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Don't know how to deal with it

(47 Posts)
Newmama99 Sun 25-Nov-12 00:19:21

Should I ignore it..? My partner is divorced and we've been together for a few years now. He has two lovely step sons and we get on well. I am now pregnant and expecting our first child together. It hurts me when I hear how he used to splash on his ex. and how she always looked the part, was always well dressed, how he bought her a car etc. She wasn't working, and they financed quite a bit of their then lifestyle on debt.

After his divorce, my partner has inherited debts that he has to repay for another 5 years, lost the assets he had, and as he spends extra on his kids (on top of the CSA retention) it translates in him not being able to do more for us in terms of paying bills and contributing to the mortgage, let alone treat me. I do feel sympathetic to his situation, but can't help feeling resentful sometimes that his ex had a great lifestyle while with him, and that with me, he is skint most of the times, and says hasn't been able yet to propose to me because he has no money. I am working full time, almost 8 months pregnant, and when I hear what he did in the past for his previous partner, it really gets to me.

I am quite sure how to deal with this

Offred Sun 25-Nov-12 17:39:18

Oh yeah, and he makes massive and unnecessary guilt payments to her which he is expecting you indirectly subsidise? The pregnancy now tying you and your high earnings to him forever? <sigh> you deserve much better than being a replacement for his credit card... So does your child...

Offred Sun 25-Nov-12 17:32:34

blush garlic

Offred Sun 25-Nov-12 17:32:06

You said earlier that his financial situation wasn't clear from the start. So he went for a high earning (younger?) gf and kept his massive debt and previous financial irresponsibility secret? He has impregnated you but never committed to you and has never adequately explained to you exactly why he gave up any entitlement to the house and left his children with a woman he claims neglects them?

garlicbaguette Sun 25-Nov-12 16:58:15

Applause, Offred.

Offred Sun 25-Nov-12 16:40:20

Yes, I do agree that you should expect proportional contribution though op. You have not had that up until now despite pregnancy (something he is half responsible for), or in fact any type of commitment from him at all by the sounds of it.

If you get that though proportional financial commitment it won't be very significant in real terms because fundamentally it doesn't sound much like he can afford his children as it is. I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't get proportional contribution though because I think there is a good chance he's picked you because he expects you to be financially self-sufficient.

It was a very bad decision (for him) to have another baby before he paid off his debts and got himself sorted. You sound in a good position and so I think you do yourself down by picking someone who is likely to undermine rather than strengthen your current situation. You'll inevitably be required to behave as though you are a single parent in many ways because of the timing of this.

"Discussing childcare" - does that mean you are going to use your high wage to pay for childcare or he is going to quit his low paid job to be a SAHD thereby letting down his first family financially and reneging on his debts in order to take care of his ill timed new baby? What if when the baby comes you don't want to go back to work? I doubt you can expect meaningful contribution to massive childcare bills for a baby from someone who apparently cant manage normal household bills. It's a mess which you have all been involved in creating but it has had HIM right in the centre of it not his wife and I think it is really worrying you have got been given the impression he is the powerless victim of circumstance/evil ex wife given his current behaviour is not consistent with that as the truth but with him being spineless and irresponsible.

It hurts me when I hear how he used to splash on his ex. and how she always looked the part, was always well dressed, how he bought her a car etc. She wasn't working, and they financed quite a bit of their then lifestyle on debt.

This type of materialistic attitude of spending money they didn't have did their marriage no good.

Why would you want him repeat this mistake?

Yes, he spent an awful lot of money on his first wife BUT LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO THEIR MARRIAGE. Is that what you want? Him to spend on you and increase the debt?

startlife Sun 25-Nov-12 16:23:25

I understand how you are feeling and early on there was a very valid comment about getting involved with a man with children and financial issues. The reality is your life will be tougher because of his responsibilities and having a a baby will have highlighted the difficulties. Being a step parent is a very tough job.

What you must not do however is blame the ex, it only builds resentment and nothing good can come from that. Your partner was responsible for his choices - each time you blame her you are taking away his responsibility.

Your 'envy' is highlighting that you not having your needs met in this relationship. Do you want your partner to look after you more? Do you translate his spending, on the ex, with caring for her more? Use these strong feeling to work out what you need and then work with your partner to get your needs met.

I hope all goes well for you

bradywasmyfavouriteking Sun 25-Nov-12 16:20:39

You almost sound like someone who has been left by her husband for and has not moved on yet... is that right? Apologies if that's not the case.

Op you are coking across as a passive agressive twunt, tbh.

You only know what he has told you. I would disgusted in a man that leaves his kids with the woman he has described.

they both chose the debt. Both of them. He is not a victim and neither are you. You chose this life.
I also agree with offred in taht you are not a step parent and st the moment he is refusing to imply that you will be one anytime soon.

Me and dh got engaged when I was 18. My ring cost £80 from beaverbrooks. That's 12 years ago. We have been married 10. 2 years ago I got a real diamond for Christmas. Itsl costs nothing to get engaged, it also cost us the cost of the license to get married.

I was 20 when we did. It was the marriage I wanted. We couldn't afford a big do. But we could afford to be husband and wife and that's what I wanted.

The money thing is an excuse.

PopMusicShoobyDoobyDoA Sun 25-Nov-12 16:05:50

I'm not aware of all the backstory confused, but I am a step parent and I have a child with my DP.

The way I have handled the money situation is that, as long as he is contributing equally (or should I say, proportionately as we don't earn the same amount) into our household, it's his business what he does with the rest of the money. If he wants to give extra to his kids, he does. The children are now adults (students) but that's essentially what we have been doing since we started living together. But first you need to have a frank discussion about money and expectations so that you are both happy with the contributions each make into the household.

scaevola Sun 25-Nov-12 15:41:56

As you say you knew about the spending habits in his precious marriage, and the debt problems it has left, then you knew what you were letting yourself into when you embarked on a pregnancy.

That he is having another child does not cancel out his financial or emotional obligations to his other children, and I would be exceedingly wary of a man who let that happen.

You cannot change his past by hearkening back to it or making comparisons. You can only accept the man you have chosen as the father of you child, baggage and all, and make the best of that choice.

Elinda Sun 25-Nov-12 15:25:23

Well the fact is that your partner and his ex lived over their means. He could therefore give her the car etc. He is still paying for that today and as he isn't splashing out on you he has clearly learned a lesson.

You can either get over it and live a life you can afford or get a credit card yourself?

Offred Sun 25-Nov-12 11:53:53

How do you know about his relationship with his ex? That's my point... Him and his friends/family? How else would you know? I know that it is not facts because there is no such thing as having factual information about someone else's relationship. things can seem one way and actually be hugely different. Even court papers are judgement rather than fact.

Why are you so keen to get involved and have an opinion? It is entirely unnecessary and hugely counter productive to any role you may one day have as a stepmother to involve yourself like this I suspect it is because he has manipulated you into feeling like you need to defend him, poor helpless diddums, against "evil" ex wife, has he painted you to her as evil new girlfriend I wonder? That would be... Convenient.... For him...

I'm not a jealous recently abandoned wife btw, believe it or not it is simply your attitude which riles me.

Offred Sun 25-Nov-12 11:43:52

Passive aggression is still aggression, it is just less upfront.

What you describe are not facts, they are what you know of someone else's relationship history. I encourage you to wake up to what your boyfriend is showing you of himself.

How you choose to organise your life is your choice. If you are happy effectively being a single mum with an addition of a "partner" who doesn't contribute anything and behaves so helplessly then I wonder why you are posting your concerns. The problem is not his ex wife, it is him. You will be happier and better off when you realise that and I hope it isn't after you've been left high and dry and subjected to the same treatment as his ex wife has. He at least feels a financial responsibility towards her and I suspect when he abandons you his attitude will be more like "the first one took everything I owned I'm not having that again"

Newmama99 Sun 25-Nov-12 11:33:51

Offred - you seem very fired up and angry with my comments. Have you noticed the language you use such as: smug, superior, bullshit, crap etc vs the tone I use reply to you?

We obviously don't agree on how we see the situation, and that's ok. You almost sound like someone who has been left by her husband for and has not moved on yet... is that right? Apologies if that's not the case.

For your information, I feel very responsible towards our new child coming, and this is why I work as much as I can until the start of my maternity leave, and I am careful with our budget. We are already discussing childcare options for example.

Also, what you qualify as 'accusations' towards his ex were merely 'facts', to which you added your emotional charge. And I never said my partner was 'slagging off' his ex. Where did you get that from?

It seems pointless for us to reply to each other. I'm sure you'll agree.

Offred Sun 25-Nov-12 11:15:24

I think I'd be asking why he's telling you these stories and why it doesn't match with his behaviour. Especially why is he making guilt payments to the ex, why she has the children and the house? Either the stuff he tells you about her is true in which case you should have run a mile from him or it is lies in which case you should have run a mile... IMHO... confused

Offred Sun 25-Nov-12 11:12:05

I know I've felt angry with you (it's because your attitude has really stuck in my craw) but ultimately he sounds like a totally shit dad (leaving children in the care of the woman he describes IF it is true), a scumbag (for slagging her off so much to you but doing nothing about anything), a cocklodger (for latching onto you and your good job) and ultimately a pathetic waste of space. He must be quite manipulative too if you are wasting all your time and energy swallowing his bullshit about her and how he is a helpless victim of his past and his crap excuses about failing to commit to you and his new baby because he can't afford to... Urgh, it's him that makes me want to scream the most but seriously you taking that bullshit and then turning it back to attack other mothers is also pretty nasty. I would not be surprised at all if when the new baby comes the weasel backs off and starts blaming you for all kinds of crap either and I think you know he is not behaving responsibly towards you at least even if you don't recognise how he is letting his other children down. I wouldn't want to have a baby with the man you describe and perhaps this is why you are posting really?

Offred Sun 25-Nov-12 11:01:26

It isn't his past btw, it is HIS CHOICE.

Newmama99 Sun 25-Nov-12 11:00:58

Cantbelieveitsnot butter - thank you for your perspective. I feel you understood what I was talking about. I am sorry to hear that you lost all your assets. Dealing with the resentment is my current challenge...

Offred Sun 25-Nov-12 11:00:06

You are extremely arrogant. If you have no problem with your life and your choices why are you complaining on here?

Of course it is my issues that lead me to be really offended by your smug and superior pronouncements about another woman.

I refer you to the comment about new prospective wives who believe what their boyfriend tells them about their previous wife.

A man who is happy to slag off his ex whilst still apparently enabling the behaviour he complains about really should ring an alarm for you. It is absolutely classic behaviour this bullshit, stop feeling so smug and really assess your own life instead of getting twisted up by his responsibility avoidant tales of hardship at the hands of his terrible previous wife...

As for all the criticising of the wife you do, what about you? You don't think accusations of irresponsibility towards your children could be levelled at you for having a baby in these circs? Why do you think you are so much better and how do you know what crap he tells his ex about you? Please stop being taken in.

Xales Sun 25-Nov-12 10:56:40

If she is such a crap mum why doesn't your partner have full residence? AS soon as you say she brings drugs into the house I would move heaven and hell in my attempt not to leave my child with a person like that. Why would a loving devoted dad leave children with someone in this situation?

Also can I just add you are not their step mother. You are their dads girlfriend. He has refused to make a commitment to you because he 'can't afford it'.

Newmama99 Sun 25-Nov-12 10:54:18

Savoycabbage - I don't resent that he has responsibilities towards his children with an ex, because that's a reflection of what a decent guy he is, and if he didn't I would not have been involved with him, like I said in a previous post.

What I am finding difficult to handle is the financial impact that his past is having on our relationship, and my initial post was about trying to find out how other in similar situations have dealt with it.

His past is his past, and can't be changed, and the focus for us is us moving forward as a blended family and our own lives.

PS: your comment on the car was funny smile if you want you could read my other posts on where I give further comments on it.

Newmama99 Sun 25-Nov-12 10:47:58

Offred, your words are really showing lots of your own emotions it seems.

It doesn't look like you have experienced being a the step mum side with a guy that has been left in lots of debts because of bad decisions taken in his previous marriage. Of course the money is not everything! Surely you can see that if money was everything to me, I would have been driven by it my whole life and never got involved with a divorced man with debt and responsibilities towards his children with his ex....but this is not the case. So I do not agree with your comments, in fact, most of them add very little value and are not helpful to me.

Perhpas it was a conduit for expressing your own issues? And that's fine. It just shows that without all the facts being out there, it can lead the conversation in paths that it shouldn't go. So I don't blame you, you were just ignorant of all the facts.

So here are some facts: my partner worked all the time, while she busted his credit cards on going away on her week-ends away with friends, on going out drinking, on buying expensive clothes and stuff for herself, while on the other side, not caring as much as she could have for the children. There was a disparity in their views in raising the children, she thought it was ok to get pissed and throw up in front of them, not to sit down for homework, to leave them the whole day with psps in their bedrooms. She wasn't the committed stay at home mum that she could have been. She brought drugs in the home, she thought it was ok to smoke around the children etc. My partner did most of the housework too, and I heard all of this not just from him, but from people around him, friends and family on both sides. Oh, and on the example of the dentist side, my partner used to take days off work to take his children to the dentist/doctor because she couldn't be bothered, and he still does it today. On the car thing, if you are in a relationship where debts are building up and you are not pulling your weight, you would try to minimise costs for the family, you don't use it to go shopping for clothes and make up at retails parks outside of town etc.

i fully back women who work at giving the best for their children, and great if they can afford to stay at home for that, but sorry, I don't respect the others who hide behind them and use a guy to subsidise their lifestyle.

The present is a result of the past, don't you agree? If there are some impact of that previous relationship on our current relationship, then no, I don't agree with the approach of brushing them under the carpet and pretending they do not exist. I'd rather find ways to deal with them and try to move forward.

I won't comment on your references to commitments to children. I have invested lots of time and energy and care in my steps kids and a big chunk of it is on the emotional side, the caring side etc. As well as taking some responsibilities towards them that i didn't have to.

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Sun 25-Nov-12 09:54:43

This is like my situation but the other way round e.g I've got all my ex'd debt and sadly lost all my assets.
I feel incredibly guilty and sad about it, about the bad decisions I made and how it now affects my son and oh. Life is how it is unfortunately and I don't doubt he feels awful about it too. Talk to him about contributing for your child but I think the resentment has to be kept to yourself, presumably you knew the situation when you got with him?

OpheliaPayneAgain Sun 25-Nov-12 09:40:59

Well, in a couple of weeks his CSA obligation will be reduced due to a new family. So that should cheer you up, OP.

Alternatively give him a break down of what it costs to run your house and ensure he pays that before all the extras onto of CSA payments.

TBH the man is probably guilt tripping about not being an everyday part of his first familys life and over compensating.

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