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Baby shower

Countrygirl12's picture

Hi,  I just can't shake this sick feeling.

My husband's is a widower, and has 4 adult  children.  I'm divorced and have 5 adult children.  A few of mine are adopted and a couple are birth children.  

From the age of 16 I always wanted to adopt.   So when my husband and I got married, it was pretty easy, or so I thought, to blend our families.   At least from my view point.  

So a few months ago, my husbands daughter was in town and she announced that she and her grandmother were going to give her sister (husband's other daughter) a baby shower.   I sat there and I was all excited about the event.  I was very careful not to go to crazy, I love to throw parties and events, and I respected the fact that obviously this was her event and one she and her grandmother were going to take care of.   I thought, not a problem.   I didn't want to step on any toes.   So, she plans the event for Mother's day weekend, which was fine.  But she was having problems finding a place to have this event.   So I suggested she'd have it here at the house.  So she thought that was great and I went to work on sprucing up the house and making sure I had the right number of chairs and tables.  We had approx 40 people.   I bought flowers and I bought whatever she asked me to buy.   I went out and spent quite a sum on groceries etc. and the list went on.

The weeks past and I was getting deliveries week after week, from his daughter,  and I'd store them in the guest room,   (she lives out of state).

So  she arrived in town, and she was gone from the house quite a bit.  So basically I did about 80% of all the set up,  moving of furniture and all the clean up after the event.   I did alot of the food myself.  (If you are wondering where my husband is, he was working 80 hours a week)   She decorated with all the things she spent money on, and made a few food items.    Now mind you, I'm not upset about any of this.  I'm just trying to be a help and a support.   We have the shower.  It was lovely.   A lot of work and I was worn out.  A few days after she left to go back home, my husband receives a text asking for 1/2 of what it cost her to throw this shower.    She used the fact that I had thrown my daughter a shower and basically guilted him into doing this.   *sad*

My issue isn't helping cover the cost.   My issue is we were never asked.  We had spent a large sum of money on the shower ourselves.  She spent monies on whatever she choose.   If she had asked for our help up from the start, we would have given her a dollar amount we would be happy to help with, not a blank check amount she chose.   BIG DAVE RAMSEY people.  

So, I find myself extremly frustrated.   If you had to balance the scales the weight of financial help would easily fall to my husbands children and I'm feeling just sick about it.    A year ago both of our younger daughters, his and mine, needed new vehicles.  

We discussed and we agreed that neither of us would co sign on any loans.   Both our girls were adults and hadn't been the most resposible about money and we agreed,  each one would have to buy a good reliable car that they could afford.    So my daughter ended up getting a used vehicle.  I was proud of her.  She made a good choice with the monies she had.   My husband goes with his daughter and they come home with a brand new leased vehicle that my husband cosigned on.   Her payments are HUGE.  My mouth dropped open.   Not only had he done that, he put her first payment on our credit card.   And as of this date has used up all her mileage.   YUP, that's right cha ching....  If you can invision the issue coming down this road in the very near future.  

I've tried talking to him and explaining how I felt, but he just says I don't want to fight.  I'm not fighting, I'm hurting.   I just feel like I do everything I can to keep things honest.  I want to talk about how I'm feeling, but I can't seem to do that either without him taking this tone with me, like I don't want to help his kids.  Which is the furthest thing from the truth.   So, when his daughter asked for $ for the  shower  all these feeling from the car came flooding back.   I don't even want to get started on the unused wedding dress we had to buy his daughter on a credit card that is sitting in our closet that was never used, and well, now I'm trying to sell that.  Cause I guess that my responsibility *sad*

I feel like I'm falling apart....


futurobrillante99's picture

I can totally relate. You feel betrayed and that his desire to please his daughter comes at YOUR expense. He has disregarded your agreements and done what he wanted to please her. This is a betrayal and he has damaged trust in your marriage.

queensway's picture

Greedy greedy people. You did what you wanted to do for a nice shower. Sounds like you put a lot of thought, money and effort into it. You were not expecting your SD to ask for money  on things that she bought. Tacky. And on top of all that your husband doesn't want to acknowledge your feelings. He says he doesn't want to fight because he knows you are right. IMO He doesn't want to say something bad about his daughter. For some Daddy's that seems to be the golden rule. Sorry he is being such a douche.

Countrygirl12's picture

Thank you!   This has been turning in my mind for so long.   I just feel so frustrated and I truly don’t want to feel this way at all.  These are just a few examples, and I want to deal with my feelings.  I feel like someday they will all come rushing out of my mouth sideways and I don’t feel like I can talk to him about this at all and have tried.    He is a good man, but when it comes to this I feel like I hit a wall.    

Countrygirl12's picture

Thank you!   This has been turning in my mind for so long.   I just feel so frustrated and I truly don’t want to feel this way at all.  These are just a few examples, and I want to deal with my feelings.  I feel like someday they will all come rushing out of my mouth sideways and I don’t feel like I can talk to him about this at all and have tried.    He is a good man, but when it comes to this I feel like I hit a wall.    

Siemprematahari's picture

It seems like you're a kind person with a big giving heart but are also being taken advantage of by his daughters. I would not volunteer helping or assisting them financially in anyway. I'd remove my name from the credit cards or cancel them. I'd also just have a joint account to pay bills, mortgage, etc...and have a personal one of my own. If he wants to finance his grown daughters every whim let him go in debt by himself but don't be a part of it. You have spoken to him and he doesn't want to hear it, so do what you have to do in order to protect yourself.

keepitsimplestupid's picture

This is easy.  Just say "no".  It's a complete sentence and no further discussion is necessary.  Your SD *asked* for repayment, she didn't send you an invoice.  Just tell her no, you were never asked to fund the event and in your opinion, you went above and beyond to accommodate their party AND supply food/location/decor, etc.

It honestly sounds like these adults have been coddled through teen/adult years.  They ask and they receive, no effort necessary.  Raising kids this way creates entitlement, and you and your DH are saddled with entitled adults now.

This type of thing has happened to you in the past.  I would suggest you have a serious discussion with your DH and lay down some financial ground rules.  When two people agree to NOT cosign on loans, that agreement needs to be adhered to.  Does his word mean nothing?  Who is going to make the balloon payment at the end of the car lease?  That should be discussed NOW, before the car is returned and your DH writes a check for the mileage charges.

Adults need to be taught independence, not dependence.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

This is one of those skid issues that you can handle without involving your spineless H.

Ask SD for clarification. Be polite but firm, and outline the expenses and effort you incurred and emphasize that it came from you, not your DH. Let her know that although there was no agreement to split costs, you are willing to tally up everything and split it down the middle if that's what she'd prefer.

Don't roll over and take this. You are being tested, and this is about more than money. I don't know when it became acceptable for family to host showers, but you are under no obligation to provide the same for a skid as you did for your daughter. Using that logic, your husband should have been the one doing all the work.

notasm3's picture

Just inform her that you spent more money than she did so if she really wants to do 50/50 then she will need to give you money.

And going forward - put her greedy ass on ignore.

Merry's picture

I get it. I love entertaining too, and I would have also opened my house and done a lot of work and gone to some expense to make sure the guests felt welcomed and special for the occasion.

But to be hit with a bill afterward? That's just rude. Money needs to be discussed upfront or not discussed at all. And your DH just rolled over and sent her a check because she wanted one? Oh, sure, it's easier to justify making you mad than making his daughter mad.

It's more troubling, though, that you can't talk to him about how you feel without him shutting down. Suspect he knows he's in the wrong and he just wants you to shut up about it because that's easiest for him. But here you are now, losing trust in your partner. He agreed not to co-sign, then he did, and now how can you trust his word? And how do you feel financially secure with that scenario?

It IS a big deal. How you feel IS a big deal. Will he tolerate a calm, unemotional discussion about what you need from a partner in terms of trust and openness?

marblefawn's picture

So SD's request (demand?) must have felt like a sock to your stomach. I can understand why you feel sick. I'm sorry you tried to do something nice and got a bill in return.

This is ugly, tacky behavior by SD. It sounds as if she's keeping a scorecard on who got what. And how interesting that you're the one who did all the work, but Daddy gets the bill. She knows she's got no right to ask for that money, and she knows he won't say no. That's pretty messed up. She came to you for all the work, but took you totally out of the equation when it came to the cash. That is really manipulative.

You probably can't do anything about him giving her the money. You probably can't expect her to discuss the money before the event next time. About all you can do is write them off and do nothing for them. Next time there's a baby shower crisis, let 'em hang and see if Daddy comes running to to all the work you did. (He won't.)

Unfortunately, some SDs just use us up until all the good will is gone. Then we become the bitches that they claim we are.

Countrygirl12's picture

That’s exactly how I feel. I feel twisted up.  I feel like the biggest B and I feel like I’m over reacting.   I’m none of those things until pushed I guess.   I mean she and her boy friend, whom I think the world of stayed with us the entire long weekend.  I made a guest baskets full of treats and snacks and water bottles in their room, so they would feel welcomed.  Then this, and I shake my head.  The checks all written and addressed.  I haven’t mailed it out yet.  I just don’t have the right heart yet to do it.   I mean, I’ve sent her checks before attached with notes saying “I hope this Brightens your day, this is just a little something to grab a pizza”.   But this i just put the check in and envelope.  No note or anything and I feel bad about it and like I’m the mean step mom who wouldn’t chip in monies for his daughters baby shower.   I just shake my head.   Everyone here has been so nice and the advice from everyone. Thank you!   I do appreciate it.  Yesterday, I felt like I was so alone in this.  It really does help to know others have dealt with things like this and helpful to hear how different people handled the situation.   Thank you! 

oneoffour's picture

You have sort of set a precedent of popping money off to her whenever you feel like it. You went over and above to make her feel welcome in your home. She is a motherless pregnant woman and therefore you need to pay for your share in her party. 

Stop sending money. Do not send the checks. Just send her a note and state you paid for the food etc so it would be best to call it even and in future discuss these arrangements ahead of time so there are no misunderstandings. 

Then separate your money from your husbands money so he is paying for his children's choices and not you. 

My DH decided to co-sign my daughters first car. I was totally against it. Her living situation was awful and totally against our expecatations and I was not going to put myself on the line for her. DH went ahead and cosigned. I nagged my daughter every single month for that payment. Was I the bad guy? You bet. But it meant she paid on time. Every time. 


sandye21's picture

I wouldn't send her the check or respond, let DH do it.  If she asks for any favors in the future tell her to see her Dad.  I also agree with oneoffour - split the finances so all money that goes to SD is coming out of his pocket, not yours.  Insist any money he sends to her will not be coming out of his retirement account or what he pays toward household expenses, and that there will be no co-signed loans.

She's been showered with money so she's become entitled.  Your efforts are not appreciated so it's time to stop doing it.  She needs to learn to live with the consequences of her actions.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

you'll get what you always get.

A lot of us have learned the hard way that chasing after skids' affection never works. You've made a big mistake by catering to and bending over backwards for your skids; they perceive your kindness as weakness and believe they have the upper hand. I've been in your shoes, feeling sad, exhausted, exploited and unappreciated. The more I did for my female skids, the more they expected and connived to get. As an example, my cash-strapped OSD asked if she could invite "a couple of gskid's little friends over" for a birthday pool party at our home. Being a good doormat, I said yes, and started sprucing up our home and yard. A week before the party, OSD informed me she had invited 74 people! And she didn't have enough money to buy food for the party!! DH and I of course saved the day, spending several hundred dollars on this blow out and working our butts off at the party. The cherry was OSD coming to me at the end of the day asking for money to pay for the bounce house she'd rented. She burst into tears when I told her I wasn't paying for it.

You really need to stop trying so hard. There are no trophies for Best Doormat Martyr. You are your husband's wife, and you're going to have to start being firm if you want to be respected instead of used. If you send that check to your SD, you will be victimizing yourself, rewarding bad behavior, and teaching her how to (mis)treat you. You are in the right here, regardless of whatever cognitive dissonance or propaganda may be going on.  Calmly but firmly hold your ground.

sammigirl's picture

Keep the check until you are able to hand it to her, with her Dad present; then very kindly tell her that you will pay, as agreed with her Dad, but it is the last time there is an open check.  The future dealings will be discussed with both yourself and her father present.  Also tell her all kids involved in this marriage will be treat equally on all instances.  Do not tell your DH you are doing this, just do it.  I once held a round table discussion with all our children present; nobody knew I intended to do so, therefore, the shock tactic worked.

still learning's picture

Do you guys have to pay half of the hospital bill for the birth too?  You do realize that DH is going to give her the money if he hasn't alredy by now. He's going to play daddy warbucks to his kids while you're expected to be fair and equal to everyone.  The ingratitude is unreal. I hope you at least got a thank you. 

About the wedding dress, donate it and be done with it. Live and learn!  


You've been given some great advice, I will just add; Step Back.