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At wit's end (Sorry it's long)

Posted by on Feb. 3, 2013 at 2:48 AM
  • 5 Replies

New to the group and really hoping for some feedback/advice.  This is the situation - last May, my then 26 year old SD called and asked her dad, my DH of 8 years, if she could stay with us "for a few weeks" while her BM settled into a new area of the country (found a job, place to live for both of them, etc.). The fact that SD hadn't worked in over a year was already a concern - no ambition, no desire to be on her own - so I agreed only if it was temporary and there was a definite plan in place.  DH does not speak to his ex, so everything we were told came through SD. I guess I'm a bit cynical because I had some qualms about it, but since it was promised that it would be short term and there was an agreed upon plan to handle everything from her airfare to get to us, to a date that she would be leaving by, I went along with it.  The 4 weeks I was supposed to have to prepare for her coming to stay turned into a little less than two, and the half of the airfare that we were supposed to be reimbursed by her bm never materialized. But at that point - it was short term and I tried not making a mountain out of a molehill. 

It's now almost 9 months later, and it turns out that the reality was that there never was really a plan for SD to move back in with her BM and what had already been a rocky relationship between me and my DH is now disintegrating quickly... and my health is suffering too. After what I'm sure was perceived as a rant by the evil SM (but in agreement with DH), SD was told she *had* to find a job - any job, with benefits, full-time, and start working toward getting her own place, own transportation etc.  She got fired from a seasonal job after 2 weeks, and then took a minimum wage pt job with no benefits. She also was supposed to be pulling her share of the workload around the house - cooking, cleaning, etc.  Nada - beyond doing her own laundry. DH says I need to remind her of what needs doing - I say she's an adult and should be held responsible to act like one.  The problem with that is that SD had a learning disability as a child and still uses it as a crutch to get out of responsibility... and DH doesn't see the manipulativeness there.  I'm guessing there's an unhealthy fear of losing her again - his ex just picked up one day 13 years ago and left with all the kids and moved out of state.  He simply accepted it back then (although when I met him, I was told a different story about how it all went down) yet I can't imagine it not playing a role in what's going on now. Bottom line is, if I don't rant, nothing gets done.

That isn't the worst though. I don't know how else to put it, but I feel like I've been replaced in dh's life by my sd. Everything she wants, she gets and DH is setting a horrible example for her because he works from home and drops what he's doing any time she wants company.  It's gotten to the point where I've had to give up my own fledgling business to go back to the corporate world to pay for the extra expenses - and to save my sanity because being around them puts my blood pressure through the roof. From the laziness about work to the childish antics (like the week they were trying to outdo startling each other, or the teasing/tickling/playful punching), I feel like I'm living with a 12 year old girl and a man who doesn't realize that his DD needs to grown up. DH waits on her hand and foot (she won't even make herself breakfast - waits for him to offer which takes away from his work day) yet he doesn't have time to keep promises to anyone else. They stay up til 1-2am watching tv together - yet I have to record anything I want to watch (which I can't do anyway because there's no space on the DVR because of all the stuff sd records - and yes, she has a tv in her room). DH prefers to cook meals and while we used to be able to plan meals together before sd arrived, now it's all about what they want. I honestly can't remember the last time I suggested something (even offering to cook it) and didn't get a veto from sd and then dh.  I know I'm probably being petty, but it's the little things like dh saying good morning to her and totally ignoring me, asking her to go with when he takes the dogs for a walk, or even watching TV shows with her that I've asked him to watch with me in the past and was told he had no interest in them and wouldn't watch them. Everything I want to do (even babysitting my grandkids or spending time with my own kids and their families) is met with attitude from both DH and SD now.

I was so stressed out that I insisted we go for couple's counseling around the time that we found out sd's stay would be more permanent. Btw, she has said on numerous occasions that she now has no plans to leave, and DH has told me he won't make her leave - ever. Counselor agreed with me that things needed to change and numerous plans were agreed to over the course of a couple months, but nothing ever lasts more than a week. I am literally at wit's end - I've tried everything... embracing the situation and making the best of it (which has only made it worse because then it becomes a free-for-all around here), reasoning with both DH and SD (promises and plans are made and then abandoned), and now I'm seriously wondering if it's just a lost cause.

Has anyone been in a similar situation and had it work out positively?  I'd appreciate any feedback, advice, anything.

by on Feb. 3, 2013 at 2:48 AM
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by Ruby Member on Feb. 3, 2013 at 10:04 AM
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Congrats on your DH enabling his daughter to be a deadbeat moocher!!!!

Seriously either she leaves or you leave.

And it sounds like she and DH plan on staying put.

Fact is-she put herself in a good spot-why should she get a job/move out and be a productive member of society-SHE'S GOT DADDY!

And DH isn't going to force her to do anything....that's his precious wecious-GOD FORBID HE DARE ask her to act like an adult!

(note the sarcasm)

Tell him to man up or move it on. Sounds like he's replaced you with her and you're just there.

I would consider YOU going to help you cope. For now-pay your half of the bills. Keep after yourself. Ignore her and her behavior.

by on Feb. 3, 2013 at 11:38 AM

I haven't been where you are, but I've been in your SD's shoes where I had no where to go and my parents took my DH, my 6 year old SD, and myself in when I was 8 months pregnant. The company DH worked for completely closed down and the economy was so bad that no one was hiring. He went to work as a substitute teacher, I was in college and working part time as a tutor, but we just couldn't make enough money to stay afloat after our savings ran out three months after SD was laid off. So we moved in with my parents and my mother was having a hard time with all of us there, especially my DH and SD because DH is pretty anti-social, he's very quiet and prefers his own company to that of my family (I have two brothers who are both married with children and we'd have a family dinner every Sunday and all the people made my DH clam up) and my SD was spoiled rotten and would fight with me about everything from taking a bath to eating dinner.

Anyway, where your situation and mine differed is that I didn't want to stay there any longer than necessary and when we were able to we got out---but it was still a much longer stay than any of us had wanted (a year and a half).

My advice to you is to look very closely at your marriage and decide if it can survive SD staying there much longer. If not you need to tell your husband that as much as you love him you can't live like that and make it clear that if SD doesn't go then you're going to have to leave. This may sound terrible, but have you thought about finding SD a boyfriend? Something I've found that motivates young women is having a love life. They don't want to have to live with their parents when they have a love interest. It's embarrassing.

by Member on Feb. 3, 2013 at 1:29 PM

 Sounds like it's time to leave...for your health and peace of mind...he's not gonna change and he's not going to make her leave or grow up.

by on Feb. 3, 2013 at 2:44 PM

MamaMoopsie - I can totally appreciate your story and if it weren't for the fact that my SD has no interest in working - or having a social life. When the idea of dating/marrying/kids is ever brought up, she says she'll start dating when she felt it was time to get married - and she's got plenty of time to think about that "later", but definitely not now.  I think there's some weird repressiveness going on there - and frankly, I don't think she'll ever start dating.  Sad... but who am I to judge beyond the immediate effect her lifestyle has on our family.

We went through something similar to your situation with my DD and her SO when they were expecting their first child. In that case though, they wanted to save up some money to be able to afford a decent place to live and to give my DD some time to stay home and be a mom.  So they lived with us for just under a year, paid rent, bought food, helped around the house, and stuck to the agreements we had made before they moved in with us. No problems whatsoever about them taking care of business though. If that were the case with my SD, I'd be on board and ready to help in any way I could... would be for any of the kids - mine or his.

Just got done hashing it out with DH (again) and when I brought up the idea that she's not going to adhere to any expectations or demands without consequences, he looked at me like I had three eyes. Asked me what I was expecting him to do - punish her for not doing her chores?  And I think I grew another eye when I said, "Yes."   No sitting on her butt watching TV for hours on end, no video games, no extras beyond the basic necessities, and if it came down to it that she still wasn't doing what she was supposed to, that the door was open and the world was waiting for her with open arms.  That netted another " I will not put her on the street." from DH... so I know that's not an option in any case.  

I believe that a parent's primary job is to teach our children to become responsible, capable adults by helping them attain the skills they need to be self-supporting, fully functioning adults. I watch my own kids teaching their children these very same skills, along with the concepts that rights and privileges go hand in hand with responsibility.  I know where that boat was missed in the case of my SD. DH was admittedly not a super involved dad and left most of the "kid stuff" to his ex who believed that female children should have zero responsibilities until they were on their own. My two SS's are both much more responsible and goal-oriented than their sister.  

The bottom line I guess is that DH and I agreed to give her a year to get on her feet - 3 months to go. I'd be open to extending that if she was trying, but I think sassygoddess is right.  It's not going to change... so I either need to get used to the idea that this is as good as it gets or I need to start exploring options - including being on my own again.  Totally sucks.  Not what I was hoping life would be like at this stage of the game. I'm still open to ideas and suggestions - and appreciate time taken to respond.

by Le Bonjour Chat on Feb. 3, 2013 at 7:13 PM
2 moms liked this

I'd leave.

SD refuses to man up and become an adult and DH refuses to deal with it.  There would be a one-way ticket back to BM's house sitting on her bed and a taxicab waiting to take her to the airport.  If I were you, and if DH didn't like it, he could find himself another woman to keep his ass warm at night.  Good luck finding someone that's going to deal with a man that has a daughter that STILL lives with him at 26 and refuses to do anything but sit on her ass all day and all-night and have everyone else wait on her hand and foot.  He might as well be living with his mother.

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