sold a bill of goods

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by upallnight, Apr 18, 2014.

  1. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I hope nobody but you guys ever sees this. My new daughter in law was wonderful, going to college, working as a manager in a huge convenience store chain, took such good care of my difficult know. And we took on her own child as our own, she got together with difficult child as a single mom when her baby was a newborn.

    What's not to love, right? She quit school after she married him in Nov. I will really say flunked out. She is very lazy and never cleans, difficult child does all the cooking, waiting on her. Not too long ago , husband and I went over there, in the baby's room was a mountain of dirty diapers, we lit off on difficult child, daughter in law wasn't home. Yesterday I saw her mom, she told me daughter in law was fired, so husband asked difficult child about that. difficult child said no, then 10 minutes later, difficult child called back, yes she kept that info secret from him. She just admitted it when he asked her.

    About a week ago it was her birthday and she wanted another pair of Ugg's. difficult child bought them a week earlier so she could try them on, then she was horrified when he said that she already got her gift last week and she needed a gift on her actual birthday, these 2 have NO MONEY to begin with. He is really bad with money, she is clearly worse, and a total difficult child. She hadn't worked in 3 weeks, telling him she was off for 'her birthday week" and then the next week also.

    I can over look a lot of things. I have just been sad for difficult child today. Let me add, she's pregnant. He has not been working and his unemployment is going to run out in 2 weeks. Ugg's are $200. I know this isn't my problem, but it still is bothersome.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Seriously, it isn't your problem. Do they live with you? I hope not. I wouldn't even want to listen to the complaints. And I never blame the girlfriend or the male spouse completely. No way. Our kids chose them and your son is enabling her ways and he doesn't have it together either and they are now going to have TWO kids and they are still kids emotionally. If you can, just detach. One thing I never did, and trust me I did many things to make myself stressed, was to angst over what the person my kids picked did. If they were lazy, oh well. If they didn't work, oh well. If my kids (36 did this) give in to everything loser wife (now ex) wants, oh well. Why in the world are you annoyed with just her when your son is the one who is going along with her? Hey, they are choosing to be together and it's none of our business. Why even waste the time it takes to get mildly annoyed?

    The only sad thing here is that the poor grand kids have no chance at stability or mature parenting. But unless you want to legally take that on and can actually win that responsibility in court (which is unlikely), you can't do anything much there either. Unfortunately, it is very hard to terminate parental rights just because parents are immature, dirty, incompetent or can't manage money. It has to be something that CPS can put a bigger finger on, such as sexual abuse (PROVEN sexual abuse) or bruises all over the body that some professional, like a doctor, sees and reports. Grandparents have few rights in the US. When my son and his ex were divorcing, I read up on many of the laws and one consistent law throughout the country is that grandparents have no rights. Isn't that great? We can't even see the grandkids if the parents decide not to let us.

    I am sorry you are upset. I have often been upset myself. Just not over what the people my kids pick do.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2014
  3. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Oh MWM, Thank you for that reply.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, anytime, hon. Been through my own ringers.
  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I agree with MWM, up. Not only that, but if you can leave this alone and let the kids work it out for themselves, difficult child will begin to grow up. Taking care of someone we love ~ especially if she is pregnant ~ is the best way to do that ~ to grow up, I mean. Poor daughter in law has a baby, is pregnant again, the house is being let go, her husband doesn't have a job and now, neither does she.

    Let the kids grow from however they cope with all of it, up.

    This is where difficult child chooses what kind of man he is. If he loves her enough, he will step up.

    If she loves him enough, she will stay.

    I have been doing that with difficult child daughter. Whatever the problem is, they really are strong and smart enough to make of their own lives what they will, up. difficult child son stopped talking to me when I told him he was strong enough to do what needed doing. But you know what? I would do it, again. Even if I never talk to him again (and I think that, one day soon, I will), I will know I did what I could to make him stronger, to help him become the man he needs to be, independent of me.

    One of us (Cookie Monster, I think it was) used to post about "sitting on her lips". That was the imagery she used to stop herself from saying anything at all about her child's living conditions. I have used that imagery, too. When the kids have been messing up for too long, it feels normal for us to get all up in their faces. It's very hard to stop.

    Recovering Enabler posted to me once that enabling will come with resentment. Whenever you feel anger at helping, that will be enabling. Let the kids work it out on their own. Whatever you have to do to stop thinking about it up, do it.

    It isn't like the kids don't know everything we are going to say, already. When we stop giving money, the stories become more dire. It gets to be a really nasty circle...but the true cost is the difficult child's self respect.

    That's what I am coming to believe, anyway. The jury is still out? But my son has not asked for money since January. He isn't talking to me either, as I mentioned.

    (Eye roll as Cedar blushes and clears her throat.)

    But I would rather never hear from him again than to knowingly subvert his growth with money and advice and the control that brings me.

    It's hard to do that, up? But once we begin it, we can see so clearly that leaving the kids to work things out for themselves is the only way they can grow up and become the men (and women) they are meant to be.

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  6. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    So if you decide to take the very good advice of MWM and Cedar, Up, I always have a disconnect myself between "getting" what I need to do and "doing" it.

    How do you stand by and watch and still engage with a situation that is so unacceptable to you? How do you let them make their own mistakes, their own choices, their own disasters (sometimes) and keep hands off? Especially when little children are involved.

    Here is a process that helps me:

    1. Create some distance. Not mean, cold silence but just be unavailable a lot of the time. That means I don't answer the phone, I let calls go to voice mail, I don't write back to letters, at least for a while, and I'm not available to get together when difficult child wants to.
    I'm kind about it, and polite about it, but I create some distance and time and space for me.
    2. Write it down. Write down what you want to say and do and keep it handy. When you do talk on the phone, read from the script. I know it sounds remedial, but if you're like me, your mind empties and thoughts start racing when difficult child is on the other end of the phone. My rational mind takes a hike. I don't know where it goes, but I can say and do things I have no intention of saying or doing. Writing it down and having it with me has helped me break that habit.
    3. Work on myself. Spend that extra time and space focusing on my own life. Doing kind things for myself. Taking care of my own responsibilities. Using my tools.

    I find that as I do the above things, I start to detach. And my detachment is not only good for me---which is my first goal, today---but also good for difficult child. It gives him some time and space and a chance to live his own life without constant interaction from me. Maybe he does, maybe he doesn't. But he has a chance to do something different---and that is up to him.

    A lot of the time, people don't like the new me and the new process. There is a lot of anger and pushing hard to keep things the way they are. That is a symptom of setting boundaries and change and detachment. That is normal. That is especially when I have to redouble my efforts to the above three steps.

    Just because people are mad at me, doesn't mean I need to do anything different. I used to think that was automatic---somebody is mad so I need to do something different. Sometimes that is true, because I have violated somebody else's boundaries, but many times, it is not true.

    Caring as much for my own self as I do for someone else means I can see that difference more clearly today.

    Hugs to you, Up. This is tough stuff. Your son is just as responsible for his own life and choices as his wife is. They have chosen to be together and they must figure it out together. Or not. There really is not a role for you to play here unless it's being a distant, loving grandparent.

    Hang in there. We're here for you.
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm in a similar situation and doing my best not to spend too much time thinking about it. As many here know easy child/difficult child and I had a special bond. Honestly I never believed that he would be absorbed by a woman with-o morals and also determined to be at his side 24/7 AND monitoring and responding to his texts etc. Although I truly fear he will be arrested due to his eagerness to meet her demands, I really just can't allow myself to "go there" emotionally. You have my sympathies and understanding. None of us ever expected to live this way for years and years and years! Sigh! Hugs DDD
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh the joys of being a mother in That is a role I dont do well at all. Probably because I only had inlaws for a very short period of time and they hated me. Oh well.

    It really is so hard to stand by and watch the whole mess. I, obviously, havent done a good job of leaving them to their own devices. I will say its much easier when things are going well.

    There are things you posted that would annoy the heck out of me and things I wouldnt worry so much about. The living situation would not even cross my radar other than if you (snidely) asked if they needed garbage Now here is gonna be the real trick...staying away from taking on the grandchildren. I most likely made a huge mistake with the amount of responsibility and support we have given to Monkey. I have tried not to make that mistake with the youngest. Its not easy and I say that even though I have two HUGE Easter Baskets sitting in my I always say I wont buy stuff for the baby but then I end up doing it anyway. I mean how do I not buy stuff for her if she is gonna be here? And I have to buy for Monkey if she is here...oh heck, even if she isnt!

    Personally I dont think its possible to completely detach if you want a relationship with the grandchildren. I have always just practiced a whole lot of bobble heading with significant others.
  9. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    It's all true, I just have to let any info I happen to hear about, roll off my back. I treat them all with love and kindness and don't judge anyone to their face (exept for when I saw those diapers there). Janet, my in-laws hate me too, (remember around October when sister in law called me and ranted about every horrible thing I am and have done, even the fact that I called the cops on difficult child!many years ago, She had been with brother in law like 3 years and wasn't even around then. We barely know one another now!)

    I know difficult child will be calling husband for money, and husband is a dummy about it and always gives money. He doesn't listen to me. I get angry and there is a fight here over this. Also, husband says to them, bring the baby over, I say no wait, and husband says that he will watch him...but then 12 hours later he is still here and I am the only one taking care of him. I love him to death and am not complaining about him, but husband doesn't have the same mindset we have and maybe never will.

    Their lives are none of my business honestly and I am going to plug my ears and sing next time I hear anything easy child or anyone tells me about difficult child or daughter in law. (I will try to forget they bought a $1200 bed last week to replace the $1200 bed they bought a few months ago that they didn't like....ok, that's the last thing!)

    I have Easter baskets for easy child's girlfriend, daughter in law, and am planning an Easter egg hunt in my yard for the little guy. They're all coming over for dinner. It will be a nice day.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You know, it's even harder to let go of what your spouse does, but you can't force him to stop the enabling either. Obviously they have money from somewhere. I mean, a $1200 bed isn't peanuts. If they had no money, they'd be going to some of the places I volunteer at and put their names on a waiting list for a bed. Some of our truly poor clients, who are not getting money from illegal means or relatives, often tell us they sleep on couches or on sleeping bags on the floor and we feel terrible, but they wait and are very grateful when they get something (welll, MOST of them!!!!) :) But frankly if your husband wants to give them half your assets just to buy daughter in law Ugg boots, another luxury...not a necessity), you can't stop him. All you'll do is fight. I would tell him, if it were me (and I know your not me) just to do what he does and not tell you about it because you disagree with his decision and would rather not get stressed out.

    And when he offers your babysitting services?

    It's Girls Night Out!!!! You and your friends or one friend or yourself go have a meal and a few laughs or, if alone, coffee and a good book while your husband makes good on his promise to babysit.

    I don't see my grandson often as he is in Missouri. I thought it would bother me more than it does. I am expecting a granddaughter soon and am very excited. But the truth is, I am now 60 years old and have no desire to raise a child anymore nor take responsibility for any child. I am having fun on my own, something I had not done all my life. I had always been caring for others, especially my beloved children. I am positive I will fall madly in love with my baby granddaughter. I will love her to the moon and beyond, as I tell my kids about how much I love them (yep, still use those words to my adult kids). But I am not in the mental shape or interest to take care of another child. Not at my age. I wanta to have fun with my granddaughter then hand her back to my precious daughter.

    You are considerably younger than me and I don't know what mindset you are in, but I do know that we all deserve a happy, fulfilling life that focuses on ourselves once we have raised our children. If we prefer something else, that is all right too. However, I don't believe (and this is just MY opinion) that we should be forced into anything that makes us cranky and I don't think we should allow others to cross the boundary of guilting us into doing things for them that we don't want to do.

    "I'm your MOTHER!"
    "I'm your DAUGHTER!"
    "I'm your SISTER!"

    There are many guilta-a-holics out there who try to make you think you are responsible for their well being while they do very little or nothing to make their own lives better and, in fact, often deliberately make their lives worse. Then they flock to the responsible family member for money, temporary comfort, and they often do not appreciate it and treat us badly. Been there/done that/have the tee-shirt. Gave the tee-shirt back :)
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  11. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    Up, for a long, long, long time after I started stopping my enabling, my ex-husband (difficult child's dad) kept on and on. I talked to him one time about it, and asked him to come to Al-Anon (I don't think he ever did) but I finally had to let go of what he was doing.

    I just kept working on myself. It would make me sick to see him continuing but I have compassion for those who just aren't there yet.

    But like MWM said, your husband needs to live with his own choices. I would vacate when he does things that perpetuate the insanity.

    If he lives with the consequences himself, he may stop in time. That would be good for all, especially your difficult child, as you know.

    Hang in there. This is a journey. And it's not easy. Happy Easter!
  12. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    MWM- They had a tax refund. It was a few thousand dollars, that was less than a month ago. Before that, they bought a bunch of stuff with their wedding gift money. Gone in about a month as well. They'll learn the hard way and so will husband. I'll go right to the beach with my Nook and stay there all day. Truly, I'm not beholden to anything but work, we're all adults here. This conversation was better than an expensive therapy session. I love the beach.

    Her parents let them live at a house her grandmother lived in, she died recently, they pay minimal rent.
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    difficult child's are horrible with money, trust me. To them Im sure the bed seemed to be a necessity. Maybe Im biased on that because I had a horrible experience with an expensive bed myself in the last couple of years and had to replace it last summer when I got a little bit of which Tony was furious with

    With the baby it sounds like you are in the exact situation we are in with our youngest. Tony wants her here all the time and I say no.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Upallnight, it is the nature of our difficult children to have NO concept of how to spend money wisely. Honestly, I know what you mean. 36 makes a good living. I give him that. But does he ever have any money? Well, he says he is so broke that sometimes he can't even take a girl out to eat, which is his excuse for having a poor love life (can't be HIM, of course). But the truth is, he just bought a new house???? Huh? Well, ex has a lot of money and has enabled, not with a smile on his face, but he hands out money like water to 36. He complains to me about it, but he does it anyway. I don't tell him not to because he's not my husband anymore and it's not my problem. I think it's nutty, but it's his money, not mine.

    36 is always in financial peril. One year he got a 20K bonus for Christmas which he 100% blew on his son and himself for toys neither of them need. That would have covered half the expense of his legal battle, but he didn't use it for that. He let his clueless father, who didn't know about it, keep on paying 100% of his legal bills.

    I'm just trying to let you know you're not alone and that it seems that difficult children tend to have a sense of entitlement. When they get money, rather than paying their own bills, they spend the money on toys for themselves because they are very immature and then they go to mommy and/or daddy (whoever has the deep pockets) to plead poverty. Often, these poor rich kids, as I call them, also collect government benefits. I knew a poor grandmother who adored her grandbabies so much that she paid her daughter and thug boyfriend for the honor of being able to see them. The boyfriend was a multiple felon who had been caught stealing and selling stuff for drugs, which was a big part of their income, and she still allowed him and daughter to live with her so that she could have some control over granddaughters. However, the daughter was VERY abusive to her and eventually it did not work out.

    Oh, what a sad road we walk. I guess my longwinded post was to let you know that...well, It hink we all understand. And, yes, this board tends to help me much more than my therapist when it comes to my difficult child.
  15. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Wow. They came here for an hour at 10am. I had to give all your advice to easy child and his girlfriend. Wow she has serious mental health issues. She never even watched her son at the egg hunt, never stopped looking at her phone but to give dirty looks to us and she demanded difficult child get her something better to drink at a store. She snapped at anyone who spoke. I was glad when they left. difficult child has no idea why she was fired.
  16. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Janet, they hate the new bed too. If I'm tired I could sleep on a ladder.
  17. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Shared this quote with husband last night. He laughed and laughed, said, That is great!


    Hope you are feeling much stronger about the situation. My difficult child is 33yo and had a girlfriend for the last five years who(m?) I thought was so good for him. She ended the relationship and moved back home. As it turned out, difficult child was not doing better.

    It is entirely up to them.

    When I first found this forum, husband and I were in a world of hurt about our difficult child. He was going nowhere (except maybe backwards and downwards) and being very mean to us. I got so much great support and almost everybody said something like, He IS 32 years old...You DO get that, right? Oddly enough, I don't think husband and i were putting that at the top of our list. We see the situation so much differently now.

    ....and our difficult child, who has not spoken to us for several months because we refused to give him money, is also very bad with money and thinks he deserves cool stuff even when he can't afford it.
  18. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    That is right! This is one of those great situations where YOU DON"T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING. YOu don't have to predict catastrophe, correct, accuse, teach, wag your finger, or bail out. Nature will take its own course, and they will indeed learn the hard way.

    Good for you and your nook!

  19. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    *HUGS* yeah, I know that feeling. And they won't listen to you.

    We got a sizeable tax refund this year. It was cool. We were able to replace the dishwasher. It had died. We needed new flooring (Rose was peeling up the old and chewing on it). Got that too. And I splurged on a Keurig. But... I buy generic groceries, I try to keep costs to a minimum, I coupon - and so I have a bit in savings again.

    husband got a bonus from his last contract. He bought new tools. I sat on my lips.