I need advice - please

aportier1974August 12, 2014

Any advice anyone can give me would be helpful. I'm very frustrated. I have been living with my boyfriend for almost a year now. I have a 19 year old son who works offshore and has moved out - very independent. He has a 21 year old daughter and a 17 year old son. His son lives with the mom but plans on moving in with us after graduation. (this has not been discussed yet but I'm sure my BF isn't going to tell him no). His daughter however lives with us full time. And that means really me since my BF works offshore and is gone for 28 days at a time. Don't get me wrong - she is not a bad kid - we get along well but this girl has absolutely no ambition. She finally just got a part time job and I made her sign up to get her GED. But she has not drive to do anything. Every time I mention to my BF that her room is a disaster or anything he gets very defensive. I love him so much but I feel that something needs to be done. He pays her cell phone bill - he will even give her money for cigarettes when she wasn't working. I just think that we need to help her become an adult and I don't know how to do it when he gets so defensive. I'm not saying that he needs to necessarily kick her out but she needs to learn to be an adult.

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Dating is such a different ballgame for people with kids. It seems to me that how successfully the other person parents their child(ren) should be one of the top criteria in deciding whether or not to commit to a relationship. However, so many people seem to kind of gloss over this issue despite the fact that different child-raising philosophies can totally rip a relationship apart.

As you are likely aware at this point, this is not a new problem. He overindulged his kids and failed to set a high enough bar for years for the situation to get to the point where it's at now. Unless your boyfriend finally chooses to be a better parent now, I don't see your relationship succeeding. Your parenting styles are too much at odds, you don't have the authority to do what needs to be done to help the daughter lead the life she should be leading and he doesn't see the need for anything to change. You're at a stalemate.

To make things worse, the son is on his way to live with you. Guess why? He's seen the cushy life his sister has and wants the same for himself. Now you'll be dealing with two unmotivated adults living in your home doing next to nothing with their lives.

SO.....if I were in your shoes, I would find my own place to live ASAP. From the time you put your key into that new lock, I suggest you put these parenting issues squarely back where they belong: in their Dad's lap. This means that not a minute of your time or a penny of your money will go to parenting or providing household management duties at his house. In other words, adopt the philosophy, "Not my monkey. Not my circus."

If you still enjoy his company, continue to see your boyfriend (without his kids tagging along). Just don't let him make his life your life. Without you there to smooth over the issues, maybe he'll get concerned enough to finally be the Dad he should have been all along.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 5:11PM
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I have to say I am totally with Jewel on this one. He is gone 28 days at a time and you are left herding cats.

It sounds like you lived an independent life prior to the year you moved in with your BF and raised a self sufficient young man.

Do you ever fantasize what it would be like to have your own place again without the drama? Doesn't it seem appealing?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 7:50PM
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I could not agree with Jewel more. If dad is gone so often he doesn't realize the issues because he doesn't have to see them. The children are adults. It is time to get your own place and let him visit your home when he is on shore.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 4:46AM
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Jewel is right. I had a similar situation with my husband before we were married. I told him the relationship wasn't going anywhere unless we could come to terms with how the teenage and adult children would be dealt with, his and mine. Like Jewel said, this isn't a small thing, it's huge and you can't just jump into a relationship with this guy without making ground rules about the adult kids. What I see is a dad who can't deal with his own kids, leaves for 28 days at a time and is hoping you can make a difference. That said, he can't criticize your parenting skills then. And he shouldn't since you've obviously proven yourself by raising an independent child.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 6:15AM
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The orig post has confused me a bit. Who is away for the 28 days, boyfriend or her son? If it is the husband I would not stay I would start looking for another place to live and keep dating if he wants to, but would not expect he would want to since you are not going to maintain the house and family.

I know a couple who have been dating for years. They tried living together and that did not work, to much togetherness. He went back to his home and they kept dating. When he found a home for sale in our development he bought it. I think it is an ideal way to live. Live in's are like small grand kids, they need to go home at night.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 4:21PM
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Both the boyfriend and the OP's son (who doesn't live with her) work off-shore. We don't know how many days at a time the son is gone for work but we know that the boyfriend is gone 28 days at a time for his offshore job.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 5:56PM
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Thank you for clarifying that for me.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 7:07PM
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