Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Resenting The Leech

Posted by Anonymous.

My husband and I have a "leech" in our family. This person is grown up and college educated, but can not seem to live independently. My husband and I are both in our sixties and have worked hard and saved money. Now this younger family member is draining us to support her. A few months ago, she needed a new car, so she called us. We are currently contributing to the cost of her new car. We just found out that our 1998 model car is going to have to be replaced. But... can we afford it? Now she is moving to a new apartment that costs more per month than our mortgage payment, and she wants help with that. My husband has even co-signed on the lease. We were thinking of paying off our mortgage... but can we do that now? Doubtful.

We were thinking of retiring in the not too distant future. My husband has a good job, but his company recently merged with another company and they had to let some people go. He still has his job, but his assignments have been cut way back. I am worried about his job. I know he is too, but he won't admit it. Now I am wondering how we be able to retire. The recent economy has devastated our 401K accounts. On top of all that, we have this family member expecting us to help support her. We have never been extravagant spenders. The younger generation doesn't understand how we lived when we were their age. We lived in crummy apartments without all the "bells and whistles". We didn't eat out and take trips. They want it all and they want it now. And we are being asked to support their way of life. It makes me angry.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are being asked to support their way of life, but your answer can be NO. When your help isn't helping, you aren't helping. You're enabling.

Anonymous said...

Cut her off. It's not as much a generational thing as an enabling thing. My mom would have helped me if I needed it, but she raised me to support myself and not rely on anyone else. I see this happen over and over - certain people will never be independent as long as they don't have to be.

I wish you luck - you should be thinking about your future at this point in your life - not supporting someone else.

Brenna said...

Just say no.

This person is an adult without disability (excluding the raging case of entitlement, that is). From your post, it sounds like her financial problems are not the result of unforeseen hardship but of bad decision making. You're not helping her, you're enabling her. Why should she take responsibility when you're always there to bail her out?

I know, it's easier said than done, and shit gets complicated when it's family. But you're really not doing her any favors.

Anonymous said...

I agree with everyone else. You are the one in control of the situation. You have to be strong enough to change the situation. If you don't change it, then you are playing the martyr and have no one to blame but yourself. That sounds harsh, but it is true.

cheryl said...

It is time you stepped up and said NO - NO MORE. This time of your life should be about you and your husband, not about "her". This sense of entitlement that she has is only going to continue unless you put a stop to it. What will be next - new furniture for this fabulous apartment, a tropical vacation - what?? You had to earn what you have, and she should be expected to do exactly that - earn it. Not have it handed to her anymore. This has to stop. I am sorry if this comes across as harsh, but as long as YOU let this happen, it will.

Anonymous said...

It would not be a lie for you to say "I'm sorry, we are not in a position to help you." It's true! You don't have your mortgage paid off, you don't have your retirement fully funded. I've been in a similar position. It's not our fault that we have been careful and frugal while others haven't.
Don't you dare allow anyone to make you feel obligated or guilty.

Anonymous said...

You don't mention whether or not you have other children, but if you do I promise you that those who aren't leeching off of you resent both the child who is leeching off of you, and your continuing acceptance of the situation. Whether they've said anything or not, you're damaging your relationship with them, and the relationships between the leeching child and her sibling(s).

Cut. Her. Off. Tell her she has one month to get her shit together, and after that the money stops. Or give her a lump sum - say $500, and say, "This is the end of the money we are going to give you - you're going to have to figure it out on your own when this is gone," and then stick to it.

Anonymous said...

Does this person have a job? If yes, she needs to learn to live within her means. If no, then she needs to get one. And again, learn to live within her means. I'm guessing this is your daughter, because I cannot imagine any other scenario in which a couple would continue to enable her. Regardless, it's time to say no. You're not helping her any by continuing to support her. And yes, that's what you're doing -- supporting her. Either speak up now, or you will spend your retirement years bitterly resenting this woman for depriving you of security and peace.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with all the above.

Depending on how cheeky you feel like being, you could ask her to help you replace your car :-). Would she say "Oh my gosh I'm sorry I didn't realise, here take back the money you've used to help me"?

Seriously, does she have any understanding of your financial situation? It could equalise the relationship if you explained to her your retirement plan and situation, as I assume she has shared her financial situation with you in asking for help.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you can say no to her. In the long run it will help her to learn to take care of herself.

I agree with the previous posters. Tell her you are not in a position to provide any more financial help. You and your husband are close to retirement age and have your own future to worry about.

Be careful of that lease - if she stops paying or causes damage, you and your husband will be held responsible. Is there any way you can break it? Can she find a cheaper (although less desirable) apartment?

Anonymous said...

Unless she is going to have you move in when you retire, you better cut her off now. When you rretire and have nothing to live on, she probably won't be there to help you as you have helped her.

You raised her, now let her go and take care of yourselves!

Anonymous said...

don't be mad at her, be mad at yourself. You are enabling her. You do not have to say yes to her every request. That has been your choice. Tell her no! Tell her that she needs to find a cheaper place to live, that you can't support her lifestyle. Only you can control your life.

Anonymous said...

I get that many of my peers live outside their means. In fact I watch some of my siblings doing things they can't afford. But, don't lump us all in one place. I went years without going to restaurants when I first got married. We lived in a tiny, little basement suite for almost 4 years until we'd saved up to buy a place of our own. But then, I had no one in my life that would enable me to do otherwise. You have allowed yourself to become a victim here. You should be angry, but you may want to direct a bit of that anger at yourself for allowing this situation to happen in the first place.

martee said...

JUST SAY NO!! Tell her you cannot afford it. You can only be taken advantage of if you let it happen.
unfortunatly if you keep saying yes the is person will complete drain you and keep taking advantage of you.

randomblogette said...

It truly sounds like this person is taking advantage of you and your husband. I have a few family members in my family that have done this to my grandparents. My grandparents have a lot of money but you wouldn't know it. They have lived in the same house for 50+ years and are never too extravagant with their money, unfortunately, there are 2 members of the family that have always taken advantage of my grandparents money. Yes, I have borrowed once but I am starting to pay them off. These 2 have never paid them back. I feel sorry for my grandparents and you for being taken advantage of.

Anonymous said...

Finally, an easy problem to solve here! Ahem: Say 'NO'!

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing it's your step daughter. I see a similar situation in my future.

Anonymous said...

good heavens!

sorry to be harsh, but if NO isn't in your vocabulary, nothing can help you.