Second marriage and money

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2012
Second marriage and money
Wed, 08-01-2012 - 10:32am

Hi everyone,

I feel that my df and I are not on the same page as far as our values about money and I'm really needing some advice. He is extremely wealthy and quite generous when it comes to vacations or things for me like jewelry or clothing.

However, I have noticed that he is very concerned about how much my ex will pay for my kids college, cars, etc. I work and have a great income, but it is nothing compared to his. He has mentioned that "his kids" will have many opportunities presented in the future and wanted to make sure that I wouldn't be upset if  he doesn't pay for my kids to have the same opportunities. (He expects their father to pay for college etc, but that is one of the reasons we got divorced=poor money decisions.) Needless to say, I will probably be paying for the majority of my kids education.

Recently, we discussed an IRS bill that I have from my previous marriage. He is aware that this was my ex's bill and that it has caused me MAJOR stress and anxiety. I have a payment arrangement with them, but would like to pay it off since we are getting married and I have a lien on my property due to the IRS. He did offer to pay it off for me but told me I will have to pay him every month and he doesnt want to hear me "whine" about paying him after we are married.

The more I think about it, it doesnt feel like a marriage to me. It feels like a business deal. I've said this to him and he thinks that I exaggerate and can't understand why I feel this way. I am not marrying him for his money, but my feeling is that I may be worse off financially since he will expect me to pay for more expenses than I pay now!

Does this make sense? Sorry, I'm rambling.

Anyway, any advice is greatly appreciated.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Wed, 08-01-2012 - 11:36am

I only have a minute, but wanted to drop you a quick line.

Well, now is definately the time to talk about these things.  I am not going to say that your DH is wrong, just that he views finances differently than you do.  A lot of people keep their money separate.  And this may sound funny to you, but it sounds like your DH is very clear where he stands, therefore he is being honest with you with what he is willing, and not willing to do.  Which is a good thing.  It is better than offering to pay the tax bill off, then carrying a resentment about it. 

The real answer is that you two need to find a way that works for both of you.  Overall me and SO do okay with it, but honestly it is still a bit of struggle some months.   I am horribly in debt, and he can pay cash for everything he does, and everything we do together. 

Well, I need to run.  I am sure others will chime in here. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Wed, 08-01-2012 - 1:53pm

I agree with Serenity in that your DF is being honest with you.  Everyone views marriage differently and manages money differently.  The whole money issue has been discussed many times on this board and I have also read that, when there are children involved, keep separate accounts!  I totally agree!  Dh insisted on joint checking (I didn't want to, but he said unless everything was "joint", it wouldn't be a "marriage". ) So, I guess you could say we view a second marriage differently.  I see us as two older people who love each other, but don't necessarily HAVE to have everything joint (for ex: my IRA is in MY name only).  Anyway, we have had more fights about children (he has 3 sons & I have 4 daughters) and they are as different as day and night and were raised totally differently (his with little and mine somewhat privileged).

 In some ways, I would hope my new husband would just want to maybe help my children if he was extremely wealthy as your DF is.  I agree that a stepparent really has no financial obligations to stepchildren, but if they want to help, that's nice.  I make little as an administrative assistant and dh is in sales, so makes 4 times what I do, so when we bought our condo last year, I paid for most of it with my divorce money and he agreed to pay all the bills, so we really DO own it jointly. My ex has been unemployed for 5 years (although married his mistress who supports him now), so when our 4 DDs decide to get married, I've told dh how much I want to give them (not very much by today's standards), but that can't make him happy that that will be coming out of OUR pocket.  I really would have voted for separate checking accounts had I had MY way. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 08-02-2012 - 12:53pm

Well it's good that you are thinking of this now so you have time to discuss it.  Apparently he feels that you should have responsibility for your own respective children.  Have you discussed how to split household expenses?  I certainly hope that he doesn't say 1/2 each if he makes quite a bit more money than you do.  Now I wouldn't say that I have an answer for this--each person has to do what they think is right for them and you might decide that if you have really different opinions on thata, it would be better not to get married.  If you were both middle income people then I could see more that you should each be supporting your own children.  when you say that he's quite wealthy, it does make him sound kind of cheap to say that you have to pay back the IRS bill and his kids will always have more money than yours.  I could just imagine if someone married into a family like the Trumps or Kennedys with that kind of wealth & had kids from a previous marriage.  I think it would really be unconscionable for the rich person to say "well my kids are going to have the best of everything--private high school, whatever college they want fully paid for, trips to Europe or whatever---but  your kids are going to have to scrimp & save."  I just think that kind of disparity would cause such a hurtful situation--how could he expect that your kids would not resent him as a stepfather?  And yet on the other hand I could see a rich person being wary of being used for their money & not feeling that they have to be responsible for someone else's kids so that their own father doesn't have to contribute.  I think I'd also tell him that it would be more important to me to have someone contribute financially to things that I really need than to buy me expensive jewelry.  I think I'd recommend some sessions w/ a counselor so you can really explore this issue.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 08-02-2012 - 1:41pm

One other quick thing. I am also guessing your DH feels that as a man, and father, each man should be doing these things for his OWN children. Meaning....your xH should be stepping up to the plate, as a provider should.

I know my SO always felt my xH should do more, and I sometimes felt my SO did too much for his xW. See what I am saying? SO still feels some degree of responsibility, and he feels my xH should be the same way.

Hope that makes sense. Just one possible perspective to consider.

Did you ever watch Downsized on WE tv? DH kids got cars from their maternal grandparents, DW kids had to buy their own cars.

I mean, what do you do? Tell you kids they can't have a free car because their step siblings don't get one, also?

I very curious how you and your DH decide to handle finances in general. Please keep us posted!
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2012
Thu, 08-02-2012 - 4:42pm
Thank you everyone! We had a pretty big argument about this situation this morning. We just are not on the same page I guess.
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 08-02-2012 - 5:49pm
Oh boy. Hope you can get it worked out. Just remember that it is not about right or wrong.

I don't think this is any easier with couples that have money versus those who don't. Keep us posted....
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002
Tue, 09-11-2012 - 8:24am
I think Geek1945 posted a good reply.

The only "devils advocate" I might suggest re: DF would be:

Does DF think you are not holding your exH to his obligations---and, does DF have a suggestion re: how he feels you should handle things other than paying yourself and he not?

What I mean is-----since your exH is somewhat of a no-account re: paying for kids/IRS/etc, .........and your plan is to pay yourself------------does DF think you have an option re: getting exH to foot his share that you are chosing not to do? Eg, does DF feel you are giving exH power/being nice to exH yet by not requiring him to pay what he should------?

I guess I would ask him what other suggestions he has for you other than you footing the bills of exH, and seriously consider them (if he has any).

(most of the rest of us dont know how to get blood from stone, but maybe he does? )

But my gut feeling is that GEEK is on target.

((((((HUGS!!)))))) ....and keep us posted!