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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Aug 26, 2014
DEAR AMY: I'm a young woman in my 20s. I live some distance from my parents, but we have always been a close family.

A few weeks ago I found out that my father has been unfaithful, and that he and my mother are separating.

My relationship with my father has always been a nice one: He gives me advice about work and my car; when I visit, we go out for burgers or to the movies and watch TV together. I don't talk to him much about emotions, love and intimacy because he gets awkward and gruff.

I'm angry and hurt by the choice he made, and angry that my family is now broken. I'm angry that he said, "You're the most important thing in this world," instead of, "I love you and your mom, and we're going to try to work this out."

I can't imagine speaking to him, though we've kept in contact by text message. But I feel like I should call him to comfort him, because isn't that what good daughters are supposed to do?

I know the infidelity was not about me, and it's not my fault and not my job to fix it. I know, too, that too many daughters and sons grow to loathe their parents, and I don't want that to happen.

How do we move on? When is the right time to be brave and generous, and when is it OK to self-preserve?-- Daughter

DEAR DAUGHTER: First this: You are already the "good daughter" your parents raised you to be. You are compassionate about both parents, even the one with whom you are angry. So now you can throw out the rule book about what good daughters are supposed to do, and respond honestly.

Your father has hurt his family, and now he is hiding because he isn't sure what to do next. Your job is not to comfort him in your hour of need but to do what you need to do to receive comfort.

Your father didn't promise to reconcile with your mother because he doesn't want to. And you are the most important thing in the world, and yet your father is breaking your heart. The ability to break a loved one's heart is the essential contradiction in human relationships.

The time to be brave and generous is -- always.

Communicating is how you will "self-preserve." Writing him a letter (not a text message) might be a good first step toward a conversation.

DEAR AMY: When I lost my job, my boyfriend invited me and my daughter to move in with him. After three months I got a job, and he told me I would have to pay rent. I agreed and started paying rent. I also gave him money for food, cable and utilities to help out.

After a year, I lost my job again and I was jobless for four months. When I got a new job and received my first paycheck, he forced me to pay rent. I told him, "Not this month but for sure next month, because I have to pay my credit cards first."

Amy, do I need to pay him first to make him happy -- and forget my own bills and suffer the consequences?-- Girlfriend

DEAR GIRLFRIEND: By my math, your guy has already sheltered you rent-free for a total of seven months during your stints of joblessness.

You don't seem to take your financial obligation to him very seriously, and he might be so insistent in order to make this point. The fact that he is both your boyfriend and your landlord is confusing, but he has been clear.

Generally, you should pay your rent first and negotiate with your other creditors until you get on a firmer footing.

DEAR AMY: I was truly shocked to read the letter from "Conflicted in Iowa," who witnessed a man assault his wife in front of their kids and was too paralyzed to do anything.

Doing nothing is never acceptable.-- Shocked

DEAR SHOCKED: I give "Conflicted" credit for telling his story. Many readers have responded, and all agree with you -- he should have done something.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#2 Aug 26, 2014
Lw1: Wait, what? Where the f does it say anything about the father hiding, you man hating bitch?
Lw has handled this just fine. If she wants to let him know how she feels, ok, but don't make their problem your problem.

Lw2: "By my math, your guy has already sheltered you rent-free for a total of seven months during your stints of joblessness.
"You don't seem to take your financial obligation to him very seriously, "
Bingo.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#3 Aug 26, 2014
LW2 - Move out and live on your own. If you don't share expenses with your BF when you have the money, you are a leech.

LW3 - Okay, let's turn the time back, go to that moment, and make the guy do something.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#4 Aug 26, 2014
LW1 - You already know all the things you are supposed to know: it's not about you, you are still his daughter, etc. Now, start putting these things into practical behavior. It's okay to be angry with a parent for doing something wrong, and cheating on a spouse is wrong. It's okay to tell this parent how you feel. And it okay to still love this parent and not treat them like dirt. You may need some distance for a little while, some texting and maybe just a lunch together instead of best-buddy chumminess. But civility is definitely in order.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#5 Aug 26, 2014
1- not really sure I understand your problem or question. So you're mad at daddy for his infidelity, he's not saying what you want to hear, you want Amy to do... what exactly? Vindicate your feelings? Tell you to cut him off completely? Find forgiveness? You lost me at hello

2- not sure why women think that if they're living with their boyfriend, the don't need to pay rent, work, contribute in any way....

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#6 Aug 26, 2014
1 Forget texts and letters. Sit him down, tell him how hurt you are (it is natural to feel this way). You know its not about you, but it is still about how you feel, so tell him that. He needs to hear your hurt, but not coupled with your anger.

2 He has been spending his money feeding and sheltering you and your kid. But you just go ahead and ignore all that and just worry about yourself.

3 Team Cass

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#7 Aug 26, 2014
Well, in your case, its more an issue of what they are NOT charging you for.
edogxxx wrote:
2- not sure why women think that if they're living with their boyfriend, the don't need to pay rent, work, contribute in any way....

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#8 Aug 26, 2014
LW1: Stay out of your parents’ issues. If you are going to say anything, you need to mediate and not take sides. Contrary to what Bimbo Amy says, realize it’s not about you.

LW2: I wouldn’t live with a woman unless I was okay with sharing money and expenses, equally, in good times and bad. So I find this whole arrangement outside my comfort zone.
Kuuipo

Marina, CA

#9 Aug 26, 2014
LW1: I agree with Cass and Race. This letter demonstrates why cheating is never a good idea. Had LW's father separated from her mother and/or sought counseling prior to getting into a new relationship, she could respect him. Instead, she is shocked and disgusted by his behavior. So now she must struggle to forgive him for his poor choices and decisions and try to maintain a relationship with him. So team Race: LW should sit him down and tell him calmly and plainly how she feels; and team Cass: he's still LW's father, she can be civil and rebuild the relationship slowly.

LW2: Yes, you need to pay rent first, whether it is to your boyfriend or your landlord. And were you collecting unemployment when you were laid off?
boundary painter

San Antonio, TX

#10 Aug 26, 2014
LW1 should take the advice above, once she can calmly tell her father she is hurt and disappointed with the information she has--and that she would like to hear from him what truth
she can embrace on where to go from here.

LW2 has not indicated that her boyfriend asked for anything unreasonable. She has a job and
probably can contribute something.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#11 Aug 26, 2014
LW2: IDK, I think the BF is being kind of an azz. He lives in a place where he can afford to pay rent on his own, so it's not like he has to have the money, it's more about principle. But at the same time, he's demanding that the LW, whom I'm going to assume he cares about a lot or he wouldn't let her live there, miss payments on credit cards that will ruin her credit and possibly cause them problems down the road if they decide to buy a house together.

I know I wouldn't do that to someone I cared about...

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#12 Aug 26, 2014
L1: It's not going to change the situation but maybe if you told your dad what you told Amy, you could both come to a better understanding and get to a comfortable place again in your relationship. It's not your relationship between your father and your mother, but it is your family dynamics that he changed. It's difficult when you realize your parents can screw up, too. And like other people, this is probably when they need you the most.

L2: He probably doesn't want you to lose another job or make the landing so soft you don't take all of this serious. You have kids. If you need to, get a second job. I don't get these people who think they get a free ride b/c they lost their job. You lose or don't have a job, you go out and get what you can right away.

Amount of time I've been without a job in the last 40 years? Zero.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#13 Aug 26, 2014
squishymama wrote:
LW2: IDK, I think the BF is being kind of an azz. He lives in a place where he can afford to pay rent on his own, so it's not like he has to have the money, it's more about principle. But at the same time, he's demanding that the LW, whom I'm going to assume he cares about a lot or he wouldn't let her live there, miss payments on credit cards that will ruin her credit and possibly cause them problems down the road if they decide to buy a house together.
I know I wouldn't do that to someone I cared about...
Maybe he don't care that much. Maybe he let he move in free in the short term because he knew long term, half his living expenses would be getting paid. A room mate with benefits. Until a ring is on that finger, she's overstepping to EXPECT him to be her sugar daddy.

There's a saying in my workplace. The miracle you perform today will be part of your job description tomorrow.

That's the case here. He pulled her ass outta the fire and instead of gratitude, she now feels entitled.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#14 Aug 26, 2014
heh...We the willing lead by the unknowing...
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>
There's a saying in my workplace. The miracle you perform today will be part of your job description tomorrow.
.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#15 Aug 26, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>
Maybe he don't care that much. Maybe he let he move in free in the short term because he knew long term, half his living expenses would be getting paid. A room mate with benefits. Until a ring is on that finger, she's overstepping to EXPECT him to be her sugar daddy.
There's a saying in my workplace. The miracle you perform today will be part of your job description tomorrow.
That's the case here. He pulled her ass outta the fire and instead of gratitude, she now feels entitled.
Maybe he doesn't. Maybe this is his passive-aggressive way of trying to get her out of the house.

And I hear what you all are saying about being ungrateful, but the fact remains that he does not have to have the money today. He can afford to live there by himself. She needs the money right now to salvage her credit rating and it's not like she saying she won't pay him ever again. She's saying that she will start paying again next month.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#16 Aug 26, 2014
squishymama wrote:
He lives in a place where he can afford to pay rent on his own, so it's not like he has to have the money
But now he's got two other people to feed. Two other people using up his electricity, water, gas. It's not just about the rent, they are incurring added expenses. It was big, and brave, of him to move her and her daughter in when she was out of work, but like Tonka said, perhaps the plan all along was to get her out of hot water and to be repaid later. Perhaps her attitude is the same as yours, hey, you've taken care of me for a few months now, what's one more? Way to make a man who's done you a huge favor feel taken advantage of.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#17 Aug 26, 2014
squishymama wrote:
<quoted text>
Maybe he doesn't. Maybe this is his passive-aggressive way of trying to get her out of the house.
And I hear what you all are saying about being ungrateful, but the fact remains that he does not have to have the money today. He can afford to live there by himself. She needs the money right now to salvage her credit rating and it's not like she saying she won't pay him ever again. She's saying that she will start paying again next month.
Saying he does not need it is presumptuous. Maybe he didn't have a car payment when she moved in an now he does. Or he put a new roof on the house. Or took on some other financial obligation based on the fact that it fit his budget now that she's paying rent and expenses. Now stiffing him means he can't pay his bills.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#18 Aug 26, 2014
A similar line of thinking I've heard is when a landlord you don't live with is not willing to float you for another month while you are down on your luck. They are described as heartless by those giving no consideration to the landlord's predicament. In many cases, your rent pays their mortgage on the house. The house they may be using to build equity for retirement. You don't pay rent, then they are stretched to pay the mortgage. I have a friend who is renting his wife's house from before they were married. She got suckered by their sob story. Renters hit hard times and asked to use the deposit to pay for the rent they were behind. She ok'd it. Then they missed the next month. Then gave them the runaround. When my friend finally showed up at their door, they had skipped out. Door was left wide open. Place empty. I think they got screwed outta 2 months rent that they had to stretch their funds to cover the mortgage.
Kuuipo

Marina, CA

#19 Aug 26, 2014
Regardless of whether or not he *needs* the money, LW has had the benefit of living rent-free for seven months. That's a lot of free rent and LW is expecting a lot. LW needs to step up, IMHO, and at the very least pay him *something* now, and back rent next month. That would be a good compromise.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#20 Aug 26, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>
Saying he does not need it is presumptuous. Maybe he didn't have a car payment when she moved in an now he does. Or he put a new roof on the house. Or took on some other financial obligation based on the fact that it fit his budget now that she's paying rent and expenses. Now stiffing him means he can't pay his bills.
All we do is presume here.

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