Are You Paying His Child Support?

Are You Paying His Child Support?

First, It’s Okay To Be Mad. Second, How To Fix It.

Dear Lisa,

I’ve been a stepmom for about five years. I have one child of my own, and my husband has two kids. Over the years, I have helped pay for his child support and taken on a lot of the childcare and cooking responsibilities. The kids don’t really appreciate what I do for them, and it seems my husband doesn’t either. It’s as if he expected any woman who married him to do these things for him. Of course, I bought into this idea “” and now I resent it. I want to hold our family together, but I am burning with resentment. What do you suggest?

Angry Stepmom

Dear Angry Stepmom:

Many stepmoms complain that they take on too much responsibility in their stepfamilies. They often do this because as women, they feel responsible for creating a big, happy family. I’m sure this was partly what motivated you.Often, the woman is paying for their current life, and her husband is paying for his former life, says Jeanette Lofas, a certified social worker and president of the Stepfamily Foundation Inc., N.Y., which provides advice and resources to stepfamilies.

When a stepmom feels this way, she needs to find ways to start anew with her husband, says Lofas. Couples trying to start over may need to sign agreements requiring the husband to repay his wife for helping with child support payments. Or they could sign contracts providing some kind of compensation to the wife for caring for her stepchildren, she says.

Lofas also notes that people in stepfamilies should not throw all their money and belongings into one pot.” In fact, many experts recommend that stepfamilies establish his,” hers” and ours” pots of money. You need to begin by having a difficult conversation with your husband. Tell him you feel resentful and you want to find a way to start over. You might enlist the aid of a third-party counselor or psychologist to talk about this issue.

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It is okay to tell your husband you’d like to be repaid for child support payments. Don’t let that resentment boil inside you. Be sure to express your feelings and try to start over in some way. Good Luck!

Lisa

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