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Step Daughters need braces

thrownoffpath's picture

My husband is 52, I am 40. He has two daugthers 21&15, my daughter is 16, and we have a son who is 2 together. My husband is not good with money and had horrible credit when I meet him and no money in the bank. I have always paid my bills ontime so my credit is good and I have been saving money putting away my child support for years. My husband has been divorced from his ex since 2003. She left him for a man with money and told him that he would not have to pay child support. Now both of his girls need braces. The only way he can get the braces is to have me place it on my credit card or open a joint carecredit card with him. He doesn't feel like he should have his ex pay for 1/2 bc he hasn't paid child support which I understand. But I don't think I should be responsible for opening the credit card or paying $8,000. Esp. bc my husband and I have been having problems getting along mostly bc of the girls and he threatens to leave. I truly think he feels guilty that he did not do better for his girls financially. The 21 year old needed a car - so I loaned her $3,000 to get the car and she paid me back every month. She is going to college, so I will pay for her class or books and expect that she pay me back which has created problems in the past when I asked for my money back. She is 21 has a part time job and only takes 1 or 2 classes each semester. I feel like she should get a full time job and take her classes at night but she won't. His 15 year old makes horrible grades. And I guess the part that bothers me is that his ex lives in a $350k house, both of his girls and the ex wear Guess and Miss Me jeans, Coach shoes, and won't take a step into Walmart. My daugther and I wear Levis. Even when I first meet my husband he had to have Express Jeans. He has toned it down since. He even asked me to give him $1,000 for his daughters graduation present, then when I signed over my 401K to my daughter as a beneficiary he asked me "what am I going to get". Recently I pulled money out of my child support savings to buy my duaghter a car $4,500 and he asked me why I made his daugther pay me back but didn't make my daugther to pay me back. There is so much to the story that I could go on and on. I tend to feel very guilty and have helped his girls and spent money on them even though their bedrooms are bigger then my living room and they don't ever seem to appreciate it so I have stopped and now my husband resents me. What are your thoughts?'s picture

You are doing absolutely NOTHING wrong. He expects his exw, her husband, and now you to take care of his girls while he does nothing? Don't do anything for the braces. This is not your responsibility. How noble of him to want to pay for all of the braces...oh wait, except for what he expects you to do for him. He has entitlement issues, and if he threatens to leave again, I'd pack his bag for him. Take care of your girls and don't feel guilty at all about it.

PeanutandSons's picture

You need to sit him down and explain exactly what you are willing to do for his kids. He is being unreasonable. His solution to finally feeling bad about not supporting his kids, is to make you support them? How about he starts saving money (by cutting back his own extras) and get on a payment plan with the orthodontist?

You should not feel bad for enjoying the fruits of your labor. You were responsible with your money and saved so that you could do for your daughter. He shouldn't be guilting you into acting like he is just as entitled to that money for his kids. He made his bed and now he needs to lie in it.

It's not like the braces are a dire emergency. Start with the 21 yr old, and he needs to start saving. Once she is done, then get them for the 15 yr old. If he can't handle a payment plan with the Dr, how does he plan to pay off a credit card? He wants to get credit for being super dad, without the work. My response to "why did my daughter have to pay you back" would have been..... The real question is why didn't you help her out with anything? Every time he questions it on you, put it right back on him.

Kayhenwal69's picture

I believe that depends on the state you live in. I live in a state where I do not have to have spousal approval to change my BENE

alwaysanxious's picture

"Naming other individuals as beneficiaries
You may have some limits on choosing beneficiaries other than your spouse. No matter where you live, federal law dictates that your surviving spouse be the primary beneficiary of your 401(k) plan benefit unless your spouse signs a timely, effective written waiver. And if you live in one of the community property states, your spouse may have rights related to your IRA regardless of whether he or she is named as the primary beneficiary.

Keep in mind that a nonspouse beneficiary cannot roll over your 401(k) or IRA to his or her own IRA. However, beginning in 2007, a nonspouse beneficiary may be able to roll over all or part of your 401(k) benefits to an inherited IRA."

Aeron's picture

So he keeps threatening to leave but wants you on the hook for 8K for His kids? That would so not happen in my world. First of all - she's 21- if she Needed braces, she should have had them several years ago so why didn't BM take care of it then? Now, she's an adult, she needs to take care of it without Your help, whether or not mom and dad choose to pay. The 15 year old - well, she's also not your responsibility, amazingly enough.

He sounds more interested in your money and what you can give him than he is in your or actually having a relationship with you. You used the money that was given you for your daughter On your daughter... How Dare you! What the hell is his problem? I agree with my/kids/mom - he threatens to leave again, pack his bags for him. And change the locks. The man is looking for you to do for him and give you nothing but guilt and grief. He's a 52 year old man - he should not have to ask his wife for money to give his kid a(n unreasonably large since he can't afford it) graduation gift.

If you're getting flak for loaning someone money and then expecting the money to come back to you - stop making the loans. And tell him if he's so concerned about His kids not having to pay for anything, He needs to pay for it, from his Own funds, not yours. He obviously made a choice to not pay CS, to not pay Anything - why wasn't he saving some of that for the kids for college or cars or a wedding. Which begs the question - how much does he expect you to fork over for those endeavors?

It sounds like his expectations are Completely unreasonable and if he keeps offering to take a hike, I'd personally let him. You deserve better treatment.

Auteur's picture

"He sounds more interested in your money and what you can give him than he is in your or actually having a relationship with you."

now WHY does THAT sound familiar to me??!!

thrownoffpath's picture

I have been so confused and feeling guilty for so long. I think that over Christmas I just had enough. We spent $350-400 on each girl, $80 on our son (he's 2). My daugher bought me some pj's and she bought her dad some socks & a shirt - out of her money. My husbands girls showed up on Christmas day with a card. I understand kids don't buy their parents stuff for Christmas, but it seems like they want want want and never offer anything in return. Not even to babysit for us so we can go to a movie.

I will say he is a very nice man. He was super sweet to me when we first meet. But I think I've come to realize his personality, I'm not sure of the word for it but for example if he's riding in a car with someone and they are driving too fast for his comfort he will tell them there is a cop so they will slow down instead of telling asking them to slow down. So he lie's, but when I say he lied, he freaks out. He can't ever make decisions, he always says that he is trying to let me make the decisions so that I will be happy, but he never has any ideas about what we can do on the weekends and then when I do - I end up paying for everything or putting it on my credit card and they complain the whole time making it miserable for everyone. That has made me bitter where I don't even want to go anywhere anymore. It's almost like he's underhanded - day after day he would say "I wish I could buy my daugther a car". So I thought I would try to help. Now he'll say "I wish I could buy my daughter a better car", "I wish I could get my girls teeth fixed". And when I buy something, he'll say "now I feel guilty", I'll ask him why and he'll say bc of my girls. Then I feel guilty. Here's the thing that gets me, he works a job making an hourly wage and doesn't do much to better himself or show a desire to make more. I am looking for a better job because I feel this burden now and when I told him they only offered $45K for the position, he was like "oh, you can't take that job, you need to tell them you want $80K". He's making maybe $40K. So I don't understand why him being a man wouldn't feel like he need to do better instead of pushing me to make more. So do I just smile and not worry about it and let him figure out a way to finally do something that he should have done many years ago? I've sort of tried to do that but in December he pulled this thing where he went to work and they put him on medical leave for 4 weeks for depression. Now he goes to a counselor every week, he's back at work, but he'll go along like nothing is wrong and then he'll blow up mad.

alwaysanxious's picture

Yeah, and I'd say "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride"

He is so using guilt to get things out of you. That depression crap is called entitlement and he is easing his way into not working at all. I grew up with a man like that, but I refused to call him dad.

alwaysanxious's picture

Oh my gosh! You have gone above and beyond. This is the perfect example of people just expecting you to keep shelling out the cash. You are not wrong. Instead of appreciating that you did so much over the years, things you never HAD to do or were responsible for, he is instead saying hey where's my kids money?

If he's so worried about it then he can get another job. What an unappreciative jerk!!!

I'd flat out tell him I have done so much for you and your kids, they aren't mine and I'm not responsible for them financially. Buck up and YOU take care of your kids. Ass.

when I got MY OWN braces in my 20s, I went through the orthodontist. I didn't have to get a credit card for anything. I set up a payment plan with them. Your DH should be on his own for this one. I tried that credit card thing with SO and he has a bad habit of not paying me consistently. I cut that off real quick. I'd never put a purchase like that on my credit card in hopes that I will be paid back.

thrownoffpath's picture

He did sign over the 401K, but he was not happy about it. That's when I asked him how much life insurance he had to leave me?? None! He has no savings, no 401K, no retirement, I have no idea what he has spent his money on. Honestly I don't think he has made much money and when his ex lived that life for so long and found a man with more money and a desire to make more money and provide a better life she took that road and I personally don't blame her. I think it's different if you love someone and they are trying to do better, but if they are just content with living pay check to pay check running up credit cards and ruining credit trying to buy expensive jeans, shoes, etc. there is no happy ending. I also thought that her being 21 she should at least help pay for the braces. He's trying to get a loan from his credit union as we speak but his credit it botched, I don't think they will approve him. Here's my logic, if you take his monthly income, less his truck payment and half the bills he has like $600 a month to live (not including gas and groceries). And then he was talking about driving to Colorado in March, staying at a ski resort and buying the jackets and stuff. I'm thinking seriously!!?? My family said that I am his easy ride and need to let him go too.

alwaysanxious's picture

You are right to cut off the gravy train. Let him figure out how to handle reality for a while. OR he can do like his ExW and find himself some other rich spouse to live off of.

ctnmom's picture

He sounds like a con man! Quit letting him drain you dry of your hard earned savings and wages! Jeesh!

alwaysanxious's picture

I wouldn't call it "hardening". I'd call it not allowing yourself to be taken advantage of.

ybarra357's picture

"and a 21 year old is getting them...ummm NO!"

My thoughts exactly.

"He even asked me to give him $1,000 for his daughters graduation present" HELL TO THE NO!!

Sorry, OP but your DH sounds like an ass.

Jsmom's picture

You need to stop paying for anything. These kids are his problems and honestly, they are old enough to have this responsibility themselves.

I would seriously evaluate this relationship and whether you deserve to be with someone who is not such a drain on you financially.

herewegoagain's picture

His problem. Not yours.

PS - not YOUR child support money. Your kid's child support money. Thus the reason you use it to buy things for THEM. Good for you for being able to afford your kids without using the additional money that their father sent to them. I commend you. However, make sure that you don't call it YOUR money...that might make your DH understand it as well.

paul_in_utah's picture

Ah, the "braces" issue. DW and I had a HUGE fight about this a few years ago. SD17's teeth were fine, and she did not need braces. In the end, I relented to helping DW, but only because she said that she would take out a loan in her name to pay for the braces. That sounds good on the surface, but guess what? If she defaulted on the loan, the bank would have come after me! This is the often-overlooked joy of being a step-parent - you are responsible for the debts that your spouse runs up when they spend money on their kids.

In the end, SD17 wore braces for 3 years, and just got them taken off. She does not wear her retainer, and her teeth have already started to go back out of whack. What a waste!