“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Jul 17, 2013
DEAR AMY: My wife and I have a difference of opinion regarding our 23-year-old daughter. Perhaps you can give some thoughtful advice.

Our daughter was married nearly three years ago to a young man about whom we felt uncomfortable. However, we went ahead and paid for a very large wedding and celebration.

Within the first months after her marriage, our daughter started calling home saying she was being mistreated, that her husband was staying out late, that he was using drugs, etc.

To this day, even though we live 1,200 miles from our daughter, we still get the calls. My wife "bites" every time when she hears another story about a broken arm, emergency room visits, surgeries to repair violent injuries in domestic disputes and what not. Incidentally, none of these "incidents" has ever been verified.

Hardly a week goes by that we are not readying our house for the return of our daughter, and she never comes.

My wife says that our daughter is an abused wife and needs help getting out of her marriage. I say our daughter needs emotional help and should not be supported by my wife every time she cries wolf.

What say you?-- Perplexed in Wisconsin

DEAR PERPLEXED: Here's what I say: If my daughter called home with anything approximating the trouble your daughter reports, I would first call the police and ask them to immediately go to her house, and then I would be on a plane that night to bring her home.

What can you possibly be thinking? Rome is burning and you and your wife are bickering about the high cost of a fire extinguisher.

When you get a report that there is abuse and domestic violence, first you believe it, then you try to stop it.

Even if your daughter is somehow "crying wolf," the fact that she would do so means that she is suffering and needs help. You don't report that she has any sort of history of lying or manipulating you; she may be taking drugs or involved in some terrifying lifestyle.

Stop fighting with your wife about this and do something!(2005)

DEAR AMY: My husband and I have a major disagreement. Our son has moved back home for the third time. He has admitted that he is addicted to crack cocaine and says he wants to quit. Last year we entered him in a program, but he wasn't serious, so needless to say it didn't work out. He has had five jobs and three vehicles during his two years of using drugs.

My husband says to kick him to the curb and be done with him (he is 20). I say, as parents we can't give up yet.

We have been out thousands of dollars and a lot of tears during this time. Our rule now is that anything he "borrows" must be paid back. I think our son should repay us on a regular schedule like other creditors, and my husband says if he doesn't pay up, we should cut ties with him. I am almost ready to agree.

I need an impartial view.-- Not Ready to Give up in Georgia

DEAR GEORGIA: You are talking about money as the deal breaker, when I think you should be talking about rehab as the deal breaker.(Why on Earth, for instance, would you let him "borrow" money from you when you know where it is going?)

In my view, your son must be in rehab. Recidivism is extremely common when dealing with drug addiction, and I do feel you should give this another try.

Do not give your son money, and make his attendance at rehab and regular 12-step meetings compulsory to see if he can succeed this time. For information and treatment referral, the government runs a helpful website at samhsa.gov .(Or call 800-662-HELP.)

Working with drug counselors and other parents will help you determine when "enough is enough." (2004)

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#2 Jul 17, 2013
L1. She is crying for help you ding-dong, not crying wolf.
How sad a story. That man is a serial abuser.
I have seen women in her exact same situation who have ended up dead at the hands of their tormentor.
Sorry to say it, but it is true.

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

#3 Jul 17, 2013
1: If my daughter called me and said she was being mistreated but was pulling the crap this kid is, I'd tell her to either leave or let me know when she is ready to leave. Something is not right here, but until she's willing to act versus report, what can you do?

2: "Go to rehab or you're cut off."

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#4 Jul 17, 2013
L1: I'm willing to believe that the daughter is making it up, mainly because it doesn't seem normal behavior to tell parents about the abuse -- it seems far more common to cover it up and do everything possible to keep family from finding out. This guy may have good reasons to not believe his daughter -- he knows her better than we do. But shouldn't concerned parents *fly*-- even as a surprise -- and check in on her and see what the real story is?

L2: How can you cut ties with your child? He's an addict. He's sick. He needs help. You can't force him to get help. STop lending him anything other than food. Feed him, make sure he doesn't steal your stuff (seriously -- lock up valuables NOW, including keeping your daily stuff like your purse, billfold, jewelry behind a lock as well). If you abandon him, then when he gets clean he'll remember that you cut all ties and you'll never see him again.

You and your husband need to see a therapist who specializes in these sorts of problems and get advice on what to do next. But to cut all ties? So your son calls you crying because he's beat up or raped and homeless and you're going to hang up on him? Why did you have children?

I disagree about forcing him into treatment. I just don't see that working. THe person has to want to go, generally, right?

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#5 Jul 17, 2013
L1: I have to agree with Amy. At the very least, I would have got on a plane asap when I got that first call or, if I could not, I would have sent the police over there. She's 1200 miles from her mother and probably isolated if she moved to where she is for the guy. It's not unusual to have a victim of this kind of abuse to stay.

L2: I agree with Red except I'd force him into residential rehab as best I could. Expensive, though. Try to get on Intervention. Call Dr. Phil.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#6 Jul 17, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L1: I'm willing to believe that the daughter is making it up, mainly because it doesn't seem normal behavior to tell parents about the abuse -- it seems far more common to cover it up and do everything possible to keep family from finding out. This guy may have good reasons to not believe his daughter -- he knows her better than we do. But shouldn't concerned parents *fly*-- even as a surprise -- and check in on her and see what the real story is?
L2: How can you cut ties with your child? He's an addict. He's sick. He needs help. You can't force him to get help. STop lending him anything other than food. Feed him, make sure he doesn't steal your stuff (seriously -- lock up valuables NOW, including keeping your daily stuff like your purse, billfold, jewelry behind a lock as well). If you abandon him, then when he gets clean he'll remember that you cut all ties and you'll never see him again.
You and your husband need to see a therapist who specializes in these sorts of problems and get advice on what to do next. But to cut all ties? So your son calls you crying because he's beat up or raped and homeless and you're going to hang up on him? Why did you have children?
I disagree about forcing him into treatment. I just don't see that working. THe person has to want to go, generally, right?
My BIL is an alcoholic and has , and perhaps still is, an addict of some sort and a well skilled manipulator.He is now 60. There is a substantial difference between tough love and cutting ties.The IL's had to go the tough love route and it has been as tough on them as anyone. BIL was not allowed back to family home even to get "His" stuff, has not been told which nursing home is father is in nor his mother's new address. My other BIL has helped him through the SSDI process, being evicted from public housing and jail and for his sins had bad BIL steal his credit card number and become an identity thief.I could go on.

He is sick. He has had a great deal of help and it has not made much difference. He has not been shunned, but ties have been cut. Some sorties don't have happy endings.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#7 Jul 17, 2013
LW1: If she really "bit" every time your daughter called, she'd have more frequent flyer miles than a salesman. Instead, she's just wrapped up in some weird emotional BS from which they both seem to be benefiting.

Get on a plane for a surprise visit and see for yourself what is actually going on.

LW2: He has to *want* to go to rehab or it will all be for naught. Stop giving him money and this will happen sooner.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#8 Jul 17, 2013
Toj wrote:
L2: I agree with Red except I'd force him into residential rehab as best I could. Expensive, though. Try to get on Intervention. Call Dr. Phil.
And I would never blame any parent for doing that. Ever. Even if it failed 20 times. You do what you have to do for your kids when they're hurting and struggling that way.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#9 Jul 17, 2013
What if one of those times in treatment does the trick? It's not likely (unless the guy really wants to stop), but it's possible.
not a ghost

San Antonio, TX

#10 Jul 17, 2013
LW1: Get that young woman into counseling with a competent counselor.

LW2: Get that son to a competent counselor.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#11 Jul 17, 2013
1- So she got married barely out of her teens, she's been calling for help for three years, and you've done absolutely nothing? And you're shrugging off stories of broken bones and ER visits? Step up, be a father, and get your daughter out of there. Figure out all this he said/she said drama once she's out of harms way.

2- Yeah, stop giving him money. And get him into rehab. He's living with you, for goddsake. Do something.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#12 Jul 17, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
What if one of those times in treatment does the trick? It's not likely (unless the guy really wants to stop), but it's possible.
I figure if at least one thing resounds in the kid, you're that much closer. It takes many times going to rehab for some to give it up for life. You can't stop trying, as you said.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#13 Jul 17, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
1- So she got married barely out of her teens, she's been calling for help for three years, and you've done absolutely nothing? And you're shrugging off stories of broken bones and ER visits? Step up, be a father, and get your daughter out of there. Figure out all this he said/she said drama once she's out of harms way.
2- Yeah, stop giving him money. And get him into rehab. He's living with you, for goddsake. Do something.
I dunno who disagreed with you, maybe someone did out of habit. This time, though, I agree with you.

“What's it to ya?”

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#14 Jul 17, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
1- So she got married barely out of her teens, she's been calling for help for three years, and you've done absolutely nothing? And you're shrugging off stories of broken bones and ER visits? Step up, be a father, and get your daughter out of there. Figure out all this he said/she said drama once she's out of harms way.
2- Yeah, stop giving him money. And get him into rehab. He's living with you, for goddsake. Do something.
Stop saying stuff to make me agree with you!

#ouch

Since: May 13

Monterey, CA

#15 Jul 17, 2013
Sad letters today. The theme is, you can't always save people from themselves. But if they are your children, you should try.

LW1: I hope you got on that plane and checked in on your daughter. She clearly has a problem, and I hope you found out what it is/was.

LW2: I don't know if rehab only works when the addict seeks it out, but I would definitely speak with some experienced drug counselors to get their opinions and suggestions.

“It made sense at the time....”

Since: May 09

Schaumburg, IL

#16 Jul 17, 2013
tough situations all around...

tehre is a difference between cutting them off and not being supportive. after financially helping SIL for a year now, she (a) has a reasonably paying job,(b) is getting temporary maintenance while workign on her divorce,(c) is getting student loans to go back to school and (d) has a room mate to help with teh rent and bills... if she asks for money again, we'll ask for an accounting of where it's going. and if its tanning and acrylic nails (which she has had recently), um, no, look in your expenditures for it, not at us. Time for SIL to start standing on her own two feet.

and it's kinda funny, she keeps sayinkg she hates that she has to ask us for assistance, and that she'll pay us back as soon as she can, but yet, here she is, asking for one last rent check... the maintenance and roomie should be plenty to cover basic expenses (weknow what the rent and maintenace is).

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#17 Jul 17, 2013
Toj wrote:
I dunno who disagreed with you, maybe someone did out of habit. This time, though, I agree with you.
Mimi Seattle wrote:
Stop saying stuff to make me agree with you!
#ouch
Woo hoo! I'm right for once! Take that, btches!!

“What's it to ya?”

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#18 Jul 17, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
<quoted text>
Woo hoo! I'm right for once! Take that, btches!!
"Once" being the operative word.

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