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DH had a chat with OSS about money...

lieutenant_dad's picture

Well, I might have actually scared the bejesus out of DH because he actually is holding OSS (somewhat) accountable for his tux jacket.

Last night, DH sat OSS down and had a very frank conversation with him about finances. Now, not everyone will agree with how he handled this (I'm not 100% in agreement, either), but DH decided to lay down some facts:

  • DH told OSS that he's frustrated with BM currently because he pays her $1000/mo in CS that should cover their basic expenses, including replacing the tux jacket that was ruined at her place.
  • DH is not a walking ATM, and while we are financially better than we let on, that doesn't mean we can replace things on a whim, and can't replace them multiple times.
  • DH said that he is replacing the tux jacket since BM doesn't have the funds, but the jacket stays at our house and OSS will have to make BM come to our house to get it before concerts and give it back to us after concerts. 
  • DH is fine with OSS not working his senior year because he's in several ECs that will help him in college (OSS is going into music composition and is auditioning for his college next week) and is taking college classes, but he'll have to work in college because DH cannot support him.
  • DH and I have already set up a financial plan to ensure that OSS has what he needs for school and for us to take a family vacation this summer, but that means that there can't be any more stupid emergencies brought on by bad decisions on OSS's part. (Side note: this plan was in place *before* DH did his stupid, idiot move of paying for BM's stuff, and the only reason it's still on the table is because I want to help OSS and want to take a trip as well; my issue has never been helping the boys, but helping BM when she won't help herself.)
  • DH told OSS that he doesn't want to see him bail out his mother. He can help her move her couch but not give her $20 for gas.

DH did explain why he did what he did to help out BM, and how he felt it helped the boys. But, now he can't keep doing it and won't keep bailing her out. He wanted OSS to understand that he will help HIM, but there is a limit to what can be done. He also wanted OSS to understand that saying "no" to BM was not saying "no" to him and YSS. He told OSS (and I didn't agree with this part) that BM isn't doing anything to help her own situation and he won't bail her out of her bad decisions any further.

I think DH may have shared a little too much of his own feelings about BM, but he wanted to be honest with OSS about the situation and why money discussions are going to somewhat involve him going forward, since bailing out BM isn't in the financial plan if he wants to help OSS launch. I was actually pretty shocked that DH was pretty unfiltered about it all, and it gives me hope that he might be waking up from his dumbassitis-induced coma.

It doesn't fix that DH lied to me. It doesn't fix replacing the tux jacket. But, given that BM is stating that she and her new DH can barely afford rent, AND she can't find her taxes to fill out FAFSA for OSS, I'm pleased with this SO LONG AS DH sticks to it AND informs BM. It's a step in the right direction that gives me (hopefully not false) hope.


advice.only2's picture

I think your DH did a great job, frankness and all.  Sometimes the kids have to hear what reality is.  He didn't call her names or say anything derogatory about her, he just stated facts. 


lieutenant_dad's picture

Thanks. I was surprised by how frank he was. He has pretended that things were okay for a long, and I expected him to act somewhat the same.

ndc's picture

If your DH had that conversation with a 10 year old, I'd think he was out of line. A 17 year old can hear that, and should.  This sounds more like a teaching moment than gratuitous BM bashing. How did OSS react?

lieutenant_dad's picture

He didn't react much, but that's normal. You could tell he felt bad about the tux jacket, and agreed that BM has made bad decisions and seemed understanding. He has been perfectly pleasant today, so I'm assuming it didn't shatter his world.

susanm's picture

Really glad to hear that.  Your SS apparently is much more mature than mine was at his age.  If we told him then that his mother so much as ran a stop sign the level of meltdown was truly shocking.  I hope that he remembers this going forward and you don't have any more issues where he carelessly costs you money and aggravation.  And it goes without saying that I hope your DH keeps working toward getting himself out of the doghouse.

CompletelyPuzzled's picture

I think your DH did a great job.  As another poster pointed out, your SS is 17.  He is almost an adult and is able to hear the truth.  It doesn't sound like your DH bashed BM at all.  He just spoke the truth.  My SD is almost 14.  We have just recently started being honest with her about BM.  We never share our opinion or nicknames for BM, but we do explain how BM's actions have consequences.  It sounds like that is what your DH did.  He explained that BM has made decisions and that she must live with the consequences of those.  I think that is an appropriate conversation with an older skid.

tog redux's picture

I think it's fine, though I still believe OSS should help pay for it himself. Maybe he'd learn to take better care of his stuff if HE had to part with some money. 

ETA: What kind of self-respecting man (BM's DH) allows himself to be bailed out financially by his wife's ex-husband?

lieutenant_dad's picture

I agree on making him help pay for the jacket, but he has no money. He's generally pretty good at taking care of his things (YSS is another story), so I *hope* having to deal with BM to get his stuff makes it stick.

And I lost any respect for BM's DH when he didn't personally thank DH or pay him back himself after he got paid. That soured my taste of him.

tog redux's picture

He could make OSS do extra chores around the house - not his usual ones, but bigger, harder ones that he can earn money for.  Anyway - at least he's trying to set some boundaries.

I think my DH would rather die than ask BM's boyfriend for help; or my ex-husband if I had one!

notarelative's picture

she can't find her taxes to fill out FAFSA for OSS, 

So BM is actively sabotaging her child's college plans. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

You don't even want to get me started on that. DH told SS to get a phone number for FAFSA so he can speak to someone about what to do. 

tog redux's picture

How can you "not find your taxes", in early February? If she's filed them, I'm sure she can get a copy.

Cooooookies's picture

I agree with the others, your SS is old and your DH did it in a neutral, factual manner.  My DH has had the same conversations with my SS17 about BM2.  Also, children are smart.  Chances are, like my SS, your SS has figured out the majority of who and what his BM is.  

Sparkl3s's picture

She is being a asshole about the FASFA. When you filling it out there is an option to download your info directly from the IRS, she can also log into the IRS and download a transcript of her prior taxes (if she really wanted to). 

ndc's picture

This of course assumes she actually filed her taxes. But with the various credits available, I've got to think she did.

Have OSS or DH look at the FAFSA site. There are instructions there on using the IRS data retrieval tool. OSS can then tell BM what to do.


BethAnne's picture

Sounds like a productive chat. I wouldn't be holding my breath that the tux is going to be personally shuttled to and from  your place by BM though... (and to be honest, I wouldn't want her to be comoing to my door that much either). 

Monkeysee's picture

This is fantastic, and I agree with the others it was an appropriate conversation for your DH to have with OSS. There is nothing wrong with honesty when it’s done without bashing the other parent. I’m glad your OSS handled it well.

Mandy45's picture

Yeah well dh pays his CS if bm cant do the right thing with it. It not dh fault. He cant support two households because his ex is hopeless. That the thing with a lot of these exs they use the kids as a guilt trip to get more than they deserve. Kids as they get older need to learn how to stand on there own two feet as well. If there to be successful in the future. 

shamds's picture

He won’t bail out the exwife for her bad decisions and be a permanent atm because she won’t get off her butt.

too many dads sugarcoat things for their kids that the bloody obvious is never seen. So a bio mum who is lazy and pathetic and treating ex husband as a permanent atm despite being married or living with a partner and refuses to get a job and be jointly responsible for her kid(s) is seen by her kids as doing it tough and because exhubby won’t support her.

Heck plenty of bio mums tell kids that they cannot buy the essentials because their dad doesn’t pay cs despite paying exactly on time as per court order etc...

your partner gave ss a fact, his mum won’t get off her arse and does make bad decisions and then expects him to bail her out when she is not his partner.

heck my sd’s aged 24 & 14 tell hubby its his religious duty to maintain paying cs to them indefinitely. Eldest sd has been in fulltime employment for a year now earning $2600 per month and still wants $1000 per month indefinitely. Its every excuse to extend that daddy needs to bail her out and help her out because of her own dumb choices to not secure fulltime permanent employment.

bio mum however gets off scott free because she faked an i can’t walk syndrome and is about to die any moment from an imaginary medical condition no dr or specialist can find because according to all scans she is in perfect health