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My significant other and I have been living together for four and a half years. We get along well with his ex, and all three of us have done our best to make the situation as easy as possible on the two kids they had together. I feel some responsibility for those kids since I've been in their lives for over nine years and I am,at least in some part, the reason their family broke up. But how much is too much?
The problem is money. I have savings in the bank, mostly because I worked my ass off in the years when I was single with no children. My stepdaughter has openly expressed her dislike for me, the lady in red who broke up her home. But when she started going to community college three years ago, I ponied up the money for a used car because I didn't want her taking the bus home by herself at night. It was supposed to be a loan, to be paid back when my stepdaughter found a job. Only the economy tanked and she didn't find a job. Later she told her dad I bought the car to get brownie points from her--as if I need brownie points from a teenage stepdaughter. I've bought her college books for a few semesters, and last fall I paid a thousand dollars for a deposit on her first apartment. Again, the money was a loan, and I clearly said that. Now it's time to buy books again. She tells her dad thank you, I guess, but I've never heard a grateful word yet.
So I'm wondering, have I kept the bank open too long? Or am I doing the right thing, since I'm the only adult in this situation with more money than debt? Am I getting screwed over, or am I investing in the future because education is something that can never be taken away from my stepdaughter? She's worked hard and done well in school but never found a job except as a camp counselor this summer, but she barely makes enough at that job to keep up the rent on her apartment. Her dad has reminded her of the loans a few times when I've pushed him hard enough, but she has no money to pay me bak with. Sometimes I feel like a big sucker, but then there's part of me that figures she'll know some day, once she gets over the black and white teenage mindset, that I did care for her and help her for genuine reasons. She has one more year of college, and hopefully then she'll find a job as a teacher. So, on the one hand, I'm thinking just help her this last year, we've come too far to quit. But then it bothers me that she's close with her dad--as if he had no part in her family breakup--and she'll barely speak to me even to say thank you. Any thoughts?
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