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How to get my significant other's adult children to pick up a check??

Dear Chowhound Administrator,

I agree with you that this discussion has gotten way off topic. Is it possible that you can delete it or close it please?

I agreed with several of these posters who said not to make this my problem, but my SO has indicated his disappointment in his son and has expressed surprise and gratitude at the one time he split a check with his BIL. And, for the record, picking up a check could be a hamburger, it doesn't have to be pheasant under glass.

I also realize that most parents pick up checks for their children.

All this said, while I appreciate the feedback, this discussion has taken a nasty turn and I regret opening the discussion.

Thanks!

Sep 12, 2013
elegantedge in Not About Food

How to get my significant other's adult children to pick up a check??

FYI Lizzard, the son's wife makes 80-100% of that income, depending if the son is employed or not.

Sep 11, 2013
elegantedge in Not About Food

How to get my significant other's adult children to pick up a check??

Hi Everyone,
The son is married now, and has been fired from numerous jobs. He is a true know it all, with no post high school education. He has some very good qualities, and in the past, when I have seen him, I have always tried to listen to him and help him if I could. SO commented one time that he wondered if his son "fell on his head too much" when he was a child, hence his adult behavior. I encourage SO's relationship with his kids, and at my suggestion, he and his daugher will take a short trip together soon. Good father/daughter bonding. The son won't give his dad the time of day, and does nothing to encourage their relationship, except choose which expensive restaurant SO can take he and his wife to. I have nothing against him taking them out to dinner, but I do think it's rude for the son to entirely change the plans at his whim. It's more about the food than time with his father. I agree with everyone who has said that it's his money, his kids, and I have been very careful not to be critical. And, I don't think the kids know how I feel because I don't see much of them, I work two jobs and have a full life otherwise. But I know how disappointed SO was the last time his son was fired. So, when I say he wants to be proud of him, taken out of context, it may sound like I am high and mighty, but in reality, my SO just wants to finally be proud of his son who is repeatedly fired, a know it all and has had lots of great opportunity he has passed on. I hope he and his wife have wonderful lives, and I simply opened this question because as adults, they dictate where their father takes them and never reciprocate.
Thanks again.

Sep 11, 2013
elegantedge in Not About Food

How to get my significant other's adult children to pick up a check??

All great feedback, thanks!

I do pick up the check sometimes, but more than that, I help him save money, in lots of ways. And, I cook for him too, as well as look out for him.

It is true that blood is thicker than water, and I am not blood. He is asking me to move in, or get married, and I think is treading lightly because I am so independent and self sufficient. I have my own home, great job, and am financially secure. I suppose that is partly why I don't get adult children who still rely on their parents, in my family, it was sink or swim and we HAD to be responsible and make it! But everyone is different!

He knows how I feel about his kids, I am not a shrinking violet, but I don't harp on it. I really think it is a difference in how I was raised, though I think he was raised the same way. Earlier someone commented that they had a SO who did the same thing, and the relationship didn't last. I don't think that will happen here, I give him plenty of space to pursue a relationship with his kids, and actually encourage him to do so. In the son's case it comes with a price tag, not so much for the daughter, thankfully. It's not for me to say what terms constitute a good relationship, but I can tell you that he WANTS to be proud of both his kids and so far neither is setting the world on fire. That is so contrary to him, he went out in the world at a young age and made it happen!

Family is very important, he knows how I feel, and I don't talk them down, am very selective how I address this. I have excused myself from the dinners when I can, and when I can't I am very pleasant to everyone. Family dynamics are funny though.

I just think that the son directing the dad to take them to the most expensive place is in bad taste. But again, I think that may be the way he gets to see his son, because it never happens outside of a dinner.

I don't have children of my own, but have nieces, with whom I am very close, and my nieces would never behave this way. They are grateful when ever I do something for them and we truly love each other. Honestly, that makes me want to do more for them! But I also believe firmly that being allowed to struggle a bit, eating macaroni and cheese and hamburgers, instead of filet mignon, is a good thing. I found it very motivational when I was younger. If everything is given to a young adult, they won't know the satisfaction of attaining things for themselves.

I should add that the son and his wife make in the neighborhood of 150K a year or more, so they are in no way destitude. They take very nice Caribbean vacations every year, and also go to Europe each summer.

Thanks!!

Sep 11, 2013
elegantedge in Not About Food

How to get my significant other's adult children to pick up a check??

Wow, more great input!

Motosport, your comment made me SO happy! That feeling of raising a responsible young man who was willing to contribute, and acknowledge all you had done for him in the past by doing so is irreplaceable. In my SO's case, this son (his only son) often forgets SO's birthday, and does not call or stay in touch unless SO reaches out to him. That is why I think my SO is ok with the son dictating which restaurant, and having my SO pick up all the checks, because they don't have a great relationship, though not because of fault of my SO. I should add that the son's wife made the comment to my SO a year or so ago, "don' t spend all your money, we are going to have kids soon, and would love your help"!! I didn't say anything but someone else said "you shouldn't have kids you can't afford".....which is true!!

These dinners happen every 3-4 weeks, so it is not that frequent, and I suppose it is just what my SO considers the cost of having a relationship with his son. It's very one sided though.

Thanks again!

Sep 11, 2013
elegantedge in Not About Food

How to get my significant other's adult children to pick up a check??

Everyone,

Wow, I am beyond grateful for all your input! There are several different perspectives here, but in general, it boils down to "enjoy the dinner (if I go), keep your mouth shut, don't criticize the adult children, and this is really my SO's issue for any number of reasons. The behavior patterns were likely set long ago.

I am still interested in any input anyone else has, and I have to say, this is obviously a topic which hits a nerve for other people as well, judging by the number of responses! I think for me it is a culture clash because I am so self sufficient and being single for some time, I have had to manage my own money and know the value of a dollar. I will be the one who will say to my SO, "let's go to X place instead of Y because Y is so overpriced"!! Or "let's cook in and watch the sunset instead of going out". Anyway, thanks to all of you, and I appreciate the unbiased perspectives!!
Best,
Elegant Edge

Sep 11, 2013
elegantedge in Not About Food

How to get my significant other's adult children to pick up a check??

Hi Everyone,
I should clarify one thing:
Last year one time, both adult children and their spouses were out for dinner prior to an event for which my SO had gotten the tickets. That time (and only that time) the kids picked up the check. SO commented how pleased he was that they did that. So, I do think he is aware that it is "one way", and I don' t think he always likes it, but as so many of you have said, this is his issue, not the kids. Personally, I think these are patterns which have been in place for some time, and that is hard to change. Many of you have said basically, blood is thicker than water, and I should not interfere, which I don't, but I don't like to see my SO maniuplated by the son. An offer of a dinner out is very gracious, but who among us would say "no we don't want to go to X restaurant, we want to go to Y", which is three times the money and they would never go on their own. It's not the dinners out that disturb me, it's this maniuplation, and as someone said, my SO is to blame for allowing that. I don't think there is anything I should or can do about it, and truth be told, life is too short to get caught up in something like this. The son and DIL are not people I would be friends with if they weren't related to my SO, and given that I work hard and have a busy life, it isn't difficult to excuse myself from these dinners and let them have their time together. And, to be clear, my SO would not care if THEY cooked and made something very simple, but they never do that. His daugher will do that. The son also routinely raids my SO's wine cellar and will always choose the most expensive wine for himself. It's not my money, not my wine, but some basic manners and respect seem to be in order. I am just not the person to teach them that, and in their mid 30's, I am not sure they can learn.....

I really appreciate the feedback, and don't worry, I have a thick skin, so those of you who have said "blunt" things, I can handle it. I still welcome your commentary and look forward to enjoying the other aspects of Chowhound!!

How to get my significant other's adult children to pick up a check??

Dear Mcl215,
Thanks for your reply. I think you are right, the issue is really my SO's, not so much the adult children's. He is allowing this , and as it happens, he WAS in a nasty divorce 10 years ago or so and may feel that he needs to compensate for that. I really think this is the only time he gets with his son and if it costs him $300 for dinner, so be it. I have already "excused" myself from these dinners, the son, as I said is a "know it all", and his wife is very similar. We are just very different people, and while I know my SO will see his kids (and spouses), I don't have to be part of it. Really, it's not my money, but the lack of respect is something I don't like my SO to experience. He is also paying for his adult daughter (39) to go to grad school. She is married and has a part time job. I just can't get in the middle of it, but it is so contrary to how I was raised! When I graduated from college, I got a job, moved out and never asked my parents to pick up a check! My value system is such that I feel to pay these adults ways is to not allow them to grow their own wings and be strong on their own.

Monavano, thanks for the reminder, you are right, it will probably never change, and I need to think about that. Thanks to both of you!!

Sep 10, 2013
elegantedge in Not About Food

How to get my significant other's adult children to pick up a check??

Thanks everyone, for the feedback. I really do appreciate it. FoodieX2, you are right, I will continue to keep quiet about it and let him take them where they want to go. I will be supportive and keep my opinions to myself unless he asks me about it. I don't see anything wrong with them all going out, and him picking up the tab, but don't understand why he lets his son always pick the most expensive place. That's the part I don't get. And, please don't misunderstand my comment about the son's education, there are lots of people who barely made it through high school who are leading fantastic lives and are successful. I guess when this son's traits are rolled up in a know it all, it stings just a bit. I won't judge, will keep quiet, and let them have all the dinners they want. Thanks again!!

Sep 10, 2013
elegantedge in Not About Food

How to get my significant other's adult children to pick up a check??

Hello,
This may sound trivial, but my significant other's adult children and spouses always select the most expensive restaurant to go to and then my S.O. always picks up the check because they don't offer to pay, or even contribute. I have suggested that he say "if I pick, I will pay", or "you choose, you pay", or even, "lets split the bill", but he won't do it.
A few weeks ago, he selected a nice pub style place with good food for dinner and his son said, "no we would rather go to "X" for a nice big steak"!!! I was brought up to think of this as VERY rude. It is as if the restaurant is more important than his father's company. Today, the son chose the new fancy Italian restaurant which we went to one time an d have decided not to go back to because it is really expensive. And, I am sure my S.O. will pay. These adult children are in their mid 30's and are all working. I think my S.O. is afraid that if he doesn't pick up the checks, he won't get to see his kids at all.
I have also suggested that he just cook dinner at home, but then the son raids his wine cellar, acts like he owns the place. BTW, the son barely finished high school, only had a few college classes and is in the restaurant business himself. Any ideas of how to handle this? I know it's not my problem, and I have been very careful what I have said, but I really think he is being taken advantage ot!! I appreciate your thoughts!
Thanks!

Sep 10, 2013
elegantedge in Not About Food