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Ms. Vicki: I Hate My Stepchildren

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I hate my stepchildren! Yes, it sounds harsh, but they make me sick to my stomach.

I’ve been married to their father for four years, and their behavior keeps getting worse. I know it’s their mother who is influencing them to give their father a hard time, but I can’t stand by and let them keep treating my husband so badly.

All they do is want-want-want. Every time they call, it’s gimme-gimme-gimme. They visited us for Christmas, and everything they saw, they wanted.

My husband’s ex-wife even called to complain about everything I have in my house. Well, what I have in my house is none of her business. She couldn’t keep my husband happy when she had him so she can’t complain about how he takes care of me and my kids.

My stepchildren are also jealous of my two children. They feel like they should get everything my kids get, but my stepchildren don’t live here.

I’m trying to be a good stepmother and not interfere with my husband visiting his children, but they are becoming unbearable. They get his $700 in child support every month so they shouldn’t expect anything else.

For all my husband knows, his ex could be spending the money at the spa or out shopping. How can they expect that my husband should do more?

He shouldn’t have to buy clothes, pay for school fees, school field trips and everything else because he gives them $700 a month and that’s for everything.

My husband is being a man and stepping up to his responsibility. I believe the child support money is not going toward care of his children. I believe his ex-wife is using the money for own personal use (like her car payment, furniture, rent etc.) instead of spending the money on the children.

Ms. Vicki, ex-wives should let go and stop using their children as pawns to get even and for retribution when the man has moved on.

Sincerely,
Roll On, Exes and Stepchildren

Dear Roll On,

Last year was a very stressful and somewhat sad year for me. This year, I said I would be kinder and gentler because just maybe it was my fault or I did something horribly wrong to have such a year.

Then I receive a letter from someone like you, and I feel like I could become Despicable Me because I want to tell you how silly you sound.

To say you hate your stepchildren is just low down. I think you are way out of your lane.

I don’t know how old your stepchildren are, but I’ll bet they want everything they see when they come to visit their father.

He is their father and they are his kids. Even kids in intact homes want everything they see, so you can’t take that personally.

You have to understand your stepchildren for a minute. Let me tell you what stepchildren say when they come to me.

They say: My father left me and my mother to be with another woman and help take care of her children. They say: We are struggling, but my father is living in the lap of luxury with his new family. They say: My father doesn’t care about us.

Get my point?

Your attitude should be adjusted quickly. OK, your husband pays child support and he should. That doesn’t mean you get to monitor what his ex-wife does with “her money.”

She needs a car to transport her children. This means she has a car payment. She needs a place to stay for the children so she has to pay rent or a mortgage. She needs food for the children so she needs to go to Safeway, Kroger or Walmart.

A mother’s support doesn’t have a price limit. Mothers give, give and give. So why should a father’s support stop at $700?

If he can afford to treat his children special when they visit, why shouldn’t he? Why should you stand in the way of his relationship with his children?

I think you need to “roll on.” You won’t be in this marriage for very long if you continue to mistreat your stepchildren and talk about them so badly. I wish you a change of heart.

Sincerely,
Ms. Vicki

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Contributor

Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, has been the Dear Abby for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology.

Ms. Vicki appears regularly on Military.com and in the Fort Campbell Courier. Her column has also appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

Looking for advice about your military life? Email Ms. Vicki here. Find Ms. Vicki on Facebook here.  Find Ms. Vicki on Twitter here.

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