I keep coming back and starting to comment and erase over and over. This thread has turned into a dumpster fire about how shitty step parents are, which is really sad. No one (aside from maybe 1-2 posters in a 25 page thread) is suggesting that stepchildren don’t matter. In fact, many are advocating that not only DO matter, but so do the parents involved.
For those that haven’t been step parents (not step kids or marrying someone who will take on your kids.. but an actual step parent) before, your hands are incredibly tied. The OP hasn’t given us much information and only really shitty updates, so it’s hard to tell– but the blanket sentiments of “treat every child equally and fairly” in a blended household is damn near impossible. My stepkid and my kids will inevitably have different lives because my stepkid has an active parent in their life. That active parent also has active grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. My stepkid goes to a different school than my kids will. Same dad to all kids, same wants for his kids, but different mothers so different realities. Divorce decrees and parenting plans are designed for this very reason, to outline the decisions of health, education and overall well-being of the kids involved. I guarantee the OP has one, and it states how her and her ex want to handle the girls education. No where in that decision making process is a step parent consulted, or given the authority to make any of those decisions.
It’s not being unfair or mean to point out that in blended families, the step parents almost ALWAYS take the back seat and in most cases, aren’t even allowed to MAKE educational decisions for their stepkids. In OP’s case, she wants her husband to pay for the girls when in reality, he doesn’t even have the legal authority to take them to the school and enroll them.
I said in a previous post way back in this thread we are in a similar situation. My stepkid is in a private school and we have decided an “ours” kid will go to public. Darling Husband and I combine finances, so one thing we discussed early on was if I was ok co-mingling funds knowing that “my money” would be going to child support and private education. I agreed, because it meant a lot to Darling Husband and his ex that their kid go to this specific school, even though I personally will not be sending my biological children there.
MANY stepfamilies keep funds separate, which OP hasn’t really stated if they do or not. She’s hinted at the fact that they co-mingle. Point is– when you’re trying to blend 2,3+ households, with varying opinions and varying financial situations– its not easy! Jumping on the bandwagon that all kids entering the door get the exact same everything is not only uneducated when it comes to blended and co-parenting, it’s unrealistic. In a perfect world, all kids in our household would get the exact same everything. But the reality will always be that once you’re at the mercy of an ex, the courts and having to make judgment calls on the fly– thats not always the case.
I’m a step parent that DOES help pay for my stepkids education to a fancy private school. However; I can also see why this stepdad is backing off of this decision financially for the girls. Unless you’ve been in a situation where your pocketbook is scrutinized by another household, where your hands are tied when it comes to every single little thing and then in the same breath asked to provide funds towards it, you really don’t know how YOU would react. It’s easy to sit behind a keyboard and bash step parents who have to draw lines in the sand and play pretend that you’d do something different, but I know and many other step parents know that your tune would change if you were in this situation.
I love and provide for my stepkid, I want to see them flourish and do well in school and in life, but I ultimately do not make the decisions. I support their dad, and I want to see HIM happy. His ex spouse doesn’t want my stepkid to take family vacations with my family. Every year, my grandparents take everyone on a big trip (a cruise, Hawaii, something along those lines). My stepkid isn’t allowed to go per the ex and her parenting plan. Any kids Darling Husband and I have will absolutely get to go. Is that fair? Nope. Will I hold my kids back because of that? Nope. do I wish my stepkid could go? Yep.
The only thing we can do is go to court and try to change some of the language in that decree.
This is a long winded way of saying that you can love and support and provide for your stepkid as best as you can, but every single blended family is different and at some point (especially dealing with young ones), it’s going to get unfair. Be it big or small scale, it is almost impossible to make all of their lives mirror each others. OP hasn’t provided much context other than a few weird updates, so it’s impossible to know much about their specific blended family situation– and certainly not enough to start burning the stepdad at the stake just yet.