Am I being petty? long--sorry

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by terptoteacher, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Oct 28, 2008

    Ok, background....
    My husband's cousin has been like a surrogate father to my hubby. The cousin, "Bart" has never been well off, living paycheck to paycheck. He got in an accident and lost his job so he earned money by building rustic furniture and garage selling/flea market stuff. The money he got from his accident settlement was given to his step children (4) for their various and sundry needs.

    A few years ago they almost lost their house. My hubby and I got a loan to help them out. They were paying us back $100 a month. They have paid about 3,000 leaving about 2,000.

    Bart had an old truck that was barely running, but it was his only transportation. My dh bought the truck from him, and put lots of money into it to get it running--new tires, new engine......Then he loaned it to Bart so that they would be able to earn money.

    Bart drove that truck into the ground and needed a new vehicle. My dh talked his friend into selling a pretty decent car to Bart at a loss so that they would have a car.


    Bart unfortunately died. He had an absessed tooth and the infection spread through his weakened body. It was devestating for us and especially my dh. We paid half the cost of the funeral and paid for half of the memorial.

    My dh and I have pretty much resigned ourselves to the fact that we won't be getting that $2000 back.

    Just last week we got an email from Bart's widow's daughter in law saying that Bart's widow, "Janice" was in tears because she was almost out of wood and didn't know how she would stay warm this winter so my dh arranged for a gift of a cord of wood and got another cousin to agree to cut a cord for her. We just can't get the wood to her so we suggested that one of her four kids get the wood to her.

    Guess what??? No one is willing to because they would have to spend $100 to get plywood to reinforce the trailer, plus gas is so high and yada yada yada.....They want us to get the wood to her--a three hour drive and I work and my dh works two jobs and we have three kids.

    Janice has four kids!!!!! The obituary mentions how much the step kids loved Bart...my dh or his side of the family wasn't mentioned in the obit at all.

    Am I being petty in thinking that the "beloved" step kids need to STEP UP and take care of THEIR mother!!!!!!!???????


    Thanks for letting me rant!
     
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  3. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Oct 28, 2008

    I think you are being taken advantage of. You have done more than most would do. You and your husband gave selflessly to Bart while he was alive, and have continued to try to fill needs that are NOT your responsibility after his passing. I can understand everything you did for Bart while he was alive. He played a major role in making him the man he is today. It goes without saying that he would want to do everything he could for him.

    His widow and step-children, on the other hand, are a different story. They need to take some responsibility. You have made arrangements for the wood to be available. That is far more than the vast majority of the population would do. They need to understand that. I'm not sure how to phrase it, but you need to tell them that while you understand the difficulties, it is their responsibility to get it. You cannot take the time and money out of your schedules to get it too them. You have a life, and right now, a full day trip just isn't possible. If they don't like it, they can figure out some other way to keep warm...heck, maybe they could go get a second job and actually buy their own wood.
     
  4. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Oct 28, 2008

    Yeah, I've told my dh that he needs to let them know that they need to step up, but he said that he promised Bart that he would help take care of Janice if anything happened to him.
     
  5. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Well, he IS helping to take care of her. He has provided her with an available cord of wood. They need to do their part. If you give in now, they will mooch off you you until they suck you dry. There is a difference between helping and allowing somebody to take advantage of you. The longer it takes to learn that lesson, the harder it will be on all of you.
     
  6. SuzieQ

    SuzieQ Companion

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    Oct 29, 2008

    Your hubby is a saint in my book. But it is also important to not enable the step kids this way. Give a man a fish ,you feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and you feed him for a life time. Let them figure it out, they will just give them a chance. Another thing your family comes first. He has done so much. At the same time it says a lot of your husbands character. He is a good man. Let him know that.
     
  7. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Oct 29, 2008

    This may be something your husband needs to figure out on his own. Tell him what you think, then I would back off. You definitely don't want this to become an issue in your relationship. He knows he's being taken advantage of. Help him figure out how to back out gracefully if he asks for help; otherwise....

    Seems like he's still dealing with the surragate "dad"'s death. It will pass in good time.
     
  8. Kindergarten31

    Kindergarten31 Cohort

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    Oct 29, 2008

    I don't think you are being petty at all. I agree with the other poster that the family will nickle and dime you to death with lots of sad stories and your husband seems like a nice guy with a soft heart. We had a similar problem in my family and it caused alot of stress between my husband and I.
     
  9. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Oct 29, 2008

    Wow, you & your husband have done a LOT for these people & I don't know how much they've shown their appreciation, but whether Bart was still living or not, I think it's time to stop & let them fend for themselves. You've done enough.

    It seems that they've taken your kindness for granted & are always expecting more from you. It's never enough for them & as long as you keep handing out, they'll keep on taking...now, 10 yrs from now, 20 yrs from now.

    It's really great that you & your husband have been able to provide financial support, but it's time to stop helping them out, save that money & go on a fabulous cruise or invest it for YOUR future.
     
  10. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Thanks for you replies. It helps to know I'm not being selfish.
    I just looked in the check book and dh wrote a check to Janice so she could buy wood. :confused::mad:

    I know that we need to cut off the financial support, but if the kids don't step up, Janice will suffer. I was going to say it's not her fault that her kids are deadbeats, but it kinda is her fault. My dh made a promise to look after her so even though he knows he's being taken advantage of, he is so torn.
     
  11. Kindergarten31

    Kindergarten31 Cohort

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    Oct 30, 2008

    Can I ask how old Janice is and does she work?
     
  12. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Do I believe you're being petty???? Absolutely not. To be honest, I would let her know nicely, that things just aren't working out for you right now and it's not possible for you (to make the drive; no explanation is really needed).
    Shame on those kids!
    And, I'm sorry for the loss of your husband's cousin.
     
  13. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Oct 30, 2008


    I don't know for sure, but I think in her late 50's.
     

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