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Entitlement is OK for everyone else - but me!

2Tired4Drama's picture

Synopsis: SO divorced several years before we met. We have been living together for six years in the house I already had. His kids are now SS24 and SD21. He has virtually no contact with BM whatsoever – not due to any specific hostility, there is just no relationship or communication whatsoever. He chooses not to engage with her for any reason. Any information we find out about that household is based on what SD tells us.

BM was spoiled by her doting parents. They were working class but through much blood, sweat and hard work, wound up with significant assets. BM has never held a full-time job and was pretty much handed everything by her parents – including houses to live in beginning at age 21 and continuing through today. My SO worked a good job throughout their marriage and she was a stay at home mom. She did not have to work a day throughout their 15+ year marriage. SO’s two kids were raised in the same vein, knowing they would inherit it all someday. Grandparents constantly told them they were set for life. So these adult kids are 2nd generation entitlement babies.

SS24 is a mess; although he graduated from college he spends his days alone in his bedroom watching TV/playing video games. Completely socially inept – has no friends that anyone knows of, cannot maintain a conversation, hygiene is horrible, and cannot even make eye contact. He has made no move to get a job since there is no need – he has not worked a full-time job in his life as there is plenty of money to keep a roof over his head, food in his belly, and he is covered under Dad’s health insurance till 26. BM does not want to interfere with his behavior as she doesn’t want to upset him, according to SD. MY SO has had multiple, caring conversations with SS and asked him to seek counseling or at least visit a doctor for a check-up. SS refuses and so just sits alone in isolation. Quite some time ago, I had recommended SO talk to BM and have a united-front intervention for the SS's sake, but he refuses to engage her. Allegedly, SS is doing drugs so that is probably a factor.

SS relationship with his dad was OK until several months ago when he stopped talking to DH and won't take or return his calls. There was no falling out, no fight, no disagreement. The last time they were together, it was a pleasant time with no issues raised. SS doesn’t normally talk to his sister either, but he did state recently he doesn’t want anything to do with his father because, “He is an a##hole.” This statement coincided with SS’s child support cessation timeframe. I believe BM was in a snit and certainly said something about it to the kids. BM is passive aggressive and manipulates in subtle but powerful ways. (BTW, legally the child support for SS should have ended when he was 21, but SO kept sending his portion along with SD’s to BM anyway – three extra years’ worth!)

SD21 is in better shape as she will graduate in a few months and has a job already lined up in her chosen profession. Like her brother, she is pleasant enough when she visits and although we are not close, I have no complaints about how she behaves towards me. She is much like her mother in that she has never had to work, has everything given to her; brand new car w/insurance & gas paid for, apartment of her own (NOT a dorm room), credit card for going out to dinner with friends, vacations abroad, clothes, etc. She can be manipulative to get what she wants, although she does it very subtly and with a smile. I believe she has inherited that behavior from her mother.

When SD turned 21, SO informed BM that he would now send SD’s portion of child support directly to her until she graduates. BM no longer gets any checks from SO – so he is done with her in that regard. However, I just discovered that SO is actually sending the FULL amount (what he was paying for BOTH kids) to his daughter every month -- which IMO is a significant amount of money! The “family” money is already paying for SD's rent, utilities, etc. so this four-figure monthly amount is really just spending money for her. My SO figures it’s fair because the BM’s family money is already paying for everything else.

I was annoyed when he was still sending his ex three extra years of child support for his over-21 son before but figured it was none of my business – which it isn’t. But now that I’ve found out he has been sending his daughter more money per month than what he gives me, my resentment is building. Even though it’s only going to last a few more months the overall principal bothers me.

Here’s why: When I met SO, one of the qualities he admired about me (and still does) was that I have always been self-supporting. He point-blank said he did not want another relationship like the one he had with his ex, where there was no ambition or ability to be self sufficient. But that so-called admiration is starting to wear a bit thin on me because it seems it’s a quality he wants in me and other people – but when it comes to his kids (or his ex-wife) not so much. I don’t understand how he can admire a quality so much, yet feel no need to instill it in his own kids.

My SO and I have completely separate financial accounts; he provides me with "rent" which is about half of what my mortgage amount is plus a little bit extra -but not enough to cover half the utilities. Of course, it does not include major expenses like house upkeep which I have been OK with – because it is my house after all. Things like the new roof, new appliances, household repairs, etc. come solely out of my bank account. Everything else is split 50-50 between us – vacations, dining out, activities, etc.

If I weren’t so “self sufficient” about paying my own way and not needing his financial support in any way, it is doubtful my SO would have been able to send all this extra child support for these several years and continue to do so. His budget would not have allowed for it if he had to pay a full mortgage/rent, utilities for himself AND continue to send extra child support for three years. Thus, in a roundabout way, I am subsidizing the situation.

I know I could have much worse problems after reading things you all have been through. When I have tried to have a conversation with him about this financial largesse he provides his kids, it soon becomes apparent I am out of my realm of influence and he bristles when I say anything he perceives as too critical. And it honestly is none of my business. BUT … when I have to pick up the tab for a new roof which also covers his head, or the appliances that wash his clothes, dishes, etc. and then see that his already well-off adult children get such checks, my anger builds.

I do admire him for his solid, steadfast support of his kids – and compared to so many others we hear about, he has always provided and been there for his children.

Guess all I am seeking is an opportunity to vent about this, and to get affirmation from everyone to just keep my mouth shut for a few more months until such payments stop. But I do worry sometimes what the future holds. After all, fortunes can be lost in an instant. And then what will happen when the so-called admirable quality of “self-sufficiency” these kids lack --- may come home to roost?

Jsmom's picture

I would start demanding he pay half of the expenses. If he can't than he needs to stop providing for SD.

B22S22's picture

Then UP his "rent".... act like a true landlord since he's behaving like a tenant. Landlords make sure the $ they are getting for rent is enough to cover mortgage on the property (if they have one) and upkeep.

2Tired4Drama's picture

I think you both have good points - and perhaps I need to look at it more from that perspective. Intead of trying to change his behavior/spending towards his kids (which I have no control over) I should instead focus on ensuring he is paying ME what he should, so that he is fully "self-supporting." Time for me to recalculate the expenses for the house, including necessary improvements, and adjust accordingly.

Disneyfan's picture

Increase the amount he's paying you. If he has extra to throw away, then he can help out more at home.

2Tired4Drama's picture

"Throw away" is correct, Disneyfan. Considering that extra money is going for social activities and spending sprees, it seems silly I am entirely footing the bill for necessities like a new roof.

Superdad454's picture

Unless you have a prenup or you state's laws are set to allow you to keep the entire house and all included appliances (anything you had when he moved in), then this situation is not fair for you. It is a very comfortable arrangement for HIM obviously.

It sounds much more like room mates or a BF/GF situation than a marriage to me. Either you are TOGETHER, or you are not. Him expecting to pay you some rent and some utilities (less than half)and live, and put "wear and tear" on your house, and then not contribute to the upkeep of it, is not fair.

if I were in your situation, I would sit down and itemize all the expenses, maybe out to an annual level, and include ALL expenses, like gas for running errands, food, and entertainment expenses. Then explain that you are simply unable to support more than your half. If you approach it as "Yes I am self sufficient, but I am not a primary bread winner" so you can expect him to ALSO be "self sufficient", which would be to pay 50% of everything or ALL of his own expenses.

He will get defensive if you seem to "attack" him about what he spends on his kids. So instead, inform him what he needs to be paying YOU, if he suddenly can't afford things for HIMSELF, or you both start not being able to go out for dinner because "we can't afford it", then he will have to decide for himself if supporting his leech kids is more important than having a life with his WIFE.

2Tired4Drama's picture

Goforit - Your point about it never ending - it is truly a concern. As I said, what happens when/if they run through their family fortune? Then what? And you are right that independent women should learn to accept any reasonable offer that we get. Like you, I find that difficult sometimes as I was raised to look out for myself. While my SO does nice things and never forgets birthdays, etc. he has never sprung for anything really big - certainly nothing along the lines of what he does for his kids. For example, he has funded at least a half-dozen expensive vacations for them since they've been over the age of 18. But our vacations are always 50-50.

Good points, Superdad. For clarification, we are not married - but consider ourselves a committed couple. Quite honestly, reading and hearing all the horror stories about middle aged people who remarry, I don't intend to get remarried either. At our point in life, it's just too complicated - especially when there are kids (no matter their ages)involved.

And you are right about him getting defensive about his kids, which is why another tack is appropriate.

LizzieA's picture

I think he should at least pay 1/2 the utilities. I'm a little unsure about the home repairs. If you broke up, you don't want any claim that you should pay him equity. I'd check with an attorney about that. And yes, it would be nice if he'd shower you with gifts.

sandye21's picture

It's a good thing you do not plan on marrying him. When I married my DH over 20 years ago the situation was very similar to yours. He led me to believe he was in beter financial shape than he actually was. For the first couple of years of our marriage I paid for the majority of everything just like you. This made it easier for him to help put his Daughter through college. Finally one day I asked that he start paying for half of the expenses. He was very angry and 'bristled' until I told him he would have to leave if he didn't. He knew that even paying half was a better deal than being on his own.

It sure would be wonderful to know without any doubt that he married me because he loved me but I have always wondered if he married me for financial convenience. I have lived with this resentment for most of the marriage, and it is not a good feeling. It might have even helped if he had acknowledged my help. Since you are paying for most of the expenses, he should be voluntarily be paying for extras for you instead of sending his kids on vacations and giving them money. It's obvious they are his highest priority. I wonder if this has ever crossed your mind.

One thing I have found is that the 'bristling' or what I call 'pre-tantrum' is a manipulation device to shut you up so you are too afraid to broach a certain subject or ask for change. But you need to get beyond it. You have to believe that he owes you half of the expenses and you deserve it. He'll have to make whatever adjustments to his income that are necessary. If it means reducing the amount of money he is now spending on his kids, so be it.

2Tired4Drama's picture

Thanks to everyone for your comments and insights. It certainly helps me put things in perspective.

sandye21's picture

^^^ So true! ^^^ But don't accept any blame. Insist you are only doing what is 'fair'.

2Tired4Drama's picture

Got it! Smile I see on these boards that pushing others in front of the bus is pretty common - and a knee-jerk reaction by people who don't have the courage to stand up and speak the truth to their adult kids.

Poodle's picture

omg No SteppingStone never a truer word was said. Great to think of heading this off before he makes such a comment.