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Can you help me with how to put this to my DD? I'm still failing miserably.

(81 Posts)
DowntonTrout Wed 26-Feb-14 12:51:50

On going issues with DD. I have posted about our problems before. This is long so I will apologise now.

DD and her DH have a baby. They live at the opposite end of the country. They struggle financially and she struggles with emotional support as there is no family around them. When she gave up on college and a future career at 18 to get married and have a baby we did not see eye to eye. We were NC for a while.

Yes things have improved since my GC was born but she still puts constant emotional pressure on me.just little things like posting on FB that she's so ill and just wants her mummy. When mum was dying last month she attempted to make it all about her. We have given them over £700 since December, one thing or another. I do try very hard to be non judgemental, or at least appear non judgemental. The truth is I do judge. I am still reeling from when she put us through hell and left us owing thousands without a backward glance. It is very hard not to say I told you so. Everyone said "give her a chance, this could be the making of her." But I feared it would be like this, and it is.

She has just asked for more money. The dog needed to go to the vets. They now have no money and the car needs work. She has not received an outstanding payment from her previous employer. It goes on and on. We were away last week and so all these texts started up. The cynic in me feels it is because we were away. I've just had a conversation about prioritising their money and of course she's flipped out and said I need to speak to her DH about it. Well, I don't, do I? It's not for me to do. I'm not emotionally strong enough to deal with her at the moment.

I always make sure they have enough for the baby, I will not see him going without, we managed to get through their extended stay at Christmas without too much drama and I stood firm then. But I dread the phone ringing, I have done too much picking up the pieces for her over the years and I hate that she makes me feel guilty for having a nice life when she has so little. I'm feeling very down right now, recently bereaved, the holiday was to have a bit of respite and just relax but I've come back feeling stressed and under pressure. She's just been crying on the phone, I'm all kinds of wrong and don't understand how hard it is apparently. But I do. I've been there. So now she's texting, "right I won't ask for anything again." The only thing she wants to hear is "yes, how much?"

JackyDanny Wed 26-Feb-14 13:05:01

If you have the funds could you loan the money to her?
You could say something like, Having thought about this, I would like to help you and can offer you a loan?
Ask what she could agree to pay back, talk with her and her DH about repayment and sign something so that you are all very clear about the terms?

I think this is fair to you both.
If you don't have the money, it will have to be a no.

badbaldingballerina123 Wed 26-Feb-14 13:10:10

I'm sorry to hear about your mum Op . She shouldn't be doing this to you , and especially not now.

It's not your job to support her , her husband ,or the baby . They are supposedly adults and its their job to support themselves . What sort of man is ok being supported by his in laws ? Don't do this anymore . If
They're short of money then she needs to get a job . It might be helpfully if you mentally add up what their income is , it's probably a lot more than you think.

Do you feel you have to give her money to keep your relationships going ? How would she react if you told her to bog off ?

DinoSnores Wed 26-Feb-14 13:16:02

I think you need to leave her to it. While you are bailing her out and making sure that the baby wants for nothing, she has no incentive to sort her life out. I wouldn't lend her money as jacky suggests. She is an adult, her DH is an adult, they have a family and responsibilities and need to start taking those seriously.

Nocomet Wed 26-Feb-14 13:18:26

Sorry I'm an old fashioned person, you go off, get married, have a DC, you sort it.

It's lovely if your parents can help out(DHs parents lent us a bit of money when we bought our second house), but they are under no obligation to do so.

cozietoesie Wed 26-Feb-14 13:18:44

I remember your thread from before Xmas.

This is all just more of the same isn't it? I think you have to do something to change the situation between you - because she's not going to as long as she can tap you for what they need.

Where are her DH's parents in all this?

(I'll return to the thread later. I have to leave at the moment, I'm afraid.)

DowntonTrout Wed 26-Feb-14 13:27:31

Ok. Firstly, she asks to borrow money. However they never pay it back. Now, I don't want it back but if she ever offered I would probably tell her to keep it. I know, I have allowed this situation to develop.

There is a problem with her getting a job. She has no transport. There are no buses. Her DH needs the car. They live nowhere near anywhere, they live in accommodation tied to his job. Any job would not cover her childcare. She has been accepted on a college course later this year with a bursary that will pay for childcare. So she is doing something but it won't help their situation in the near future.

She received a reasonable gift of money before Christmas, £100s, which was supposed to pay for driving lessons. I think she has spent it.

I know this seems like it's all to do with money. It's not, but it has a lot to do with it.

Meerka Wed 26-Feb-14 13:28:21

downton i remember your thread too.

Im sorry for the loss of your mum.

You're in such a hard position, I feel for you.

She's taken money from you before, a lot of it, and never repaid it. While this is a really difficult situatoin, I feel that enough is enough. At the same time, you don't want her to suffer, or to close the door completely.

If you can afford it, what about offering max 200 pounds if she's asking for 800? and the time after that, again just a small proportion of what she is asking for. If you're willing. It is partly showing some support for her and not closing the door, partly showing her the Bank Of Mum is not there just to be taken utter advantage of.

No doubt from what you've said before she'll kick off. But I guess she's unlikely to turn it down somehow. Possible, but not likely.

Though if you're completely unwilling by now, my goodness no one reasonable could blame you at all!

Just a thought about the baby - when / if she asks for money for him, could you offer instead to place a Tesco internet order to be delivered to her flat? Becuase it sounds like you couldnt be quite sure that it'd end up being spent on him.

I hope you are alright today wine

Fairylea Wed 26-Feb-14 13:28:42

I would tell her you cannot offer her any more support financially. You don't need to explain yourself, you've done more than enough and she is a grown up with her own family. Harsh and difficult I know but the truth.

However, I suspect a lot of this stems from resentment from you being disappointed in her before - that she gave up her career etc. You sound a lot like my mum in that respect. I was accepted into Oxford university and turned it down to be a sahm with a husband earning minimum wage. Mum is always making thinly hidden comments about how disappointed she is with me and she has no right to do so. 13 years on I am very happy and have no regrets. I would never ask my family for money however, we budget and manage carefully.

I'd suggest try to build bridges emotionally. Even if you know the answer would be no why not suggest they move closer to you so you could look after your grandchild for them so she could perhaps work part time? I'm only saying that as you clearly adore your grandchild and it might help her financially and give her some sense of responsibility.

Why did they move so far away anyway?

I think the money thing is a way of her having a go at you. I don't think it's all about the money itself.

Fairylea Wed 26-Feb-14 13:29:51

Sorry, cross posted with a lot of your post answering my points... oops.

wellcoveredsparerib Wed 26-Feb-14 13:31:17

op, you say she asks for loans but never offers to pay back. Have you ever asked or discussed repayment before giving your dd money?

DowntonTrout Wed 26-Feb-14 13:31:17

Thanks fairylea

They're forces unfortunately, so they are where they are.

DowntonTrout Wed 26-Feb-14 13:36:14

Also, I'm not disappointed in her, but I am disappointed for her. If that makes sense.

She has huge issues in that our preteen gets to go on holiday with us, bought nice things etc etc. that used to be her. DD2 gets no more than DD1 got, in fact she costs us much less, but she makes me feel so guilty with all the little comments and digs, and calling me mummy. It's just emotional blackmail.

JackyDanny Wed 26-Feb-14 13:43:50

I think if you put proper terms in place, and sign, this is the way forward. Ask how much and on which day they can make payments, ask that they set up a standing order.
By not helping you could isolate her which I don't think you want.
This will put a much needed boundary in place, she gets the money, you get repaid / won't be asked in future / can refuse with a clear conscience as everyone is completely aware of where they stand.
Then, stick to it.

Fairylea Wed 26-Feb-14 13:48:28

Do you think her relationship with her dh might be financially abusive? Just also seems really odd that she would ask you to speak to him when you suggested prioritising money. Why would she ask that?

Does she have access to family income / equal spending money as her dh?

I am just clutching at straws but perhaps she is very unhappy and just wants you to ask her to come home maybe? Maybe the money is a way of letting you know that she still needs you...?

Badvoc Wed 26-Feb-14 13:55:28

It was her choice to move away and have a baby op. Her life choices are not your problem.
It is awful of her to so this when you are so recently bereaved.
I'm so sorry x

DowntonTrout Wed 26-Feb-14 13:55:43

Of course she wants to come home. It's lovely here. She gets to do nothing, I cook, shop, clean, wash, help with baby and she swans about being a child again. Setting up those boundaries so that it wasn't like that would be a nightmare. It's ok for a week or so- she's a guest then but long term? No.

One of the sticking points is their dog. They can't afford it really and she can't cope with it and the baby but her DH won't rehome him ( she found somewhere.) It causes a lot of arguments.

DowntonTrout Wed 26-Feb-14 14:01:08

Badvoc Thank you. How are you doing?

I know she's made her choices but she has such a way of twisting things, she makes it my problem. It just gets me down. After talking to her I'm left worrying and feeling guilty. It's ridiculous really. Our hastily arranged holiday, after the last few months with my mum, should have been chance to rewind. Instead DH got ill, and ended up on a drip and I feel worse than before we went away. Maybe I'm expecting too much of myself right now.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 26-Feb-14 14:02:44

"I always make sure they have enough for the baby, I will not see him going without"

I think you have to take a big step back from all of them, baby included, and let them manage their family as a family. It may mean baby goes without or - more likely - they'll find someone else to sponge off.

DowntonTrout Wed 26-Feb-14 14:04:43


CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 26-Feb-14 14:05:57

I'm sorry you're sad but the current strategy really isn't working for anyone. As the song says, 'if you love someone, set them free'.

fishybits Wed 26-Feb-14 14:07:30

Downton, there is sooo much more to your relationship with DD than you have written here.

Enough, step away and let her get on with it.

debka Wed 26-Feb-14 14:10:40

I was your daughter for a while, OP. I can honestly say that when my parents stopped handing me money it gave me the incentive to sort my life out. So long as there's an easy option she will take it. She needs to learn to stand on her own two feet and she won't learn when you are bailing her out constantly.

I am now 34, about to start university, financially independent and proud to be so. She will grow up and grow out of this flowers

gamerchick Wed 26-Feb-14 14:10:57

It's very hard when it's your own offspring... believe me I know and I also know that saying no go to a request for help goes against all natural instincts.

But you have to say no..she has to grow up and learn how to look after her own lot.

It'll be a nightmare but it's for her long term benefit. If you want to help out for the baby then arrange deliverys of practical stuff rather than money.

I'm sorry about your mum sad

Badvoc Wed 26-Feb-14 14:15:15

Ah yes.
My sister is very good at that DT!!
For sister and her family go abroad EVERY school holiday. Yes, that's right. Every one. They have just got back from their half term break.
This means that I get no break from caring for mum. At all. (Well, I will get 3 days in may when we go to wales but you get the drift)
This morning she saw me at the school gates and asked me to tell mum she was feeling ill and wasn't going to pop in after all.
So...My day so far has been spent taking mum to the shops, going to the cemetery to do dads flowers, spending over an hour on the phone to HMRC sorting out a cock up with one of her pensions and then taking her to see my aunt in a hospice 30 miles away.
But....if I ever mention how tired I am she just tells me to stop.
Yes. That's right. Abandon my recently bereaved mother.
I think that you perhaps are expecting too much of yourself. I'm so sorry your dh was ill...what rotten luck.
I have come to the conclusion (it's only taken me 40 years) that some people are all about themselves and dont really give a toss about anyone else. Easier to accept when it's not a loved family member sad
Please look after you x

Badvoc Wed 26-Feb-14 14:15:53

Listen to cog.
She is sort of a genius smile

DwellsUndertheSink Wed 26-Feb-14 14:17:28

downton, I have followed your story for a long time - this is just more of the same really and you have to disengage from her.

Id say, to the next request for money, that you send her a small amount and then tell her that you will not loan her any more until she has paid back what she owes you already. Do not get sucked in to a debate about the baby or the vet or the utility bills.

By all means put anything you get back (ha ha ) into a savings account, so you can dip into it again in future.

You might suggest that if they are getting into financial difficulties, then they should seek budgeting advice from eg the families officer, or from the CAB and live within their means.

Beastofburden Wed 26-Feb-14 14:18:44

Ok, well my sense is, she is clueless with money and doesn't know how to manage it. Her only strategy is to get it off you.

And she is still young and self-indulgent and making poor choices. Students her age at Uni are just as crap with their cash but it only affects them, they have a fortnight on baked beans and that's the end of it. But she has a more complicated life.

So I would say that you will commit to helping her financially as part of a five-year plan that sees her through to her course and getting qualified and maybe working again. But you can't cope with all this off and on requests. So will she please come with you to talk to a money adviser at somewhere like the CAB, and together you can draw up a budget for the family which can include the amount you can afford to lend/give her on a regular basis. And you are doing this because you love her and you want to support her through to the point that she is self-sufficient and happy, but could she please respect the fact that you only have so much to give her.

DowntonTrout Wed 26-Feb-14 14:33:39

Yes. It is more of the same.

All good advice about money. I will offer £100 and make it clear she needs to pay me back, even if it's £20 a month. They need more than that for the car but I feel as if I'm funding the dog as that's why they have no money.

The emotional stuff is more difficult to disengage with. She catches me when I'm down. It was easier when there was no baby. We managed to step away then. But I do want to have a relationship with him and it's very hard to separate the two. Whatever I do or give, it's never enough. It never will be.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 26-Feb-14 14:37:19

Realistically, you don't have a relationship with your GS if he's a baby at the other end of the country. That you send money doesn't mean you'll have a relationship in future. If you have a relationship at all it'll be the sort where Mum and Dad tell him 'you ask your gran for the money this time.....'

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 26-Feb-14 14:37:26

Lightbulb moment - If you are the poster I think you are, I remember the dramas your DD caused a few years' back so I am sorry things haven't improved between you. She is still trying to control you through emotional blackmail.

When/if your son in law is deployed, do you think will she ask to move back in with you? Unless she is now in an abusive relationship, I suspect when she directed you to discuss money with him it was another little-girl ploy to dodge any kind of responsibility, "Talk to him don't bother me with the details".

If it weren't for your grandson I think you would now invite her to stand on her own two feet. You have her younger sister still at home so whether or not DD1 feels aggrieved at 'preferential treatment' I don't think you should feel guilty at thinking DD1 might at last have grown up.

Next time she moans and complains suggest she talks to other wives and partners, contact the welfare team and look into homestart.

JackyDanny Wed 26-Feb-14 14:38:30

Ask her what she can agree to pay, to set up a standing order for repayment and evidence this, then lend the money.

Otherwise, it's just more words and doing the same thing will get the same result.

Johnogroats Wed 26-Feb-14 14:40:01

I think you need to let her stand on her own 2 feet.

My SIL was always bailed out financially by her parents continually. They were still giving her �500/ month until quite recently. She is utterly hopeless with money and has continually overspent...her DH set budget after budget, and she ignored all. Despite him earning a good wage c�100k (she wanted to be SAHM) they are in financial do do. She says he is controlling (well, he tried but failed), and is having an affair. They are getting divorced...

There are many many issues here, but the fact that her parents never taught her financial responsibility is a large factor.

By the way, being ex forces myself, and having been married to a serving officer for about 15 years, she will find it difficult to do courses, have a job, unless she stays put and he travels. Not always easy, esp with the army. We stayed in one place, and DH was away on ships, in Scotland, the Middle East etc. I managed to have a successful career once I left...wouldn't have happened if I'd followed him.

HavantGuard Wed 26-Feb-14 14:46:53

She could still be living with you but she chose not to.
She could be in full time education getting financial support from you but she chose not to.
She could be free from any responsibilities but she chose to have a child.
She has taken money from you time after time and is still asking for more.

She has very much made her bed and now she has to lie in it.

DowntonTrout Wed 26-Feb-14 14:50:50

donkeys yes! I think it's me you are thinking of.

I think she will want to come here when he is deployed. We know when he's going and she has dropped many hints. But, there is the dog, she can't bring him here. And she would have to fly.

I know how difficult it will be for her to have much of a career John even if she can get through the course. We saw all these problems coming. She couldn't/ didn't care.

I know I can't have much if a relationship with GS cogito not at present.

DowntonTrout Wed 26-Feb-14 14:52:40

I'm popping out for a while. If I don't reply, I'm not being rude.

I'm going out to drink wine, in the afternoon. I know it won't help but the offer is too good to miss.

MinesAPintOfTea Wed 26-Feb-14 14:54:14

I've been on your threads before (I think on a previous name). I'm sorry its ended up this way, but its her choices which you tried to save her from making, and she needs to live with the consequences.

Presumably your GS is currently at the age where he only really costs milk and nappies and won't notice if mum and dad are counting pennies? It will only get harder to stop when he reaches an age of noticing things that cost money.

Jess03 Wed 26-Feb-14 14:56:21

My sister is like this, she's in her 30s now and my mum is constantly put upon, and shouted at/called names when she doesn't get her own way, she has never taken any responsibility for herself. Having a dog you can't look after and you paying the bills is prolonging the cycle of bad decisions. Dog needs re-homing, she has to sort that with DH. She needs a sensible career plan. None of this will happen with you being a crutch for her irresponsibility.

badbaldingballerina123 Wed 26-Feb-14 15:19:53

I would not give her a penny more . Seriously .

Look at the reality , her husband is in full time employment , if he's in the services I presume there on low rent . She will get child benefit and possibly working tax credit . They have a car and a dog.

Many single parents on jobseekers live on just over 400 quid a month.

She is abusing you both financially and emotionally , she is horribly entitled. She will continue to abuse you until you establish appropriate boundrys . You are enabling her , that's not fair on anyone least of all your grandson.

I know you want a better relationship with her but that will not happen while you enable her . Let her wave the threat of loss of relationship over your head . As cog says you have none with baby anyway due to distance . You'll find she needs you a lot more than you need her.

She would get help with childcare with working tax credit .

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 26-Feb-14 15:30:05

"We saw all these problems coming. She couldn't/ didn't care. "

As parents and as older people we can anticipate the consequences of mistakes and it's tempting to want to protect DCs from them. That's OK when they're small but, as adults, you can't live their lives and shouldn't try to.

All you're earning by giving her money etc is contempt. You are the soft touch, the sad old lady, the one that can be treated like crap and still coughs up the dough if we turn on the waterworks and cry poverty. That's not love.

TemperamentalAroundCorvids Wed 26-Feb-14 15:43:20

Everone said "give her a chance, this could be the making of her."

But I am afraid by giving her money you are witholding that chance.

I have recently been having words with DS(25) who owes me money - so I know how it feels, in a mild way. He is in work now, and doesn't ask for money, but I was dismayed to find that his attitude to repaying this longstanding debt to me was somewhat cavalier. I think it's sorted now...

cozietoesie Wed 26-Feb-14 15:58:27


I can think of two parallel cases in my own extended family and in each (although to a greater or lesser extent) the real problem was not the relationship between the child and their parent but between the child and their partner.

In each case, parental attention and money was was used eg to bolster self-esteem which was not being supported otherwise and to keep the partner happy by minimising demands on them. (Plus all sorts of other things.) And in each case, I'm afraid, the child did nothing concrete to help themselves or their family until the parent withdrew completely and finally.

Does this ring any bells?

LtEveDallas Wed 26-Feb-14 16:01:18

Hi Downton, I'm so sorry she is still giving you trouble.

I could tell you how much he is earning, I could tell you how much he pays in rent/council tax etc, but tbh I expect that would make you feel worse if anything - I promise you, they are on a good enough wage to live.

I they really are struggling, if they have debts etc then he could approach his Regimental Admin Officer or AGC Detachment Commander for financial counselling - RAOs are not allowed to give financial advice, but they can go through debts, make management plans, financial repayment plans etc (I do it for some of my guys). Do you think he would?

Oh love, it must seem never ending. I hope you are enjoying your wine - have a day off worrying, she will still be there tomorrow.

Much love.

Dutchoma Wed 26-Feb-14 16:13:59

I've got one of those Downton. Not quite as bad as she is a single mother and in employment but she is still a bottomless pit where money is concerned. She does not ask outright for money and she certainly does not berate me when she doesn't get it, so I think that is the very first thing you need to stop.
As soon as she says anything nasty you put the phone down and you ignore nasty FB comments. Block her if necessary. You know it is emotional blackmail, so stand up to it.
Then make up your mind that you will not give her money for the dog or accept that he has to come when she comes back to live with you. I'm not even sure that it is a good idea for her to come back to live at home when her husband is deployed overseas.
Seems a recipe for disaster to me. It always affected my husband adversely too when she was in trouble...again.
Army personnel do get paid quite well, so she is not managing her money very well.
So it seems a good plan to offer £100 and say that is your final offer.
I gave up 'lending' my daughter money as, like with yours, it never came back. So this is a gift, if she wants it, or nothing, if she prefers.
But don't put up with any nastiness any more. Tell her once that xx amount is the final offer and don't give it if she 'kicks off'.
And maybe suggest she joins one of the online budget plans and learns some financial management.

AliceInSandwichLand Wed 26-Feb-14 16:20:47

Just a thought - if you are not sure what actually happens to the money you give and do still want to give some, I expect a garage would take a payment directly from you by phone and know that the vet almost certainly will (am a vet and this is surprisingly common). I am not implying that you should do this, just it's another possible route to limit how you help without not helping at all. Agree with others who think she won't grow up till she has to, though sad

turnaroundbrighteyes Wed 26-Feb-14 16:42:24

Going against the grain here, but if you can afford it I would give her more than she's asked for with no strings then make it very, very clear that it is a one off, you will still be there emotionally, but from now on she has to stand on her own two feet with no more money, ever!

Then stick to it! That will be the hard part, but speaking as someone who's DH has a mummy just like you, much as you think you are helping her you really arent.

The baby might go without expensive new things, they might have to eat more cheaply, they might get into debt and have a long slog to work their way out of it, but better now than when the child is older.

Carry on as you are and how will she ever gain the self confidence and life skills she needs to be successful in life?

ceecee32 Wed 26-Feb-14 17:15:54

I have to say that I agree with LtEveDallas. If your son in law is serving in the forces there will be plenty of help available for him.

He will be earning a sufficient amount to be in a position to support his wife, child, dog and car. They need to be taught to manage their finances and the forces will help them.

He can either speak to his RAO or the Welfare Officer.

Your daughter will be able to obtain assistance herself from the Hive.

Please do not give them any more money - like another poster I have been there and until the ready tap of money ended I didn't face up to things.

pausingforbreath Wed 26-Feb-14 18:03:20


Reading your post has made me feel so sad for you.

I was the 'younger sibling' of the situation in my family with my older brother much as your younger daughter is within yours .

It's horrible .

His situation was different to your daughters - but essentially the emotional abuse of my parents was the same.
Growing up , watching him twist his problems so that they became my parents obligations was horrible.
The older he became , the better he became at making them feel responsible the harder it was for me to witness.

I was also asked to walk on egg shells , keep quiet so as not to 'upset him' and god forbid if he found out if they treated me to something nice and he found out - he used to go mental.

Because it wouldn't be fair then would it , my parents time and their money spent on someone other than him - he was the 'special child' ( in his eyes ) & everything should of revolved around him and he should always be put first , even before my parents - hell no !

I'm afraid , you more you placate her , reason with her the more reasoning she will find to make you feel obligated , guilty etc and give her some money.

I'm afraid you have to be cruel to be kind - otherwise this is the way it will stay forever .

You may of noticed that 'my story' is written in past tense. Yes , it no longer happens . My brother is still entitled. But sadly in the last 10 years I have lost both my parents. His abuse of them happened until they both died and he could no longer ask them to bail him out.

This is why I plead with you to sort it now and not let it carry on,
For your younger daughter's sake. As much as for yours.

Everything in your older daughters life is down to her choices. Everybody needs to be responsible for their own choices - or at least be given a chance to be responsible for them. My parents as they always ultimately bailed out my brother denied him the chance to show himself as being responsible - why did he need to worry , when they did the worry for him?

Regarding the dog - it is nobody's 'right' to have a dog ; they are a luxury. Luxury costs - to take on a dog a responsible owner needs to be able to afford the luxury of one. Including food, vaccinations, worming, insurance for or vet bill costs etc.

Again it comes down to choice - if you did not make the choice , you are not responsible for the costs.

Although, I do see she is your daughter . She is no longer a child that you are obligated to provide for.
She is a married mother with her own child - one that she & her husband (and no one else ) is obligated to provide for.

I may sound very hard nosed , I'm actually not.
I would of loved to of seen my brother with a 'healthy' relationship with my parents . That's why I have responded to your post - I'm sure you would love a healthier relationship with your daughter too. But it's going to take some 'hard' work on both sides to get there.

I wish you luck & happier times.

Apologies if I have gone on.

DowntonTrout Thu 27-Feb-14 08:01:54

Thanks all. I have read your posts carefully.

LtEve he has some debt from before they married. They have been paying a ridiculous amount of bank charges instead of dealing with it. That has put them on the back foot every month. I will PM you, if I may,

Pausing your post struck such a chord. I've been aware of how much this has affected my younger DD all along. Not just her, although she is my priority, but my elder DS, who has never asked for anything, and me and my DH. Honestly, our heart just drops when we see DD1 is phoning us. I've talked on here before about a possible personality disorder. I've spent so many years rushing to her side, trying to protect her, probably have been the worst kind of helicopter parent. It has become force of habit and it is taking a great deal of breaking. I feel overwhelmed by it at the moment.

cogito I know you are being deliberately harsh for a very good reason. The truth is, she frightens me. When we went NC she ended up making a suicide attempt and in a psychiatric unit.

moonriverandme Thu 27-Feb-14 09:45:38

My heart goes out to you. I think you have to stand up to your daughter and refuse any more financial help, she has to learn to manage her income.She is relying on the fact that you love her and your grandson and do not want to lose contact. I think the time has come to be firm with her and tell her no. I understand how hard it is for you. I don't know if I would be strong enough to take my own advise, .but hope that I would for everyone, or she will continue to treat you in this way.

MrsKent Thu 27-Feb-14 09:49:35

"I want to help you. Bit what I have been found so far (lending you money) had not helped you manage your finances yourself. I know it may sound harsh but I feel the best way to help you is not to get you out of trouble myself. I hope in time you'll see I do it for your own good. I still live you very much and wish to keep a relationship with you. I am happy to advise you if you ask me but I won't if you don't."

MrsKent Thu 27-Feb-14 09:50:58

* but what I have been doing...

Isetan Thu 27-Feb-14 10:39:54

If she/ they never suffer the consequences of their financial mismanagement then why would they change the magic formula (hitting you up for cash). Bailing her out and being the back-up plan for life's challenges is not cushioning her but letting her selfishness stifle her potential development.

You need to set clear boundaries and back them up. She will scream and shout, threaten and ignore you but you do need to make a stand and she needs to see you make that stand.

She is is an adult and there is a flip side to making her own choices and that is being responsible for them.

LtEveDallas Thu 27-Feb-14 10:50:50

Hi Downton, have replied. Will help if I can at all.

fuzzpig Thu 27-Feb-14 10:58:05

I agree with those who've said you have to put your foot down now. She won't change otherwise.

pausingforbreath Thu 27-Feb-14 11:53:26

If I may quote you back to yourself...
'Ive talked on here about a possible personality disorder'
'Probably have been the worst kind of helicopter parent'

No,no,no,no! Stop.

Stop looking for reasons to excuse her poor behaviour and unhealthy demands upon you. Also, ways to cover your probable embarrassment at not being able to say no to her.

Every time you pander to her manipulation and say 'yes' - it gives her more reason to keep on hitting on you financially & emotionally.

Just say no and mean it.

She is now an adult, married with a husband and a child of her own. View her as that , not as your child who needs you to rescue her every time she has a toddler tantrum.

You created her: not her problems. She ( and her husband) created her financial problems, they need to face them as a couple.
For her to make you to feel obligated to sort them is wrong. Very different to you seeing them struggle and offering to help.

'Honestly,our heart just drops when our DD1 is phoning us'

Just plain wrong, I've witnessed and felt this too. But what hurt me more was my parents choice not to do anything to change the situation , re address the balance and choose to become more and more stressed.

'But my elder ds who has never asked for anything'
That was me - I knew that my parents were so emotionally drained / invested in him and financially stretched that I didn't ask. I knew they were so drained - they had nothing left to give me.

I got so fed up with being told that ' I was different to him, I was stronger - I didn't need them like he did'
I truly hope you don't see yourselves saying these things. It's just a way of relieving guilt , over an unhealthy relationship.

Please, stop putting your DD1 ahead of you and your whole family's .
Somewhere within you, you must find the strength to start saying no and standing up for yourself.

'The truth is , she frightens me.'
What frightens you is what 'could' possibly happen. Assuming the worst and not even contemplating a good outcome is what is leaving you overwhelmed.

It is hard to break the habit, it possibly may be harder in the short term.
But by breaking the habit long term , it can make all of your futures happier.

DowntonTrout Thu 27-Feb-14 12:16:10

Everything you say pausing I agree with.

I mistakenly saw what I was doing as strength but really it's been my weakness.

I haven't offered the money. They need to feel the pain to stop repeating this pattern don't they?

Clutterbugsmum Thu 27-Feb-14 12:28:22


How did christmas go when you put boundries in place as to what you were prepared to let you dd do.

Did you stick with them or did your dd manage to get her own way.

Dutchoma Thu 27-Feb-14 12:42:23

Downton yes, you are right. Please don't be swayed by the emotional blackmail (including suicide attempt) your daughter may or may not employ.
One thing that helped in our situation was that my husband could get through to my daughter more than I could. We are too alike and strike sparks or each other. But my husband who was much calmer sometimes got results where I did not. I don't know whether that may be the same in your case.

DowntonTrout Thu 27-Feb-14 12:46:38

It was ok in the end. We stuck to our plans. She was grateful for her presents and didn't resent DD2. I managed to stay calm and that helped. My mum was very ill at that point and so it was a bit of distraction really.

Mum died after they'd gone and there was a lot of pressure to come home. I flew them down for the funeral but only for a few days because I just couldn't cope with everything turning into a drama at that point. There was a bit of attention seeking FB posting within an hour of mum dying and I had to ask that nothing else be posted until I had had chance to speak to everyone myself. Honestly, sometimes FB is the devil, I didn't want mums death publicising like that.

DowntonTrout Thu 27-Feb-14 12:51:13

Dutcoma that is very true. I'm far too emotionally invested. DH doesn't get involved and she knows better than to try it with him. When he does, it's final and there is no argument. I should learn from that.

pausingforbreath Thu 27-Feb-14 12:51:22


Well done, you have taken a small step - lots of small steps will amount to a huge change , just stick at it.

Look forward to the time , when the phone rings from your DD1 you don't panic - she's ringing for a chat, a catch up not because you are her cash cow.

Look forward to your next holiday with your younger Dd without being made to feel guilty.

'They need to feel the pain' - not as I would put it smile .

You are NOT punishing them by withdrawing 'unreasonable' demands on your purse.

You are GIVING them ownership of their own responsibilities.
If they have you as an easy back up - no reason to make considered choices.
If she's treated as an adult - she will become one.

I read somewhere.

'There are two gifts we should give our children.
One is roots and the other is wings'.

Don't punish yourself , but stay strong with your boundaries.

DowntonTrout Thu 27-Feb-14 12:53:41

Ok, maybe feeling the pain is too strong a statement. I think what I mean is letting them learn from their mistakes instead of solving their problems for them smile

pausingforbreath Thu 27-Feb-14 12:55:03


Clutterbugsmum Thu 27-Feb-14 16:06:45

DH doesn't get involved and she knows better than to try it with him. When he does, it's final and there is no argument. I should learn from that. Perhaps that's the answer.

If she using you to get money etc, because she knows you won't say no. Perhaps your stock answer needs to be "I need to discuss this with dad" before giving an answer. I don't mean making your DH the 'bad' parent but more in letting her know that you and your DH are a team and that and financial decision and are made together.

I do think you need to take a step back and her and her DH make their own mistakes. You could give them all your money and it still won't be enough. Yes support them in getting help for the debt/budgeting issues so they can clear them and move forward in a positive way.

struggling100 Thu 27-Feb-14 16:20:12

I agree with everyone else who says that you need to stop bailing her out over every little thing. She needs to find a sustainable way of making her life and finances work.

However, I think it's important also for you to make it clear that if she ever really needs help, you are there for her, and to try to have a conversation about not helping her without it becoming angry and confrontational (easier said than done). To be honest, she is still trapped in a child's mindset, but with all these adult responsibilities. It will be a very tough transition for her to stand on her own two feet.

I also think it's important to maintain a very strict equality in the way you treat both children. My family has been torn apart by favouritism and gross inequality across many generations, and it does so much emotional damage. sad

MinesAPintOfTea Thu 27-Feb-14 16:30:06

Could you make it very clear that she (and baby) is always welcome to come back and live under your roof and rules if she is very stuck, whilst telling her that the handouts can't continue?

cozietoesie Thu 27-Feb-14 19:17:35

What happened within and after the psychiatric unit?

Roseformeplease Thu 27-Feb-14 19:28:07

Can you offer help that is not money but goods? My mother is a similar drain and so, rather than sending money, I send food via Tesco delivery or I pay her phone bill. I never, ever say yes to providing money but, equally, I do a lot to supply things which she needs. I send books, food and pay the odd bill.

That way, I retain some control over the money so it is used for things she needs rather than things she wants (in my Mum's case - alcohol).

If you did something similar, you would be saying,"No" and being firm with her but also sending some things that show your support (baby clothes, a voucher for a haircut etc).

I really feel for you but I think you have to pull back further. If her DH is military, there will be a lot of care for her, the baby and her DH. They will not starve or be allowed to struggle.

Terrortree Thu 27-Feb-14 21:03:48

I was just about to write what Roseformeplease has written. I think it is excellent advice and gives you some control on how your money is spent.

If she's not grateful for that then it tells you something about her attitude to your money (a mere advance on her inheritance as she could be seeing it!).

NearTheWindymill Thu 27-Feb-14 21:14:22

Oh love, it's hard being a mum. I think, although I can't quite put myself in your position but mine are 19 and nearly 16, I would say "that's fine, you have made a lot of independent decisions and now I'd like you to follow them through and get yourself organised. If anything bad happens, ie, you suffer domestic violence or are made homeless, then obviously I want you and dgc to come home and we will help you back on your feet".

I don't know; really I don't but hugs thanks

livingzuid Thu 27-Feb-14 21:43:54

Op I don't have huge advice here as your dd sounds as if she has issues way beyond her relationship with you. It's very serious if she has had a suicide attempt and also received psychiatric care. It's not normal for people to go around making suicide attempts. She needs assistance for this which you cannot provide for her.

But this should not be mixed in with the money situation. You are right to stop giving her cash. But equally don't you want to build the relationship with her where she can turn to you for help and a safe haven? That does not have to involve giving out a few hundred here and there which actually doesn't solve any long term financial issues anyway.

I write this because your story in parts is very similar to me and my mother although without the grandchild. I was accused of suicide attempts to get attention and to guilt trip but actually was diagnosed with bipolar many years later. My parents tried to solve the problem by giving money which really solved nothing at all. But as the child, even as a grown up, all I wanted was to be able to have somewhere secure. It's not exactly as windymill has beautifully put.

Sorry, not trying to project but the suicide thing really struck me. If your main relationship with your daughter is maintained by giving a few hundred here and there its not helping anyone. I hope she is getting professional support for her health issues and perhaps changing communication in the long run to not just be about cash will help. A bit of distance for you could help. Don't answer the phone if you don't feel up to it, for example smile it's OK for you to limit contact for a while to figure out what you want and to let your daughter find her own feet.

livingzuid Thu 27-Feb-14 21:44:43

Sorry, it's exactly as windmill says, I agree completely! Phone.....

DowntonTrout Fri 28-Feb-14 08:48:53

Sorry, the suicide attempt is a red herring really. She let everyone believe she had taken an overdose, by appearing to be unconscious, and was admitted to the psych unit. She was crying wolf. She has also undergone medical procedures, which may have been unnecessary, at worst I suspect Munchausens.

I don't mean to drip feed. There has been so much I can't begin to put it all down. I know some people remember various posts over the last few years. So yes, the money thing is just the tip of the iceberg, it's just that I can't cope with another escalating round of drama just now. I haven't constantly given money, as I said, we were NC for around 18 months. I have made concerted effort since the baby was born and bought practical baby items which I have delivered to help out and show willing. But it's one step forward, two steps back. Every little bit I give, emotionally, financially whatever, she wants more. It is never enough.

livingzuid Fri 28-Feb-14 09:13:03

Ah OK smile still something going on though psychologically though I guess? It must be difficult for you. I hope she's getting professional help because it just doesn't sound like a healthy way to live. Not good for you to be sucked in.

I suspect it's hard to admit as a mum that there's only so much you can do (about to become a mum so can't say for sure!). Tough love is sometimes the best thing, similar to how some families have to behave with addicts. Quite aside from the fact that you can't keep giving her money indefinitely at great cost to yourself?


DowntonTrout Fri 28-Feb-14 10:09:58

In a nutshell she was in and out of hospital from a young age. Missed a lot of school and fell behind. Then we realised there was more to it and eventually we discovered she also had some learning difficulties. Parents with DCs who have special needs will recognise that you fight a lot of battles to get the help they require. She also began to struggle with friendships and socially. I think she learned behaviour that meant illness or making people feel sorry for you gained attention. Generally people got tired of that because she was such hard work.

I'm not sure when that crossed over into faking illness/injuries or creating drama to gain attention, certainly earlier than I recognised it as such, but not before others suspected it. And so my fighting her battles had become a pattern and also a problem. Still I felt I was the last person she had who would fight her corner, I was blinded by that, tbh, and when everything came to a head three years ago I was devastated. Even I didn't believe her anymore and that leaves you with a lot of guilt.

I don't know if I'll ever be able to forgive her or trust her again. I have built bridges because of my GC but I am constantly on edge. It is horrible to feel that way about your child.

Greenrememberedhills Fri 28-Feb-14 10:28:21

Downtown I have two adult children as well as younger ones , and I certainly had experience of this with the eldest.

Here is what it took me a decade or more to learn:

You don't ever need to criticise her choices- nobody wants to hear "I told you so".

You do not need to feel guilty.

If you do feel guilty, work that through in your head, nobody can make you feel guilty if you refuse to.

Do not lend her money.

Do not, I repeat, lend money. IME once you start to refuse, she will initially use whatever messages she thinks will work to get you to lend it- so it will be for the child etc. resist that manipulation. It us for her benefit.

Do you see, if you dont enable her to get into debt and you don't bail her out, then you can afford not to judge her poor choices. Also, she will feel discomfort from her bad financial decisions, and sort herself out. They don't need to do so whilst they have Bank of mum and dad.

I'm not suggesting you shouldnt offer cash for Christmas and birthday if you want to and can afford it. But for heavens sake stop bailing her out and enabling her. If you do, she will also not respect you for it, and you will only get resented if you ever say no.

Also let her know in advance how things will change. Then stick to it like glue. There will be tough times ahead as a result, but in the longer term it will really help her to mature and improve your relationship .

Old saying: do not snatch away from your kids the opportunity to grow and mature by learning from their own mistakes.

Have to go out now.

livingzuid Fri 28-Feb-14 10:28:43

Downton big hugs. There is no easy answer particularly when that old devil guilt is added to the equation. Can I just say I wish my mum had been there to fight for me rather than what I went through. You sound amazing.

I think both my parents feel enormous guilt and used money for years to try and resolve it, which actually made it worse for both my brother and I. Money's also a form of control too or it was in my dad's case but I don't think that applies here.

So sad to say this and not trying to be judgy at all but I don't think the guilt will ever go away no matter how much money you give. There must be a point where you say to yourself 'I've really done all I can I have nothing to feel bad about'. And move on. Otherwise you are all stuck in the same destructive cycle and it never ends. I wonder as well if this must affect your relationship with your dh if you aren't on the same page - not prying at all but that must give you even more stress.

She's a grown up now and has got to take responsibility for her actions. There will be a kernel in her I am sure that realises she needs to sort herself out, but she hasn't had to as you are still bending over backwards to help her. Short of serious mental illness or some sort of genetic disorder where she simply can't function, we all have to look after ourselves, and do it on our own.

Still stand by what the pp said. You and your dh can provide stability, love and a safe haven for when she's ready. But no more cash. And a bit of distance. The GC will still be there for many years to come for you to enjoy smile

mummylin Fri 28-Feb-14 10:52:46

Hello downtown I am sorry you are in this position. I think I would be inclined not to give her anymore actual money, if she is struggling to pay for nappies or groceries I would probably get a delivery sent to her, but the money has to stop. Where will it end. They are old enough to have to sort things out for themselves instead of thinking they don't have to because they can always get money from you. They are parents and have to learn to be responsible. I know it is probably very hard for you to say no, but long term you will be helping them to take responsibility for themselves. Good luck

Holdthepage Fri 28-Feb-14 20:11:03

Stop giving her money. I would repeat this over and over again if I thought it would get through to you. Send her a grocery delivery full of stuff for her baby if you think it will help but do not give her money.

Her choices in life are not your responsibility, their dog is definitely not your responsibility.

Stop giving her money.

I could give you a complete horror story about some friends of mine who have a DS with similar problems. They have constantly funded him while his life is on a downward spiral. They have never been able to understand that their cushion of cash has contributed to his decline.

Stop giving her money.

Oldraver Fri 28-Feb-14 20:58:38

You are doing her no favours in fact you are adding to the drama by constantly giving her handouts and being at her beck and call. She will never stand on her own two feet while you are mollycoddling her. She will become ever more dependant on you and you will continue to keep posting for years to come.

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