• Images
  • Text
  • Find a Couple + Registry
Wedding Woes

You either offer the money or you don't.

Dear Prudence,
For five years, I was a stepmother in all but name (we never married) to two little girls. I stayed in the relationship for them longer than I would have otherwise. Their father, while charming, had a gambling addiction and constantly cheated on me. I left when the oldest girl was 9. I tried to keep in touch, but their father was vindictive and cut off all contact. I couldn’t even say goodbye over the phone. He found someone else in less than four months and married her. That was four years ago. I have since moved out of state and recently moved back. Through social media, I learned my ex killed himself, leaving his widow with five children. She isn’t doing well financially and has created several crowdfunding posts. I am doing quite well: a new promotion, a new house, and a new car. I have the means to help her. Part of me dreams of taking the girls in, but I know that is unrealistic. I do not know the girls’ legal situation, whether their stepmother adopted them. Their father had no living family, save a senile great-aunt. My concern is the girls. I don’t want to offer financial help and have it squandered on other matters (their father once gambled away the money I gave him to pay for their prescriptions). What should I do?
—Afraid to Help

Re: You either offer the money or you don't.

  • Reach out to the SM! 
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    I agree with Banana. Reach out to her. Have lunch. Ask her how you can help, if you want. 

    But you do not get to hold this over her head and micromanage or judge her. The guy who squandered your money is dead, don't hold that against his widow. 

    I'm also curious as to whether or not their mother is in the picture.
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
  • I'd set up a meeting with the SM also.  Get to know her.  Maybe, with time, she'll allow the LW to take the girls out.

    In the meet-up, I'd express my condolences on the loss of her H and mention the crowdfunding I'd seen.  I'd have a gift card for Walmart or a grocery store ready to go.  NOT CASH.  I'm with the LW on that.  For any help I'm willing to give, it is going to be directly to the service provider or a gift card for necessities.

    However, the LW needs to be careful about a few things.  I agree with @ShesSoCold.  If the LW starts having a problem with how this woman spends money, then she can stop or taper off whatever help she is giving.  But she does not get to scold or tell the woman what to do.  She also does not get to use the financial help as leverage to see the girls.  Those should be separate matters and discussions.

    The LW also needs to decide how much she is willing to help and STICK WITH IT.  It is so easy to be sympathetic to a widow with 5 children, two of whom the LW loves.  This situation can quickly spiral into the mother asking for more and more help for "the children".  Where there is always an unexpected "financial emergency".  LW always needs to keep in mind that it is not her job or responsibility to help support this family.  Sounds obvious, but easier said than done when the woman starts crying to her about not enough food or the electricity about to be cut off.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • LW hasn’t seen this children in 4 years, and the oldest was only 9. Jumping right in to “taking the girls in” seems extreme (which she at least acknowledges). 

    Contact the SM, talk with her and see how things are going. Ask what she needs and how you can help. Decide what you’re comfortable doing. 

    But if youre giving money it might be best to look into a trust for the girls or account manager by a third-party if you’re concerned about the SMs access. 
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards