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My ex-wife has demanded I send small gifts for her other children

My Story – By Irritated Dad:

My two boys, ages seven and eight live with their mom. She is re-married and has two kids with her current husband. I am re-married but decided not to have more children. My ex-wife has demanded I send small gifts for her other children when I send things to my boys. I don’t feel this is appropriate. I don’t even know these kids. I pay her a fair amount of child support, provide for their medical and buy them school clothes.

I am in the military stationed overseas and don’t get to see them that often so I send them toys and stuff to let them know I am thinking of them and love them. Her husband is even getting into the middle of it because he thinks I should do it also. He says he buys for all the children and so should I.

I tried to explain how I felt but he got obnoxious and said he would stop buying things for my boys if I didn’t start sending things to his kids as well. So here’s the question. What do you think I should do? Please respond when you have posted your response.

Irritated Dad

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1 thought on “My ex-wife has demanded I send small gifts for her other children”

  1. Dear Irritated Dad:

    Basically I agree with you. These aren’t your kids and they aren’t living with you. However, I can see some logic to the other side, too.

    How do you think the other kids feel when your kids get presents and they get nothing? They are younger than your boys, and less able to understand these complicated human relations. You know how kids are. They simply don’t understand. And I’m sure you don’t want your kids left out if their stepfather stops buying them gifts. I agree it is petty and arrogant of him to insist that you comply, but in the interest of your boys, it might be better to go along with this. The presents don’t have to be equal in value – unless stepdad starts insisting on that, too. But, just include a little something for each child – an age appropriate gift.

    You may feel you’re giving in on this, and you’re right, but sometimes it’s the best thing to do. Save your strength for the really important battles which I’m sure will come eventually.

    Best Wishes


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