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Question
Posted by: evie | 2008/10/13

How to do this?

My husband &  I are in our fifties. Our daughter is almost 34 and our son 27 and we have a daughter of almost 17. My daughter of 34 and son have not married and still live at home. Due to financial circumstances, they have paid almost nothing towards rent and accommodation. My sons girlfriend also eats by us every night and stays over the weekends. She too has nought rand and nought cents. My husband and I have always just paid for everything. BUT we ourselves are not wealthy and have been struggling for years and years. Once before we had to sell our property just before we would of lost our house. Our children are hard working, and Christians. So we do not have a problem that the kids are lying around not wanting to work or drugging etc. It is just basically circumstances that things are the way they are. My daughter has been in a relationship for many years but cannot make up her mind wether she wants to marry this guy or not. My son has moved from trying his hand at this, then trying to make a living doing that and on and on.

At last my son has started a wonderful career that he is very happy in, and although he is only earning R3800 at the moment he can with time go up and after two years get work anywhere in the world. My daughter is earning R7000 and works most weeks 7 days a week. My son’ s girlfriend also only earns R3500 a month for a 6 day week. OK, here is the problem. My husband and I find ourselves again very close to the previous situation where we had to sell our house or lose it. We need to sit the kids down and ask them to try and contribute towards the costs. I say, with what, they don’ t have anything. My husband said he will give them a figure of R2500 and tell them that they must start asap working towards paying us that amount, and then explain to them that he cant sleep at night. That he is feeling very anxious about his future as time is running out for him etc. I feel so awkward. I don’ t want them to feel embarrassed. What about my son’ s girlfriend, he wants to say to her that she must contribute towards costs as well. Obviously less than our kids, but she must pay something. He says to not ask her to contribute ,but we ask our kids is unfair.
I know one week into the month and she is always broke. How is she going to feel about this, is she not going to be embarrassed? I mean here she was so welcome in our home and eating every night… ..I don’ t know.
I understand my husband’ s feelings  we are also worried about being able to provide for my other daughter of 17 when she wants to further her studies after school. My husband says, we should actually only be 3 people and not 6. When I say, yes I understand that but “ they”  don’ t have money to contribute, he says, yes but why is that his problem. Why is he paying the price. How should we handle this? What would be the kindest way to do this, without embarrassing people etc.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Its really not fair for your children ( and the gf ) to remain at home as chronic parasites, contributing nothing and expecting you to pay for everything. Can they not work towards better paying jobs ? And can they not save more from their own earnings --- if they pay nothing for their accomodation and food, what DO they spend it on ?
If your daughter earns R 7000 a month, and is working most days --- how on earth does she manage to spend R 7000 each month without covering her own expenses ? Similarly for your son's R 3800. Beyond basic clothes ( high fashion is not needed ) there's no need for partying, smoking or drinking --- what are they spending this on ? The same for the son's gf. Between them, they're earning over R 14000 a month ! How CAN they waste all that money on themselves, and expect you to cover their basic living expenses ? Search the web and read up about Tough Love, as they'll ned it.
I agree with pay up. Your daughter needs to decide about whether to proceed towards maiage in this chronic relationship, or move on --- once married, she'd be better able to care for herself and not remain dependent on you. R 2500 a month sounds far too little, and what they pay ought to fully cover the expenses of hosting them, at the very least. And OF COURSE the gf must pay her share, and not continue to be a parasite. How can she spend all her income one week into the month ? Why bother about "embarrassing" them, when they don't care about embarrassing you or your husband. They SHOULD be embarrassed --- it'll be good for them.
Your husband is right --- their finances are THEIR problem, and not yours --- and if you had not been so very heavily subsidizing them for so long, they would have solved their financial problems by now. They DO have the money and appear to be wasting it at present. Go ahead and embarrass them --- it'll be very healthy to do so

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Our users say:
Posted by: Pay up | 2008/10/13

You have actually answered yourself here. You cannot afford them anymore, so they have to cobtribute or maybe they should all move in together somewhere and share the expenses. Either way, you have to be cruel to be kind. I would love to stay with my folfs, but they will not allow it as they cannot afford it, and I appreciate that.

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