Asking advice, please


I read every day, have been so inspired by the wonderful words read here. I am not sure how too handle this, yet, my gut and reading here tells me in my ear. My son is 30 something, we pay for him to live in a motel. His girlfriend has been in a mommy and me program for over six months..doing well. He has never stepped up to the plate, given halfway homes, hospitals, rehabs. He is now on methodone...but, I found bottles of beer in his room. We have been paying $200 a week to keep him here, he said he would die if he goes back to shelter. (Herion is now ramped there) My husband is 67, has had many major heart and gastro surgeries in past several years. He is starting too shake his head slightly..I haven't told him. He also is forgetting a lot. I want my husband to live his last years with joy. I don't know how to handle this. My 29 yr old daughter lives with us and our 3 and half yr old grandson. She isn't well. wont work.. I hate my life. I want to pick up my husband and take him to fl where he wants to go. He made an amazing fishing cart, yet, never got to use it. I am scared. I love my kids and my grandchildren.. I don't want to loose my husband. He is a rock, now deteriorating. How do I take my husband away, without my kids failing?? So sad tonight. I want to be with grandchildren, but, I want my husband to be stress free.


New Member
Hi Sheila, I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. I also just posted my first post. Maybe we can help each other?
Would your kids be willing to also move to Florida with you? Maybe a change in scenery would help them also. Have you tried talking to them about it?
You and your husband deserve to be happy. If something were to happen to either of you, your kids would have to fend for themselves at that point anyways. Stress will deteriorate your health faster than most illness and although you would still have the stress of worrying about them while you are in Florida, you will also have happiness. It sounds like you are always thinking about others- your kids, grandchild, and husband. What about yourself? If others were not in the equation- what would YOU want?


New Member
Ok, I was thinking about it more, and have a question. Are you financially able to rent a place for a month or so this winter in Florida and also keep your home where you live with your daughter? To try it out. Maybe being away for an extended period of time would give you an idea of how it would be without making a full commitment? Look around at house rentals online to check prices. I wish you the best!! :)


Well-Known Member
Sheila, people of a certain age, and I am one, have to cherish our time. We no longer are obligated to be a "mommy." A friend to our grown children, sure, but we do them no favors by staying their "mommy." This is just my opinion, but I think your husband and you should take priority now. Your daughter is old enough to live on her own with state benefits. What will she do when you and your husband are gone? She has to get used to it now. If you feel your grandson isn't safe with her, I would call Child Services and let them know. You are too old to take care of him for the rest of his childhood years and you shouldn't have to. I mean, you can try, but what about your husband? What about the quality of the rest of your golden years?

Your 30 plus son is old enough to either get clean, get a job or suffer the consequences. Can you afford $200 a week? That's outrageous.

You are free to keep your life as it is because we all drive our own life's path. But if you want to change how you live, you can do it and without feeling badly. Your children are a man and a woman now who are choosing to be Peter Pans. That is their decisions. You can help their decision or decide to stop. Yes, yes, they will yell and swear and tell you that you are a bad mother, blah, blah, b lah. You taught them right. You did not teach them to be like they are. They chose to ignore what they were taught and to live like little kids. They know the right things to do, but aren't doing them. That is on them, not you.

I worry about your husband. He doesn't need this stress. Neither do you.

Mya, I don't want to disrespect your advice because it is a good idea. However, I don't think this women should have to leave her home to find peace. It's HER home. She is in her 60s. I think it's time for the daughter to leave the home permanently. She is older. Her husband may be developing dementia. Her daughter is being disrespectful staying there and not moving on. Again, though, hon, this is only my opinion. I am 61 and know I would never put up with this. I enjoy the freedom of my years and feel we all earn a happy retirement, filled with what we want to do with it. Again, Mya, I mean you no disrespect, sweetie. You gave a good idea...them living apart.

Back to original poster, I hope you can start deciding to love YOURSELF first and being kind to YOU and your husband. You earned every gray hair on your head and you can retire from "mommyhood" without guilt, if you wish. Get therapy to help you through it, if this is the path you desire. Your kids should be starting to worry about their father, not the other way around. Healthy adult children care about their older parents, not the other way around.I suggest you go low contact with both of your kids because, if you do anything different, they will v verbally abuse you and you are not obligated to listen to their silly abuse about how you are a horrible person for cutting off the free money. I had to do this several times.

Big hugs and sending you lots of good luck and caring and hope for a better tomorrow. "Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life."
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Well-Known Member
Hi Sheila

I was sad to read your post. You are a caring person who is trying to be everything to everyone. But your children are grown up. It is time to stop supporting them as if they were still children. Although you think you are helping, in reality you are preventing them from taking responsibility for their own lives. Read carefully what MWM has written. Everything she says is true. I think you already know that. It is time to stop haemorrhaging for the sake of your grown children. This is not healthy for any of you. Stop. Think about what is best now for you and your husband.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Sheila, I am sorry you are having to deal with your two adult kids and your grandchild in the manner in which you do. I can completely understand why you say you hate your life, your life has been taken over by the needs of others who have kept you held hostage by those needs and your giving nature. It is time to stop it.

Both of your kids are way past the age of requiring parenting. If you want to go to Florida with your husband then do it. Give your daughter a date to move out, find out the eviction requirements in your state and stick with the date. Tell your son you are stopping all payments as of the same date. Grab hold of your own life. The way you will do that is two fold, get some serious support for YOU, private therapy would likely be best since it sounds as if you are an enabler, someone who consistently puts others needs before their own. Attend 12 step groups if that sounds okay to you, Al-Anon, Narc-Anon, Families Anonymous, CoDa. Get help for you to make these tough decisions. Second step, figure out what it is you want to do for YOU and your husband, figure out a plan, then set those boundaries and do it. You may need a couple of months to implement your plan, to assist your daughter in gaining Social Services, food stamps, a job, etc. and offer your son a list of shelters in the area. His threat of dying is most likely a manipulation to get you to keep paying for him. Both of your kids sound entitled. Often our enabling patterning helps keep them in that entitled state. They will likely not be the ones to change this situation. It will likely have to be YOU.

If I were you I would feel stuck and hate my life as well. I have been in a similar place not 3 years ago with my almost 42 year old daughter. With the help of an almost 2 year long Codependency Course where I saw therapists weekly, privately and in a group setting, going to CoDa groups, this forum and my complete resolve and commitment to stop the insane runaway train I found myself on.........I got off the crazy roller coaster ride of enabling and was able to learn how to detach. You may want to read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post.

As soon as possible, find some form of support for you. It will not only make a huge difference to assist you in making the decisions to get out from under, it will shorten the duration of change considerably. This is such a difficult position to be in, all of our parental fears come to the fore......but with support, learning to set boundaries and a plan of action, you can come out the other side and once again enjoy your own life, which you deserve to be

And, Sheila, your kids MAY fail. That is not your responsibility. It is theirs. That is what needs to change, the fact that you take responsibility for their lives and that they are used to you doing it so they let you and promote the idea by manipulating you. My daughter is homeless and has a warrant out for her arrest. Three years ago she would have made that my responsibility, and I would have taken it. Now she doesn't. Her life hasn't changed much, but mine has changed immeasurably and for the better. I wanted peace of mind and I wanted to stop the enabling. I did. You can too. Start today. Look for help. Figure out your plan. Implement it. Stop all the money going out. Put it away for your move to Florida.

Hang in there. We're here. I'm glad you found us.

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
I want to pick up my husband and take him to fl
where he wants to go.

Do this, Shiela.

You don't need to be mean, or say mean or angry things. But you do need to tell your children what you are going to do.

Then, do it.

Just do it.

My husband is six years older than I am. We have lived our lives as we have lived our lives. I would change nothing. But especially just lately, we are so aware of our ages. We are so aware that there will be a time when, just as we have seen with so many of our friends, one of us will be gone from the other.

And life, for the one left, will change.

We lived our working lives and raised our children in Minnesota.

We retired once, and we still have that house.

And our son (and our daughter, too) would move heaven and earth to be living there.

With us paying the utilities and sending money for food, of course.

And it is hard to say no, because I feel like a bad person. husband has no problem in the world with saying no.

I am writing you now from Florida.

That was husband; this is what he wanted, what he insisted on. For his life, and mine, to be lived as he had worked so hard to make it.

I would have stayed uber involved in the kids' lives, and I never was comfortable with husband decision to take (our own money) to do what we do, here in Florida...but do you know Shiela? Our kids never got better. They did the strangest, most horribly unpredictable things.

And I am so happy those dark threads have no hold on this house, or this time, or these friends, or this life that we have, here.

Do it, Shiela.

When one of you is gone, the other can deal with the kids and the house ~ or not.

Like my children, if your kids were going to do better, they would have done better by now.

Maybe, this will be the thing that will push them to do better.

Start with social services, Shiela. Your children are homeless. Your daughter has children of her own. There is help out there for them.

Tell them you and their father are leaving in two weeks, and they will need to get help from Social Services.

Then, change the locks and go.

Florida is lovely. We are all here, playing and wondering about the big questions and sticking our toes in the sand and wearing bikinis.

Except for me.

I wear a one piece.


But I have my eye on a turquoise and silver bikini. And one of these days, I am going to buy it and wear it and never care at all that everything is not where it used to be, anymore.

Come down here, Shiela.

It could not be more beautiful. Without the drama of the kids right in our faces, stealing our lives and our time and our money, husband and I are happily so happy with one another.

That would never have happened, had I remained focused on the kids, and on the grands.

Do it, Shiela.


Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
Hi Shiela,

There is some very good advice that has been given to you. I too am of the mind set that you need to do what is best for you and your husband. Both of your children are old enough to take care of themselves. It sounds to me like they are both manipulating you into continuing to take care of them and that needs to stop.

My son is almost 34 years old and at present time is homeless. My husband and I went down the path of doing everything to try and help him. We too paid for apartments and even purchased a house, all he had to do was hold down a job. He also has 2 beautiful children that he chose to abandon and so much more.................

I made the choice to cut him off several years ago. I am 51 and my husband is 62. I came to realize that there was nothing more I could do for my son and I was not going to continue enabling his behavior. My husband had to retire a couple of years ago because he started having Grand Mal seizures (thank God they are under control with medication), so I am the bread winner. While I make a good wage I do not have endless funds. When you say you are paying $200 a week for your son to live in a motel, all I can think of is that is money that you should be using for you and your husband. You need to be concerned about your own future because it's obvious your children are not.

Your adult children are no longer your responsibility plain and simple. I know how hard it is to let go but trust me on this, you can do it and you should. There are many here that have let go and while it hurts like crazy in the beginning there is a joy on the other side of that pain that is so worth it.

This does not mean that any of us have stopped loving our adult children it just means that we love them enough to let them go.
We love ourselves enough to take back our lives and live them to the fullest.

There will come a day when you and your husband will not be here. Isn't it better for your adult children to learn how to live without your financial support now while you can still offer emotional support?

It is my hope and prayer that you will find the strength to do what you need to do.


Well-Known Member
Sheila your kids likely have many years ahead of them, years in which they can (and should) make their OWN lives whatever they want them to be. Your husband and you have both earned the right to enjoy these years. Go see how that fishing cart works!


Thank you all for your kind words and support. I laughed and cried at your responses. Me in a bikini? haha Like the idea of buying one, maybe..just maybe I can wear it again. :) My daughter is receiving services, but, doesn't want to launch. My son and I spent a few hours today, he had a coupon for a haircut and we are taking him with us to family Thanksgiving. I have set in motion us going to florida after New Years. They must do their part. Frankly, we can no longer afford to keep son in motel, he says he will have a job and started outpatient tonight.. again. Last year, we allowed him and his girlfriend, newborn to stay with us with dyfys overseeing. It was too much for us, watching the behaviors. I had to make them leave, with notice. Now, his girlfriend and my son resent me. Tell me it is my fault. We haven't seen grandchild for six months, and she told my son she doesn't want me in their life because we made them leave here. I couldn't do it, Dyfys took over six months to put girlfriend in rehab. She is getting well, but, my son..the father was left own his own. I am angry with the system, my son puts all blame on me. I couldn't live with them, now I cant see my grand daughter. It is horrible. But your words are keeping me here, helping me gain strength. It is time to be with husband. Thank you all, with love and respect for all that live our lives.

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
I have set in motion us going to florida after New Years.


Now, his girlfriend and my son resent me. Tell me it is
my fault. We haven't seen grandchild for six
months, and she told my son she doesn't want me in their life because we made them leave here.

I am so sorry you have not been able to see your grandchild. It is so much harder when they have lived with us. We fall in love with them so deep, then! It feels like we are betraying them when the parents go away from our homes where we could watch over the babies and keep them safe.

It is one of the deepest, most hurtful feelings I know.

I'm so sorry this is happening...but I can tell you that you will be her safe haven, as she grows.

My granddaughters are 21 and 15.

I am angry with the system, my son puts all blameon me.

The fault is the mother's.

The fault is the father's.

You took them in. You did all you know. They even messed that up through their irresponsibility and disrespect for you and your husband. It is probably true that the only way these two adults will get themselves together enough to raise their child is for you to be far away, so they literally have no one to blame, and no one to witness their failures, but themselves.

Shame on them both.

I am happy you decided to come to Florida! What did husband think about that?

Celebration at your house!!!


This was on my FB this morning:

"She could never go back and make the details pretty. All she could do was move forward and make the whole beautiful."

Terri St Cloud

The Gifts of Imperfection
Brene Brown

And here is one more, especially for you and for your husband:

"People cry not because the are weak.
It's because they have been strong for too long."

I don't know who said that.

Please know that you will have to be very strong to actually make it out of Dodge with husband. Our difficult child children will fight us to keep us providing for them until we are worn out and the chance to live and love and create our own lives, outside of being locked into the role of someone's mother, is gone.

As one of our people here, Seeking Strength, always tells us: Stay close to the board, during this time.

Together, we can find our way.



Well-Known Member
Congrats on going to FL. Your husband desperately needs that.

Your daughter needs to launch. If you don't make her launch, she may never be able to do it. Then what will she do when you and her father are not longer here? Even if she gets angry at you, it is in my opinion the best thing you can do for her. Our difficult child grown kids want us to take care of their financial wants and needs forever. That's not new. But it isn't good f or them if we do it.

Your son is being a big jerk as is daughter in law. Apparently these adults, heading toward middle age, expect you to house them all forever. I'm not sure why. Most people their ages have jobs and take care of their own children in their own residences. It is not your fault that they take drugs. I urge you to go low contact with them and, while I am so sorry about your grandchildren, eventually who will be left to care for them? That's right. Your son and daughter-in-law.

You're at th e age where your relationship with your dear husband, who is ill, should come first. You rasied your children to eighteen and above and taught them what they needed to know to succeed in life. But they had free will and chose to ignore your lessons. That is on them, by their ages, not on you.

Send some sunshine to Wisconsin :) Enjoy the rest of your life and let your grown kids grow up, even if they try to make you feel guilty. Only talk to them when you feel strong enough to do so without letting them suck you into the guilt machine. Good luck!


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Good for you sheila.

Remember that often when we begin to cut the strings and stop the money train, our kids up the ante and begin a crusade of guilt and manipulation to keep us doing what they believe they need us to do. Know that that is very, very common behavior for our troubled kids, they presume if they lay on enough guilt we won't change. You will most likely have to fight for your right to have your own life. At this point, for them, it is only words from you, it is likely when the words turn to action, the bad behavior will begin. Don't be surprised if he fails again at out patient and does not get that job. Don't be surprised it if your daughter fails to do anything to move along. I hope they do move ahead, but it is possible they won't. And, they will expect you to alter your plans to take care of them. DON'T DO IT. Stay the course. This is your chance to live your own life and to have your retirement, you and your husband deserve that and really, it sounds as if your husband needs it. Take care of you and your husband, your kids need to take care of themselves. The time is now.

You may want to read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here.

May the force be with you!!

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member

I am so happy that you have decided to go to Florida.

I do hope your son and daughter utilize the services that are available to them and that they both start to get their lives on a better path. I say this with guarded optomism as I have been down that path too many times. My son was very good at telling me what I wanted to hear, he was also very good at decieving me, living a lie, making it appear that he had changed when in reality he had not. He would play these games because as long as he was "trying" I would continue to help him. It took me many years to realize he was playing me. Then the real fun started, he would accuse me of not loving him; "if you really loved me you would help me, you wouldn't let me live like this", this would lead into huge arguments because I would try and assure him that I did love him but that I could do nothing else for him, I had already tried helping him, paying rent for him, buying clothes, furniture, food, cell phone, car, etc............, he was a master at talking in circles and would leave me exhausted, frustrated and hurt.
What I learned from all of this is not engage him. When he would start in on whatever, I no longer would try to defend myself or my actions, I would keep my responses very short and very simple. My standard response is "I'm sorry you feel that way". He would still try to argue but I wouldn't agrue back.

Bottom line, you have gone above and beyond what you should have for your adult children. Don't allow them to hold you hostage by threats, especially threats of not seeing your grandchildren no matter how much that hurts. Understand that they will be desperate to not lose the financial support you have been giving them and they will do and say whatever they can to try and continue to control you. They cannot control you unless you give them that power.

I truly hope you will learn from the wisdom on these pages so that you can save yourself from needless heartache and pain.

I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving and hope you enjoy the Florida Sunshine.