Enabling dad....

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by dashcat, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Sigh. I just need to vent. I know I can't do a thing about this situation but I am AMAZED at the scope of my X's enabling.

    difficult child lives with him. She is 19, left college 3/4 of the way through her freshman year, has worked part time (very minimal) and just lost her seasonal retail job. When she was with me and unemployed, I got her up every day at put her to work. I am on disability, I go to school, work hard around the house, volunteer and also work when I can. I do not sit around, and neither will she. It helped that I was moving at the time, but she worked pretty much eight hours a day around here. She got a part time job, moved into a hotel with a guy she met on the internet, and then moved in with her dad when she (he did not work or even attempt to work) ran out of money.

    She has no savings and, now, no job. She has outstanding student loans and, tonight X told me she owes him a month's rent, owes for the texting on her cell phone (we still have a family plan and I told him a long time ago, I would pay my half but would not fund her texting) and owes him for the insurance on her phone.

    Her boyfriend just started working 3rd shift. Tragedy! She now stays up all night texting him at work, leaves the house at 8:00 a.m. and goes to his parents house, where they sleep until dinnertime. She comes home when he goes to work and repeats the cycle.

    I cannot believe he puts up with this. I can't do a thing about it - i literally cannot even discuss it with him (he's textbook passive aggressive ... one of the chief reasons we are divorced ...there is no talking or reasoning with thisi man about ANYTHING).

    She has quite the life. A roof over her head ... two roofs, really. She is responsible for NOTHING. (He has a cleaning lady and lives in a condo - no yard work) She has a car (that he funded part of, the rest being funded from a CD I'd taken out for her from her babysitting money ... to show her the value of compound interest!), and somehow manages to pay for gas. No job, no school, nothing to do but text and sleep with her boyfriend. No rules, no responsbiity.

    The good news is the same as the bad news. It's out of my hands.

    in my opinion no ninteen year old should be able to live like this. The options I gave her were: go to school and get good grades OR work - full time - and pay rent.

    No exceptions.

    ARGH! How in the world will she ever learn responsibility or, at the very least, live with the consequences of her choices?

    Thanks for listening....
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    She will learn the responsibility the same way I did... when she ends up pregnant and a very small little life lands in her lap looking up at her to take care of it. I suddenly got a rude awakening that I couldnt just live in the moment, my childhood was over and now I was the one to step up. If I didnt, no one else was going to do it. We would both be in trouble.

    I learned to do what I had to do. I tried at first with a worthless bum who I married but soon learned that just because they are the sperm donor doesnt mean they make good marriage partners. Got depressed for a bit but then met Tony, moved in with him. 27 and a half years later plus 2 kids of our own and my first one...and 3 grand kids...we are still stuck with each other. Responsibilities suck but they can make you grow up. Had my first child at 19, second at 22, third at 24.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    At 19 I was married and had my first child on the way. I'd worked since I was 16. No way were my kids going to get away with the enabled spoiled kid routine. lol And if I say so myself, I did a far better job at getting them ready for independence than my mom ever did us. We just got sort of shoved into it. While mine started taking those steps in jr high.

    But there are those who have huge issues viewing a 19 yr old as an adult, a real adult, as in no longer a child. Heck I know people who have issues with this when their kids are 25 lol

    Dear ol' Daddy may get the message eventually. I imagine there is going to come a point where he gets fed up paying her way with her doing nothing. One can hope because he's certainly not doing her any favors. ugh Don't blame you at all for needing to vent.

  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Well, at least you don't have to fight with her over this. Is it time to tell ex that if all he wants to do is gripe but not do anything to make her grow up then he needs to go gripe to someone else?It sounds like he comes to you when he is upset with her, but he won't actually tell her that he is upset and doesn't like what she is doing (not htat it sounds like she would care, but still!). Hearing about all of this just makes you upset and drags you into the chaos. It is also a way for your ex and daughter to still have control over how you feel.

    Let him know that if he wants to actually implement some things to make this change, like changing the locks so she CANNOT get in when he is at work, or cutting off her cell phone, or whatever, then you will happily discuss his options and the "plan" so that you don't undermine him. But if all he wants to do is tell you how bad her behaviors are, without being willing to step up and make her take on adult responsibilities, well, that is his choice and you choose not to listen to it. It just upsets and frustrates you and you cannot change anything because everything you tried was undermined. So now he needs to learn to live with what he created and encouraged and allowed.

    You didn't allow this to happen and you don't want to encourage it - both ex's behavior ANd difficult children. I am sorry his is a passive aggressive tushiebrain, but can CHOOSE to let that not be YOUR problem! It isn't easy and it may feel like you won't ever hear anything about your daughter ever again. You will. At some point you will hear what is going on and until then you don't have anything to get upset about, Know what I mean??

    This is NOT easy advice. I know that you must be ready to take this step before you can do it successfully. I just watned to suggest it so you can start thinking about it. Then, when/if you are ready to do this, we will be here to support you!

    Until then, go ahead and vent! This is TOTALLY RIDICULOUS of both of them!! Doesn't the boyfriend get annoyed with the text messages all night? I cannot imagine his employer is fond of it. How long will she keep the boyfriend after she gets him fired for being on the dang phone texting instead of working all night?

    Out of sheer curiousity, what did dear old dad expect difficult child to do with her time when she doesn't have to go to school OR go to work OR clean the house? I am sure he won't say, but it would be interesting to hear him answer that question. He probably never even gave it a thought.
  5. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Actually, Susie,X does not gripe about her behavior ... at least not right now. He told me about her owing him $ because i asked whether he was going to cut off her texting. I was very surprised that she owed him, because this is the ONE area where he will usually take a stand. His attitude is very passive que sera sera ... pretty much his attitude about everything. He rarely, very rarely, comes to me about anything regarding daughter. Even if asked directly, he will very often lie rather than admit what is really going on. I don't ask often, but did this time as i found it curious that she was not working, had chosen not to go to cosmetology school as planned, and seemed to be doing pretty much what she wants.

    There is no "talking" to X. He is very passive/aggressive and does exactly what he wants to do. Right now, this is actually working for him because she spends most of her time with the boyfriend and is out of his hair. She is only there from midnight on, while her boyfriend is at work. He's alseep. While he's at work, she's at her boyfriend's having a pj party.

    And you are oh, so right... this is not my problem. I am honestly not getting sucked into the vortex and engaging with either one of them. i do appreciate having this as a venting place ... I'm not so far into detachment that I don't need that yet ... but I am not engaging. Her not paying rent? Not my problem. Her not paying texting? Also not my probelm...I will pay what I've agreed to pay and no more. Do I think this is healthy for her? Of course not. If she was here it would be very,very different ... but she is not.

    As to what he expects her to do with her time? Mr Ostrich chooses to believe that she is job hunting. This is a joke as she stays up all night - literally - and then snoozes by day with the boyfriend. What would her motivation be to look for a job? He seems to be letting her slide on the rent and texting. boyfriend has a job (to which she carts him back and forth daily) and since HE has no responsibilities, I'm sure he's giving her money for gas. They have their meals taken care of and shelter between daddy's house and his parent's house. No worries. No reason to get a job.

    Yes, with my work ethic, this drives me mad.

    But all I can do is watch and shake my head....

  6. Bean

    Bean Member

    This sounds very close to my situation, only the players are changed, so I don't really have any advice. Just know that I agree with you about the responsibility part and I can totally feel you on the frustration and disbelief.