Comments
1 - 17 of 17 Comments Last updated Feb 25, 2013

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Feb 25, 2013
DEAR AMY: My boyfriend is a loving, creative and sensitive person who is 15 years my senior.(I am in my mid-30s.) When we met, I was going through a hard time emotionally and he was going through a hard time financially. He helped me out by being supportive and understanding and I helped cover his bills.

Fast-forward to a year later. I still struggle with my ups and downs, and he is still broke. I have continually asked my boyfriend to get a job. I know he's trying, but even a part-time job at a convenience store would help keep us afloat. We live together, and I know that he spends many productive hours on projects that may or may not eventually pay off.

His former profession as a freelance producer dropped off with the economy, and while he tries hard to find work in his field, he is extremely reluctant to accept the fact that he may need to get a "regular" job.

Besides that, he is always home, so I never get any time to myself. Both the financial problems and lack of alone time make me testy and occasionally hysterical.

I love him very much, but I can't continue to keep my frustration bottled up. I tell myself I'm going to leave him if he doesn't find work, but I really want to stay together. How should I handle this?-- Round the Bend

DEAR ROUND: The way to handle this is to introduce some clarity into your conversations. Don't wait until you feel about to blow up; do this when you feel calm and prepared.

Having been a freelancer for many years, I assure you (and him) that the very essence of freelancing is that you have the freedom to accept a variety of jobs, as well as the responsibility to make a living between gigs. Freelancers teach, tend bar, work retail and do whatever it takes to bring home the dough. Volunteering is also a wonderful way to keep busy, creatively stimulated and to meet new people.

You also need time to yourself at home. This would probably help both of you. Tell him that because he has a lot of privacy during the day you'd like some solitude, too -- maybe one evening a week and a weekend morning. He needs to step out and get going.

DEAR AMY: I'm 75 years old, single and have two sons. One son has been hostile for years -- with outbursts directed at me. The other has emotional and slight mental health issues but regards me as a treasure.

I'm contemplating leaving most of my assets to the latter. I know he isn't the best money manager, but he probably will need more money (and I feel closer to him).

Your thoughts, please?-- Mother

DEAR MOTHER: It is your money and you should disperse it exactly as you please.

I have two suggestions: Make sure to take care of yourself first. You may need to spend down your assets in order to support yourself through unforeseen challenges.

Second, do not discuss this with either son. They may pressure you for information. Your choice may change over time and the last thing you want is to open this up for conversation (and possible manipulation).

A trusted lawyer or neutral financial adviser could help you navigate this, and provide a buffer if you need it.

You should pick up the book "Smart Women Protect Their Assets: Essential Information for Every Woman About Wills, Trusts and More" by Wynne A. Whitman (FT Press, 2008).

DEAR AMY: Regarding the letter from "Mom" about her 13-year-old son who lost one of his retainers: When my daughters got their retainers, the orthodontist told them, "Your mom pays for the first retainer, and if you lose it or the dog gets it, you pay for it." It worked so well, my grandkids were told the same thing by their parents.-- Happily Flossing

DEAR FLOSSING: This is a very common issue with retainers, and I love the solution, especially the fact that it was delivered by the orthodontist, not an angry parent.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#2 Feb 25, 2013
lw1: your bf is a loser

lw2: its your money. do what you want. interesting that the mentally unstable one treasures you. wonder what role you played in the hostility from the other

Since: Dec 09

Smalltown, Colorado

#3 Feb 25, 2013
LW1 - Come on, Amy. When do you finally decide that the guy is a boat anchor and let her move on.

LW2 - Did it ever dawn on the LW that he was the one who raised both of them. And that he will continue to enable the financially challenged one even after death? The hostile one has probably watched the LW help the other son all his life and he resents it.

Since: Dec 09

Smalltown, Colorado

#4 Feb 25, 2013
It is too early. I switched the letter numbers.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#5 Feb 25, 2013
1 I think you could probably be a little more supportive. Creative people need encouragement, not deadlines.

2 If you leave it to the mean son then he will feel guilty and take care of his brother, not so much the other way.

3 Retainers are for lawyers, not teeth.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#6 Feb 25, 2013
L1: Your boyfriend is a lazy mooch. Dump him. He cares more about his invisible "projects" than about helping you afford toilet paper, toothpaste, and milk.

L2: If you do this, you'll ruin the relationship between your sons. That's not a legacy most parents should want to leave behind.

L3: I don't think it's any of the orthodontist's business.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#7 Feb 25, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L3: I don't think it's any of the orthodontist's business.
Right? Why are these parents so afraid of being the bad guy?

“What's it to ya?”

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#8 Feb 25, 2013
What Shari and Angela said.

“FD&S is no way to be.”

Since: Feb 13

Cedar Grove, TN

#9 Feb 25, 2013
1. Um, be direct? Good grief. A year and nothing has changed and you still can't speak your mind? And no, Race, the "creative people need support" does not fly here. It flies when you are nurturing a child, or when someone has the means to indulge their creativity without dragging someone else down. The LW apparently has been supportive. The guy is in his 50's. He was broke when he met her. It's been a year, he's going nowhere. It's time to get a job at the QuikMart to help out, and if he can inulge his creativity in his spare time, have at it

“FD&S is no way to be.”

Since: Feb 13

Cedar Grove, TN

#10 Feb 25, 2013
2. Your money, do what you want. If you are worried about the one son's money management skills, leave the money to him in the form of an annuity.

3. Yes, by all means, place the responsibility with the dentist, not with the parent.

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#11 Feb 25, 2013
L1: Yes, be direct and stop enabling.

L2: What Red said. There's gotta be a better way. Unfortunately, I don't care enough to think it through.

L3: Also what Red said, and Matilda. Speaking of needing to be direct....

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#12 Feb 25, 2013
LW1: Yes, but does he do the housework?

LW2: I can't understand why your one son would be so hostile, you seem to love them so equally...

LW3: I thought I was the only one to have a dog eat my retainer!

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#13 Feb 25, 2013
L1: You want to stay with him. Well sit down and talk with him about the situation. If you cannot come to an agreement, you will have to part ways.

L2: You get to leave your money how you want but are you so sure it's not the way you judge your sons that is affecting the way they treat you?

L3: I don't think it's the orthodontists business either but it's not a hurtful thing for someone to express to a kid about responsibility and taking responsibility. Wouldn't bother me.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#14 Feb 25, 2013
I think the orthodontist should say "If you don't wear your retainer eveyr day, or if you lose it, you may have to get braces again." I think that'd work on quite a few kids.

“FD&S is no way to be.”

Since: Feb 13

Cedar Grove, TN

#15 Feb 25, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
I think the orthodontist should say "If you don't wear your retainer eveyr day, or if you lose it, you may have to get braces again." I think that'd work on quite a few kids.
Agree.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#17 Feb 25, 2013
LW1: Dude has no ambition and you can't force someone to have that. It's pretty clear, he's comfortable just mooching off of you. Most men, with any character would not be okay with this.

LW2: Do what you want, but if the one has money management issues, don't do a lump sum, consider a trust. Many if not all annuities (not exactly sure if there are any that can't) can be sold off for a lump sum.
Julie

Chicago, IL

#18 Feb 25, 2013
Sublime1 wrote:
LW1: Dude has no ambition and you can't force someone to have that. It's pretty clear, he's comfortable just mooching off of you.
This. LW, your boyfriend will refuse to take a job that he feels is "beneath" him. And, NewsFlash-- he'll *always* think that 99.99 percent of jobs are beneath him. If you're comfortable supporting him financially for the rest of your lives, fine--go for it. Otherwise, Dump Him Now. He ain't gonna change.

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