FEEDBACK Regarding the affluent grandfather whose wish to spend $5,000 annually for six years on his two young grandchildren, upsets his common-law spouse (June 22):
Reader #1 –“This is NOT his girlfriend's business.
“She should appreciate his kind and generous character. She’s lucky to have a man who promises her a life of security.
“She’s selfish and petty.
“No, I'm not a man but an attractive, high-earning professional woman who feels contempt for women who make money grabs instead of taking care of themselves.”
Reader #2 – “Never does he express that he isn't considering his partner and their future. He’s saying his retirement value is at $1.6 million and hers will add $500,000. With financial advice, he feels that THEY will be okay in the future.”
Reader #3 – “A financially responsible grandfather wanting to spoil his grandchildren shouldn't be a problem.”
Reader #4 – “His two kids (27 and 30) are on their own; her two kids (20 and 23) still live with them. If they’re not paying market rent, utilities, and their share of groceries, her children are receiving well more than $5000 per year.”
Reader #5 – “It’s his money, they’ve only been together for eight years, it’s his right to spend on his grandkids.”
Reader #6 – “His girlfriend’s position will divide her stepchildren/grandchildren from herself and her children.
“The couple both bring independent wealth to their union. Perhaps separate accounts could be the solution, but my feeling is that she wants it all.”
Reader #7 – “This wonderful grandfather is enjoying his money and spending $5000 a year on lessons and experiences for his grandchildren. It’s his right and pleasure.”
Reader #8 – “His common-law partner is jealous and greedy. The fact that he’s close with his grown children is wonderful and she should appreciate it.”
Reader #9 – “My money is just that - and I wouldn't let or like someone to tell me what to do. I’m female, retired, and have the means to do the same as this man. All women should take financial responsibility and do their best to be self-reliant.”
Reader #10 – “Kudos to this man who knows this is the time when families are stressed for extra cash.”
Reader #11 – “On a percentage basis, $5000 annually on $1.6 million assets at age 55 is nothing.
“These assets will continue to grow and be worth significantly more as the couple age. They have plenty of disposable income without touching their assets.”
Reader #12 – “I’ve been privy to a number of such unions and ultimately the estate was left to the second wife and her children, with the children of the husband being left high and dry.”
Ellie – Some interesting facts about the above responses: ALL were written by women who disagreed with the spouse’s position. No men sent comments on this issue.
Though the grandfather considers the woman his common-law “wife,” several women dismissed her as his “girlfriend.”
Also, though she works and will receive a decent retirement pension, she’s considered by some women to be making a “money grab.”
I was also castigated for “siding with her” (I don’t mind, as I believe readers’ opinions add to the general topic debate). Yet what I suggested was that there may be deeper relationship reasons for her need to feel they’re making long-term decisions together. It’s a common insecurity underlying couples’ fights, not only about money.
In fact, I was clear that they could well afford his generosity.
I’m 37 and met a very special guy. We communicate deeply. I love him. However, I lived within my very strict family home until 28.
I wasn’t allowed to attend parties that involved dancing, make up, or wearing tight dresses.
All the overnight camps that I attended were only with the church.
In my new country, I was open to new things, but I still don’t feel comfortable at pubs, nightclubs, or concerts.
I don’t smoke or drink for health reasons. Also, I’ve seen addicted drinkers and promised myself never to become one.
My boyfriend enjoys attending night concerts and pubs, but I don’t feel comfortable with people smoking, drinking, and talking indecently.
Can these issues divide us as a couple?
Yes, major lifestyle/belief differences can divide you, unless you’re both capable of mutual respect, understanding, and willing compromise.
Take time to consider if these are possible in fact, not just in promises.
Tip of the day:
Financial divides are not uncommon in post-divorce unions. If trust is missing, reassurance and/or counselling’s needed.