Established Contributor
thankfulheart
Posts: 618
Registered: ‎09-26-2011
Why doesn't he get it? Venting.

The question of the ages, it would seem.  My estranged spouse handed me the finances when we married as he worked and I stayed at home, so had "time".  That was fine except he DIDN'T work 3-4 months out of the year.  When he was young and single, that worked for him, but when he had a family to support, not so much.  It never did quite sink in that feeding a family was quite a bit more pricey than feeding himself, not to mention all of the other falderal that goes along with kids.  Fast forward to a time when I finally came to grips with the fact that he was not going to change his work situation, so something had to give. I went back to school and got a job that moved me (and the kids) away. It was supposed to be a short-term gig, but turned into a career.  I've been slowly cutting the ties in the finances and last December, asked for a separation agreement and a promissory note to buy me out of my half of the marital home.  He signed, but wasn't very happy about it.  I helped him set up his own personal checking account and gave him a budget so he would know what was coming out of auto-pay.  He does have a personality disorder and we do have kids, so I'm trying to slowly pull the threads to split the seam, so to speak, rather than yank it apart.

 

Every month, he wants to know what I am spending the child support/promissory note money on.  He seems to think that I should be pumping that money back into paying HIS bills, forgetting that I am the one maintaining a household here with the children (whom he never calls, writes, etc), providing them with everything, including insurance, orthodontia, etc.

 

Right now, the only thing still between us is the mortgage on the marital home (he can't refi due to his bad credit) and our cell phone plan which I include in HIS budget as a reminder that the kids have them and he can call or text every once in awhile.  Part of me says I should just pick up the phone bill, too, to get him off my back, but part of me says, doggone it, he can shut up and worry about money for once. 

 

Short of outright divorcing him or being harsh, any suggestions how to handle the situation? For reference, phone bill = 1/3 of child support amount.

Starting Score: 10/1/2011 EQ 568 TU 593
Current Score: EQ 664 TU 700 EX 701 (FAKO)

Super Contributor
marty56
Posts: 5,679
Registered: ‎10-06-2007
Re: Why doesn't he get it? Venting.
[ Edited ]

Please stop being his mom.  Do what is in your and your kid's best interest.  If won't change for his kids, he won't change for you. Do what is in your and your kid's best interest.

09/12/2013 FICO: EQ: 772 EX:813 TU:752
Valued Contributor
Repo-ed
Posts: 2,949
Registered: ‎02-09-2012
Re: Why doesn't he get it? Venting.

marty56 wrote:

Please stop being his mom.  Do what is in your and your kid's best interest.  If won't change for his kids, he won't change for you. Do what is in your and your kid's best interest.


+1000

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FrugalRican
Posts: 2,876
Registered: ‎02-02-2012
Re: Why doesn't he get it? Venting.

marty56 wrote:

Please stop being his mom.  Do what is in your and your kid's best interest.  If won't change for his kids, he won't change for you. Do what is in your and your kid's best interest.



Bingo.

Follow my financial journey: http://www.frugalrican.com


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Established Contributor
thankfulheart
Posts: 618
Registered: ‎09-26-2011
Re: Why doesn't he get it? Venting.

I do know I need to back off, but at least with kids, you have 18 years to prepare them for reality, y'know?  I just don't feel like I can cut him loose suddnely since he's obviously never had anyone teach him about finances and money management and I still have to count on child support for another 5 years and the promissory note for another 15 (unless he ever gets to the point where he can cash out some equity). It's just a very slow, frustrating process, teaching someone who is clueless.

Starting Score: 10/1/2011 EQ 568 TU 593
Current Score: EQ 664 TU 700 EX 701 (FAKO)

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FrugalRican
Posts: 2,876
Registered: ‎02-02-2012
Re: Why doesn't he get it? Venting.

thankfulheart wrote:

I just don't feel like I can cut him loose suddnely since he's obviously never had anyone teach him about finances and money management


Things my best friend's mother would say about his son for about 30 years.

 

It's not that you're teaching someone who is clueless, it's that you are teaching someone who doesn't care to learn. Two different types of students.

Follow my financial journey: http://www.frugalrican.com


EQ FICO (01/16/2012): 656 - EQ FICO (02/16/2012): 743 - EQ (02/24/2012): 760 - EX (04/28/2012): 739 - GOAL 2013: 800+

AMEX BCE (0/10K) --- BOA 1-2-3 (0/15.9K) --- Discover More (0/6K) --- Chase Freedom Visa (0/1.4K) -- Hyatt Visa Sign. (0/5.8K) -- Barclay's NFL Card (0/7.5K) -- Chase Sapphire Preferred (0/5K)

Senior Contributor
Booner72
Posts: 3,889
Registered: ‎05-24-2011
Re: Why doesn't he get it? Venting.

There is a difference between enabling and "teaching."

 

From personal experience my recommendations are  1.  Read "Codependent No More" by Melodie Beattie.

                                                                                     2.  Go to therapy.

                                                                                     3. If the personality disorder includes drinking or drugs,which they do in most cases,  then go to an Alanon Meeting ASAP.

 

There's no shame in learning the skills you need to set boundaries and learn to live without guilt.  Your kids are watching how this goes down.

 

GOOD LUCK!!  Sounds very hard.

 

 

STARTING: 11/24/10 EQ-584 EXP-648 TU04-595
CLOSED FIRST HOME 8/19/11 EQ-630 EXP-691 TU04-653
CURRENT: EQ-701 EXP-??? TU08-720
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Epic Contributor
haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,114
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
Re: Why doesn't he get it? Venting.

thankfulheart wrote:

I do know I need to back off, but at least with kids, you have 18 years to prepare them for reality, y'know?  I just don't feel like I can cut him loose suddnely since he's obviously never had anyone teach him about finances and money management and I still have to count on child support for another 5 years and the promissory note for another 15 (unless he ever gets to the point where he can cash out some equity). It's just a very slow, frustrating process, teaching someone who is clueless.


But my dear, this is the reality that your kids need to know: their dad might very well love them, but he's completely clueless as to the nuts and bolts of being a dad, and he isn't going to meet the financial obligations that you think he should meet. And as for him learning reality, that isn't your job; that was his parent's job, and for whatever reason, it didn't stick.

 

Let go of the cell phone bill. It's not worth the fight, and wouldn't you pay for a cell phone plan anyway, if he weren't around? This sounds like one of those pointless battles that people engage in out of bitterness and some sort of determination to at least win one thing, and twenty years later, they have no idea why they bothered. Rise above, move on, and you'll be a happier human being in the end.

 

Do get the mortgage untangled, though. That's a biggie, both financially and legally, and if for no other reason, you need to have good credit for your new life as a single mom. Best of luck to you, and major thumbs up for being determined to make if different for your kids.

* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
Established Contributor
thankfulheart
Posts: 618
Registered: ‎09-26-2011
Re: Why doesn't he get it? Venting.

I hate it when other people are right. :smileyvery-happy: (OK, I really like it and appreciate the kick in the pants!)

 

You are absolutely right about the phone bill.  Verizon just announced a new plan anyway that will save me some moolah, so that will be that.  I'm trying to figure out the mortgage thing. It's at $7K left owing, but I've got money tied up in my own mortgage plan right now, so can't pay it off at this point.  If I can get it excluded from my DTI, that will be a HUGE blessing and load off my shoulders. 

 

I just need to stop listening to him whine about where the money is going.  It's going and it would be going one way or the other, so suck it up, buster.  Tired of the eggshells.

 

Oh, and to the person who mentioned drugs/alcohol, none of that is involved.  His "drug" is reading crazy stuff on the computer for hours on end.

Starting Score: 10/1/2011 EQ 568 TU 593
Current Score: EQ 664 TU 700 EX 701 (FAKO)

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Community Leader
Epic Contributor
haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,114
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
Re: Why doesn't he get it? Venting.

thankfulheart wrote:

I hate it when other people are right. :smileyvery-happy: (OK, I really like it and appreciate the kick in the pants!)

 

You are absolutely right about the phone bill.  Verizon just announced a new plan anyway that will save me some moolah, so that will be that.  I'm trying to figure out the mortgage thing. It's at $7K left owing, but I've got money tied up in my own mortgage plan right now, so can't pay it off at this point.  If I can get it excluded from my DTI, that will be a HUGE blessing and load off my shoulders. 

 

I just need to stop listening to him whine about where the money is going.  It's going and it would be going one way or the other, so suck it up, buster.  Tired of the eggshells.

 

Oh, and to the person who mentioned drugs/alcohol, none of that is involved.  His "drug" is reading crazy stuff on the computer for hours on end.


Oh, heavens. Good thing none of us do that! :smileywink:

* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007