This user is tired of her unhelpful stepdaughter and wants to split her finances with her husband. But it seems he can’t understand her reasoning, so their marriage is falling apart!
In the Beginning
OP (Original Poster) is a 38-year-old woman named Sarah. Her 40-year-old husband, Josh, and she have been together for almost 15 years.
However, it wasn’t Josh’s first serious relationship, as he has a stepdaughter named Lori, who is currently 22. Sarah and Lori have been in each other’s lives since Lori was just five.
A Happy Family
When Lori turned 16, she moved in with them, and she ultimately decided to stay until graduation. At first, things went great, and OP was glad to have her around.
She said, “I actually enjoyed having her around; it made the house feel more complete.”
However, the problem is that Lori has always had a mean streak. OP had always brushed it off, though, thinking it was just “teenage angst.”
A Dark Secret
The problem is that Lori’s biological mother had been diagnosed as manic-depressive, and there had been some concern that Lori would inherit it.
Though this is the case, no one would talk about it, or at least didn’t seem to want to.
A Bit of a Loner
OP didn’t see much of Lori, as the girl would remain in her room playing video games all day until she had to go to work. When she came out, there would always be tension, and she would often seem annoyed.
Cold and Distant
Whenever Lori would engage in conversation, OP said she would give them one-word answers. There would be, again, palpable tension in the air.
Despite this, she was able to get a job and did seem to enjoy it.
While OP said her stepdaughter liked her part-time job, she admitted it wasn’t a long-term career option. She had no ideas for the future and just stayed home and played video games.
OP never tried to institute any rules or responsibilities, and she knew her limitations as a stepmother. The only request she had made was that Lori help with dishes on the days that OP had to pick her up and take her places with her car.
The Sad Reality
Despite being asked, OP said that Lori wouldn’t do the dishes and she would ignore them. She also never helped pay for the gas to take her places, like to and from work.
OP also said that Lori tended to use more than what she needed and then not replace anything. For example, she’d make coffee for herself that was good for four people!
This was never corrected, though, and OP noticed her husband would often wash the dishes or do Lori’s other responsibilities to avoid confrontation.
When confronted about it, Josh told OP that he couldn’t force her to do anything because she was an adult. This type of behavior was nothing new, as OP had seen it happen over and over again for four years, and it had begun to damage their marriage.
Enough Is Enough
OP had had enough, so she asked her husband to start separating their finances. She told him that if he wanted to keep taking care of Lori like she was a child, she would only provide money for the bills and keep the rest for herself.
Not a Good Look
It was no surprise that OP’s husband didn’t take it well, and the two of them stopped speaking.
Things had gotten so bad that OP had even considered having to go to her cousins to stay until things were resolved.
Lost and Hurt
OP didn’t want to hurt her husband, but she couldn’t take living with a freeloading stepdaughter anymore. She didn’t think it was unreasonable to separate finances, but she couldn’t be sure.
She wrote, “Am I the a**hole here for wanting to separate our finances because of this situation with Lori? Any advice or insights would be appreciated.”
Redditors Speak Their Minds
Redditors were primarily on OP’s side, with many noting that her husband had enabled his daughter for too long.
One expressed it well, saying, “Not the a**hole. It’s time for Lori to get a wake-up call and realize that not everyone is going to support her financially forever. It sounds like she needs more responsibilities. Could you work out something where she pays her part of the phone bill or, at least, pays for gas? She’s clearly making money, so some of that should be going toward you guys to support her other financial needs. I had to do this, and it honestly helped me get prepared for the big world.”
Another said, “Not the a**hole. Stop putting your money into a joint account and go from there.”
The Case of the Freeloader
While most didn’t think OP did anything wrong, some noted reality wasn’t always fair.
One woman summed it up best and said, “This is most likely a losing situation for you. That your husband has been enabling her behavior for four years does not bode well. If he won’t accept marriage counseling, go on your own. Your first priority must be to protect your own financial security. Start a separate checking account and deposit only what is necessary to the joint account. Actually, even many people in solid, happy marriages operate that way.”
Do you think OP should split their finances? Should OP have continued tolerating Lori’s behavior to keep the peace?
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This post first appeared as She Refused to Fund Her 22-Year-Old Freeloading Stepdaughter’s Lifestyle and Demanded She and Her Husband Split Their Finances. He’s Furious and Has Been on Radio Silence Since! Was She Selfish? on Quote Ambition.