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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

Xales Sun 25-Nov-12 00:23:48

I am not too clear does he live with you and contribute to the bills but you would like more or does he live with you and contribute nothing?

He doesn't actually need money to propose to you that is just an excuse in my opinion.

izzyizin Sun 25-Nov-12 00:29:27

Why should having no money affect his ability to propose? There's no shame in having a modest engagement ring or even no ring until his/your finances improve.

As for for his former 'great lifestyle' with his ex, if it was funded on credit that he'll be repaying for another 5 years it doesn't sound at all great to m and it's to be hoped he's learned his lesson the hard way.

Charbon Sun 25-Nov-12 00:36:21

Why does he need to propose to you and why does he need money to do it?

You could propose to him, couldn't you?

There's always going to be less money to go round when you get involved with someone who has already got existing family commitments. As for his wife not working, that was a decision they must have agreed as a couple presumably so that one of them did the bulk of the childcare. I'm sure the car he bought her for example, was used to ferry his children around amongst other things - and just because one of the partnership isn't working, she shouldn't have had to live in hand-me down clothes and been exempt from presents and treats, should she?

I'm not clear why you think he lost all his assets either? If he is still paying towards their mortgage, he must still have a financial stake in the house?

VestaCurry Sun 25-Nov-12 00:45:10

You may find this difficult to read, but my best friend of mine told me she had met a man and was v serious about him (in the 13 years we'd known each other she had not had a boyfriend).

We are close and are always honest with each other because it comes from wanting the best for each other.

When she told me, the first things I asked were:

Does he have any children?
Is he solvent?

The answer was 'no' to both. I asked because I knew if the answer was 'yes' to either of these it could potentially be difficult for her to deal with, given experiences I've known other friends go through.

I wish you a happy future, but somehow you will have to come to terms with his past because that is not the future you and he have. They are different things entirely. It will consume you if you don't come to terms with it, but I can understand you feeling as you do. Mumsnet is a good place to vent it and hear views on it, then think on it smile.

Has the pregnancy made you dwell on these things much more? It wouldn't be surprising, pregnancy runs riot with our emotions etc.

Newmama99 Sun 25-Nov-12 00:48:45

He is contributing some towards our household bills, but i would like him to do more, because he could, and I'd find it unfair if he didn't. I almost feel 'us' is not a priority and that he may feel guilty in spending lots of extras (on top of his CSA) on his children. But because he does that he leaves himself in a position where he is not contributing as much as he could on bills for us. I'm not sure he has the right balance, and I don't want to be indirectly contributing to sustaining him financially.

I was thinking that if he really wanted to propose to me (his idea, and I'm happy for us to be engaged), then he could have budgeted for it over the last few years of us being together.

Now that we are expecting a child together, I'm worried that once again for our household, i'll be the one looking after our child financially, while he might feel even more guilty and overcompensating with the children he had with his ex.

Newmama99 Sun 25-Nov-12 00:56:50

Charbon - thanks for your view. When he lived with his ex, the school was 3 minutes walk for both the children, plus she had her mum and sister living withing 15min walk of their house, so she would have had free childcare. Her refusing to work was apparently an issue in their marriage, as she had initially told him she would work. Instead she busted 2 credit cards, spent on frivolous things, one they added to the house's mortgage, and the second is the one that my partner has to repay over 7 years because it was at his name. She was already divorced once and had a daughter from a previous relationship that also lived with them.

As to why I am with a man who has 'less money' and a past, well I believe we all have our own baggage and no one will have the perfect situation. And his finances is not something that was on the table from day one. I knew he was hard working and wanting to work, he is great with his kids and I know he will be just the same with ours.

Newmama99 Sun 25-Nov-12 01:00:06

Thank you VestCurry. Yes the pregnancy probably has something to do with it smile

But that's my problem, sometimes, I'm fine and i think well, that's his past, it's done, let's just concentrate on our present and future together. And other times, when I hear someone who used to know them when they were married commenting on how his ex lived such a good life, and then it gets me thinking that it's not fair etc etc and that's what I find difficult to get to terms with sad

VestaCurry Sun 25-Nov-12 01:00:32

You have to sit down with him and have the hard finances discussion. It will drag on and get worse if you don't. He had another child arriving imminently and if he is 'overcompensating' for his other children as you say, where will that leave things when he had another child? I'm afraid it's a bit of a recipe for disaster if you don't work this through now, before you give birth and are immediately in the throes of dealing with a new baby. This can be tricky enough, without the feelings you are harbouring about the financials and his other children.

Newmama99 Sun 25-Nov-12 01:04:12

Charbon - I forgot to add, he is not paying for the mortgage on his ex house, the house doesn't belong to him anymore and it was awarded to his ex as she had the kids and worked part time just before and during the court proceedings to show that she was able to sustain the house. Of course, she stopped working once she was awarded the house, and gets all the benefits she can have, plus she moved in her new partner (single no children and full time working man) the week after the final divorce proceeding.

cleef15 Sun 25-Nov-12 01:07:42

I'm sorry but facts are if you date a man that has children from previous relationship you will not have the same finances as if u dated a single man with no buggage. But you know that you have committed to that. When I was in my early 20s me and my friends would never have got caught up with men With baggage.. Unfortuately you will just have to deal with this that he had more money with one family rather than two families.

VestaCurry Sun 25-Nov-12 01:09:47

....just read your last post after posting again. Look, you're human and so the way you feel is....human smile, but as I said you have to find a way past it, for the sake of the relationship, if you want a real future as a family. That discussion about finances and generally what bothers you is really needed. Have you told him how you feel about the life he had with his ex wife? The reality is, second relationships (where children are from the first) will feel the effects financially IF the father isn't running away from the financial responsibilities that ensue. He's not ducking them (which sadly some do), that's being decent in that respect. If you think he's over-doing it, then all you can do is have an honest talk.

Newmama99 Sun 25-Nov-12 01:18:37

VestaCurry - Yes I have told him how I feel, and he says that he did many of the things for the sake of his children, that to sustain their lifestyle, he worked non stop and was unhappy. That she bought stuff for herself on the credit card, and it wasn't him constantly buying her presents.

I find it difficult sitting down with him talking finances, i am fine doing it, but it's such a touchy subject for him, and i guess it might not help that I currently earn more than him. But i don't want this to be an excuse for him not to have to do a bit more towards us if that makes sense. I will ask to have the conversation with him. Would I be unreasonable wanting him to contribute towards our son as much as he contributes to his children with his ex??

Charbon Sun 25-Nov-12 01:24:55

I think you've got an awful lot of misplaced resentment towards the mother of your future step-children and some of your views are really odd - maybe because you haven't yet had children and realised how much they cost! Certainly much more than CSA payments, that's for sure so if their father is actually paying 50% of their total expenses, that is entirely fair. Regarding his wife not working and deciding not to contract out the care of their children to family members who've got their own lives to lead, again there must have been some mutuality in that decision. If he was aggrieved at her not working after one child was born, why did he choose to have another child?

Did your partner agree to give up his interests in the house? If not, it sounds like he was badly advised by his own legal side.

Her new partner moving into the house has got nothing to do with anything. He's not responsible for your husband's children.

I agree you need to find a way through this, but feeling this level of resentment towards his ex-wife is not a great recipe for harmony in what is now a blended family. I'm sure your husband had his own faults in their marriage and wasn't a victim throughout. It sounds like they both made some bad financial decisions along the way.

Charbon Sun 25-Nov-12 01:29:50

Re. your last question - no.

It's reasonable to ask him to pay 50% of the real costs of raising your child, but this is likely to be less than the costs associated with older children (unless you're thinking of paying for childcare if you're returning to work, in which case the costs will be high) and to divide your living expenses in proportion to what you both contribute in available income.

Newmama99 Sun 25-Nov-12 01:51:42

HI Charbon - you might have misunderstood my postings. He is not my husband as we are not married and not yet engaged, but are expecting our first child together.

I am supportive of nrp taking their financial responsibilites, and if my partner did not financially support my step children financially, it would have put me off from the beguinning.

What i am not supportive of is ex wifes using the system to hide behind the children and ruining the lives of their ex husbands as much as possible to stop them going forward, and especially financially as the money and the kids are the only 2 ways vindictive exs can get to their ex husbands. And of course, you don't have the full facts about that ex relationship as I haven't shared more information. One of those facts are that the mother and the sister of the ex were staying at home and doing nothing and could have easily helped and shared some childcare, even on a part time basis. The second child happened while the ex was supposedly on the pill, funny enough just like the first one..

It does matter that the ex has a new partner, as it does matter that my partner is now with me. Because you may not be responsible for the child of another, but it has a huge impact on you, and finances is one of these impacts. Remember, until recently there was that odd law the if a woman was to marry a divorced man, some of her earning would be taken away to pay for children of another woman. Mind you, when I think about it, it's a bit what the new proposal for child benefit relates to, lol, penalise working mother & women who study hard and work hard, squeeze them with more taxes and give more to other who make different choices. But that's a whole new debate...

And talking about being aware of children costs...I find your comment misplaced. Would you not see that working and managing costs and expenses is some sort of preparation for when having a family vs someone who lived on benefits, refused to work and prefers using other's hard earned cash...? Also having children and knowing what it costs to raise them should be a great incentive for certain people to do as much as they possibly can to meet these commitments, whether it's working part time, a few days a week, or being careful with their partner's earnings??

I agree with you on one thing though: yes, I believe they both had their faults, no one is perfect, and that both of them were unhappy enough with the situation and each other to divorce.

No the court order was to award the house to his ex, so he has no claim to it, and this was done on the basis of her having the children. i don't think he can revisit that court decision.

Offred Sun 25-Nov-12 08:48:24

You sound awful op. Terribly money orientated and really offensive and also I suspect extremely gullible to believe without question what you've been told about an ex wife.

His previous family and how the money/work was arranged is absolutely none of your business. You can have expectations about and set boundaries over your own family only. It is disgusting that you expect the ex wife's family to provide free childcare just because they are at home and that you feel able to comment on her new partner moving in to her home just because your boyfriend happened to once share that home but no longer has any claim over it. Absolutely disgusting that you feel you can even comment on them - how would you feel if during your maternity leave one of your family expected to dump their child on you for free simply because you were now not at work? Is it just that this is your first child and you have no idea how much hard work is involved and can only think in terms of £s?

Children do not just require financial investment you know, they need an emotional and physical investment too and it's a completely valid choice to work at caring for your own children instead of trying to palm them off on family members for no money. If your boyfriend was unhappy with them struggling for money and felt she should have tried to contribute financially during their relationship that is his and her business not yours, how well do you think you will get on with his other children if you are so sneering about her?

If you are so keen on this ridiculous notion of money being the only thing that is necessary for children, disregarding any physical or emotional investment made, and the even more ridiculous idea of women not being stupid enough to get pregnant without intending to financially provide then why on earth do you not apply the same ridiculous standard to your current partner. Why, by the same ridiculous logic, is he being let off his responsibility to earn enough to keep his dc instead of the previous family using credit? Seriously, you are griping about a car? That is considered essential by a lot of people with dc because otherwise you get trapped in the home and isolated, being able to walk to school and see your mum on foot only doesn't take into account medical/dental treatment including hospitals which are often far away or any socialising with the children and why is it even your business that family money bought her a car? Why do you not apply the same standard to yourself? Why did you get pregnant when your partner was in such a mess financially and you must have known from the outset that this is how his money was set up?

It just seems now you are pregnant things are changing for you and you don't want to subsidise his previous family as you have done before, what with you being the high earner, but actually there is some expectation that you do that as the main earner in the new family when he is the nrp to his previous family's children. I think it is rich to criticise so harshly another woman for avoiding things you determine to be financial commitments but apply completely different standards to yourself.

And seriously; he doesn't have the money to get engaged but you are 8 months pregnant? Jeez, totally rich to criticise her so much but not him or yourself. I think you need to really take on board that it will be you who is financially providing for your child and also expect to contribute some indirectly to your step dcs if you intend to be together.

Leverette Sun 25-Nov-12 09:10:37

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

bradywasmyfavouriteking Sun 25-Nov-12 09:21:27

I was going to type a long response. But it was basically what offred said. And she has put it better than I would have.

OpheliaPayneAgain Sun 25-Nov-12 09:23:08

I cant understand why you are having a baby with him if he isn't pulling his weight financially with you and your family. You make him sound like the lodger to me.

hasn't been able yet to propose to me because he has no money

hmm Right. One of the most ridiculous reasons I've ever heard for prevarication.

And will he be fully financially contributing to his new family when the baby arrives or will his first take precedence?

SavoyCabbage Sun 25-Nov-12 09:32:57

I know someone who carried on like this. Resented her boyfriend paying money to his ex to support his dc. Had misguided opinions on what the mother of these children should have done in the past and what she should be doing now. The cheek of her having a car when she can walk to schoolhmm

Of course he is going to tell you that it's her fault he is in debt.

He has made bad choices in the past and he is doing it again now, having a third child he can't afford and not paying his share of the bills. Why doesn't he get a second job? He needs the money.

SavoyCabbage Sun 25-Nov-12 09:36:03

Well said Offred.

It's free to get engaged. And you can get actually married for next to nothing, just the cost of the licence.

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.

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?

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.

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