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Double standard

dadsnewwife's picture

Does anyone else have a spouse who has double standards for his own kids vs yours?

I'm on the verge of divorce due to dh's double standard. My DD23 is almost done with college, so, yes...I've helped her what little I can and have taken heat for it from dh for 5 years. Her father has paid her entire tuition and room and board, so I've helped her along the way when she's run short along with paid her cell phone bill and her car insurance. Admittedly, there were times she came to me as she had run short and I'd tell her to get a part-time job and she didn't. Ok...I'm not perfect, so can understand why dh would think that's "enabling". But, that's NOTHING compared to what he does for his DS22 - a drug addict.

So, you can see it coming already...MY daughter the college student vs. HIS son the drug addict. Plus the fact that my daughter HAS another parent to help and HIS son doesn't (his ex is mentally ill in another state and has been out of the picture since 1997). Oh, yes...any time I help DD23, I get heat from dh, but I'm supposed to just sit back and be perfectly ok with HIM buying his son's food or help pay his rent. He did drugs for 5 years and I saw way too much enabling going on from dh. I almost ended our marriage 2 years ago when SS22 was living with us...not working and dh not pushing his son along. He finally crashed and burned, went back to rehab and has been on his own since...working low-paying jobs, so dh comes to the rescue every now and then and buys him food. I asked him yesterday why his son wasn't getting food stamps and he said he doesn't qualify. Huh?? He works at a convenience store making $9/hr and that's not living on poverty level? Dh just thinks because he's not a full-blown drug addict anymore that he's "doing better". I see the money going out the door to his son as "enabling". I told him that yesterday...that as long as he buys his food or whatever, he's allowing his son to buy cigarettes and drugs. This argument has been going on for 5 years and I'm SO over it! I asked dh when we were arguing yesterday when is it going to end and he said, "Maybe NEVER!" and walked out. grrrrr

Granted, SS22 does have some mental issues, but I feel is capable of doing more than he's doing. Dh knows I'd be supportive if his son were in schooling of some sort to learn a trade, but he's doing nothing more than what he's doing, so I don't. Plus, why should I support HIM in what he's doing for HIS kid when I get yelled at every time I help MY kid. Again...the double standard. Sick of it.

If dh could just support ME when I help MY daughter, I'd do the same for him, but he just can't keep his opinions to himself.

Thanks all for letting me vent...

misSTEP's picture

Do you have separate finances? My DH and I do. If he wants to spend on his kids, he does so out of his own money after bills are taken care of. I do the same for my son (very rarely). We don't ask and don't bitch about what the other person does with their own money.

dadsnewwife's picture

That's the problem...we have joint checking. I tried my hardest when we got married 4 years ago to have separate accounts and dh said we wouldn't be married if we did. I've mentioned it even since then because I know that would solve the problem and he absolutely refuses. He makes 4 times what I do, so thought it would be ok, but I've had to fight him for every dime I've given to my daughter. UNFAIR. I've TOLD him that if we had separate accounts that then he could help his son however he wanted and I wouldn't know and same for me. He admitted once that the reason he wanted a joint account was because he was afraid I'd use all MY money to help MY kids!

Like I said, I WOULD support him in what he does to help his son IF he did the same for me, but he doesn't. I told him HE'S lucky...MY DD23 will be on her feet son. When can he say that about HIS kid?

AllySkoo's picture

Uhh... stop talking to him about separate accounts and just DO it. He flat out told you that the reason he wants a combined account is so he can control you. That would have made me ballistic - and would have resulted in me IMMEDIATELY separating finances.

Honestly, from what you just said, I think THAT is actually the problem. It's not "spending money on your kid", it's that you didn't get PERMISSION first. :sick:

ybarra357's picture

"I tried my hardest when we got married 4 years ago to have separate accounts and dh said we wouldn't be married if we did" Seriously?

furkidsforme's picture

I think I see the issue.

You are proud of your daughter for going to college and succeeding, and you want to help support her a little financially when she falls short here and there for her phone bill or insurance. (make note- NOT LIFE THREATENING THINGS)

Your DH is proud of his son for getting sober, getting a job, and struggling everyday to get by and fight his addiction. He wants to help support him when he falls short here and there with food and rent money. (make note: Pretty life threatening things)

So basically, your issue is you feel your daughter "deserves" the help, while you SS does not. Well, the truth is, SS DOES deserve help. It is not fair to compare two separate people. Your daughter is blessed to not have the disease of addiction. It sounds like your SS is trying to stay clean. So help him. Help them both.

Stop fighting, and instead make an agreement of what you each can budget monthly to help the kids.

dadsnewwife's picture

Thank you all for your comments. Ok...I hear you all.

I think what you said furkidsforme made a lot of sense. For our own reasons, we want to help our kids, but BOTH of us don't like the WAY we help the other's kids. Yes...I AM proud of my DD23. She has done EVERYTHING right and SS22 has not...choosing to do drugs instead of bettering his life, but I do hear you. I know he's ill, but want more for him than it appears he wants for himself...and it continues to be our money going out the door because he doesn't do anything to better his situation. THAT'S the frustrating part. I told dh as long as he continues to "help" him, what's his incentive to ever better himself and stand on his own??

My DD23 is going to live in Maui with my DD31 at the end of next month and immediately dh says, "Well, WE'RE not funding her to go play in Maui." She is NOT going to "play". DD31 already told her she will be able to get a job at the hotel she works for, so she WILL be working. However, I told dh I'm glad he's not her other parent because her father is on board with this as well and is probably paying her airfare! We see it as a great opportunity for her to experience life outside the Midwest and it will be good for her. Dh totally disagrees and says we absolutely we will not help. UGH If I was single, you bet I would! I think it would do HIS son a world of good to move somewhere else and experience more of life than just here.

I know if I separated accounts that that would be the end of our marriage. Yes...dh IS controlling when it comes to money. But, had he never said a word about me helping MINE, I would never have said a word about HIS. Even my counselor said he needed to keep his mouth shut in that regard, but he just can't seem to do it. So, I retaliate.

As for a budget...there really is no point now because my DD23 is pretty much on her own, so won't really need my help and dh is frugal, so has never gone overboard in helping his son. Yes...I admit..recently, when it cost us $500 to get his son into another apartment, I gave MY DD23 the same amount to tide her over til she got paid. Needless to say, dh wasn't happy and more than let me know it, so, of course I brought up how much he gave HIS son! All he said was, "I knew that was coming." Yea.

sandye21's picture

"Yes...I admit..recently, when it cost us $500 to get his son into another apartment, I gave MY DD23 the same amount to tide her over til she got paid." Your DH won't agree to separate finances? Sounds like your DH is controlling because he is using you. That would be a deal breaker for me.

ybarra357's picture

"I know if I separated accounts that that would be the end of our marriage." Dayum, I guess you're ok with this? Sounds like he's blackmailing you. Never mind the druggie kid, IMO it's the least of your worries.

another step's picture

My thoughts exactly! You get to be with your daughters and away from someone who is controlling and mean. win-win!

dadsnewwife's picture

Yup...I was an idiot 4 years ago to have EVER agreed to a joint account, but this is how dh reeled me in (knowing he makes 4 times what I do)..."You won't have to worry about money once we get married since I make enough."

And, yes...there certainly IS the jealousy thing going on. Dh has actually said to me in the past, "Don't you think I WISH my kids were like yours?!" Well, they're not, but enabling doesn't help them. I still say if he continues to help his son, then his son will never have a reason to better himself. Luckily, I have my own retirement, so if he wants to continue to give his son money...that's out of HIS retirement, NOT mine.

I said after my divorce, I'd never get married again. I should have stuck to that...or at least found a companion with kids like mine...NORMAL.

grace8205's picture

There is always a double standard it seems. My SS20 has Daddy paying his cell, car insurance and asks for an extra amount of monthly hand outs in the amount of $200 per month on average and this is while he has a full time job. This is when he lived with us rent free and is still going on now that he has moved out 3 months ago. My son who is 18 lives with us half time and in his last year of school does not get any of that, I have given him a couple bucks when he shovelled the walks or any large job. I do still buy him clothes, monthly bus pass to get to school and medical insurance. Which all of those things total less money than DH spends on his kid and my kid is still considered a dependant.

The other day I was ordering sneakers online for my son and DH says "Why doesn't his Dad buy him sneakers?" Really a pair of $40 shoes when my son is a dependant, and he questions it. I just replied "Yes I am buying my dependant kid shoes, it is my job".
He has even questioned the medical coverage (a $90 a month premium that I claim back every month for full re-inbursement from a health spending account) and he even questioned the bus pass (the bus passes are tax deductible) too. I have learned to ignore it, if it ever got down to a fight I think my points are easily proved and if he still went on about it we would be done.

I do disagree the amount he is paying for his son (which enables his son to buy drugs I am sure), but one day I might need to hand over some more cash to mine and I will definitely point out how much he has handed over to his if he complains.

dadsnewwife's picture

That is exactly what I do, grace8205...when he complains about the money I've given to my daughter. I just bring up all the money he's given to HIS. And, one time I added..."And I know when I give money to MY child, it won't be going to DRUGS." That shuts him up. This time, I told him HE was the lucky one since MY child is now on her own. When will I get that...HIS son off our payroll?? His reply, "Maybe never." grrrrr

I'm all for helping young adults who are trying to better themselves. Until I see SS22 do that, I won't be on board with helping him. I may start keeping my opinions to myself, but I will NEVER agree with it until I see him either join the military or take a trade program somewhere and complete it. What really gets me is dh isn't pushing his son to do anything more than what he's doing! That's what bothers me the most. He keeps saying his son won't succeed unless HE decides to do it. WHATEV! At 22, time is passing and nothing is changing. Why? Because daddy keeps just bailing him out. UGH

dadsnewwife's picture

Like catmom4's boyfriend says about his kids...dh says the same. Oh, but poor SS22...he's "mentally ill". Ok...the kid does suffer from depression and low-self esteem, but, seriously?? Does this mean parents are NEVER off the hook? How about getting them to a counselor. I know SS22 is on depression medication, but is he seeing a therapist? I've asked dh this, but he says his son is an adult and it's not up to him to make sure he's going. Well...I'm sorry, but as long as SS22 is needing "help" financially, I'd MAKE IT MY BUSINESS to make sure he's getting the help he needs. I think dh buries his head in the sand and just throws money at the problem instead of doing the work to help his son get better. But, that's my opinion which obviously is worth nothing.

I think there IS some major co-dependency going on between dh and his son. SS22 is his "baby" (his other 2 are 32 and 33)and he raised him alone since he was 4. I do sometimes wonder if dh is ok with having his son still be dependent on him. With his DS33 (who is a full-blown addict on disability for mental illness), he sent him to a teen boot camp at 15, made him join the army at 18 (got kicked out a year later for drug use), and finally had him committed at age 23. A doctor told dh when his son was 15 that he had never seen an addiction like it...he simply did not have the capability to say no to drugs/alcohol. So, dh feels by doing what he's doing with THIS son (letting HIM make the decisions) that it might work. Guess only time will tell...

dadsnewwife's picture

So...just checked our bank account only to find that dh not only bought SS22's groceries on Saturday, but paid his June rent as well! $390.00! UGH And, I was feeling guilty?? Done. I'm going on my girls' weekend with my daughters this weekend and not gonna feel one bit of guilt although dh has been trying to MAKE me feel guilty saying it's "all about me". Whatev. These days I feel like it's all about his kid.

dadsnewwife's picture

Again...it goes back to the double standard - his kid being "ill", so low expectations and my kid being "normal", so higher expectations. Totally over it. The only thing he has said to me this week is he's done talking about it because I'm going to do what I'm going to do anyway. Well...I could say the same to him, so maybe we've just come to a point of acceptance. And, yes...it does hurt us financially, but neither one of us will listen to the other because we simply disagree. I hope he will keep his opinions to himself now, but I honestly feel he's unable. He's MR. OPINIONATED.

And, no...he'd never agree to counseling. And, yes...no doubt there's a jealousy issue.

As for wallowing in his own misery...yes...there's some of that as well. He's grumpy by nature and yes...it's getting old. What he and I need is some time away for fun. I was thinking of July 4th weekend, but, of course his DS32 may be coming home as he has a DS7 here. ugh

And, actually, I have gotten better about money going out the door to SS22 as it DOES keep him out of our home. During the 2 years he lived with us, it was awful and I almost moved out. Dh realized he needed to keep his son out of our house in order for our marriage to survive and he has. He did say once if it wasn't for me, he'd probably let SS22 live with him, so he could help him better. So, good...at least dh finally put our marriage first, but it's still costing us financially.

I HAVE no problem helping young adult children who are helping better themselves, but, in my opinion, SS22 is not doing that. If he would take a trade program or something, I'd have no problem with it, but working a low-paying job and not being able to afford to support himself (because he's buying cigarettes and drugs), does NOT sit well with me. Why help someone who doesn't want to help themselves??

Amber Miller's picture

My SD is severely mentally ill. My DH spent thousands of dollars bailing her out of trouble (before we were married and co-mingled finances). I watched him enable her and it frustrated me because she didn't appreciate it. It wasn't her mental illness that made her this way; it was her personality disorder. She has BPD and NPD and I see those as the problem, not the mental illness. One of her psychiatrists told my DH when she was young that it wasn't the mental illness that was hard to treat; it was the personality disorders.
She refuses to take any responsibility for her actions and thinks it's her birth right to be fully supported by her dad and mom. She knows how to pull the "mental illness" card as she is extremely intelligent. My DH always thought that if he did "one more thing" that she would finally be in a better place; this never happened. At the time, the depth of her mental illness wasn't clear. As she got older, the paranoia and delusions got to the point where the family could finally see how sick she was. Then she decided to have a baby; unfortunately the baby is severely developmentally disabled. It's tragic.
Throwing money at her never helped. In fact, he was giving her about $1000 a month and found out that she was working as a stripper at a high class club. She had plenty of money to buy her drugs and pay her rent. Her mother found over $3000 in her purse and she was still taking her monthly hand out from both parents. Very sad.
Eventually, her mother ran out of money and my DH cut her off. SD is in her 30's and blames me and my kids for being cut off. She refuses to have anything to do with DH and told him she will never speak to him or see him again until he divorces me. We haven't heard from her in 2 years and it's been nice. We don't fight about her any more. He said he doesn't miss her as she caused him so much pain and grief.
My uncle is disabled; he has aspergers and is schizophrenic. He saves his money and lives independently. He buys his own groceries and pays his utilities. He gets HUD housing and gets SSDI but has a modest amount in his savings which is monitored by my aunt. He treats all of us in the family with love and respect and takes advantage of no one. He is a testament to the fact that one can be mentally ill and still make it. He doesn't have a personality disorder. I think that's the difference.
Good luck to you and your family. I know it's hard. Hang in there.