What do you think?

Discussion in 'All in the Family' started by derringer, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. derringer

    derringer Member

    It has been nearly one year since my 2nd wife’s daughter, her husband and 4 children moved in with us. They moved from another state to find a better environment for the kids and we paid their moving expenses. The original arrangement was that they could stay with us until they found jobs and could get a place of their own. We moved our kitchen table and chairs to the basement, our dining room furniture to the kitchen and gave them the dining room as a bedroom, along with our 2nd upstairs bedroom, for the older kids. To my thinking, this arrangement should have lasted 4-5 months. I guess that I didn’t take the daughter’s husband’s laziness into consideration. It took him that amount of time to finally get a job and she had to drag him out of the house and take him to apply for the position where she had found employment 2 months earlier. They are living here cost free, with their only expenses being for their own personal needs and food, from which I get one meal a day at suppertime. I am retired and get Social Security. My wife still works a 40 hour week, and I’m home all day. We have 2 cars, one of which my wife uses to get to her job, the 2nd has been taken over by our “guests” as their second car. Since each of the adults work a different shift, they have decided that this was the best arrangement. They also seem to use it as their main means of transportation, even when their whole family goes to the same destination. I’ve found it empty of oil on two occasions and it hasn’t been washed or cleaned since they’ve been using it. To make a really much longer story shorter, let me just say that they have absolutely no respect for any of our possessions. Following is a letter, to my wife, that I’ve been holding in my “Drafts” folder, for some time, just to let off steam:

    I'm really sorry that this has become such an intolerable situation. Since I have been WARNED that if I have a serious conversation with XXX that I would lose a DAUGHTER and 4 GRANDCHILDREN. I guess that I need to remind you that none of them are really mine - they're YOURS. I took Xxxxxx as my own, since I loved you. When XXX came into the picture, we both realized that it was going to cause trouble and it has. He has certainly lived up to my expectations. I too love Xxxxxx and the children, but it's been overshadowed by the lazy bum that they have for a husband and father. Why should Xxxxxx have to throw a fit and MAKE him apply for a job at XXXXX? Has he no intention of ever moving out of here? Does he think that this is going to be the same arrangement that they had in Xxxxxxx - living in somebody else’s home, with no need to seek better employment or living conditions? I don't think that you realize that I too want better for Xxxxxx and the kids, but you've stifled me from saying anything. I've seen no concentrated effort on his part to find employment. Why should he, when he's quite comfortable living in the house that you and I are providing? Evidently the prodding from Xxxxxx has had little or no effect on him. What is it going to take?

    Don't give me the "Good father that takes his kids to all of their school and scouting activities, and who cooks", argument either, because that doesn't quite fulfill the role of a "good father". Of course, this is just my interpretation of what a good father is supposed to do, but shouldn't he also find gainful employment and provide a home for his family? When you tell me that THEY are providing the food, that's not true - Xxxxxx is, and the vast majority of that food is consumed by their family. My one portion is merely leftovers. This has nothing to do with the situation anyway. I don't begrudge them the increase in water and utilities or use of the house, if I saw any indication that Xxx was taking any initiative to better their situation, but I haven't.

    This is all pointless, anyway, since it's gotten to the point that I really can't stand the sight of him anymore. I don't have any other answer to their predicament, other than Xxx getting off his ass and finding (or even looking for) a job. After months of seeing him stay up all night and sleeping 'til afternoon, I can only conclude that he has no intention of changing this situation. I feel that I've been more than tolerant in this situation, but when it comes to the point that I don't want to even go into the same room, in my own home, when he's there, something has to be done! How many months and/or years do you expect me to live like this? You've placed me in a very bad situation: the choice between keeping you and losing you. My feelings, in this situation cannot be changed. I could put on a false front and accept the situation, but I'd come to resent every second of it. It's now to that point. I've let things go too far. In the beginning, I tried to be as accomodating as possible, but when the whole house was taken over, and Xxx made little or no effort to find a job, it turned to deep resentment for them and now for you. The longer you let things go, the worse they get. Like a small leak in a pipe, if it goes unchecked, it becomes a flood. I'm at a very high water level right now.

    Now, about my caring more for things than for people:

    Although you may not agree with it, we've BOTH worked hard to get what little we've got. When I see outsiders come in and have no respect for what we've worked so hard to acquire, I tend to get upset, regardless of the cost or if it was given to us. When they do this, I take it as a slap in the face and a direct disrespect for my efforts. If you feel that this is unjust, that's your problem, not mine. I hope you enjoy having your things look like trash. Examples: dining room chairs all marred and scratched, toaster with scratches, heavy wash baskets and other objects placed on the new washer and dryer until the tops will look like the old dryer, food slopped all over the floor, refrigerator, stove and microwave, car run without oil until the engine seizes up (which would have happened, twice, had I not checked it). If you want respect; you have to give it.

    This whole thing is not whether or not I love you. I always will. It's a matter of endurance to a situation, and mine has come to an end. I know that you are much more tolerant than I am, but I'm sure that you are not being truthful with the analogy of my moving my ex-wife into our home. Give me some credit for a little intelligence, anyway. You would soon come to the ultimatum; "Her or me".

    None of this should be a surprise to you, I've told you of my feelings, in this matter, a number of times. You don't seem to take me seriously or make any attempt to change the situation. "Let Xxxxxx handle it"., seems to be your only answer. You've got me between a rock and a hard place. If I leave, I lose you, if I stay, I lose both of us.

    I guess that we'll have to go down together then, or until you've had enough. Against my better judgment and because I do love you, I'm staying. Don't expect my feelings to change in this matter - they won't. I'll continue on, the way I have been. I can't change that.

    All that said, I see my options as follows:

    Take my personal belongings and move out.

    Kick them out on the street.

    Give them a time limit, to get themselves together.

    Grin and bear it.

    Kick him out and tell him he can have his family back when he can support them.

    Any thoughts?

  2. nightwriter

    nightwriter Member

    You and your wife need to be on the same page with this. If you can get her to agree to a time limit, that would probably be the best option.

    I think it is reasonable to ask for them to split the cost of utilities with you as well as charge them rent. But again, you and your wife need to go discuss this somewhere. If she is happy with the situation, then you'll need to decide what to do next.
  3. tidal

    tidal Member

    been there, would'nt tolerate the situation EVER again. get rid, soonest!
  4. ihmurria

    ihmurria fini

    Your letter came off as incredibly angry
    i realize the situation is shitty, but anger/rage isnt' gonna fix it... only coming up with a good game plan will
  5. derringer

    derringer Member

    First, let me thank all of you for your replies. Secondly; I applaud your fortitude in reading that entire message. I did get a little wordy there.

    I've tried to have a meaningful conversation with my wife about this situation, but it always ends up in an argument, with her making excuses for everything they do. We are not together on this situation, as she doesn't see the problem. I cannot change my feelings, although I've tried and it just turned into resentment.

    I'm really trying to get out of this situation and, believe me, it will never happen again. It seems that when you try to help out family members, they tend to take advantage of you.

    You're absolutely correct, I am angry about the situation. I've had 11 months of this abuse to get this angry. When another family moves in and takes over your home, it's difficult to be cheerful about it.
  6. nightwriter

    nightwriter Member

    If you and your wife are not in agreement with the entire situation, maybe you could find some small common ground on which you agree and build from there. Most mothers have an inbred desire to protect and take care of their children even with the children are not children. She may see you as attacking her young (something many males of different species do) and therefore she needs to defend. Is there a counselor the two of you could see...or even one you could see alone so she knows you are serious? Being miserable in your own home is no way to live and hopefully a solution will soon be found that hurts none and helps all.
  7. ihmurria

    ihmurria fini


    I guess my point is that it's coming across as an attack, as a you vs them thing, as you being so angry that you have no solution other than raging at them.

    Assign chores.
    Take away privileges when they don't complete chores (ie cleaning the car not happening? Fine, you take the keys to the car until they clean it out on their own)
    Yes it's treating them like children but they're acting like spoilt freakin 16 year olds.
    Go scouting apartments or houses for rent for them, when you find two or three adequate & affordable places tell them about them, and then let them know you're going to start charging them comprable rent or they move out.

    I would rethink your letter though. It's coming off as a huge attack on your wife, comes across as "We're in this situation because YOU let YOUR kids in", not in any way suggestive of a mutually beneficial solution
  8. derringer

    derringer Member

    Once again, I thank you all for your comments and interest. If you’re ready, here I go again.

    First let me say that I’ve tried to have a reasonable and meaningful conversation with my wife about this situation. Which included charging them rent and a share of the utilities, to which her answer was, that if we do this, they will never be able to save up enough money to get their own place. Upon further reflection, on my part, I realized that if I were to charge them rent, they will feel that they have a right to stay here and take more advantage of the situation. I have also tried assigning chores (in a non-confrontational manner, more as suggestions), very few of which are carried out. In all the time that they have been here, not once has anyone volunteered to be of help with any chores.

    I see that I’ve neglected to state the ages of our “guests”, he is 39, she is 34, with children 15,12,11 and 7 years of age. As an aside, my wife wants to give our second car to the 15 year old, on her 16th birthday. It seems that she promised it to her a long time ago (without consulting me) and doesn’t want to disappoint her! We are not in a financial position to replace this vehicle, once it’s gone. We are living on my pension and my wife’s income, which certainly does not make us wealthy, in the broadest of terms.

    Yes, it has become a “me against them” scenario. They are happy here and my wife seems to be happy with her daughter and grandchildren here. She may have that “protect my offspring” instinct, as was mentioned, female animals have this instinct to protect their young from physical harm from the male. Also, the human animal is the only one that allows their offspring back into the group, once they have left that group.

    We started looking for apartments and houses for them, when they first got here, but none of them seemed to suit their taste. Now that they’ve become entrenched here, their incentive seems to have disappeared. There is, however, a house for rent that will be available in December, in which they have shown some interest. Unfortunately it happens to be directly across the street from us. Although not an ideal situation, it’s better than the present one. Perhaps I can give them a December deadline and hope that I can hold out another six months, without doing anything too drastic.

    My wife’s comment on my attitude, in this matter, is: “You shouldn’t feel that way.”

    How can one change one’s feelings? If you don’t like asparagus, and someone says you should learn to like it, how much do you have to cram down your throat, until you acquire a taste for it, or do you just keep vomiting it up?

    Perhaps counseling would be a step in the right direction. We certainly haven’t had any luck in finding a solution on our own, and this matter has already torn our marriage apart.
  9. nightwriter

    nightwriter Member

    Run, don't walk to the counselor. If she won't go, go without her. A counselor might be able to show her how enabling her kids hurts more than helps...and a counselor might give you some skills to help better cope with this situation so it doesn't drive you completely bonkers.

    No one should tell a person how to feel... feelings are part of an individual's way of being. And you can't change feelings...just the actions that result from them.

    Across the street would be a thousand times better than across the hall. I'm concerned about the amount of time till December.

    Keep talking to us...it will help you vent and you need that.
  10. tidal

    tidal Member

    okay, just a 'cat amongst the pigeons' thought, but maybe your wife is after keeping her family close to her, and wants rid of you. don't mean to be harsh, just playing devils advocate.
  11. derringer

    derringer Member

    Counseling looks like the way to go at this point, before resorting to my other options. I really do appreciate this forum and you nice folks for the help. Until now, I've just been screaming into the wind, to keep from going insane.
    Fortunately (or unfortunately?) my wife can't afford to get rid of me. She certainly couldn't afford to keep what she's got, even if she charges them to live here, and I've checked, in a divorce settlement, she could not touch my retirement funds. But then, I guess, we're all replaceable.

    Nightwriter; the 6 months, until a December deadline, scares the living hell out of me too! I haven't found my tolerence limit yet, but I feel that it's getting closer everyday. I'll keep you posted of the results. Hey, maybe there's a TV series here: "No Sex in the City":(
  12. BigKing

    BigKing Member

    You have every right to be angry, i'd have thrown them out (but let the kid's stay) long ago.
  13. id try to make it fun formyself by tormenting them,move all your stuff to the garage and by a genorator and new locks for the doors that only you have then start cutting utilties off in the house. no tv no eletric no heat no air no water might be hard on you but sure could end up being fun. LOL or go rent the movie Madhouse and sit in front of the tv for 24 to 36 hours saying nothing but watching the movie. then after that time is up jsut get up and leave without saying a word and come back with chainsaws and shit dont ever say a word but maybe they will get the idea you finally snapped and take the hint and run for the hills LOL
  14. derringer

    derringer Member

    Gringo, you've got a nasty mind - I like it! Fortunately, I may not have to resort to those tactics yet, as they've finally found a house to rent. Now it's just a matter of when they can get into it and how much of our stuff walks out with them. At this point, they can have whatever they want as long as they get out.
  15. nightwriter

    nightwriter Member

    Congrats! Looks like they've taken the first step out your door.
  16. derringer

    derringer Member

    Thanks for the "Congrats". Now it's just a matter of what can be salvaged out of my marriage, due to the complete lack of support from my wife, during this past year. At least they should be out of here by the 1st of August. I'll probably ask my wife if she'd like to move with them. We'll see. I really feel betrayed.
  17. nightwriter

    nightwriter Member

    Only ask your wife that if you have already quit being married.
    If you want to stay married, wait till they move out...give the two of you a few days to get readjusted and THEN start rebuilding.
  18. derringer

    derringer Member

    !!!!!! AT LAST!!!!!!! They're gone!!!!!! (Imagine me jumping up and down, doing cartwheels and screaming for joy!!!) A cursory inventory shows only a few things missing, which I suppose my wife gave to them: a window AC, half of our lawn furniture, a trampoline (good riddence) and all of the guest bedroom furniture. I'm looking at it as a small price to pay for regaining my home and sanity. Now we get to see if this marriage can be saved.
  19. Poem~Girl

    Poem~Girl Member

    maybe all of you need counceling or you and your wife. Respect is the factor that lies btwn ...
    Tc PG

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