Dear Abby: I will no longer pay to see my grandkids
DEAR ABBY: I am the mother and stepmother of eight wonderful children. I love them all very much. The problem is my two oldest stepdaughters. Both are in their 20s with kids of their own. Unless their dad and I constantly give them money, we don’t get to see our grandkids. Anytime we refuse, we don’t get to see them for months at a time.
These two stepdaughters are rude to their dad. Unless it’s almost a holiday or they need money, they never call or text him. If we disagree with anything they say, they don’t bring the girls around for months or answer calls or texts.
We have given them a LOT of money, and we buy all the gifts for the kids. When we asked what the girls want for their birthdays, one stepdaughter said a dollhouse that cost almost $200, which is a lot for a birthday. When we said that seems more like a Christmas gift, she got upset.
I have told my husband that at this point I’m done and will no longer keep paying to see my grandkids, but he insists he’s not giving up on the grandkids. I am not saying to “give up,” but it breaks my heart to keep going through this. Any advice would be helpful. — MRS. ATM
DEAR MRS. ATM: How sad. Your stepdaughters (both!) aren’t bothering to even be subtle about their emotional blackmail, which borders on elder abuse. The only way to break the cycle is to refuse to allow it. However, if your husband can’t be convinced, there is nothing you can do to stop what’s happening. Most clear-thinking individuals stop doing things that don’t work once they wake up to that fact. But as long as your husband lets his emotions dictate his actions, nothing will change.
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