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AIBU to think she could change this situation if she wanted to?

(4 Posts)
TheLastPeg Thu 19-Oct-17 12:42:53

I have a friend whose parents pay some of her rent in London, but she tells me all the time she hates that her EA dad has access to her bank account etc and she really wants to be free of him. I don't doubt he is EA from what she has said and her other siblings all now live abroad with minimal contact with parents.

But she does spend a lot of money (to me anyway). Buys lunch out most days, regular takeaways, only buys high-end makeup, always happy to go for drinks out. I think if she cut back on this she would be able to pay her rent by herself, but I have never lived with or been in a relationship with someone who was EA, so I don't know how difficult it is. Do you think I can suggest that it would be possible to pay her own rent or should I just continue to be a sympathetic ear?

Aquamarine1029 Thu 19-Oct-17 12:52:34

I would tell her. She says she wants to be free from her father's control, yet she spends money foolishly and therefore needs help with her rent. She doesn't see this? Given that she comes to you to whinge about this, I think you can give your opinion.

missmaisie Thu 19-Oct-17 12:57:46

The worst thing you can do with any EA relationship is allow yourself to be dependent on them.

She needs to cut make and if necessary move somewhere cheaper so she can afford all her bills herself. Yes it's tough making sacrifices but if you're truly unhappy that you've given power to an EA person then you will do whatever it takes.

I've known people who have moved to total dives from very nice houses to escape the clutches of EA and reclaim their independence.

mindutopia Thu 19-Oct-17 13:02:07

I think just continue to be sympathetic to her and offer suggestions when conversations do come up that it seems appropriate. Maybe help her brainstorm problems and other ways of doing thing to help her see how she might get out from underneath them. Likely she knows know other way and this is just the path of least resistance and she's too afraid to make the leap and do anything else.

I have a friend who was in a very similar experience. Very manipulative, emotionally abusive dad/parents (but mostly dad). He used to listen in on her calls when I'd call her at home (as a teenager when she still lived at home, this is back in the day before mobile phones). I'd call her, and a number of times, we could hear background noise from him picking up the phone somewhere in the house and listening in. When she left home, she just tolerated it because she was used to living a certain way and needed their money to keep up that lifestyle. They paid for everything. She never really worked until her late 20s. They put her through uni, a postgrad course, bought her a house, etc. She would complain about him and be obviously distressed by it, but realistically, she didn't know how to make it on her own. It wasn't until she had her first child and he tried to control her parenting (literally down to trying to micro-manage aspects of her antenatal care and her birth choices, including showing up on the day when he knew she was in labour, acting like a crazy person). That's when she finally saw it for what it all was and she cut ties after that. (Of course, many years later, she's resumed contact with him because he's offered to pay for children's school fees, at a very expensive independent school, that's another story!). But I don't think there's much you can do other than trying to help her see alternatives when she does come to a crossroads and might potentially choose to go a different direction. It is frustrating though. I wanted to shake my friend for what they were doing to her, but I think it was obviously much more complex than I could have imagined and the lure of financial security was strong.

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