husband got a really BIG gift certificate to a REALLY NICE restaurant. It was a gift from a client. We invited a couple we know to join us to this restaurant on New Years Eve They have two adult difficult children and have been under a lot of stress lately. I invited them about 2 weeks ago; they were THRILLED and said yes. They would NOT have to pay....however, if by some chance due to ordering drinks, dessert and tip it went over, we could split any remainder. husband and I figured "worse case scenario" in our head and if there was a balance and we split it...it would be small. Bottom line, the four of us could go to a fancy restaurant on NYE, have a HUGE dinner and drinks and spend very little money. About 30 mins. before we were to leave, she (the wife) called and said that her husband could not go and she wasn't sure she wanted to go. Could we call the restaurant and change our reservation to 2? (I had put a $100 deposit on the reservation). The reason why? One her adult kids and his wife did something not too smart. This is going to cause "them" some problems. "Them" not necessarily meaning just the couple themselves, but the parents. (hmmm?). They are supporting two adult sons and several grandkids. The strain is over the top. In the past...I've sent them Suz's link, the Letting Go poem, recommended books, etc. They could NOT go to a FREE fancy dinner on NYE cause they were too depressed. They could not enjoy NYE with friends. They could not take advantage of a really good deal. They were willing to disappoint good friends last minute. WHY? Cause one of these very adult "kids" and his wife made a bone head decision. Hmmmmm. The only GOOD thing is the following day they tell me that they think they might need to look at this differently 'cause they just can NOT do this anymore. That was music to my ears. All I could think is BOUNDARIES PEOPLE. They are not setting any, their kids don't set any. Although their parents are super intelligent people, well educated with great jobs, they have issues with setting boundaries with these adult "kids." husband and I had a lovely time...just the two of us AND there is still plenty of money left over the on gc for us to celebrate again...perhaps Valentine's Day...(just the two of us). They are so unaware of words like boundaries and/or detachment (in spite of my best efforts) they have a LOOOONG way to go. I see where you really can't rush these things along.... If you had a friend just beginning the detachment stage...how might you deal with it? If she mentions missing dinner last minute, how would you respond? by the way, she did NOT mention missing dinner...mostly about how down they are...but definitely did talk about the need for change (LOVED this part of it). We only spoke briefly. My thought was that she starting to piece it all together...and I am very tempted to help her along. She knows she can't do this and she needs to change. If your friend approached you like this...what would you be tempted to say?