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Old 03-15-2012, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Austin
773 posts, read 935,532 times
Reputation: 930

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I am not a parent. But I'm posting this here because I think that parents will have more experience in dealing/coping with adult kids who "never grew up." Such is the case with my housemate, a good friend who is like a sister to me. I'm starting to feel more like her mother and less like a friend by the day.

A year ago, housemate bottomed out and asked to move into my place while she got back on her feet. I gladly obliged, because it's the charitable thing to do. But i quickly found that she's very irresponsible, and I hold her parents accountable for this. They taught her that a "real lady" should not pay her own way. Bad, bad parents!

For the past year, she's been job-hopping. Nothing seems to work out long term. Needless to say, there have been more months than not when I picked up her part of the rent. I got her on my cell phone plan, which was a mistake, because she keeps going over the allotted minutes, causing me to pay overage fees. Whenever I go grocery shopping, two weeks of food (for me) get wiped out in a matter of days.

She recently totaled a car she was borrowing from our mutual friend, and we found out that she had been driving with a revoked license. This is the third car she's destroyed in a year. She doesn't make a lot of money, but she makes enough so that she can make a good faith attempt at paying for the damages. But when I approached her about this, she told me that there wasn't anything she could do, because she couldn't afford to pay both rent and for the car.

Here's the rub: She claims not to have money to pay for her living expenses and for the (destroyed) car, but she parties all of the time, going to bars and concerts. What I'm hearing is teenager logic (I know this because I have teen godkids). I can't throw her out, because she literally has nowhere to go other than the street. But there are going to be some rules in this household if she continues to live "under my roof."

I have some ideas as to what conditions I'm going to impose if she continues to live off of my generosity. I feel that her own folks did her a huge disservice by teaching her learned helplessness, and the best thing I can do is to hold her accountable. What frightens me is that she's almost 40, and way too old to behave like this.

As parents, how would you deal with this situation, if this were your adult child?
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:06 AM
 
Location: here
23,531 posts, read 25,849,293 times
Reputation: 27700
Give her 30 days notice to find a new place to live and stick to it.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Hyrule
8,382 posts, read 8,813,950 times
Reputation: 7401
I agree, I wouldn't try and teach her anything! Give her notice and find yourself an adult room mate stat!
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:16 AM
 
13,172 posts, read 14,114,908 times
Reputation: 21767
37 years old? Kick her out, change the locks and move on. Don't worry about her--she'll find someone else to sucker into helping her. There's not a thing in the world you can do to change her. If you let her, she'll drain you financially and emotionally and then leave you hanging.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:17 AM
Status: "No, it isnít." (set 14 hours ago)
 
8,948 posts, read 5,995,346 times
Reputation: 10910
Quote:
Originally Posted by supernaut112 View Post
I am not a parent. But I'm posting this here because I think that parents will have more experience in dealing/coping with adult kids who "never grew up." Such is the case with my housemate, a good friend who is like a sister to me. I'm starting to feel more like her mother and less like a friend by the day.

A year ago, housemate bottomed out and asked to move into my place while she got back on her feet. I gladly obliged, because it's the charitable thing to do. But i quickly found that she's very irresponsible, and I hold her parents accountable for this. They taught her that a "real lady" should not pay her own way. Bad, bad parents!

For the past year, she's been job-hopping. Nothing seems to work out long term. Needless to say, there have been more months than not when I picked up her part of the rent. I got her on my cell phone plan, which was a mistake, because she keeps going over the allotted minutes, causing me to pay overage fees. Whenever I go grocery shopping, two weeks of food (for me) get wiped out in a matter of days.

She recently totaled a car she was borrowing from our mutual friend, and we found out that she had been driving with a revoked license. This is the third car she's destroyed in a year. She doesn't make a lot of money, but she makes enough so that she can make a good faith attempt at paying for the damages. But when I approached her about this, she told me that there wasn't anything she could do, because she couldn't afford to pay both rent and for the car.

Here's the rub: She claims not to have money to pay for her living expenses and for the (destroyed) car, but she parties all of the time, going to bars and concerts. What I'm hearing is teenager logic (I know this because I have teen godkids). I can't throw her out, because she literally has nowhere to go other than the street. But there are going to be some rules in this household if she continues to live "under my roof."

I have some ideas as to what conditions I'm going to impose if she continues to live off of my generosity. I feel that her own folks did her a huge disservice by teaching her learned helplessness, and the best thing I can do is to hold her accountable. What frightens me is that she's almost 40, and way too old to behave like this.

As parents, how would you deal with this situation, if this were your adult child?
You can't hold her "accountable". She's an adult. She's either going to be accountable to herself or she isn't. Obviously she isn't.

Nothing you can do is going to change her, it's the way she is. It's not her parent's fault, it's her nature if she hasn't done anything about her life by now.

Some people are just naturally sucky at dealing with their lives. Some people are evil and do it on purpose in order to suck other people dry.

If she's the former, then you just have to accept her for who she is and don't let her live with you, she'll eventually find a partner who will put up with it and that's how she'll live her life. But she most likely won't ever change. Guarantee that.

If she's the latter, don't even remain friends, just run run run away and put her out to fend for herself. She'll find another sucker.

But if you continue in this rescue mode, when it doesn't work, you should be aware that it's your fault, not hers. (Even though I think you're sweet, you aren't going to succeed in fixing her by imposing your standards.)
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Austin
773 posts, read 935,532 times
Reputation: 930
Quote:
Originally Posted by FinsterRufus View Post
Some people are just naturally sucky at dealing with their lives. Some people are evil and do it on purpose in order to suck other people dry.

If she's the former, then you just have to accept her for who she is and don't let her live with you, she'll eventually find a partner who will put up with it and that's how she'll live her life. But she most likely won't ever change. Guarantee that.
No, she's not evil. Just extremely naive. And I have to wonder how this came about ó? We've had long discussions, and she really does believe this guff that "ladies don't support themselves."

She has a BF, and purportedly, he's going to bail her out at the end of the month. I feel really evil because I hope that he takes her off of my hands. But somehow, I don't think that he will once he finds out the extent of the legal problems she has. She's looking at mandatory jail time for driving with a revoked license in our state. There is nothing that anyone can do about this ...
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:48 AM
Status: "No, it isnít." (set 14 hours ago)
 
8,948 posts, read 5,995,346 times
Reputation: 10910
Quote:
Originally Posted by supernaut112 View Post
No, she's not evil. Just extremely naive. And I have to wonder how this came about ó? We've had long discussions, and she really does believe this guff that "ladies don't support themselves."

She has a BF, and purportedly, he's going to bail her out at the end of the month. I feel really evil because I hope that he takes her off of my hands. But somehow, I don't think that he will once he finds out the extent of the legal problems she has. She's looking at mandatory jail time for driving with a revoked license in our state. There is nothing that anyone can do about this ...
Oh goodness, you're not evil for hoping he'll take over for you. I knew somebody would. But there's nothing to be gained here, you can't help, really you can't. You can only help by not continuing to enable, and that probably won't help either.

If she's a good friend otherwise (and I do think that's possible), then just keep all of your things and money and effort to yourself, and be friends with her on a different level.

Above all, don't feel guilty. If it's that bad, she'll either change or suffer the consequences. If she never suffers the consequences, she'll never change.

Being a good person doesn't mean you have to put your sanity at risk for somebody else's issues.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:54 AM
 
10,805 posts, read 8,116,741 times
Reputation: 13657
No offense, but you are doing her no service either. Why would she ever be responsible if someone keeps bailing her out. She is THIRTY SEVEN for heaven's sake. And not your child. Kick her to the curb. 30 days my foot.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Austin
773 posts, read 935,532 times
Reputation: 930
Quote:
Originally Posted by FinsterRufus View Post
Being a good person doesn't mean you have to put your sanity at risk for somebody else's issues.
I couldn't "rep" you again, but just know that I would if I could.

I have been so confounded, I didn't know what to think. I suspect that if I were a parent of an adult child, I'd be better equipped to make certain decisions.

In the back of my mind, I still keep wondering, "How on earth did this happen? At what point did the parents fall down on the job?" Adults are, to a certain degree, the product of their upbringings. My thoughts are that someone fell down on the job.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:55 AM
 
13,172 posts, read 14,114,908 times
Reputation: 21767
Quote:
Originally Posted by supernaut112 View Post
No, she's not evil. Just extremely naive. And I have to wonder how this came about ó? We've had long discussions, and she really does believe this guff that "ladies don't support themselves."
She has a BF, and purportedly, he's going to bail her out at the end of the month. I feel really evil because I hope that he takes her off of my hands. But somehow, I don't think that he will once he finds out the extent of the legal problems she has. She's looking at mandatory jail time for driving with a revoked license in our state. There is nothing that anyone can do about this ...
You sound very sweet and generous, but her saying "ladies don't support themselves" is just an excuse she's making, most likely to herself, that she's a ****-up. No 37-year-old woman is that naive.

She'll take advantage of you for as long as you let her, so it's up to you.
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