Stepmom: Boundaries, responsibilities and managing long distance relationship
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?