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View Poll Results: Which option would you choose to assist your adult child with kids?
I'd spend 2k a month providing my son with a very nice apt, paying his psych bills, & ignoring his kids' needs. 0 0%
I'd provide my son w/some basic help, a CHEAP apt, psych care but send some of the $$ saved to cover the child support obligation ($275/mo). 3 10.00%
I'd invite my son to live in my home, still help him with the basics & psych care but focus as well on the fact that his kids need support. 10 33.33%
I wouldn't send any money. My son is my son but he's an adult and he and his children are not my problem. 6 20.00%
Other 11 36.67%
Voters: 30. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-26-2008, 02:04 AM
Location: in my mind
2,743 posts, read 14,140,019 times
Reputation: 1627


I'm wondering if this is a "normal" way to handle the situation I'm (indirectly) involved in and directly affected by.

Imagine the situation, read the scenario, imagine you have PLENTY of money, then choose an option.

You have an adult son, 40-something, who is divorced with children of his own. He is plagued with problems and has been for many many years. Alcoholism, depression, and recently diagnosed with adult ADHD. He hasn't worked in a while aside from temp jobs and continually lost jobs for years, although he has a degree and lots of experience in a field where, when he was working, he averaged $45,000 a year. His problems were eventually the downfall of his marriage (when they culminated in physical abuse by him during an emotional breakdown). He didn't work for 50% of his marriage, and you intervened more than once during the marriage by "bringing him home", getting him psych care, only to have him relapse soon after.

His children live in near-poverty at times and he hasn't paid child support in over 18 months and prior to that paid only sporadically. You are aware that he is in arrears over $6000 and that the Attorney General's office has threatened with a warrant. He sees the kids 3x a year, when you pay for their plane fare for them to visit. Their other parent works continually but doesn't have money for anything above the basics and often struggles to manage that. The kids never go hungry but don't have anywhere near the lifestyle dad has. Their other parent's earning capacity (no college) is limited, and she is also going to school off and on when she can manage to do so in addition to working full time.

He lived with you for a while but then you moved him to an apartment in your area, which is rather upscale. The apartment is $850 a month in an area where a decent place could be found for $600 or so.

How do you help him now (remember, you are financially VERY comfortable and this money is not an issue, doesn't affect your own spending or lifestyle to any real degree)?

And because it's relevant, you have another son who also lives nearby, and you also have 2 grandkids by THAT son, and you spend money on those grandkids and see them every other weekend, pay for part of their private school, swim lessons, etc.

Last edited by fierce_flawless; 06-26-2008 at 02:31 AM..
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:52 AM
Location: USA
1,953 posts, read 4,710,155 times
Reputation: 2262
Help HIM? Are you serious?

Honey I would be HELPING HIS CHILDREN. He doesn't need "help," his CHILDREN do!

He hasn't even paid child support due! Good grief, if you have money and you want to help the situation; help the kids and their mother out. It's time for your son to stand on his own 2 feet.

The kids are the ones who should get some assistance and help; let him learn how to take care of himself - finally. JMHO
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:13 AM
3,191 posts, read 9,080,361 times
Reputation: 2203
Yeah seriously?? Help him? YOU mean ENABLE him....
no way. he is an adult so let him wallow in his own misery. Wash your hands....it is called tough love and applies to any age child.
Now IMHO, I would be more than willing to help my grandchildren, especially if their custodial parent is doing the best they can and some monetary support would be welcomed and appreciated. Bring your grandchildren to see you when able and don't worry about the dad, he is on his own. Keep up the communication with the grandchildren and the parent, so at least they know they are loved and cared for by you. They will figure out their Dad soon enough. Don't make excuses for him anymore and do the right thing by those children who never asked for or deserved to be in the position they are in.
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:17 AM
Location: in my mind
2,743 posts, read 14,140,019 times
Reputation: 1627
Just a clarification: I'm not the mother of this man. I'm the ex-wife, with the kids, not getting child support. I will elaborate more as I see more responses as to my reasons for asking this question...... but I wanted to make that much clear.

Oh and please vote too, I am interested in the poll responses as much as I am the thread responses.
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:24 AM
Location: Savannah GA/Lk Hopatcong NJ
13,283 posts, read 28,187,954 times
Reputation: 11644
I voted other because at this point he needs a swift kick you know where
Any money I had to spread around would be to make life a bit more comfortable for my grand children and air fare for them to come visit GRAND MA in the summer giving Mommy a bit of a break
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:27 AM
Location: San Diego, CA
2,397 posts, read 6,360,699 times
Reputation: 646
I'm with the others. I would send money to the other parent and his kids. He can fend for himself.
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:33 AM
Location: Southern Illinois
10,365 posts, read 20,456,543 times
Reputation: 15627
Ditto, once again. I pick the other option--help the mom and kids. It's too late to help their dad, but you can do a lot for them. If you want to, I suppose you can get him psychiatric care, but only if he really wants to get help, otherwise you're just flushing your money down the toilet.
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:50 AM
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Other! (And I agree with a swift kick in the butt!) I'd even go so far as to send the grandkids the money that he is delinquent on, yet not FOR him. Let the Attorney General follow thru with the warrant.

But I'm wondering if Grandma/Mom is part of the problem? Sounds like she enabled him for long enough and now is not willing to own up to her own portion of it all??????

so sorry that you're dealing with all of this, fierce.
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:45 PM
Location: San Antonio, TX
1,510 posts, read 2,916,276 times
Reputation: 2219
Seems to me there are a few things going on here:

1. The father is aware of his "problems" and has been unable/unwilling to correct/treat them in order to straighten his life out.

2. The parents of the father have been enabling him for quite some time, hoping (as all parents do at one point or another) that their child will get back on his feet again.

3. The mother of the children (fierce) has been left to bear the burden of rearing two children in a fatherless home while working and trying to go to school.

4. The children are unable to know their father, and are barely "in this world."

5. The parents of the father have the means to help either the father or the mother, and so far (it seems) most of the assistance has gone to the prior (with the exception of paid airfare to see their father).

Based on what I have read and interpreted to be the current situation, I would say that the father (can't bring myself to say "dad" at this point) has been "taken care of" enough times by now. It's time to start providing for the grandchildren (via their mother)--something that may be hard to do. The grandkids are an extension of the grandparents, so in a way it's to be expected.

I'm sorry you're going through this, fierce. It's really sad when a family member refuses or is unable to seek help for issues, whether mental or physical.

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Old 06-26-2008, 02:53 PM
Location: in my mind
2,743 posts, read 14,140,019 times
Reputation: 1627
Default really long, sorry...

Originally Posted by the_dimwit View Post

5. The parents of the father have the means to help either the father or the mother, and so far (it seems) most of the assistance has gone to the prior (with the exception of paid airfare to see their father).


Dim, you are correct pretty much except for this... the grandparents actually have the means to help both ways. The child support amount is a drop in the bucket... Grandma spends this weekly at Bloomingdale's... or monthly on maid service... you get the idea.

Now that there are some responses (and thanks for all, plus the votes!) I would like to elaborate.

My main reason for putting this out there as a poll with the thread is because I have wondered if I was alone in my way of thinking. I've often doubted myself when I get angry about this by "arguing" with myself and saying "Well you know, the kids are not their grandparent's responsibility so you may feel it's immoral but they're not THEIR kids..."

And I do feel it's immoral, and hypocritical in the extreme.

I will fast forward through my life story as it's beside the point, but let's just say that my ex in-laws were never super fond of me, but even so, they DO and HAVE told many others (and it gets back to me) that I am an excellent mother. They've said that for years, regardless of how they apparently always felt that their son married "beneath" his status or whatever. They felt I wasn't from a "good" family (working class and military isn't good enough)... okay whatever. They've never criticized my mothering. So that's not some sort of sick "justification" or anything.

They DID stop speaking to me pretty much completely after the divorce. Oh, and their other son is also now divorcing and it's totally being painted as all HER fault (I got this info on one of the rare occasions my ex spoke with me on the phone.. usually he'll just call my eldest son's cell phone directly to avoid me)... so it's typical for these folks that their boys can do no wrong. Ironic, funny, and sad as this other daughter-in-law was always painted as the "good choice" and compared to me, because of her moneyed family and fancy university and so forth. Now, apparently, she's "crazy as a loon" and will soon be given the same treatment I'm sure. The difference is, that son is more likely to actually be responsible for his kids even after the divorce. But we shall see.

Sorry, that's a mini tangent.. but you get an idea of how these people view faults in their offspring. They simply close their eyes to it!

So anyway, I have, twice now, in moments of real desperation, written to the ex in-laws for help. Both times I used email. The first time they ignored the email and followed up with a money order for $200 a few weeks later.

This time most recently I got silence, then a money order for $250, followed by an actual email response. I was very surprised. Of course now that I've read it, I'm very very angry. I'll get to that later.

The first plea for help was very nicely worded and full of "benefit of the doubt" for my ex, even though he doesn't deserve that...

This last email was much more blunt. I told them that it takes two to make a baby and that I had no idea if my ex was working or not since he pretty much won't speak to me on the phone. I told them I was tired of carrying the load alone. I suggested that perhaps if they're helping him out, that maybe it was time for HIM to sacrifice something for the benefit of the kids. I told them that quite frankly the only reason I am allowing the boys to come visit is for the simple fact that my youngest would be heartbroken were I to forbid it but at this point it goes against every fiber of my being to send them up there to hypocrite heaven.

Now, when the boys are up there at the end of summer, my ex will always email me and ask me what the boys "need" for school (clothes, supplies), what their sizes are, and then he'll tell me that his parents are going to "take care of" their back to school needs and I don't need to worry about it.

I fell for this once, not doing it again. LOL. "Taking care of" their school needs meant they came home with miscellaneous overpriced electronic crap (game systems and such) and no school supplies and maybe 2 outfits each... and of course both outfits purchased at some overpriced mall store and a pair $60 or higher sneakers. Money that could have bought them BOTH an entire WARDROBE of gently used clothing at the thrift store. His mother won't do "discount" but they don't come close to the real definition of having "school clothes"... one outfit is not "school clothes". So I end up thrifting for the rest of it anyway. Last year my older son actually tried to explain to her that he could get jeans at Goodwill for $5 a pair and he'd have 11 pair for what she was spending for two at the mall but she didn't think that was a "good idea". He actually came home with a $25 plain black cotton t-shirt. Wow. Yes, the 3 for $10 kind.

Hilarious-but-true: their Grandmother had a big fancy catered birthday party, and the boys went up when it was normally not their time to go up...but my ex lectured me beforehand about how I needed to send them "nice" clothes for the party and how he was worried they wouldn't have anything "party appropriate". ROFL. You can imagine what I told him in response to THAT. My youngest had this unbelievably gaudy gold lame' and black velvet circus-esque lion tamer tuxedo jacket he'd found at the thrift store and bought for Halloween. He asked if he could wear it to the party... and I let him take it up there! He was so determined to wear it that they ended up "allowing" it..... ha. I take my giggles where I can get them....but I also heard later about how they were the best behaved, most well mannered kids in attendance. So, HMPH!

When they are up there it is constant fun and games, going out to eat, going to the arcade, laser tag, first run movies (3 or 4 times), Six Flags, whatever.
His parents pay for all this, but they give my ex the money so that it appears he's paying for it. My ex in-laws are ALL about keeping up appearances, pretending everything is fine, and shoving anything "ugly" under the rug.

My ex lives in a 1 bedroom apartment that's about $850 a month. His parents pay for this and pay out of pocket for his psych visits and meds (and he's on 2 or 3)... and of course he has a cell phone, digital cable and phone, electricity, a World of Warcraft subscription, blah blah blah. The last apartment was actually a TWO bedroom townhome for $1050 a month but they made him "downgrade". My kids talk about his cool computer and flat panel monitor.. and he's a big "gamer", he has top of the line everything.

Folks, my *mortgage* (house I bought after him, btw) is $585 a month. We aren't in hugely different areas with regard to cost of living. I have been checking, and I know he could be living somewhere that's $600 a month easily and still be in a safe area.

I have sent his parents printouts from the Attorney General's office showing exactly how long it's been since I've received a dime from him and how much he is behind. They are not unaware. I sent them proof because I suspected they might have given him money to send to me and then he didn't and lied about it (he lies about everything), but who knows if that happened. If it has happened they never said anything to me about it.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention how they paid for him to have about 10k in dental work done since he ruined his teeth from years of drinking. They even drove him out of state to go to an "old family dentist" that they particularly trusted!

I have even resorted to reporting his mother as his possible "employer", because she runs a business and has hired him in the past so it could be happening now.... thinking that the AG's office would at least contact her, on the off chance that she didn't know.... Nothing came of it.

So this pattern with them has been going on for a very long time.

Back when we were married, out of desperation I called them up to tell them what was going on with their son. At this point he'd gotten fired for drinking on the job (again) and had been out of work for six months. We were living in a house they owned. He would tell them every month that he was sending the "rent" and then not do it. He was just drinking and sitting in front of the computer for days on end. I was worried he might be suicidal. So I called and explained it all. I remember one part of the conversation very vividly... when his mother told me that he couldn't be expected to "just go work at WalMart or something" and that I needed to give him "time" to find something in his field.

So, his parents "whisked him away" to their house for six months but pretty much only because I mentioned the suicide thing. They got him in therapy, on meds, and promised me that they'd help him and help me in the duration while he "got better". I was working as a childcare provider, making about $7 an hour, since it was a job I could take my kids to.

While he was being "rescued" they would send him home on the plane every six weeks to see us. He returned from the first absence with $400 glasses, and a brand new wardrobe. Meanwhile, I was going to work with my shoes *stapled* together (and my job was primarily playground duty!). The promised help didn't come, (well we were living rent free), but when the A/C died in the middle of August (I'm in TX!) they wouldn't fix it. My 68 year old father spent two days in the heat fixing it for me after I begged for help from them for a month with no response. The kids and I got a window unit a/c on loan from my mom and camped out in the living room because it was too hot elsewhere in the house to stand it. While my husband was living in their huge comfortable home with weekly dinners out and a freakin MAID.

When they sent him home "all better" and a few months later he again lost his job, and the utility company came out to shut off our electricity after I'd just spent the last of our money on food, and I wrote the electric guy a check knowing full well I didn't have the money in the account at that time but not knowing what else to do to keep the lights on, they called me "irresponsible". Even though I was hoping to come up with the money before it cleared, and even though I was trying to save the food I'd just bought for the kids!

I suppose I should not be surprised by anything that "these people" say or do but I have a hard time understanding this.

So, that's how they are and this is why I am here asking your opinion:

The most recent email to me in response to my questions about money and my ex working or not was from my ex father-in-law. In the letter he tells me that my ex isn't working, aside from temp jobs where he gets 3 days a week max. (Okay, so he MUST be using an incorrect social or something because temp agencies still must garnish wages, right???)...

He also informs me that my ex has been diagnosed with adult ADHD and depression and is on meds and that keeping any job is a "balancing act" with him having BOTH diagnoses. Boo effing hoo.

He tells me that my ex DOES love the boys and that his ignoring them completely in between the thrice yearly visits is "just him being depressed". Oh and they love them too! Funny. They are just as guilty of no contact ever, until they come up there. They don't KNOW the kids at all. Know nothing about them. And I never doubted my ex's "love" for the boys but you cannot LIVE ON LOVE.

He also tells me that he thinks that he's doing much better and might even be able to look for full time employment soon but points out that it will be difficult with his work history being so sporadic.

Oh and that he's "not drinking at all". Funny, because when I did speak to him last week he was toasted. I lived with him for a decade. I can TELL! Apparently they don't talk to him enough or are too blind... but that's not news. That night he also hung up on me when the subject turned to money.
I don't usually even bother bringing it up. Just hand the phone to the kids... but I was fed up and I wasn't with the kids when he called. I wasn't nasty about it, I never am. I just asked, and he responded with a click.

I am just so disgusted by the excuses that they still make for him.

Guess what? I received the same 2 diagnoses in 1990, when I was 19 years old.. with the additional diagnoses of PTSD, Dissociative Disorder, Bulemia, and OCD (more obsessive than compulsive). Most related to childhood trauma and abuse. I also flirted heavily with drug and alcohol issues and it could have easily become out of control.

I've been in and out of therapy for decades. I have beaten the eating disorder, I no longer dissociate, and the OCD is much better but I still deal with obsessive thoughts, PTSD symptoms, off and on dysthimia, and the ADD (I don't have the H). It's always a factor in my life, but because I have CHILDREN counting me, it is not an option to not be functional!! This is what gets me so crazy mad, when they make excuses.

I don't have money for meds! I'd probably be better if I were on meds... but I don't. I am still working on the $800 ER bill I can't pay (no insurance) from a car wreck in November, when we were rear ended by an uninsured driver! I have access to sliding scale counselors when I feel it's really weighing me down but not once have I ever had the luxury of just SINKING. Anyone know what I mean here???

Maybe it's because I just live on a stress high but regardless, I have to keep going. If I lose a job I have to get another one. I cannot give up, because my kids need me to be here and present and alive and for the most part, highly functioning despite my diagnosis list which is WAY longer than his!

Okay so I'm tired just typing it all out. I am at the point now where I just want to write to them, lay it ALL OUT THERE for them to ponder, and let them know that I think that their priorities are ALL WRONG. Oh the irony... my ex FIL is in charge of his local chapter of a VERY well known children's charity! Hahaha! My kids go with him when they're up there to take this or that to the needy! Lovely huh? Guess they missed the whole "charity begins at home" message.

My own mother may be a lot of things (I won't get into that)... but my mother would never behave this way. In fact, when my brother was doing something similar, and not taking care of his daughter, my mom went out of her way to help out with whatever they needed. My mom has very limited income... she did what she could and NEVER made excuses for him, not once. So this is what I expected from my ex's parents, for some crazy reason.
My mom loves her son, my brother, but he is trouble... and she doesn't try and sugar coat it.

I don't care anymore if they send a couple hundred bucks my way 2x a year. I don't care if they buy them overpriced garbage and get to be the 'good guys' when they visit. I don't care what they think of me anymore for sure. I am thinking of writing them and basically letting loose. The ONLY way they could hurt me is to not pay for the transpo for the kids to visit and I don't think they'd be that mean.

So I guess what I want to know is, would you write the letter? Tell them what you think of them? If not why not? I am tired of "these people". I am more frustrated by them than I am my ex.. because they are supposedly "sane" and rational folks!

I just want to tell them where to stick it. I want to wash my hands of them. I want to respond to their drivel in a fury of words that will make their heads spin. I still won't keep them from seeing the boys, but I don't want to kiss butt EVER again where they are concerned.

If you by some miracle got to the end of this, bless you!!!
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