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Question
Posted by: Me | 2011/04/20

How do I?

Hello CS

I have a situation that I have allowed myself to get into. About 7 months ago I opened my home to a friend in need and offered her a place to stay when she wase down on her luck. Currently she is unemployed (she is trying to source work, but it''s difficult as you may know) and has nowhere to go due to various circumstances. Both her parents are late, and she is an only child, so there really is now where else to go. As the time has passed, I find myself having the children (18 and 20 who themselves live with someone else) coming to " visit"  for 2-3 weeks on end of every month (it has happened for the last 3 months)(staying with me and not contributing in any way) and bringing the cat too......... They really make themselves at home - in fact too comfortable!!

How do I approach my friend and get her to see that this is just too much for us financially - without hurting anybody''s feeling? The children are well behaved, but the fact remains that having 3 extra mouths to feed, plus a cat, is really pulling at the purse strings in a big way. By choice I don''t have any pets of my own, now I have to have a cat that I must be responsible for. I was very clear in the beginning in that I could offer HER a roof over her head which ws agreed. I realise that I have allowed myself to get into this situation by not saying something the first time they stayed for so long. I don''t want to hurt her as she is a very dear friend but I really do need to put an end to this situation. Please guide me how to do this diplomatically.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

It's good to be generous, and important but hard to remember, to set specific time and other limits on such generosity.
If her children are 18 and 20, isn't it high time they were taking care of themselves, and indeed helping to take care of mother ? Couldn't the three of them get a place together and share expenses ? Shouldn't they be part of the solution, and not part of the problems ?
Or are the kids unemployed too ?
And much as I love cats, bringing the cat too seems even more excessive.
Simply explain that, without wanting to make things worse for her, this situation cannot continue indefinitely, and that you simply cannot afford it ; and the children's visits are an imposition and a different plan needs to be made.
And anyhow, for instance, why should you be made to feel responsible for the cat ? Or for feeding it ? Presumably they do actually feed it between visits - couldn't they bring some dry cat food with them ? My cat heartily endorses this view.
She may have been a dear friend, but is hadly behaving now like a dear froend.
Try to be tactful, but be clear and not wishy-washy - they may feel relief that this situation might indeed continue indefinitely, and maybe are not trying heard enough to take responsibility for themselves ?

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1
Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/04/20

It's good to be generous, and important but hard to remember, to set specific time and other limits on such generosity.
If her children are 18 and 20, isn't it high time they were taking care of themselves, and indeed helping to take care of mother ? Couldn't the three of them get a place together and share expenses ? Shouldn't they be part of the solution, and not part of the problems ?
Or are the kids unemployed too ?
And much as I love cats, bringing the cat too seems even more excessive.
Simply explain that, without wanting to make things worse for her, this situation cannot continue indefinitely, and that you simply cannot afford it ; and the children's visits are an imposition and a different plan needs to be made.
And anyhow, for instance, why should you be made to feel responsible for the cat ? Or for feeding it ? Presumably they do actually feed it between visits - couldn't they bring some dry cat food with them ? My cat heartily endorses this view.
She may have been a dear friend, but is hadly behaving now like a dear froend.
Try to be tactful, but be clear and not wishy-washy - they may feel relief that this situation might indeed continue indefinitely, and maybe are not trying heard enough to take responsibility for themselves ?

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