Peter Pan

My daughter and her boyfriend of five years decided to move to our state from Los Angeles last August. They were supposed to live with us for a short time while they built a small apartment onto our garage.

The move was to help them gain financial stability so they could freely travel. We were okay with this because we missed our daughter terribly and wanted her to come home. We also knew they could help us with our gardening projects.

It was supposed to be a win-win. Unfortunately it has not been pleasant. It is now February and the boyfriend has not even looked for a job. They have not built the apartment and still live in my home with my husband and I.

My daughter still works her job that she had in Los Angeles. We do not ask them to pay for utilities, internet or household bills. However, she does help out some with groceries. They also help with cooking food.

The boyfriend senses our disapproval even though we have not said anything. He lies to his parents and tells them he is working when he is not. Since he is not working, my daughter is paying his bills and anything extra he needs.

Until recently he drank pretty heavily on a daily basis. He quit cold turkey two weeks ago.

My husband is home with them during the day recovering from surgery. He feels like a stranger in his own home. My husband will stay in his office on the computer from the time he gets up until he goes to bed.

My daughter, who is quite bossy, shames my husband by telling him he should get busy and clean, wash dishes and do laundry. The most the boyfriend will do is wash dishes and cook.

The boyfriend casually says hello or goodnight to me, but normally will not speak to my husband unless he asks him something. All other conversations are with my daughter exclusively, in a low tone so no one can hear or join in the conversation. I do not like it.

I have spoken to my daughter about her boyfriend’s unemployment and other issues. My daughter says stay out of it, she is an adult and she can handle it. I feel this will forever cause resentment between my daughter and us.

I would like them to move out, but she doesn’t want to because he does not have a job. I’ve had all I can take. I need some advice without causing my daughter to resent us.

~ Lizabeth

Lizabeth, you want your wisdom tooth pulled, and you also don’t want any discomfort.

That’s not possible.

The reality is your daughter is more concerned with her boyfriend than she is with how this affects her parents. She knows he is in the wrong yet she defends him. As it now stands, you are enabling your daughter to enable him.

Your daughter’s boyfriend moved into your house and showed who he is: lazy, a liar, a freeloader and possibly an alcoholic. Any suggestion of a garage apartment should be nixed. The apartment would be a reward.

Why would you want him on your property when you don’t want him in your daughter’s life?

Your daughter says she is handling the situation, but she is not. She and her boyfriend are living as children in your home. If she wants to act like the adult she thinks she is, she should realize living rent-free and bill-free discourages her boyfriend from looking for work.

There’s a saying, sometimes attributed to Navy Seals, which sticks in our minds. The only way out is through. We agree. Dodging issues never solves anything.

Instead, you and your husband need to schedule their moving day. In her heart your daughter will know you are right.

It’s tough…but the only way out is through.

~ Wayne & Tamara

Column for the week of February 8, 2016

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