Posted by: Max | 2008/11/05


Gosh where do I start. Well, my father is in huge debt. He' s been going through this for years now. It' s a viscious cycle - something happens, he needs money, he borrows, then borrows from someone else to pay the 1st person, then borrows from someone else to pay the 2nd person, and it just goes on and on.
His kids, including myself, are often the ones who have to lend him the money, and we become part of the cycle. Sometimes we don' t get the money back.

None of us are able to afford it to help him get out this big mess. Our husbands and wives get frustrated with this problem, and we end up fighting.

None of us even know the extent of the problem. All we now is that he needs x amount, and we give it to him.

But I want the cycle to end. I tried calling my siblings to say let us get together and try to figure out a solution. They not really interested in doing so, mostly because they can' t afford it. Understandable. I also can' t afford to pay off all his debt. But I feel like I' m the only one who wants to solve the problem.

Also, my parents are very irresponsible in their spending habits. They buy things they know they can' t afford, and it just makes things worse. I get so angry when they do that, but they don' t stop!

I spoke to my dad about going insolvent, but that won' t really help him much either...long story.

I simply don' t know what to do anymore. Sometimes I don' t even feel like helping cos they' re grown up' s and they should be able to sort out their own problems! But if us kids don' t help then we' re " terrible children who won' t even help their own parents" .

I can' t stop crying right now. I feel so helpless and don' t know what to do. I want to start living my own life and doing things for myself and my family. But I can' t do that cos I will just feel guilty knowing my parents can' t even afford simple things.

Worst part is the fighting with my husband. I can' t handle that. He has every reason to get angry.

I wish the problem would just disappear!

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Our expert says:
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HE needs a proper financial counsellor, as there's surely no excuse for havin g this problem recur. If he lived within his means, he wouldn't need to borrow anything in the first place. I'd refuser to give him ANY firther funds until he holds a family meeting, confesses fully and in detail the extent of the WHOLE problem and how it keeps arising, and makes a comprehensive plan to solve it and prevent it from recurring.
Stop feeling guilty --- all,this is HIS fault, not yours, and if your [parents lack for anything, that's because of him wasting moeny, and not your fault at all. Don't let him blackmail you into feeling like "terrible" children for choosing not to waste your money by giving it to him to waste. Just say No, and that may force him to get financial advice and sort it out, rather than assuming you'll always come to the rescue.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Tina | 2008/11/05

Your parents need to see a debt counsellor to sort out their problems. It is unfair to expect the children to bail them out of their own willingly made debt!

Reply to Tina
Posted by: Max | 2008/11/05

Thanks Soul. You' re right. I just can' t help but feel guilty. I would feel terrible going on holidays and and buying expensive things when they can' t afford something life necessities.

CS, thanks for the reply. I tried getting my family together to hold a family meeting and discuss everything that you just said. But they' re all just so stubborn! Even my siblings! It' s like my hubby and I are the only two concerned about finding out the extent of the problem and finding solutions to it. My siblings are quite content with giving him x amount every month. How does that solve things???

Well, I guess I' m on my own. I just need to be strong. You can take a horse to the river, but you can' t make it drink. So I will try what I can, but if they not willing to help themselves, then I' m just going to have to say no to them.

Thanks CS and Soul for listening...

Reply to Max
Posted by: Soul | 2008/11/05

Hi Max, you are in a catch 22 situation and as much as we' d like to do everything we can for our folks sometimes we can' t we have our partners to consider aswell and that' s going to put alot more strain on you.

Reply to Soul
Posted by: Max | 2008/11/05

Hi Soul. Thanks for the reply. Trust me I have thought about that. Half of the time he ends up in debt unwillingly, eg. water leakage, geyser breaks, car packs up etc and all of this is costly to fix. So sometimes it' s not their fault that they' re in such bad debt.

And if their own child won' t help them out, then who will?

But at the same time, if I help them out, then like you said, they will continue living this lifestyle.

I feel like I' m in a catch 22 situation.

Reply to Max
Posted by: Soul | 2008/11/05

I understand the situation your in but at the same time you are enabeling your parents to enjoy the life style they have even though they can' t afford it they know you there to pay it for them.
You will have this continued problem in you marriage if you don' t put your foot down and stop helping them, the tention between you and your hubby is only going to get worse.

Your folks are being irresponsilbe, it' s one thing helping them out when they really need it but they are making their own situation worse and in turn yours aswell, it' s time to put your foot down and say no and don' t feel guitly about it.

The way I see it it' s either support your folks bad decisions and save them or focus on your family and hubby.

Take Care

Reply to Soul

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