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Unread 05-29-2006, 10:08 AM
Step children

I have two young stepchildren that we have every other weekend. Disipline has been a huge issue because their father has a hard time to discipline them since he only has them every other week. It drives me nuts, and he is beginning to get a bit better at it. The kids realize this and use it all the time. It seems like I'm always the one to give them the look and have to speak up. Then there are huge issues with their mothers. One keeps asking for more money for extras, actually she makes the 10 yr. old ask, cause she knows he won't say no to his daughter. She gets plenty of support and in NY she has no right to ask for more for girl scouts, baseball, etc. I pay support to and have researched it alot so I know the laws. Plus we do all the driving to get the kids which is suppose to be only half way. He gives in all the time and accommodates them. Which causes alot of grief and we have talked about it but he still does it. I don't know if I can deal with this forever. We hve no money to do stuff with the kids when we have them after paying all the support that we do. Pllus he always feels we should do something special with them when they are over. I've tried to point out that all he is doing is making them expect to always be doing something fun and brought up to him does he think they are always doing that stuff with their mothers. I'm going nuts. They talk back and don't listen and know that in the end they'll get their way with him. I don't give in but there are times when I just say to heck with it, let him deal with them and I ignore and think wait til they get older and won't listen at all. Does anyone have any advise for me, or kind words, other than talk with the DH. I've done that and it does no good. At times it seems he gets it but that is only when they aren't there. Even friends have told him he has to start saying no to stuff or we are never going to have anything. We want our own home but dishing out more $ all the time, isn't going to make that happen. He says it's only $20 but that here and there adds up. So CONFUSED!!!!!!!!!!!
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Unread 06-07-2006, 10:25 PM
Step children

I hear you. In fact, I really hear you, because I have a similar situation -- except in my scenario, I'm your dh, if that makes any sense. I have a dd, my dh has two dd's, and we have a ds together. Both of us pay (paid, in dh's case as his kids are adults now) child support.

And I'm the "soft touch" -- guilty as charged. My ex has always pleaded poverty (even though he has lived with his mom and dad the entire time we've been divorced) and hasn't had any $$ to help pay for musical instruments, braces, camps, or anything else. The one thing in his favor was that, even when I got a job which paid very well, he never went back for any additional support, so I don't really have anything to complain about as he could collect at least four times what he's currently getting each month -- but he never had the energy or guts to go back to court.

DH and I have had many discussions about how I'm coddling dd and trying to buy her love. And I guess in some ways I probably am. I think divorced parents always feel lots of guilt, especially the non-custodial ones. I know I have. I also feel compelled to try to counteract the bad-mouthing from the ex-inlaws that I know I receive when dd is with them. Intellectually, I know that shopping trips and movies won't make up for it -- but somehow it makes me feel better.

What I'm trying to say is that maybe your dh doesn't know what else to do. He also may be living in some denial (I know I have over the years) and feels that if he buys stuff for the kids he won't have to deal with any negative feelings they may have toward him. This may also be why he doesn't want to discipline -- he doesn't want to be the "bad cop".

This puts you in an awful spot, I know.

Here's an idea: if DH insists on spending more $$ on the kids, would there be a way he could take on a second job, if only to ease the stress temporarily? I don't know the laws of your state, but in MN where I'm from, they can't touch anything over your regular 40-hour wages for support. I often worked one or two part-time jobs for extra spending $$ in our early married years. Maybe this isn't feasible, but it might be an idea worth thinking about.
Unread 06-08-2006, 11:44 AM
Step children

There are certain aspects that I can certainly relate too! Fortunatly on my side, my ex & I have everything worked out and we are very fair with each other. Now that being said, my dear stepdaughter lives with her mom. During the school year we see her 2-3 times a month depending on her social calendar (she is almost 14). I love her with all of my heart and over all we get along pretty well. In fact, I have a tendnancy to spoil her. She has an older sister who will be 18 in August and doesnt live at home and hasnt for most of this year. The ex calls DH asking him if he is going to reduce her child support. If he does, then they cant afford to move to so that DD can go to the new (and therefore better school). I checked out this new school which will not open until school year 2007-2008, and it will be the "over fill" school, and some of the areas it will be pulling from are no better (and honestly are worse) than where she will be starting high school. DD's mom gets almost $300 per week from us, has a union job with a large supermarket (and has been there 20+ years) and works a part time job. Her money goes to the camero she HAD to have, and dinner out most nights. We also pay half of the braces. DD is not involved in "outside" activities. If she were, we would be footing the bill. I just bought her dress for her spring formal for the end of middle school (no biggie, but.....) If the check doesnt get their the day the ex thinks it should be there, she has DD text message ME. She knows that DH wont say no when it comes to DD. But somedays I feel more like we are supporting the Ex than the kids. We buy most of her necessities, school supplies, about half her clothes and most of her shoes. Of course, when I point this out, DH gets defensive - the whole guilt thing. I can relate, because at times I over compensate both kids for being from divorced families. I have no wonderful words of wisdom, just wanted you to know that you are not alone.
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Unread 06-14-2006, 11:08 AM
Step children

It doesn help to know I'm not alone because most of the time I feel like I'm in this myself. We can talk about it and seem to come to an agreement and then they call and it's like we never talked at all.
Unread 06-19-2006, 01:16 PM
Step children

This went on with us for year's so many argument's so much bitterness. My husband was putting his son before our boy. I was earning the extra his ex-wife wasn't bothering to find a job at all The first son at that time age four was listening to his mother and playing up with us. It was terrible! This went on for 15 year's nearly drove us apart. To cut a long story short at 15 years of age I told my step-son to stay away he was old enough to except the situation. Both boy's are now friendly age 31 and 24 thing's are very much better. In fact my step-son remembers the bad time's and blames his mother for them. So ex-wife's be careful your own might turn against YOU!

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