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Unemployed DH - should SD7 stay with her BM? Please help

DCblended's picture

This is a continuation from another post I did today, I would appreciate any feedback. 



- I have two daughters from my previous marriage (DD10 and DD8) and he has SD7 from a previous relationship, and we have DS1 together.

- I am the only one working, and DH has been off work for 2-2.5 years because he applies to jobs but doesn't get accepted

- He has a friend who owns a business who says he has work for him starting in April, and he'll confirm with him by mid-February at the latest

- Currently he has SD7 50/50 custody, but because she's often extra days with her mom or with DH's parents, it's actually maybe around 40%

- he does all the errands and cooking because of the extra time

- his daughter (SD7) has pretty good behaviour half the time, but then the other half she is mean, defiant, and at best unstable and annoying to everyone, particularly my two daughters (DD8 and DD10). She is an only child and spoiled everywhere else except our house.

- our DS1 is currently not in daycare because DH and I prefer to have him at home with us. Since he is not working, he takes care of him 2-4 hours a day so I can work more. He has chronic back pain so he says he would do more, but I also think parenting a toddler confuses him a bit. 

- the past two years have been stressful because of money, being together all the time, and his SD7 behaviour.


In the other post it was recommended that I tell him to get SD7 to stay with BM 100% until he gets a job. Since he will be confiming mid-February, I think I'll wait until then.Would appreciate any other recommendations please!

BethAnne's picture

It isn't your place to tell him not to have custody of his kid. They both deserve time together. That doesn't mean it has to be in your house or that you have to fund them. 

If she is disruptive to your household you could suggest he and his daughter stay with his parents for his custody time. If you don't want to/cannot afford to keep subsidizing her then insist he applies for child support from his ex and that he needs to find an income or do full time child care so you can earn more. 

If he can't find a way to take the pressure off of you, then you have to make a decision if this is the way you want things to continue or not and choose to end the relationship if you're not happy to fund him and his daughter. 

ndc's picture

I think it's completely inappropriate to tell your H to cut back visitation with his daughter. If you want to give him an ultimatum, I'd suggest that it be that he have a job by x date or you will no longer be his meal ticket and he can move out. 

What does your H do for a living? If he keeps applying to jobs and being rejected, is he underqualified for the jobs for which he applies? Is his resume terrible? Has he reached out for help with his job search strategy? Do the two of you have any thoughts on WHY he's not getting callbacks? What is the supposed job that won't be available for a few months? Why has he not found something - anything - to do to earn money in over 2 years?  He sounds like a lazy deadbeat to me. 

A friend of mine has a lazy fiance who hasn't worked in over a year. She's in school and is taking out loans to support them and their daughter.  He tells her he spends all day every day looking for a job.  He doesn't.  He told someone else I know that he didn't get his credential in our state and isn't looking for work here because they're moving to another state - BUT not for another 8 months when she graduates.  I suspect my friend knows the truth but is willing to settle for this deadbeat.   I don't know why some women allow themselves to be taken advantage of by men like this. 

hereiam's picture

No, SD7 should not stay with BM because your husband is not working, your husband needs to get a job. Besides, if I were BM and custody were to change, I would be asking for child support.

Your husband being out of work does not get him out of his parenting responsibilities. What if BM were dead?

notarelative's picture

If BM has the child full time, the court will impute child support based on either what Dad was earning before or at minimum wage. Not working does not remove your obligation to support your child. 

DCblended's picture

I am fine with that.  My hourly rate is actually pretty high so if I were working full time i could pay the BM child support and not have that girl around. 

DCblended's picture

Thanks for everyone's feedback. I spoke with him today that it's frustrating financially supporting his daughter when he's been off work so long.  I gave him a few months to find a fulltime job or else reach out to make changes. He was angry about it but at least he knows what I want. 

Dogmom1321's picture

Good for you! Glad you stuck up for yourself. Don't feel bad for communicating your feelings/needs. Let us know how the job hunt and financials with SD go!

Calliercree's picture

I understand having an extra mouth to feed or entertain can be a lot on one income, and on top of the rudeness.  I hope that DH gets work soon and that the SD gets her atittude checked before she is my SK age and she has no respect for authority.

Rags's picture

IMHO you are the earner, it is entirely approrpriate for you to stipulate how things will work in your home.  Including that SD-7 will not be tolerated in your home due to her behaviors.  Also, your SO has a duty to care for your shared todler.  That trumps the duty he has to a 50/50 kid with an X.  

I would not send SD-7 to live full time with BM. That exposes your household to a significant risk of your SO being nailed with a CS order.  Better to retain the 50/50 and structure things very tightly in your home and relationship.

Sadly, you do not have an equity life partnership.  Though he is picking up a majority of the parenting, cooking, etc....  I appreciate that he is doing that.  

My DW and I trade off based on our career phases.  Right now I am between roles. I do the shopping, cleaning, and cooking, her career is booming.  Though our situation simple since we are empty nesters.

I would make sure he understands that he will have to take a job, any job, and keep up with everything else he has been doing until her gets his career back on track.  Flipping burgers as McDs, etc... until he can get a more viable role.

Defend 50/50 to the death. Do not put yourself in the position of having to send your marital resources to BM. At most I would demand that SD spend DH's visitation time with DH's parents. There is no requirment that a visitation Skid actually visit the NCP.  We fought that battle a few times while we were under SS-31's Custody/Visitation/Support CO.  His Spermidiot had visitation. (5wks summer, 1wk winter, 1wk spring).  Over the 16+yrs of the CO he rarely saw his Spermidiot more than a few yours during any visitation.  Not each day. A few hours over the entire visitation.  The Spermidiot even moved out of SpermLand for two years and did not see SS at all.  SpermGrandHag took the Spermidiot's visitation.  The idiot Harry Potter robed Fisher-Price toddler wooden hammer banging bottome 10%ers of the legal profession on the SpermLand family law bench did not give a shit that Spermidiot never saw his kids. The NCP can do what they want with their COd visitation time including not seeing their kid.

Set the rules, enforce the rules, and stick to  your guns. Until he gets a job, at least your SO is performing as your live in chore boy/kid care.

Good luck.

Don't get me wrong. I am perfectly okay with traditional marriage models whether it is the man or the woman in the relationship who is the SAHP.  What I am not okay with is an imballance in equity life partnership.  Yours... is not a balanced condition IMHO.  Work time is from when the working partner leaves for work until they get home from work.  At that point it does not become the working partners duty to clean, cook, care for kids. It becomes both partners time for those things. When there are kids in the home subject to a visitation schedule, things get far more complex.  Since you are not paying anything to BM, do what is necessary to keep that up.

IMHO of course.

DCblended's picture

Thank you for the response.  Actually sending money to BM to take SD7 off our hands most of the time would be the dream. The thing is, they would calculate child support based on his estimated income so it wouldn't be much anyway. I got lucky with my job role and salary that I have and I have no problem sending $ to her. 

Lillywy00's picture

No - since your husband is willfully unemployed YOU are on the hook for his child support. Also, cs will  impute his income from what the judge thinks is his capability of earning based on his education, skills, past earnings. 

for example, He might have est income of $2000/ yr  but if it's proven that he earned 70k back in 2020, has an advanced degree, and the skills to go out and procure a 70k+ job then THAT is what his income will be estimated up to. 

Some of these judges aren't playing around with men especially who are potentially under earning on purpose so they don't have to contribute financially to their kids 


And that child support number may be higher than you think it is so you should consult with a lawyer  for the calculations based on the state guidelines. 


IMO it sounds like your husband is fine being a stay at home dad while you provide for yourself, him, your kids, y'all's one year old, and his daughter from his previous relationship 

If you're okay with this then carry on but if not tell him your head hurts every night, fall asleep on him (cause youre so exhausted), then when he asks you what's up tell him your very attracted to him when he's in his career/providing for the family/contributing more around the house (everything he's choosing not to do which diminishes your attraction). 

send his daughter to the grandparents bc they usually don't mind keeping grandkids for little to no financial compensation just so they can get some company and sending her back to her bio mom may put your husband in a position to get hit up for cs money (but it looks like you don't mind paying for the privilege of having the sk live elsewhere so carry on)

Rags's picture

If the parent'partner bringing an older failed family progeny to a new relationship is not earning, I agree that a SParent should not support that person or their prior family children.

While there are certainly situations that might be considered to the contrary, If I was in a sitaution where my prior breeder mate was not supporting their older still minor child and I was the one working to support the partner, a joint child, the partners failed family proginy, and providing the majority of child care for my own (the joint)  infant or toddler aged child... hell no. THe Skid can go back to their other parent and the mate can figure out how to pay CS, etc.......

A partner who is not stepping up, gets no say. Not even an opinion. IMHO.

Harry's picture

Two years.  It's shows a bum of a person.  Who has a DD and not support her.  Everybody in the world are hiring people.  I can go into Walmart and get a job in a hour. May not be the job I want but it still pays $.   There is no excuse fir not working two or three jobs to make monety.    Uber.   Food delivery ,,  in between Walmart.  

Harry's picture

There is no good reason for not working for two years.  As he waits for his dream job he can work other non dream job.  I will bet you if you want out today to . To McDonald, Burger King , Walmart , Amazon,  Uber.  You will get three jobs today..  your SO lacks something.  This will be a life long thing. He not doing his responsibilities as a father , not supporting his kids.  

What do you really think your life will be like. Neve any exter money for fun things ,  Him always  making BS excuses , for losing jobs.  You want a man and he isn't a man 

DCblended's picture


I told him today, in April as well, if he doesn't have a job at $37K+ per year ($18/hr fulltime), he needs to contact the BM to reduce his custody (she already wants more custody!). Many of you will say this is unfair to him, but he has had 2.5 YEARS not working, with only around 6 months of work during that 2.5 year period, and I think this will pick him off his butt OR get us less time with SD7. Either situation is a win!!


Rags's picture

While in a traditional role marriage having a SAH partner is balance, in a marriage when one partner has child(ren) not related to their new mate, the earner is the decider if the prior procreating partner is not delivering equitably to the marital finances.

I never held that position, but... SS was a toddler when we met and married and all we had when we married was my newly printed Engineering degree, two 9yo cars and two apartments full of college furniture.  We have built our lives together and grown our resources together even when only one of the other of us was working.

DW and I have had periods of our marriage where we were a one income marriage. The first 3yrs until SS started Kindergarten full time I was the sole earner.  When the semiconductor bubble burst in the early 00s and I was unemployed (though I had a huge severance package and 9mos of unemployement) DW was the sole earner.  When we were overseas for 8yrs, I was the sole earner.  For the two primary years of COVID I was quarantined and DW was the sole earner.  For the past 6mos DW has been the sole earner.

We have the type of partnership where we address everything together.  When one of us is between opportunities, the other is the earner while the one not earning is the cook, shopper, clean up crew, laundry service, etc, etc, etc...

It never bothered me when SS was a minor and DW was a SAHM.  It never bothered me to raise SS as my own and participate fully in his support including when he was in Military boarding school for nearly 2yrs.  It has not bothered DW, or so she says, when my career paused.  Though it bothers me for sure.

What bothers DW is the change.  I regret somewhat that I have not been able to provide a life long one place home for DW.  Though she has loved and appreciated the adventure. As have I.  I thrive on change, DW.... not so much.

Since we married approaching 30yrs ago we have owned 4 homes, lived in 16 different residences in 10 different cities, across across 5 different (US) States and 4 countries.

I 'm up for countless more homes, cities, States, and Countries.  DW... loves the adventure but laments the change.

Since we married I have worked for 6 companies and done a few years of independent consulting.  I just want to have 5-8 years of career stability so then the global adventure can be me chasing her around the destination locations of the world just for fun for the duration of our life together.  

Then, on to eternity... and beyond!!!! Together.

DCblended's picture

He accepted it. He also has some chronic pain issues and I'm doubtful he'll be able to hold a full time job. So I'm actually thinking it's going to go down the path of him not getting a job and reducing his time with SD, and I'm actually happier with that option. If I work full time I make more than 3x what he would be able to make. Sorry about the bragging.

BethAnne's picture

He's really going to stick with you when you "make" him have less time with his kid? Would you stay with a guy that demanded that of you?

It seems to me that you're not really fussed about earning more then him or working more than him, you just don't want his kid around and are using the money excuse to achieve that.

I think you have your priorities messed up and are miss-directing your anger/frustrations and are punishing a child by denying her time with her father in the name of household equity.

You know his chronic pain will stop him from working full time, so you set an ultimatum that he has little chance of meeting.

The real issue seems to be that you resent this child and how she acts. But rather than adress that issue head on you would rather push your husband to do something you know is beyond his capabilities so that you can shift the blame when you demand that she visits less.

Now it isn't that you don't want her around, it's that her father doesn't earn enough to give her the honor of a place in your home more frequently. So then any time he complains or laments about the fact that he sees his kid less you just have to roll out the line..."well you chose not to work full time". 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

I think she should send them both back to BM's. This OP is the only one in the household working. She supports herself, her 2 kids, her husband, and their joint kid. This joint kid is also a baby, and her husband, while home all day and *not* working, can only be bothered to watch the baby between 2-4 hours a day, leaving OP to watch a baby and work. She is exhausted. 

DCblended's picture

Thanks for understanding and you are a smart woman. But one thing- he is 1000% able to work. He has had chronic pain since he was a teenager. He just has dealt with it. He has worked non stop from 16 until 33  and this is the first time he's ever been out of a job. 

In terms of this not being fair to him, I'm willing to take that risk, because of his work history. Just to give some history, I always had my DD10 and DD8 all the time except for EOW (I think that's 80-90%?). But when I met my husband, I changed to 60%, then eventually it turned into 50-55% unfortunately. And I do regret it actually, because my narcissistic ex-husband is trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to turn DD10 and DD8 against me all the time now. But it is fair for my DH to do the same now (reduce custody) if he is not financially supporting his daughter.

My baby starting daycare in March will help with the exhaustion. 

I have actually had anxiety issues on and off for the past year and had to take a few days off work in December because of it..

ESMOD's picture

He can't do reduced custody AND not pay any support for his child.  He should do one or the other.

And.. sorry.. what is his diagnosed medical condition that causes this pain?  and if this has been an issue for so long why has he not developed skills that would work better with that condition...a job with less physical demands perhaps.

I am kind of calling BS on his issues... and if he truly is in this state.. I'm going to have to tell you the dreaded "you knew what you were getting into.  He had a long standing physical disability.. you decided to hitch your wagon to his horse.. now you want to diminish his relationship with his kid.. I get you are exhausted.. but your goal is wrong to ask that of him.. not fair to him.. not fair to his child.  and it wasn't fair to create a new child that is growing up in the dysfunction that you knowingly walked into....and agreed to take on.. but now you want to change the rules half way through.

So.. either boot in his hind end and he goes to work.. or lleave him.

BethAnne's picture

So you're doing this to get even with him because you regret giving up time with your kids? Was that his idea?

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Maybe he finally stopped working after all these years because he has you now. Before, nobody was there to pay the bills. 

Winterglow's picture

as an outsider looking in.

He's suffered from chronic pain for a very long time.

He says the doctors can't find a cause (how long ago did they tell him this? The medical world is making progress every day). He found a way of dealing with the pain.

You never said what caused him to be out of work. What line of work was he in? 

I sincerely hope he's doing everything he can around the house ...

Anyway, I think that the last time he was out of work and you had to take on all the responsibilities, he realized he had a cushy number with a wife who outearns him, who does everything for him, he  has nothing to do all day except take care of the baby, and he just decided that he rather liked his new no-stress lifestyle (he'd started to believe that the life of Riley might actually exist!). I also think that he accepted your conditions because he had painted himself into a corner and there was no other way out. 

If he hasn't seen a doctor within the last 6 months to a year, it's time he went back and started over. Sometimes it just takes a bit of luck to find the right doctor.

My MIL suffered from multiple problems for over 10 years, they had her in and out of hospital and they ran tons of tests every time. They came up with nothing until one day ... there was a doctor with her in her hospital room when a neurologist stopped by to say hello to his colleague who explained MIL's problem. She was diagnosed in 10 minutes flat. None of the other doctors had considered that her problem might be neurological. Just saying, sometimes being in the right place at the right time can work wonders however, sitting on your bum at home is not going to help you.

ESMOD's picture

I see a lot of excuses.. it's not "just" the chronic pain.. that he has apparently been living with for over 15 years.. and working the majority of that time.

It's the excuses about not having certifications.. education... etc.. all of which could have been worked on at some point in the last decade or so.. especially the last 2.5 years of unemployment when he let his pregnant wife carry his weight.

he was apparently an IT project manager of some sort so the job was a desk job.. I get that certifications are "preferrable".. and education can be a factor too.. but even without that. .if he had been good enough with those years of experience.. he could have found someone that would have been interested in him... he could have looked at other remote work options if the "rigors" of leaving the house were too much.. 

i've heard of more people having problems hiring than becoming hired personally.. both my SD's have just been offered jobs that are both at least partially remote or at least not "in office".. neither has a degree.... one is taking the new opportunity.. the other isn't because it would be lateral and she already makes around 80K at 25 years old without a degree...btw.. she actually has migraine and siezure disorder... so she is dealing with her own health issues.. and STILL manages to be a fully contributing member of her household.

I think her DH got comfortable with his wife picking up the tab.. he was moderately helpful in meeting some small child care needs.. but that's about it.

Winterglow's picture

I also think taht the OP should decide on her expectations and her future (beyond the job coming up in March/April) relatively soon because if she lets things drag out for too long, when she does decide to divorce, she could be on the hook for big bucks in spousal support...

DCblended's picture

Thanks I do not like the set up. Will post in April what the outcome will be. if he reneges on the April agreement, I'm considering leaving. 

Lillywy00's picture

Um don't leave before he lands a job. 

like mentioned above you set him up for a cushy SAH lifestyle and you risk having to keep the status quo/pay him child support and possibly alimony. 

Harry's picture

DH can if he wants to get a job tomorrow. May not be the job he wants. But any job is better then no job.  Walmart is hiring, McDonald is hiring.  Along with All other fast food an chain restaurant. He not working because it takes effort.  If you don't want his child over, the one you are paying for  then she doesn't come over. He cas see her in the park. Where it free. 

Winterglow's picture

So he does 2-4 hours of childcare and does the "errands". Is that all? Occasionally cooking? So when your workday is over, you do all the rest while he gets to relax? Hardly fair is it? So he does nothing at all for your children?

DCblended's picture

It's not fair and it has been very frustrating for me. And i feel bad asking him for extra help in the evening because of his pains. 

He does prepare lunches and meals for my daughters, but it's something I could obviously do easily, but I'm often holding our baby so that's why he does it.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Idk what kind of chronic pain he has, and i don't want to minimize what might be a real thing. But. I have chronic pain. After a day of work it's all i can do to make it to my bed and lie down for 30 minutes just so i can get up and make dinner. About 18 months ago i was in a major accident and broke 10 bones. I would love to not work and lie down when i feel like it, do PT and yoga every day and feel my best. But i have kids. And i have myself to feed and house, too. The choice is to lie down and give up and be dependent the rest of my life or get up and keep living. That is his choice, too, unless he truly is one of the unfortunates who is really incapacitated. With bone and joint issues, you use it or lose it (movement/strength/function.) 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Another thing i'll say is that i can see how i might have gone the other way. If i hadn't "got back on the horse" when i did. The longer you wait, the harder it is to get back to living. 

Winterglow's picture

You are not asking him for extra "help". He lives there, it isn't help it's his share of taking care of your home and his children. He is living there and using family resources, he should be eager to justify that. 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Devil's Advocate - only OP and her DH know how truly incapacitated this guy is. If he can't get out of bed, maybe he is too poorly to take care of SD. But her posts make me doubt that. 

DCblended's picture

Thanks he is mostly able to do everything but in days when his pain is really bad he lays in bed and I have to care for SD

Lillywy00's picture

I agree that there is nothing worse than being in pain yet having people minimize a legitimately difficult situation.

However, I would think if he's really that incapacitated, he would have filed for disability income to at least have some money coming in. 

Since the OP never stated that he was on disability this leads me to believe he's well enough to work. 

Lillywy00's picture

Have him take some pain pills, nerve block, accupuncture, hypnosis, chiropractic, etc so he can start pulling his weight around the house. 

SteppedOut's picture

Frequently, boot to the ass does amazing things for ones constitution.

DCblended's picture

UPDATE: he just made $4500 in some work he did, but I let him know when I set the deadline, that it has to be consistent income, so we'll see :) 

Harry's picture

First of all. Hope you were given the $4500.   Second he not getting a great job being unemployed for years. How is he going to explain not working for years.   " I have a bad back. I am a comp case in the making".  When I was hiring people this would be a red flag.  He must get any job he can get. Working 40 hours a week.   As time goes on he can get a better.  Then better job 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

I hate to say it but you're right. Comp case in the making. Frequent missed days. At my last company we had a woman out on WC for 6 months, claimed she injured her shoulder reaching for something on a shelf in an office. Just reached up to grab something that weighs about 8 oz and now can't work for 6 months. At a desk. Some people are just takers and will work the system. 

BethAnne's picture

He did get work and earnt way more than most people in just a week. Doesn't look like he needs the macdonalds application forms. 
As much as I disagree with using time with his kid as leverage to get him to work it seems to have worked miracles. 
Hopefully there is more work to come for him and a happy home life for all. 

Rags's picture

Extended periods of unemployment can be a challenge. I have had 3 in my career.  One for a year when the semiconductor bubble imploded in the early 00s.  I did some consulting to fill in the blank time in my resume.  

Once for 2yrs during covid. Again, I did consulting work. 

I am now at 7mos between roles.  This time I Have not been consulting.  We moved two and half years ago for my role and where I am there is not much industrial infrastructure which is where my profession is used.

Each time I have reset by about 5yrs in my career progression.  I usually make the 5yr reset in income back within about 12-18mos, but... I do have to adjust my re-start point down from my peak earning points.

Another influence is what time of year it is.  For more Sr. roles the mid year point are the doldrums.  Employers generally do not have mid year budget to recruit Sr. highly compensated positions.  Now is the sweet spot.  Early Q1 of the calendar year is when companies are budgeted for hiring.  Now is the time of peak opportunity and peak money.

The OP's DH needs to get off of his ass right now and hammer the applications for the next 10-12 weeks or his options will start to dry up.

In my experience anyway.

DCblended's picture

UPDATE: maybe making this ultimatum was a great idea. As i wrote,  he brought in the $4500 from side work (a business transaction) and he's very motivated to repeat similar transactions. He is actually good with selling things and talking with people so hopefully this works out!

He knows that the $$ has to be consistent.