Weddings for Children of Divorce

angelstelli

Good Day all - I would like your advise on how weddings are handled for children of divorce. First a little back ground on my situation. My parents were divorced when I was about 7/8 both my father and mother were remarried by the time I was 9. I was raised mostly by my mother and step father who took my brother and I out of state shortly there after. My father did everything in his power to prevent this or bring us to live with him, but the family law at in the early 70's was very slanted in favor of the mother. We had regular summer vitiation with our father and his new wife. I talked my mother into letting me move in with my father when I was 12 - I stayed with my father for 3 years, before returning to live with my mother due to conflicts with my stepmother. I again moved back with my father after high school; only to move out on my own very shortly -again due to conflicts with my stepmother. My father and stepmother adopted two children due to my stepmother's inability to conceive children - these two children were given all the benefits of my fathers upper middle class income; my mother and stepfather were very poor... a typical picture. When I decided to get married I felt elopement was my only option; my mother had no money, I could not afford to pay for a wedding and my stepmother would never allow me to plan a wedding with my mother using my fathers money and even if it would have worked how would my mother feel if my stepmother put on my wedding... yeah right!! So I eloped and was divorced with in 2 years. I have watched everyone of my cousins have beautiful expensive weddings put on by there parents - I even attended my step sisters elaborate wedding (not asked to participate in any way). Now I would like to remarry, but alas although I recently became a homeowner and we both have nice jobs - I am in the same situation. I would really like a wedding like the rest were given, as I am my father's first born daughter - but I know I can't expect any help... Do I just be quite and elope, of course this looks bad to the rest of the family (they don't understand the situation or chose to close there eyes) I will not have a pot luck and humiliate my self as the poor relation - it seems so unfair - any advise?

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sweeby

Disclaimer: The following is not my opinion -- just the hypothetical ranting of a hypothetical stepmother based on another interpretation of the same set of facts:

"Good grief! After all the disrespect and grief she's given me, now she wants $30,000 for a fairy tale wedding. And with Mr. & Mrs. BioMom requesting the honour of our presence? Can you believe it?! She's already been married once, for goodness sake! And that marriage didn't even last two years! And would you believe? She didn't even invite us to that wedding! Now she wants me to pay for some 'Princess for a Day' fantasy. She's an adult! It's high time for her to take responsibility for her own actions."

While the foregoing wasn't my opinion, it might certainly represent some part of what your stepmother does feel. How much? Who knows? Now, the following is my opinion.

No one is 'entitled' to a fancy wedding paid for by someone else - at any age, under any circumstances. And a 'budget' wedding can be every bit as beautiful as a lavish one -- often more beautiful, because it's the sentiment - the marriage - that counts. An afternoon reception with punch and cookies in the church hall or garden isn't expensive at all and is in no way "humiliating." There's also an issue of taste that should be considered when it comes to second weddings.

I can understand why you feel it's unfair. But let go of that resentment, because it can only damage your own life and your relationship with your father and stepmother. You did sample the 'good life' living with your dad, but willingly chose to return to your mother's house. It's not fair of you to resent your father's financial security or your mother's relative lack thereof. Your parents are both adults and did the best they could managing the hands they were dealt.

If you still want that fancy wedding, I'd suggest you calmly have a heart-to-heart talk with your father, and explain to him that a big fancy wedding is something you've always dreamed of. Without bad-mouthing his wife, explain to him why you eloped the first time and that you'd like to 'do it right' this time. (Note: "do it right" does not mean your father pays, your mother hosts. That's NOT right.) Then ask him to consider gifting you and your fiance a set amount of money so you can plan a wedding you both want. Be sure you also tell him that you will love him no matter what he decides, and that you're looking forward to sharing your special day with him. (If that last part isn't true, then don't ask him for the money.)

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fleurs_gardener

anglestelli,

I read your post and really do understand your situation.

However, this is my opinion as a stepmother and as a woman.
Perhaps it's because I never had a father (he left the house when I was four. Never saw him again except for 10 minutes once when I was 10) but I always wonder why woman think their father must contribute financially to their daughter's wedding.

In my opinion this is really, really old fashion. Fathers of the bride used to pay for the wedding when their daughters left the house for the very, very first time to get married. Obviously most of these women didn't have any money for a wedding because many of them were so young and hand not been working a regular job yet. Of course I am sure that is not the case for every woman whose dad helped pay for the wedding, but still.

In your case angelstelli, this is your second wedding. Why in the world would you want for anybody to pay for your wedding. It is your wedding and although you say you really don't expect any help from your father, deep down in your heart I think you do obviously. You might find that I am harsh, but I just don't get it when grown woman have this kind of mentality. Also, I can't believe you would expect some financial help from your father when you say you and your partner have both nice jobs and plus a new house you just bought! Did you know the wedding was coming up before buying the house.

If I were you, I would not even think for a single minute of asking my mother, my father, my brother or who ever for financial help with this wedding. I would organize it all by myself, with my partner and according to our own financial means. This way you will not owe anyone a single thing. If your father proposes to help, that is another thing. You may decide to accept it or not but I certainly would not ask him for a single penny. When my stepdaughter got married, she had been living with her future husband for a couple of years. There were living in a house, had two children, two cars, etc. etc. They went to the bank and took out a 5 000 $ loan for their wedding. The wedding was nothing fancy, believe me, but real nice and simple. She even rented her wedding dress for the day. Her father and I gave her a fair amount of money the day of their wedding in a beautiful card. We were really happy to give her what we felt we could contribute. However, to this day, this stepdaughter has never, never thanked me personally for this money. Imagine if she would have asked her father to help her pay for her wedding and he would have accepted. Do you think she would have thanked me more!!!! I would have killed him if he had decided to get in debt in order to pay for her wedding.

Remember : we are never better served but by ourselves.

Keep posting.

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angelstelli

I guess the answer is what it always has been and always has been. I was told when I was 9 years old to "understand how my parents felt, be a good girl and don't cause any problems for my father and his new family" My step mother would be over joked to attend my "punch and cookies" back yard wedding, it is just what she suggested back when I was dreaming out loud about my wedding as a young girl. Just curious is the person who replied a step mother or a child of divorce? I love my father by the way - I have done everything possible short of ceasing to exist to avoid conflicts with my step mother.

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angelstelli

I just read the second reply of the stepmother I will close with this last statement. Firstly, I do not live with the man I intend to marry never have, bought the house myself. I eloped when I was very, very young 12 years ago and have lived alone ever since. The large weddings paid for by the fathers of the brides are a family tradition all 11 of my female cousins, including my step sister who's own daughter conceived out of wedlock was the flower girl in her $40 wedding. I am just asking if I am out of line for wanting the same as the rest that is all... my father is the only divorced person in the family and I am the only female that did not have a big wedding.

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proserpina

Angelstelli- first of all congratulations on your engagement!

I think the financial situation and your wedding are two separate things. Having gone through something similar myself, I had to really do some reassessing and reprioritizing where it became about me and my future husband and not about anything else. Sure, I saw other family weddings that were GREAT in so many way, but after MUCH WORK and a credit card bill I am slowly paying off still, I had the wedding of my dreams... I guess they became of my dreams today and not of when I was a child, but I can't tell you how happy I was then, how happy I am looking at the photos, and how happy I am now looking back at that day.

Your wedding day is about the love between you and your fiance; don't let family dynamics ruin it for you. And treat it like it was your first, honor your relationship.... it really is about you and your man, not about your family. It's great if they can help financially or otherwise, but if they won't or can't, it still goes back to you and your fiance.

And if you don't like the potluck idea, don't go there, find something else! To each their own... Ours was a GREAT wedding on a GREATLY RESTRICTED budget.... But do you think anyone cares or remembers? If they do, they can shove it; all I get to this day is how wonderful, friendly, joyful and love-filled the wedding events were.

Keep your eye on the prize, your union is what matters most... and I am sorry if I am being repetitive, but I truly hope you are able to look at the joy of this moment and letting resentment get attention for some other time.

By the way, the whole "be a good girl, and don't cause problems for your father" bit is sooooo familiar to me! And you probably have tried your best to live that... If you can, talk to him, ask him for help, whatever help he can give you. I'm assuming your mama is helping you somehow as well, right? From what you say, it sounds like your dad loves you too.
I went into my Talk with my dad holding no expectations other than letting him know that I needed his help and he did all that he could; it may not have been what others have received in the past, but it didn't matter. And if he can't be there for you but on the day of your wedding, so be it.

Congratulations once again, and if you want/need help with alternatives to costly situations, I would gladly give you all the resources I found that helped me stay within my budget (www.theknot.com has a great budget estimator).

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sweeby

As for me, I am the child of an intact marriage and grew up in a financially upper-middle class household. And my punch and cookies backyard wedding was lovely, thank you. Actually, I think it was much nicer than my sister's country club wedding -- certainly much more comfortable and warm. I recall many happy moments spent with my mother baking and cooking some of our family favorites to suplement the catered fare, and recording lovely music to play over the stereo speakers because we felt a live band would have been too loud. There was nothing tacky about it.

I am now a mother and a stepmother. And yes, I would have a problem being asked to pay for my stepdaughter's elaborate wedding. She has been married before and has a young child, and has never been financially responsible. She seems to resent her father's and my financial security and does not appear to have realized that the difference between her mother's financial position and her father's are my earnings and her mother's irresponsible spending habits compared to our frugal ones. The fact that we can afford it seems - in her mind - to be exactly the same as we should pay for it.

There was a very interesting thread over on the Kitchen forum's discussion side that appears to have vanished within the past week. Basically, a daughter wanted an expensive, elaborate wedding and was resentful of her parent's reluctance to provide it. She too didn't want to be 'humiliated' by cost-cutting efforts. No 'Step' relationships involved. The sentiment was overwhelmingly against the daughter's feeling of entitlement and unwillingness to cut corners.

Let's face it - An elaborate wedding is a one-day fantasy capping weeks of stressful planning. To spend a life-changing amount of money to pull off that kind of ostentatious display seems foolish. Of course, if it's your own money, you have every right to spend it how you see fit.

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fleurs_gardener

angelstelli,

I know where you are coming from and I do understand your point of view, that is, that you would like some help from your father for your wedding.

My point is you are a grown woman, you have your own house, a nice job and this is YOUR WEDDING. I don't think you are out of line FOR WANTING what other women in your family got, but what I am saying is ....don't expect anything, not a single thing from your father and/or stepmother in regards to your wedding. That way you will not be disappointed and you will not feel anger towards them.

Do everything yourself so you will not owe anyone anything. If you want an elaborate wedding, go ahead and pay for all of it. It is your day after all and you can have anything you and your partner desire....if you can afford it or if you want to go in debt for it!. That is your decision but don't wait on your father or and stepmother to help you out financially for your dream wedding to come true.

I bet you anything that by not asking them a single penny and by not even making a reference to money for the wedding, your dad and your stepmother will discussed it amongst themselves and they will offer you and your partner something and I bet you will be happy with the result.

Your father knows just the same way as you know, that you are the only woman in the family who didn't get a big traditional wedding.

You are your father's child and there is no way he will not help you in regards to your wedding. But what I am saying is let him or them (your dad and your stepmother) decide what they will offer you. I am sure your father will discuss it with you and I hope whatever amount he comes out with, you will be very happy with that amount because you never expected anything from him or them in the first place. Be independent.
May I ask when is your wedding day?

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angelstelli

Thanks for all of your responses. We have not set a date we are just in the "no, seriously, let get married phase" which brings up all kinds of issues for me. I do understand it is the marriage and not the wedding that counts and I have been independent my entire life, paid for college myself, bought my own house... Taking the high road the entire way. I never intended to demand my father pay for an elaborate wedding; my fiancis getting married for the first time and is from Europe; all of his family is there. We were talking about having two (small) weddings and I was wondering how we would afford that? Of course it was mentioned that maybe my Dad could help out (he really likes the guy and is always talking about a reason to go oversees, wink) The reply postings have made me see that most stepmothers are like mine and think we only want our dad's for money, people are really hung up on the "first vs. second marriage thing" come on that idea was tied to virginity, as long as you are not into serial nuptials - a second marriage is just as special as the first (wasn't yours step mom) - and lastly and most sadly - The children (daughters especially) need to be very strong and more mature then most step mothers, who made the decision to marry a man with a daughter (the child of the man she professes to love). Thanks for the eye opener & good luck to you daughters of divorce!

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sweeby

You seem to have carefully picked and chosen the bits and fragments that fit your viewpoint and discarded the rest.

It's great that you are financially self-sufficient and paid your own way through college. Sincerely - that's an impressive accomplishment. But if you re-read your first post - especially the second half - it didn't really sound like it had been written by a mature, accomplished and self-sufficient person. It sounded more like a hurt and angry child complaining that her sister got a bigger piece of cake. I'm glad that isn't who you are.

Since you've taken the high road all along, you'll know just what to do now.

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Ashley

angel...I identify with you so much and am a very similar situation. I'm not yet engaged, but we are talking very seriously about taking that step. I have recently begun to smooth things over with my step-mother, but she is a very hard person to get along with. Add to that the fact that she drinks on a daily basis and gets harder and harder to handle the more drinks she has had. I am my dad's only daughter. My brother and stepbrother are not yet married either, but I have lived several years watching my dad give and give and give when it comes to my stepbrother, but when it comes to my brother and myself...well, lets just say somehow the well is always dry. It is hard not to feel hurt and resentful about that. It is hard not to feel as though the least he could do is to help me with a really great wedding. After all, he has done the bare minimum for so long.

to the other posters...I can see why angel feels the way she does about your posts. She has grown into a self-sufficient woman, partly because she is independent, and partly becuase she has had to be self-sufficient. After all, who else would she rely on for support? I am the same way. I think I have always had that independent, do it yourself sort of attitude. Her pain, however comes from the fact that even though she has asked for nothing, it goes unrecognized. She watched her dad throw an elaborate wedding for her sisters and the whole time she was partly happy for her sister and partly crying inside thinking "what about me?"

I know that isn't the mature response. I know that probably isn't the face she put on it at all, but it is still how she felt.

angel, you should talk to your dad. You should ask him if he can help you. If he says "no", you have to accept it, but it doesn't mean you have to be happy about it. Please approch him with a spirit of gratitude and love, do what you can to approach his wife in the same way if you discuss it with her. If they help you, be gracious and show your gratitude. Thank her...send her flowers or a card.

Good luck!

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fleurs_gardener

Wow angelstelli,

Your comments in regards to stepmoms do surprise me.

''The reply postings have made me see that most stepmothers are like mine and think we only want our dad's for money...

I never think or thought my three stepchildren only wanted their father's money. Never. First of all, he doesn't have any. The children may think he does because we have a really nice cottage but other than that we live in a very small apartment and drive a second hand car. DH would never have this cottage if it wasn't for the fact that I had the down payment and I am making more money than him which allows us to have this cottage. What the kids don't know, however, is when their father passes away, we want the children to have this cottage as their heritage. They can keep, it, sell it, rent it, whatever there little heart desires! So, in my case, I am not one of those stepmom's who thinks her stepkids only want their dad's money. And actaully I don't think it is the money that most stepchildren want from their father but instead a reassurance that they will always be loved by their father even though he has another woman in his life besides the stepchildren's mother.

You also said :
"The children (daughters especially) need to be very strong and more mature then most step mothers, who made the decision to marry a man with a daughter (the child of the man she professes to love).! "

Really! If I hadn't demonstrated some maturity in the last 18 years towards my stepchildren, my husband and I would not be together today, believe me. Since I've never had children of my own, I actually was looking forward to meeting a man who had children. I knew if I begain a relationship with this man, I would also need to have a relationship with his three children. He even told me that he came with kids and even now after 18 years, when we have an argument in regards to his kids, he reminds me of this. He doesn't do it in a mean way. But it certainly reminds me that I fell in love with a man who had children and that if I was going to love him, I sure would have to be mature and if anyone has been immature in this whole story, it is my oldest stepdaughter with her sense of entitlement and her lack of respect towards me. Her and I are just, just beginning to have a kind of respectful relationship partly because she has finally matured a bit herself as a woman and secondly because I've had to work, really, really hard to be kind to her ( instead of vindictive) and to disengage from her with love because she is the daughter of the man I love and she will always be in my life as long as her father lives.

Although I do understand your want/desire to receive some financial help from your father and stepmother for your wedding,where we really differ you and I is in the fact that I prefer to do things on my own, just like you did for your schooling and I do think that is a really, really great accomplishment on your part and it is something you will be proud of all your life. I am of the opinion that if you were able to do all these things on your own so far in your life, you would be as motivated to do so for your own wedding/weddings. All I am suggesting, is don't ask your father/septmom for money. Don't even expect it and I bet you the outcome will be far better than if you get into this discussion with your father who then will have to discuss it with your stepmom, who then will h ave to come back to you and discuss what he discussed with your stepmom, etc. etc. etc. Do you need all this stress in your life?

Raek says : "If they help you, be gracious and show your gratitude. Thank her...send her flowers or a card."

I say bravo to that.

Good luck and keep posting.

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Ashley

Hey fleurs...I hope everything is going well with SD!

I think angel is just venting her frustration with her own stepmother. I know that you have shown a ton of patience with your SD, but I'm not sure that angel has the background on your situation. I understand so much where she is coming from. In the past, my SM has shown very little maturity or graciousness when I was dealing with her. We shouldn't judge everybody's situation based on our own experiences. Based on angel's posts, I have a feeling she has done most things for herself. She bought a house, she has taken care of herself ever since she moved out of her mother's home, and probably before that as well. It gets exhausting sometimes, and it is very hurtful to see your dad do so much for his other children (in my case, my stepbrother isn't even his child) and nothing is ever offered for you.

I'm quite sure that if I ask for nothing from my dad when it comes to my wedding, he will offer nothing. Maybe a nice gift, but that is all. It is because for him it is easier not to rock the boat, and if I don't ask, it makes it that much easier for him not to do anything because he doesn't have to think about the fact that I will be disappointed. Then, if I were to ever bring up the fact that I wished I could've had a nice wedding and I wish that he would've helped then he would say "why didn't you ask? You can't expect me to read your mind. I don't know what you want." Does that make sense?

I just think that if angel had been a "taker" her whole life, it would be a totally different situation, but she isn't. She has a wish for her dad to help her with one thing. I don't see why it would hurt to ask.

I also prefer to do so many things on my own, be independent and the like, but I just think a wedding is something so special that a dad can do for his daughter. It is a great gift for a father (who can afford it) to help make a very special day even more magic. How great would it be to be able to have all of your loved ones come and enjoy a fun, fancy, magical day with you and celebrate your wedding and not have to worry about the bill and how you are going to pay for it. It would be different if her dad were struggling to make ends meet and had not done the same for her sisters, but I don't know how angel could not feel hurt and slighted by the fact that she is treated like a second class citizen.

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fleurs_gardener

raek,
Please don't get me wrong. I do understand very well where angel is coming from. I know what she wants/hopes/desires in regards to her father and her wedding. If my father offered me a nice gift for my wedding, I would be very happy to receive it because I would not expect anything from him in the first place because "I" decided to get married. The only thing I would truly, truly want from my father is for him to be there, for me, on my wedding day. I would not get married if I knew the day of my wedding I would be worrying about the bills and how I was going to pay for them.

I may sound harsh but I guess if I had grown in a traditional family environment (i.e. mother and father), I too would probably have been a young girl dreaming all my life about my wedding day with my father walking me down the isle. However, because my father left us when I was four years and I was raised by a single woman, my mother who worked hard all her life to raise four children by herself, I've developed this attitude that if I want something, whatever it is, I must work hard for it and if others want to help me achieve this thing, I will accept their help and thank the Lord for having these people in my life. Otherwise, I am on my own. I am a survivor.

I don't know what having a father is. I've even discussed this with many female friends that I have, wondering how it really is to have a father. I see my stepdaughters with their father and I know they love him to death and I think they are so lucky to have him and how they look to him for protection even though they are now 18 and 26 years old. I especially noticed that the day after my oldest stepdaughter got married. She and her husband were going to stay at our cottage for a week after their wedding. They got married on a saturday and we stayed at the cottage that saturday night, knowing the next day she would be arriving with her husband and kids and we would have to leave to let them enjoy their week together. Just before leaving on the sunday morning, my SD, who now was a one day old bride, started crying and couldn't s top her tears from coming down her cheecks. I saw her and I said what is wrong? She said : I don't want to see my dad go. I wish he could stay here longer''sniff, sniff, sniff.

I couldn't believe it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Here she was newly married, with a husband and two children and she was crying cuz her dad was leaving and wouldn't be there with her.Oh my God, I thought.

But deep down in my heart, I knew she wasn't crying cuz she was being a baby. I think it was from exhaustion, fatigued, nervousness, etc.etc. She had worked hard on getting this wedding organized and I think she just wanted comfort from her father. He gave her a big hug and told her everything would be okay. We called her a couple of days later and she was the happiest bride in the world, enjoying her time at the cottage with her kids. Her father did go and spend some time with them, a night or two, and this is when they thanked HIM for the wedding gift we both gave them for their wedding. DH later told me his daughter and her husband really, really appreciated the gift and thanked us for it. I knew this wasn't true. I knew he was saying this just to make me happy. So, I said : "Honey, be honest with me? Did your daughter honestly say : Dad I really thank you and fleurs for the wedding gift. Did she really, really menntion me and if so why didn't she tell us both, at the same time, or why didn't she tell me herself, that she/they appreciated the gift."

DH looked at me in the eyes and knew he couldn't lie. He said : No, fleurs, they never mentioned you. They said thank-you dad. I did tell them however, that you also were part of this gift and that we were both happy to give it to them!!!!! "

Ya right. To this day, SD and her husband, have never thanked me for their wedding gift. Oh well.

Raek : my relationship with my oldest SD is the same as always. She is my DH's daughter. I am not mean to her and I treat her the same way I treat my two other stepchildren. I want the best for her but I no longer want to pay or suffer the consequences of the decisions she's made or is making or will make in her life. I am sick and tired of arguments with DH because of her, his role in my relationship with her, etc. etc. I know that whatever I say, or want, it doesn't matter. DH will always, always defend, protect, lie, etc. etc.for his daughter. Then he complains to me when she doesn't do what he thought she should do. I've learned to shut my mouth when it comes to her and not to say anything.

Good luck angel.
Keep posting.

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angelstelli

I can't resist commenting. Firstly, thank you Reak for the understanding - you captured perfectly what I was trying to put across. And thank you for the postings of the step mothers; You are on difficult emotional ground - but is ground YOU chose to be on. In most cases you married a man with young children who had no choice in the remarriage of their father. It seems to be a universal complaint of step mothers "they didn't thank me personally" I get this all of the time and try and always remember to thank my SM. But, I do have to ask those of you that have bio children of your own - if they do something for your husband or say thank you to him only does this upset you? or is this an emotion reserved for the "step children" If I eat a meal at my father and step mother's and don't say thank you for dinner - I will hear about it; but when my step sister leaves she says "bye Mom" no one is not upset she didn't say "bye Mom and Dad" or thank them for dinner. You get the picture. Different rules for each child... Although I am not in the position of step mother - I think I would consider why I accept certain behavior from my bio children and expect my step children to act like guests in my home.

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mmommy

angelstelli-
I've been reading the posts here and I have to say that at this point "I can't resist commenting".

First, congratulations on your engagement!

Second, I can appreciate your desire to have a big wedding. Although, I have to say that I agree with some of the other posters regarding large vs small and the fact that a fancier wedding doesn't always equal a happier day. I have been to all varieties of celebrations, and each has been wonderful in their own way....I'm sure that you have visited many of the terrific wedding websites out there where this is addressed.

Lastly, though, I feel the need to address your last post.

"Although I am not in the position of step mother - I think I would consider why I accept certain behavior from my bio children and expect my step children to act like guests in my home."

I suppose my response is based on my own experiences.

I do have a SD-17y, SS-18y, and a BC-5y.

You bet, BC is being raised under different circumstances.

SS and SD have endured the divorce of their parents, 2 more failed marriages for BM (each adding a child), and the remarriage of their father (adding my son). BM is an emotional and financial train wreck.

DH and I have been stable from day one. I have an excellent career, and with my support, my husband started a business right after we married. He has worked very hard at growing it and he has been very successful. He is an excellent breadwinner, but I hold all of the benefits through my employment. We have gone through the ebb and flow of building a life and we have done quite a lovely job...so, YES! BC's LIFE IS DIFFERENT! Both SS and SD ackknowledge it. SS says- "man, that boy is lucky" SD says- "man, that kid is a brat".

Everyone is entitled to their position, but, I'll tell you, SD's doesn't get her very far with me. My SD treats me like some unfortunate shirt that her father insists on wearing. A completely insignificant factor in her life. So, yes, it is hard to swallow that she has repeatedly disregarded my role in anything that has been done for her (everything from good healthcare provided by my benefits package, to holidays, to private schooling). Things her mother cannot afford and her father can only provide because of our PARTNERSHIP!

My SS gets it. He realizes that while the logistics of being a child of divorce are unfortunate, the divorce and his fathers subsequent remarriage to me have actually yeilded quite a few benefits for him. There were no holidays when SS and SD were small. Going the the doctor was a financial ordeal....in fact, it would have been a nightmare for DH and BM (BM especially)to pay half of SS's latest dental disaster, so when above mentioned insurance covered 90% of the cost, both my husband and I were thanked by SS (I was also thanked by DH!)...SS realized that it worked out pretty well - for all involved. SS is also staring college in the fall---Guess who's paying for 100% of it...(DH and I!) Guess how...(I have been participating in payroll deduction since the day we married) Guess who is absolutely grateful! SD graduates from HS next year...she says she's not going to college...the money is there...but she'd rather die than live with the undeniable fact that I had something to do with putting her through college! Everyone she knows (including her BM) would expect her to show a little graditude for that!

Bottom line-I expect ALL of my children to show appropriate graditude for the excellent care and lifestyle provided for them. BC is not permitted to play one off the other, and while he is young, he IS ABSOLUTELY being taught to respect and appreciate both of his parents. SS does show respect and appreciation for all 3 of his parents. SD does not, she functions under an attitude of entitlement. When she decides to marry, DH will probably give her a check. She will say thank you, but there won't be any gratitude.

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sweeby

Good to hear your story MMommy -- Our story is very similar, with a succesful partnership compared to an emotional and financial trainwreck. Now that DH's children are older, they are able to see things more clearly, and realize that it's *life* that was unfair, not their father, and that Dad plus SM is a 'winning team' and Dad plus BioMom didn't work very well. Yes, there is a bit of resentment at their half-brother's circumstances, but they do now understand the why's and how's of it.

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mmommy

sweeby-
Yes, I also noticed the similarities! I love your *winning team* term!

SD is still struggling with issues of resentment, I am hopeful that she will one day get to the place that SS has.

Just as an aside....we have a great ally in parenting with SS....he's a great big brother and I'm pretty confident that he won't ever let BC get away with not appreciating that he has a pretty fantastic life! :)

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kkny

Thats nice that your kids have a winning team. My daughter has x's new GF, who contributes nothing to house, except pays for the food she eats. I have demanding job, she works out of home "consulting". My x emailed me, please make certain school doesnt call his house early in morning (snwo day, etc) and wake up sleeping princess. Have to keep a constant eye out to make certain every term of seperation agreement is lived up to --

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mmommy

Sorry...I think my graditude reply got us a little of OP topic...but it's still good dialogue.

kkny-
All I have to say about GF is that hopefully she won't be GF for very long!
OP made a point about SM's knowing what they are getting into. I don't completely agree, as some parts can get very messy and no one knows how everything will roll out. However, the responsibility factor is undeniable. Whether directly (self and DH)or indirectly (DH, with impact on time/finances), a SP absolutely signs up for that!

Good Luck!

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kkny

Some SPs are good at driving out Sks and eliminating drag on time, money.

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mmommy

kkny-
It seems you might be going through some really sketchy stuff with your Ex.

Can you talk to him or is communication being impeded? After all, HE picked the GF. If her presence is "driving out Sks and eliminating drag on time,money", then HE needs to be taken to task.

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kkny

As long as he pays every $ he supposed to, fine by me.

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sweeby

kkny - Any chance you could mention to your Ex (and not have it explode in your face) that his previous girlfriend seemed to be much better with the children? I think "being a good mother" is a quality many fathers do actually appreciate in a woman, but some may have to have it pointed out to them...

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Ashley

mmommy...I think where angel was going with that is this...Even if your BC is thankful in his heart about what you provide for him and does not always express it outwardly, ie. "thanks so much mom for having a job that provides such great health care for me", do you really notice it like you do when SD doesn't show appreciation? It's great that SS does, but it isn't always what teenagers have on their minds.

I just mention this, because I am so grateful for all the things my mom has done for me over the years. I say thank you a bunch, but I don't always stop and truly show my apprciation. I still think my mom knows that I do appreciate it though. It isn't a matter of having to sit down and write a thank you card everytime somebody in our family does a nice thing for us. I think it would be nice, but a little unreasonable to expect it.

When my dad does a nice thing for me, I usually don't thank my stepmom too, becuase I believe that if she had it her way he wouldn't do ANYTHING at all for me, so I have a difficult time being thankful to her for things my dad does just because she didn't FORBID him from doing it. I am trying to work on things and to try to be the bigger person and to take 2 steps forward even when she won't do anything to progress the relationship, but it isn't always easy to do and it's even harder to truly feel it in my heart.

to kkny...I know that "As long as he pays every $ he supposed to, fine by me" is the way you feel, but if you can do anything to incourage your x to do the right thing in your daughter's eyes, you daughter will be a much healthier, well adjusted woman when she becomes an adult. Dad's are so much more important than many of us want to believe.

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kkny

Thanks for the advice. I know I worshipped my father, but he died when I was young. Right now, Xs prioriites are work, GF, and daughter is at best third. Of course, teenagers dont seek out parents either.

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mmommy

First let me say that in reviewing my post, I realize that I was definitely reflecting on my own experience and fully realize that it may not apply to OP's situation at all.

raek-I agree with what you said about noticing the difference. You are absolutely right---more on that in a minute. Also, your point about teenagers is well taken.

To clarify---there IS a difference!
In my situation the issue is that my SC are actually provided with a level of care/lifestyle that would not have been possible had their father not married me and it's HIGHLY unlikely that it would have been possible had their BP's stayed married. I am by no means suggesting that it makes the divorce a great thing, but the fact of the matter is that I have had their best interests at heart and stepped up for them since the day they came under my umbrella of care.

*note* not just financially---I have never balked at "a month in the summer" turning in to the entire summer. Before the kids could drive I spent YEARS packing up my stuff, my dog, and (at one time) my INFANT to drive 300 miles each way EVERY OTHER WEEKEND for visitation. I have helped with homework over the phone, taken care of ALL of SS college application/enrollment stuff etc, etc.....

The graditude thing is different for BC and SC because for our BC this level of care and lifestyle is all he has ever known and he is being brought up to appreciate it. But, for my SC, it's only been for the last eight years of their lives...they have a reference point. Their parents were irresponsible teenagers when they became parents. Their mother has always been (and still is)an emotional and financial trainwreck, and my DH was just getting his act together when I met him. My SS fully grasps all of this. SD on the other hand, treats me as an intruder who "ruined her life" and actually thinks that not for me, her parents would be remarried and have the same lifestyle as DH and I. She feels entitled to all of the benefits that her father can provide, without any acknowledgement of my role.(btw***I met and married their father YEARS after the BP divorce).

I am not suggesting that I should get some sort of prize, but in my case, I could be that horrible woman who attempted to cut my SC out of everything as I built a life with their father. I in fact have done the exact opposite....so, YES--IT IS disturbing to not be shown any graditude.

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southernsummer

I am a divorcee with 2 children and 2 adult step-children.
When I saw the title of Angel's post, I thought it was about
Wedding Etiquette, i.e., where does the evil stepmother sit at the wedding, etc.
I am going to say something really controversial.
You and your stepmother have been going at it since you were a child. Maybe, just maybe, this is a golden opportunity for you to bury the hatchet. Whether your father pays for your wedding or not, is up to him, and his graciousness and generosity. Maybe he will, and maybe he won't. But it you take this as an opportunity to make peace with everyone, this can be a really big step forward.
If you want a dream wedding, then go to the bank and borrow $40,000, and pay for it. Maybe your father will make the decision to re-imburse you, but if he doesn't then you have to understand that. But either way, this is a good time to mend fences, and forget the bitterness and jealousy. Take the high road.

My first wedding was the big cathedral wedding with everything, 8:00 at night, Lavish flowers, cathedral wedding dress, formal everything, hotel reception, and it cost a fortune. The wedding was the best part of our marriage.

My second marriage cost $3,000. I had the wedding in a garden at a bed & breakfast with the reception to follow. It was not "punch and cookies", it was champaigne and strawberries. There were 4 total attendants, and a harpist who played for the ceremony and the reception. I made my dress out of ecru muslin and a lace collar, ankle length, with a bouquet of white roses. The attendants dressed similarly. It was a 4:00 in the afternoon, and we had a beautiful all white wedding cake with real flowers on the top, champaign, strawberries and iced shrimp. It was lovely. There were about 40 guests. It was not expensive, but it was wonderful. Really, does anyone have more than 40 close friends?

Believe me, the cost of the wedding doesn't not correlate with the success of the marriage--it's just a fantasy for a day. And do you really want to pay for dinner and drinks for all those people that you probably don't like all that well, anyway? And if you don't think it's important enough to pay for yourself, is it fair to ask you father to do it?

I'm just going to take a guess here. I think if you plan your fantasy wedding, and borrow the money, and ask your father and your step father to walk you down the aisle, and ask your mom and step-mom to sit on the first pew, and involve both sets of parents in the planning, (not let them plan it, but involve them in showers, etc) that your Dad will come through. I think that he is sad about things, too, and I think he will come through for you. But again, if he doesn't, you will have to understand. I wish my stepdaughter would do that, but there is so much water under the bridge that I couldn't even hope for that.
Love to you, sweetie.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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angelstelli

Mmommy - I am glad to hear you treat your step children so well. I was not raised in a similar situation. My father and his "new family" went on vacations after my brother and I went home from our summer visitation. We went to public school; my half brother and sister were both thrown out to private school due to poor performance. A good example, my mother couldn't afford (by choice) an instrument rental to allow me to participate in band at school - I asked my father for help and hear my step mother in the back ground "why can't her mother pay for that?" Both of my half brother and sister got to try... My father told me if I lived with him it would be easier for him to do things for me (chose between Mom and Dad, if you want a better life, nice) I tried it - my step mother is the passive aggressive type; living with my father I had to endure snide under handed comments and live the unequal treatment up-close and personal. I became a "cutter" and ended up in counseling - I went back to live with my mother and the issue of my cutting myself resolved itself. Six months ago I came to pick up my Dad with my significant other to do some work on my house; we were in Home Depot (15 min away) when my father gets a very loud call on his cell phone from my step mother - It appears she needed to confirm with him that and I quote "I just want to make sure when I die ..... gets nothing that belongs to me" She was looking at their wills? We had a "pleasant" exchange as we left the house. What brought that on? I personally think it was the sight of my walking out the door with my significant other and my father a happy, accomplished woman. Although both my half sister and half brother led lives of privilege and had access to every opportunity, they both had children out of wedlock, neither went to college, neither can hold a job for more than six months, both are 100lbs over weight. My step brother lives at home with his pregnant wife and 6 year old daughter. They have done nothing on there own - every car has been given to them or co-signed (one was even repossessed). I do my best to take the high road, I say thank you for every little thing SM does for me; I help do the dishes while her daughter sits on the couch and watches television - I say thank you for dinner on the way out - she says "bye Mom" and leaves the mess her two children made all over the house.
I know I do not have a right to expect anyone to pay for my education, my wedding or anything else. I have grown up making the best of my situation and am the better for it - I have a strong work ethic and appreciate the beauty of simplicity and making due with what one has. I know I don't need a "fairytale wedding", nor do I expect one. I appreciate that step mothers are the partners of men who had children with another woman - but I must reiterate she chose that role. I know I can not have a wedding which I can not afford to pay for myself. I had a court house elopement the first time to avoid any conflict. From the sounds of the responses on this board - I should elope again. It has been confirmed Nice weddings are for those who can A. pay for it themselves or B. those from intact families.

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sweeby

I don't recall seeing you address this point, but it may have some relevance to your situation...

Where does/did the money come from in your father's second marriage? Is it his wife's job? Her inheritance / investments / savings? Or is it his own earnings?

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Ashley

I still think you should ask your dad to help. The worst that can happen is for him to say "no" and then you won't be any worse off than you are now.

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helenar

Get real. Accept that once dad remarries, the kids from the first marriage get the shaft. That is a fact of life, and the sooner you accept it, the better off you will be. Didnt you see Cinderella. Concentrate on making your own way in the world -- get a job and a husband

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Ashley

and helenar wonders why her stepdaughter doesn't respect her...hmmmmm

I would say you are the one who should concentrate on making your own way in the world and "get a job". Did you really just say that? You are the one who needs a job.

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southernsummer

Sorry, but you just can't make that generalization.
My adult step-children have fabulous trust funds, and nothing is too good for them. Beautiful cars, beautiful apartments, ski trips to Aspen, trips to Europe, Trips to Cabo St. Lucas, Trips to the Carribean, expensive jewelry, designer everything, anything they want. My husband is not that way with me and my children, even though I earn a six figure income, and I inherited 250 K from my grandmother last year. My husband put the money into an investment account, and that was the end of it. When I suggest that he has set a lifestyle standard with his children, and that I expect a similar level of luxury for me and my children, he won't even hear of it. He said that their money comes from their trust funds, and that we can't afford those things for my children. For instance, we can't even start a college IRA for my kids. There is a definite double standard, even though we can well afford it.

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Ashley

southernsummer, what generalization did I make? I was speaking specifically to helenar, who in a prior post told us that she is unemployed, had an adulterous affair with her boyfriend who left his wife for her and now she lives with him and can't understand why he wants her to get a job and why her stepdaughter disrespects her. I find it pretty hypocritical that helenar would tell angel to "get a job" when angel has talked about how she has made her own way in her life with no help from her father. Meanwhile, helenar doesn't have a job and expects her boyfriend to support her...Quite the double standard if you ask me.

I can relate to angel though in most of her posts, her situation mirrors mine quite nicely. My dad has gone on countless vacations on which my brother and I have never been invited, but my stepbrother who is 24 and lives in my dad and stepmom's house always goes along. It just doesn't make since why there is such a difference made in my situation and angel's between the two sets of children.

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mmommy

angelstelli-I'm glad to see that you posted again. Your situation is clearly different from mine(to which I was referring when I went off on my graditude tangent). It sounds as though your SM really is a force against you.

I don't necessarily believe that *"It has been confirmed Nice weddings are for those who can A. pay for it themselves or B. those from intact families."* I don't know how to advise you in regard to approaching your father. I am not a SD, and none of my friends/family members who are have issues with BD/SM. However, some posters in similar situations have offered some suggestions for talking to him, and I think you should take their ideas under advisement.

Since joining this forum, I have read a ton. In the interest of not hijacking someone else's thread, I'm going to start two new threads on two different themes that have emerged (to me anyway). Hope to get some thoughts and ideas.........

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kkny

*"It has been confirmed Nice weddings are for those who can A. pay for it themselves or B. those from intact families."* -- I have to agree with that.

My daughter is inclined to go with a destination wedding. Fortunately I can pay for, but I think it makes sense.

I actually think HelenaR has the right idea, that OP should live in the real world. HelenaR is jsut being realistic, if brutal, to OP and that OP should just find a job or husband (even if presently some one else's husband) and go forward.

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Ashley

I think OP does live in the real world. She has a job. She has a house. She is responsible. She just wants her dad to help her with one thing. He hasn't done half as much for her as he has for his other children, and this is not too much to ask. Also, since she is asking about a wedding, the "get a husband" comment is also crazy, as this is the point of getting married, is it not?

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angelstelli

Wow... Firstly, thanks reak for the support. Get a job, get a man? I do have a life, a good job, own my home (I took nothing away from my brief first marriage; bought the house myself - started from nothing) I have dated may quality men, no shortage of serious relationships, but I am thinking of remarrying now that I have my life in order. I never meant to imply I expected my father to pay for an entire wedding - more commenting on the inequity of the treatment of his children.

As for the source of my father's wealth - he was set up in business by his very successful immigrant father; my step mother has had various "job" during there marriage, she was a dental assistant when they married. My father is old fashioned - She was not expected to work; he paid all the household bills, car notes, they don't have a mortgage (family in real estate). What ever money she made was hers to spend as she liked. His money is their money and spending it requires two votes. SM's money is her money and she can spend it as she likes. She "retired" from her job as a travel agent at the Auto Club, when her mother died and left her and her two siblings a small income from a strip of stores her mother owned (6 shops) She also received 1/3 of the proceeds of the sale of her deceased mother's house. My father stands to inherit millions in cash and real estate holdings which her children will receive 1/4 of as well as split their mothers holdings. My father has been married for 30 years, SM has never contributed financially to the house hold... My step sister's penniless husband once told me, "We will never be able to buy a house, we are waiting to inherit" Please - don't tell me to get over it okay - I understand and accept the situation to the best of my ability. I have my own things I earned "myself" and I know I am better for having earned my way in this world.

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helenar

I think you missed my point. It is not about you, or anything you have done. Your father has moved on. Your sm doesnt want you and doesnt owe you anything. She is not your mom. You are going to be left out in the cold so get used to it.

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jenny_alabama

angelstelli...obviously it is true that a VERY FEW stepmothers are selfish, and it sounds as if yours is that way. I am very sorry that you are being treated this way. You do deserve more. You sound like you have tried as a step child and I commend you for that. Obviously not all step children try either. But believe me when I say all SM's are not like that. A SM that can wedge something in between you and your father is "evil".

helenar...it is not always like this. Why would you say such hurtful things? Is this how you feel about your SC?

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sunnygardenerme

angelstelli, How do you know so much about your fathers and SM finances? I am just curious. I always thought finances should be private between a husband and wife. I didn't realize adult children needed to be involved. Let me know how this works. I am trying to learn and understand my own adult stepchildrens views and what they feel their entitled too. Do you feel entitled to your fathers and SM money? Do you realize that when they got married all the money became "both" of theirs? Please fill me in on how you think and your opinions on your fathes and SM finances. Thanks

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kkny

Sunnygardenerme,

When my X and his GF got togethor, all of his money did not become "ours". There are contractual obligations he has to provide even adult children with cars and education up to age 24, and a large part of his estate upon his death, and a large part of his pension to me.

I dont care if I have to take him to court every year, kids from first marriage comes first.

I did the best I could to keep greedy SM away from my kids money.

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sweeby

Charming.

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kkny

Yep, "charming", I can imagine thats what you, sunnygardnerme and many other SMs and FSMs think when they dont wind up with, as sunnmy said, everything x earned over 25 years being "ours", and being able to make Skids grovel for anything.

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tamar_422

kkny, you'd hate my situation. We have 2 sons from DH's first marriage (20 & 17), 2 daugthers from mine (14 & 10), and a little 5 yo son together. Our wills are identical - whichever one of us outlives the other gets it all. Then upon that death, the estate is administered by a trustee (my sister) for the benefit of any minor children, then split 5 ways once the youngest graduates from college. Our attorney asked if we were both certain that's how we wanted to do it, as either of us could change the will upon the death of the other, cutting out any non-biological children. My DH is 10 years older than I am, so there is a probability I may outlive him. However, if I don't, I trust that he will do the right thing by all the children, as he trusts me. You see, our kids are all very good to each other. They treat each other like brothers and sisters of any intact family. I would hope that after we die, our kids still spend time together at holidays and stuff like that. I would never want to create any friction between their relationships, and that's why I would never make my sons grovel for anything.

And, hey, there plenty of intact families in probate court, fighting over their inheritances, so I guess it's not just us wicked, evil SMs ...

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sunnygardenerme

kkny, you just showed your true color as an X who has poisoned your children against the GF and their own dad.

I am an X too, and when my 1st husband and I divorced we settled everything up front and he owes me nothing/I owe him nothing. I am an adult and need to take care of myself. I have worked hard and did just fine.

When I married current DH I brought with me alot of money and assets. My DH and his children have benefited from my assets (health insurance, car insurance, cars, lovely home, new bikes, furniture,etc). When we married, DH and I combined our assets and inturn because of our combined skills and assets as a married couple our financial assets have increased.
I feel that I have a right to determine where "OUR" assets go.

When it comes to "adult" stepchildren I feel they need to know how to be responsible adults and not expect hand outs. The job of a good parent is to raise self supportive likeable children. We will help then out as long as they try to be responsible and not expect unnecessary freebies.
You are the type of bio mom who could poisoned your children against the GF and their dad causing them to be unlikeable, spoiled, self centered, give me becuase my mom says it is due to me, children.

You know if you were smart you would tell your children to be nice to their future stepmom and maybe she would leave them with all her assets. Also, maybe she has some great insight or knowledge that could help your children out some day. You don't know maybe she will have money some day or a wealthy long lost relative will leave her some. You see I have no children to leave my money to so if my stepchildren would just treat me with respect and not act like entitled spoiled adults I may consider leaving them everything.

However, if they continue to think they deserve their dad so called money because bio mom says they are entitled to it and she really doesn't know the whole picture. I may not leave a thing. I will leave it to someone who has treated me with respect and who has demonstrated decent human character traits. These people who think they are entitled to others hard earned money need to get a job and work hard for their own money this creates good character responsible likeable human beings.

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kkny

I didnt "poisen" my kids agaisnt Xs GF -- they saw what was going on. Kids are like that, as they get older they can figure things out. And I never said I told them what he owes them.

Xs GF money isnt even in a class with Xs. And what there is will go to her kids. As it should, I have no desire to take from them. And I have no expectation that she wouldnt put her kids first.

Your arrangement is yours. Mine is mine.

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theotherside

So you should treat your stepmother nicely so she will leave you her money?

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sunnygardenerme

kkny and theotherside, Yes, money, bennefits, knowledge, skills, love (if the bio moms & stepkids allow it). Stepmothers have alot to offer if they are allowed to do so. But if bio mom's influence children's minds regarding the GF or stepmom it can change the dynamics of what will happen within a blended family. I have seen it right up front.
So what if GF isn't in his class he must love her, she must make him happy or he wouldn't be with her. What is that your business anyway, you divorced him or he you. You are your own person now and need to manage your own life, not his. And if your kids remain respectful to the GF and treat her nicely more than likely they will build a relationship with GF and inturn she will treat them as she does her own kids. Or maybe you don't want them getting friendly/close with her, jealous????
The bio mom being jealous/insecure of the stepmom and her relationship with the x and stepkids. The stepkids wanting mom and dad back together, feeling they are entitled all of their dad's money, feeling guilty because if they like their stepmom their bio mom will be hurt/jealous, and so forth and so on. Dad owes them because bio mom has in a round about way said so.

Yes I have lived it and can see through peoples inner greed, jealousy, insecurety and motivation. It is obvious when your are sitting on the outside looking in. Which my adult stepchildren have done to me. They exclude me, the stepparent as if I do not exist as if I have no feelings. The bio mom has encouraged this behavior causing great friction within the blended family. So this allows the stepparent to view the family dynamics from the outside. It is sad but true in many of these cases. Just read all these posts and see the step family dynamics. If all of us (blended families) would just try and respect one another, be responsible for ourselves and are own happiness, manage our own life, not feel entitled to what someone else has worked hard for, and allow kindness and love to grow we would be better off.

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kkny

My daughter has no respect for the Xs GF who chased a married man, with his first saying no and then yes. She saw this in her own eyes.

And my daughter does not want me and X back togethor. I am not jealous or insecure. I dont want to be back togethor. All I want to see is that everything my X worked for for 25 years does not end up with GF. Obviously you think that would be fair. I do not.

The GF brought this upon herself.

I find it comical the SMs who say the bible says their marriage must come first and be respected.

I look at SMs on this board who resent SKs becaue the children mean that they X can not live his life as if he never had children. They resent time and money spent on children. They knew about these children when they got involved. I think it is self-serving to say that adult children shouldnt be given any money when they are not your children. Obviously less money to kids = more money for SM. And freguently, the only one speaking up for children is the mom, and maybe some in-laws (whom the SM will also resent). Perhaps you would be willing to admit that SMs are jealous and insecure and greedy. But you wont - only child's mom is. So many SMs are convinced they are Mother Teresa.

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kkny

Oh yeah, X left me for GF. She is gorgesous and I know at 50+ I am not ever going to look that like. That is what men want. And she spends her entire salary on herself, makeup clothes. etc. X told me, well she pays for her own food (groceries, not dining out).

This is a person for someone to respect?? I don't think so. She made a deal with the devil -- and she got a great lifestyle.

It is so funny, X has to call me to beg me to tell the school not to call his hosue before 10 (snow day, etc) so they wont wake her up. Neither one of them even has the number.

Why do I think she only wants a relationship with my child to insure and better her own relationship with x (financially and toherwise).

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helenar

So, kkny,

if you hadnt let yourself go, you wouldnt have to deal with GF.

you gave yoursefl away, agian

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Ashley

kkny,

Don't listen to that junk. You are a mother who is doing the best you can for your children and for the children of your X, no good, lowsy excuse for a father and husband that he is. Love isn't about looks, it is about being the best person and partner that you can be.

If you go and have an affair with a man and think you won because you are better looking, think again. What did you win? You got some dog who will always be sniffing around for the next better looking woman who comes along. There will always be somebody younger and better looking right around the corner, so look out all of you "ladies" who think you are so hot because you stole your man away from his wife. There is somebody right now lurking around a corner waiting to steal him from you!

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tamar_422

Boy, did this thread go off topic. There seems to be a lot of bitter ex-wives, with cause as they have apparently been dumped by wormy exes for younger, better looking women. You gals are on the wrong forum. Wouldn't you be happier looking for support from women in similar situations, versus blaming all the rest of us second wives for your misery? I am sure there are many bad stepmoms out there, who did break up marriages, who did keep fathers from seeing their children, who are just awful, greedy, and everything else you seem to want to generalize. But they're not here. Most of the stepmoms on this forum are struggling to make their blended family situations work.

I don't understand why a few of you gals persist in trying to portray us stepmoms as wicked and evil. Not all of us are. But if you want support in that direction, you'd be better off posting on bitterexwives.com.

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southernsummer

I am a step-mother. I had nothing to do with the break-up of my husband's marriage. That happened 10 years before I met him. My first husband left me for his girlfriend 10 years ago. I married my husband 8 years ago.

My husband's ex-wife is so afraid and so angry that her children (now adults) might have a friendship with me.

This is very important: The person who makes you angry controls you.

My husband's ex- and his children are so concerned with what I am doing, and what I might get, and what my children might get. It dominates their entire relationship with their father. I don't have to say a word. I have my own money.

They are always pouting, whining, moping, moody.
They are so worried that they aren't going to get this, or that. That their trust funds aren't big enough. That they won't have a new car every year. That they won't go to Europe every year.

I don't have to say a word. This is such a wonderful position to be in. I control them.

Kkny, your ex's girlfriend controls you, too. I bet it makes her feel powerful.

My husband left me for his girlfriend, but I don't let her control me. I don't even think about her. I don't even think about my ex-husband. But my husband's ex and my step-children obscess about me all that time. About ME! I love that. It is a powerful place to be. They choose to be so unhappy. I choose to be happy. I am light and breezy and loving to my husband. They are so bitter and angry. I don't have to say a word. My husband loves me. We treat him with love and respect. He is sure that he made the right decision to leave his angry bitter first family. I'm sure that Kkny's husband is sure he made the right decision, too.

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kkny

I am not angry at Xs GF -- my point is that if she dosnt get respect from sk, not my problem, and if GF, SMs get upset at skids -- not my problem.

You may be perfect (or at least think you are), but judging from this and other SM boards, there are an awful lot of SMs complaining about the first family. I suspect it comes from the law protecting the first family, but who knows.

No one even wastes a minute thinking about GF, we just ignore her, and yes X left me for her, and guess what, the chances of him staying with her are not good.

and you can take your pschyo analysis wherever you want

I will continue to protect my kids financial interests and too bad if she badmouths me. Like I care.

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southernsummer

But you do care.

Just like my husband's ex- cares.

When she really quits caring, she has no excuse for
interacting with my husband, and their marriage is
officially over. And she's not ready for that.

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kkny

I dont interact with X, except for financial matters and and matters involving my child (timing of drop off or pickup). I dont speak to him, only email. But I guess any emails detaling monetary requests, as per our agreement would be regarding as "interacting". And how would you suggest I submit claims, as per our agreement, for various expenses. Oh, I know, I should just go away.

Like I said, the SMs just dont want to see a penny get away.

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kkny

And SouthernSummer, your earlier post is really at the heart of these disputes.

YOu want your husband to treat your children the same as his. They arent. And then you resent anyone who gets between your kids and money. If you are really make 6 figures and inherited 250K,you can afford to send your kids to college.

Obviously you resent that your kids will not live the lifestyle of your steps.

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southernsummer

It doesn't matter how much money my step kids have.
It would never be enough. Money is what motivates them.
My husband's way of saying "I love you" to his kids, is by writing them a check. No, I really don't want that.

It is true that my husband is over the top financially
with his children. He is very aware that they only time
they call is when they want something--a trip, their annual new car, more money. He is willing to go along with that.

You are right that I can afford these things, myself.
And if my husband can't seem to find the time to
set up Educational IRA's, we'll just write a check when the time comes, just like for his kids. It's just not as smart tax-wise.

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kkny

So why dont you set up an educational IRA today for your kids?

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kkny

From your earlier post,

"When I suggest that he has set a lifestyle standard with his children, and that I expect a similar level of luxury for me and my children, he won't even hear of it."

I think this is the crux of a many step issues. Financial benefits for children of first marriage are negotiated at time of divorce. Grandparents are likely more attached (more likely alive) for children of first marriage (and you are talking about children that grandparents may not regard as their grandchildren). When SM wants equal standard of living for all, First Wife is going to make certain her children dont suffer. No matter how much money -- simple math says it cant be done. SM thinks First Wife is interfering, jealous and "doesnt accept that marriage is over". Not true in my case, I just want to look after my kids. And no amount of SMs talking me down (jealous, bitter) is going to change that.

You (or his current GF) will live his lifesyle while you are with him. You will live in his house with him, etc. But asking for the children to be treated the same is a different animal.

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southernsummer

kkny--how old are your kids? Does your ex pay child support?

My step-children are adults.

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kkny

15 and yes, but his obligations extend into adulthood

and i undertand you want the best for your childrens, I feel the same about my child.

and if we are asking personal questions, what is your age, and your husbands

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southernsummer

I am 46. My husband is 52.

My kids are 11 & 13.

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kkny

Doesnt your X pay anything for CS and/or college funding?

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southernsummer

no.

He is years behind on child support.

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kkny

I am truly sorry for you and your children, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

But I would not let a SMs misfortune allow me not to press for all amounts due to mine.

When you were engaged, did your then fiance do anything to make you beleive that your children would share in wealth to the same degree as his?

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southernsummer

You should definitely not feel sorry for me and my kids.

My husband has good common sense when it comes to the
four of us. It's just that he is totally over the top
when it comes to his kids. He has turned them into
money grubbing hateful people. I don't want to be like that.

I have as much or more money than my husband does. He retired when he was 45, and I have a great business that I love. We have a joint checking account. My husband has just lost his mind with his kids.

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kkny

But you said before you wanted you and your children treated to the same luxurious life.

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southernsummer

I told my husband that he was setting a standard.
I was trying to bring him back into reality.
In reality, I don't want to live that lifestyle. It's just that he would never think of spending that kind of money on
my children, even when it comes from my paycheck. The idea is absurd to him.

What his children need is a reality check. They need rewards for good behavior, not rewards for bad behavior.

The shock on my husband's face when I told him that was
visible. There's no way he would even consider those
things for my kids, or for us as a couple.
And like I said, I can't even get him to set up an educational IRA for my kids.

It's not that I really want those things. He's really good with my kids. We are a firm believer that bad behavior has consequences---unless it's his kids. It's hard to understand how his kids can treat him with total disrespect, and the way he responds is to send them with a friend to Europe for 2 weeks.

Actually, you inspired me. I really should be more proactive about my home finances. I am going to
set this up myself.

You are right. His kids are his kids, and my kids are my kids. I can't tell him how to interact with his kids,
but where do you draw the line?

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bnicebkind

raek...your sensitivity and incite on this situation are impressive. I believe that you understood the heart of the situation, and the hurt it creates in a family to stand and watch your fathers step children given everything, while his own children...as someone else said...the well always seems to be dry. It is disappointing when a father is unable or unwilling to take a stand for his own children.

This is a situation where the advice you are being given, can be seriously affected by the view point of the person giving the advice.

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jenny_alabama

kkny - you state:

1. "I find it comical the SMs who say the bible says their marriage must come first and be respected."

Yes the bible does say marriage should come first...my marriage to my husband does come first, his 1st wife is the one who destroyed the marriage, so now he has a second chance of having the life he should have had the firt time. We did marry under the presence of God...which makes us "married" in the eyes of God.

2. "Perhaps you would be willing to admit that SMs are jealous and insecure and greedy. But you wont - only child's mom is. So many SMs are convinced they are Mother Teresa."

Like I thought before, you are not on this forum for the reasons it is intended. You are an angry ex wife who in my eyes is just being nosy because you can't let go of what YOUR husband did to you. You are accusing all stepmoms of being greedy and just plain evil. There again proves my point that MOST bio moms turn their kids against SM's, and whether you realize it or not, against their father. If you have this much resentment on this forum, can't you imagine what you are passing on to your children? Whether you want to admit or not, it is happening. I will say it again...the stepparents on this forum are trying to cope with everyday life for blended families, we do not need people with negative comments to approch our problems. You are just feeding fuel to the fire, and that is not your right. Go to another forum or come up with your own "bitter ex" postings. We searched out this site because we care and we need help, and I believed you searched it because you could care less and do not want 2nd marriages to be happy...because of your own life. We do not claim to be Mother Teresa, we only claim to be the best we can, given the circumstances. Bio moms can't "claim" to be Mother Teresa either, if they were, they would not put the negative thoughts into their childrens minds, where SM's are concerned. Maybe one day you will realize...maybe one day you will have another chance at marriage, because yes you do deserve to be happy.

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Ashley

Thanks Bricebekind for the compliment. It is very easy to see where OP is coming from because I am in a very similar boat.

As to Jenny, I find it hard to swallow that stepparents come on this forum and very negatively state that they hate their stepchildren. Some of whom have no reasons whatsoever other than pure jealousy and some of the stepmothers say "you need to stop acting that way/feeling that way, or you need to get out" and many others say they can relate to what that person is feeling. Most do not try to crucify her becuase she feels the way she does. But if the BioMom comes on here and voices her frustration, then you act like she should be kicked out. For instance, Helenar comes on here and she hates her stepdaughter because SD thinks helenar should get a job. Then Helenar comes in here and tells angel she should "get a man and a job" and nobody, except for me blinks an eyelash at that.

I agree that kkny's antimocity toward her X does not help her daughter and her daughter would be much better off if kkny was able to communicate to her X that their daughter really needs him to take an active role in their relationship. I think that many men, including my dad, mistakingly think that if their teenage daughters are pre-occupied with their friends that the daughters don't want them arround and they sometimes even feel rejected by their daughters in a way. I wish my dad had had somebody 10-15 years ago telling him that his daughter really needs him to take her out and really spend some quality time with her. I think daddy-daughter dates are very important and when I have children, I plan to incourage their father to spend alone-time with them. I also agree that kkny paints with a very broad brush when speaking of stepmothers and she should speak more specifically of her situation and not be so accusatory, but it really does seem like a double standard to me.

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jenny_alabama

raek, not only did you blink an eyelash to helenar, so did I. I disagreed with her comment. I asked her why she said such hurtful things and maybe that is how she feels about her SD, but not all of us....somehow to that effect. I also believe raek that the majority posting here, including the "I hate my ss" - REALLY do not hate them. Those are just frustrated words. And if they REALLY do hate them, then I do not condone their words or actions. To me, if you care enough to post here, then you really care about your stepkids. kkny demonstrated what I thought was there all along, "hatred" - hatred is a strong word...disapproval of stepmoms. I believe it is because she is still hurt and angry about what has happened to her and I completely understand that. That saying, the rest of us did not do this to her, and she is generalizing this whole forum...it is obvious.

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tamar_422

Bravo, raek. You are right.

I personally cannot understand SMs, or future SMs, who hate their SKs for no reason. I love both my stepsons. I have not always liked their behavior, and the only problems we have had have stemmed from the fact that they did not want to follow reasonable house rules after having lived in their mom's house with no rules. I was the one home to enforce those rules, and the fact that I was the stepmom was incidental. My SKs don't hate me for no reason, so compared to some other SMs, I am pretty lucky.

It's true - SMs on this board are not as harsh with SMs, or prospective SMs, who say they hate their kids. Objectively, we are more judgmental with the BMs who post that they hate their exes and that all SMs are greedy and no good. Because they are, whether they mean to or not, disrespecting all of us SMs who are not greedy and who are trying to do the best we can for all of the children in our families. I guess we take that personally.

jenny_alabama is right about the intent of this forum. It's mostly stepmoms trying to solve problems, looking for advice and support. If this were a forum for ex-wives looking for advice and support about absent BioDads, CS checks that aren't getting mailed, and SMs who are coming between dads and their kids, then I would have gotten slammed when I wrote about DH's ex who said that $6,000 per month CS wasn't enough when SS wanted to return to live with her, even though she had agreed to a fixed and guaranteed amount. Or when I complained that she still receives maintenance, despite her remarriage and the fact that the kids lived with us. If some of these BioMoms are really looking for support, then they should either stop slamming ALL SMs, or look for another forum.

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Ashley

I understand what you are both saying about the intent of this forum and I agree that kkny should look a little more closely at the situations of each person posting and not pick everybody apart for what her X and his GF do. I think I already said that she paints with a brush that is way too broad. My point is that even though people like helenar make all of you look bad when she says the things she says, you don't tell her that she shouldn't post and this isn't the place for her. Helenar has painted with the same broad brush that kkny has painted with.

Also, I have never looked for a forum for a BioMom, but I have looked for one for stepchildren and it doesn't exist as far as I can tell. It seems to me there is far more support out there for stepmothers than there is for stepchildren. I think that as a stepchild in the stepfamilies forum I have many things I can learn in here as well as many things I can help other people with. I also think that if kkny can take some constructive advice she will help herself and her daughter tremendously. If you don't want to argue with her, then don't respond to her when her coments are outrageous, or simply respond with "not all SM's and ex-husbands are that way" and done with it.

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southernsummer

Obviously, you just can't generalize.

It's better and more productive to spar with
ex-wives here, than in real life.

But everyone is different. And when you start using works like "always" and "all", it just doesn't work.

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jenny_alabama

There is a big difference. When you have bio moms that come to this forum, that are obviously bitter, it puts a "damper" on the rest of us stepparents. There is no way we are going to make them understand that we are not all bad...it is obvious by the comments. They have their mind made up right now. helenar, although what she said was hurtful, is still in the situation alot of us are in. I do not hate my SS's but in all reality it has passed through my thoughts. We are trying to help change and improve how we interact with our steps, and yes it is true and you know it is, that alot of bio moms interfere with that. Sometimes I feel personally attacked when they are on this forum and "demean" every little thing we say. Anyone is welcome to go to ANY forum they so choose. The only thing I am saying is listien to what everyone has to say, do not judge us because you had a bad experience. Like I said before, most of the people here did NOT break up a marriage. I do not know of any. It simply did not work for the 1st marriage, and each person was giving a second chance to do things right for their lives. So if we seem a little "territorial" well hopefully you can understand that.

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sunnygardenerme

What I have observed from some of the bio moms who have never been a step parent and from stepkids. Is the bio mom without step parent experience cannot relate to how step kids can treat a step parent and act within blended family situation.
What I found is that stepkids do not listen to divorced bio parents and will take advantage of the bio parent and his or her spouse. It is different from a kid being in a family where both bio parents are present. It is not as easy for kids to manipulate intact bio parent families. 2 blood parents standing as one together appear to have more control over their children.
Also, stepkids do not have as much of life experiences and feel they know it all. Young adult stepkids use divorce quilt of their one bio parent to get what they want.

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Ashley

I think you are both right, but I also think that many so readily point the finger at biomom when in many situations DH adds more to the confusion than biomom probably does. If a child knows that they can play Dad like a fiddle and get everything they want from him and then stepmom comes in and puts her foot down and tries to be the diciplinarian then she automatically becomes the bad guy and biomom didn't do anything to contribute to that. I think that if BioDad and Stepmom stand together, it can have just as much effect as it would if both Bioparents stand together. I think no matter what the blood connection is, if both parents don't stand together then you will have problems. It just seems to me like more stepmoms want to put their foot down while most biomom's and dad's don't. I wonder if that has something to do with the feelings you have when a child is your own and the lack of feelings you may have when a child is not your own.

sunny, you say "also, stepkids do not have as much life experiences and feel they know it all"...Isn't that a huge generalization? I don't feel I know it all. I know my experience.

Also, Jenny, I bumped up the original post from helenar. I think she is the one kkny came in here to argue with. It sounds like she could actually be the girlfriend kkny's husband left for.

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tamar_422

"It just seems to me like more stepmoms want to put their foot down while most biomom's and dad's don't. I wonder if that has something to do with the feelings you have when a child is your own and the lack of feelings you may have when a child is not your own. "

I am going to speak from my own experience. The biggest thing that I have had to put my foot down about has been marijuana use and drinking by minors in my home. When my stepsons moved into our home full-time, they assumed that the same rules, or rather, lack of rules, they had at their BioMom's would apply at Dad's. We had kids coming and going, at all hours, all summer long. I don't mean a few. I mean LOTS of kids, some that would come by for 10 minutes and leave. We found empty beer cans in our woods. We smelled marijuana in our barn. The last straw was when my then 9 yo daughter found a glass pipe on our pool diving board and said, "This is pretty. What is it?" It was pretty, blue with a sort of millifiore pattern. It told her it was art glass. It took the whole summer of my complaining to DH about not wanting this crap in my home before he actually said something to son. Actually, it was me saying to him that I would not raise my three younger children, including our then 3 yo son, in a home where this kind of stuff is allowed.

DH's rationale, if you can call it that, was that his relationship with son had been really strained for the prior 2 years. Son had been arrested 3x in high school, for drugs and alcohol, and there had been a lot of tension. Things had eased up by the time son came to live with us, and DH didn't want to upset that.

Incidentally, I would treat my biochildren exactly the same. They also will not be allowed to do drugs and alcohol in our home. If that's what they want, then they can go live with DH's ex-wife. (Okay, that's a joke, and a slam at her lack of parenting skills. Just couldn't help myself. Sorry.)

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jenny_alabama

You are kidding me!!?? This could be a "home wrecker" amoung us? Surely this is not the woman who broke up her marriage....well if it is, SHE does not belong here! I had no idea, how can we find out for sure? If this is true, kkny, I apologize, to a certain extent. We still should not all be generalized, but I can definitely understand your point and have compassion for you.

I think alot of stepparents put their foot down more because the she is the one they do not respect, and most of the time they are not respecting her/him behind the bio's parents back. Bio doesn't see it, because the kid is smart enough not to let them see it.

I agree that if two parents - bio or step - stand together, their home is more stable.

tamar - obviously your husband does not realize why his son is doing the things he is doing....because he isn't putting his foot down and making excuses!! I'm thinking about you!

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tamar_422

jenny, things have turned out fine with older SS. DH did put his foot down, finally, and SS#1 stopped. He actually said, the following summer when he came home from college, that it was a culture shock coming from BioMom's house to our home, but that he understood why those rules were necessary. Unfortunately, SS#2 was very unhappy with those rules, and chose to return to BM's, where things have gone from bad to worse.

But it did take both of us, the SM and the BD, working together, to change the behavior in our home. It's just too bad for SS#2 that BM undermined all that.

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sweeby

Interestingly, KKNY was very kind to Helenar on that other thread, mentioning only that women who chose to date maried men were showing a lack of concern for the men's children. Pretty mild, given her more recent postings.

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southernsummer

I have never dated a married man, and I don't condone it,
but it's the man who made the commitment to his wife, not the woman who is dating him. She hasn't made a commitment to anyone. Not the man, and not his children.

I think it's a terrible idea for any woman to date a married man, and I think she is taking a huge chance and is usually headed for disappointment. But I'll bet that the welfare of his children are pretty low on her priority list.
Just like the welfare of his wife.

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theotherside

It doesn't matter that she hasn't made a commitment to his wife or children - it doesn't make it any less wrong. I haven't made a commitment to my neighbor not to steal his car - but it would still be wrong if I did.

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coolmama

"If a child knows that they can play Dad like a fiddle and get everything they want from him and then stepmom comes in and puts her foot down and tries to be the diciplinarian then she automatically becomes the bad guy and biomom didn't do anything to contribute to that."


This statement is so right on.And there are so many reasons bio-dads do this.Whether it's guilt from the divorce,or guilt from not seeing the kids,or whatever.The man wants to be their friend instead of the parent. And it's sad,because the kids NEED a parent,not another friend.


The other side,I couldnt agree more about the other woman. I think I have made my feelings about the other woman quite clear on here though already. It's morally wrong to go for a man with a wife and family. Should we not pass judgement? We place judgement on murderers,because murder is morally wrong too.

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southernsummer

Murder is actually more than morally wrong.
It's a crime.
So is car theft.

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theotherside

Adultery is a crime in my state.

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cawfecup

two guys sitting in jail... what are you in for? I murdered my wife ... oh.... what did you do? I cheated on mine!

Not defending cheaters in any way but how much time would you serve for adultery? same amount of time as murder or theft? Do they have to wear a big red A on their clothes?

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southernsummer

Agree. Regarding being single and dating someone who is married. I'm sorry, but I don't blame my ex-husband's girlfriend as much as I do my ex-husband. He is the one who made himself available. She just perceived that she was picking up the pieces from a bad marriage.
He was the jerk that stepped out on his wife and kids.

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jenny_alabama

Now where is it that adultery is a crime? Sometimes I think it should be....I know in the MidEast it is a crime, or it is a crime for the woman...I think....

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southernsummer

Yes, but isn't everything in the Middle East a crime for women?

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southernsummer

If a child knows that they can play Dad like a fiddle and get everything they want from him and then stepmom comes in and puts her foot down and tries to be the diciplinarian then she automatically becomes the bad guy and biomom didn't do anything to contribute to that."

Bio-mom sets the tone as to whether or not Dad should be treated with respect, or whether Dad should be treated like a piggy bank. Whether or not step-mom should be treated with respect, or whether it's acceptable to treat step-mom
as an anger object.

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southernsummer

http://psychologytoday.com/articles/pto-20040428-000002.html

I just read an interesting article about Adult Stepchildren,
which appeared in Psychology Today.

Here is a link, in case anyone is interested.

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Ashley

southernsummer...I respectfully disagree with you. BioDad needs to set the tone of his relationship with his children himself. I hardly think that if the children respect their dad and know that they can't get away with treating him like a piggy bank because he will not let himself be treated that way that the biomom could do anything to change that relationship. It's up to their father to respect himself and the role he plays in his relationship with his children. A good biomom should encourage a healthy relationship, but half the time, the problem is that biodad is trying to compete with biomom for the affection of the children, so they each end up buying more things and giving unearned freedoms so that the can be the friend instead of the parent. Everybody wants to be the good guy and the children suffer for it. They fail to learn personal responsibility. Meanwhile, dad is blaming mom for how they turn out and mom is blaming dad, and both wonder why their children don't know what it means to take responsibility.

If Dad's relationship with his children is not what it should be, it's Dad's fault. If Mom's relationship with her children is not what it should be, it's Mom's fault.

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theotherside

Adultery is illegal in approximately 20 states. In my state, it is punishable by up to 3 years in a state prison. A lot of thieves are sentenced to less.

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southernsummer

Well Raek, you have a right to your opinion. You can respectfully disagree all you want, but you should take a walk in my shoes. It's interesting that you put all of the
"should" on dad. If dad would do this, it would solve all the problems. Interesting perspective. Everything would be fine if dad would change. Hmmm. Wonder where you are coming from.

There are a lot of "shoulds" here, and it wouldn't hurt bio-mom to set an example, either. But the only way that my husband could get these kids' attention is to cut of the endless supply of toys and money, but he is not willing to do that. He loves to spoil his kids. You know, that's not really a crime.

I tried doing nice things for my step-kids in the early days, but all I got were complaints from bio-mom that it wasn't enough. Bio-mom called and yelled at me because her kids weren't allowed to bring a friend with them on their ski trip to Utah. That they were so hurt, and that it ruined the trip for them, and they were a "basket case" because of it.

I was the bad guy, because I insisted on counselling for my step-son after his DUI, you name it.

My stepchildren are irresponsible, and will never be able
to take care of themselves. They are like little animals that expect to be fed every month, and have all their bills paid. They love all their things, and they are missing something when it comes to human relationships.

My husband has told his daughter that he hopes she will marry someone who can support her, because he can't support her forever. I know that is not true. I know that
their lifestyle will continue to be supported forever. But one thing is true: everyone is assuming that she is not expecting to ever support herself. The same with my step-son.

I am the only one who sets boundaries here. It is a world of permissiveness, and let's see who can spend the most money on these under-deserving, spoiled rotten, ungrateful, irresponsible, brats. I am so tired of hearing bio-mom way "they are children". They are not children. They are adults, with over-sized trust funds, and nothing but whining, poor-me, attitudes. "My father fell out of love with my mother when I was 2 years old, and I am a basket case. I need counselling, and you need to pay for it". PLEASE! My children went throught the same thing, but no one is coddling them.

To theotherside: How often is the adultery law enforced, and how many people are currently jailed for adultery?

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Ashley

I'm coming from the SD position. I do not have children and don't plan to until I am happily married. Neither of my parents were wealthy although, my stepmother's parents recently passed and left my SM and Dad with what I believe to be a pretty healthy estate, although I really don't know exactly how much, nor do I feel I have any right to benefit from it or know exactly how much they got.

My dad spent very little time with me when my parents were married and as a result, our relationship was never really close. After the divorce I believe that he spoiled me in the ways he could afford to when I was visiting him. It was his way of trying to make our relationship closer, although it really didn't work, becuase he turned himself into the one who bought me things, not the one who did fun things with me or spent time with me. When I visited him, I pretty much spent my time there with my friends who lived close by (when my parents split, I moved about 2 hours away from my home town and my dad, who stayed in the house I grew up in). Although I know that my mom resented my dad for the way the relationship between them was and also for the way he was uninvolved in my life, I don't feel her influence would've changed my feelings for my dad if I felt he were making the appropriate effort to be a father figure for me.

When my SM came in originally as Dad's latest girlfriend and tried not only to tell me what I can and can't do, how I should act with my Dad and how he should and shouldn't spend his money on me, I resented her for it. I do think she has a jealousy problem and I don't think my situation and yours are exactly the same. I do believe that adults should be able and willing to take care of themselves. I think much of my confidence and self-esteem is tied to the fact that I make a good living and don't rely on parents to take care of me, but I think if your husband wants his children to change and to take care of themselves, he is the one who needs to be proactive about it. It is up to him to change his relationship with his children. It is not his ex-wifes responsibilty to do it for him, although I'm sure a change in her attitude would be helpful, it's not the only avenue.

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southernsummer

I have done everything I can to include my step-children
in everything. They make it clear that that are not interested. If they force themselves to come to family gatherings (their extended family, not mine--they would NEVER do that), they make sure everyone knows how pissed of they are to be there. It's a great way to punish my husband for "falling out of love with their mother", which is a great one, since she is the one who wanted the divorce...2 decades ago. But that's not they way their mother spins it.

They don't want to spend time. They want money. That's what motivates them.

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Ashley

southernsummer,

I realize your situation is very different than mine. I'm sorry that your SC are the way they are. It's really too bad for them that they are so pre-occupied with money that they can't have a good relationship with their Dad and that they don't know the truth as to what caused the split between their parents. I think if their mother is bad-mouthing their dad, it would be appropriate for their dad to tell them the truth. There is no need for parents to bad-mouth each other in a divorce, it only hurts the kids, but I think defending yourself, esspecially to grown kids should be expected.

You know, I have some friends who grew up in wealthy families and are "trust-fund babies". They are nice people and sometimes I find myself wishing I were in their shoes. They always drive nice cars, have plenty of money to spend and go on the best vacations, not to mention the $100,000+ Weddings. But then I think of the person I am and I doubt that I would be the same self-motivated, independant woman that I am if I had grown up with all of that privilege. I'm glad you are doing better for your own children.

I'm quite sure that there is nothing that could probably be done with your hubby's kids now that the precidence has been set. Even if he is the one who changes the terms now, they will assume it was you who made it all come about. I realize sometimes we all feel as if we are in a no-win situation in step-families. Isn't it a shame we all can't just get a glimpse of the other person's perspective?

I will not in any way back up your stepkids for behaving the way that they do. It irritates me to no end when people refuse to take responsibilty for themselves and rely on others to do everything for them. All I'm saying is that if a child is never told "no", then they never learn about boundaries. They are no longer children, but their dad continues to give them everything they want, so they have grown to expect those things. All I'm saying is that your husband did his share in creating the monster and that all the blame doesn't lie solely with their mother.

I think if my dad had created a good bond between the 2 of us and had spent real quality time with me, my feelings about his relationship with my mother and the way he treated her would not really be my focus. My only focus with him would be to continue the bond that we had already built. I know that you have worked to include them in your family things and that is great. Do you feel that your husband has done 1 on 1 things with them to build a trust and a bond with them, or does he just throw money at the problem?

The reason I bring up this point is that my boyfriends parents are divorced and both are remarried. He has a good relationship with both his parents, as well as his steps. His dad is so loving with him and with me. When he and his brother were little, his dad used to take them camping and hunting and fishing. When his parents split, he really continued to make his children a priority. He never really had much money, but that was not the issue. I think his mother blamed his father for the divorce as well and she tends to wear her heart on her sleeve, so I believe that she let it be known to the boys that she felt it was their dad's fault the marriage didn't work. Her feelings never affected the way my BF feels about his dad and although he loves his mom very much and she goes way overboard in doing things for both of us...dinner, birthdays, Christmas, etc. He still has such a deep love and respect for his dad and I believe it is because his dad made time with him a big priority in his life. I envy that relationship way more than I envy the trust-fund babies.

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coolmama

Oh Good Lord this is one long thread.hurt my hand to scroll down.

"To theotherside: How often is the adultery law enforced, and how many people are currently jailed for adultery?"

It does make a difference in divorce hearings though,doesnt it?

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southernsummer

I am so naive. It never occurred to me that people would
choose not to get along with each other. I have seen families like you describe. My aunt, for instance, is one of the most abrasive people I know, but she has great relationships with her step-children, (she has no bio-kids), and she and my uncle are on good terms with his ex-wife and her husband.

I really didn't have excessively high expectations. I approach life expecting to like people, and expecting them to like me. This is a new situation for me. Always, to have a friend, I would just be a friend. Step-family members would benefit so much from the love and support of additional family members. I just don't get all this conflict. All of us are here because there are problems in our new step-families. This is just so tragic.

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southernsummer

To Cool Mama

It can make a difference in divorce court with the spouse who cheated, but it doesn't affect the person that the spouse cheated with. My ex-husband's girl-friend just went on with her life. I really feel sorry for her, because there is no telling what he told her. I think she thought he was a nice man, whose marriage was ending, and his wife didn't appreciate him, yada yada yada, and she was lonely and thought she had a future with him.

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angelstelli

Geez - This really opened a can of worms*&&*? Firstly, 'Sunnygardnerme'. My family is very open about money; it is no secret that my father believes the man pays the household bills, it would be "unmanly" to do differently. Very outdated, but charming don't you think?

I think my post was more about treating all of the children involved in a blended family equally, not about getting money from my father. Money appears to be a 'big hot issue' with the stepmothers on this board... Reak - you appear to be the only SD on this board, the reason I ended up on a blog was due to the lack of information on the internet for the children of divorce. There is tons of material for step parents (how to deal with the choice they made) but not much for the children who are along for the ride and are the most affected by every bump in the road.

I must say my mother remarried about the same time my father did and I have never had any conflict with my stepfather? I really think most of the issues in a divorce are with stepmothers; before you all go nuts, I think it is a biological behavior issue. Women are naturally competitive when it comes to providing for their children, mother birds with push a chick out of the nest if it doesn't smell like her own... Just something to think about when dealing with those ungrateful people your new husband brought into your marriage.

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tamar_422

I am a stepdaughter, too! As is my sister. Our parents divorced when we were both very young, 2 and 3 years old, and mom re-married when we were 4 and 5. Our biodad was not in the picture, lived in another state, did not pay CS, so our stepdad adopted us. We have a younger half brother. We had a wonderful family life. Our dad treated us the same as our brother. My sister and I often wonder whether the reason our lives were so wonderful was because the biodad stepped out of the picture. This is also relevant to my personal situation, in that my daughters' biodad is not in the picture, my DH treats them as his own, and my daughters are extremely well-adjusted, happy kids. Which is saying alot, considering they are 14 and 10.

Regarding money, my DH is overly generous with all of our kids, more so than I would like him to be, even with my "own" kids. My older SS is a 20 yo college sophmore. We pay 100% tuition, apartment, car, insurance, groceries. Our arrangment is that he should be paying for his own spending money, but his monthly allowance is enough that he dines out on sushi, parks his car in a heated garage (because if he were forced to park on the street, he would have to get up at 8 am to move his car), and has a gym membership at some posh place (because the university gym is too crowded). I do think this is above and beyond what his college experience should be, and he will be in for a rude awakening when he gets to the real world and has to budget for the first time. But DH says that as long as we can afford to make things comfortable in college, we should. The reason I don't complain? Because my SS has become a wonderful, warm, caring, appreciative young man. He doesn't treat me like the enemy, and he empties the dishwasher without being asked when he is home for college break. I may have complained a couple of years ago, but I think my SS has matured signficantly and come to respect and appreciate my place in his life. I just love him.

I wanted to add something about my sister and her family. Her DH was a widower 20 years her senior when they married, with 2 children close to my sister's age. He is a retired pilot who refers to my sister, a physician, as his "retirement plan." They have a wonderful marriage and a 5 yo DD. My sister has the most generous heart of anyone I know, so I know she is not the cause of the rift between her DH and his 2 older children. His daughter stopped calling him after he told her he would not co-sign for anything else. My sister was already stuck with paying the grown daughter's mortgage. The son returned gifts to his children from dad with a note saying, "Since Dad has chosen to have another family, he is no longer a welcome part of theirs." What did he expect his father to do? Stay alone and lonely for the rest of his life? Sometimes it is just the kids.

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Ashley

Angel, I think you are right about me being the lonely SD on this site who has had to deal with the same sort of thing that you have. No offense to Tamar, but I think even though you grew up with a man who was not biologically your father, he was your dad in every way. It wasn't spliting weekends and holidays or dealing with Dad's new wife and her jealousy issues. I'm not saying that you or your sister are that way. You are right, sometimes it really is just the kids. In my case and in Angel's somtimes it really is just the stepmom.

Angel, you are also right about the lack of support for stepchildren. I'm suprised by it also. I found this site and read some earlier posts by lillysuzanne, who's father remarried his wife (her mother) died. The new stepmother came in and completely took over. She got rid of many of the things that belonged to lillysuzanne's mother and refused to let lillysuzanne's father to have any contact with her or anybody else in her family. Recently her father has "seen the light", so to speak and has finnally gained the courage to tell his wife that he would see his family and that she would just have to deal with it.

I understand very much why so many of the stepmothers on this forum are touchy about anything perceived as an attack against stepmothers. I react the same way when there is something I perceive as an attack against stepchildren. When we feel as if we have tried our hearts out with somebody and our efforts seem to go unnoticed we all take it a little personally when people begin to generalize about us.

Angel, I just want you to know that I know exactly where you are coming from. If you want to, maybe we could start our own website...Support for stepchildren dot com. :)

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coolmama

Actually,I'am a step daughter myself,angelstelli. I have had TWO step fathers. I have had problems with my step dad in the past.Some regarding money,because my mom actually makes more than him.
It is by no means easy being the step child. I have tried to take that into consideration being as I have 3 step daughters now.
As I have said before in the past,and Raek and I agree on this~I think it is much less a "Step mother" or "step child" issue.Every situation is different. We have some step mothers and step fathers who can be controling and textbook mean.And,in other cases,we have step children who are trying to be manipulative.
I think when we come on this forum,we'd all like to think we arent being un-nessacarily mean or manipulative...whether we are the stepmothers,stepfathers,bio-moms,or step children.
This is why I never try to judge unfairly,and listen to each individual~not go on based on what they "are".

Southernsummer, I think you lucked out then on THE OTHER WOMAN scenerio. I have known quite a few who arent so innocent. Aware the man is happy,and still trying anyways.Then going farther and trying to blackmail if not given what they want.
I also think THAT scenerio of the OTHER WOMAN can vary greatly.

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sunnygardenerme

angelsteli, I am glad adult stepchildren come to this site because I want to understand why they think the way they do. So welcome. As you know I have 2 adult stepchildren. I come from a family where both my parents are still married after 60 years. I have 5 siblings (4 girls and 1 boy) Our parents taught us to be self suffient, responsible, and hard working. We were all on our own by the age of 18-19 years old. We worked our way through college and life. From our parents, we did not expect money, their pensions, etc. This is money my parents earned and they should do with it what they please.

Secondly, when myself and 3 of my sisters married we had nice weddings nothing fancy and 1 of my sisters eloped. We paid for what we could and our parents paid for as much as they could afford. We did not expect them (parents) to pay for anything. We did not want them having to spend their hard earned money on a wedding that last a few hours. Sure I have cousins that had fancy expensive weddings, but I did not expect the same from my parents. Why is it that you think you are entitled to what others have had? Why?? Who said life was fair? I would rather see my parents spend their money on themselves or where the want to spend it. What makes them happy not me happy.

Yes as a stepmother I become frustrated with adult stepchildren who expect dad to foot the bill on their irresponsible spending habits. It is also upsetting when I the stepmother help them out financially and they thank dad but not me. When they do no acknowledge my contribution to DH and my financial standings at the present time. They do not respect or even take a minute to ever contact me to chat or ask how I am doing. It is like a slap in the face. Yes, it is about money and respect for me because what I have is my husbands and what he has is mine. We share all. And if my stepkids would except that DH and I our ONE and treat me with respect and consideration I would do the same back.

You said your dad is the one who controls the money because it is his old fashion way. It sounds like your stepmother has no control so don't blane her for the way the money is spend. It sounds as if your dad has the control to do as he wants and your poor stepmom has to go along with it.

In my current relationship DH and I combined all our assets when we married which improved both our financial situations. We agreed to a 50/50 marriage where we both have say in all aspects of our marriage. That is the only way I would have married him. You see I was financially secure before I met my DH. Yes, I did know he had children but he informed me they would be partically on their own after high school and totally on their own after 4 years of college. I agreed to this when I married him. So when we help the one out that has been out of 4 years of college for the last 3 years because she foolish took 2 trips instead of paying necessary bills, yes I become upset and yes the focus for me is money and a adult who is irresponsible and taking advantage of us. The same goes for the one in 4 year college when he blows money on unnecessay fun toys and then comes to us for money for necessary bills, yes it is about money and an adult who is irrespnsible, and taking advantage of us.
Do you know what type of arrangement your dad made with your stepmom? That is personal so you shouldn't know, but maybe just maybe they had an agreement before they got married about finances. That is their business not yours. They are a married couple. Would you want your dad putting his nose into your marriage arrangement and fiances. I don't believe your husband would appreciate that.

If your mother is so poor then maybe she should of selected a more finacially stable 2nd husband. Or maybe she should work really hard to save up alittle money to help you out with some of the wedding.

I love or would love to have my adult stepkids come and visit, or stay, or be a friend, but be respectful, kind, understanding, polite, interested in some of my life, and not always be looking for freebies or money related items or trying to cause conflict/turmoil or look for something to be wrong, or all about me me me, etc.
Does anyone want someone to come to their home cause turmoil and conflict? Ask for money or materail items all the time. I don't think so.

Agelstelli, A big wedding is not all it is cracked up to be. Who really cares about it in a few years. It is money thrown away in my eyes. What counts is a good stable happy relationship with your husband. Go off an elope and have a wonderful fun time. Keep posting, maybe someday I will understand why some feel entitled to what others have worked for.

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Ashley

Dear Sunnygardener, I completely understand your point about your parents money being their own and that we shouldn't feel entitled to it and I agree with you. But I have a question for you. If all three of your other sisters had been treated as the "favorite" by your parents and had been given new cars, plenty of money and everything else their little hearts desired including a nice, lavish, fancy wedding, meanwhile they refused to help you through college or to do anything to help you out in any way, how would you feel about that? Talk about a slap in the face! I think if you really read what angel has wrote, it's an issue of favortism. She feels that her stepmother chose a man who had a daughter and then did everything she could to erase his daughter from his life because it didn't fit with her vision of a "perfect family". No doubt life isn't always fair, but I think this situation is totally beyond unfair!

Also, she didn't say that her dad "controls" the money, she said "my father believes the man pays the household bills, it would be "unmanly" to do differently". Who has the control and who actually earns the money are 2 different animials.

I think you are assuming that angel is just like your stepchildren when everything she posted suggests the opposite.

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theotherside

"If your mother is so poor then maybe she should of selected a more finacially stable 2nd husband. Or maybe she should work really hard to save up a little money to help you out with some of the wedding."

That's a horrible thing to say. It makes it sound like she selected a husband at WalMart. Did you marry your husband for his money? If not, why should her mother?

And you have no way of knowing why she is poor - maybe it is because child support is determined unfairly as it is in my state, maybe she stayed home to raise the kids by mutual agreement so that she didn't have the opportunity to build her career. Maybe her husband talked her into giving up her job to follow him to a new one. Maybe fifty dollars in child support a week isn't enough to raise a child when the cost of housing is approximately equal to the take home pay of the average college graduate. Maybe she didn't have a chance to go to college. Maybe she had to take a job with flexible hours and a decent commute but lower pay because there was no one else to take care of her child when she was sick.

A person's worth has nothing to do with how much money they make. There are plenty of good people who are poor, and plenty of wealthy people who are evil. No one has a right to blame others for being poor. Just because you have plenty of money doesn't mean that those who don't are any less worthwhile, deserving, hardworking or even intelligent.

Raising yourself out of poverty is as much a matter of luck as it is merit.

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coolmama

I agree with the other side on this. I know plenty of rich people without morals.The fact they have money makes them think they are somehow better though.
I also agree there are so many reasons to be poor,one cant just say it's because they are lazy! How about the fact they are saying that "MIDDLE CLASS" is almost no more.Nowadays you are either rich or poor. And I think the amount of poor people is undoubtedly larger then rich.

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sunnygardenerme

Ok, I was born poor. My grandparents were poor lived in the depression, they lived with us. My parents were poor. We all worked very very hard to make it. We expect no hand outs and were taught we were resposible for our selves. Yes, some of my siblings have received more than me. My brother was given my grandparent's house, so what, it made me work that much harder to get what I wanted for my life. My one sister was given way more of my grandparent antiques, so what, I worked hard so I could get what I wanted or needed. My 1st marriage (18 years) we started out poor. We both worked hard to make it. We build our finances up and we knew if we kept a positive outlook, treated others how we would like to be treated, and hard work we could do it. We did. So yes, it can be done.
I guess I don't understand how others feel they are entitled to what others get. Life is not fair. That is reality. Once one becomes responsible for ones self all kinds of new doors open up. It may sound unreal, but, I have seen it happen with many people. It is not because they are lucky it is because they worked hard, had a positive attitude, treated others with kindness, and were responsible for what happened to them.

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southernsummer

SunnyGardener, I agree.

Success happens when hard work and preparation meet opportunity. It's not luck.

You build character by climbing the mountain, not by landing on top of it.

My stepkids have everything they need. There is no incentive to do anything.

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theotherside

I know lots of people who work hard, have a positive attitude, treat others with kindness and take responsibility and still end up poor, just as you can exercise, eat well, and still end up dying young of cancer. Blaming others for their poverty is unfair and selfish.

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coolmama

How nice that it worked out for you (and no I'm not being sarcastic).It isnt that easy for everyone though.
Besides,I'm not getting into the debate about how poor people can stop being poor here.
I'm only saying that NOT ALL poor people are lazy or bad people.That I know just as many rich who cheat on their wives,are cruel to animals,abuse their children and cheat on their taxes.
So,money DOES NOT MAKE A BETTER PERSON. Look at celebs and all the money they have.If anything,they are MORE messed up then the average poor person.
Some people,like myself,arent all that concerned with money.
I dont need fancy cars and a big house and expensive clothes.I'am Rich in other ways in my life,and it gives me contentment.

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southernsummer

No one said that money makes someone better.

Some people lack the ability to provide for themselves,
despite good intentions and hard work. Some people are disabled or mentally deficient. That's not what we're talking about here.

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sunnygardenerme

I believe southernsummer is the only one who fully understood my posts. I work with the poor and disabled. I do understand that being rich does not make you a better person. What I am talking about is the type of a well off adult stepchild who is irresponsible by putting fun before necessity and then expected dear dad to pay the bill for their foolishness. I am not talking about the poor and disadvantaged adult children.
Also, the bio mom who is fully capable of taking care of herself and has the money to spend foolish like on trips and her boyfriend, but can't give a dime to her own children, but can refer the kids to dad for money.

Some of you did not fully understand my post and like to twist the information around. To tell someone who is an advocate for the poor and disavantaged that they are selfish and unfair, is being selfish and unfair yourself.

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theotherside

"If your mother is so poor then maybe she should of selected a more finacially stable 2nd husband. Or maybe she should work really hard to save up alittle money to help you out with some of the wedding."

I think it is difficult to misinterpret this comment.

This comment has nothing to do with your personal situation, your stepchildren, or the mother of your stepchildren. This comment was about a biological mother about whom you know nothing, but whom you were more than willing to blame for her lack of money.

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southernsummer

I am really loving this. I could never have a good
knock-down drag-out with my step-kids and bio-mom.
This is so cathartic. If we were all in one room, we would
be pulling hair and scratching, and kicking shins.

I remember once when bio-mom ordered me to go to my room.
What's funny is that it was my house! Isn't that a scream?

Yes, it's great to be able to absolutely speak our mind, and
take things out of context, and make personal attacks.
Really, these comments are not about you, they are about
our own steps and bios, but it's great to be able to
have surrogates to have a great violent cat-fight with.

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coolmama

OH my GOD! Whose having a cat fight here? That was very amusing. As far as I can see we are just sharing information.

"I do understand that being rich does not make you a better person. What I am talking about is the type of a well off adult stepchild who is irresponsible by putting fun before necessity and then expected dear dad to pay the bill for their foolishness. I am not talking about the poor and disadvantaged adult children."

Then I stand corrected.I do not think it's ok for adult children to be lazy and expect the parents to pay for all of their luxeries.
The subject has come up several times on the forum about how poor people are just lazy and rich people are better. I was just making sure that wasnt where it was going.

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southernsummer

I could never "share information" with my step-kids or bio-mom. It's better just to avoid saying anything that
they could take out of context. It's better just to listen
and nod without saying anything.

Even the phrase "It's nice to see you" was answered with
"I have a name, you know".

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jenny_alabama

Well I agree with all of you!! TOS - what you said is correct.

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Ashley

Angel...I was wondering if you ever asked your Dad to help, or if you decided to just do it on your own.

My own BF proposed over the weekend and I would also really like for my Dad to help me out with a wedding. I have never been married before and I do not have any children or anything. I've pretty much done everything on my own, including paying for school through student loans and scholarships. In the meantime, my Dad has helped his stepson through a very expensive legal battle due to a DUI in which one of his friends died in the accident...which turned it into vehicular homicide. He is also 24 years old and still living with his mom and my dad. As far as I know, he does not pay rent or pay for food or anything. He has mentioned going back to college (his 4th school/I don't think he's actually even made it through his freshman year yet) in August, but I don't think he even knows what he wants to go for. I don't mean to speak bad about him because I actually like my Dad's stepson, but as much as my Dad has helped him, I hope that he will want to help me pay for my wedding.

I'm going to wait a few weeks to see if he offers to help, but if he doesn't I think I want to ask him if he will. I just feel that because of all of the times he has been uninvolved in my life and as little as he has done to help me in the past, this is something that I would really appreciate from him.

I know that many of you are going to say that I should just have a small wedding, or elope, and part of me actually agrees with your viewpoint, after all, a wedding only lasts one day and then you have gone and spent all of that money...but on the other hand...haven't you all at some point dreamed of the day when you get to be the princess and everybody you love is there and you get to promise to spend your life with the man you love?

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cawfecup

Congratulations raek!!!

If your dad helps great if he doesn't his loss to experience something very special to you and him as his daughter. I don't know, would/could you include your SM? I know your relationship is rocky at best with her.

But you'll never know until you ask. Hopefully he will offer.

Good luck!!

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Ashley

Cawfe,

Thanks!

What do you think would be a good way to include her? I plan to include her along with my Fiance's Stepmother with a corsage and all of that. I'm very close with his Dad and Stepmom and I that his Stepmom and my Mom will probably be very helpful in the planning of the wedding. I met him through his stepsister who was a friend of mine in college and ended up being my roommate for awhile after college. She will be one of my bridesmaids, so the 4 of us (my mom, her mom, her and I) will probably do a bunch of stuff together in the planning. His Dad has already offered to take care of the rehersal dinner. My mom has already offered to help some too, although I know that she can't afford to do much. His mom has also offered to do whatever she can to help, although she and her husband are going through some really financial hardships right now, so I wouldn't want to ask for much from them. I know she would bend over backward to do more than she should, but I really don't want to be a burden for them when they have way too much on their plates as it is right now.

I would be happy to include my SM as much as possible, but they are the only ones who live out of state, and so it's not like I can invite her to go with me to pick out linens or anything. Things have been a little bit better lately between the 2 of us, but I still think that it's mostly just us doing our best to be nice and to tollerate one another.

It makes me sad that my dad is the one who can most afford to help us out right now, and he is the only one who has not yet stepped up to offer any help.

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cawfecup

My hubby's parents are very well off, and we got $500 when we got married just because people have money doesn't mean they want to part with it.

I don't know how to include her ... my wedding was $1500 total cheapie a saturday night had a buffet and 75 people showed up!!! No booze ... it was his 3rd wedding my first... how many time can you invite your friends and family to meet your newest wife! ... Not like they were invited to the divorces (smiles)

I think including her with a corsage shows a gesture of signifigance I remember another poster say I didn't even get a corsage at my SD wedding. I think any effort you make even if not reciprocated is worth it. Who knows they may surprise you... Did you tell them you were engaged yet? Ask her what was the best part of ceremony that she liked even if you thinks its stupid maybe its something you could include in yours... Ask her straight I want to include you but with you being out of state, can you think of any ways you might be able to help me menu choices something.

I planned mine in less than a month with a $1500 budget. Wasn't easy but we did it. Hardest part was telling my "social drinking siblings" no booze!!! that didn't go over too well until I said there is a bar 1/4 mile down the road beach side thats open til 2 am :)

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sweeby

Congratulations Raek! I wish you and your fiance all the best --

I imagine some of the newer ettiquette books and bridal magazines will have all sorts of suggestions for handling all of the 'steps' involved in ways that are respectful to all. Hopefully, each of your parents and their respective spouses, exes and significant others can be counted on to behave themselves? When my niece got married, she was escorted down the aisle by both her father and stepfather - one on each arm, and it was simply beautiful how well they handled it and how gracefully she thanked both of the men who raised her. It's something to strive for, and I hope your family can pull it off as well.

IMO, there's nothing wrong in asking your father if he'd be willing to help with your wedding financially -- especially if you make it clear to him that his wife will be included respectfully. I think the last thing any stepmom wants is to foot the bill for a fancy wedding hosted by her husband and his ex wife where she is treated like a second-class citizen. (Not to imply this is what you're planning at all -- just a fear you'll want to head off in advance.) For that reason, it's probably a good idea to figure out how all of the various bio- and step- parents would be included in advance, and outline your hopes/plans to your stepmother and father together before asking if they will help. That way, those potentially-awkward questions and worries can be avoided and there may be fewer hurt feelings.

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Ashley

Well...I sent an email to my Dad and SM on Friday with a picture of my ring and I asked them if they would like to come out for a weekend and go look at some of the places I'm considering for the ceremony and reception site. I haven't heard anything back yet.

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dallas75043

I'm the child of a divorced Mom and Dad. I can't imagine asking either of them to pay for my wedding. I'm a grown up and part of that is paying your own way.

I recently got engaged to a girl from http://LovedByHer.com and would love a big wedding but can't afford it. Sooo, you live within your means (as I will) and decide what is important. I want my bride in a white dress so we are borrowing one, she would like a reception so we are renting the town "facility" at the local park and hosting reception. You make due with what you have. Oh yeah, for refreshments we have ask family members to bring pot luck and for the DJ I have a old CD player.

I can hardly wait to get married. How can it fail starting off with the example of living within our budget. Great message for us and our children.

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dotz_gw

Dallas, You ve got a really good attitude in wanting to pay your own way..Caused quite a rift in our family with demands for money for wedding..Good for you..Good luck...But what the heck is Loved by Her? Is that like Match.com?

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