‘I have tried to be kind’: I gave my ex half of the first two stimulus checks for our child. He still calls me a ‘monster.’ What do I do with the third?

How much of the child incentive money should I give to my ex-husband, the father of my one child? Our tax agreement provides for trading years, but it is not eligible due to additional provisions in our papers. That’s why I’ve claimed them on my taxes for the past two years.

The logical answer is to come to an agreement with him. I know that. He texts me a lot that he hates me and when I disagree with him he calls me a “monster” or worse.

Asking him is not a good option.

He is said to pay $ 5 a month for child support, plus $ 25 for the dance class. That’s it. He does not provide assistance with childcare, insurance or medical expenses. I also paid off his auto insurance and paid 100% of our shared personal debt. He never made a payment and the divorce was finalized two years ago.

“I tried to be kind and understanding about his financial situation.”

My savings (and what I put away for our daughter) were taken away due to a mutual business he fought for during the divorce and then stopped paying the loan. He’s ordered by the court to repay me the $ 79,000. He paid $ 500 in two years.

I didn’t fight him because his job is a problem. He works sometimes. He doesn’t work sometimes. He decides sometimes not to find a job. He is capable. He’s been out of work for about eight months so I shared the first two stimulus checks for our daughter with him.

I tried to be kind and understanding about his financial situation.

He’s got a new job now: $ 350 a day, 18 to 22 days a month for January and February. He bought a new car even though his car is only six years old, is running well and has paid off (from me). I asked him to pay what he should do for our girl. He said, “Sue me.” I was ready for it, but the schedule for March is not looking good for him. So far, he’s only supposed to work a few days, so money is an issue again. There is simply no stable income for him.

I earned my position and a salary, which means I don’t need his help. I get annoyed when he doesn’t pay anything while he travels and buys vehicles, when he gets extra money instead of paying me something for our child. Maybe I’m petty.

Do I share the money again? Do I put his share in our daughter’s savings that have been wiped out for his business debts? Am I a monster if I keep it until he asks for it?

I want to do the right thing and I worry that my negative feelings about him will cloud my judgment. Help.

Divorced mother

Dear divorced,

I’ll tell you what to do with this stimulus check!

Keep it and put half of it in a savings account for your daughter at your own suggestion. That’s the easy part. The hard part comes when he calls you and plays his tiny violin on the phone. Set aside some cash for a pair of earplugs.

The bigger problem here is that your ex-husband – with an emphasis on “ex” – is still a strain on your finances. You haven’t set up automatic transfers between your and his bank account, but he seems to have a direct line to your decision-making process.

‘Cut the apron feathers. It’s okay to be happy. You deserve it.’

He calls you a monster. He’s asking you for money. He’s not paying his debts. He’ll text you randomly telling you he hates you. He takes half of the stimulus payments intended for his child, even though he looks after them once or twice a week, and you are the full-time guardian.

Let this stimulus be a new beginning. You are not responsible for him. You don’t have to listen to his joke, and you definitely don’t have to put up with his verbal abuse anymore. The fact that you feel guilty and bad for him suggests that you have work to do to emotionally divorce him.

It doesn’t make sense to have one without the other. Otherwise, you continue to allow him to influence your financial decisions and happiness. A counselor can help you figure out what to do with it if you are still emotionally (and financially) attached to them. If it didn’t meet a need, you wouldn’t.

Cut the apron feathers. It’s okay to be happy. You deserve it. You will also learn what is and what is not acceptable by observing yourself. Emotional independence is just as important as financial independence. The two belong together like Fred and Ginger. Then the magic happens.

“Making your own money should bring you freedom.”

Whatever he had or has about you has to end for you to be truly free. Whatever abuse or guilt he brings on you, it’s only real if you believe it’s real. He no longer has any power over you. He’s someone who wants other people to pick up the flap and listen to him let off steam.

You take away the energy and time you give him from giving yourself. By babysitting your ex-husband’s financial needs and being influenced by his verbal abuse and compassionate parties, you are also depriving someone else of you. There are many good men in this world. They are waiting for you.

When you make your own money and separate your finances, you get freedom, security, and peace of mind. You no longer have to be kind and understanding to your ex. This is not your job. Be nice to you and your child. This is the only job that you need to focus on from now on.

Do you experience domestic violence or coercive control? Call the … National hotline for domestic violenceat 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or visit thehotline.org.

Free of works to provide financial security for domestic violence survivors, and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence supports efforts to change the conditions that lead to domestic violence and coercive control. You can also learn how to create a personalized security plan Here.

You can email The Moneyist at [email protected] with any financial or ethical questions

See also: “We have seen an alarming increase in reports of domestic violence:” For some women it is not safe to leave the house OR stay at home

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