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Over indulged SD....I have no voice

irreleventsm's picture

I'm hoping someone can help me figure out how I should handle my spoiled SD.  My DH does not see the way she manipulates him and always gets what she wants from him and her BM.  I have been married to my DH for 3 years, I love him very much and he is wonderful to me and my BC (I have a daughter and a son from a previous marriage).  Together we have 4 children, SD (15), SS (14), BD (13) and BS (10).  My husband works very hard and provides a very comfortable life for us all, including BM. But we are completely maxed out financially.  Much because we give too much.  Over the past year I have seen my SD turn into nothing less than a spoiled brat.  She is kind and usually respectfully to me personally, so I'm very fortunate in that.  She treats everyone else in the family like crap, especially DH, who does EVERYTHING for her.  She shows him zero respect and expects him to jump when she needs or wants something. If he tries to disipline her, she throws a fit, berates him or turns on the tears for sympathy...he always gives in.  She tells him what she's going to do and expects us to all accomodate her schedule or else she is a terror to deal with.  She is lazy and doesn't lift a finger to help around the house in any way.  She is a slob, doesn't take care of anything we buy for her....clothes, jewerly, electronics, etc.  She doesn't respect anyone else's belongings either, taking anything she wants and if it's lost or broken by her she takes no responsibility whatsoever for doing so.  She is failing miserably in school (this is her freshman year of high school).  I have not seen her crack a book or put forth any effort into her grades, just lazy.  She has always done well in school until now, I suspect because it has been fairly easy up until now. Which leads me to the biggest challenge I have faced so far as a SM.  SHE has decided she needs to go to a private school, to help her get into college and succeed. My DH and BM feel she is "struggling" at her current public high school (which is wonderful BTW) and sending her to this private school will help her get her act together.  I DO NOT agree with them AT ALL!  This school has a price tag of about $20K/yr.  All our other children go to the public school and my DH said he would find a way to send all of them to the private school if they want to go.  He claims he desperately wants to help her and he thinks this is the solution.  I have told him how I feel about it.  I think she needs a swift kick in the ass and some very clear expectations, not another gift of private school we cannot afford.  He listens to me and is respectful of my opinion, but says he knows his child better than I do and he needs to do what he feels is right for her. He wants my support on his decision, I just can't do it. It is tearing me up inside, because I know deep down this is not the solution.  Please help me!!!!


Curious Georgetta's picture

might know his child better than you di. It is likely that you know your children better than he knows them. 

If he is determined to send her to the school, he might consider saying that he will try it for a year. If her performance does not significantly improve, she will have to return to the other school.

If your husband does not experience her behavior as disrespect, then he is not being disrespected in any way that matters to him.

What you can say is that you do not want any money that you earn or generate going to this enterprise.

Many families sometimes tighten their belts to give a particular member an opportunity to do something that will later enhance their future.

You cannot blame a parent for wanting what they think best for their child. 

Maybe , he would be willing to consider a second job or additional income stream to support the tuition. Additionally, it would be reasonable for the mother to contribute as well.



STaround's picture

Seperate funds.   He pays for his kids school, including college, you pay for yours.  Agree that you both will fund retirement.  Many stepsibilings do not go to the same school.  

As to what school is better for his kid, he gets to decide. 


Disneyfan's picture

As long as he isn't using your money to fund things you disagree with, just let it go.  All you can really do is voice your concerns.  He had the final decision on how to spend his money in regards to his children.



irreleventsm's picture

Thank you for all the input.  I appreciate it and there are many valid points for me to consider.  This is not a control thing....simply a major parenting disagreement.  I would not take the same course with my "own" children.  SD isn't doing her work at school and isn't putting forth any effort. My husband communicates with her teachers weekly.  She has zero accountability.  In my opinion, and that's all it is, sending her to another school only induldges her request, further cementing her entitled and spoiled attitude.  That being said, he does get to make the decision...he is her father and he controls the money.  I appreciate and sympathize with his position, but I think he is doing her a great disservice.  I don't see an end to this anytime soon.  I pray I am completely

 wrong.  I can't help the way I feel....helpless and irrelevant.  This is an internal struggle.  How do I continue to want to take care of her needs, as I do for our other 3 children, who do not have this issue.....and not feel resentment and anger?  This is my struggle.

STaround's picture

I suspect you will be told that you do not get to make educational decisions for his kids.  A good counselor will help you deal with that.  And I would not be so certain you will not have these issues with any of your kids.  Kids change.  

TwoOfUs's picture

And it's a perfectly reasonable struggle. If sending SD to a private school will significantly impact the quality of life for the rest of the household, or put your household in debt...then it needs to be a joint decision. 

It's never good in a marriage when one spouse "controls the money" as you've put it. 

Do you make an income? If not, why not? I don't ask this question to judge...just genuinely curious. 

Many people on this board would say: "His money, his decision." I don't agree with that viewpoint...and I should note that most money management professionals and marriage counselors would say that's a toxic and dangerous view as well. I say this as the higher earner in my relationship...I would never unilaterally make a 20K decision that my husband was against. I may try to talk him into it...but I wouldn't make it without consulting him or persist in it against his wishes. 

20K is a huge, huge financial decision. If he put that money in savings instead, it would grow for retirement...or fund his kids' college. Is he really saying he's willing to put all the kids' college in jeopardy to fund one child's fantasy education...a child who hasn't proven herself to be a dedicated student? 

I think you need to go to a financial planner together and/or a marriage counselor to sort all of these issues out. There's no way for you to NOT feel resentment about this because it's a decision that will impact your quality of life and your DH is trying to railroad you into the decision without acknowledging that or explaining how he's going to compensate for the familial sacrifice.

It may be that he 'knows his daughter best' but that doesn't mean that he's making the best decision for his daughter or for the family. It sounds more like he's acting out of panic and guilt to assuage an out-of-control kid, which is never a good parenting move. 

irreleventsm's picture

Thank you!  I think you've hit the nail on the head.  We have a wonderful relationship.  I unintentionally mislead you when I stated he "controls" the money.  I mean he is the higher earner and he has never made me feel like I am less important for that.  I hate watching him work himself to the bone, sometimes 18-20 hour days. This decision is going to add to that workload for him!  This pains me very much, especially when I don't believe it is the best thing for her or for our family.   He is VERY generous to our children, most of all his daughter.  I do believe the best course of action is to seek some counseling, a neutral third party to help us work through this.  Thank you so much!

STaround's picture

that he is VERY generous to YOUR kids, and  you have only been married 3  years, I would be grateful.  They are not his responsiblity.  

irreleventsm's picture

Yes, he is generous to all our children, even mine.  And I am grateful, very grateful.  I never implied that i wasn't grateful for everything he is and does for our family.  

TwoOfUs's picture

OP - 

There are several posters on here who like to berate women in general and stepmoms in particular if they "accept" any kind of financial support from their husbands. Unfortunately, you have encountered all of them on this post already...a stepmom acknowledging "generosity" on the part of her husband is like a dog-whistle to them, I think. 

Please ignore. You do not have to justify how your household finances work to anyone on here. You don't have to bend the knee and kiss your husband's ring because he shares his income with you and the household...that's actually quite normal in a marriage. It's how most households operate.

Contrary to what some posters have said, it's not "his right" to do as he sees fit regarding his child, because that decision affects other people. He gave up his right to make unilateral decisions about his children when he remarried and began a new life partnership with you. If he'd wanted to keep total control and have the absolute right to do whatever he wants to do...he should have remained a single dad and not brought you into it. 

Let's stick to the facts. Your DH is trying to push through a decision that will impact everyone in the family, including you and his other child. You are right to question whether or not that is the best course of action and to discuss it with him at length. He should listen to are part of the family, too. You are his wife, and your opinion and experience matter. 

To me, this seems like a panicked attempt to throw money at a problem rather than to address its root cause. I wouldn't throw $20 at a problem if I wasn't getting to the root of the problem...let alone 20K. 

I agree with  you that this isn't a wise decision, and I think a counselor or financial planner would agree as well. Just because he's a dad who "knows his daughter best" doesn't automatically make this decision something that your household can afford. It sounds like the options are to go 60K into debt over the next 3 years, for him to take on even longer, harder hours at work, or for you to pick up the slack in your household either by contributing more or managing your money more tightly. None of these outcomes seem ideal and they all impact you significantly. 

TwoOfUs's picture's not "his decision" if it involves 20K of marital funds. They have combined finances. If he defaults, is unable to work...dies...can't pay for whatever reason...then the bill comes to her. 

The decision isn't hers...but it isn't only his, either. Again, divorced men who have kids and want to make unilateral decisions regarding those kids shouldn't remarry. It's not fair to create a new life partnership, mingle lives and assets...and then tell your new partner she gets no say over a very large part of your life. That's not how partnerships work. 

And of course he gave up some rights when he got married. So did she. He gave up the right to make unilateral decisions about a lot of areas of his life...and so did she. They both gave up the right to sleep with other people. They both promised to put each other before their families of origin. Marriage is all about giving up some of your individual rights in order to form a union. I'm constantly surprised by how many posters on here don't seem to understand that basic principle. 

When you get married...your options are to learn to compromise or not be married. It's not that hard to understand. 

Disneyfan's picture

Getting married does not mean you give up your right to decide how you will spend your money.   If it does, then all of these men who think a SM should turn  her pockets inside for his children are correct.  Many of us here tell SMs all the time that they free to decide if/how THEIR money will be spent on stepkids.  If SMs are free to make decisions about how their money will be spent, why aren't fathers?

Spending large amounts of money on something you really can not afford is dumb regardless of the family dynamics.  As long as he is meeting his financial obligations in the home, his money his choice.


TwoOfUs's picture

Obviously it doesn’t mean that you give up all financial independence. That’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about a husband who wants to sign a contract for education (likely a 10-month payment schedule) that will result in 2K of their marital assets going out the door EVERY MONTH for one person in a six person household...despite his wife’s very reasonable objections. 

I am against this kind of unilateral decision-making in a marriage no matter who is making the unilateral decision. 

Your example of stepmoms on here being told that they don’t HAVE to spend their money on their stepkids (or pick up the slack in the household when their husbands spend too much on kids and don’t involve them in the decision-making) is actually perfectly consistent with the advice I’m giving to this OP.

In the scenarios you describe, typically the DH/dad is making unilateral decisions about his kids that affect the SMs finances...and we’re simply reminding her that she doesn’t have to accept that just because she’s being bullied into it with the old: “But it’s for the kiidddsss!!!”

She does get a voice in her home and in the household finances. Her DH doesn’t get to decide everything just because he has kids.

This is no different. This is a decision that will impact their joint finances, so OP should flex her muscle a little and look out for her financial well-being. She doesn’t have to put herself in a vulnerable position because her DH wants to fund a luxury for his kid. 

I would say the exact same thing if a stepdad came on here and said his wife was sending her kid to private school using their joint marital assets and wasn’t fully discussing it with him. I’d say that’s the wrong way to behave in a marriage and supremely selfish.





TwoOfUs's picture

PS - OPs husband is perfectly free to decide the extent to which he will support his stepkids as well. I’d have no issue with that.

What he’s not free to do and what would be frowned upon in most make a 60-80K decision without his wife’s input and agreement. Particularly when it will affect her, as she’s said it will.

Id say the same thing if a wife came home to find a Mercedes in her driveway without prior discussion. It’s just not done. 

The fact that it’s supposedly “for the kid” doesn’t make it any less wrong. 

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

You need to communicate with him. Personally I agree with you. If she's not doing well in public school, maybe private school isn't the next step?

Talk to your Dh and see what he thinks she will gain. Are there more tutoring opportunities? Consequences for not doing classwork and homework? Why does he believe it's going to help her?

I do believe different children have different needs, so don't fret over all yours going to public school, I don't know that he's taking the next logical step, but  ido think you two talking it out calmly about what it means and why he believes it will help and what your view is could help you and him Smile

I also don't believe in putting a financial burden on the rest of the family like that though. If you can't afford $20k a year, then you can't afford $20k a year. Simple as that. Is BM going to help front these costs?

This is going to have to be something you two discuss and figure out, if for no other reason than for the sake of unity.

shellpell's picture

I think trying tutoring first is a great idea! A new school isn’t going to magically give this girl motivation or a better attitude. 

irreleventsm's picture

Totally agree!  Yes she's been given EVERY opportunity for tutoring and she bucks it every step of the way.

shellpell's picture

Then it sounds like she’s romanticized private school as the solution to all of her problems and had dad convinced. It’s not the holy grail- she will still be expected to do her work and be respectful. If she can’t do that now, why would she do that elsewhere? The particular school is not the problem- the student is.

shellpell's picture

I think trying tutoring first is a great idea! A new school isn’t going to magically give this girl motivation or a better attitude. 

bananaseedo's picture

I'd tell him you will agree to tutoring FIRST- I did this with my son- he went to private school during middle school for 2 years because he was failing but mainly there were major bullying issues towards him going on in school.   We did do tutoring first though. 

irreleventsm's picture

She has been given tutoring private and through her teachers at school, she won't go half the time.  She says she's "got plans" or "forgot".  Everyone except for her has bent over backwards to help her.  There is no bullying.  I so sorry to hear you've had to face that hurtful situation.  She is well liked, just full of herself.

bananaseedo's picture

I'd tell him you will agree to tutoring FIRST- I did this with my son- he went to private school during middle school for 2 years because he was failing but mainly there were major bullying issues towards him going on in school.   We did do tutoring first though. 

tog redux's picture

This is an eternal debate on this board. Is it his choice to spend his money on his daughter, or do you get a say because you are married and it's partly "your" money.  Some feel they have a right to tell their partners how and what they can spend on, including their own children, and others feel that if he's paying his contribution to the household (including retirement funds and vacations, etc) then he should be able to make that decision.

20K is a lot of money, and it does seem like a misguided plan.  And the idea that he will agree to send all of the kids there is even more ridiculous.  I would certainly talk with him about it and share my concerns about it, but in the end, I am in the camp that says you don't get to control what he spends on his kids just because you are his wife.


TwoOfUs's picture

"I am in the camp that says you don't get to control what he spends on his kids just because you are his wife."

And I am in the camp that says that this kind of thinking is toxic, short-sighted...and not in your financial best interest. "Just" because you're his wife? 

You mean...just because she's his life partner? Just because she's the one who will on the hook for the debt they incur as a married couple should anything happen to her DH? Just because she will be the one responsible for his care in his old age...including paying for that care? Not her SD or SS...her. Just because the decision will greatly impact her household and quality of life?  

No one's talking about "controlling" what he spends on his kids...we're talking about a major financial decision that will fall on her if her husband passes away unexpectedly or becomes unable to work. Her wellbeing is at stake, so she does get a say. 

Spouses are on the hook for the marital debt the other spouse incurs. This would be a big no from me. 


STaround's picture

She should make certain he has adequate insurance.

Two of us, if I read your bio correctly, you have no children of your own.  OP does.  If she does try to control what he spends on his kid, which is certainly part of what is being discussed, she should accept that he may not want to spend on her kids, and may want HER to cut down on spending on her kids. 

Disneyfan's picture


It seems a bit much to complain about a spouse spending on his bios while he generously gives to his stepkids. What makes the stepkids more deserving of his money that his own bios?


twoviewpoints's picture

Not to mention that every time a skid even blinks wrong a SM is advised to not give a dime of SM's money.

Amuses me that SMs have their own money, but Dad's money belongs to the wife. 

Yeah, I understand it's a stepparent site (mostly SMs at that) and they will of course advocate for the SM... 

TwoOfUs's picture

I actually see the opposite going on here.

According to many commenters, Dad's money is sacrosanct...and SM is wrong for expecting to share in the marital finances. "His money, his choice" and all. I see SMs who are SAHMs for joint children being berated for "not contributing to the household" and accused of taking money that "should be going to his kids" even if he earns well and is paying significant CS and the kids aren't suffering in any way. Somehow...that's considered an immoral family choice by many posters here, even when it's a joint decision.  

A SM shouldn't get to have a say in decisions that impact their joint financial situation (especially if that decision involves a kid, however ridiculous and unnecessary the expense may be). She shouldn't get to refuse to provide childcare if the dad is the higher earner. She shouldn't get a say because she is "just" the wife. 

She should be a doormat in all circumstances...and if she isn't...if she has concerns and legitimate worries and wants to discuss these things, then she's being "controlling" and it's not her decision! 

I'm not sure when we went back to the 1950's on this forum, but I'm not a fan. 

In this case, there's a huge difference between being "generous" to skids whose bioparent also contributes and provides for them and taking on 60-80K of unnecessary expenses for one child. Those things are so many miles apart...I don't even know where to begin.  

tog redux's picture

Yep. I find it controlling - and you can go ahead and quote all the financial advisors you want to quote. All those issues can be discussed and should be discussed, but in the end, I don't believe you have the right to tell your husband what he can and can't spend. As I said, provided he is contributing his share to household bills, retirement, etc. 

You can vote with your feet if you like, and let him know you will - but that's the extent of it.  Being his wife doesn't make you his boss.

beebeel's picture

Leave the emotional kid-related issues out of it. Any time one spouse wants to spend tens of thousands of dollars, there needs to be an agreement or at least a compromise between both. It isn't about control or who has the right to dictate terms. 

I would tell my husband I disagreed and that we needed to find a compromise.

shellpell's picture

Tell the kid she needs to turn in her homework 100% of the time, go to tutoring 100% of the time, maintain a B- average, then daddykins will consider private school. I suspect skid won’t be able to fulfill those requirements because she just wants the cache of going to “private school.”

tog redux's picture

If he has the money to spend, above and beyond what he contributes to the home, the retirement funds, the vacations funds, the bills, etc - then it's his money to spend.  If it's being taken from a joint account and does affect those other areas, then it's a different topic. 

tog redux's picture

Well, we are happily married, so something must be working.  I don't feel I have the right to tell him what he can and can't do with his money, but he also would not make a decision that left us struggling for money.  If this DH has 20K to spend on private school, why is it his wife's right to override that?

I'm well aware that most women feel they have the right to tell their husband what to do, my marriage doesn't work that way. 

ETA: And how in the world would you know how "marriage works for many people"?  

TwoOfUs's picture

Any point you're trying to make is moot because OP has already said that it would impact their household finances and force her DH to work longer, harder hours...which will also impact them and their marriage. 

This is a big decision. A 20K (actuallly 60K if we're assuming she's going to go to this school for 3 years...80K+ if she's truly about to flunk and repeat 9th grade...) decision. It's laughable to say that a wife is being "controlling" if she questions the wisdom of that decision. 


tog redux's picture

Perhaps you should brush up on your reading comprehension, because I said that she should discuss her concerns and how it would affect them, but in the end, she can't control his decision.  

TwoOfUs's picture

You're still calling it "his decision" though...while admitting that it "affects them." Anything that affects both spouses is not one spouse's decision. It's not his decision. It's not her decision. It's their decision. She gets a say...her vote counts. That's not being controlling, that's just reality. 

I err on the side of the more conservative choice. Which means not sending the failure-to-thrive kid to a 20K a year school.  

tog redux's picture

It may be for YOU, because you think a wife should be able to override anything her DH does that you don't agree with. So what if your say is NO, and his say is YES. He automatically has to go with no? 

Ultimately, it is his decision whether or not he agrees to private school. He doesn't need his wife's approval to sign the check or the contract with the school. His wife might show her disapproval by leaving because she doesn't agree, but there is no law saying he MUST discuss this with his wife and if she says NO, he can't do it.  Which part of that isn't clear? The law does NOT say that two parties in a marriage must agree on all financial decisions.

You may think that's the right way to do it, and it may be.  But it's not the ONLY way it CAN be done.

STaround's picture

Neither DH nor I get to make work decisions for the other, unless it impacts on home life.  He and both work OT, thank god at different times of the year. We coordiante, but  do not tell each other what to do.  We ask each other for advice from time to time, but that is just what is advice. 

We each get the final call on things impacting our respective kids.  Neither of us are big spenders, so we have not hit hurdles yet.  DH understands I have saved money for my kids college and that goes to them.  Since we got married, I have encouraged him to save not only for his retirement, but for his kids college.  At this point, they will be at least able to go to CC. 

tog redux's picture

Yes, exactly - so your DH doesn't get to say, "I'm sorry, that money you saved for your kids' college is now OUR money and I refuse to allow you to spend it on them."

TwoOfUs's picture

And that's nothing like what this OP is saying. Her DH hasn't saved up money pre and post-marriage to send this kid to private school. 

He's wanting to borrow against his future earnings to cover a huge expense for his kid...and those future earnings are in fact marital she does get a say. 

STaround's picture

She should get a say.  I am not aware of any state where she does get a say while they are married.   I dont think either OP or her DH are anticipating a divorce, but after a short term marriage I doubt she would get much, and he is the bigger earner.

Where does it say he wants to borrow???

Can he stop paying anything for her kids?


TwoOfUs's picture

I'm not even remotely understanding what you're saying. 

Of course she gets a say in a joint financial decision for their household in every single state. If they have combined finances, she could go to the bank right now, take out half, and put it in an account in her own name...regardless of who put the money in the account. 

I wouldn't recommend she do that, but that is her right. Spouses have rights to marital assets and the right to have a voice when a decision (financial or otherwise) will affect them. Obviously, some people are more easy-going than others, some tend to be doormats, some tend to insist on getting their way...and some work beautifully together. The dynamics of each family are different and none achieve ideal status...but that doesn't mean that these spousal rights don't exist just because it rarely works out perfectly fairly and evenly in practice. 

I said he wants to "borrow against his future earnings" not that he wants to borrow. When you agree to pay for something large like this over time...that's exactly what you're doing. You're betting that you will have the future earnings to cover that expensive gym contract you signed for 2 years. Or that you'll have the future earnings to pay for that pricey school you registered at. Where I live, if a kid flunks or gets kicked out of private school, the parents are still on the hook for the rest of that year's tuition. 

So, yes. Unless her DH is paying the 20K upfront out of his personal savings (which doesn't sound like what he's doing based on OP's concerns), then he is "borrowing against his future earnings" by making this promise to pay...and those future earnings are joint money. 

twoviewpoints's picture

No quite true... but no need to debate that idea with you. You might want to check out division of property/accounts et for the home state of the OP (South Carolina). After a brief three year marriage, you might be surprised to see exactly how that works before you advise Op to run down and take out 50% of anything. 

TwoOfUs's picture

I didn't advise her to do that. I said that, if they have joint finances, she can do that. 

And that is true. If they have joint finances, she is also on the hook for any marital debt her husband incurs. In many states, she could be held responsible for debt even if they don't have joint finances. 

So...yes. Again, unless he can pay the full amount for this school upfront out of his own premarital assets...then promising to pay 60-80K over the next 3-4 years is a promise that could affect her as well. Many things can happen to a spouses income, as anyone who has lived in the world should know.  It would be irresponsible of her to not recognize that fact and bring it into the discussion. 

tog redux's picture

They have a right to the finances after divorce, but each spouse can keep their money separate and not let the other one have it while married. So if he makes 200K and she makes 20K, he has no legal obligation to give her a penny of his money - until they are divorced. 

tog redux's picture

Even court won't help her, unless he's leaving their joint kids destitute.  Married people don't have to support each other or give each other a penny of their individual funds.

Jcksjj's picture

Well...I have seen private school help kids just because of the fact that it wasnt socially acceptable there to be a fuck up. So he might not be totally off base on that. But 20k is a lot of money. Do they have financial assistance at all? Most of the private schools around us do even if you have a moderately decent income. If you still cant afford it then hes going to have to come up with a plan b. I'm sure private school isnt the only possible solution.

tog redux's picture

BM put SS in private school for 3 years and paid for it all.  It didn't do bupkis for his lack of motivation and crap grades. 

twoviewpoints's picture

OP I'm going to ask why the private school? Who came up with the idea that private school was going to be what actually saved your SD from her own lack of motivation/ability skills?

Was this SD's idea to begin with or one of her parents? I'm asking because the child has blown off public school and any help they're offered her. She's stubbed her nose at ability . What makes SD believe private school will be so much better and the magical key to her issues? 

In other words, what's her spin. How is she presenting this to dear old Daddy?

Does she honestly think this is the absolute only way to finally 'save' her or is it more entitled selfish agenda. Did she perhaps met a group of girls who do attend to wants to run in their crowd? Perhaps a young male who attends the particular private school she believes she'll have a chance with? 

I'm curious, as the girl has shown no concern about her studies all this time. 

Harry's picture

Anything for respect.  She not going to respect you or DH any more because of going to,private school.  Big question is how is $20,000 going to inpack your family.  If it’s is not that one thing.  But if you all have to cut back because of that $20,000 that another thing.  

Tell DH if he wants to spent that type of money for no good reason, HeIs going to have to earn another  $20,000 to do it.  You are not going to put any of your money into that craziness.  You are not going to make it up in other places . As you are paying more for food, vacations, ect 

CLove's picture

In my case, private school helped me very much, but we did NOT incur financial hardship as a result of my attendance. And I improved significantly. And my siblings both went to private school and it helped a LOT. Those details are not really important in this - the thing is that your SD has really been acting up and has not indicated that she will put in the work involved. Its good money chasing bad. Throwing money at a situation wont solve her root problem, of selfishness, laziness, rudeness, entitlement, dadees litle princess throws a hissy fit, spoiled brattiness. And you think its bad now? It will only get worse! Firstly her attitude needs to change. And yes, it affects you how she treats others.

Secondly, consider that it will cause financial hardship on your household. DH is risking YOUR joint finances when he risks HIS finances. My DH and I have separate finances currently. He buys what he wants and I buy what I want, within reason. We split the bills, and sometimes I pay half when we go out. When he makes a large purchase he lets me know. We are not in your particular position, however my younger SD wants a college education. Ive told her (yes at age 12!) that she has free housing, but everything else is up to her. Ive talked about student loans and grants and financial aid and scholarships. (yes at age 12, almost 13!). In a few years, our financial position will be much different, however I expect that my husband will not foot the bill or sign on for loans.

Thirdly consider this, from a previous private school girl: She will be in an atmosphere of priviledge and money. She will beg and demand more of everything. More clothes, more this more that, to "keep up" with rich new friends. Its a lifestyle and your DH will be "required' to maintain it for his princess. Will you be ok with that? All her friends will have 2nd homes, lavish vacations, nice new cars, designer everything, handed on silver Even in small towns. And in the south, cotillons, and all that!

To sum it up, with her horrible attitude and entitlement, I would put my foot down with DH and point out that she acts bratty and perhaps take a video of her behavior, o ra  few of her trantrums. He might know his princess longer, but not better, or he would parent her. Attitude changes or he doesnt send princess to private school.



Sweetpea531's picture

Reading this post is very similar to the things I am dealing with. SD is very minipulative and gets what she wants. Stay strong. 

marblefawn's picture

I guess it's good SD didn't cook up a $50,000 fix for her bad grades.

Whatever is decided now will set the pace for how SD's college choice is also handled. And after that, you have three more kids who will expect/deserve the same options. What if all four kids choose really expensive colleges? Are you just going to keep saying yes? How many part-time jobs do you think he can work to pay for all that? And don't forget the weddings!!!!

Unless you're gazilionaries, that's a crazy way of handling this. You have no idea how costs will spiral if he always says yes. You're doing it totally backward.

Here's how you do it. Instead of just saying you'll pay for everyone's education, set a budget as a couple for how much you can (and are willing to) spend on education for your kids and then you divide that amount by four kids and then you and they all know the maximum they may spend (of your money) for their education -- be it technical school, four-year college, cosmetology school, etc. Anything over that amount is up to them to afford by working or loans.

The point is, you set a limit, let the kid know the limit, and then there are no surprises. If SD wants to blow all her education fund before she gets out of high school, that's on her. You put the money there and she decided what to do with it. That's a great deal for her, right? Should be an easy sell for your husband too!

When SD insists on private school, remind her of how much you put in her education fund and that there will be no more coming from you when the fund is exhausted. I suspect she will take the money and run to private school anyway and beg for more later to afford college, but that's when you can say no without guilt.

And your husband can say no without guilt too because the budget was negotiated with you ahead of time, so when SD comes back for more, you and he have already agreed what the answer will be!

I used this method when my husband insisted on paying for SD's entire wedding. He wanted me to agree we'd pay for all of it, so I agreed to pay, but only up to a specific (and very generous) dollar amount.

In the beginning, SD sent the invoices and we'd pay them, but I quickly realized she'd never know when she hit $25K and I didn't trust him to shut her off, so then I just wrote her a $25K check, told my husband to give it to her and let her know that's it and not to ask for more. Oh, and when I agreed to foot the entire bill, I also made him agree that this would be it -- we would never again agree to pay for her plane tickets, education, cars, rent, etc. So I said yes to pay for her $25K wedding, but with the stipulation that she is now living off someone else's dime.

It worked on all fronts. I knew I wasn't getting out of paying for that wedding no matter what, so I figured I should at least get something out of it. That's when I cooked up the idea to treat it like a pay off. So my husband got to play the hero by footing the entire wedding bill, SD got a ridiculously lavish wedding, and I considered that wedding check a settlement against future requests for money from SD.

Face it: you're not getting out of paying for this brat's education, even if she's squandering it. At the very least, do yourself the favor of putting a cap on it. If you don't cap it now, there will be no limit to what she asks and what he gives.

Tell him this private school issue has made you think you should work out a budget for all the kids' education expenses. Don't make it about limiting her options. Make it totally about setting a budget so all your kids can have some help paying tuition, but you two can also afford to retire someday. You might not be able to get out of paying for private school, but you can limit how much you're on the hook for this girl from this day forward.