Having A Gold Digging Stepparent
My stepmother is a gold digger. A real life, good old fashioned, Disney villain type gold digger. She’s as active as some of the worst of them. She orders champagne by asking for, “The most expensive champagne you have,” even when my father has brought multiple bottles of his own to the restaurant, for the very purpose of saving money. She’s “borrowed” tens of thousands of dollars from my father for whimsical business ideas that she got bored of and gave up on, and then told my dad if he really loved her that he wouldn’t make her pay him back. Look, my dad isn’t entirely a victim here. It’s not like he’s blind to what is happening. Some men like to be with gold diggers. They like the simple exchange of, “I’ll issue you a credit card on my account if you provide me companionship and sex.” My sister and I gave up trying to prove to my dad that his partner is a gold digger a long time ago—he already knows. Now we just live with these tough realities.
Sometimes, he’s hard-up
There are days when my dad wants us to just grab fast food for lunch with him because “money is tight.” When I ask where his partner is that day, he says she’s at the spa at the Four Seasons. Hmmm. Wonder why money is tight. So he’s eating McDonalds while she’s at the spa on his dime.
The gross abuse of funds
She has no respect for money, since she doesn’t earn any herself. We’ll see her order hundreds of dollars of steaks to his house, decide she feels like making something else for dinner, and throw the steak away. When my dad attempts to tell her not to do things like that, she throws a tantrum the entire neighborhood can hear, so he just drops it.
She hates when he spends money on us
When we spend time with our father, his partner will call him roughly every thirty minutes to ask what we’re doing. Then we hear her questions get more specific as she’s trying to figure out how much money he’s spending on us, and he assures her it’s “Reasonable.” She doesn’t want to her see “investment” blown on lunch with the daughters.
So, we get bargain dad
So, when our dad takes us on trips, the seven of us (myself, my two siblings, and our significant others, and my dad) pile into a two-bedroom AirBnb that is falling apart since my dad is “on a budget.” Later we always discover that as our dad is on a trip with us, he’s sent his wife to a five-star resort during that time to appease her. It’s the only way she doesn’t yell at him, each day he’s away, for “abandoning her.”
We see her isolating him from friends
We’ve seen him lose friends over the years because of her. Some of his friends have tried to point out to him what she’s doing, she’s caught wind of it, then she’s declared to my father she didn’t want them spending time with those friends anymore, making up some story of one of them being rude to her. We all know what really happened.
We’re unbundling our finances from his
Unfortunately, my sister and I have to protect ourselves by unbundling our finances from our dad’s. He was generous enough, when we were younger, to add us as authorized users on two of his credit cards, should we ever need them in an emergency. But, she is also on those cards, and is running up a big tab that could damage our credit scores. So, we’ve asked him to remove us from said cards.
Who knows what that will looks like
We try not to even think about what things will be like the day our father passes. Naturally, we’ll be most upset about no longer having him around, but it will also be very painful to see his widow draining his accounts and fighting for what should probably be our inheritance.
We don’t like her, because she’s bad
We declared that we didn’t want a relationship with her a long time ago, because, well, she’s a bad person. We couldn’t talk our dad out of being with her, but the most we could do was protect ourselves from the pain and frustration we experience from seeing her behaviors.
She doesn’t like us, because we’re onto her
Interestingly enough, when we told our dad this, he said that his partner had already said she didn’t want a relationship with us a long time ago, and he’d just been trying to keep it going. Gee. Wonder why she doesn’t want us around. Could it be because we are onto her and it makes her uncomfortable?
We want true love for our dad
We wish our dad were with someone who loved him for who he is, because he’s awesome. He’s hilarious and kind and generous (clearly too generous). It makes us sad that he must think, deep down, that the only way a woman would love him would be for his money.
But we know that would require therapy
Realistically, we know our father has some emotional issues that cause him to find women like this. We know if we got rid of her somehow, he’d just find another woman like her. We know she’s just a symptom of some trauma he has going on.
And he’s too old to change
I don’t personally believe anyone is ever too old to change. But, my dad is nearing 80. I can understand him feeling settled in his situation now, and feeling too tired to dig up all of his emotional issues, make a complete change, and find a new partner at this stage in life.
He’s encouraged us to be like her
Sadly, we see that in some ways, our dad believes that that’s just how women are. He thinks it’s normal. We know it because he has encouraged my sister and me, in the past, to stay with boyfriends who we didn’t really love because they were well off. He didn’t understand why we left them.
When we’ve needed him financially…
There have been times we needed financial help from our father for something real and important—my dog needed a critical surgery, my sister needed a little more seed money for her already up-and-running business—and he turned us down. He vaguely referenced something about his partner not wanting him to do it.
Then we watch her buy useless things
While our dad wouldn’t pay for my dog’s surgery, he did pay for his wife to go on a shopping spree at Bloomingdales and order a case of Dom Perignon the following week. There went the surgery money.