Dear Annie: My husband and I have a 34-year-old daughter who has lived with us all her life (except for maybe a year). She brought her freeloading boyfriend in.
I had cancer at the time and they didn’t even bother to do anything, so she ended up pregnant.
I kicked her boyfriend out of the house after finding out he couldn’t even take her to the hospital to have his baby.
The baby brought such joy to our lives, but our daughter works at a very part-time job, doesn’t help around the house and stays in her room while we watch the boy.
She wanted to get him a dog, so we helped her. If we were to ask her to leave, we would worry about our grandson.
She is getting along by not paying rent or buying food, and she has both of us, and her son’s other grandma, for free babysitters. This is going on while his dad is in rehab. We even pay some of her other bills when she can’t.
I’m disabled, so we get my check, and my husband works very hard to support the four of us. How can we get her to leave without her taking her son completely away from us?
— Broken Mom
Dear Broken Mom: If you teach a man to fish, he has dinner for life, but if you give him a fish, he only has dinner for one night.
Your daughter and her boyfriend are only having the fish handed to them, and it is not doing anyone any favors.
But you are in a tough situation because you love your grandson and don’t want your daughter to take him away.
The truth is that your daughter sounds like she is hurting. It can’t feel good to just sit in her room all day while her parents play with her son. She might be suffering from depression. She needs help and support, not judgment.
You began your letter by calling your grandson’s father a freeloader. While it might seem like that is what he is doing, he is also suffering from addiction and is trying to get help in rehab. That type of judgment doesn’t help anyone, especially your grandson.
You and your husband should have calm conversations with your daughter to set up boundaries for her living at your house, or leaving, but staying on good terms so you can continue to see your grandson.
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Dear Annie: My wife was fed up over a pair of cutoff shorts that I wore all the time. In fact, I had worn them so many times that the patches had patches.
The only original parts left were the belt line and around the zipper. It took three days for them to dry after washing.
We were not struggling, and I could and did wear “decent” clothing when we went anywhere.
My wife knew that there was a lot more sentimental value to those shorts than clothing need. But the time came when she could no longer stand to see them, on or off me.
She threw them out. It was time. I could not have done it. I was sad but not heartbroken.
Now, I ask when something gets too worn, “repair or rag bin?” It keeps our rag bin full enough and keeps me from embarrassing my wife, when out or when home.
“Fed Up,” who wrote that she was frustrated about her husband’s wardrobe, needs to find a quiet time to have a discussion about where her husband’s head is at. Then, together, they can find a dress code that suits them both.
— No Longer Raggedy Andy
Dear No Longer Raggedy Andy: I love the fact that you worked together as a partnership with your wife to come up with a solution as to what to do with your clothing with holes in it.
Teamwork frequently works better when trying to solve problems in domestic life.