My 21-year-old daughter is making her 24-year-old lost boyfriend her project!

Betsy - posted on 05/22/2013 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I'm at wit's end. My together daughter, a junior in college with a good head on her shoulders, good friends, part-time job, has a new boyfriend who's about to ruin everything! He's 24, with a fractured, faraway family, no college, no money, loser friends, no car, no home -- and he lost his job 3 weeks ago. He is a sweet guy (to me at least), however, who seems to have some potential and does work hard and professes big goals. She's totally in love and feels it's her role to build him back up and get him on his feet again. She asked if he could stay with us temporarily and I very hesitantly agreed with many stipulations. He has been following my rules - they don't sleep together, and he's done big projects for me around the house. But I feel as though our family has been totally engulfed in this man that we've only known 3 months! If I make him move out, I don't know where he'll go beyond going back to Oklahoma, where he's from, and I definitely don't want to lose her to Oklahoma! So much love, time, work has gone into this child and it feels like at the critical point, it's all for naught. She either has self-esteem issues and doesn't feel worthy of a man who has it all together, or she has a mothering complex where she feels she has to fix him. Either not good and I've obviously failed somewhere. So do I give him a time limit to find a job and then just not care where he ends up if he doesn't find one? I'm a single mom with also a 17-year-old about to go to college and I really don't have the financial means to suddenly "raise" a lost 24-year-old man. I really feel completely thrown by this.

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Kelsey - posted on 05/22/2013

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My parents allowed my ex to move in with us with rules just after we were dating for about a month. He was exactly as you described: poor family relationships, no college, no money, no friends, no car and homeless, and poor at keeping a job. Most importantly, a two-face. He had his nice sweet, brown nosing, kiss a$$ personality then he had his real one, a self-entitled, self-important, irresponsible, dirt bag and if it's not about him; then it needs to be about him.

My parents dealt with that dead-beat in their home just because they loved me for two years. All he did was make empty promises and made their lives and mine, later on, miserable. He was a leech who sucked away time and money. My ex operated on only one mode, 'All about me.' Even during the times when he 'would' help around the house. It was only at his convenience and eventually, if he had sat on his a$$ long enough; someone else would do it. Like myself because I felt guilty that my 'boyfriend' was being a complete D-bag to my parents.

They paid for everything and yet, every guideline and every rule that was placed was deemed over his head.Like having a job...would have one for two weeks then his bad attitude would get him fired. In the two and half years that my ex and I were together; he had five jobs. My family was at each others throat 24/7. I was put in the middle of the fights; either choosing my family or my ex. Which I never won because either party would get upset.

Eventually, I ended up pregnant with my son and eventually I 'woke' up from the 'rose-colored glasses' and the honeymoon stage and realized this bum would never change. Since we have broken up back in September, he's been through three jobs and is currently sponging off his girlfriend's home and money. He has not paid child support since December when I had taken him to court. He barely makes any kind of effort to see his son on his court ordered visitation.

My advice is: Think long and hard about this. Some guys do need the time to gather themselves and others, feel like their entitled. Remember, you are opening your home, relinquishing privacy, spending money on him (who is suppose to be someone's else responsibility), he'll be eating the food you provide, using the utilities that you provide for your family, he many create any unnecessary stress, does he treat you with respect in your own home.

Personally, I regret everyday for ever asking my parents to that. I feel blessed that they love me and my son. But, taking care your daughter's boyfriend isn't your responsibility; it's his own. You have to do what you have to take care of your daughter and your family.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/22/2013

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***WARNING: BLUNT WORDS AHEAD

Maybe she sees something that you don't.

I did, in my husband of (now) 25 years. My parents didn't, and still to this day think that I've made a mistake.

Do your daughter a favor. If you don't like this guy, let her know, and quit "helping" if you don't feel you should. I'm so much happier once I realized that my life was MINE to live, and my parents needed to stay out of it.

They thought my husband was a loser, drug addict, sex addict, permanent offender. Mind you, this man had never been arrested, never dealt drugs, never been in any trouble with the law. Their reasoning was that he'd been married and divorced before he turned 19, his father was a convicted sexual predator, and he'd been abused as a child. Way to judge a book by it's cover!

Happily married for 25 years. 2 great kids, both highly respected in our community. GREAT relationship with each other, still. (actually even better now that we've got the silly "twenties" under our belts). And, like I said, my mother still criticizes, still has her "doubts" about this relationship.

So, please, don't do that to your daughter. If you don't like the guy, fine! That is totally your option, as you are a free willed adult. But don't deceive her into thinking that you accept the guy, when in reality you're waiting for him to fail, or looking for opportunities to get him out of her life. After all, she is also a free willed adult, and like I said, she may see something in him worth working on...

But, either way, good luck. I know this has been a harsh post, but this is something that really "gets my goat" as they say...

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Kelsey - posted on 05/22/2013

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Honestly. I don't know what I would've done. When my ex and I had met, he was sponging off of his grandmother's. I believe he would've worn me down eventually and the same outcome would have happened. My ex told me to ask my parents; and when I was iffy about it; he basically guilt-tripped me by calling me, 'immature' and that 'I don't love him.'

Though, at one point of our relationship; he fought with my parents so badly that they had told him he needed to get out in two weeks. Again, I was trapped on what I should do. My ex gave me ultimatum. Either stay living with my parents and breaking up or go with him.

Stupidly I went. We didn't move too far from my parents; like about fifteen minutes away; close enough for my job which I picked up more hours and was considering dropping out of school because he guilt-tripped me. Again.

Like I said before, eventually, I woke up from the 'love bug.' I hope everything works out well for your family which way it goes.

Betsy - posted on 05/22/2013

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Wow, Kelsey, that is very similar! Thank you so much for your input -- very helpful, and I'm sorry you had to experience all that! I am wary of his character as I don't really feel like we know him well (including my daughter). I am going to give him a deadline to get a job and move out regardless and then just have to turn a blind eye to what happens to him if he doesn't meet it.

I have one question though - - what do you think you would have done if your parents hadn't taken him in? I don't want my daughter to throw it all away in the name of love and feel guilty and follow him to some dangerous or faraway source of cheap shelter.

We're all set to have a talk tonight where I'm laying down absolutes and expectations, which I will follow. I want to give him a little bit of a chance in case he's genuine in his goals and just down on his luck, but I don't want to upset my whole family's harmony in order to do it. I just have to make my daughter see why and get her buy in with the consequences. Thanks sooo much for your insights!

Betsy - posted on 05/22/2013

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Actually, no, Shawnn, I didn't find it harsh at all. I appreciated hearing that you've been happy and successful in your marriage!

You helped me realize that my primary concern is that he's living with us. Everything is unbalanced because of it. If he were off on his own and struggling, I could help him get on his feet by referring him to jobs and occasionally treating him, etc. But it's as if he's my son suddenly and I feel responsible for his entire future. She doesn't realize from an adult viewpoint how big this is.

It does concern me that she fell so fast, so hard for someone she needs to fix almost completely (very common amongst women, I know). He literally has no resources except a grandma 1000 miles away who prays for him and backpack of clothes. I know this sounds cold, but I've had to look at the situation and realize how important it is to make good choices and build a support network along the way. It's hard to start from nothing, zip, zero. My daughter is good hearted to try, but it's a big project.

I commend you on you sticking to your guns and trusting your heart -- and especially for disproving the odds and your parents' doubts. I know it can be done, just so much more reassuring as a parent to know your child is valuing herself and expecting a lot of her mate.

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