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[ Original Post ]
where to start? my husband's ex is very vindictive. he plays by her rules because he is afraid she will keep their son away from him. he will not stand up for his rights and will make sure he pays her while i have to rob our son's piggybank to buy formula. i work on commission and have paid his 3,000 mortgage the last two months. i even got stuck paying for daycare for my stepson on occassion when i was pregnant, out of work and could have used that money for my son. my son doesn't even have a crib yet. the only toys he has and majority of his clothes were gifts. my husband will gladly shell out cash for just about anything my stepson wants, will take time off to take him somewhere for the day or just to hang out. he has never bought any gifts for our baby, won't even take 4 hours to watch him so I can take the time to go into offices and drum up business ( i am in sales). he accuses me of trying to come in between him and his son, but I feel as though he is putting his son and even the ex between us. he thinks that because the baby lives with mommy and daddy that he will have to understand that daddy doesn't get to spend alot of time with his big brother so when he is around, he has to give his brother all of the attention . i feel like he is playing favorites and takes it for granted that we live here. we have no quality time together. he thinks that quality time is when he comes in from a long day and sits in front of the tv and doesn't even want to be talked to, he is too tired to feed the baby a bottle, but when his son is here, he drops everything. being a stepmother is a thankless job. i cook for that child, take him places, buy things for him, try to do things as a family, and feel like a get slapped right in the face. it is almost like his son and the ex came first and they always will. whenever i want something for the baby my husband will think of a reason why he doesn't need it and turn around and spend money on my stepson. i really thought about trying to stash some money away and leaving. i don't want my son to grow up in a broken home, but i don't want him to feel slighted either. am i being selfish? any suggestions?
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Name: pj754 | Date: Aug 24th, 2006 1:47 AM
Well, your husband isn't being fair. It does sound like he's picking favorites and that isn't right. However, I do agree with your idea of stashing some money away if you can. You need to think about taking care of your baby. If he tells you that you are coming in between him and his son, then I would try to lesson my presence in the house. Pack up your baby and go walking in the mall. Go to a friends house with the baby and stay for a while. Finally, after a few times of not being home to interrupt his quality time with his son, he may get the message. If he asks you were you've been or where you are going, telling you want to spend quality time with your son and he's interrupting you. I know this sounds very petty on my part and I'm sorry. But sometimes, you have to give him a taste of his own medicine. If he bends over backwards for the ex and refuses to stand up for his rights, then I would tell him your not going to support him. He needs to bust his hump to help provide for the family, too. Everything shouldn't be put all on your shoulders. You deserve respect inside your home. Your are not trying to be mean with him but he needs to understand you don't like being treated that way he does. No, your not being selfish but your husband should treat all the children equal. He is a father to both, so that shouldn't change. However, before you start giving him an ultimatiums (sp???), try stashing some money away first for your protection. However, if you make yourself scarce from the home, he won't have you to depend on because your not there. This maybe a wake up call to him. I don't know if my advice has helped you but I things will work out for you. Keep me posted. 

Name: JESSE | Date: Aug 25th, 2006 7:40 PM
Thank you for your advice. I feel better to know that I am not being selfish. I have said to him quite a few times that he was playing favorites and of course he didn't like that. You are right, I do deserve respect in my home, it is something that I feel that I do not get. I have thought about making myself scarce, I am going to try it this weekend. I really don't think he will realize that I am even missing. He makes time for everyone else in the world but me and the baby. He thinks that 10 minutes here and there is plenty for the both of us. I disagree. Thank you again. I will keep you posted. 

Name: momof3 | Date: Aug 25th, 2006 9:12 PM
Jesse, I have the same problem!! We have to struggle, while his ex gets child support, works 2 days a week, and lives with a realative for free. Last night my husband said, "Man, we are short for child support" I looked at him and walked away, he followed and asked what was wrong, and I told him I don't care, I am worried about our house, not hers" Normally I am not like this, I know he has to pay support, but we have to pay support and buy his clothes and everything fow while he is here. Meanwhile a few months ago, she called and wanted child support early, so she could go on vacation. We were taking my step-son with us on a family vacation. So my husband gave it to her. I thought he should wait until we got back, why did she need it to go on her vacation? It is a tough postion to be in and I hear you loud and clear. 

Name: pj754 | Date: Aug 27th, 2006 10:00 PM
To Jesse---I understand what you are feeling. You feel like you are being totally ingnored. This sad because you are trying so hard to keep the family together and to be happy. Your husband has just lost site of the whole family picture. Unfortunately, you won't be able to change him no matter how hard you try. You have to do what's best for you and the children. Raising a baby is very hard work and they need alot of attention but of course, you know that. Do you know if your husband spent anytime with your step-son when he was a baby? Did he give him bottles, watch him, change diapers, etc...?Or is your husband the type that is peranoid of babies until they get older. Perhaps you can as his mom or another family member how he was when his son was an infant? I can tell you my husband did change diapers and feed our daughter a bottle but it wasn't very often. It wasn't until she got past 4-5 months old when he started interacting with her. He treated her like a china doll afraid he would break her. Perhaps this could be the case with your husband. Being a mommy with a new baby is strain on us physically and emotionally. I can tell ya, these days it seems like I get absolutely no personal time to myself. Yet, I keep plugging away because I have too. Finally, I did tell my husband he has to help me out. I told him I seemed to have misplaced my SuperWoman cape and can't do it all. Well, that made him laugh and he finally got the picture. Granted this was my 4th child and this was his 1st. The first 3 months of her life, I wasn't allowed to leave the house with her. He was afraid she would get some kind of sickness like a cold or the flu. So, if I had to go to a function for one of my other kids, I had to make sure I wasn't gone too long. Now, he's alot more comfortable taking care of her so I can run errands. I hope your husband will come around. Especailly, for your new baby. Hang in there and do what's best for you. 

Name: JESSE | Date: Aug 28th, 2006 12:38 PM
thanks you for your input. i do feel like i am completely ignored. he does change the baby's diaper and feed him a bottle on occassion. he wasn't around much his oldest was a baby because he was in the service. but when he was there it sounded like he did so much more with him. maybe i am wrong, but i don't think so. he worry's more about paying daycare then buying our son clothes. he needs to make her understand that one child does not come before the other. what am i saying, he needs to realize that too. over the weekend i told him that i love him but i am going to get my s**t together and leave. he said to me that i was an adult. my reply was that it doesn't mean that i live a life of solitude and what is the point of communication if the the other person may listen but refuses to do anything about it. 

Name: f17rc010 | Date: Aug 31st, 2006 1:07 AM
Sounds like the only one being selfish is your Husband. Also sounds like that you are going to have to watch out for your son's best interest because he isn't going to, you may be all your son has. You couldn't be more correct about being a stepmom as being a thankless job. You guys have to work together as a unit and you both have to be concerned about your marriage and the two kids. That's all, at no point should his ex ever enter into his concerns. If he doesn't want to work with you for your entire family then you might as well be by yourself. I too am marrried to a man with children from other marriages and I deal with some of the same things you are. I have been to the end of my rope several times but right now we are trying real hard to work through the problems I have with his ex and his giving his one daughter specail treatments. Hope all works out for you. Please remember you won't be doing your son any favors by being unhappy. 

Name: pj754 | Date: Sep 1st, 2006 1:15 AM
To Jesse---Good for you in standing up to your husband. As much as us wives are suppose to honor and respect our husband's, it's very difficult when your partner is not applying anything you say. It's like you don't make a difference no matter what you say!!! You are looking at the best interest of your child and that's what a GOOD RESPONSIBLE MOTHER does!!! Unfortunately, you husband will resent what he has done because it will affect the child in the long run. That's very sad. So, how are things after you told him what you have said? I'm sure he won't like the idea of having to pay child support for two children. Good luck and keep your head up high. You are only looking for what is fair for everyone. 

Name: jennifer | Date: Sep 1st, 2006 6:52 AM
omg! i feel like your ME in Five years. Im dating a guy who has a child and A CRAZY ex. I am in a sturggle to find out what to do. because i don't want to be miserable if we got married, and the issues you pointed out really makes me think about the future~ 

Name: f17rc010 | Date: Sep 4th, 2006 11:40 PM
Jennifer, look at your situation now and magnify it by 10. That's what it will be like once your married. My Husband's x was tolerable when we were just dating but once we lived together and got married so freaked out. Think about this and listen to these other women on here, these crazy x's are out there and if you have found one, make sure you can deal with it because it will be very stressful. My marriage is on the rocks because of it. Your boyfriend also makes a difference, make sure he is willing to stand up to her, some let their x's walk all over them. Good luck. 

Name: JESSE | Date: Sep 30th, 2006 5:04 AM
I want to thank everyone for giving me the reassurance that I am not crazy. We are still going the rounds. I am so frustrated. Jennifer, before you make any decisions, make sure you have a pretty good idea of his patterns when it comes to his child. No one can say how a father is going to interact with a new baby. I would have never thought my son's father would act the way that he is. 

Name: winnmom | Date: Sep 30th, 2006 6:00 AM
A lot of times for men , I think it is the age of the baby-child, like others here have said. A lot of men are nervous around the youn ones, until they grow a bit and toughen a bit.My hubby even takes our youngest to work with him sometimes now!
We are a blended family, and my hubby does not get to see "our" son from his first marriage very often because of distance, so when he is here, he does spend extra time with him ( not all the attention mind you) and our son that we had together DOES understand this, because it is all he has ever known. 

Name: winnmom | Date: Sep 30th, 2006 6:02 AM
He should be supporting both children equally though!!!! 

Name: winnmom | Date: Sep 30th, 2006 6:04 AM
Do you think he may be feeling guilty ? I mean because his second one lives with him, but his first one does not? This could be guilt parenting. 

Name: JESSE | Date: Oct 3rd, 2006 4:00 AM
i just don't want my son to ever feel slighted in any way. I don't want him to say to me one day - why does daddy do things with my brother that he doesn't do with me? That would kill me. I grew up in a family where my mother showed favortism to my brother. Even though I was supposed to understand because he had health issues as a young child, she still plays favorites to this day and it still hurt like hell. 

Name: winnmom | Date: Oct 3rd, 2006 4:56 AM
In our family , nobody is treated what the world calls "fair". We feel it is very unfair to treat individuales "fair".
None of our children feel slighted when Daddy does things with our children from his first marriage, they do not think a thing of it. I think if you make an issue of it, it will be an issue, if you teach your son that it is no big deal, it will be no big deal.
A lot of how your son percieves things will be because how you percieve things. If he does not live with the child from his first marriage it is only natural when he sees him he will want some one on one time with him, and explain to your son that he gets daddy all the time and his brother does not. 

Name: Lizzi | Date: Oct 3rd, 2006 2:34 PM
I'd do exactly that,secretly save up and leave! Obviously your husband has no respect for you or your child together,his ex and son from her DO come first. Basically you can stay and plan to live your life this way or you can leave and provide a better life for you and your son and become happy again. If you leave it will either rattle your husbands cage enough to make him see the light and turn things around or he will run back to his ex. Either way you will know for certain his true feelings. 

Name: winnmom | Date: Oct 3rd, 2006 2:58 PM
Jesse, It really sounds like he is doing "guilt parenting" 

Name: JESSE | Date: Oct 13th, 2006 3:57 AM
To winnmom... I am sorry, but I do not agree with telling my son when he is older that it is ok for him to be left out. Reason being, his father is always working. There are days that he doesn't even see him. Just because he is a baby doesn't make it ok, which he thinks. The only time he takes any time away from the business is when his oldest son is here. When he does see our son, its for maybe 10 minutes before I put the baby to bed. He thinks because he lives with both mommy and daddy he has an advantage. But what good is that if he never sees his dad. I don't want to have to wait until my son is older to see if his father takes as much time with him as he does with the son that doesn't live here.

Lizzie.... thank you. He never had feelings for the ex. It was a marriage of convenience and obviously stupidity. 

Name: winnmom | Date: Oct 13th, 2006 4:35 AM
I understand that you are in a touch position.
I am not saying that it is o.k for you to tell your son that it is o.k for him to be left out. I am saying that it is normal for a blended family to have to have things different than a "regular" family. I am not saying it is o.k at all. I am saying that in a blended family everything is different. Blending families is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but I would not change it for the world. hubby and I did pre-maritual counselling before we got married, and it was a real help.
It sounds like he is working hard to support you all, and sounds like he is guilt parenting his first son.
I am just trying to be helpful because we have already gone through all these things in our house.
In our home, none of the kids no longer feel left out or jealous. They each know that they have a place, and that place can not be replaced by anyone else. But I do not believe at all in treating children fairly. I know so many parents who litterly stress so much about being fair. In the end it all comes out fair anyways. Each child is an individual and I treat them that way. 

Name: winnmom | Date: Oct 13th, 2006 4:37 AM
Jesse I do understand what you are saying, what you feel, and where you are coming from. 

Name: winnmom | Date: Oct 13th, 2006 4:37 PM
Jesse, just a honest question here.
Do you think that you may be feeling a little jealous?
I ask this because this too can be normal when blending families. 

Name: mari007 | Date: Oct 15th, 2006 3:09 PM
From: Mari Johnson
Email Address: [email protected]

Peace be with you,

My name is Mrs. Mari Johnson., a nationality of Morocco . I am married
late Mr.david johnson who worked with Moroco embassy in Ivory Coast for
nine years before he died in the year Octorber 2003. We were married
twenty years with a child. He died after a the illness that lasted for
long four days. Before his death we were both born again Christians.
my late husband was alive we deposited the sum of ($9.5 Million U.S.
Dollars) with one of good security company here in Cote d'Ivoire.
Presently, this money is still with the security company. Recently my
Doctor told me that I would not last for the next three months due to
cancer problem. Though what disturbs me most is my stroke. Having known
condition I decided to donate this fund to church or better still a
Christian individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to
instruct here in.

I want a person or church that will use this fund to churches,
research centres and widows propagating the word of God and to ensure
the house of God is maintained. The Bible made us to understand that
blessed is the hand that giveth. I took this decision because I have a
child that will inherit this money but my son can not carryout this
only because i and my late husband decide to use some of the money to
for God and live some for our son to have a better live.our son is just
17yearold now and been grow up in africa, he have low manterity and my
husbandīs relatives are not Christians and I donīt want my family hard
earned money to be misused by unbelievers. I donīt want a situation
this money will be used in an ungodly manner. Hence the reason for
this bold decision. I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am
to. I know that I am going to be in the bosom of the Lord. Exodus 14 VS
says that the lord will fight my case and I shall hold my peace.

I want your telephone communication in this transaction because of my
health because of the presence of my family relatives around me always
.call me or my son his name is kevin johnson, I donīt want any of my
husband family relatives to recieve this money. With God all things are
possible.As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact
the Finance/company. I will also issue you a letter of authority that
empower you as the new beneficiary of this fund. I want you and the
to always pray for me because the lord is my shepherd. My happiness is
that I live a life of a worthy Christian. Whoever that wants to serve
Lord must serve him in spirit and truth. Please always be prayerful all
through your life.

Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing for a church or
Christian individual for this same purpose. Please assure me that you
act accordingly as I stated here. Expecting to hearing from you Remain
blessed. email: [email protected]

Mrs Mari Johnson 

Name: momto3stepto2 | Date: Oct 21st, 2006 2:48 AM
You didn't mention how old your stepson is. Your hubby might just be trying to "buy" his love. He does this by buying him gifts and spending as much time as possible with them. On the other hand, some men are just not good with babies until they are a bit older. Maybe this is the case in your situation. I know it seems like the stepson and ex come first, but he does come home to YOU and your baby. Give him a little time to get used to the baby and maybe he will come around. I know my husband wasn't good at all with my grandaughter when she was an infant and I always thought it was because he didn't love her. But now that she's 18 months old, he plays with her more regularly when she visits. Just wait and see if he acts differently as your baby becomes less "fragile". Try talking to him about your feelings. I know it frustrates you when it seems that everything is going to pay bills your husband should be helping you with and when it seems all the money is going to the stepchild. Give it some time, and then if it don't work out and he still acts the same, give him an ultimatum: Straighten up and act like a family, or go back to the one you had. 

Name: JESSE | Date: Nov 25th, 2006 7:19 AM
In response about feeling jealous... yeah sometimes, we never do anything together anymore. he works alot, he is self employed and we are struggling. He takes time off for his son, to sit in the office with friends, go to lunch, and not include me with the adult interaction. Makes me feel unimportant and tonight I overheard him say, you want a date, earn it. I feel like our baby and me are left out and only come along for the ride so his son feels like he is in a family unit. Yes, I am angry. I don't blame the child, but I feel angry when I have to listen to him say, my mom told my dad to buy this or that for me 

Name: vbigelow | Date: Nov 26th, 2006 3:36 PM
Most states have laws in place that protect the parenting time of the non-custodial parent. Punishments for custodial parents who obstruct parenting time of non-custodial parents are severe. Therefore, it is highly probable that your husband would not suffer loss of parenting time if he were to behave evenhandedly; in fact, his ex would be punished if she tried that tactic, and, therefore, I'd let her have a go and then file a motion with the friend of the court.
As for the money, in most states, judgments of divorce clearly spell out the financial obligations of both parties. These cannot be changed without a court order and, therefore, your husband's ex can't compel him (or you to pay her mortgage or for her son's daycare) if they aren't in the order. If your husband can't meet the obligations spelled out in the jod, he can file a motion to "show cause" with the friend of the court and potentially get a reduction.
Were you aware of the laws protecting parenting time? Child support/alimony? Have you and your husband discussed these things? It doesn't sound like the communication is good in this relationship; he seems to have shut down where discussions around his obligations to his first family are concerned. It may take a professional to sort this one out.

As for baby formula, it is difficult to understand that choice on your part. If money is so tight, I'm not sure why you would decide to forego the freebee nature provides for something that, during the first year costs more than two major appliances. Please don't tell me it's because you work, because women pump in business offices all the time. Also, studies show that less than 5% of women can't breastfeed. In addition to being free, breastfeeding is proven in terms of cutting down on the doctor bills for things like ear infections. 

Name: vbigelow | Date: Nov 26th, 2006 3:55 PM
I want to add that aside from any fears your husband may have around vindictive actions his ex make take (vis-ā-vis parenting time, etc.), he is clearly guilt parenting his first son. He probably feels somewhat guilty about you and your son, but doesn't know what to do. I firmly believe that he sees your approach as nagging, which is the death knell for communicating with a man. Either they shut down or they do what you want and secretly plot to hit you over the head with an ax (just kidding). I strongly recommend counseling or a support group if you want the marriage to work. He is not going to stop guilt parenting his son to get along with you because the guilt is the stronger force. He needs to see for himself that his behavior is destructive, not only to you and your son, but to his first child and I don't think he can do that unless there is outside help. 

Name: JESSE | Date: Dec 2nd, 2006 3:32 AM
I am aware of the laws, however, my hubby thinks that I don't know what I am talking about and doesn't want to risk her playing the you can't see your son game. In the divorce decree it does spell out that he pays daycare. This was before my child was conceived. It was the only way she would out of his house and sign the divorce papers without contesting. The bill over the summer was $350.00 per week, it is now $250 because school started. We almost went into forclosure last month, had to borrow money from a few friends, we are scheduled to go up for tax sale next week. He doesn't make the kind of money to support that kind of payment. Also, she has a good job, $1000 a month for rent every month, internet, phone, cable, cell phone. My step son talks about what she buys, she even tells my hubby some of the things she buys that are not necessity even though he has not been able to pay her anything this month. She is not struggling, but we are. As far as the formula goes, I tried to breastfeed. My milk wasn't coming. I tried to pump and I got drops. I am also self employed, and the business that I am in is slow right now. I can't find anything that isn't commission only, meaning forking out money up front for daycare with no guarantee of getting a paycheck or a job that will pay for daycare and gas and that is about it. I also feel as though I should not have to work to be broke and still not be able to buy things for my son that I feel he needs, ex. educational toys, videos, clothes, so he can pay the ex. I seriously feel as though we need someone to intervene. He claims that he doesn't have the time right now to go to court and go through all that. His lawyer is very good, and won't charge him anything, so money is not the issue. There are many times that i felt like leaving becuase I feel like I am getting nowhere, but I I can not count on a dime. If I do it, I must be able to go it alone. I lived alone for awhile, I am no stranger to handling things on my own. My problem right now is the means to do it. Something will break soon, I feel it, but I feel like I have to hide some of what I make. I am an honest person, i shouldn't have to do that, but on the other hand I feel like I don't have a choice in the matter. 

Name: vbigelow | Date: Dec 4th, 2006 5:06 AM
Your husband can file a motion to have his alimony/child support reduced for cause. His attorney should know that. All your husband has to do is show proof that the current amount is a hardship and the referee should agree to reduce it.
It is illegal to obstruct parenting time. His ex cannot do that without serious penalty.
Next time call the La Leche League. They can work miracles. You will save $$$ 

Name: tonia | Date: Apr 4th, 2007 10:00 PM
Jesse, Just wondering how things are going for you? You story has me quite interested, with me being in the same kind of situation. Hope you see this. Thanks. 

Name: JESSE | Date: May 20th, 2007 3:47 AM
Hi Tonia!

I am sorry to hear that you are in a similar situation. Thank you for asking about mine. I have to say that on some level things are better. Of course, the money situation has not improved, nor is it going to for some time for reasons beyond our control at this time. We are having another baby, I am due in October. I am happy that my son will have a brother or sister close in age. They can play together and I don't have to worry about them treating each other differently like my step son now does to my son. He is very jealous and going through a phase right now where he has an attitude problem.. As far as the hubby goes, he does listen and hear me out on things a lot more now than he used to. He recogonizes that his son has some behavior issues and he will correct him, even tell him to tell me that he is sorry when he is rude to me. He now will buy something for our son whenever he buys something for my step son unlike before. I also put my foot down about my son's necessities coming before me giving him money for bills in turn making it easier for him to give money to his ex-wife. I felt like I was paying her. We didn't speak for a few days over that one. I just stood my ground and did not budge. I had earned some money, made less than what I was expecting and kept it for my son. It went to clothes that he needed, birthday presents, food, diapers. I wasn't about to let my son go without and she get Ipaid like I felt I had done in the past. Now that I am having another baby, same will go for he or she. It was empowering and I am proud of myself that I stood my ground. If I see something that I feel is unfair, I will very bluntly point it out, say what I have to say, and leave it alone. We end up talking about it later, even if it is a few days, but we have a better understanding of each other and how we percieve and deal with things. Granted we almost split up before we got to where we are.

What is going in your situation? I would love to help you if I could. 

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