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Old November 20th, 2012, 08:58 AM
cdutka cdutka is offline
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Family is breaking my heart

So here I am, 53 years old and just found the love of my life after a disasterous marriage. Now we have been together a year and I am moving in with him. PROBLEM: 24 year old niece, a grown up brat moved in with me and my parents. She has no car so she depends on me to get up an hour early everyday to get her to the train. Now I have been staying at my boyfriends quite a bit and my 83 year old Dad gets up to take her at 5am. Now my Dad seems to be getting short with me when I am not there to do this. My sister and her family depend on me for everything. She cannot mange money and they are always in some kind of financial trouble that I am bailing them out of. My niece needs to get a car, she does not make a lot of money but does not pay anything either. Grandma and Grandpa take care of everything. I tell myself that this situation is not on me, it is on her but I don't think my family sees it that way. BTEW my niece has some anger problems and you cannot tell her anything. She never has a level response to anything, it is either extreme anger or crying her eyes out. How can I resolve this without my family thinking that I have abandonded them for my love. I like to think of it like this: I have more years behind me than in front. If I put my life on hold and something happened to either one of us tomorrow, then I have given up my chance at a life of happiness at 53 while my niece has many many years ahead of her and many chances at happiness.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 09:15 AM
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Re: Family is breaking my heart

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Originally Posted by cdutka View Post
How can I resolve this without my family thinking that I have abandonded them for my love.
You can't. But that's their problem, not yours.

You can talk to your parents and tell them that they (and you) have been enabling your sister and your niece and allowing them to not grow up into mature, self-sufficient adults. You can tell them that you feel that is cruel, because at some point in their lives they will need to support themselves, and that now is the time for you to back off and you suggest they start figuring out how to cut the apron strings too.

If you really feel generous, you can offer to help your sister and niece learn how to manage their money and put money in savings for emergencies and cars. I suggest Dave Ramsey (a financial guru who specializes in teaching people this).

Good luck, and wishing you much happiness with the love of your life.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 10:07 AM
cdutka cdutka is offline
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Re: Family is breaking my heart

Well I have done that. Helped my sister manage her money for over a year. As soon as I was told that she "got this" she went out and got a $500 a month car note, now no bills are being paid and she spends like she is rocafeller. I have talked to my parents about this and they back me in conversation, but when the time comes, no go on that . I do not have kids and I feel like they pick her over me for that reason. When the kids were little she held them over our heads at all times. Hard to think otherwise now that she has a grandchild that she would not do the same with her. I just need to suck it up and let the chips fall where they may. If they cannot handle that I am now not going to live the rest of my life alone, then so be it.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 12:58 PM
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Re: Family is breaking my heart

I like your resolve. I'm in a similar situation you are in-- google the words "enmeshment" and "codependent." These are not healthy family relationships. Getting out and having a healthy relationship is your best chance at happiness. If you don't do it now, you'll be 83 years old complaining about having never lived your life.

You can do this! But if you find it difficult, consider counseling (talk therapy) to help you.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 04:45 PM
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Re: Family is breaking my heart

I agree with Lucy - look at it this way ... Do you want to live your own life or continue the emeshement? Unless things change ears from now your DN could be still living with you & still expecting to to take care of her.
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Old November 21st, 2012, 08:18 AM
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Re: Family is breaking my heart

Thank you all for your great advice. I really have known what I have to do, I just really needed to hear that it is ok. I want them to be happy for me and I think it is really selfish of them (especially my niece) not to be. I have always been happy for whatever came their way in life that was good. If they cannot, then it is their loss that they cannot share in what is turning out to be the time of my life
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Old November 21st, 2012, 11:11 AM
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Re: Family is breaking my heart

I can tell you from experience that your family will hurt you and make you feel guilty for making this choice for yourself. You are doing the right thing and don't let their emotions make you waver or doubt yourself. It will be the hardest thing you ever do, but the end results will be worth it.

Keep that dancing banana going!
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Old November 21st, 2012, 12:35 PM
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Re: Family is breaking my heart

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Originally Posted by snafu View Post
I agree with Lucy - look at it this way ... Do you want to live your own life or continue the emeshement? Unless things change years from now your DN could be still living with you & still expecting to to take care of her.


- typos get me all the time (I added the bolded stuff)
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Old March 14th, 2013, 09:09 AM
cdutka cdutka is offline
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Re: Family is breaking my heart

So here I am again. This time my sister's car is really messed up. She is in Vegas for a company convention and I am taking care of the situation. Thing is, we thought it was under warranty, it is not. So I go and pick the car up with no work done. It is going to be about $1,350. I don't have it and neither does she so I call our Mom and discuss it with her. While I am talking to my Mom, I start *****ing that I just gave my sister $200 because she was short on rent, gave her son $60 that he tells me he does not have to pay me back and my brat niece paid me for the cell phone two weeks late. My niece hears this and starts as usual, screaming that she does not have time to pay me and why am I talking **** about everyone. I did not say anything that is not true. Thing is, I can't seem to break this stupid cycle because I love them and do not want them to write me off (they have done it before) I know that I am being a doormat here but I don't know how to say I am done with this abuse without being done with them. . BTW, as usual, my Mom will not under any circumstances back me because I don't have the kids or grandchild. She told me it was all ok because my niece did pay me. I also cannot cut off the phones because that would be $200 per line or $1,000 right now.
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Old March 14th, 2013, 09:47 AM
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Re: Family is breaking my heart

Gheesh! They're treating you worse than a doormat - they got you walking in bile.

I'm sorry for your dilemma, but it's not going to stop until YOU make it stop.

One thing I learned from my own extended family... When I was willing to "bail" them out of whatever situation they got themselves into - they were more than happy to allow me to solve whatever problem they got themselves into. When I quit solving their problems they gave me grief, but I was tired of dealing with their self-imposed problems. It's been a few years now, but I can tell you that I am much happier now than I was then.

You seem like a really nice person who is willing to help people who are in need. Right now I think your are in need of help - So help yourself. I mean YOU! What do you need to do to get peace of mind for yourself?

I hope for the best for you.
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