Do Your Parents Ask You For Money? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-24-2015, 06:17 PM
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Do Your Parents Ask You For Money?

I don't know how normal this is, or even if it is. I have a problem with a certain parent asking me for money, and it has been an ongoing issue since I was 12 years old (I am 43 now). I put my foot down on giving this parent money a long long time ago, but whenever I find myself getting close to this parent again, letting down my guard so to speak, they come around and ask me for money. This time it was for groceries because their credit card wouldn't work. It was a lot of money too. I just couldn't spare that much without using my own credit card I am trying to pay down (due to an emergency a year ago). I worked yet another ten hour shift today and I was tired and they asked me for money and I said no I couldn't afford it and they were completely nice about it and said that's ok but now I feel so horribly guilty, like such a selfish awful daughter. And yet I feel betrayed once again. I don't know what I SHOULD feel. How can I feel both things?

So is it normal for parents to ask their adult children for money? This time it was for food, not something frivolous as it used to be. Or so I think? Which makes it even harder that I turned them down. Maybe if they had asked for less I would have given it. I don't know. I just can't get over these awful juxtaposed feelings I have. I'm going to spend money on my own groceries tomorrow and I keep thinking I should have just given that money to this parent instead. I can get by with what I have for another week until payday. I don't know. I don't trust anyone anymore. :/

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#2 Old 11-24-2015, 06:38 PM
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I am sorry you are going through something like this. I do not know if it is normal for parents to ask for money. My mom has on occasion, but if I have it I give it. She was and still is my rock. I don't know how I would have made it as a single mother without her support financial or otherwise.
In your case though if you have been burned in the past and all they need is grocery. I would say tell them to make a list or take them with you to the grocery store and buy those groceries. If there is truly a need your parent in question should be thankful. At least I know I would. It will all work out.
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#3 Old 11-24-2015, 07:58 PM
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Well for me its my grown son, and Im a terrible enabler. He's overcome drug addiction and I believe he'e truly improving himself, but he still makes poor money choices.
You say you feel badly because it's food and not something frivolous, but was it something frivolous that caused the food shortage?

It's so hard when you care for someone who doesn't acknowledge your needs as you do theirs
the idea of considering a 12 year old as someone to take from is disturbing

I feel you should hold your ground and realize the money you've earned should go to your basics first. It isn't as though you're splurging.
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#4 Old 11-25-2015, 03:48 AM
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Thanks for the different viewpoints! It's just not a black and white issue is it? I'm thinking maybe I will just give this parent half of what they asked for so it isn't so overwhelming for me and will still help them some. But my fear is if I give them this to help, they will keep asking. I am trying to save money to help my sister in the future who has paranoid schizophrenia and lives on government assistance. One parent helps her now but will not be around forever. I want to be able to have enough put away to help her in the future. I'm also a breadwinner for my disabled husband, though the house we live in is under his name and really is his. See a pattern here? I am a medical coder, I don't make a huge amount of money myself, despite working ridiculously long hours and not having much of a life lately.

Right now I am just able to pay all my bills and live relatively comfortably (compared to the struggles I had before finishing school and landing a decent job a year and a half ago). I don't spend a lot of money on myself at all (buy clothes second hand, rarely travel and always stay in the U.S. and often camp in a tent, rarely eat out etc), except I did buy a more expensive Subaru when I finally earned my degree and a decent job but I am thinking of trading for something less expensive as my car payments are ridiculous even with excellent credit. I love the way my Subaru handles the brutal winters here but IDK>

I guess I wouldn't judge this parent so much if they didn't also ask my sister for money when my sister is on disability and barely functioning with a severe mental illness. And I have a feeling because I said no, they asked my sister yesterday for money instead. Which makes me feel worse. I am thankful I have today off work because I need to go talk to them some more. I am really having a hard time dealing with all this. I really feel selfish, and yet inadequate and maybe a bit tight with money. I grew up without a lot of financial stability and now I finally have just a little and I don't want to give it up. Sighs.

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#5 Old 11-25-2015, 05:11 AM
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@Naturebound --- for goodness sake refinance, or if you can't, do whatever need to be done to get you on that deed! Be sure he (both of you really) has a VERY clear will, and that you are named as durable power of attorney should anything incapacitate him (and you too). A living will is a good thing to have too.
Set up whatever you can to avoid paying more taxes or fines on accounts.

I'd take her shopping but not cash. I don't know if they're devious but it enraged me when I learned gas cards ("for work or I'll lose my job!") were sold at discount prices for cash
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#6 Old 11-25-2015, 08:10 AM
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I guess I wouldn't judge this parent so much if they didn't also ask my sister for money when my sister is on disability and barely functioning with a severe mental illness.
As someone who is a really good enabler myself, this is a flashing red neon sign that shouts "NO!" If this parent is in the habit of even occasionally asking a disabled child for money, then I would strongly advise you to not give him/her money, ever, for any reason. This is the type of person who is perfectly capable of taking the entire family down financially if given a toehold.

As for the situation with the house - Silva is absolutely right: your name needs to be added to the deed.
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#7 Old 11-25-2015, 03:17 PM
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Thanks everyone! I ended up buying some groceries for them today. Just $30 worth though.

And here is another shocker about me lol. My "husband" is really just my partner. We are not married. We have been together for seventeen years but have not married for a number of reasons, one being he would lose some disability and government health insurance benefits that he direly needs to pay for drugs that keep him alive. Beyond that, I think about leaving him for a number of reasons and struggle with it. I am really trying to make this relationship work but sometimes it's tough. I just can't see tying myself down when I'm just not sure. but that's a whole other topic lol. I really wish I could take a two month hiatus from everything and straighten out my life. I go on pretending I am fine in my current situation but I'm so not. And it's all I can do to handle my new job and my own health issues but I am in a relationship I feel repressed in and I pretend a lot, live a double life so I can meet everyone else's standards while ignoring who I am meant to be and who I am (one small example is that I am an athiest and he is devout Christian but I have never told him I am athiest and I pretend for his sake because he would be VERY upset otherwise). Very long story. Both my parents offered emotional and financial support in case I choose to leave my "husband", but now I don't think I trust them that much either when they ask me for money for their basic necessities. I could make it on my own financially, in fact I am the breadwinner, but I am afraid of hurting him. And there ARE things I still love about him and that we share. I miss living alone though, miss having only myself to be responsible for. I will never add my name to this house. It's old and run down. the foundation is caving in. The pipes are horrible. The kitchen sink has to be turned on and off from below the counter right now. This house needs a lot of work. I lived on my own for many years until 2005. I cried the day I moved out of my apartment and in with Greg. It was more out of necessity at that time.

Good grief, I really need to stop pouring out my woes on a public forum. I'm on the verge of a breakdown. You know you are unhappy in your life when you look forward to working overtime just to be at work and to escape your present reality.
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#8 Old 11-25-2015, 03:57 PM
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Hello, im really sorry to read about your struggles. Nothing wrong with venting on a forum though, sometimes its better because we dont really 'know' everyone. I write on a addiction forum as i struggle with alcohol. It helps a lot.

Regarding the money, i would usually say, maybe just give them a little if they really need it and you can spare some, take them grocery shopping etc. But the fact they have been asking for money since you were 12?? Wow. Thats not normal in the slightest. Its not fair to put a child in that position, of guilt more than anything.

I hope your sister is ok, i have borderline personality disorder and get disability benefits, but the UK are having a hard time lately and im appealing the decision to cut them right now. again, its really not fair your parent is potentially putting your sisters health at risk by asking her for money.

Your husband? Well I would say to leave him, live your life the way you like, be happy and free...but im terrible with relationships so im probably not the best person to advise you on this. I understand there may be reasons you cant/wont leave, but i worry you would regret this decision, we only have one life after all.

Good luck, i hope that venting has helped a little & im sure more people will be around for you to lean on.

Peace xx
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#9 Old 11-25-2015, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Naturebound View Post
I don't know how normal this is, or even if it is. I have a problem with a certain parent asking me for money, and it has been an ongoing issue since I was 12 years old (I am 43 now). I put my foot down on giving this parent money a long long time ago, but whenever I find myself getting close to this parent again, letting down my guard so to speak, they come around and ask me for money. This time it was for groceries because their credit card wouldn't work. It was a lot of money too. I just couldn't spare that much without using my own credit card I am trying to pay down (due to an emergency a year ago). I worked yet another ten hour shift today and I was tired and they asked me for money and I said no I couldn't afford it and they were completely nice about it and said that's ok but now I feel so horribly guilty, like such a selfish awful daughter. And yet I feel betrayed once again. I don't know what I SHOULD feel. How can I feel both things?

So is it normal for parents to ask their adult children for money? This time it was for food, not something frivolous as it used to be. Or so I think? Which makes it even harder that I turned them down. Maybe if they had asked for less I would have given it. I don't know. I just can't get over these awful juxtaposed feelings I have. I'm going to spend money on my own groceries tomorrow and I keep thinking I should have just given that money to this parent instead. I can get by with what I have for another week until payday. I don't know. I don't trust anyone anymore. :/
Hmm, firstly, I don't think anyone can tell you how to feel about anything. You're your own person, Nature and (going from this post) a kind hearted one at that. However, I don't think it's fair to put a child in such a position where they feel guilt over money. Seriously, that's ****ed up, no matter what age.

As for money? No, my parents are very prideful people and don't even ask me to help them with house work! Like, seriously, my dad gets offended if I try to pick something off the floor he dropped.


Also, your relationship doesn't seem healthy. That may be a bold statement, but keeping something as important as what you believe (Or don't believe) in the dark just for peace is not a sign of happiness. It also brings into question what else is left undiscussed, though that is none of our business and something you should take some time to think about. Have you sat down with your partner and talked to him about your troubles? Please don't get offended by this, but if you can't talk to someone you've been with for so long then.....I don't see the point in being with that someone.

I know life will turn around for you. Just got to fight to get out of the storm.

I'm not good with words so please forgive any harshness that might be present in this post. Or just call me a moron. xD
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#10 Old 11-25-2015, 04:34 PM
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Naturebound, you know I tend to be very straightforward about things. I think that you have to think very hard about what you want for the rest of your life. You're maybe halfway through your journey.

You have to live for yourself. If you're staying with your partner out of guilt or obligation, that's just going to build up resentment and depression in you. That doesn't help him, or you, or your parents.

If you go, he'll have to learn a new way of living without you, but he will, you'd be surprised. And you will go and be able to breathe again, and dance in the warm sunlight.
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#11 Old 11-25-2015, 10:24 PM
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Naturebound, I stayed in a relationship (two, actually) or far too long out of a sense of a guilt/responsibility. Now, looking back, it's hard for me to understand how I could have wasted so much of my life so needlessly.

I think that a lot of us who come from dysfunctional nuclear families end up making poor choices in partners, and then stay in those relationships long after that little inner voice has started questioning what we are doing.
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#12 Old 11-26-2015, 03:27 AM
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Do Your Parents Ask You For Money?

I have the issue where my sister is the one in need and asks me for money for food. She's on disability and rightfully so, due to legitimate medical issues. I rarely give her cash. I buy her supermarket gift cards and she is able to get her groceries delivered to her door. They even waive the delivery fee for her (there are still good people in the world).

My problem comes with the fact that she has an adult son (my nephew) who often drains her of what little she has. He has access to her bank card, and while it doesn't happen often, he will make a purchase on her account. So I resent helping her when the son is taking money from her. And he is not financially needy. He has a good job making good money. There are so many "issues"...too many to go into. It spans a lifetime.

At any rate, I will not let her go hungry. I have gone to Trader Joe's and purchased ready made meals and will continue to send gift cards. I also paid a chunk of her pharmacy bill when she was in "the donut hole" and had no coverage for awhile. But when I found out that my nephew had access to that account as well I decided I will not do that again. It's not like I'm made of money. I manage the here and now quite well but my retirement is looking pretty bleak, lol. I'm trying to save for that. And husband has worked very little since around 2007-2008.

I have mentioned to her that she needs to change her account so her son can't access her funds. She yes-es me to death but I don't think she will actually do it. She's quite ill right now so I can't push too hard and upset her. I'll just continue to do what I can when I can.

The other side of the coin is I am an aging parent with adult children and I'm terribly concerned that I won't be able to care for myself at some point. I dread the day that I will ever have to ask my kids for help so I'm trying to keep things in line so that never happens.

Naturebound, only you know your situation and the background story. Do what feels right, not out of guilt...guilt serves no good purpose...but because you want to and if you are able to.

You are a good person.



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#13 Old 11-26-2015, 03:28 AM
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Thank you so much all of you for such heartfelt posts! I truly appreciate all of your support and wisdom! All of your words are words I needed to hear. I have not taken offence at any of it whatsoever. Thank you again.

I am terrified right now of rocking the boat. I make myself sick thinking about it. And yet staying stagnant is so hard. Indeed. I think I am going to have to take this in small steps.

Saturday I am going to my first vegan meetup in town. It is a social group and just maybe I will make some local friends and have a social life again outside of my partner and work. I think that will help me a lot. To be around like minded people and not focus on unhealthy stuff. Maybe it will help give me more confidence. A good chance to practice just being myself and not pretending to be someone else for anyone's sake.

I have been just "looking" at apartments available around the city and the choices are slim but there are possibilities.

Maybe I could live on my own but still stay in the relationship but just not to the extent I am now. That's an iffy one though.

I dream of this...

to live in a place of my own, that will be all vegan (my partner is an omnivore and it's tough to have his meat in the house and his dairy and other crap I would rather not see or smell).
To be able to come home from work, unwind, be myself. to be able to decide to call a family member or old friend and talk on the phone without constant interruptions and demands from my partner. To be able to go out with a friend, or go shopping, or take a walk without specific instructions to my partner on where I am going, when I will be back, what I will be doing. To not be made to feel guilty when I want to spend time at this vegan meetup on a day when my partner and I usually share together.

To have control over my own vehicle. He has to control that too, even though I pay the monthly car payment, most of the gas, the car insurance, and the car is mine and in my name. He has his own truck but it's unreliable. He drives my car everywhere and it pisses me off because I rarely get to drive my own car and my monthly car payment is $425. I even cycle and walk to work to save on gas but then he drives the car when I am at work. I have threatened to put an end to this and not allow him to drive my car at all but he manipulates me into letting him. He is on my insurance but still.

To have a social life again, go to events, do stuff with other people, visit family. Take a ballet class.

But mostly just to have a place to get away from everyone and everything and let my hair down and have some down time without expectations.

And I crave unconditional love.

Definitely lots to think about. Maybe I will put my foot down more with the car too, start with smaller stuff. Maybe I will work up to telling him about not being Christian. That's more scary though lol.

Thanks again everyone!

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#14 Old 11-26-2015, 03:46 AM
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Nature, that sounds wonderful, it sounds like a life worth living!

Sometimes decisions are scary, they make us uncomfortable, anxious, sad...im sure this decision will make you feel all of those things, but imagine coming home from a ballet class, to cook in a lovely kitchen filled with vegan goodness, to put on a record and practice some of the dances you just learnt, to have a bubble bath with the door open...!

If you like animals, get a pet. They love you unconditionally and will be a friend for when you come home

I believe in you, it sounds like everyone else does too. Now its time for you to believe in yourself!!

Peace xx
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#15 Old 11-26-2015, 04:10 AM
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Nature, that sounds wonderful, it sounds like a life worth living!

Sometimes decisions are scary, they make us uncomfortable, anxious, sad...im sure this decision will make you feel all of those things, but imagine coming home from a ballet class, to cook in a lovely kitchen filled with vegan goodness, to put on a record and practice some of the dances you just learnt, to have a bubble bath with the door open...!

If you like animals, get a pet. They love you unconditionally and will be a friend for when you come home

I believe in you, it sounds like everyone else does too. Now its time for you to believe in yourself!!

Peace xx
Thanks so much alexis!

I lost my bird a few months ago. He died of old age. I vowed never to have a caged animal again. I couldn't feed a dog or cat nonvegan, so I don't know about that either. And I could not buy from a pet store or breeder. Maybe if the opportunity comes, say for example an elderly lady can no longer care for her rabbit or mouse and is going into a nursing home, I would take on this animal to care for. None of the local shelters where I live have any animals available beyond cats/dogs. We have a dog but she is more my partners dog. She is 11 years old now, Sable. He buys most of her food (not vegan) and will not allow me to feed her exclusively vegan. She has a very sensitive tummy and we have to be strict about her diet and scraps (though she can tolerate tiny amounts of beans and cooked rice and vegetables). I love Sable, she is a great dog, and we are good friends. But she likes to be by Greg's side all the time. She lived with him before I moved in. She comes up to my room and visits sometimes in the evenings.

I had more of a loving connection to my bird and i still ache for him. I really loved that little bird. But I would always feel sad because he was in a cage most of the time. I had purchased him in 2008, a while before going vegan. He had a partner for years but she died a few years ago. I would bring his cage to my room in the evening to be with him when I was in school and studying. I would bring the cage outside in nice weather and sit with him for hours so he could get sunlight and interact with the local birds. The smaller ones...chickadees, goldfinches, hummingbirds...would actually fly right up to the cage and stare in with utter curiosity at this strange little bird. He would chatter and fly close to them but I think he was very territorial and defending his turf lol. Back when his partner was around, I would transfer them to a small carrier cage and bring them to a local laundromat that had a huge aviary. There were society finches there just like them, and the two of them would go wild with excitement when they saw and heard the society finches among the birds at the aviary. Who brings their birds to a laundromat lol. I would let him out at home but he rarely left his cage after his partner died. The two of them would explore around but always come back to the cage within the hour. I had to watch them closely as they were so small. And never when Sable was home.

I miss that kind of connection terribly. I still try to take walks, even if only on the way to work, and talk to and watch the little wild birds on the way. It brightens my day. This is the first time in many years I have not had some kind of animal companion of my own and it 's really hard. I love Sable but she is really not my baby. I am also childless. But I have that instinct to want to care for something.

Regarding your disability, I hope everything works out for you! My sister finally got on section 8 housing after years of red tape. It's got to be tough to battle mental illness and then always have to worry about finances on top of it. My heart goes out to you!

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#16 Old 11-26-2015, 04:27 AM
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I understand, i have a cat, he is the first cat which is mine since i left home. I got him 3 years ago, once i finished uni (im 27) He is like my child!! I dont know what i will do when he passes, but of course fingers crossed that will be many many years.

Maybe one day you can get a bird again, maybe when you decide how to live your life for you...now i can imagine the bird chirping along to your records while you dance haha!!

Thank you, i get housing benefit, and hoping my disability money is reinstated soon. Its a huge struggle and has negative impacts on how much im getting out of therapy and stuff because i cant stop the worry. Im hoping a good healthy vegetarian diet and more exercise will have a little effect. My meds are being changed also which might make a difference.

Thanks for your thoughts xx
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#17 Old 11-26-2015, 04:49 AM
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This sounds like a tough situation, through and through.

I was an enabler for my mother for years. She wouldn't outright ask for money, she would just say that her disability check didn't last her half the month (never mind the full month it's intended for). She would say she couldn't afford her medication, food, gas, bills but she would buy 4 packs of cigarettes a day.

I stopped giving her money and I bought groceries instead, I wen't and picked up the rest of her pills, etc.

We even offered to pay for one of those vacation/health packages, where she could get professional help to quit smoking.
She didn't want to see it or hear of it.

At the last of it, I forced myself to stop. It hurt like hell and I felt like the most terrible person ever but she was forced to cut back on her smoking to 2 packs a day and what do you know - she can afford her pills and most of her gas and she can keep some food in the fridge. So I stocked up her pantry and I praised her for her efforts (as forced as they were).

I talked her into going to art classes and start painting again - bought her supplies and found classes.

She is doing really good, now that she is actually going out of the house and doing something for enjoyment.

I guess I wrote this just so you know that I can somewhat relate. It's not easy.

Don't be afraid to acknowledge your needs and your wants, whatever they are. No matter what you hear about it - you DO have a right to be selfish when it comes to your happiness.

I wish you the best of luck and I hope everything works out for you.
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#18 Old 11-26-2015, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Birna Ósk Björnsdóttir View Post
This sounds like a tough situation, through and through.

I was an enabler for my mother for years. She wouldn't outright ask for money, she would just say that her disability check didn't last her half the month (never mind the full month it's intended for). She would say she couldn't afford her medication, food, gas, bills but she would buy 4 packs of cigarettes a day.

I stopped giving her money and I bought groceries instead, I wen't and picked up the rest of her pills, etc.

We even offered to pay for one of those vacation/health packages, where she could get professional help to quit smoking.
She didn't want to see it or hear of it.

At the last of it, I forced myself to stop. It hurt like hell and I felt like the most terrible person ever but she was forced to cut back on her smoking to 2 packs a day and what do you know - she can afford her pills and most of her gas and she can keep some food in the fridge. So I stocked up her pantry and I praised her for her efforts (as forced as they were).

I talked her into going to art classes and start painting again - bought her supplies and found classes.

She is doing really good, now that she is actually going out of the house and doing something for enjoyment.

I guess I wrote this just so you know that I can somewhat relate. It's not easy.

Don't be afraid to acknowledge your needs and your wants, whatever they are. No matter what you hear about it - you DO have a right to be selfish when it comes to your happiness.

I wish you the best of luck and I hope everything works out for you.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience! That really means a lot. You are really a beautiful person inside and out. HUGS

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#19 Old 01-06-2016, 03:22 PM
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Oh good grief, that sounds awful. So many people are squeezed in this economy as formerly reliable jobs have dried up and the big-ticket items of life (housing, college, medical care) are through the roof.

A parent who’s been shaking you down for cash since you were 12, that must feel normal to you since it’s been part of the air you've breathed for so long, but it’s not normal. Someone who’s supposed to be providing stability and sustenance was asking you to take care of them, and that’s the opposite of normal, and it’s getting worse. Parents are supposed to get their children to where they can live their own autonomous lives. But some parents never manage to get themselves to that point, and their problems result in their children second-guessing whether they can even afford to keep their own cars. Does the parent have a disability that keeps him or her from working, or is there an income source that’s steady but just doesn’t stretch far enough? We can give people all the money we have, and sell all our stuff for money to give them some more, but we can’t give another person financial stability. Sounds like there’s a hole in the bottom of the pitcher, and it will never be full.

If you’re thinking about moving out of your boyfriend’s home and getting your own place, you might want to research the laws in your state regarding common-law marriage. You don’t want to be sued for alimony. It would be easier to let him think he’s dumping a godless atheist. Maybe there’s some nice Christian nurse out there who’s also a handywoman, who’d just love to take him on as a project.

And yes, you are a good person.
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#20 Old 01-06-2016, 05:51 PM
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Oh good grief, that sounds awful. So many people are squeezed in this economy as formerly reliable jobs have dried up and the big-ticket items of life (housing, college, medical care) are through the roof.

A parent who’s been shaking you down for cash since you were 12, that must feel normal to you since it’s been part of the air you've breathed for so long, but it’s not normal. Someone who’s supposed to be providing stability and sustenance was asking you to take care of them, and that’s the opposite of normal, and it’s getting worse. Parents are supposed to get their children to where they can live their own autonomous lives. But some parents never manage to get themselves to that point, and their problems result in their children second-guessing whether they can even afford to keep their own cars. Does the parent have a disability that keeps him or her from working, or is there an income source that’s steady but just doesn’t stretch far enough? We can give people all the money we have, and sell all our stuff for money to give them some more, but we can’t give another person financial stability. Sounds like there’s a hole in the bottom of the pitcher, and it will never be full.

If you’re thinking about moving out of your boyfriend’s home and getting your own place, you might want to research the laws in your state regarding common-law marriage. You don’t want to be sued for alimony. It would be easier to let him think he’s dumping a godless atheist. Maybe there’s some nice Christian nurse out there who’s also a handywoman, who’d just love to take him on as a project.

And yes, you are a good person.
Thanks for your (always) thoughtful commentary and perspective Joan! Very much appreciated. I am still stagnant for the time being, but I have been going to vegan meetups and having a social life outside of my relationship lately. In fact I am going to one Saturday again. So it's slow progress.
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#21 Old 01-06-2016, 07:06 PM
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A long time friend of mine and guy I date on and off recently asked me for money, even though he knew I had been sick with a cold over the holidays, and didn't pay me back last time he borrowed, maybe six months ago. I kind of had an insight that he's a taker and I'm an enabler, even though he does not ask for money all the time, and it's not huge amounts, he doesn't seem to find it important to repay me, even if it's a small gesture or not the full amount (a lot of his money goes to child support for a child he didn't even know existed until the kid was two, and not a product of marriage or committed domestic partnership, which is why I went along with it in the past)...anyway, I know if I went along with it I'd be sacrificing my own dignity to a person who apparently wants to take advantage of his loved ones by trying to elicit pity.

Why am I telling you this? Because your parents doing it since you were twelve, though there are parents, clearly have the same lack of consideration for YOU as their devoted loved one. It does not get more devoted than a child, if it started when you were twelve. Your parents are selfish, possibly narcissistic.

In such a scenario, I would buy someone a bag of groceries then refer them to a food bank, church or social services, NOT give them money.

My mother has never asked me for money, except for when I lived with her as an adult in college. You are not a bad child, they are questionable as parents.
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#22 Old 01-07-2016, 06:33 AM
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What are you most dreading if you tell your partner you've lost your faith in the God of the Bible? Does he respect your intellect whenever you two disagree philosophically, and does he respect viewpoints in general that are different from his own? Does he have a bad temper? Are there any atheist meetups you could start going to as well as vegan meetups? By way of breaking it to him you could start with specifics: "I'm not sure what I do believe in, but I don't believe in talking snakes, or an earth that's only 6,000 years old, or a virgin who had a baby boy, or a God who cursed us for all time because the first people ate a piece of fruit."

I get that when someone has grievances with a partner and begins to vent, the picture that emerges can look worse than the actual situation. If I'm venting I tend to focus only on the parts that don't work, so my listener isn't usually getting the whole picture: the parts that are fun, satisfying, loving. You know your partner's limitations due to his disability. You also know what he could be doing, but isn't, to make your home life worth all your efforts. The way you describe your life together -- his religiosity, his dependence on your income, his manipulations, the meat smells, taking over your car, keeping his home and truck in disrepair -- it sounds stressful and wearing and hopeless.

A good therapist can help you connect the dots between your upbringing and your current relationship (sounds like you already have!), and help you decide whether to stay or go. Help you strategize how to get more of what you want if you stay. Help you devise your best exit strategy if you go. And maybe most important, help you recognize red flags at the beginning of a new relationship. If you're a nurturer and a giver, whenever you're single you might feel like a solution in search of a problem: someone you can make whole with your love, whose weakness brings out your strength. When he's actually just someone who's stuck in his own mess that he can't wait to drag you into, because he will be so strongly drawn to the kind of person you are. This kind of guy will make it his hobby to get you to say Yes to what he wants, no matter how many times you say No at first. Someone who's got your number can make you feel selfish and wicked every time you stand up for yourself. So it's not just about climbing out of this hole, but also stepping safely around the next one.
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#23 Old 01-07-2016, 02:48 PM
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What are you most dreading if you tell your partner you've lost your faith in the God of the Bible? Does he respect your intellect whenever you two disagree philosophically, and does he respect viewpoints in general that are different from his own? Does he have a bad temper? Are there any atheist meetups you could start going to as well as vegan meetups? By way of breaking it to him you could start with specifics: "I'm not sure what I do believe in, but I don't believe in talking snakes, or an earth that's only 6,000 years old, or a virgin who had a baby boy, or a God who cursed us for all time because the first people ate a piece of fruit."

I get that when someone has grievances with a partner and begins to vent, the picture that emerges can look worse than the actual situation. If I'm venting I tend to focus only on the parts that don't work, so my listener isn't usually getting the whole picture: the parts that are fun, satisfying, loving. You know your partner's limitations due to his disability. You also know what he could be doing, but isn't, to make your home life worth all your efforts. The way you describe your life together -- his religiosity, his dependence on your income, his manipulations, the meat smells, taking over your car, keeping his home and truck in disrepair -- it sounds stressful and wearing and hopeless.

A good therapist can help you connect the dots between your upbringing and your current relationship (sounds like you already have!), and help you decide whether to stay or go. Help you strategize how to get more of what you want if you stay. Help you devise your best exit strategy if you go. And maybe most important, help you recognize red flags at the beginning of a new relationship. If you're a nurturer and a giver, whenever you're single you might feel like a solution in search of a problem: someone you can make whole with your love, whose weakness brings out your strength. When he's actually just someone who's stuck in his own mess that he can't wait to drag you into, because he will be so strongly drawn to the kind of person you are. This kind of guy will make it his hobby to get you to say Yes to what he wants, no matter how many times you say No at first. Someone who's got your number can make you feel selfish and wicked every time you stand up for yourself. So it's not just about climbing out of this hole, but also stepping safely around the next one.
Really well said.
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#24 Old 01-08-2016, 03:15 AM
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What are you most dreading if you tell your partner you've lost your faith in the God of the Bible? Does he respect your intellect whenever you two disagree philosophically, and does he respect viewpoints in general that are different from his own? Does he have a bad temper? Are there any atheist meetups you could start going to as well as vegan meetups? By way of breaking it to him you could start with specifics: "I'm not sure what I do believe in, but I don't believe in talking snakes, or an earth that's only 6,000 years old, or a virgin who had a baby boy, or a God who cursed us for all time because the first people ate a piece of fruit."

I get that when someone has grievances with a partner and begins to vent, the picture that emerges can look worse than the actual situation. If I'm venting I tend to focus only on the parts that don't work, so my listener isn't usually getting the whole picture: the parts that are fun, satisfying, loving. You know your partner's limitations due to his disability. You also know what he could be doing, but isn't, to make your home life worth all your efforts. The way you describe your life together -- his religiosity, his dependence on your income, his manipulations, the meat smells, taking over your car, keeping his home and truck in disrepair -- it sounds stressful and wearing and hopeless.

A good therapist can help you connect the dots between your upbringing and your current relationship (sounds like you already have!), and help you decide whether to stay or go. Help you strategize how to get more of what you want if you stay. Help you devise your best exit strategy if you go. And maybe most important, help you recognize red flags at the beginning of a new relationship. If you're a nurturer and a giver, whenever you're single you might feel like a solution in search of a problem: someone you can make whole with your love, whose weakness brings out your strength. When he's actually just someone who's stuck in his own mess that he can't wait to drag you into, because he will be so strongly drawn to the kind of person you are. This kind of guy will make it his hobby to get you to say Yes to what he wants, no matter how many times you say No at first. Someone who's got your number can make you feel selfish and wicked every time you stand up for yourself. So it's not just about climbing out of this hole, but also stepping safely around the next one.
Thanks again! I am printing this post because there is way too much here to think about and contemplate than I can possibly respond to in a post or even begin to answer in a day's time. I am at a point in life right now where I am overwhelmed in almost every area of my life (work, relationships, mental illness, physical health) and it is very hard to see things clearly. Sometimes I don't trust myself though and think this is a cop out for making some changes. I want to just pick one thing and work on that, but I realize it isn't that easy, because everything is tangled and intertwined.

My partner does have a temper, but it rarely comes out. when it does it is frightening. He has rarely ever touched me violently, but he did grab my arm and yank me a few weeks ago, and I threatened him and yelled at him to never touch me like that again, and he seemed sorry. Maybe though, it is the fact that I have lied to him for so long about believing in God and being a Christian. I really did try for a while though, and i worked through a Celebrate Recovery program at a local church in 2010 when battling to recover from anorexia. and it helped. But I think it was the camaraderie with others, and the mindset that i was ready to deal with it more than religion. But he would shame me immediately by calling me out on my lies, and is he so wrong to be upset by being mislead? Maybe I would tell him I wanted him to love and accept me so I played along or tried to believe. At one point I actually did hint around at contradictions in the bible I am uncomfortable with, but he is so strong in his beliefs well, it didn't go well. His parents, they practically worship me and put me on a pedastool because before my partner and I met, he was a very sick alcoholic with no direction in life. and they like to think I am responsible for him getting sober and cleaning up his life. I don't like to take that credit, but well, they have given me some nice gifts, and helped us out when stuff has happened like the furnace going out, or when they paid for us to fly to Texas and see them for vacation. Recently for a Christmas present they paid for one month towards my car payment, and said it was because Greg drives my car more than me. It was actually quite a telling revelation. It was a reminder that their love for me is really more about their son, and not because it is unconditional and they accept me the way I am. They don't like that I am vegan, or a democrat. So I really don't know why I am so afraid to disappoint them. And yet they have been so caring, have included me in their circle, their lives, their get togethers. I crave that from my own broken family and don't get that. But I feel like it is all a lie too now, that if I were to be totally honest, and/or break up with my partner, it would all come crashing down.

Maybe I am also afraid of being alone again. Just thinking about all this brings tears and an unsettling feeling. I can't decide if being free of this burden versus being alone and fully responsible for my own life is scarier. He is still a source of companionship, and support. I have a feeling if I were to be totally honest, and maybe even move out, it would be all or nothing, and he would lose respect for me, maybe even try to take away everything I have earned and built up and invested in with this house and belongings. He already knows I lean toward the left as far as politics and he and his parents take every opportunity to criticize the people I have voted for or align with. He dislikes that certain members of my family are lesbians. Though he still is respectful around them.

IDK. It's such a huge step. Some days it is on the tip of my tongue, and then we have a good day together and I shove it all back deep inside. And continue to live in a way I am not happy with. :/

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#25 Old 01-08-2016, 05:28 AM
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You can't afford to be open with people who would use what you tell them against you, who would shame you for it. You have put way too much ethical importance on hiding your religious nonbeliever status from your partner. Every thinking, practicing, believing Christian has periods of doubt. If that doubt resolves to non-belief, as yours did, some wear the change publicly and others keep it to themselves. If you're more comfortable exploring it privately, or adopting it privately, you have every right to do so. Many non-believers continue to practice their religion, if only for the fellowship and sense of community they find there. That is so very common it's not even a matter of honesty as much as tact. You don't feel safe sharing this with him, and you shouldn't: If this is not a difference he could roll with, it's none of his business. Your safety and your well-being are more important than anything else you're worried about. You're right that you should be able to share this with a partner. But this isn't the guy you can share it with. He and his family don't respect your politics or your vegan lifestyle, how in the world could you trust them with this?

Once you're being good to yourself, knowing you deserve and need the good things you've earned, you must start driving that car to work. I've often biked to work myself, and know it's a good thing, but that car symbolizes your personal autonomy and you need it back. Handing it over to someone else is like handing over your passport. You don't have to say "You can't drive my car anymore." Just start with "I'll be needing my car today," and take it. Over and over. He'll accept this, or he'll object with no valid reason to object.

When I was 43 I was extricating myself from a 20-year marriage to a man with profoundly different politics and religious beliefs, among other incompatibilities. One thing I understand is how much we women tend to imprint the men in our lives deeply into our consciousnesses. It can make us feel like we're committing a transgression not because we are, but because he considers it so. Some of us bend very far away from our natural selves trying to accommodate their more forceful, "more substantial," less flexible ways of being. We’re not just putting ourselves second, we’re cutting off relations from ourselves. Then if we do finally break free, we can have trouble recognizing and accepting our own natural patterns. Sometimes we’re hearing our own voices inside our heads for the first time in decades, and it feels strange and wrong. It’s not wrong at all, of course. But when we’ve become strangers to ourselves we need to get re-acquainted. Time alone, in our own nest, has a truly beneficial effect on this process. You seem way ahead in that game, in that you've held onto a distinct sense of yourself apart from your partner. You're able to recognize "I am vegan. I am democrat. I am atheist" in a way many women (many people, either gender) would have let it all blow away just to get along.

Your atheism is part of your wholeness, your integrity. Don't let anyone twist it into a shameful character flaw. If it's an incompatibility, it's his as much as yours. A Christian and an atheist can have a relationship, but it takes mutual respect for the viewpoints of others. Look what happened when you did try to start letting him in on it. It didn't go well.

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#26 Old 01-16-2016, 07:22 PM
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Just a quick note, I told him I am not going to church anymore, and need space away from religion to figure out what I want and what I truly believe as far as my spiritual self. it was tough, intense, and he is being very unusually quiet right now. I didn't go all out and declare I am an atheist. I tried to be gentle, and give specific examples of why I don't believe anymore and that it has been an ongoing struggle for many years (he did try to blame my being vegan for it). I am reeling from it all so I am not going to go into detail here. I told him I am still the same person, still want to have a relationship, I am just not able or willing to continue to go to church with him at this point in my life. I don't know what is going to happen. I don't feel the relief I hoped I would feel. I'm afraid I hurt him too deeply. I think he is still in a state of shock right now. Time will tell.

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#27 Old 01-17-2016, 01:35 AM
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Hugs, Elaine ❤❤❤
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#28 Old 01-17-2016, 10:20 AM
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Hugs.

If he's hurt by you telling him the truth about yourself, that is HIS issue.
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#29 Old 01-17-2016, 01:09 PM
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Thanks guys! This morning he told me he still loves me and wants to be with me. It all sounds good right now, but I just don't know down the road. I sense he thinks I will come back to Christianity.

I don't want to influence him away from something he believes in so strongly. I want to respect his desire to be a Christian. He went to church without me today, and I really have no idea what he will say to people who ask where I am. I stayed home and made bread, and I am in my pjs and just taking it easy today. Not sure why I am so incredibly emotional. I wasn't expecting to feel this way. I wasn't expecting to feel "guilty", or like the bad guy. But this is also a healing move for me, trying to get away from living a double life and just being able to be me in all situations. I still crave love and acceptance, but I just don't have the energy to pretend to be something I am not anymore. Problem is, sometimes I don't know what I AM or WANT.

Geesh, I should relabel this thread Naturebound's journal lol. At least no one has asked me for money in a while (in my family anyway).

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#30 Old 01-17-2016, 01:35 PM
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Could I borrow a tenner?

(Just kidding.)
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