View Full Version : Money, husband, and stepson

December 22nd, 2011, 06:41 AM
Hi everyone,
Someone please give me an opinion. My husband and I have been married for 6 years and I have a 9 year old stepson. After all this time I have suggested to my husband that we save some cash for another home or for our own child when the time comes. Although I do get along with my stepson, I can't see myself working 3 jobs to buy him toys birthday presents, and vacations ( I do buy him things on my own). The money we would be saving is for a home and emergencies. My husband insists that I am shutting my stepson out, meanwhile he has a college fund set up for his son which already contains a good amount of money for him. He has a mother who also supports him and does an excellent job. If my husband wants to save for him he can just open up another account specifically for his sons needs. Am I wrong to even suggest to my husband to save money for our future (which technically is for his son also because he would be living with us and our money would house him etc) banning him from using the money to buy his son things like toys etc? Sorry for rambling! Opinions please!

December 22nd, 2011, 07:03 AM
I have one question, Does your step son live with you or his mom?

December 22nd, 2011, 09:27 AM
Did you and your husband talk about how he understood his (financial and otherwise) obligations to his child AND if he actually was in a position to be financially responsible for a home and future with his wife, too? This would be a hard topic to have because it is deeply emotional, but it should happen.

His first financial priority must be his son's well being, but that must be balanced with planning for your future, too. One day, the son will be grown and it will be just DH and you.

You would be wrong to "ban" him from spending money he's earned on his child that he feels is necessary as his father. And that wouldn't be an effective approach, either.

My suggestion is to sit down together with a good budget planner (Dave Ramsey's books are well recommended) and commit to a budget together. Include money to be saved for his son, money to be saved for your future, and "fun" money for both of you to spend as you will. Then if DH and/or you want to buy a little something extra for the child, it doesn't come from the bills or savings.

Good luck! A good marriage is built on how we resolve our conflicts!

December 22nd, 2011, 10:08 AM
Although I do get along with my stepson, I can't see myself working 3 jobs to buy him toys birthday presents, and vacations ( I do buy him things on my own).
After re reading your post (several times) I am gathering that your step son lives with you. If this is not the case I am sorry, because what I have to say is based on him living with you.
First a little about me. My oldest son is not my Biological son (he is 20 now). I met him and his mom when he was 2 weeks old, we were living together by the time he was 1 year old, a year after His mom and I got married I adopted him. To me He is every bit my son just as much as my other kids. Now I realize that this is different than your situation but the quoted section of your post bothered me and every time I read your post that part sticks out like a sore thumb.
If he was your son could you see yourself buying him toys birthday presents, and vacations? You see though he is not your real son if you treat him different then you would treat your real kids, he will see that and know that. I think it would be better if you love him and treat him like he was your own.
Like I said above My situation is different, so maybe I am wrong on my thoughts.

Mrs X
December 22nd, 2011, 10:36 AM
I agree with Swiss. As written, it sounds like you haven't wholeheartedly accepted your parenting role. I'm so sorry if you married your husband on the understanding that he was only a very part time father. :(

December 22nd, 2011, 11:23 AM
(my BG: I have a step-daughter whose DM passed away. )

I need more information before I offer an opinion

- do the two of you have a budget
- how much is spent on toys/vacations for DSS (ie 10% of income) as opposed to family
- where is DSS's mom/how involved is she/her family
- what was you'r DH's life style before you married

December 23rd, 2011, 07:33 AM
Hi everyone,
I want to thank you all for your quick responses. I also would like to apologize if I come off as a terrible stepmother because I am not. This forum is new to me, and I have yet to learn how to get all my feelings out on here, as well as explain them clearly. This is a bit difficult for me. So again, I apologize for the rambling.
To answer some questions, my stepson legally is only supposed to be with us every other weekend. But we have him everyday until early evening as well as every other weekend. My husband's ex girlfriend gets along with us all, so that is a plus. My husband does pay her child support as well. The arrangement to keep him everyday was so his mother could work full time as well, and I do not have a problem with this at all. I enjoy having him with us often, as does my husband.
As far as budget, when my husband and I got married we had a plan, but because of the amount of money I get paid it hasn't panned out very well. I am trying to change that now.
I just want to stress the fact that I am not banning my husband from spending money on his son. I guess the problem is I am not a spoiler. I see gifts fit when earned. My husband is a bit different. I just want to have some sort of savings with my husband that would be strictly for a home ,emergencies, or for my biological child if the time comes. My stepson has that. I have no problem having another account meant for spending on his son which I would contribute to when I have the funds. Maybe I just feel as if there is no planning for another child which is something I am looking forward to.
I do accept my stepson and love him to death, maybe I am still learning how to do it whole heartedly though. I am trying and all your help is much much appreciated.

December 23rd, 2011, 08:16 AM
And Lucy, thank you, your plan may get us somewhere! Makes alot of sense!

December 23rd, 2011, 08:42 AM
Sorry I haven't replied, but I was a little confused about what was going on - what the level of gifts from your DH was, and the situation. I was waiting for your responses to some of the questions. :)

The thing that stands out to me is that your DH might have a different "Love Language" than you do. I'm too lazy right now to look up where that phrase comes from, but basically there are four (five?) different ways that people express their love. Some people express it by spending time, some people express it by giving gifts. (There are others, but those are the two that I remember). In my family, my husband and daughter are the "gift" people. DH expresses his love by giving presents, and my DD is more thrilled by the candy bar I buy at the grocery store than the HOURS I spend doing activities with her that she likes. My DS and I are the "time" people. Both of us would rather have time with someone we love than a material good. Recognizing each other's different styles has been very helpful. :)

It sounds to me like your DH might be a gift-giver. Do you think that's true?

December 23rd, 2011, 09:33 AM
Hi KayKay,
To me, he is much more of a spoiler. Where the difference between us is this. I buy my stepson things for his birthday and Christmas. When he receives a good report card, or has been exceptionally cooperative and on his best behavior for some time thats when I buy him something. I tend to reward only good behavior. My husband has gotten better, but in the past has punished him for bad behavior then bought him something the very next day. So yes, behavioral issues with his son is also a factor at times.
But I have even mentioned spending a bit less on all of us for the holidays in the future. I could care less if I received a present. Instead of spending $500 on his son for Christmas, how about $200. Maybe it is just me, but I was raised in a poor household and always appreciated the 2 little gifts I received versus 20 presents under the tree.

But I do understand what you are saying about "Love Language". My husband does not know how to express his feelings verbally in many instances. So it would make sense that he chooses to buy his son things. I on the other hand like spending time and talking.

December 23rd, 2011, 09:47 AM
My whole point is just to save some money for maybe a new home (which would house his son), and maybe for my own biological child (since my stepson already has some money put aside for his college fund from his father), and for emergencies (I lose my job vice versa, I am pregnant and on bed rest not able to work etc). I think too much as you can see!

December 23rd, 2011, 10:25 AM
I think the budget plan would work well. Agree to an amount that you'd both like to put away then split that in half. What's left of your money is yours to do as you like and your husband can spend his as he likes, too. If you want to tuck a little extra aside for a new home or your own hobbies wouldn't you be annoyed if he told you he didn't want you spending it on that?

I think it must be very difficult for you. When I was seeing someone with two children I had to bite my tongue regularly because I thought he threw money away on them and they didn't appreciate it. I think money is always something that is hard for people to agree on, be it spent on children, cars, toys, hair-dos... our priority is never someone else's is it?

December 23rd, 2011, 10:52 AM
Thank you Bingo:) I think I will discuss budgeting with him in hopes that this will work best, leaving room for us to do as we please with some money. And yes, I truly love my husband and my stepson, but it is extremely difficult at times. And it is definitely true that out priorities are never someone elses's! It is just so much easier when two people have the same priorities etc, but it doesn't always work that way as you can see! Thank you again for your insight! It's much appreciated!

December 23rd, 2011, 11:45 AM
Oh, I understand now. Yes, I think a budget plan is your answer. Lucy mentioned Dave Ramsey earlier - I'm a big fan of his. Maybe one of his books will be helpful to you.

December 23rd, 2011, 01:09 PM
I also would like to apologize if I come off as a terrible stepmother You didn't come off as a terrible stepmother to me. You came off as someone who was trying to find the right balance in priorities. All families face this. DH and I have been married for 21 years years and have 3 children together. We still have to do a "sit down" from time to time to re-align our priorities. When we first started, they were hard conversations because of the emotions we attach to money; often times one of us felt judged because of the limits we had, etc. He HATED the idea of having a limit on what he could spend each month-- but loved the idea of giving me an allowance! :mad: We're both used to being broke now. :D

This is just something to work through. Communicating is key!

December 23rd, 2011, 02:42 PM
My husband (snip) has punished him (DS) for bad behavior then bought him something the very next day. So yes, behavioral issues with his son is also a factor at times.

(lots o' snipping)

My husband does not know how to express his feelings verbally in many instances. So it would make sense that he chooses to buy his son things. I on the other hand like spending time and talking.

:twocents: One thing I've noticed is that divorced parents/parents without partners often buy kids stuff that's not needed & might be over the top. Case in point - me :wave: - when DS was little I bought him a gift each time he came back from his dad's (one of the Thomas & Friends engines). Once I realized that I stopped, but it was hard. I didn't want him to learn to "expect" a gift for nothing more than coming home. Many people don't notice when they do things like that & do not like it being pointed out to them.

Gary Champman did love languages (I looked :p) - another one is "acts of service"

December 23rd, 2011, 07:49 PM
I am sorry if I implied you are being a bad step parent, that was not my intention.
I agree that sitting down and working out a budget plan with your hubby is a good idea, maybe you could talk to a financial planner to get a little help with the budget?

December 23rd, 2011, 10:29 PM
Thank you all for your help!!! My husband and I spoke and I think in time we will get where we should be!!!! And swiss, I did not take offense at all to whay you said :) you made me realize some things that I honestly never thought of. Being a step parent os always a learning process. I am extremely happy I found this forum and grateful for all the responses that have helped me a great deal!!! Ill be back to chat soon!!! Wishing you all a wonderful holiday and best wishes for the new year!!!

July 25th, 2012, 04:53 AM
Sorry just a question, you say he is basically living with you so his mom can work, and you say that dad is paying her child suppport?? I'm sorry but shouldn't she be paying him? :S paying for son's vacations is a bit over the top I believe, why doesn't his bio mom pay for one vacation and then dad for the nxt? .... And alternate like that. I think (again my opinion) is that coupples should have 3 accounts: 1 joint account, her account, and his account (3 separate accounts). In the joint account you put money that is for the monthly spendings and saving. On her account she can save up money to do hair nails, whatever. And his could be for his fishing, gym membership, savings for soundsystem he wants. What I'm saying is the joint account is for "needs" not "wants".... His son certainly has everything he needs, and more I think. So these vacations and toys bla bla should be paid for from his account as it is his son. When you have your own child together then pay for things from the joint account. If he complains with "well you don't love my child if you want it like that", then you say the following: no, I do love him, but you need to respect your wife and her opinions and wishes as well. We can keep buying him all these toys and vacations but I'd like for you to be receiving the child support money then."..... I think that sounds fair. If he still doesn't get it, then actually draw it out on a piece of paper for him. List the following categories and write the amount of $ for everything:
Bills: (water, heat, electricity, phone, TV, internet, Cell phones, etc...
Car: (gas, insurance, oil changes, fixes to be done, savings for new tires)
Pets (if any):
Recreation and other: (gym membership, movies, restorants, hockey game tix, fishing supplies, bla bla bla)...
Stepchild's college savings:

Just put everything on paper for him and then when he sees that money that goes out, tell him this: I want "you" to put as much money onto our baby's college account just as much as you put on your son's. That should ring a bell for hiim, and then ask, where do u plan to come up with that kind of money? (Then suggest the savings for your baby). And then go back to to the monthly expenses and say: will this be possible if I'm home pregnant? Will u be able to make this kind of money for all of this by your self if I can't work? Then say: that is exactly why I want us to save up money so when I'm not able to work that we'll get by allright.

But seriously, I know what your saying, I told my husband the same thing and did open his eyes now... Good luckk! :)

November 21st, 2012, 06:41 AM
I've seen money torn good folks apart and it didn't matter if they're related by blood or not. I think you may step into complications in the future that can get things looking pretty ugly that soon, you may need the help of a mediator - which doesn't come in cheap. Hope it didn't come to that. Please give us an update.. and if it really becomes too ugly, I think there's still hope if you check into dispute resolution tools online. Just read someone wrote about eQuibbly for those who need 3rd party wisdom to enlighten the whole situation. Have never tried it, but if I were in your shoes, I just might. Good Luck! - Amanda :)

January 17th, 2013, 09:35 AM
Hi Amanda, I just saw this post! Well, needless to say it has been a very very tough road. But it seems to be getting better. Still not where it should be but getting closer. We have both realized a lot of things that we both do wrong when it comes to money etc. But so far my husband has been doing things to make us both happy. We both have been compromising so much more, just hope it stays that way. Even talks about the future with more ease, so I guess as of now, getting there! Thank you for asking! :)

January 17th, 2013, 09:38 AM
And things seem to be getting better with my stepson as well. Tough, but getting there!

January 17th, 2013, 01:53 PM
Good to hear that things are getting better. I hope you can have a good relationship with your step son as it weill help when he gets into the teen years. I lived with my real dad and step mom through my teen years, I never got along with her, we started off with a bad note though. I get along with her today but then I hardly see her.

January 17th, 2013, 06:52 PM
Hi Swiss!!! Thank you. My stepson and I have never had a major problem. We have always gotten along. Problems were mostly with my husbands lack of discipline for him, as well as over spoiling. But seems like we are heading the right way.

January 17th, 2013, 06:55 PM
Hoping that we will always get along, cause I love him more than he will ever know. He really is a great kid!

January 18th, 2013, 04:03 AM
Hoping that we will always get along, cause I love him more than he will ever know. He really is a great kid!

This is beautiful! You should let him know. :)

January 18th, 2013, 06:42 AM
Hoping that we will always get along, cause I love him more than he will ever know. He really is a great kid!
I agree with Lucy Thats beauitful. I am sure he knows it too.

January 18th, 2013, 07:37 AM
Thank you guys! Hope everyone is doing well!