend, friend of a friend - definitely, you should ask permission, but a child? it's just understood - the door is always open to the child in a house of a parent, kwim?
CHILD - yes. Adult child is different. The door is always open for a weekend VISIT. The door is always open in case of emergency (dp abused you, house flooded, etc) for somewhere to live until your situation is fixed. But just to live - as an adult? Not here.
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#18 of 29 Old 01-06-2010, 10:58 PM
 
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CHILD - yes. Adult child is different. The door is always open for a weekend VISIT. The door is always open in case of emergency (dp abused you, house flooded, etc) for somewhere to live until your situation is fixed. But just to live - as an adult? Not here.
This.

If it's for a reason and it's temporary with a clear end in sight, it's fine. (And being a minor child fits both of these criteria. )

Also, I can imagine a kid wanting to see what it's like to live with Dad. I get that. But if he's gone for months at a time, then that can't be the reason. Sounds like the OP's DH needs to have a long talk with his son about expectations and growing up.

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#19 of 29 Old 01-07-2010, 01:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for all of your responses. I finally feel like someone understands me.

DSS is going to college, I guess. A few months ago he wanted to be a marine biologist or a history professor. Recently he wanted to go into the Navy so they could pay for his education and he could become a doctor. Now he wants to be a nurse. I'm not sure he really knows what he wants to do. He hasn't even started applying to colleges and he hasn't started applying for student loans.

I don't have a problem with children that I have raised living at home while going to college, but I just don't think I am up to the sole parenting job of an 18 yo with my DH being gone so much.

I am still furious that DH didn't even discuss this with me and I think he is setting up a disasterous outcome for this situation because he is showing his son that my opinion doesn't matter. DSS told me that he asked his dad for a car for Christmas. I told DSS and DH that a car was not in our budget. What does DH do, the day after Christmas, he takes DSS to a car auction and buys him a car. He didn't even tell me where they were going until about 3 minutes before they left. DH always makes sure DSS has what he wants even when we can't afford it. He said it was his extra money and he can do what he wants with it. He never spends his extra money on our girls. He doesn't even pay for all of their expenses - my family helps out with the girls because after paying the household living expenses and CS there really isn't anything left. I'm sorry I'm venting so much, but this is a hard place to be.

Smithie - you described exactly how I am feeling. I wish I had your courage and could just refuse to do it.
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#20 of 29 Old 01-07-2010, 01:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I should also mention that DH parents live with us. Which again is another thread, but I did have input on that although DH did give DD's room to them without discussing it with me . We cosleep so it isn't really a big deal although DH is ready for the girls to move to another room but I am not going to have a 2 yo and 4yo sleeping all by themselves upstairs while I am sleeping downstairs.

Anyway, I'm not sure if them living with us changes the perspective of parenting an 18 yo by myself when DH is gone but even with them here I am just not up to it. My MIL has told me many times that she had her kids 24/7 and she never left them with anyone because she didn't want to be a burden so I don't ask for their help unless I REALLY need it.
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#21 of 29 Old 01-07-2010, 08:38 AM
 
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I saw this on new posts so I'm forum crashing. Mama, it sounds like you and your DH have a serious communication issue. He's not discussing anything with you! The moving in thing, car buying, giving up your DD's room, these are big issues.

Having his parents and adult DS move in while he is not there for many months during the year is also a potential recipe for disaster. It clearly shows that he is not respectful of your desires and wishes for your household.

I'm sorry, this must be hard to deal with. I'd perhaps think about tackling this major problem in your marriage first. Good luck.

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#22 of 29 Old 01-07-2010, 01:51 PM
 
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I should also mention that DH parents live with us. Which again is another thread, but I did have input on that although DH did give DD's room to them without discussing it with me . We cosleep so it isn't really a big deal although DH is ready for the girls to move to another room but I am not going to have a 2 yo and 4yo sleeping all by themselves upstairs while I am sleeping downstairs.

Anyway, I'm not sure if them living with us changes the perspective of parenting an 18 yo by myself when DH is gone but even with them here I am just not up to it. My MIL has told me many times that she had her kids 24/7 and she never left them with anyone because she didn't want to be a burden so I don't ask for their help unless I REALLY need it.
Please sit down with DH and possibly the grandparents and come up with a game plan for teaching dss the life skills he is lacking. I bet the grandparents would help! and if Dh can see this as a goal maybe he will realize that giving dss everything he wants is being a BAD parent, not a good parent.

I can totally see my FIL sitting down with an 18 yr old and giving a lesson on finances and budgeting. This can also include how to pay for school etc. If dss hasn't applied for school, he also needs a lesson on goal setting and one on applying for college! Maybe your in-laws don't like chasing after kids but would still be willing to do something like this, more on adult terms.

And I would INSIST that dss have a payment plan for paying dh back for the car. Seriously, as soon as he moves in. If he has no income, give him a month to get one? In the meantime, give him an allowance for 1 month and make sure it includes gas for his car, all of his entertainment, etc. I would be seriously angry at dh for shelling out money for an 18 yr old child like this.

If dh is making poor choice purchases while he can't support your family---I think he needs a class, too! Could you find a class in the community to take together? At a community college or something?
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#23 of 29 Old 01-07-2010, 04:42 PM
 
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It is interesting to me on our disagreement over different issues. See, I wouldn't let an adult child live at home, but his dad buying him a car at 18 (used it sounds like) is fine with me. Of course family finances restrict what happens there - but it sounds like her dp found the money somewhere in the budget.

My kids know not to expect a car at 16 or 18 or any age for that matter - but if their dad and I are in a position to help them get one, we would.
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#24 of 29 Old 01-07-2010, 05:54 PM
 
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Cripes, OP. This just makes me want to cry.

Can you move back with YOUR parents? 'Cause it sounds like there's not a whole lot of room for you and your daughters in the house you currently live in. Seriously, you might want to think about leaving. It's possible (though not guaranteed) that when he watches you walk out the door, your dh might realize that he can't keeping putting you last and expect to stay married.

Getting regular financial help from the grandparents of his younger kids, and thinking he can afford a CAR for the older kid? Is your dh the Chief Executive of Fantasyland?

Talking big on the Internet is easy. (And I should know, it's my unpaid vocation!) Standing up for yourself IRL is really, really hard. But I know that your want your DDs to have the best, and that something needs to change in order for that to happen. That could be changes in your marriage, or it could be moving on from this marriage and becoming the person who CASHES the cs checks, rather than the person who sends them.
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#25 of 29 Old 01-08-2010, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again for your replies. I think my FIL would do a great job giving DSS lessons on budgeting and finances.

I don't want to make is sound like DH isn't supporting his family, he is a hard worker and works lots of overtime but it only goes so far and that's why there isn't anything left for my DD's after the household bills and CS are paid. Because of that, I don't think he had any business spending money a car for DS. This is DS's third car. His maternal grandfather gave him the first one and he totalled it. Although he hasn't admitted it, I think he was texting while driving. DSS's mom took the insurance money and bought him an old BMW that was a piece of junk. The drivers door couldn't even be opened from the outside. That should have been a big sign not to buy the car but she is very superficial and how DSS would look driving around in a BMW is more important to her than dependability. The motor went bad in that car.

DH hasn't paid one cent of DD's preschool tuition so if he has any extra money, I think he should be contributing to things like that, not buying a car for his son. This was not money from our budget, this was extra money that my DH had. Not sure where he got it all from, I know some of it was money he got for Christmas. I also want to mention that I borrowed 800 to pay rx copays for medication that DH needed (large copay was because DH was getting ready to go out of town for work again for an extended period of time) out of money that is for DD's that came from the proceeds of the sale of my deceased brothers house. We just didn't have it in our budget. If I had known he had money to buy DSS a car, I would have never borrowed that money. I have no idea what makes him think that is ok. When I brought up the fact that he hasn't paid anything toward DD's preschool his comment was that I am the one that wanted her to go to Montessori school. Although when he met me, I was a Montessori teacher in a public school. He knew my feelings about traditional education, and that any children I would have would attend Montessori school.

He is in denial about this entire situation. He says he does take care of DD's by putting a roof over their heads and feeding them etc. While yes that's true, he does the same thing for his son (his son actually has a bedroom in our house while DD's room would be the extra room over the garage) and also sends a nice CS check to contribute to DSS's care each month. He had the nerve to tell me DSS doesn't go to gymnastics. Most of the time, our budget doesn't pay for DD's gymnastics, and it isn't my fault that DSS's mom doesn't spend the CS on DSS. There is enough there for him to take gymnastics if he wanted to. So in my mind, he does much more for his son than our DD's. When the CS ends in June, I want that money to start helping with DD's expenses but he wants to use it to continue taking care of DSS - paying for college, car insurance, cell phone etc. I just can't agree with that when my family is contributing to DD's expenses. I don't know if what I am saying about this makes sense, but DH says I am screwed up in the head and neep help.

I do think we both need counseling because of these issues but he won't go until I "fix" myself first. In the beginning DH and I had a wonderful relationship, one that I had always dreamed about - I would like to try to get back to that place so leaving isn't something I want to consider right now but I can see why it would be suggested!
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#26 of 29 Old 01-08-2010, 07:55 PM
 
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"When the CS ends in June, I want that money to start helping with DD's expenses but he wants to use it to continue taking care of DSS - paying for college, car insurance, cell phone etc. I just can't agree with that when my family is contributing to DD's expenses."

That's most certainly what I would want, too! You are not screwed up in the head, but you certainly do need help - help to prevent your dh from doing any further raiding of your dd's inheritance, for instance . Help to make him understand that you and he, and no one else, are responsible for ALL of the expenses for the children that you decided to have together. Counseling would be awesome if you can get your dh to go. Sometimes a neutral third party can really do wonders for drilling through the denial on both sides. Sounds like financial counseling might also be great - he has money you don't know exactly how he got, your family has a monthly income that doesn't match monthly expenses, etc. All really common problems, but they can do so much damage to a relationship as you well know.

I'm sure he's not a bad guy. The world is full of not-bad people who have massive blind spots in one area or another. But just because you love him and sympathize with him, doesn't mean you accept and consent to doing it all his way, YKWIM? There's got to be a compromise position between continuing to divert money from your household at the same rate he did when his son was a minor and he paid cs, and not helping out the kid at all.
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#27 of 29 Old 01-16-2010, 04:58 PM
 
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why do his parents live with you? I wish I could give you some great advice re: your DH, but really, I don't think that anything you say could get thru to him. I really think you need to get him into family therapy. He needs to see how his actions and decisions are affecting his WHOLE family.
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#28 of 29 Old 01-16-2010, 06:25 PM
 
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So DON'T parent him. Treat him as an adult, and expect him to act as one. Do NOT do his laundry, tell him he needs to clean up after himself and contribute to the household.

Heather married to my highschool sweetheart 6/7/02 :cop: Mother to Dani age 14 and Timmy age 10 Nadia 1/29 :
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#29 of 29 Old 01-19-2010, 05:37 PM
 
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Wow, what a mess. Are you a SAHP or do you work? I think you two need counseling on the issues you present, especially the little money for DDs issue.

Is your DH really gone for months at a time? Because if so, I am not optimistic that he will outgrow what seems to be his disney dad mentality. I don't see how things could get better for you.

But, you are in a way enabling him by getting money from other sources- your parents, your inheritance- to take care of your daughters. I know you do this because you care about your daughters, and I'm not suggesting that you take it away, but I wonder what would happen if you started letting him be the one that suffers. Oh, you need $800 for prescriptions? Sorry, we don't have it. Figure it out. Because your daughters (and probably you) are the ones that are paying now, and that's part of why your DH isn't changing. Yes, I'm sure he works hard, but not everyone that works hard "gets" to have whatever material possessions they want.

I get the sense that you feel little power in this relationship. I think that is the main problem.
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