You are here

How much is too much?

HangingInThere2's picture

So my husband announces he wants to spend 4 days a month, every month with his kids. Adult kids and grandchildren. They will not have anything to do with me and most likely glad they don’t have to see me since they have chosen to disinclude and or not deal with me anymore (long story but really no huge issues just I spoke up for once about what I considered some disrespect and instead of us talking about it, they just cut me off). Given that I am not included and am suppose to be okay with it all, and focus on the 26 days I get him every month.

He feels like this is a totally reasonable request and I should be okay with it. We live a thousand miles a apart so every times he visits he’s gone for at least 4 days. I keep myself busy while he is away and fill my life with other things. But is it just me or does this seem like a lot? He says he would like to spend more time than that with them but given the miles he thinks at least 4 days a month seems reasonable.

Am I overreacting or should I just accept and deal with his decision? Seems like he has already decided, so not sure if there is any more discussion  to be had, he just wants to know how we can both  deal with that decision better. Not sure if i should should just grin and bare it or? How best to deal or accept? Am I just being an unreasonable bitch? Should I just accept his decision?



Confused and caught in the middle


Monkeysee's picture

A thousand miles? Can he afford that kind of travel twice a month without eating through your retirement savings?? Not to mention how exhausting it would be to travel that distance twice every month??

It seems excessive to me. I get wanting to see his kids & grandkids, but quality & quantity are two different things. Not to mention what it’ll do to his time with you. He’ll be so tired & cranky when he gets home you’ll hardly get quality time either. 

I wouldn’t be ok planning my life around his little visits either. So what, his weekends at home with you, you can’t make any plans of your own because that’s ‘your time’ with him? So you’re now not only spending two weekends (I’m assuming weekends?) without him, you’re also being held hostage by it as well?

This would be a hard no for me. I get wanting to see his family, but they aren’t just around the corner. Quality time & quality of life are important. What he’s suggesting is both expensive & taxing in a multitude of ways. He’s lost his marbles. 

Monkeysee's picture

Just reread your post.. I read 4 days & my brain interpreted it as two weekends... I need coffee lol.

Once a month for 4 days is more reasonable, though still expensive. How old is he?  Why does he need to go every month though? It seems so prescriptive to me. And why is he doing all the travelling? They should be putting effort into seeing their father/granddad as well. 

I’d be more ok with once a month but it still seems like a lot given the distance. 

HangingInThere2's picture

Yes, once a month for 4 days.  He wants to go 4 days every month I guess just because that’s what he wants and has decided he wants and Is going to to do. Not sure if at this poimt if I have any say in the matter or if I should? Maybe I should shut up,and go along with this? Yes expensive but he’s willing to spend that money for that, I personally wish he didn’t spend so much of our money that way. It seems like I just need to accept all of that. He pointed out I get 26 days and they get 4 days. Kind of an 80 and 20 percent split as he’s pointed out before so it seems reasonable, to him, not so reasonable and acceptable to me that’s why I’m struggling so. Maybe I’m just being the difficult one in this?

Monkeysee's picture

The problem with this is he’s looking at it as a ‘you vs them’ type thing, which it shouldn’t be. I don’t make my husband compete for my time & pit him against my parents, nor does he make me compete for his time with his kids or family.

Also, this is shared money he’s spending from the sounds of it, so you should get a say. For most people, a thousand miles round trip each month is a lot of money. If my husband started saying to me ‘I’m spending this money whether you like it or not’, I would take issue with it as his decision would impact me as well. 

Where is this sudden desire to see them every month coming from? I think you should have a good chat with him about the financial implications, and matter of respect between the two of you. If you’re in a financial standing where this money is nothing, that’s one thing. But the matter of respect still needs to be addressed. ‘I’m doing it whether you like it or not’ isn’t a healthy attitude in any relationship.

justmakingthebest's picture

I would point out that in marriage there is no 80/20. It is 100/100. The end. 

I don't think I would have a problem so much with the trips as I would his mind set on it. When I lived 3,000 miles from my parents (and  I was a stay at home mom) we rotated me and my kids flying there and my parents flying to us so that they could be an active part of my kids lives. We did every other month for a week. So, really not that different, but it was cheaper doing every other month than monthly. 

However, the fact that he is cutting you out of that part of his life, which seems like is ok with you because they aren't nice to you, seems off to me. Also, the announcement of "This is what I shall do now, woman, deal with it!' really gets under my skin....

futurobrillante99's picture

If he's taking money out of the joint account, calculate what every "little trip" costs and put that amount of joint money in your own savings account to save up for something you do without him. Or just as a rainy day fund.

Harry's picture

How is he going to finance the trip and the money he spends on his adult kids and family’s ??  I would number one settle on how much he is going to spend and where he is getting the money.  

Two you should get equal amount of money to do what you want for those four days.  Check into a nice hotel for a few days.  Take a trip someplace.  Go into a big city and see a play or a well know restaurant .

Indigo's picture

Thinking that there are so many times that hobbies & passions factor into every relationship ... what's the difference with your DH calling dibs on some time to attend something he values?

 Every weekend somewhere, a spouse is golfing, or volunteering at a pet rescue or road-biking or training for a marathon or supporting a favorite charity or delivering Meals-On-Wheels or schooling for a horse show or restoring an old car.

Perhaps viewing your DH's interest in visiting family in a similar manner to his participation in a passionate hobby will help.

I may trade 4 days visiting family in order to get 1/2 the garage back. That old non-running car has hogged space for almost 6 years.  When the wind & snow were blowing this winter ... I was saying bad words since my car lived outside.


justmakingthebest's picture

"I may trade 4 days visiting family in order to get 1/2 the garage back. That old non-running car has hogged space for almost 6 years.  When the wind & snow were blowing this winter ... I was saying bad words since my car lived outside."

You made me laugh far too hard at this. The garage struggle at my house is real too! LOL

StepUltimate's picture

My first thought... something seems odd to me, and I hope you're not being chumped here.

shamds's picture

Every year he flies over for new years and we do a trip about 5-6 months later to spend time and he can see our kids etc.

my husbands sd’s live in another state about 1.5hrs away, my husband wants to spend his weekends and time off with his family meaning me, our kids and his kids with ex. Skids go out of their way to make me not feel welcome and excluded including our kids and try to play imaginary happy family. For my hubby if skids want to be like that so be it but he still will not be hostage to being guilted by skids to do alone time with them because that means he misses out on time with us and due to his crazy work hours, we want to spend our family time well.

also in this day of technology skype and calling is an option but if skids can’t even be bothered to make the effort for this, then your husband going to them the way he said to you is him acknowledging skids hold him hostage to their lack of attention by not maintaining contact 

he’s desperate for the crumbs of relationship from his kids

tog redux's picture

I wouldn’t care about the time gone, I enjoy my alone time. But the money spent to (I assume) fly 1000 miles and back once a month would irk me. 

What if you take an equal amount to what he uses every month and put it in a separate account for your own use however you please (even just to save it up). Would that bother him? It would seem fair to me. 

STaround's picture

Do they keep seperate funds?  Will it hurt retirement funding?  Or is it just that she resents him doing this because the stepkids do not accept her?  

tog redux's picture

"I personally wish he didn’t spend so much of our money that way".

I take that to mean a joint account. So if he can spend that much of "their" money every month, she should be able to use that much herself, for whatever she wants (I'd save it up, personally).

STaround's picture

But I would still like to know more.  It is perplexing to me that over a series of threads, OP has been asked this and does not want to respond.  If you are complaining about money, I think it is hard for people to comment intelligently without more knowledge.  Even though DH and I each have some seperate money, I told him when we were engaged he needed to up his game on retirement savings and college savings for his kids.  At this point, he is on target toward paying for at least community college for his kids and has dramatically improved his retirement savings. 

Curious Georgetta's picture

Lived in town he would likely see them several times a month, if he feels that he has the money to do this ( once he  starts on a regular schedule, he will likely get frequent flyer miles  which will help with affordability )

I agree that any money that you earned it generated should not go to support this activity and the trips should not interrupt important events.

If he is rrtired, four consecutive days a month, should not pose any major hardship and will actually give you some "me time"

 Many women become "golfing widows" when husbands retire. This could be time to engage in your own hobbies or interest.



notarelative's picture

It's not a given that if DH and the skids lived in town he'd see them more. And, if true, not a consolation for DH disappearing four days each month to play happy family and being secretative about spending.

Yes, many women become golf widows when husband's retire. But, the golf buddies are not disparaging the spouse, and not excluding her from outings where other spouses are present. 

tog redux's picture

My SS19 lives 15 minutes away and DH sees him for dinner once a month, maybe.  Just a dinner.  Not 4 days straight.  I have dinner with my mother once a week, but only because she's widowed now.  I certainly don't spend 4 days a month with her. 

disrestep's picture

NO, you are not overreacting. NO, you should not have to just grin and bear it. NO, you aren't being a B*#{#.   NO, you do not have to just sit back and accept this. Why? If any of these crazy, selfish, unreasonable demands of his adult brood are affecting your marriage, you have a say, because it is also your marriage. Your DH is not married to his adult brood, is he?

I didn't read through all your past posts, but from what I can tell, your DH needs to grow some man parts and inform his hateful adult brood and gskids that he is not going to allow You/his wife to be disrespected further. Enough already of this "we are hateful adult skids and we want daddy all to ourselves just like the way it use to be."  What, are they five year olds? 

There is no bleeping reason on earth why your DH cannot put these hateful adult babies in their place and not forsake you/his wife. They are demanding that he see them a certain percentage? That is absurd. Four days a month on a long trip for an older person is too much.

My Dh's hateful adult brood tried pulling that BS on him, even offering to pay for one of his trips to see the disrespectful lot of them-of course excluding me. My DH told them NO. They pulled this time and time again, and he said "No, how would you like it adult skids if we invited you and purposely excluded your spouses all the time?" They still continue to play the exclusion game. They don't even like to call him when they know I am around, as they dislike me so much. I don't care.

Only you know what is going to make you feel comfortable in this situation. If you are not comfortable with DH being a little puppet to his adult brood, then speak your truth to him. If it's affecting your marriage, maybe try counseling. If It is affecting your finances in any way, make it known. If you need things for the house, yourself, medical reasons, cars, etc. and cannot afford it or bills are neglected and DH is spending money like water to visit adult brood, then consult a financial advisor or attorney.

If your DH is placing his adult brood's wishes over and above his marriage and not honoring his marriage vows and continues to do so, you have a bigger issue, as that is wrong. Nothing wrong with him visiting adult skids when they can respect your marriage, but when it is at the sake of his wife, marriage and finances, it is not right. Furthermore, it is beyond hateful what they are doing to you. Don't question what your gut is telling you is morally right or wrong. We all know the "Purposely excluding the SM game" is wrong. If you were the skids bio mother and were still married to DH I bet you'd be invited.

One more thing: His adult brood should refund DH and pay for his Demanding Daddy visits.

good luck going forward

HangingInThere2's picture

Thanks, good points.

Refreshing to hear that your DH stood up and said NO if you were going to be excluded. I wish my DH would do that even once to make a point.

I have thought what if the tables were turned and the adult skids had to deal with thier spouses being disincluded? Would they accept that if my DH just decided he only wanted to see his adult kid only and their spouses just had to “deal” and go away for 5 days a month? Of course this would never happen but it offers a different way to see how it might feel on the other foot. Would the adult skids just have to accept that their spouses needs to be disncluded in visits and go away for that time?

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

If he can afford it then no I don’t think it’s excessive. My dad brings my sisters kids to see us about once a month. It’s only a 4 hour ride but they’ll stay all weekend. He comes on Friday and leaves Monday. If we lived closer it would be more often.

HangingInThere2's picture

I know a couple of you have asked about money. We both work currently and live a decent lifestyle, can pay all our bills etc. But nearing retirement and I am concerned we will have enough in retirement. Yes it is costly for him to visit so often, he likes to treat them to everything so the trips I know are costly but he is secretive about that so I don’t even know how much he spends or gives to them on a regulr basis. He is able to kind of work that out around me and thinks I don’t know, but I have more knowledge than he maybe believes I do on how much money he actually spends.

Yes, the money is a hot issue because all the funds he spends on them does take away from us and our retirement no matter how you look at it. And in the past when we were struggling more financially there have been times in our marriage where the kids money needs came before my needs which led to some resentments. So yes, money has always been and still is a huge issue in all of this for me!

The money is an important factor to this but for me equally if not more important is his time, him being okay that they don’t know need to show me, our marriage any respect etc. and I feel he shows support for that behavior. 

I get he has a right to see his kids, spend his time how he wants and me to stay out of it. I guess I try harder to live with the fact I am just the outsider and looks like will always be going forward. I guess there is some resentment and I am trying to deal with that feeling I have in regards to this. It is hard not to gave any resentment in this situation, but I am trying to work on that issue I have.

Now if I can learn to accept that plus him being gone 4-5 days a month with them and the money he spends on them I guess all would be okay. I guess I should try harder to be okay with this 80%, 20% split (as he calls it) of his time,energy etc. I guess I should be glad that we still have enough money to pay our bills even after his visits, gifts etc to the kids. I just don’t know yet if I am able to accept all of the above.


disrestep's picture

So, you basically answered your own questions it seems. 

Similar to what I said before, you should not have to accept your DH spending potential retirement money on his hateful, disrespectful adult brood. You are a married couple and him being secretive about what he does with money is a red flag. 

You should not have to accept DH telling you he is going to continue to entertain his adult broods' demands for his daddy visits whenever they and he wants without you having any say in the matter. You are his wife and he should be treating you like his wife, not a puppy dog left at home to wait for his arrival from the adult step visits.

Ask yourself some retirement What if's:  What if one or both of you need expensive medical care in your retirement and he spent hypothetically $15,000 per year or more in skid visits? What if your heating or septic system go and it costs $25,000 to replace each one? What if you need a new roof another $15,000? Forget about the cost of nursing homes, short or long term care, those costs are out of control. 

If you want to compare this to a round a golf as some do - I would not play a round of golf with anyone who would purposely exclude my DH, and my DH would not play a round of golf with anyone who purposely excluded me. Keep in mind a round of golf being only approx. 4-5 hours door to door. 

More importantly, I'd be asking myself is this how I want to live going forward? Maybe marriage counseling might be beneficial for your marriage. Honestly, I'd tell my DH to go and live with them. 

Best of luck.

Ispofacto's picture

I didn't have time to read all the replies, so excuse if I repeat something.

He does need to see his kids.  The time shouldn't be an issue, many women cherish their alone time and have hobbies of their own.

The cost is the problem.  Maybe it would be more affordable if he went for 7-8 days alternate months.


still learning's picture

How fun that your DH has decided this "custody" arrangement between you and his kids.  They get 20, you get 80. If my DH came home and offered me this "compromise" I'd tell him I'd rather have the 20% and please go live with your children.  He sounds pretty self important that he's dividing up his time like this and being shared.  

My DH and I are definitely not joined by the hip and we both have our families and activities that take us away from each other.  Him being gone for 4 days would not bother me.  If he went to spend 4 days w/ss33 without me that would be preferrable than me having to deal with people who are reluctantly putting up with me.  I would plan my own 4 day get away right after he gets back (not while he's gone). Give the geezer a tase of his own medicine.  

About the finances, I hope for your sake there is some degree of separation. Like you both have personal accounts and one joint for the home.  It may be wise to seek the counsel of a financial planner to make sure you are covering yourself and for DH to see if he really is socking enough away for retirement.  

Let him go. Do your thing.  Make new friends and discover new things about yourself. Focus on your hobbies.  

Merry's picture

My DH’s kids also live about 1000 miles away. That trip once a month would be exhausting and expensive. 

But if it were important to DH AND we could develop a household budget including retirement savings that would accommodate the travel and extra expenses of “treating” the skidults, I’d be ok with the time. 

But in my case there is no way we could do it financially without impacting our retirement. And I’m not willing to sacrifice that. 

We usually go visit his kids twice a year. His daughter usually comes to see us once a year. The son hasn’t been to our house in at least five years. I resent the hell out of the one-way expectations they have for their father. 


Siemprematahari's picture

Yes, the money is a hot issue because all the funds he spends on them does take away from us and our retirement no matter how you look at it.

^^^^^^^^^^^ Have you considered separating finances so he's the ONLY one funding these 4 days a month trips withour your assistance? If he wants to do that he's more than welcomed but it shouldn't be at your expense. His lack of respect for you and how his children treat you is appauling and the fact that he could care less on how this impacts you says a lot. I'd consider re-evaluating your place in this marriage and your role as his wife.

Winterglow's picture

I find myself wondering whether the kids actually do want to see him that much. I wonder if this "custody" setup isn't just their way of getting at you, of making you miserable, of making you feel small.... I reckon that if he started the 20-80 nonsense, one of three things would happen:

  • they'll get sick of having to organize their lives around his visits every month,
  • he'll realize that the trip every moth is exhausting,
  • if you separate your finances he'll realize that he can't keep spending like this.

I'd give it 3 months before they give up.

OTOH, his arrangement with his kids is sick. Yes, by all means, he should go and see his kids when he wants to, and they can come and visit him (but I bet they won't) but dividing up his time to be so-called "fair" is just unthinkable. Does he not understand what marriage means? You are supposed to live with your spouse and see your kids when you want to. Divvying up his time like he was a COD is just ridiculous.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

We have a couple of posters who have creatively addressed the draining of joint resources for skid-related nonsense. One has an agreement with her SO that when he loses his head and wastes $$ on his adult mooch, he forfeits 10x the amount from his savings. The other poster was older and on a fixed income. When her H would grandly gift a sum to one of his darlings, she would take an equal amount. Food for thought...

Your problem is your idiot H wants what he wants, and to He!! with the consequences. He's concocted this tidy "solution" that gives him the good feels, but it further isolates you and does nothing to address the core issue of his adult kids' antipathy towards his wife. He's a cowardly fence-sitting cake eater who doesn't want to actually work on the problem.

Counseling is an excellent idea, but find a therapist who is experienced with step families. Also, make his little plan hurt him in as many ways as possible. Calculate what his trips will cost, take an equal amount, and start planning your own trips and activities without him. Be elsewhere when he returns from Mecca. Book a cruise with girlfriends, plan a trip to Vegas, New Orleans, etc.  Organize get togethers with old college and high school friends,  go visit family, and plan these events for times he's at home. Exclude him. Leave him sitting at home. Be breezy and matter of fact, but take full advantage of this new version of your relationship. Let him experience some isolation, discomfort, and financial worry. Goose, meet gander.


still learning's picture

"Be elsewhere when he returns from Mecca."

Yes, this is very effective.  My DH is free to do whatever he wants, yet he knows that I'm not going to be home brooding and waiting for his return\.  A few years ago he ran off to BM's father's milestone birthday, I was invited but politely declined.  Spending all day with BM and her clan was not my idea of fun. DH was shocked and bewildered when he came home and I wasn't there.  I had made my own plans for that day and evening without consulting DH.  When he got home he was blowing up my phone.  He even said that he had expected me to be home. BWAHAHAHA! Sorry DH, I will never wait and be at a man's beck and call again. So past the point where I'm home cooking you a warm meal while you do whatever the h#ll you want.  

bananaseedo's picture

How many marriages did you dispose of or think others should Marriage isn't about getting even, or revenge, or making him 'pay for his  misguidance"  - I honestly am aghast at the recommendations/suggestions here.  This is NOT how a marriage works.  Good luck in fhe future!  

What OP's Dh is doing isn't right but neither are the suggestions of 'paying it forward' - if you think this is how you can 'make him pay works in a marriage I feel so very sorry for you AND your relationships (whatever number that may be).

Its actually quite disgusting. The level of manipulation is gross....and then you think the OP's husband is manipulative-he may be- but what you suggest doing is just as  bad if not worse....if you want to kill you marriage then yes, OP should go with this advice.  Then again people seem to rejoice here on breaking up marriages/relationships.  Be forewarned OP.  

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Agree to disagee, banana.

In an ideal marriage, husband and wife would respectfully discuss the issue, sharing viewpoints and negotiating compromise. But the OP isn't in an ideal marriage. She has ten years invested, and her H won't negotiate. Won't consider her feelings, and this ridiculous, expensive scheme that benefits only him is​​​​​​ his idea of compromise.

The direct approach doesn't work on people who are in denial. But sometimes, letting them experience consequences and feel discomfort​​​​​​ does. The OP isn't the one killing her marriage; her H is doing a fine job of that. But she doesn't have to roll over and just live with it.

still learning's picture

At one time I would have agreed with you wholeheartedly banana.  I used to wear my heart on my sleeve, discuss everything, was an open book, and supportive of my relationship to the point of losing myself. It was all about the marriage, according to those around me I was supposed to sacrifice everything for my husband and the relationship.  Funny thing is that men don't respect or stay in love with a doormat.  Yes I have had failed relationships in the past when I "stayed sweet" and endured things no self respecting person would have.  Guess what, they left me for more exciting women after I played by the rules and did everything right. 

I love my husband but I don't "need" him, and I will no longer tolerate BS just because I signed a legal document with him.  My first and highest priority is my own santiy and wellbeing. 

somethingwicked's picture

Are you  the divorce police on this website?

Are you really "aghast " when divorce is recommended? Are you clutching your pearls as well?


Sometimes separation /divorce is the only answer to a situation that is untenable for one party or the other.

You can spout your lofty bias against divorce but until you have walked in some other's shoes please temper your opinion.

Marriage is not about getting even.Nor is it a platform to manipulate or lord over another ,eating  in small nibbles or large bites  the self esteem and very soul of another.

What are you doing on this website if you cannot understand the pure hell some SMs experience when their husbands deem to put their wife last,behind the EX and the adult children from the first failed marriage?

Divorce was good enough for wife number one or  the DH but not the SM,in your opinion.She has to suck it up and stay trapped ,deal with the ignominous treatment or lower her expectations.

Eff that.




24 years as a SM's picture

I had to sit DAH(Dumb Ass Husband) down and show him just how much money he was spending on the Leech, SD38. It took sometime for him to understand that I was looking out for his best interest, while Leech was looking for a free ride and didn't care if she bankrupted her father.

DAH still back slides and falls for Leech's poor me crap, but I stand firm and check the joint account everytime he meets up with Leech. When DAH comes home, I let him know how much I am transferring from his personal saving account into my account that DAH can't access.

HangingInThere2's picture

Your post hit home and rings true. Yes he wants what’s he wants and I am suppose to just accept he’s got it all figured out and be fine with his decided arrangement. Does sound like a “tidy solution” for him.

I like your idea about counseling, we have tried couples counseling in the past but hasn’t helped us much. But to your suggestion maybe it would be work better to find someone that has experience with step families. Thanks for that suggestion! I think it’s challenging for counselors without experience in blended families to understand this different view of our worlds and get where we/I might be coming from as a stepmother. I will explore that further even for just me if he won’t go. I have offered in the past for all of us to go speak to a counselor including the adult skids but doesn’t seem  he/them are open to that option.

I tend to just try to plan be gone at times while he’s gone. In the past when I have mentioned or went away  for something during a time he is usually going to be home he right away starts to plan and works in another visit with the skids during that time so he is gone during that time as well. So he’s never stuck home alone to deal with the discomfort and isolation.


Cbarton12's picture

You have the right to be upset. Especially because he is frivolously using joint money and potentially screwing you for retirement. 

The time in and of itself isn't terrible. As someone else said, I personally like alone time and space can be nice. 

I totally get he needs to see his kids and grandkids. But if they live so far, it seems super unrealistic to see them once a month. MIL lives over 1000 miles from us. She is coming to see us this May and we are going in December. It's fair and won't break the bank. 


HangingInThere2's picture

Your comment “What has been challenged is the relational agression, exclusionary tactics that were present from the beginning and not dealt with successfully by either my DH or myself or both’ THIS IS SO TRUE FOR ME AND MY DH.

Thus is also exactly how I feel “but most of the time it's tied up in how our marriage has been marginalized and how as a human being I have felt marginalized by poor behavior’.  

Ver good points! I feel similar in how to try to balance this all within the context of what I believe marriage is to be ( a team, partnership, having each other’s back etc.) and my love and care for my husband. I feel our marriage should come first but understand he also wants relationships with his adult kids and grandchildren. Like you it is hard to accept and wrap my head around that the money and time he spends on them is given freely to the people that are the most hateful and disrespectful to me and our marriage, that is a hard pill to swallow and accept. 

You gave me some interesting perspectives to think about, thank you!

P.S.  Sometimes humor is one of the few things that kind of eases the pain, if we can find it in these situations, but we got to try.