Wife, Step-mom and Provider

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2009
Wife, Step-mom and Provider
17
Fri, 11-30-2012 - 6:18pm

Hello All...wasn't sure where to post this, but I never am. I'm so frustrated and I just needed another persons perspective - I'm married, second time for both of us, and he has two children. We moved halfway across the country to live closer to his kids, I moved my job and he is unemployed and has been for several months. Now, I realize that the job market is not great, at all, and I'm trying to be patient with that. I make a decent salary, and we were able to afford a house at our new location. We do not see his kids very often, which is frustrating for me, and I'm pretty sure my stepdaughter is about ready to strangle me (pre-teen hormones I think) I'm pretty laid back with the kids, but firm on important things like homework and how the kids treat their parents (their dad, mom,  step dad and myself). We are still paying FULL childsupport even though he doesn't have a job. My husband just got a part time job which will barely pay child support, but we still travel for the kid's sports a lot (almost every weekend) spending money on hotels, eating out, etc....and we have  not had them with us during any of these trips. I can't spend money on myself or anything right now because money is tight, and I realize that sounds selfish, but I'm paying for EVERYTHING right now, the house, food, bills, travel....everything. I just want to go see my family, who is about 5 hours away by aircraft...I'm just so frustrated. I cook, I clean, he does help (about 30% if I were to guess) but I'm expected to do all of this stuff and he doesn't even ASK me - if I try to talk to him he blows up at me. I feel like I am being taken advantage of. If I wanted to leave, I couldn't - the house is in both of our names and I couldn't do that to his kids but I'm just so frustrated! ugh what do do???

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2009
Sat, 12-01-2012 - 9:24pm

oh and now he is threatening to go to Kuwait for a year!!!! he has threatened this before....so move me out here where I know NO ONE and then leave? awesome. We are trying to meet with his ex and her boyfriend next week about custody issues and he sends her an email saying "all I know is I can't pay for child suppport and see the kids and have no job...not that they want to see us or spend time with us anyway!" who does that! they are kids - teenagers at that, I'll admit it has hurt my feelings, but I try to remember being that age....and I just let it go and soak it up when they do want to hang out with us....but why drag the kids into it....and now I am "preventing him from seeing his son" because we dont have the money to do all this....am I wrong? I mean I love them, but they aren't my kids, they have a mom and a dad....and I dont see why I am paying for everything??

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002
Sat, 12-01-2012 - 9:58pm

Since you've got depression/medical issues, and you were in the military, I'm assuming you have some sort of health care benefits?---can you/are you seeing some sort of counselor?  I really think you need to talk with him/her about this---and it ISNT "all you"---he sounds narcissistic or adult ADD/not thinking ahead, or SOMETHING.  Maybe he just feels stressed re: being underemployed (and the threat to Kuwait is in retort to he should be providing more $$)-----but, like someone else said---he's acting VERY immature (eg, the taxi$$).

alliecat44 wrote:
<p>There is a lot to love about him - he is caring and thoughtful, and we have been married for almost three years - we were both military for a long time and we got eachother through the difficult times - but I have  changed - not so much in a good way...but thats another story. I struggle with depression and I have some medical issues, but I'm to the point in this marriage where I don't know if I am wrong here - if I should give more, I mean what if I were laid off? I would hope he would take care of me....and it's not so much the money (though I will admit that drives me bonkers) but its the fact that I don't feel like I have a say so in my own life....like I'm lost or something, insignificant</p>

1.  Consider the possibility that you were right for each other for that time----but this is this time, and reality is different now.  He isnt acting supportive to you currently.

2.  Should you give more?  I say things are incredibly one sided already.....

3.  RE: your question: What if you were laid off/would he take care of you?  hmmm....is he taking care of you currently? Is he paying any attention to your opinion/wants/needs?

4. Quote:

 but its the fact that I don't feel like I have a say so in my own life....like I'm lost or something, insignificant

YES, exactly.  Please dont accept living the rest of your life like this.  If you have a counselor, bring this up there.  Go ---take that trip---(hah! Take a TAXI---apparently not a problem!) visit your family/friends and talk about this with them.

Others will have good ideas for you here.  Weekends are generally slower on this board.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2009
Sat, 12-01-2012 - 10:16pm
Lauren - I try to keep an open mind, I really do, so I am trying to think of things from his perspective, but if he were to do the same - would he feel how i feel? I was raised to give everything, but I am not even 30 - I have already been through a divorce - I dont know if I can go through another one
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2008
Sun, 12-02-2012 - 9:02am
Allie- I think it is a matter of perspective-from day 1 of my relationship DF always knew that his kids=his responsibility Even though he got the "fringe benefit" of me being around w/the "ability" to help on certain occasions it was never the "norm" nor has it ever become the norm almost 8 years later-that carries over to the financial aspects as well-I made very clear in the beginning I would NEVER be helping him pay his CS/alimony (when he had to pay that), but I would help him directly-so if he had to go work 3 jobs to pay those bills so be it-but he would have a roof over his head, lights on in house etc. Since the house is mine-I just always looked at it as bills I would've been paying anyway... Something though that is non negotiable for me is any of those issues impeding on my ability to live my life the way I want...(going on vacations w/my friends, dinners w/friends, or doing things w/my family when I want to)-the skids are here to see him, not necessarily me, so I do what I want when I want-and that means I decide when and if I "help" per say... As far as the unemployment-we dealt w/that early this summer-DF very unexpectedly lost his job-I was terrified b/c I knew that I would really have to be strong in my resolve not to pay any CS, luckily alimony is done-DF got another job in a 2 week time frame-but in that time we were constantly talking about worst case scenarios and how much he would have to make to pay the CS and yes we knew certain things had to be cut down and still are b/c the new job doesn't even come close to what the old job did-we also were exploring the going back to court option to have the CS modified b/c of the job loss-we ended up not doing it-b/c he got another job quickly-but he is still paying way more than he should based on his current income-he will be going back to court in a few months to have that addressed-it was related to another issue... Has your DH explored that option yet? And if not-why not? Seems crazy to me the story about the rental car vs the taxi-makes me really wonder whether he understands too much about finances? I also do understand the extra $ being spent for the hotels/sporting events-in some ways it feels like the right thing b/c at least it establishes his presence there-and you can feel somewhat connected to their lives-but that also comes w/a cost-which budgeting and planning for should come into play...and yes I understand how he's feeling about having kids for weekend that at times can just be an additional expense which I'm sure he's already feeling crappy about-but there are possibilities that are free at local library, town events, etc. Like you I was prepared if DF didn't get something right away to be responsible for it all for awhile-but I can say that DF realized it couldn't/wouldn't be an indefinite thing b/c that would've only become a breeding ground for resentment-which it sounds a bit like you're experiencing now... I agree w/Laurena-look into some counseling if available from military... and know that you have a right to be living your life too...
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2008
Sun, 12-02-2012 - 9:03am
Sorry I tried to break up in paragraphs didn't work from my phone!
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sun, 12-02-2012 - 12:16pm

This really sounds like an unpleasant situation.  I agree that a counselor could help--you shoud probably go individually but if you could get him to go with you, then maybe a 3rd party pointing out some of his unreasonable behavior might help.  Did he not understand that it would cost more for the taxi than renting a car?  Maybe you could write down all your income/expenses and if he saw everything on paper, he might understand that you only have so much money so paying for hotel, etc. is extra.

I don't really understand his reluctance to go to court if he doesn't have enough money right now to pay c.s.  He already told his ex verbally that he doesn't have money so it shouldn't be a  shock to her--and since he got laid off, they probably would give him a break.  I also don't understand--does he want to see his kids more or not?  It sounds like he doesn't want his ex to file for joint custody--honestly, she probably would like him to take the kids more but considering they were all in a habit of him not seeing them too much, I don't think at this point teenage kids would want to be spending 1/2 their time w/ him anyway.  I assume he's much older than you if he has teenagers and you're not yet 30--too bad he isn't more mature for his age.  Like saying if you want more money, he'll leave you & go to Kuwait.

I want to add 2 things:  1st, don't have a baby unless all of this is resolved to your satisfaction.  It would add a huge layer of problems and if he can't support the kids he has now, it will add extra expenses & stress.  Plus if you do get divorced w/ no baby, then you can just go your separate ways & not be tied together.  2nd, I know how bad it feels to be divorced twice (I am) but that can't be the reason that you stay in a bad marriage.  Yes, it's embarrassing, you feel stupid, etc.  In my 1st marriage, we were married 13 yrs, had 2 kids, my ex left me.  The 2nd marriage, we were only married 5 yrs (but it seemed like a lot longer).  I finally decided to leave for reasons that aren't really relevant to you but I probably should have left the 1st year--because I was unhappy for most of the marriage.  But I do feel like I gave it my best shot.  So I'd recommend trying marriage counseling but in the end, if you're going to be unhappy all the time, better to get divorced and be happy.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2009
Wed, 12-19-2012 - 2:40am
Hi, I just saw this thread when I stopped in to vent about my own (much easier) situation. I wanted to second the advice that you see a counselor and that you shouldn't hesitate to spend money on visiting your family and otherwise meeting your emotional needs. Maybe one of the reasons you are "depressed" is that your husband has become a burden. He sounds as if he is depressed too, but that is no reason for you to sacrifice yourself completely. It can be very hard for a man to be unemployed or underemployed when his spouse has a job and is providing everything. But he cannot expect you to give everything to him and his kids and get nothing yourself. Even if you are sometimes less patient or less kind that you would like to be, that doesn't make it okay for him to treat you the way he does. And frankly, if he wants to go to Kuwait, I think you should let him. He may need to go and earn some money and feel like a man again. Right now he sounds like a spoiled little boy. Good luck!

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