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Double Trouble

by Terry
(Chesterfield Mo, USA)

Our son has an addiction problem which caused his wife to file for a divorce. He moved in with us over a year ago while his divorce proceedings were and still are ongoing. He has lost 2 jobs in the last year and getting deeper with substance abuse and alcohol addictions.

Our daughter had trouble making ends meet and working as a nurse with 4 children requiring us to drive and pick up the little ones from school. We also babysit when she is at work. She does buy food and offers financial help when possible.

She and her children (our grandchildren) have been living with us for over a year. Our problem is she doesn't want to be around our addicted son. She thinks we are babying him and paying his bills which is untrue unbeknownst to her. She is angry with us for providing room and board.

On occasion she has seen drug paraphernalia in our house and believe her children are breathing second hand residuals. Our son has nowhere to go, no insurance or money for rehabilitations, no job and is on the brink of bankruptcy.

Our daughter has moved out recently into our second home we allowed her to live in when she first married but moved back in with us after her divorce. We maintain the home, have done expensive upgrades, and she is now living there rent free but responsible for her own expenses.

The two siblings don't speak to each other and while we may be responsible for enabling both of them to a small degree, we continue to give them space to calm down and find some peace. Tough love is what? Physically pushing someone out the door?

We don't pay our son’s bills except his attorney fees. His divorce should be over soon. Our daughter lives in a house we own and acts very ungrateful. She sends us hateful text messages which we read with a grain of salt.

I refuse to battle with her which probably makes her even angrier. We have offered to sit down with all adults to reach some sort of resolution but our daughter now won't speak to us.

Please help.

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Oct 16, 2019
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You Already Know The Answer
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hello Terry

Thanks for your story. It's clear that you're really trying to help, but you're not liking the results.

You also acknowledge that you are enabling both your son and your daughter. You said it was "a little" but it's actually quite a lot. You described the many ways you are financially involved in their lives, and if you were to sit down and make a list, and enumerate the costs to you and your husband, you will see what I mean.

You may not want to hear this, but as long as you continue to help them financially, it appears that they will continue with their problems. I don't know them, and I don't know you, other than what you've described here. What I'm telling you is based on my 48 years of professional experience with these types of situations.

You and your husband have to be the ones to make this decision together. I'm sure you will come up with the best plan for your situation, if you take the time to sit down and talk it out. Continuing to do what you've been doing will no doubt bring similar or worse results.

Keep in mind that love is letting go...not holding on.

My best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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