therapist told difficult child to move back home (our home) with or without E

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by hearts and roses, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    difficult child went back to a local therapist about a year ago after she began suffering some anxiety and ptsd symptoms related to her kidnapping and assualt 7 years ago at age 15. back then she wanted nothing to do with any sort of therapy...didn't want to talk about anything, etc. When she began dating E she was 19, he was of course, we had our reservations that it may trigger something. Turns out they are perfect for one another and difficult child always did have an old soul, and he's a little immature for his age I suppose, so they match up well and are engaged.

    Unfortunately, they lost their apt and his parents gave them the upstairs to their old farmhouse. They share the bath and kitchen, but have three rooms upstairs. No door, no real privacy and E's mom is always up there rearranging furniture and telling them how or what to do when, etc. She's a bit of a busybody and meddler in all her children's lives, but a very warm and loving mom. I think she likes having E there in particular because his dad had a stroke a few years ago and isn't in the best of health. The parents do not pay a mortgage, heat, electric, phone or any other utilities. Their other two daughters pick up those costs for some reason. I don't know. His mom is charging them $800 a month to live there...which I think is just ridiculous considering her only bill is fuel for her car and groceries. How in the heck will difficult child and E every save enough money to get their own place?? Not my problem, just saying.

    Anyway, difficult child's anxiety has kicked up again and she's been seeing a new therapist (my old one as it so happens) and this woman told difficult child last week that she felt it would be in difficult child's best interests to move back home, with or without E...that she needed to get a break from E's mom and dad, that it's causing her stress and anxiety and it's not healthy. She also told her that because of their current living arrangements, it's likely also causing difficult child all those gastro-intestinal issues she's been having because it's not her kitchen and so she's not eating normally, etc.

    difficult child bounced it off E and he asked her why would they move from one parent's home to another. Great point.

    I bounced it off H and he first said, "No way, that is not happening" and then said, "Well, we could make them pay $800 here, but why didn't therapist just tell difficult child that they should buckle down with their money to save and get their own place? Why move home? Isn't that going backwards?" Another great point.

    I told difficult child that if she wanted to move back home she could have her old room, pay rent as per usual, help with chores, etc and that maybe being separated from E for a bit will light a fire under his behind so he starts saving money and look for a place of their own. I'd like to see them in their own place by the time they marry.

    H is nearly done with the bulk of the upstairs addition (the forever project) so we should be moving up there sometime this fall. This will give our home a lot more space. Realistically, both difficult child and E could live with us and we would all have ample space so as not to step on eachother. Mealtimes may be an issue at times, but for the most part I don't think so. We have two and almost three full bathrooms. easy child will start school again soon so between work and school and her boyfriend, she will hardly be home much.

    On the one hand, I'd like to have the opportunity to help them get on their feet and save some money to find a place of their own. on the other hand, I've been looking forward to the day when easy child tells us she's ready to move out and we have the place to ourselves...and then on the third hand (yes I often feel I have three hands), it is nice to have some extra hands helping out around the house.

    Nothing has been decided at all by anyone yet. I don't think difficult child was looking for an answer specifically, I think she was just throwing out some feelers. Coincidentally, she and E are staying over tomorrow and thursday night because E is working an overnight shift for a friend in town, so we are closer than his parent's house. They will squeeze into difficult child's old room, my God it is so small for's small for one!

    Any thoughts??
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I'd listen to H on that. He didn't say "I don't like the idea", he said "Absolutely not". I'd ask him if he has any variants on the idea, and if he doesn't I'd respect that. You two are equal partners in your marriage and you have to respect the other's limits.

    It would be nice if they had their own apartment before they were married, and only they can make that happen. Is there any way that you could make an appointment with the therapist for you and H to explain what's going on in your lives so you can all be on the same page? It sounds a bit presumptuous of the therapist to recommend that daughter move back home with you without getting your opinion on it.
  3. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I thought so also and considered calling her to ask, "What were you thinking??"
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Tricky, for sure. Moving from his parents to her parents could cause some long term issues I would guess. I don't know how to avoid that as you and husband don't "need" their help or whatever. Plus usually sons don't communicate with Moms in the most adult way. I'll cross my fingers. Sounds to me like they should look for a small cheap place of their own...even an efficiency if necessary. Sigh. DDD
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    OK, I'm probably not the best person to ask on this, since I can't get someone who doesn't even technically live in my state to get ambitious and leave, but... NO! Do NOT let them pass Go, AKA move in to your home. Not even just difficult child. It is easier to KEEP them out than GET them out.

    therapist is nuts. Just nuts.

    1. They move in with you, E's parents are going to be pests about "what's wrong with our house?" E's mom may be warm and loving, but difficult child and E clearly have no privacy whatsoever. E's mom is going to be hurt. That, they don't need. Talk about an anxiety inducer.
    2. husband said no. Regardless of his recent behavior... He is your husband.
    3. An efficiency or studio might be just what they need... To light a fire under their own rear ends.
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Having been on both sides of that one, (moved in with my parents when I was married to my difficult child's Dad a hundred years ago and difficult child moved in with me for a short time this year) it's a dicey issue. If you are really considering it, certainly first ask the therapist why she made that comment, it does seem quite presumptuous, I agree. She may have some insights you haven't considered. And then I would seriously think this through with husband, write a pros and cons list, negotiate with the kids, come up with a very good plan of action. I recall taking a workshop years ago about business communication and it had a 3 step plan which is good for all negotiations. First have a conversation for Possibilities where you just throw out all the options. Wait a few days or a week and then have a conversation again discussing the options after everyone has digested the data. Wait a few days and then have a conversation for Action, where you put the plan into play with all the boundaries, outlines, steps needed to carry it out. It's been helpful for me. It gives the time necessary to look at the whole picture and not to make quick decisions based on emotions. In any case, I would say, proceed with caution, but with an open mind. And, if you do it, have an end date, where everyone knows it's time for them to move on.
  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think it would be fine once your addition is completed. I would make it for a specified period of time and would not charge $800 - or maybe I would, but put $300 per month away for them to have enough for security and first month's rent somewhere at the end of the specified time.

    I think husband will be for it, he loves those girls!
  8. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I'm not from your area, not even in the US. However, are rent amounts that different there? I would think of they currently pay $800 rent to live in someone else's home, they could find a small apartment and cover the expenses for $800. Am I incorrect? I can't imagine there is nothing available in that range per month. It may mean a dumpy place. But it would be private and theirs. It may mean less luxury but it would be private and theirs. Maybe they wouldn't be able to also pay for big Internet or cable television packages on top of rent and electric etc. but it would be private and theirs.

    I really think that as much as I'd maybe wish to help, if they are working and about to become married, they can and probably should figure this out on their own. I could even see helping them locate an affordable rental and maybe helping get cheap used basics if needed. Maybe a loan, if you and your husband are comfortable with it and can agree on it, for security deposit or something. Seeing as your husband sounds set on them not moving in, and hearing your own desire to have that empty nest, I just don't see this boding well for you and your husband. Would your husband be agreeable to helping in another way to work together to secure them an apartment that keeps their expenses at what they currently pay? If so, that would be my offer of assistance. I admit however that I'm a little hard core in my thinking about letting adults who work and are capable, take care of their own business. And I'm hard core in that I am always open to helping an adult (matt is moved out now for 18 months , living with his girlfriend, paying a mortgage and house repairs , car, insurance etc). However moving home when there was $800 available for rent and bills? I guess I can never say never. But I'd be hard pressed to feel inclined. I do however think you're a great parent that you are considering it. And we all are different. If your husband comes around to the idea, I sure wouldn't judge you letting them or even just your daughter, stay. I do hope though that it wouldn't cause tension between you and your husband. That would be unfair to you and him both. Good luck either way. It does sound like it is a not great arrangement they have right now.
  9. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Thanks everyone for your thoughts on this. Obviously, I wouldn't be asking for your opinions if I wasn't already second guessing the idea, haha.

    E is a hard worker and takes side jobs whenever possible. However, he lacks a bit of self confidence in finding a better paying job, he has child support that he pays ($150/week). They share difficult child's new car. Yep, new car...her car payment per month is about $375 and their auto ins is about $135/month. She quit smoking so she's saving roughly $9/day not buying cigarettes. Together they have an rx bill of about $100/month. They both work near us but his parent's home is about 17 miles away so they are spending a lot in gas, plus they are young and love joyriding. I think if they pulled in their belts, they could probably get their own place, definitely for $800-$900/month in a decent area. From what I understand, their mom is always hitting them up for more cash, whining about her expenses going up, etc. E feels bad, so he slips her extra money. He's also been buying his dad cigarettes without his mom's knowledge now and again. difficult child's job is okay, she makes $12/hour, but it's somewhat seasonal and as we move into the fall/winter, her hours are already being reduced. She's looking into finding another PT job to compensate for the loss of income, which is great. I do worry about them signing a lease somewhere and then if something happens, they get can't make ends meet, etc.

    At our house, we have basic cable, none of those fancy 800 channel devices. Our only real extravagance is wireless internet, hahaha. We eat healthy foods and don't have a lot of junk in the house, we do sit down dinners - breakfast and lunches we're all on our own. The laundry room is MINE on the weekends and easy child sneaks hers in when I'm not using it..same would go for them. We are not so nuts about curfews anymore these days as we all work so most of the time everyone is home at a reasonable hour and quiet.

    So, still on the fence, haven't discussed it further with H - we've had our own little issues going on lately - but maybe this weekend. Thanks again.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would let them move back home for a month or two and help them locate a small one bedroom, affordable unit for them of some kind. It doesnt have to be nice, it has to be theirs. Renting is fine at this point in time.
  11. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I very much agree with this. Around there I live all young couples rent and usually small flats, studios, one bedroom + kitchen(ette) or bedroom, living room and kitchen(ette) flats and it is more than enough space for them. You don't have to move to house right from home, neither do you need to buy. Renting is a good option when you are starting your life. And healthy young people also do just fine also in bit rougher neighbourhoods (okay, you don't want your kids to right down dangerous neighbourhoods, if you have those, but if it's just a little bit rough, they do fine.) It's only when you have kids you have to start to think school districts, what kind of friends neighbours' kids do and if there are nice parks nearby etc.

    And it sounds like your daughter and her fiancée really need their own home. Preferably quickly. It is very difficult to really grow up to an adult if you are not living on your own.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm with those who say let them get their own place. The guy is 28, not 18. He should be mature enough to handle a small apartment...could even be a studio...without a parent figure around...or else I'd question whether he is ready for marriage. He does sound very immature. Having his own place will help him grow up. If he wants to be a husband and someday a father, he needs to get out from behind his parent's house and stand on his own. Ditto for your daughter. I feel it would be a good thing :) JMO
  13. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I agree. Incidentally, he is now 31 and already has two children from a prior relationship. He pays child support weekly and is a good dad, or at least tries to be when his ex allows him access to his sons. And they did have their own apt...they had to leave with only 30 days notice because the building was being renovated and they couldn't find anything that fast, so they moved into his parent's place. That said, however, I feel they are old enough to be in their own place as well. I am not averse having them with us for a few months just to save some money for the deposits (most places here require two months security and first month's rent), but there must be a time limit on it. Also, going into the winter, it would be nice to have some help around the house in regards to snow removal and paying the heating bills.
  14. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    You know, since you have a heads up on this and it's not something that is going to blindside you (like I got, :sigh:)... Maybe write out a 3- or 4-month lease of sorts, including rent and what they are expected to do (like snow removal, cleaning etc.)?

    Just a thought... Then at the end of that time, whatever they have saved is how nice of a place they get, and you have legal recourse to booting them out if you have to?

    Listen to me, giving advice I can't even follow myself.
  15. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I really like this idea. I will bring this up when H and I actually sit to discuss the possibility. Thanks...and I know all about giving advice you can hardly follow yourself! I do it all the time, lol.
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Jo....I am great at giving advice I cant I think if you can afford it this is what I would do: Give them a very short term lease and charge them a nominal rent but give them some chores around the house that will help you. The rent you will put in a bank account to save for them towards their getting out. Dont tell them this!!! LOL. Let them think they are saving hard too. Then at the end of time or when they find a place to live, you can give them this money to help get them in. A windfall from mommy!
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Good suggestion, Janet. I've seen variations on that over the years... including a family where they charged their kids "full-pop" boarding rates from the day they turned 18 and started working (i.e. if they were still in school including advanced ed, they weren't considered "18" yet... lol). They had several kids, all close together in age, and the oldest spent 10 years at home. He finally left for a bit, then got married. In addition to their wedding present, his parents presented a cheque to the new couple at their wedding... for 100% of the boarding fees he had paid them over those 10 years. It ended up being a pretty substantial downpayment on a house!

    Not that H&R wants those kids around for 10 years or anything...!!
  18. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Goodness, NO! LOL. I thought if this even happens I would charge them rent and put half of it aside for their wedding expenses next year. We would not charge them $800/month, that is for sure, but living in our home would certainly cause our household expenses to rise, so it is fair that they pay something towards that. But who may not even happen. Thanks for letting me feel out your thoughts and for sharing yours with me!
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well of course you would want them to contribute towards food and such things but I would charge them rent on the side. I think making them bring in their own food is so important after what I have seen with having so many move into my house. Let me tell you, no amount of money makes up for food.

    (or damaging your ductwork!)
  20. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Since this was the therapist's suggestion, how about suggesting a joint session to discuss the terms with therapist as the mediator? That way everyone's concerns can be put on the table.

    That was my gut reaction, so I figured I'd share it. I've been on vacation so I'm a bit late to the party ;-)