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Stepmom: Boundaries, responsibilities and managing long distance relationship

Posted by on Oct. 20, 2013 at 10:18 PM
  • 15 Replies

Hi Ladies,

I am a 34 year old "stepmom" to two kids 13 and 10.  My situation is a little different because I am in a relationship with their mother and have been for the past 5 years.  We moved in together after dating for about a year.  So I am in a relationship with the BM.  

Back story: we met in 2008 (at work) when she was 37 and I was 29.  I was just starting out in corporate sales and she was the CFO.  We moved in together a year later.

When we met I was making 50K a year and she was making about 100K per year plus $730/mo in child support (when the dad would actually pay).  He does not because the AG has tracked him down is garnishing his wages and his tax returns.

Since I made so much less, i would pay for food/groceries (for a family of 4) HOA dues, gym memberships, cell phones, enterainment and family vacations.  On my salary that about wiped me out.  

Then she got cancer and I realized she never planned for a worst case scenario. No short term disability insurance, no life insurance. (This felt like a betrayal as I had slow tracked my career so I would have to travel and could be home to help her out with the kids and she did not bother to provide for me in the event something happened to her). Needless to say she ended up having to work through chemo and radiation.  Only taking off Thursdays and Fridays for receive treatment on Thursdays and recover Friday through Sunday.

I helped out as much as I could by giving a couple of thousand dollars to her from my bonus check.

The realization that she did not plan for an emergency situation sent me into over drive.  I kicked it into high gear and withing a year doubled my salary.  I know make about 115-125K per year and have over taken her as the bread winner.  But at a cost, I had to move to NC and rent a house here to take my promotion.

I am still paying some of the bills for a house I no longer live in (about 5K/yr) - I visit once a month for about 4-5 days.

My Issue (the most recent one) - now that I make more money she wants me to pitch in more with bills. ( I still pay everything I have always paid except for food - since i am not there to pay for dinners etc)  Because of that fight - I now pay an extra $425 per month for her daughters daycare.  I have been asking myself - why am I doing this?  I don't live there, my name is not on the house.  We have not co-mingled finances.   

The kids are coming to age of need braces and all the crap that teenagers need.  And I don't want to be stuck paying for someone elses kids.  Especially since when I lived there ther ex constantly reminded me that they weren't my kids.  I am about to take a stand and tell them all to go to hell.  I am not paying to run a family I am not a part of and has never shown me gratitude.  

I have also made clear I in no way will have any part in paying for college.  But I am still paying for these kids indirectly.  I think I am at my breaking point and will be walking away shortly.  The answer becomes clearer as I read what I am writing.  Is there anyone out there in a similar circumstance?


by on Oct. 20, 2013 at 10:18 PM
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Replies (1-10):
runinpinkshoes
by Silver Member on Oct. 20, 2013 at 11:35 PM

My husband has 3 kids and I have none. We keep our finances separate. I would not be okay paying to support kids and I didn't have, and doing so would only make me resentful.

You're in a tough situation, because you're trying to help your wife while she's sick, but I think lines need to be drawn. I think the realities of the situation (you paying for things while not even living with her and the kids) is making it feel even worse that you're carrying so much of the burden.

Before walking away, I would start by communicating how this situation makes you feel. 

kristinbugg
by on Oct. 20, 2013 at 11:40 PM
Taking care of your partner's children is not YOUR responsibility.

I would let her know that I've helped as much as I can and that providing for HER children is HER responsibility. If she doesn't agree, it may be time for you to reconsider the nature of your relationship with her.
chasinrainbows
by Gold Member on Oct. 21, 2013 at 9:58 AM
1 mom liked this
Why didn't YOU discuss the insurance situation with her BEFORE she got sick? Sounds like everything was wonderful so long as she was healthy and paying the majority of the bills. FYI, $50,000 a year with the only bills being food, HOA, and vacations was a pretty good gig for you

Sounds like you weren't in it for better or worse....only better. Walk away. Sounds like you already have.
faerie75
by Platinum Member on Oct. 21, 2013 at 10:03 AM
Right? I only make about 35 lol and I live in ca. Rough times for me!

Quoting chasinrainbows:

Why didn't YOU discuss the insurance situation with her BEFORE she got sick? Sounds like everything was wonderful so long as she was healthy and paying the majority of the bills. FYI, $50,000 a year with the only bills being food, HOA, and vacations was a pretty good gig for you



Sounds like you weren't in it for better or worse....only better. Walk away. Sounds like you already have.
chasinrainbows
by Gold Member on Oct. 21, 2013 at 10:15 AM
Lol I love how she claims those few bills wiped out all her money. Where did they vacation? Peru? Lol

This situation isn't any different than any other married situation where the spouse would be expected to pay bills when they make over $100,000 a year. She is using the fact that this is a gay relationship to excuse those responsibilities and I find that sad.


Quoting faerie75:

Right? I only make about 35 lol and I live in ca. Rough times for me!



Quoting chasinrainbows:

Why didn't YOU discuss the insurance situation with her BEFORE she got sick? Sounds like everything was wonderful so long as she was healthy and paying the majority of the bills. FYI, $50,000 a year with the only bills being food, HOA, and vacations was a pretty good gig for you





Sounds like you weren't in it for better or worse....only better. Walk away. Sounds like you already have.
faerie75
by Platinum Member on Oct. 21, 2013 at 10:18 AM
1 mom liked this
I call this "first world problems" psshh lol

Quoting chasinrainbows:

Lol I love how she claims those few bills wiped out all her money. Where did they vacation? Peru? Lol



This situation isn't any different than any other married situation where the spouse would be expected to pay bills when they make over $100,000 a year. She is using the fact that this is a gay relationship to excuse those responsibilities and I find that sad.




Quoting faerie75:

Right? I only make about 35 lol and I live in ca. Rough times for me!





Quoting chasinrainbows:

Why didn't YOU discuss the insurance situation with her BEFORE she got sick? Sounds like everything was wonderful so long as she was healthy and paying the majority of the bills. FYI, $50,000 a year with the only bills being food, HOA, and vacations was a pretty good gig for you







Sounds like you weren't in it for better or worse....only better. Walk away. Sounds like you already have.
Meg_the_Mermaid
by on Oct. 21, 2013 at 10:37 AM
1 mom liked this

It sounds to me like you just don't want to be in the relationship any longer. You don't want to be a part of them as a family, you don't want to pay for them or contribute to a family that you aren't a part of, etc. And that makes sense...like you said, why should you be expected to pay for a family/household you're not really a part of anymore? You shouldn't. If you don't want to be in the relationship anymore, break it off and stop paying. If you DO still want to be in the relationship, you need to revise your thinking and figure out a plan that works best for all of you. 

You make AMAZING money. I live in Southern California. I could EASILY live well off that kind of money, and everything is stupidly-expensive here...but it's about managing your money well. Not sure where you live or how you spend your money, but if you guys are each making over $100k a year and yet still wiping out your finances, you need to look at your bills and spendings and see where you can cut back.

teaching_kids
by Bronze Member on Oct. 21, 2013 at 10:57 AM
Sounds like you're answering your own questions as you write. I don't think you're alone in this kind of situation. But the answer is always individual and based on what will make you feel most at peace when your head hits the pillow at night.
DDDaysh
by on Oct. 21, 2013 at 4:20 PM
1 mom liked this

It seems like you two were just dating and you're just not that into her since she got sick and your roles got different.  It happens sometimes. 

I don't think she's necessarily doing anything wrong though.  It sounds as if she had a different view of your relationship, one in which you were a team and family.  She can't control what her ex says, but it definitely seems like she viewed you as another parent to the kids.  In his view of you guys as a family, it seems like she views you as needing to support the whole family similar to the way she did when she was a higher earner.  It's different from your perspective, but not necessarily wrong.  

I'm also not sure why you felt betrayed just because she didn't have insurnace.  She was young, and alot of people overlook that kind of stuff not ever feeling like they'll be the ones who need it.  

You're over the relationship.  Tell her so and break up.  

cowboysfan1
by on Oct. 21, 2013 at 9:01 PM

Hi Mom's,

Thank you all for the feedback.  Some comments seemed harsh, but forced me to take a step back and look in the mirror and gave me a lot to think about.  I appreciate the reality check and thank each of you for taking the time to respond.   


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