Divorce can be a very upsetting time for children and there can be a lot of confusion and misplaced anger. One woman writes about how she tried desperately to form a bond with her stepchildren but, she realized as they got older, the only connection seemed to be with her wallet. When her stepson scammed her and her husband in to paying double for his first child's baby shower she was hurt. Then, when they were deliberately excluded from the shower, she decided that she'd finally had enough.
Buckle in, it’s gonna be a long ride!! My (F48) husband Randall (50) have been together for 14 years. Randall has four children- two sons Kyle (26), Alex (24) and two daughters Savannah (21) and Cassandra (20).
It’s important that y’all know, as we get into this, that the oldest and the youngest are not his, biologically, but he’s raised them as if they were.
When Randall and I first got together, three of his children were in elementary school, and the oldest was in middle school. They really didn’t take to me at first as they wanted their parents to be together like any child would. I completely understood, and I gave them plenty of time to spend with their father, when we were with them.
I’d busy myself with shopping or visiting my own family. Eventually, we bonded and began spending time together. I’d do birthdays and holidays BIG for them and got to where we would do things on our own when my husband had to work… and he’s always worked a lot.
Here’s my issue. Over the last several years now, they’ve adopted this sense of entitlement towards us, but mainly their father. When we go into town to visit (we live 5 hours away), they’ll rarely make the effort to spend any time with us so we typically end up doing things on our own and then coming back home.
Lately, we are of the mindset that we shouldn’t have to drop everything and come to them every time anymore. Especially, when we know that most times, they’re not gonna show up. And they’re adults. If they want to see us, they can make a trip to where we live.
These days, their phone calls consist of asking for money for gas, groceries, to hang out with friends, or to help fund their trips with their mom. Randall used to send money for everything they would ask for, but has now begun to say no, and to really put his foot down.
He’s told them that they need to work for the things that they want and that everything is not always going to be handed to them. Any time he says no or that we can’t help right now it’s the silent treatment for weeks and sometimes months.
We’re coming to the part where I’m questioning myself and my decision to cancel their vacation.
Early fall 2022, Kyle told us that he and his girlfriend were expecting a baby. We didn’t even know he had a girlfriend. And he doesn’t think he wants Randall to be part of the baby’s life because he isn’t Kyle’s biological father. WTF?!
This man raised this boy from eight months old, and did everything that a father should do but he’s not good enough to be grandpa?! But he said he’d let us know. So we proceeded through birthdays and the holidays and, of course, I went all out as per usual.
Now, right after the new year I received a phone call from Kyle asking me if Dad and I could help fund their baby shower. It would go towards food, decorations, and the venue. I said yes. And I went ahead and sent him the money and he told me that in a week or so, he’d give me all the details of the baby shower and to expect the invitation in the mail.
About an hour later, Randall calls me and says that Kyle called and asked him if we could help fund their baby shower. And Randall sent him money too. Randall was furious that he took us both for money but he left it alone and we didn’t hear from any of the kids after that.
Mid-March comes along and we’re visiting with my Husband’s family when his SIL asked why we didn’t go to the baby shower the previous weekend.
Umm… because we didn’t know about it! We were stunned to say the least. Then, his SIL dropped another bomb on us. The baby was born the day before the shower. Come to find out, all four kids and their mother agreed to not invite us to the baby shower, or to even let us know that the baby was born. They needed just the money. To say that I was LIVID would be an understatement.
I sent Kyle a message a couple of days later and told him that, it’s one thing to not invite us to the shower, but to not let us know about the baby was heartbreaking. I told him that I hoped they’d had a great time and that they were gifted everything that they needed.
I congratulated him on the birth of his son and that I hope he’s healthy and adored. My Husband sent a similar message. We’ve yet to hear back from him and we’re headed into mid-June.
So, after a conversation between myself and my husband, and the fact that I paid for the entire trip, on my own, we decided to cancel their tickets for what was supposed to be our family vacation. I got a partial refund for some of the reservations that I had made but that’s okay. I’ll take the loss.
Last week we got a call from the other three asking what dates they needed to plan for and what they should pack. And let them know that I canceled their tickets so they didn’t need to worry about it after all. They were angry and had some choice words. I honestly feel like it’s the best decision we could’ve made. But am I the AH??
NTA tell them the vacation money funded the baby shower! Hope they enjoyed!
Stop being their atm!
NTA. That’s horrible behavior, it’s ungrateful and disrespectful to say the v e r y least. Good for you for standing your ground and no longer getting treated like a doormat. I’d suggest cutting them off entirely financially.
The ball is in their court if they want to turn the relationship around, you’ve done enough. I feel so bad for your husband being treated like that. It does make me wonder how many people influenced him or if he organically began being such an a**hole.
NTA - enjoy your trip.
and maybe start looking into wills and inheritance issues.
Agreed what horrible children. Just there for the money. It’s so sad for OP and her husband who have tried to have a relationship with them.
OP NTA but expect demands for money to continue.
NTA. I would have canceled it too. Tell them the vacation was part of the relationship you had with them at the time, since your relationship has clearly changed, the invitation no longer stood. So sorry to you and your husband! This all has to be heartbreaking!