Author Topic: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent  (Read 8576 times)

jrhampt

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1071
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Connecticut
Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« on: September 23, 2015, 01:33:35 PM »
Here's the situation.  One parent is awesome and hard-working; the other is a spendthrift, completely inconsiderate, does not lift a finger around the house, and has been mostly unemployed for the last 7 years.  They are married to each other.  How do you support the one who
deserves it without enabling the other?  Both parents are currently living with a sibling.  The hard-working parent provides a valuable service by helping with childcare and receives a small paycheck; the other parent, who has just started collecting early social security, makes no contribution and eats an unbelievable amount of food.  This was supposed to be a temporary situation while they got a new start, but they have been living with this sibling for 16 months now.  My sibling intends to let them pay off some residual debt (hopefully this will be done by the end of the year) before asking the deadbeat parent to start contributing some SS to household expenses.  The deadbeat parent has been offered many suggestions and non-monetary ways of contributing to the household but prefers to do nothing all day except be waited on. 

I feel bad for my sibling and wonder if I should contribute some money to help with the grocery bills, but I also partly feel like if I start contributing cash, the situation will continue indefinitely.  I keep hoping that things will bottom out and the deadbeat will either get a job, or they will move out (they finally have their names on some subsidized housing waiting lists, although this took over a year to get started).  They are bad at both saving and at making money and very, very slow at making decisions as well.  Would you give money?  Or wait it out in hopes that the situation will come to a head and the deadbeat will be forced into action?

HairyUpperLip

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 897
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2015, 01:37:43 PM »
I'm confused about your siblings connection to these people or why they would care to support them.

charis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1694
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2015, 01:53:08 PM »
I'm confused about your siblings connection to these people or why they would care to support them.

Just a wild guess, but given the OP frequent use of the word "parent," perhaps those people are in fact the parents.

Axecleaver

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3366
  • Location: New York
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2015, 01:53:20 PM »
Quote
I feel bad [...] but I also partly feel like if I start contributing cash, the situation will continue indefinitely.

Someone here had a really good comment on this issue, "Never work harder to help someone than they are willing to work themselves."

We went through this recently, too. Both Mrs Axe and I have parents and siblings that are in constant financial distress, while we're doing pretty well. We've helped family out lots of times over the years and we usually end up feeling like idiots when we do. Kicking in cash for a recurring deficit situation like you have here is a recipe for eternal support. Don't do it, it will only get worse.

In terms of how you manage your guilt, I still haven't figured that one out completely.

Britan

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 133
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2015, 01:55:09 PM »
I'm assuming these are your parents?

I'm never a fan of taking on anyone else's financial problems like debts, so I wouldn't ever suggest you give them cash. However maybe there are concrete things you can do to help the "hard worker".

Does she need new clothes or shoes? That's the first thing that comes to mind that would benefit only her. You could offer to help her work on her resume and apply for jobs. Take her on a vacation? And there is something to be said for just being a sympathetic ear if she is stressed and needs to vent.

If you're willing to do something that might help both of them, you could do a "recipe club" like a book club, (or cook together but I'm assuming you live farther away) where you share recipes with them that have low cost but healthy, filling ingredients and each report back on how the recipe turned out for you that day, like how you would discuss a book club book.

This way you could help them lower (what should be) their highest cost besides rent and healthcare, but without getting yourself financially tangled. Because yeah, don't do that.

asiljoy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 406
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2015, 02:09:08 PM »
I wouldn't give money, but I'd help give backbone. There's a strong need for boundaries here. Help the sibling come up with a plan of action for dealing with the Deadbeat. If they're doing things for the Deadbeat, like grocery shopping/cooking/cleaning for Deadbeat, that has to stop now and the sibling needs someone to stand with them and say that's not ok.  Eventually he'll have to get up if no one gets him his sandwich.

As far as dealing with the guilt goes, recognize that your Mom/sibling are adults and have made their choices. If they're not willing to make more changes or kick Deadbeat in the keister, the best way to contribute is to be someone that they can complain to. Master the smile and nod.

You're not responsible for their decisions.

AZDude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1298
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2015, 02:18:18 PM »
Because its someone else, and not you that has the parents living with them, it will be hard to do much other than offer psychological support. In this situation, unless the hard worker decides to tell deadbeat to fuck off, nothing will ever change.

You do not need to contribute anything financially, and probably shouldn't. The best scenario here is to charge both parents a combined sum for room and board, and then subtract the child care from that amount. Let the two figure out how to split the money. Unless they are not still married, in that case kick deadbeat out and direct him to the local homeless shelter.

Kaikou

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 503
  • Location: United States
  • Kermit is like a box of chocolates
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2015, 05:50:11 PM »
When you moved in, there should have been a plan of action. I have no idea how old you are or if deadbeat can work or not. But the plan should have been move in, deadbeat have a job in 3 months or leave! The good one (is that you?) stay with THEIR (blood?) relative with child (how old?) and deadbeat can get it together on their own time.

I don't condone divorce usually but this is a dealbreaker. Think of your child and what they are seeing set before them.

But then again you said deadbeat hasn't worker in 7 years really... so you knew. Child before or after you knew?

Anyways the point is what are you willing to do now to get out of the situation? Lay that idea before deadbeat SO and they can join the bandwagon or get out of town.

Seriously what do you need SO for? Sounds like they are holding you back and you are ready to come to terms with that.

okits

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8687
  • Location: Canada
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2015, 09:37:56 PM »
What a hard situation. If they are still married and together you still need to treat them as a family unit. Is the childcare and help of the hardworking parent worth the cost and hassle of keeping them?

I'd ask for some money to help with groceries right away. The longer the current situation goes the harder it is to change.  And you don't want to continue making things too comfortable if the arrangement is supposed to be temporary.

Can you elaborate a bit more on the deadbeat?  Is the person just a habitual lazy freeloader?  Or is there some background of "I got laid off from my good job and no one wants to hire a 50-something worker at a similar wage, so I'm just depressed and on the sofa all day"? 

MissStache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 710
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Washington, DC
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2015, 08:13:27 AM »
I'm a little confused about the situation.  Your parents are both living with one of your siblings? 

Why?  What happened that made them move in with them?  Was it some sort of calamity or because of the actions of the deadbeat parent?

Have you discussed any of this with sibling and/or non-deadbeat parent? 

Kaikou

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 503
  • Location: United States
  • Kermit is like a box of chocolates
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2015, 09:16:30 AM »
Yeah I read the OP very much different than others.

Op can you come back and clarify?,

HairyUpperLip

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 897
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2015, 09:44:55 AM »
I'm confused about your siblings connection to these people or why they would care to support them.

Just a wild guess, but given the OP frequent use of the word "parent," perhaps those people are in fact the parents.

lol - I hope you feel like a dick now that several people have posted up that are also confused by whatever the OP is trying to say.

I was just looking for clarification because to assume anything just makes an "ass out of u and me".

;)

Kaikou

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 503
  • Location: United States
  • Kermit is like a box of chocolates
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2015, 09:51:43 AM »
I'm confused about your siblings connection to these people or why they would care to support them.

Just a wild guess, but given the OP frequent use of the word "parent," perhaps those people are in fact the parents.

lol - I hope you feel like a dick now that several people have posted up that are also confused by whatever the OP is trying to say.

I was just looking for clarification because to assume anything just makes an "ass out of u and me".

;)



lol

charis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1694
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2015, 10:51:09 AM »
I'm confused about your siblings connection to these people or why they would care to support them.

Just a wild guess, but given the OP frequent use of the word "parent," perhaps those people are in fact the parents.

lol - I hope you feel like a dick now that several people have posted up that are also confused by whatever the OP is trying to say.

I was just looking for clarification because to assume anything just makes an "ass out of u and me".

;)

Despite the fact that a few internet strangers got confused about something, I feel pretty ok.

debbie does duncan

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 147
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2015, 06:26:58 PM »
I am going to assume the deadbeat parent is your DAD and that he has been this way for a while.
 I think you can support the nice parent as much as you feel able.
As for your sibling .... I don t  think money will help. It never really does.
 I think listening to him/her vent about the deadbeat parent will be a big help.

Was there an exit plan for your parents to leave/move to their own place or is your sibling trapped in this chaos forever? Boundary issues need to be addressed here.
I would like to recommend heading over to Reddit...........a sub called Raised by Narcissists  may help you understand you are not alone with this .
Good Luck.

Rosy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2038
  • Location: Florida
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2015, 07:07:41 PM »
1. Yes, support the hardworking parent unit:) in any way you can with whatever they treasure. Clothing, gas card or transit card, Starbucks whatever ...., and certainly with your company, meet them in the city after work for a coffee or a pizza.... do something that you both enjoy, see a movie, go to the park or have a glass of wine together.
Try to talk some sense into them about the financial situation and how they might improve - there is always hope and there is always room for improvement.

2. Lend moral support to your sibling, check on the status of their housing wait list and lay down the law together. Exert enough pressure to force a move. Let the lazy bum huff and puff who cares. Unfortunately waiting for housing can turn into a year or longer - don't let it slide. Follow up so there isn't a screw up along the way.

3. If housing becomes available and there is still a small amount of debt to pay off, consider paying it and good riddance. Buy them some food for the new place and wish them luck.

4. A 16 month stay is not a temporary situation, I'm sure your sibling is at wits end!

Rural

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4834
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2015, 04:01:19 AM »
I'm confused about your siblings connection to these people or why they would care to support them.

Just a wild guess, but given the OP frequent use of the word "parent," perhaps those people are in fact the parents.

lol - I hope you feel like a dick now that several people have posted up that are also confused by whatever the OP is trying to say.

I was just looking for clarification because to assume anything just makes an "ass out of u and me".

;)

Despite the fact that a few internet strangers got confused about something, I feel pretty ok.


It was entirely clear what the situation is from the OP. I assume the confusion from a few subsequent posters was caused by some replies, not the OP itself.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2015, 04:03:57 AM by Rural »

jrhampt

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1071
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Connecticut
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2015, 06:15:12 AM »
Yes, these are my parents, and they are living with one of my siblings.  And, haha, yes, the deadbeat parent is my dad...I was trying to keep things gender-neutral and that may have been the source of some confusion.

I do things for my mom like take her on vacations, out for brunch, send her things she needs, etc.  But I also live far away in another state.  I encourage my mom and sibling to try to set up rules and boundaries, but my mom will never stand up to my dad, and my sibling will not kick my dad out because he knows my mom would go with him and he can't face that. 

Originally my parents were living in another state while my dad was mostly unemployed and my mom was in a low-paying job that wasn't really enough to support them both.  My sibling was concerned about my mom and thought the solution might be to have them move back with them for a few months, in an area where the cost of living is relatively low and jobs are easier to find.  The plan was to have my mom help with childcare (they had just had a new baby and already had a toddler) and employ my dad (my brother owns his own business), so that everyone would benefit and my parents could get back on their feet again.  That did not work out well - I'm unclear on the details, but my dad basically didn't do the job he agreed to do.   So now it's just this never-ending bad situation.

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3946
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2015, 06:36:36 AM »
You can't fix it if they don't want to fix it.

My MIL enables my SIL, allowing her to live at home rent free, etc, long drawn out story that is not relevant.  The point is, MIL doesn't want SIL to live with her, but she won't do anything to change it either.  So its not really just a SIL problem, its MIL's fault just as much for allowing it to continue.  MIL had to power to change things, but doesn't choose to.

Like your situation, the "reason" is because SIL has a daughter, and MIL doesn't want her grandchild in a bad situation.  So she lets it continue. 

Your sibling is clearly not going to make/convince/fix/etc your father and turn him into a functional adult who holds a job and isn't a slob.  He can't make/convince/etc your mother that your father is a loser and she should leave him.  So your brother has to make some hard choices (and you can support him in that, but it is ultimately his choice).  But it is a choice, he does not have to put up with it.  He is not responsible for the well being of two functional adults, no matter how much he loves them.  And his wife and kids certainly don't have to live with it either- what is the effect on them?  Is his wife going to stick around for 10-20 more years of this? 

Ultimately in my MIL/SIL situation, its pretty clear that no one is going to change the current set up, so we just kindly tell her to stop complaining to us as she is choosing this, and close the conversation.

debbie does duncan

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 147
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2015, 06:42:21 AM »
OUCH. Sorry to hear this.
Your Dad is a bully and your Mom allows this. This is their battle not yours or your brothers. Kick Dad out. End of story.
 Your Mom may follow Dad or she may stay and help with the new baby.
 BUT it is her life and her choice. You and your brother and SIL need to stand together to kick Dad out. Help your Mom if she asks but remind her that boundries exist as well as RBN for a reason.
Your life is meant to be happy not allowing a bully to have his way.
Try and think of your Dad as  a 5year old trapped in a adult body.
Would you allow a 5yr old to tell you what to do?
Good luck!

asiljoy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 406
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2015, 06:46:33 AM »
You can't fix it if they don't want to fix it.

My MIL enables my SIL, allowing her to live at home rent free, etc, long drawn out story that is not relevant.  The point is, MIL doesn't want SIL to live with her, but she won't do anything to change it either.  So its not really just a SIL problem, its MIL's fault just as much for allowing it to continue.  MIL had to power to change things, but doesn't choose to.

Like your situation, the "reason" is because SIL has a daughter, and MIL doesn't want her grandchild in a bad situation.  So she lets it continue. 

Your sibling is clearly not going to make/convince/fix/etc your father and turn him into a functional adult who holds a job and isn't a slob.  He can't make/convince/etc your mother that your father is a loser and she should leave him.  So your brother has to make some hard choices (and you can support him in that, but it is ultimately his choice).  But it is a choice, he does not have to put up with it.  He is not responsible for the well being of two functional adults, no matter how much he loves them.  And his wife and kids certainly don't have to live with it either- what is the effect on them?  Is his wife going to stick around for 10-20 more years of this? 

Ultimately in my MIL/SIL situation, its pretty clear that no one is going to change the current set up, so we just kindly tell her to stop complaining to us as she is choosing this, and close the conversation.

Probably your best bet. Anything you do to support your mother is enabling your father until your mother tells him to suck it. That's the reality of the what is a pretty depressing situation.

My husband gets stuck in these loops where he complains about work, the same things over and over again. It's stressful for me, as a fixer, to hear it. Eventually, yeah, I tell him he can't talk to me about it anymore unless he's willing to do something to change the situation that's going to improve it.

In your case, it's someone moving, or someone getting kicked out, or someone getting a job. Giving your sibling money/groceries is just going to enable the bad situation to continue.

Kaikou

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 503
  • Location: United States
  • Kermit is like a box of chocolates
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2015, 07:14:11 AM »
I don't really see the point of helping your Mom. She is still with your father. Nothing has changed. To uproot their life and their commitment to each other is wrong in this situation. Does she want to leave him? Abuse?

Nothing indicates that here at all. Just that Daddy's lazy. So?

What happened 7 years ago? Do you know? Has your Dad always been the breadwinner? Has your Mom ever worked?

Side note: can you disclose whether you are an immigrated family? 1st generation/2nd? There might be a cultural divide here that makes the situation ever more complicated.

Blatant

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 175
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2015, 09:01:17 AM »
Or ... call me crazy, you might just step up to the plate and help. These are your parents. The people who, presumably, spawned you, raised you, fed you, etc.

The OP makes it sound like they're moving toward old(er) age. If that's the case, I'm sure Pops isn't going to make a sudden turn to becoming industrious. That ship has sailed.

I'm an internet stranger and don't know all the facts associated with this family, obviously. If it were my parents, I'd be doing whatever I could among my siblings to keep them as happy and settled as possible. Family obligation and all that. That's my nickel.

jrhampt

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1071
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Connecticut
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #23 on: September 25, 2015, 09:25:40 AM »
In response to Kaikou, it's complicated.  We are not an immigrant family at all...grandparents all lived on their own, were financially savvy, and took care of themselves until they were physically unable to do so at the very end, so we are baffled as to why this is happening or how he thinks this is okay. 

My parents are religious and both believe that the man is the head of the household, so whatever he decides, she follows.  She does draw the line at actual physical abuse, as there was an incident many years ago which caused her to move out briefly, which to my knowledge has never been repeated.  But some in my family do consider that he is verbally abusive (if that is an actual thing - I am unsure about that).  In any case, it is a very unequal power relationship, and he can be extremely unpleasant when he doesn't get his way.  We are all a bit afraid of him.  I have never had a good relationship with him.  I think he is extremely disrespectful of my mother and of course he does not respect me either, since I am a woman. 

My father was the breadwinner while my mom stayed home and raised/homeschooled 5 kids.  After we moved out, she started working part-time jobs to help supplement their income.  He was employed full time, as he had been for many years, and they seemed to be doing okay.  Then seven years ago (right as the recession was getting started) out of nowhere, my father unilaterally decided they were moving to another state to help with an elderly relative.  Fine, but he didn't look for another job before or after moving, and my mom ended up doing the bulk of the physical care for his relative while they lived in another relative's house.  So, eventually the relative they (mostly she) was caring for died, they burned through a couple of small inheritances and a 401k, and he was not looking for a job.  I told her it was up to her to do something as he clearly was going to continue to do nothing, and she took on a very physically demanding job so she could support them financially, in addition to continuing to do all of the house chores while he did nothing.  Finally, after several years, he got a part time retail job and was at least bringing in a small income.  But then the relative put the house on the market (since they had not been paying market value rent during this time for a good 5 or 6 years) and they were going to have to find another place to live anyway, which was when my brother offered the job to my father.  They quit their jobs and took 2 months to actually complete the move, with no income during that time, which was when they went into debt. 

I have my doubts as to whether he's totally sane.  I think he basically considers himself retired on my brother's dime.  He has no motivation to change as the situation works out really well for him.  He has no responsibilities and gets to live in a nice house for free while people cook and clean for him.  Earlier in the summer, a couple of my siblings got together and set down some rules for him, and he did put in a token effort for 5 weeks during which he worked and was supposed to be going to counseling sessions with his pastor.  Since then, nothing.

Does anyone have any suggestions for good books to read that deal with this sort of situation?

norabird

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7826
  • Location: Brooklyn NY
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #24 on: September 25, 2015, 09:39:01 AM »
You could try reading Codependent No More maybe, or giving it to your mother. For now it does seem like a good situation on the childcare for your sibling, too bad your dad is such a rotter. I would keep supporting your mom directly (with brunch, trips, gifts) but not expect her to leave him, sadly.

Rosy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2038
  • Location: Florida
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #25 on: September 25, 2015, 10:03:13 AM »
Oh now that I read your last explanation, can I visit and put a few drops of something in his tea:)

He's got it made, of course he resists with a roar. Forget the books and the counseling - that little weasel has outsmarted all of you.
Either take action and simply make him move or accept the situation.

Keep supporting your mother and give your mom some pleasure in life whenever you can, she's browbeat and for whatever reason has accepted her lot in life with him.

I know sometimes family is the pits.

Kaikou

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 503
  • Location: United States
  • Kermit is like a box of chocolates
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #26 on: September 25, 2015, 02:05:47 PM »
Why are referring to your Dad as an enemy? He's family too you know. I doubt if this was your Mom, randoms on this forum would feel this way.

Your Dad needs help too. Maybe not the kind you want to take on or recognize, but he does.

How old are they?

At what age is it okay to take care of them to you?

5 kids and no one likes the father?

crispy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 465
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #27 on: September 25, 2015, 03:44:59 PM »
One of biggest truths I have learned about dealing with dysfunctional people is that you can't care about their situation more than they do.  I know you want to help your mom, but she is making a choice to stay with your father.  I sent years sticking up for my mom when my dad was being a jerk (and sometimes got hurt in the process) until I finally realized that it was her job to protect me, not the other way around.  I was a kid and should have never been put in that situation. I am not blaming your mom because your dad is a jerk, but she has made choices and choices have consequences.  If you stay with a jerk who treats people badly, you are going to eventually lose friends and family members who don't want to be around him. 


rmendpara

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 602
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #28 on: September 25, 2015, 06:32:12 PM »
I'll admit, I have no experience on the matter, so take that into consideration. I understand all too well how family drama can be hurtful and all, since it seems that almost no matter what you do... someone ends up hurt.

If Dad won't change and Mom is too timid to stand up (which is very possible she just doesn't want to rock the boat after 60+ years), then that's the reality they have to deal with. You can say your views, and so can your sibling, but you can't force someone to change.

Rosy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2038
  • Location: Florida
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #29 on: September 25, 2015, 08:39:41 PM »
Why are referring to your Dad as an enemy? He's family too you know. I doubt if this was your Mom, randoms on this forum would feel this way.

Your Dad needs help too. Maybe not the kind you want to take on or recognize, but he does.

How old are they?

At what age is it okay to take care of them to you?

5 kids and no one likes the father?

Ahem, none of these questions will sort out or impact the problem at hand in any way.

You seem to think the dad needs help too - hello, what do you think the counseling he mentioned was all about? It is the dad who refuses to go - is that enough of an answer for you? Naw, this man will only respond to someone who is bigger and meaner than him. He will get extremely unpleasant when he does not get his way - can you read just a little bit between the lines here as to what that really means?

He's terrorized his wife for years - verbal abuse is beyond damaging to the psyche. It takes years to recover from that and there are still plenty of people who don't get what that is all about. Verbal abuse is someone hammering at you day in and day out, until you yourself believe you are stupid, incompetent and worthless or whatever the hell it is that particular person harped on.
Religion only intensifies the problem.

I tell you exactly what he will respond to beautifully - man to man - to a guy who not only tells him like it is, but who knows how to outsmart the old wily fox. A man who lets him know the buck stops here and drives home the point in no uncertain terms.
You did read that he was contrite and more helpful for a while after a talk, right? The issue is he does not want the job offered, but he also does nothing around the house to help.

I don't know about your family, but I tell you what, since you mentioned immigrant families, even in the old country my grandfather did his part - everyone did what they could. My 80 yr old granfather watched and played with the kids, helped them with homework, (he was a teacher), helped with dinner prep and did whatever little bit of clean up he could manage.
This guy is taking advantage and the people who need help are the people he is staying with, not the other way around!

You think age is an excuse? Why for him exactly? His wife is still working and he has no qualms about that at all. They are not so old and ill that they can't move into their own place - it is simply more convenient for the old man to stay put and enjoy the service and apparently especially the food:)
I doubt that mom is all that keen on living alone with him, he doesn't sound like a pleasant fellow to be around.

It is a tough situation for everyone, but clearly caused by this one person alone. Family isn't easy, you do what you can, but sometimes you must stand up for yourself or you'll get trampled or browbeaten like his wife.

I think the OP has enough distance to see what is going on here - this man has decided he is retired which in his world means - FU I'm not doing nothing anymore. Let them throw a fit every so often I can deal with that - I'll just growl and huff and puff like I've always done, I know how to get my way in the end. 

Good heavens even the pastor talked to this man already, do you have any idea what has to happen and how ugly a situation has to be before a pastor will talk to a man?

Rant over - sorry, OP no offense to you I hope. Some situations cannot be fixed by being nice and understanding - even Jesus kicked over the tables in the temple and threw out the gamblers/merchants.....
I fervently hope it all ends well for everyone concerned.


Argyle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 909
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #30 on: September 25, 2015, 08:57:48 PM »
I'd recommend the book by Harrlet Lerner: The Dance of Anger, The Dance of Intimacy, and one other.  They deal with family systems, which is what you've got here.  They're about how to change things to protect yourself and keep others healthy in the face of people who won't change.  Although the truth is that when one person changes, the whole dynamic necessarily changes.

Basically they're about not enabling.

You have a particular challenge, OP, as you can see that your mother and brother are enabling your father.  But you can't change them either; so your challenge is not to enable them.  To figure out reasonable boundaries and then to act on them without expecting any particular reaction or improvement from anyone else, while knowing that your own improvement will make things healthier anyway.

It's not simple or overnight, but it can be done.  Al-Anon is also a good source of tools for dealing with difficult people, even though it's technically focused on alcoholics and I assume your father is not an alcoholic or you would have mentioned it.  But the self-absorption, inconsiderateness, and crazy thinking are similar.

BeardedLady

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 87
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #31 on: September 25, 2015, 09:18:45 PM »
There is no way to turn your parents' marriage into an egalitarian relationship at this point. I agree that the only thing he will respond to is a talk from another man, and the best shot is your brother. Since he and your mother believe that the man is the head of the household, have your brother approach it from that angle. The head of the household has the responsibility to take care of his family. His wife is dependent on him because of her belief in this, and he is abusing her trust in that he will lead the family appropriately. He is not leading. He is not supporting, financially, spiritually, or otherwise. He is instead treating your mother and anyone else who will put up with it like slaves, expecting them to support him. With great power comes great responsibility (Thanks, spiderman!). He wants the power, so he needs to act responsibly and take care of those he has decided are in his charge.

Kaikou

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 503
  • Location: United States
  • Kermit is like a box of chocolates
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #32 on: September 25, 2015, 11:37:39 PM »
Why are referring to your Dad as an enemy? He's family too you know. I doubt if this was your Mom, randoms on this forum would feel this way.

Your Dad needs help too. Maybe not the kind you want to take on or recognize, but he does.

How old are they?

At what age is it okay to take care of them to you?

5 kids and no one likes the father?

Ahem, none of these questions will sort out or impact the problem at hand in any way.

You seem to think the dad needs help too - hello, what do you think the counseling he mentioned was all about? It is the dad who refuses to go - is that enough of an answer for you? Naw, this man will only respond to someone who is bigger and meaner than him. He will get extremely unpleasant when he does not get his way - can you read just a little bit between the lines here as to what that really means?

He's terrorized his wife for years - verbal abuse is beyond damaging to the psyche. It takes years to recover from that and there are still plenty of people who don't get what that is all about. Verbal abuse is someone hammering at you day in and day out, until you yourself believe you are stupid, incompetent and worthless or whatever the hell it is that particular person harped on.
Religion only intensifies the problem.

I tell you exactly what he will respond to beautifully - man to man - to a guy who not only tells him like it is, but who knows how to outsmart the old wily fox. A man who lets him know the buck stops here and drives home the point in no uncertain terms.
You did read that he was contrite and more helpful for a while after a talk, right? The issue is he does not want the job offered, but he also does nothing around the house to help.

I don't know about your family, but I tell you what, since you mentioned immigrant families, even in the old country my grandfather did his part - everyone did what they could. My 80 yr old granfather watched and played with the kids, helped them with homework, (he was a teacher), helped with dinner prep and did whatever little bit of clean up he could manage.
This guy is taking advantage and the people who need help are the people he is staying with, not the other way around!

You think age is an excuse? Why for him exactly? His wife is still working and he has no qualms about that at all. They are not so old and ill that they can't move into their own place - it is simply more convenient for the old man to stay put and enjoy the service and apparently especially the food:)
I doubt that mom is all that keen on living alone with him, he doesn't sound like a pleasant fellow to be around.

It is a tough situation for everyone, but clearly caused by this one person alone. Family isn't easy, you do what you can, but sometimes you must stand up for yourself or you'll get trampled or browbeaten like his wife.

I think the OP has enough distance to see what is going on here - this man has decided he is retired which in his world means - FU I'm not doing nothing anymore. Let them throw a fit every so often I can deal with that - I'll just growl and huff and puff like I've always done, I know how to get my way in the end. 

Good heavens even the pastor talked to this man already, do you have any idea what has to happen and how ugly a situation has to be before a pastor will talk to a man?

Rant over - sorry, OP no offense to you I hope. Some situations cannot be fixed by being nice and understanding - even Jesus kicked over the tables in the temple and threw out the gamblers/merchants.....
I fervently hope it all ends well for everyone concerned.

Um who are you?


oh not the OP, please move along with your aggressive behavior. Ridiculous.

Blatant

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 175
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #33 on: September 26, 2015, 06:27:30 AM »
Rosy certainly has this situation nailed down, though how she extrapolated that rant from the information provided is unclear.

Kaikou

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 503
  • Location: United States
  • Kermit is like a box of chocolates
Re: Responsibility for Deadbeat Parent
« Reply #34 on: September 26, 2015, 09:59:56 AM »
Rosy certainly has this situation nailed down, though how she extrapolated that rant from the information provided is unclear.

very