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Desperate plea for money - WWYD

(733 Posts)
Bittornhelp Thu 12-Jan-17 14:21:53

More of a WWYD really - OH and I are feeling very torn. NC'd as potentially identifying....

Sorry it's a bit long - I've tried to summarise the story to date without drip feeding - I fully appreciate that I only have OH's side of the story in this, as we only met a couple of years after much of this took place. However, we've been together ten years, and I would trust his word as he sees it.

OH separated from his first wife in 2006 - they'd been together ten years, but mostly unhappily. OH stayed so long for her two children, who were about 2 and 3 when they got together, and who he saw as his own. ExW was by all accounts not the most stable of individuals - would dramatically estrange herself from friends and family the most trivial of reasons, and was often emotionally manipulative / abusive towards OH. She also had issues with reckless expenditure - examples being blowing a £60k inheritance, and repeatedly running up credit card debt that OH at one point risked bankruptcy over in trying to pay off (just to fill in the gaps, she was a SAHM for all this period). OH paid the mortgage and put the children through private school - when they finally did split, he basically walked away with nothing. ExW immediately blocked all access to the children - and OH had no right to access, given they were neither biologically or legally his own. I know that losing access to them was and remains one of the greatest pains and regrets of his life.

A few years down the line the younger son (will call DS for ease) then about 17 or 18 got back in touch via social media - which OH was delighted by. As teens do, DS would ask for money from time to time; an uncharitable person might say he asked for money every time he was in touch. OH would always oblige - partly out of guilt at how things ended, partly in the hope that this might act as a "bridge" back into face-to-face contact one day.

Now the DS is 22, and despite having asked for and received money on an ad hoc basis for all these years (probably talking about £1,000 "pocket money" a year), has never committed to the beers or football matches etc OH has on several occasion gently suggested - contact has only ever been via email for all this time. After their last exchange when OH coughed up for driving lessons, OH decided that this would be the last time he paid out, given that DS is now an adult at 22, and the relationship he had hoped might one day result in doing so hasn't come about.

Anyway, to the dilemma at hand - the other day out of the blue we got this:

Hi Dad, would you be able to give me some more financial support ASAP, with me and mum living at <friend>'s and basically being homeless I'm seriously struggling now, got credit cards and overdrafts to pay off and I'm seriously starting to have a breakdown. I have no one else to ask and I feel bad enough having to ask.

In previous communications, he had mentioned that ExW lost the house "for no reason", and that they were then evicted from emergency accommodation because the landlord apparently "changed his mind". AFAIK, he and ExW are now crammed in with a family friend, with no prospect of moving on any time soon. The presumption is that ExW didn't keep up with mortgage or rental payments - though OH had left her with 6-figure equity in the house. OH also strongly suspects that DS has gotten himself into debt by putting his wages towards ExW's living costs, as he has said that ExW now has depression and (still) can't work. He's also said that the older sister had just escaped an abusive relationship, is now a single mum, and also has depression (I'm not sure what her living circumstances are), and that he is struggling to stay positive for everyone.

By all accounts he is and always was a nice lad - I'll admit to having a look at his Facebook profile, and he looks a lovely young man, very sporty, involved in the community and a very hand-on uncle, who it sounds has been dealt a shit hand due to ExW's financial situation and has perhaps found himself in over his head as a result.

However, he also sounds quite immature where finances are concerned, and in need more of some proper financial advice than he is more cash at this time - OH (in the right industry to advise) is more than willing to provide practical advice in how he can get best get the situation under control, and wants to ask for a face-to-face meeting to help him talk things through and advise on next steps. He's wary of providing further financial support for all the obvious reasons - i.e. potentially being played, money likely diverting towards ExW, cash in the short-term just proving a drop in the ocean, and not really helping DS in terms of life lessons in the long run anyway, etc....

That said, in DS's last communication a couple of months ago he was cheerily asking for driving lessons, not in the midst of a full-blown debt crisis - so who's to say any of the above is even true...? There wasn't even a "please"...

It's hard to know at a distance quite what to believe and what to do to help....

WWYD for the best in this situation please??

Bittornhelp Thu 12-Jan-17 14:22:22

Oh crikey - that really was long! Apologies and thanks to anyone he made it through to the end...

BarbarianMum Thu 12-Jan-17 14:25:29

I'd say no. It's not a healthy relationship they are building at all. Maybe he should try building a face to face relationship with no money changing hands for a year or two then take it from there. Unfortunately he may find the young man is not interested.

GeillisTheWitch Thu 12-Jan-17 14:26:11

I wouldn't be sending him any more money, he's an adult and needs to learn to manage his own finances. Nothing about the situation is your OH's problem, the "DS" isn't even interested in having a relationship with him, only what he can get from him.

comingintomyown Thu 12-Jan-17 14:26:24

I would say no without question and I think your OH sounds like a lovely guy who will be tapped up forever until he says no

Ilovecaindingle Thu 12-Jan-17 14:26:55

Who told him he had no rights to her kids? As children of the family he actually did! Too late now for that to be relevant. Seems like the exw has bright them up in the same financial frame of mind as her. And she has led them to believe he will be a meal ticket whenever they need one.
Well nice try kids but the bank of 'dad' is closed for good.
And move on. .

Aftertheraincomesthesun Thu 12-Jan-17 14:28:37

It's been a one way relationship hasn't it. So no.

DartmoorDoughnut Thu 12-Jan-17 14:29:38

The advice is worth more than the money to my mind, would cost a fair amount to get that normally!

It's a no from me too flowers

blackbunny Thu 12-Jan-17 14:30:20

It's your partners decision of course, but if he were to ask for your advice.....i wouldn't give him a penny. Like you say it's one sided, DS seemingly only contacts when he want's cash
Your DP could obviously give lots of practical help and advice.
But I don't think that's what DS is after is it?

HeyMacWey Thu 12-Jan-17 14:31:44

Absolutely no more money should be given.
Maybe emotional support /financial guidance to hold his hand as he learns to stand on his own two feet.

user1484226561 Thu 12-Jan-17 14:36:59

I would suggest a meeting, invite him for a meal, make him a proposition, a set amount of money per month, for specific things, and have the amount decided in advance.

In a few years, this young lad could be on the street, and seriously damaged, and your DP would never forgive himself.

if he has paid private schools fees in the past, he is clearly well enough off to offer something small and regular, to a young man who is effectively his son.

I would insist on the meeting though, they should sort this out face to face.

SurlyValentine Thu 12-Jan-17 14:40:25

It sounds like your OH has been scammed by his exW. Personally I have no doubt that she has put her DS up to asking for money from your OH and it has all been pissed away.

However, his DS is now 22 and needs to wake up, take a look at his living situation and get a grip.

If I was your OH, I would be making it clear that the Bank of Dad was now closed, but if he (DS) wanted advice and emotional support it would be given gladly. And ask how the driving lessons are going wink

OscuraGolondrina Thu 12-Jan-17 14:41:55

I think it's time for your DH to stop being this family's emergency ATM, he sounds like a lovely and caring person who has continued to meet the needs of these dc despite having no legal, familial or even moral obligation to do so and has received very little back in return. I agree with PPs, at 22 this young man needs to learn to stand on his own two feet, your DH should indeed offer financial management guidance and advice but no more money.

Otherpeoplesteens Thu 12-Jan-17 14:42:08

It's always sad when young people with potential are dealt a shitty hand by their parents. If this guy is practically homeless, I'd be tempted to offer to let him live with you (assuming you have the means) but only in exchange for total control of his finances.

So, DS's wage or whatever other source of income goes straight to OH. OH does the best he can with the debt from that, and perhaps a small amount of pocket money to DS if there's any left after essential expenses and debt payments are covered. The deal is conditional upon being a civil member of the family, not just the household - so if OH wants a beer with him he can suck it up. If he can't bring himself to say please, you pull him up on it.

I would make it clear that will be be no cash transfers from OH to DS under any circumstances.

If he's truly desperate, he'll bite. If he doesn't, he's not interested in growing, only taking.

Bittornhelp Thu 12-Jan-17 14:42:42

Thanks all,

For clarify, OH is not as well off now as he was then - back then he had a city career (not a banker!), which went tits up back in the financial crash.

Between us we are comfortable, but certainly in no position to put anyone through private school now.

I don't think the lad is being deliberately manipulative - perhaps just self-centered and "out of sight out of mind" as a lot of young men probably are.

OH wouldn't forgive himself if he were on the street, but somehow I don't think that's as likely as DS is currently making out...

sonjadog Thu 12-Jan-17 14:42:59

I think that I would say that you want to meet with him in person to go through all his debts and discuss how he can pay them off and to explore what sort of funds he might have access to. And then if you decide to support him, then you do it by paying for something in particular for a period - like his rent, or phone bill or whatever. Any cash money you give him will be transferred in small weekly amounts and has to be accounted for by receipts sent to you, or money stops immediately.

I don´t think you just hand him over a wodge of cash of spend as he chooses.

PyongyangKipperbang Thu 12-Jan-17 14:44:19

Could you offer him a home?

Even though he is legally an adult, it sounds like a stable home and help to sort his finances out for himself would do him the world of good.

Soubriquet Thu 12-Jan-17 14:46:03

It would be a no from me too

They will never learn if someone keeps bailing them out

EverySongbirdSays Thu 12-Jan-17 14:46:04

I would make the lad meet with me before I gave him any money, to assess what's really going on and how he is coping.

Perhaps he needs the chance to see he can break away from his Mum and her erratic way of life, he isn't responsible for her.

user1484226561 Thu 12-Jan-17 14:47:21

OH wouldn't forgive himself if he were on the street, but somehow I don't think that's as likely as DS is currently making out..

don't assume. I work for homelessness charities, and it sounds like this person is on the very last rung before he falls off the ladder altogether.

He could become destitute tomorrow, its only going to take a minor arguement with the friend he's dossing with.

These things can happen very fast, and there is quite often simply no way back, particularly for men.

myoriginal3 Thu 12-Jan-17 14:48:10

I'd ask to meet him in person to discuss the situation and then decide

HerOtherHalf Thu 12-Jan-17 14:48:21

They've been back in communication with each other for 4 or 5 years and have never met up? Sorry, your OH is being played for a total mug. He also stands to get even more hurt the longer this goes on before he finally realizes that he's never going to get any more of a relationship with this "son".

Scarydinosaurs Thu 12-Jan-17 14:48:43

I would say giving money is actually doing him a disservice and isn't helping him manage money at all.

I would offer to accompany him to a visit to the CAB so they can assist him in making a repayment plan.

myoriginal3 Thu 12-Jan-17 14:49:07

Does ds have a job

Allalonenow Thu 12-Jan-17 14:49:24

It sounds as though the son is following in his mother's footsteps re poor financial decisions, and by bailing him out repeatedly your DH is facilitating this poor attitude to money.

Was any actual sum mentioned/requested or just a general plea for help? I'd think that if your DH sent any money he would almost certainly get another request in the near future.

Far better for your DH to refuse to give any money, but to offer other advice, perhaps about charities that help with debt management, I think Step-Change is one but there must be others, possibilities for the son to get an extra job, the son contacting the credit card companies about his problems.
All that would be more constructive than your DH paying out yet again.

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