Hannah and John, a couple with children from previous relationships, struggle to navigate the financial expectations placed on their marriage. Here is what she had to say:
A Happy Relationship
Hannah and her husband, John, had been married for just under a year, but had been together for seven years. They both had children from previous relationships, with John having three kids – a 15-year-old boy, a 13-year-old boy, and a 12-year-old girl, while Hannah had one 8-year-old boy who lived with them full-time.
It Could be Worse
When they first got together, Hannah had pushed for a relationship with John’s kids and their mothers, but eventually stopped pursuing the idea as it seemed like she was the only one interested in the possibility. Now that the kids were much older, Hannah had zero relationship with their mothers and barely a relationship with John’s kids, which wasn’t ideal, but it could be worse.
She was the Breadwinner
In their home, Hannah was the breadwinner, and her pay-check paid for 80% of their bills and all of their household living expenses, trips, and extras. Her parents were extremely involved with her son, and they had a great relationship.
They Never Made an Effort
However, since they got married, Hannah felt like she was expected to provide for John’s kids at the same level she provided for her son, which was coming from parents who had never made an effort to get to know her, her family, or be involved in their lives at any point.
The Requests Exploded
At first, the requests were small and Hannah was inclined to think that this may be the start of a relationship-building process, so she obliged. But then the requests exploded, and she was expected to pay for everything from summer vacations to new laptops, TVs, video games, sports team fees, and sports equipment.
She Puts Her Foot Down
Hannah finally put her foot down when she was expected to plan a family reunion trip around John’s kids’ availability and finance the trip, which would cost $1300 each. It was not pretty.
She Didn’t Agree
This year, John was tasked with buying the back-to-school supplies, which Hannah encouraged. He provided financially for his kids through child support, a weekly allowance, and whatever else came up, which Hannah didn’t have a problem with. However, the difference this year was that all the kids wanted designer shoes and bags and were looking to Hannah to make that purchase, which she didn’t want to do.
She Was Left Torn
Hannah felt conflicted about the situation. She loved her husband and his kids, but she also felt like she was being taken advantage of. She decided to head to the internet and ask a popular internet forum for advice.
The Internet Responds
One person writes, “It is your husband’s and each of the mothers’ duty to provide for their respective children. Anything you choose to do is a bonus and a gift. But don’t feel obligated to do anything you don’t want. They are the jerks for treating you as a wallet instead of taking advantage of the chance they had to have another loving adult in their lives.”
Another Person Responds
A second person comments, “This. OP, please tell your husband that you will never again provide any money for his children. That’s his and the mothers’ responsibilities. He needs to relay this information to them, then not bring it up to you again. If you’re invisible to the moms, you’re not talking to them, so I assume your husband is bringing you these requests. You need to shut that now.”
A Final Response
A third person writes, “It makes me wonder if the other kids’ mothers are aware how much the OP is paying for? If they judge by what they see and hear, maybe they think the OP’s husband is doing well financially and not treating his own children as well as his wife’s?”
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