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DH just a paycheck

notsofast's picture

I’ve been SM to SS17 for 5 years. DH and I have no bios together, but I have two grown kiddos. SS17 is entitled and spoiled. He has always thought of DH as a paycheck. DH & BM separated when SS17 was 2. When SS17 was young (4-6), he would tell DH’s relatives that Mommy says “Daddy has lots of money, ask Daddy for toys, clothes, games and gifts for Mommy(BM).”

BM stole my DH’s identity, as well as her father’s identity and committed credit card fraud. My DH decided not to prosecute because he did not want to put SS17’s “mommy in jail”. She also stole checks from her father and used them fraudulently and defaulted on a car loan he cosigned for and blames him for it because he wouldn’t loan her more money to make the payments. He did not want to put his daughter in jail either. Her father wised up and my DH did too.

SS17 is PASed against his Dad. My DH can be a little bit difficult sometimes… he’s a scientist and can be a bit technical about things sometimes. But all things considered he’s a kind man who loves his child. SS17 tried to ruin our wedding with drama, giving his mother the address of the place where the wedding party was getting ready and inviting her to the wedding (we did NOT invite her, she showed up... TWICE).

We haven’t gotten along well because I see through his act. He sees his Dad as a paycheck and BM as the hero. When it’s his Dad’s money that is always saving them from eviction (17 moves in 15 years) when he has in the past given her extra money. Or when it’s been his Dad’s extra money (above the $1200 a month in child support) that pays his soccer fees or extracurricular.

BM recently married a guy who is in prison. She met him once before he was sentenced and then became his penpal. She married him in July. She and SS17 think we don’t know, but she posts all about it on her facebook page so of course we know! SF/BM’s prison hubby was convicted of trying to murder the last woman he was with. He thought he had done it too, which is why he got into a standoff with police and tried to kill himself but missed all vital organs, despite shooting himself in the face. SS17 has told other relatives he is afraid of his new SF and when he gets out he doesn't want to live with BM and SF. He has hinted around wanting to live with relatives then. For a long time my DH hoped he would pick him. Actually SS17 did for a while choose to live with us when he was about 12-13. Within a couple of months BM threatened suicide to SS17 and he threw a big dramatic fit to go home to his mother. My DH was crushed.

It’s a big old mess. My DH and I were talking tonight about how little contact SS17 makes with DH. All of it has to be DH calling, trying to see him, usually being told no he’s too busy or no, he doesn’t feel well or no, I have soccer etc. It’s always been like that, even before I ever met my DH.

Today my DH says to me that when DS17 turns 18, child support, medical support and everything is just OVER. He has no desire to help him with college, will not pay for continued support of any kind. He’s just done. His child is alienated and really does not see him as a person, only as a paycheck. He is absolutely brainwashed by Mom and seems to be following in her footsteps. My DH is heartbroken, but has finally gotten there.

My DH says he is disappointed in SS17. That he only pops up and wants to see him around birthdays and Christmas for presents. Unfortunately my DH is correct from my perspective as well. He really only wants to see him at those times and months can go by without SS17 inquiring about his Dad.

Recently my DH has had some health scares. SS17 was told about these issues in an age appropriate way and kept in the loop as we went through procedures to hopefully fix them. It does not look like SS17 really cares that he could lose his Dad early. For now we are beyond these issues. My DH lost a parent at the same age and is particularly shocked that his son seems not to care to have a relationship with him. He would give his right arm to have his mother around to see him grow up.

Is it normal for a 17 year old boy to not care about anyone but his Mom? Not even his Dad? Is it reasonable for all support to just end on his 18th birthday without any further assistance planned (college, etc) unless something drastically changes in their relationship? From DH's perspective he did not have any support from his parents after 18 due to the death of his mother and financial strain on his father because of it (they had little money to begin with), so the idea of making it on your own doesn't seem rough to my DH. My DH has tried for decades to have a better connection with SS17, but SS17 from about age 5 on always wanted to go home early to BM or complained he was bored or missed Mommy and my DH didn't know what to do, so didn't fight very hard. He's not perfect but has been a pretty good (good enough) father. His biggest “sin” has been not bending to the whim on the BM all these years, even though he did until about 7 years ago.

I am pretty disengaged since SS17 got his mom to crash our wedding. On the one hand I am proud of DH for growing a pair and saying no to his XW and to SS17 about not accepting just being a paycheck. In my family though my parents paid for college, helped us with our first cars etc. We have different backgrounds, I come from money and my DH does not. I'm looking for other opinions on the situation.


notasm3's picture

I am now in my 70s so have a different perspective because of generational differences. It was quite common to cut off 18 year olds - even in intact families that were financially secure.

Not that some people did not contribute financially to college - but it was considered a gift to reward a good child - not an obligation to a worthless POS.

thinkthrice's picture

CONFIRMED: We are digressing as a society. If an 18 year old was mature enough to handle adult responsibilities 40+ years ago, what the HELL is in the water? Never mind--coddling/helicoptering/lack of true parenting.

notsofast's picture

I agree, I see my parents help as a gift.

I was not an angel of a child, but I did love them both.

When my mother got sick when I was 16 and we thought it was bad (everything turned out fine in the long run, she's still very much with us) I checked in on her all the time. I worried about her. And we definitely had a strained relationship at times (very different people).

This kid just doesn't seem to care about his Dad, no matter how much his Dad cares about him. It seems to be an inverse relationship... the more Dad cares, the more his child just disengages.

notsofast's picture

I wholeheartedly agree with you. Support financially comes not from an obligation, but from a relationship.

My kids are older than SS17 by a few years, but old enough to notice how he disrespects his Dad. They have commented to me that the way SS17 acts would never fly in my home with them. And they mean it like "He needs to behave better", not from jealousy. It's not that hard to have a child just be NICE enough that young adults don't recoil in horror, right?

My DH has been Disney Dad in the past. He's been buying SS17's love for a long time. That HE came to this conclusion surprised me.

notsofast's picture

I am supporting what he wants to do. It is his kid, I don't get a say. I am simply surprised by it. It is a 180 from where he was, just 30 days ago.

Tuff Noogies's picture

oss treats my hubby the same way. only instead of dumb@$$ pas'ing him, it is MIL. i think hell itself will freeze over before he contacts dh on his own just to say HI and not "i need $".

it's heartbreaking.