Am I Being Unreasonable and Inconsiderate to My New Husband?

Updated on October 06, 2015
L.L. asks from Brownsburg, IN
20 answers

I have two sons. Both are grown and out of the house. They both have one daughter. My youngest son has a two year old daughter. He just turned twenty one. He has had a very difficult time taking care of his daughter and her mother financially. He works in a warehouse making 12 dollars an hour. He lives in a very modest apartment with his daughter and daughters mother with no help from her. She doesnt work. He wants to go to school to better himself but it just isnt possible at this time. I am very proud of him for stepping up to the plate and doing the best he can. I gave him one of my cars and I pay the insurance. I also provided him with a cell phone. I just recently got married. We get along great except when it comes to my kids. He has said more than once that my son takes advantage of me. He gets extremely upset when I do anything for him. He doesnt want me babysitting my grandaughter especially during the week. Even on the weekends he has gotten upset. He said she isnt spending the night! He needs to pick her up at a reasonable hour. He says my son gave up his freedom when he had that baby. We just recently got into a huge fight because I watched her on a Tuesday night. She spent the night. He said I was being extremely inconsiderate and I didnt care that he had to work the next morning. I didnt have to work on Wednesday and I never ask him to help watch her at all. I hardly ever have my grandaughter over. I can count on two hands how many times she has spent the night at my house. It was my house before we got married in May 2015. He didnt act this way until we got married. Is it me? Am I being unreasonable? My boys don't feel comfortable coming over now. I dont know what to do. Any suggestions?

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answers from Oklahoma City on

On one hand you're a newly wed and it's normal for a newly wed to want their new spouse to themselves.

On the other hand he'd already be gone due to his not wanting me to spend time with my little granddaughter. Sorry. He's being an A**.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

Unless you snuck and did all this stuff POST marriage without telling him, your husband is being a jerkwad.

If this routine was already in place, and as you said, he "changed" when you got married, then he needs to back off or get lost. Controlling and jealous people who isolate others from their family are one step short of physical abusers. I think you need to look at ending this relationship if he doesn't change his tune. And if the controlling thing is happening, talk to a women's shelter just to be safe. There may be warning signs you're not seeing.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

Your husband is a JERK. This is your son and granddaughter, you are helping them. Yes, it MIGHT help if the child's mother would get a job. But this depends on her experience and education, if she can only get a minimum wage job all of her take home pay would go to daycare.
This is your home too and he needs to back off or move out.

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answers from Boston on

Please seriously consider unwinding this marriage. Your new husband is going to come between you and your children, and that's never OK no matter how old they are. Childcare is often the single biggest expense that families of young children experience and if a grandparent is willing to help with that, she or he should feel free to do so. I will be forever grateful for the childcare help my parents (mostly my mom, but with the support of my dad) provided to me when I was both a single mom and a married mom. It's what grandparents who can and want to do, do. I don't think you are being unreasonable or taken advantage of. I would do the same things to help one of my kids in the same situation. Your husband's attitude would make me seriously reconsider marriage if I were in your shoes.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

You might want to reconsider your new marriage. I can't imagine getting together with someone so controlling at your late stage in life.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

I'm going out on a limb here and guessing that his issue is less that your granddaughter spent the night, and more that he is venting his disfavor with how you are dealing with/helping your son. Sounds like he has a different view of what that should look like than you do and while he may be *trying* to keep his tongue bitten and not overstep, he *can* legitimately complain that keeping granddaughter overnight impacts his home/work.

He's said your son takes advantage of you. So that's the lens he views this through. You disagree. It's a fair view on either side. He's your husband now. Was he privy to all of the details of how you help your son financially before you wed? If not, then that is something he thinks is inappropriate, and he was unaware of before. While it might have been happening before, did he KNOW it was happening? That's the equivalent of it just starting for him, if he didn't know before you were married. Those are the kinds of things that need to be disclosed before weddings happen. Was it? You didn't mention that in your post.

While I understand those who say, "mom doesn't work so why do they need a sitter?!" I speak as a person who didn't work after my children were born, and WE needed a sitter from time to time. Married couples need couple time, and you see that over and over again on sites just like this as advice for couples with problems and small kids: Start a date night! Well, that means a sitter, folks. They can't afford one, so grandma stepped up. That's great. We didn't have a grandma living in close proximity to us, and it was miserable trying to find trustworthy sitters, even with funds to pay for one.

However, why on a week night? Why spend the night? Those don't seem necessary, so your husband has a legitimate complaint with that aspect, in my opinion.
I know I would be torn, as a mother, to watch my son struggle and want to help. So I cannot say with certainty I would behave any differently. I'm not walking in your shoes. However, it seems to me that providing the car, paying the insurance, and providing and paying ongoing costs of a cell phone for your son enables his wife to not step up. Perhaps offering a substantial contribution towards daycare expenses would be more helpful for them in the long run, if that is something you are able to offer. Let mom go to work, too. If she won't, perhaps offer a contribution towards night classes for your son. Yes, it's a lot to take on (full time work, plus parent/spouse and school) but many people do it. And with a spouse at home full time, it should make it easier than some folks who do that. Talk to any single mom who's gone back to school while working. But it can be done.
I think goal oriented help, vs ongoing support with no goal of improving his employment/income outlook, would be much more palatable to your spouse.

I don't think you are being unreasonable. It's certainly a strong motherly instinct to help your child! But he's not being unreasonable, either. He's got Dad instincts: push that little bird out of the nest and let him fly.
The key is in how you go about the two things. Hopefully with a goal in mind. Not just ongoing mothering with no end in sight. Eventually it becomes unhealthy. He's young now (21) but he won't be forever. And if nothing changes, and you are still helping support him 4 or 5 years from now, then it's unhealthy. And that, if nothing changes, is the path you are on.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

It sounds like your new husband is really angry that your son had a baby at 19 and he feels your son should be toughing it out on his own without any help from you and by extension him (your husband).
Hubby wants the newly wed experience - he thinks the kids are grown - should be on their own - and he's not so much into the Grandpa experience.

You and Hubby need to get on the same page regarding how you both relate to your various relations and it's going to take some marriage counseling to do it.
This might add up to being an irreconcilable difference and your marriage might not survive it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

wow, L.. i'm sorry things are tough for your son, and yeah, he does need to suck it up and he IS sucking it up. and it's nice that you are helping him out a little. i presume you're not planning on doing it throughout his life, but he's very young and he's clearly trying hard. i'd for sure be there as a slim safety net for my boys under those circumstances.

did your new husband not know about this before you married? was this not discussed at all? why does he get to dictate to you how much time you spend with your GRANDDAUGHTER?

i don't like your husband at all for turning this into a Thing, and i'm very taken aback that you didn't lay down parameters before you married him.

no way would a 'new husband' create an atmosphere so hostile in my home that my own kids and grandkids were uncomfortable being there.

nuh. uh.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Welcome to mamapedia!!

STOP enabling your son. Sorry - he's an adult. He needs to figure this out. He can join the military - that will provide an income and education.

Your son NEEDS to address his baby-mama. HE needs to tell her what they can and cannot afford. As long as BOTH of them know you are going to rescue them? They don't need to change their ways.

Now, regarding your husband - you've known him HOW LONG? What did he say BEFORE you married him about your son and your grand daughter?? If this is NEW to him? You need marriage counseling and learn how to communicate.

Stop enabling your son. Give him a Dave Ramsey or Suze Orman book and tell him he's an adult and needs to figure this out with his baby-mama. The ATM is now closed.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

So his girlfriend is a stay at home mom. Are you sure that isn't part of the issue? Pretty sure she didn't have to work Wednesday either, ya know? Perhaps he is mad because if your son wants to do something you have to watch your granddaughter when his mom could. Or maybe he thinks if mom had a job they could pay a sitter. It just seems to me your son is doing everything he can and working hard but girlfriend, not so much.

I am just guessing here.

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answers from Austin on

Is it possible that your new husband feels that your son is relying on you rather than his child's mother? You haven't really said what kind of mom the young woman is. Yes, along with children come a certain amount of accountability and responsibility, and new parents do make some sacrifices for their children.

Does your son encourage his girlfriend to be a mature mother and partner? Does she help him or not contribute anything to the household (not necessarily financially, but helping out in the many ways that having a child and an apartment requires)? Or do you feel like it's your son and yourself who are providing the bulk of the care for your granddaughter?

Maybe your new husband is trying, albeit awkwardly, to make sure that your son is the primary caretaker of his child, and trying to make sure that you don't do too much for him. A 21 year old young man is still really young, and I imagine he's tired and perhaps even worried about the future. But he's taking his responsibilities seriously, it seems. Just be sure that you primarily are an encouragement to him. Giving him a break by taking care of his child is a nice thing to do. Giving him a cell phone is also nice, as long as you require that he doesn't go over on minutes or data usage (if you pay the bill). Allowing him to drop off his child for the night is nice, as long as he isn't using that time to go spend a lot of money at a bar and then sleep it off all the next day. That's an entirely different thing from asking you to watch his child because he had to work double overtime and his girlfriend is sick. I guess I'm trying to say that balance is a good thing, and maybe your new husband wants you to have a good balance. Your son and his girlfriend need to make sure that they are providing a stable home for their child, and spending their money properly, and appreciating the help you provide (no speeding tickets or anything that would raise that car insurance), and letting your granddaughter enjoy spending some time with you but not filling in for the mom, if she chooses to spend the day in bed or going out with friends or watching tv instead of caring for her own child.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I suggest you dump this new husband.

Okay, first things first. Tell him that either you two go to marriage counseling, or your marriage isn't going to make it.

I'm serious enough about this to pull out the big guns, I guess you can tell. Your husband is crazy jealous and he has no business acting like this.

Go talk to a lawyer about your rights. And if I were you, I'd make sure your finances are separated.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

"He didnt act this way until we got married."

It sounds like he was holding back on something that should have been discussed and resolved long before the I Do. Your sons and your relationships with them is no small topic. It was unfair of your husband to keep quiet until after you married, and unreasonable for him to expect anything to magically change.

Since that ship has sailed, I strongly suggest couples counseling. Your husband maybe out of line, or perhaps he has some valid points. You need an impartial third party to listen to both sides and all the details.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Spokane on

Did you provide your son with a car, insurance, and a phone before, or after you were married? It sounds like you just go right over the top of your husband to take care of your adult child. I can definitely see helping him once in a while, if he gets in a pinch. But on-going support from you will only perpetuate his financial plight. Also, you make it clear that you are unhappy with the fact that your daughter in law is unemployed, but I'd like to point out that by you handing out the help every month, you enable the very behavior that you despise. Just something to think about.

I would sit down with your son, your husband, and your daughter in law, and come up with a plan that appeases everyone involved. Perhaps you can continue contributing financially for a period of 3-6 months, after which you will expect them to have their own plan in action, for self-sufficiency. Maybe your daughter in law will take a part time job. It sounds like you need to figure something out, and tread lightly in the meantime. Resentment will build, and you'll likely find yourself divorced.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

No more financial help but once a week babysitting with occasional overnight is good grandma time.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

While I think that if your son is struggling to make ends meat his girl needs to be making an effort to get a job (and no, I don't have any issues with being a stay at home parent if the couple can afford it, which your son and his GF clearly can not if you are paying for their car ect) that really has nothing to do with your husband since I am assuming you have/make your own money.

As for the babysitting, your husband is in the wrong. Yes, I get he had to work, but you said you did not except him to take any responsibility for the child and since it is your home as well you have every right to have your grandchildren stay over whenever and for however long you want. It almost sounds like he is wanting you to choose between your children/grandchildren and him, and you need to make it clear to him that if that is what he excepts then your children are going to win.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Very tricky, and hard to know the bigger picture. For this instance, I think it's best to try and validate what hubby is saying. Let him know you appreciate him looking out for you, and you don't want to be taken advantage of either. But for now, the insurance and phone are where you've decided to help. As others asked, was this arrangement in place prior to your marriage? If so, yep, it was part of the L. package that hubby got. If not, hubby is probably upset at being left out of a big financial decision. It is possible that having her there made his Tuesday night stressful for his rest for working Wednesday, and that could be negotiated.
However... my gut and the whole scope of this tells me it is more about control. You can probably work out this situation, but I'm wondering if it's a bigger, broader problem. If he would control you and keep you from your family, that's a huge red flag and you've got a bigger issue than just paying for a phone and babysitting. Please try to look objectively at this and read up on it if necessary. Keep reaching out on here and elsewhere to get perspective. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Your husband married you kit and kaboodle.
That would be the damn day my kids would feel uncomfortable co O. to my home because of a butt head, dictatorial stepfather.
I think the help you're extending seems reasonable, necessary and generous.
I don't think the babysitting you're providing sounds excessive.
I'm thinking I'd I ever divorced and remarried, I'd make it crystal clear the my kid/s come FIRST. Does your husband understand this?

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answers from Santa Barbara on

You already see things from your perspective, so I will look at it from his perspective.

He is at home and has to deal with a 2 year old...All 2 year old are annoying! He is putting his foot down now in fear that it will escalate and the 2 year old will end up living with you and HIM because the incompetent parents will not be able to take care of her. Things get harder as children age.

If you are watching her, he is not with you. Can he freely watch/do whatever he wants with a 2 year old in the house? Can he have sex with you in the living room with her around. She is causing issues in your marriage. I am sure if she had responsible parents his fear of having to help raise her would lighten up.

Is your son NOT married because the baby's momma get extra benefits?

Now for you, I am sure this little girl brings you so much joy. Your husband needs to realize she is an important part of your life and to be respectful of that.

edit: I see it that you can say 'yes or no' on YOUR terms, but if this man says 'yes or no' on his terms then he is being mean.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Did you do all of this before you got married? Your husband thought he'd get you all to himself. Having to share you with your kids is making him jealous. I assume he doesn't have children so he doesn't understand the connection a parent has with their children and grandchildren. It reminds me of my husband when my first child was born - they feel displaced.
I understand why your are helping your son - he's doing the right thing. THe reason his baby momma isn't working beucase the cost of day care is probably as much as she would make if she's not trained in any specialty. Your son should begin to take classes at night. Something technical if he is so skilled so he can increase his income quickly.
Find a time when things are well with you and your husband and then talk to him about the joy you get from your grandchildren and how you are happy to help your son with a few steps up.
My feeling is that you had your children before your husband.

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