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: 11-28-1999
Fri, 11-30-2012 - 7:14pm

Is his unemployment as a result of moving?  I do wonder why he doesn't request the court to reduce child support if he's unemployed (or now only part time) but if he quit his job voluntarily to move, I don't think a court will be too sympathetic to that--if he got laid off, then they probably would reduce it--but you should look into that.  The 2nd thing is that when you have a small income, it doesn't make sense to be traveling & spending money on hotels that you can't afford.  I think you need to tell him that the family budget just doesn't allow that at this time and later on when he gets a full time job, then you can do more of that.  How is it that he can just make these decisions to spend money when he doesn't have any to spend?  I hope he's not putting it all on credit cards.

I'm also confused about why you don't see the kids a lot--is it because they are traveling all the time for sports?  Does he have a court ordered visitation schedule?  If they are his kids, I don't know why you are even getting involved w/ making them do their homework--isn't that his job as the parent?  I could agree that you should be treated respectfully and if you hear them say something disrespectful about another adult in your presence, then you would speak up--but where is their dad during all this?  Yes, if would be difficult to get divorced again and sell your house, but probably not impossible.  Hopefully it won't come to that.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2009
Fri, 11-30-2012 - 9:30pm

He was laid off a few months before the move, and he misses them so we moved here. I thought (at the time) that would be best. My boss agreed to let me transfer here (which was not necessarily the best for my company but my boss is amazing) and we have visitation - but at the time we were several states away and the kids had to fly - so as of right now its only certain holidays and several weeks in the summer. Their mom (who is a great mother by the way, I try to look at this from both points of view, and she is an awesome mom) anyway, she has allowed us to see them outside of that schedule, he doesn't really help with their homework, has helped cook once or twice (pickiest eaters in the free world I tell you - pasta and more pasta - one likes chicken, the other doesn't, one likes steak the other doesn't - I guess this is normal? lol) but he makes the easy stuff, and he whines about his part time job, well I took time off (vacation time) from my full time job to work another that was offered for a few weeks, and am taking two masters classes as well as an internship...but he is "overwhelmed" - I'm just so frustrated with him! We have a little extra money, but I just wanted to hold on to it for Christmas or to see my parents (who aren't getting any younger - and live about a $600 plane ticket away) but now I'm "preventing him" from watching his kids and their sports....I am so frustrated. I feel like he is the most ungrateful person right now. I didn't have to agree to move here, but I love him and his kids, but I feel like I'm completely alone here - his family is close, mine is beyond any driving distance and I have...nothing out here. Rather than spend time with me, he watches TV, and when the kids are here I'm non-existent to all of them....

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2009
Fri, 11-30-2012 - 9:35pm

I've tried to get him to go and have it reduced but he is afraid to because he wants her to file for joint physical custody - which is understandable I guess. I'm just tired of being told I'm "selfish" - I'm providing healthcare for him and his kids, paying all of the bills....I just want to see my family. I feel like I'm a hostage sometimes....it's hurting me and my parents so much. I don't ask him for a lot - I just want to see my family and the other thing I have asked for (since before we got married) was the POSSIBILITY of having a child..but he was open to that before and now avoids it at all costs...

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002
Fri, 11-30-2012 - 10:07pm

((((hugs))) to you!

I would be frustrated also!! re:

 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.

-------so, it sounds like the whole reason you moved, and the job/income situation changed, was so he could be near his kids? But he still doesnt have them with him on weekends even? Plus he's paying high CS based on previous income?

I think he needs to RUN, not walk, to FOC and apply for re-calculation of CS based on income, AND re-evaluation of parenting/visitation due to change in location------did he check into any of this BEFORE moving?

It sounds like you dont have your own kids----so your 5-hour-away family is your only other family------you've invested plenty in spending time with HIS family, time to see yours now!  I dunno---you can talk with him about it, and/or TELL him that's what youre doing, and/or just buy the ticket for yourself-----you've earned it!

Question:

How did he expect things to work (financially) when deciding to move?

(((((((((more hugs!!))))))))))

(You are not being selfish)

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2009
Fri, 11-30-2012 - 10:56pm
he was laid off well before we moved - so he didn't have a job when we moved here. He said he would apply - and has done so, but no luck...I know he is frustrated. I work from home 60% of the time and travel when i am not working from home, now he is working from home with his part time job and takes the desktop because my laptop is "work issued" so I should have to do it on there. I do. On the floor. I'm SO frustrated!!! I could just cry! ok I am crying. I have ALWAYS been careful with finances, always. I have always done well for myself, even if I wasn't making much - couponing, trying to save and prepare for retirement or anything else that comes along and now he is mad because I am contributing to my 401K and he isn't - HE JUST STARTED THIS JOB ON MONDAY! he hasn't had a job for 6 months! am I supposed to stop because he couldn't???? I'm so frustrated! I gave him $5k to pay off his car (we have joint accounts but some separate investments, this was right before we combined everything) and now he says he doesn't have to pay me back because my engagement and wedding rings were worth more than that! HOW GREEDY!?? Am I losing it? I love him, but am so confused
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002
Fri, 11-30-2012 - 11:16pm

Allie--

I didnt see your two posts between musiclovers' and mine when I wrote my post-----

Now I'm DEFINITELY sure *you* are not the *selfish* one here! ---GEEZ!

How long have you been married to him?

You said he was waiting for her to file for joint custody?  Why isnt (hasnt!) he done that?

I think he's going to walk all over you as much as you *allow* him to.............I think you're going to have to stand up for yourself in order to not be walked on..............

On a practical front---I'd say "chose your battles".

For example, if you sit back and dont make supper when kids are there---he'll probably just order in pizza--which you'll be paying for.  Maybe better to plan on easy low cost meals---does he grill? buy hamburgers/hot dogs and tell him he's chef.......how old are the kids?  Get them involved perhaps....

But the plane ticket home----just do it.......(.I'm gonna get real upset if I keep thinking of him telling you YOU"RE denying him time with his kids...!)

((((hugs!))) BEST WISHES!

PS:

If your college has a counseling service, they could help you with learning more assertiveness 

IMO....you deserve WAAAYYY better than putting up with this the REST OF YOUR LIFE!

Try some assertiveness things and see what happens------I think you are already realizing this is NOT a position (doormat) you want to continue indefinitely------------------

BEST WISHES----Keep Us Posted!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002
Sat, 12-01-2012 - 8:11am

Hi Allie--

re:

" I love him, but am so confused"

(I'm sorry to speak so negatively about your DH...but......):

I'M getting confused re: what there is left to love about him? 

 Re: your thought:  " I love him, but am so confused"-----

Of COURSE you're confused! -----from what you've written, he's NOT showing any LOVING, CARING, nor RESPECT of you as worthwhile human being/helpmate/partner/friend/wife/etc !

He's just living his life, expecting his needs/wants to be "the hub" of your JOINT universe----then saying negative things to you if/when you voice any opinions.

Maybe it's time to start asking yourself what are the POSITIVES of your relationship?  Honestly...list them out---write them down........?!...if you can come up with 1/2 dozen or so, then it's probably worth seeing a marriage counselor for.............

But, honestly..........from what you've written----you are WAAAAYYYY more "together" than he is, and he's only dragging you down in this life---------------you've got alot of years ahead of yoursefl on this earth-----and deserve to live in a better situation.

((((((((((((more hugs!!)))))))))))

Please keep us posted!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002
Sat, 12-01-2012 - 2:02pm

PS--

If you're close to your family, a plane ticket home (for you) is a double bonus, in that you can discuss your feelings re: whole situation with family when there, and have some first hand emotional support in dealing with these things.

It just really seems to me as though you are doing your best to be helpful and good to him/his kids----and it's just give/give/give.........with no reciprocity nor even appreciation...?!...(at least not from him--maybe from the kids?)

I think your IRL family can help you work through your feelings and options as well.

((((((((((more hugs!))))))))))) Keep us posted!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2009
Sat, 12-01-2012 - 9:20pm

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. Today wasn't so great, he is gone for the weekend for the military (guard) and he hasn't tried to contact me at all. He called last night, said he had left his debit card here on purpose and that he wasn't getting the rental car he had reserved because he was spending "my money" so instead he took a taxi (like $60! the car was only $30 for the weekend~ AND we still got charged for the car!!!) I'm beyond frustrated. I feel like no one cares and I am trying to pull myself out of that thought pattern

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2009
Sat, 12-01-2012 - 9:20pm

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. Today wasn't so great, he is gone for the weekend for the military (guard) and he hasn't tried to contact me at all. He called last night, said he had left his debit card here on purpose and that he wasn't getting the rental car he had reserved because he was spending "my money" so instead he took a taxi (like $60! the car was only $30 for the weekend~ AND we still got charged for the car!!!) I'm beyond frustrated. I feel like no one cares and I am trying to pull myself out of that thought pattern

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