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Question
Posted by: Michy | 2012/03/16

Needy ex wife

Hi,

I need advice please! I’ ve been married for the second time now for 4 years. My husband is a recovering addict and has been clean for 10 years now. When he was married, he was still an active addict. While he was in recovery, his wife decided to file for divorce. They are divorced now for 11 years. They have an 11 yr old daughter. After my own divorce, I bought a house where I lived with my twins whom I had custody of. After we got married, my husband moved into my house. My husband changed his life around for the better and now has his own business. When I met him, he had nothing. Although I have my own job, I regularly help him with his business (he runs this from home). He and his ex has came to an agreement that he sees the child whenever he wants to. As a result,his ex will drop the daughter there every weekend and every school holiday, whether he’ s there or not ( his job sometimes requires that he spends weekends away). I have worked hard to be where I am, and as a result earn a good salary. My husband too has done well for himself. He regularly pays child support, much more than he should, but because his ex does not earn a good salary, he pays for everything else. She regularly calls him( almost every day) because the “ child”  needs this, and she needs that..etc. which he will buy. As she doesn’ t have a car, she couldn’ t get around, then she kept calling him because the “ child”  needs to go here, and there etc. He then decided to buy her a Vespa, which she now uses as transport. When the daughter came one weekend after school, we noticed that her school shirt was un-ironed and dirty. She said they don’ t have a washing machine and an iron. He then bought these items for them, because the “ child”  needs it!. He also bought some kitchen utensils, cos the daughter said they don’ t have a stove/microwave etc. I was ok with it...until she called him in the week, asking him to buy her a blackberry, cos their “ child”  needs to use it for internet access for school projects??? I put my foot down as I feel she is way too needy. She calls him every day asking him for advice on handling the daughter etc...I feel that she depends on him far too much! Does she feel that she now deserves to live the way we do? Their daughter is short of nothing! He regularly takes her for swimming lessons/jitsu etc...I have asked him to put boundaries down with his ex. He called her this morning telling her that her neediness is causing problems in our marriage ..and she went ballistic! She threw in his face that she is not the only parent..Please how do I handle this? I feel that she is using the child for her needs, I also feel that he does all these things out of guilt..as he couldn’ t support her while he was married to her because of his drug addiction. He is now overcompensating...and I am so unhappy & #61516 
Thank you for reading. Would appreciate your replies.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

The child needs to be properly cared for, and is the priority. But coddling the Ex and catering for whatever SHE wants, is not necessary or appropriate. And it sounds as though your husband's business works WITH a significant subsidy from you, using your home as its premises and your payments to help.
A Blackberry was a ridiculous luxury, and a most expensive way for a child to access the internet, which should be provided at any school that expects the children to sue the web for projects and homework, and can be accessed from an internet cafe probabl more cheaply. I wonder how much the Ex uses the Blakckberry for her own purposes ?
The fair amount of Maintenance payments is almost always best decided by a Maintenance Court, taking into account genuine needs rather than vengeful Ex's wishes, and dividing those expenses fairly between the parents - without assuming that the Ex is entitled to personal support for life without having the duty to look for work to support herseelf and her child.
Amd she should try acting like an adult parent and learn how to care for the child without needing daily calls for his advice - that sounds much more like her way of keeping him close to her.
Her over-reaction to his highly resonable comment suggests that she wishes to cause the problems she is causing, and has an exaggerated sense of entitlement for life. He is not now required to repay her for whatever he didn't give her while they were married.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Another View | 2012/03/17

Sorry, apart from the Blackberry nothing else is a real luxury.

She doesn''t need a BB, the child can go to an internet cafe or library for research.

Reply to Another View
Posted by: Another View | 2012/03/17

Have you thought maybe your husband does this to make up to his ex for his past behavior?

Drugs cost money, and destroys homes. Maybe your husband sold everything they had for drugs. Maybe he got them into debts to support their habit. Someone tried to sell me a fish tank and a radio at a petrol station once for ''petrol'' (I know the guy was a junkie, he''s tried on more than occasion to sell me stuff for ''petrol''). It happens, people sell ANYTHING they can for drugs.


Plus, he was obviously on the drugs when she was pregnant. And when the baby was born. So he obviously was in no state to lend support.

He obviously gave her a hard time, and she''s making him pay for it, and he obviously feels he deserves it.

Was your ex husband a drug addict?

Have you ever asked him if he ever got them into financial trouble?

Not everyone is so lucky to be able to build a future like you guys are, and your husband is VERY lucky he''s gotten this chance.

She hasn''t been asking for any luxuries, and it''s not even the mother that is asking. It''s the daughter that''s telling your husband. Maybe the ex doesnt want you to know of her situation, but won''t decline the offer anyway.

Just think about it that way.

Reply to Another View
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/03/17

The child needs to be properly cared for, and is the priority. But coddling the Ex and catering for whatever SHE wants, is not necessary or appropriate. And it sounds as though your husband's business works WITH a significant subsidy from you, using your home as its premises and your payments to help.
A Blackberry was a ridiculous luxury, and a most expensive way for a child to access the internet, which should be provided at any school that expects the children to sue the web for projects and homework, and can be accessed from an internet cafe probabl more cheaply. I wonder how much the Ex uses the Blakckberry for her own purposes ?
The fair amount of Maintenance payments is almost always best decided by a Maintenance Court, taking into account genuine needs rather than vengeful Ex's wishes, and dividing those expenses fairly between the parents - without assuming that the Ex is entitled to personal support for life without having the duty to look for work to support herseelf and her child.
Amd she should try acting like an adult parent and learn how to care for the child without needing daily calls for his advice - that sounds much more like her way of keeping him close to her.
Her over-reaction to his highly resonable comment suggests that she wishes to cause the problems she is causing, and has an exaggerated sense of entitlement for life. He is not now required to repay her for whatever he didn't give her while they were married.

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: Donna | 2012/03/16

My husband doesn''t even support me in this way. Boy oh boy does this woman have your hubby wrapped around her little finger.

Maybe his daughter just need to come live with you on a full time basis, seeing that all these things are needed for her.

And she can have her kid over weekends &  holidays.

Reply to Donna
Posted by: Michy | 2012/03/16

He also says that if she takes him to court, he may have to pay her even more?? So he just pays and buys whatever she asks for ...I personally feel that she should stop feeling sorry for herself but try to improve her financial state for her own good...and not being so dependent on the childs father??? is this so wrong? I did it...and Im proud of what I achieved! Even my twins have now just completed there college studies and cant wait to start earning their own money so that they can pay off their student loans. Anyway, what you sow you reap.. right?
Oh well...thanks for allowing me to vent...haven''t been on this forum for years now...glad to see it''s still going!

Reply to Michy
Posted by: Maria | 2012/03/16

Even if a court stipulates the amount, it won''t stop the emotional blackmail. Would it be an option for the kid to live with you rather, and go to her mother over weekends? That way he can spend money on her only, without having to buy stuff for the ex.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Bongi | 2012/03/16

Is there no way of taking this to maintenance court and get a formal court order that specifies the amount he should contribute? It will make it more like a business transaction now, but it will clear up the mess she is causing.

Reply to Bongi
Posted by: Ronel | 2012/03/16

Sounds to me like your husband should choose between you and the ex....
I do understand your point, but what is going to happen when you two get old and there is no provision for your retirement as he has to support 2 women?
Will she take you in?

Reply to Ronel
Posted by: Michy | 2012/03/16

Thank you Bongi. I just wish I knew how to handle the ex wife....
My husband now feels " he''s in the middle"  ...since he confronted her.

Reply to Michy
Posted by: Bongi | 2012/03/16

He is definitely overcompensating....WAAAAAAY too much. No, he must draw the line on the BlackBerry. He should have drwan it a long time ago. A maintanance court order would specify axactly hpw much he must pay and then he should end there - no buying cars and stoves for this parasite woman.

Big ups to your husband for kicking the bad habit and for staying clean for so long and well done for taking care of his child. I congratulate him - so many men are running away from their responsibilities these days.

Reply to Bongi

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