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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 May 10, 2013
DEAR AMY: I have a niece who lies, cheats and steals -- mostly from her family, but in the workplace as well.

Each time she gets into a huge jam, the family pulls together and "rescues" her. If she is about to get evicted, we pool together money to get her up to date. When she embezzled from her employer, we pulled together so she would only get fired and not be arrested. We also bailed her out when her car was being repossessed.

We know that continuing to rescue her isn't helping, it's only enabling the behavior. We know we need to let her face the consequences of her decisions. The problem is she has a 4-year-old son whom we love and adore, and she won't be facing the consequences alone -- she'll be dragging an innocent child down with her.

She is drifting through life, lying, cheating and stealing as she goes. We don't want this beautiful boy to follow her path or get sucked down by her bad decisions. Every time we get together as a family to come up with solutions, she cries and promises to do better, but of course it is just a matter of time until the next crisis!

Because she has stolen from all of us, she is not allowed in any family member's house unescorted. We all spend as much time with her son as we possibly can, but he loves and misses her when away from her for too long. We pay for his day care so he won't spend his days in front of the TV being ignored by her.

She refuses to get counseling, and she won't turn over custody of her son. How do we stop enabling her without hurting him?-- Bewildered Auntie

DEAR BEWILDERED: There is a difference between assisting and enabling. This situation is heartbreaking with a young child involved, and I agree with your family's choice to set limits while trying to protect (and provide for) the boy.

Without her cooperation it will be challenging to accurately assess exactly what's going on with her -- whether she is struggling with mental illness or addiction or is just chronically messed up.

Your family should seek counseling to help you navigate this process of boundary setting. You must let her face actual consequences (life without a car, for instance, spending the night in a shelter, or facing the reality of the court system). You do this by diminishing the money supply and by calmly refusing to rescue her.

Unfortunately, she may be using your love and concern for her son as a way to control your family. This is why you need to manage your own anxiety (and be on the same page) as you find a way to maintain strong non-negotiables while continuing to envelop this child in your family's safe embrace.

DEAR AMY: Can you explain, in explicit terms, exactly what is an emotional affair? In my mind, if there's no sex, there's no affair.-- Clueless

DEAR CLUELESS: An emotional affair is an affair of the heart. A Facebook nudge turns into private messages, phone calls and texts -- and people express feelings of emotional connection and love.

No matter what you call it -- surely you can imagine how powerful these affairs can be and how destructive this intimacy is when it interferes with a marriage.

Loving relationships aren't only about sex, and affairs aren't, either.

DEAR AMY: I must take serious issue with your response to "Parents in a Quandary." These parents were "creeped out" by a neighbor's friendship and gift-giving to their 19- and 20-year-old sons.

Amy, these aren't little boys -- these are adults! They can have any relationships they want!-- Disgusted

DEAR DISGUSTED: Many readers share your view, and I agree. It was hard to tell from this letter what exactly was going on, but I responded to their account of a creepy and secretive relationship by being creeped out myself.

I have children this age and realize that although they are legally of age, they aren't quite adults. But I agree that legally these young people can have any relationships they want to have.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Lawrence, MA

#2 May 10, 2013
3- "Although they are legally of age, they aren't quite adults."

EXACTLY! What can't you people understand about this??

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#3 May 10, 2013
1 Next crisis, only help if she agrees to sign over the kid, if not let her fall.

2 Face it dude, you're busted.

3 Your both wrong mutt, they are adults. Your kids will always be kids in your eyes, but to the world, they are just another adult.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#4 May 10, 2013
L1: With such a horrible situation, why on earth did you write to the worst advice columnist on the planet? You need to talk with a lawyer who specializes in family law to find out what your options are. Maybe if you let her crash and burn just once, you could get the kid away from her. Then tie the idiot down, sterilize her, and release her back into the wild. It works with feral cats in Wisconsin; maybe it'll work on her.

L2: "In my mind, if there’s no sex, there’s no affair." Right. SPoken like someone whose spouse has never snuck away from the marital home to call his "work wife." So you'd be fine if your spouse did everything but intercourse. I hope your spouse has that in writing.

L3: I was more creeped out by the ridiculous attitude of the mother than I was by the neighbor.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#5 May 10, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
3- "Although they are legally of age, they aren't quite adults."
EXACTLY! What can't you people understand about this??
While I agree with you Edog, the reality is you cannot stop them from having any relationships they want. You voice your opinion at this age and then step back. You cannot force anything. You think you can until you have a 19 or 20 year old and know their thinking isn't quite up to adult level but that legally you cannot do a darn thing and they know it.

So you voice your opinion, step back and let them learn the hard way if they must. It's called "letting go".

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#6 May 10, 2013
L1: I agree with Red. Talk to a family law lawyer. I also think, though, you should also talk to a counsellor. Work both sides. That kid will need a therapist b/c his mother is messed up. You might as well get one involved now.

L2: Red, you're making this easy. Ditto.

L3: The mother was far too controlling in my opinion. You give your opinion to your over 18 kids and then they learn from their mistakes. What parent hasn't said "Next time you'll know better". Some just have to learn the hard way.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Lawrence, MA

#7 May 10, 2013
My 58 year old neighbor is trying to seduce my daughter. But she JUST turned 18 yesterday, so I'm gonna stand back and do nothing.

Would you people listen to yourselves?

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#8 May 10, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
My 58 year old neighbor is trying to seduce my daughter. But she JUST turned 18 yesterday, so I'm gonna stand back and do nothing.
Would you people listen to yourselves?
At 18 all you can do is give advice and counsel. What would you do, Edog, if that was the situation with your daughter. Tie her up?
liner

Brooklyn, NY

#9 May 10, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
My 58 year old neighbor is trying to seduce my daughter. But she JUST turned 18 yesterday, so I'm gonna stand back and do nothing.
Would you people listen to yourselves?
I listened and came up with the following: Like it or not, there is a difference between giving gifts to a 20 year old man and "trying to seduce an 18 year old girl".

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#10 May 10, 2013
LW1: Son would be better off without living with her. Let her rot in jail.

LW2: What Race said. LMAO, guy thought Amy was going to bail him out.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#11 May 10, 2013
LW1: Way to give some non-helpful help Amy.

LW2: What Red said.

LW3: "...but I responded to their account of a creepy and secretive relationship by being creeped out myself."

Maybe try being objective next time, mkay?

“boredom made me do it”

Since: Aug 08

ny, ny

#12 May 10, 2013
"I'm going to be evicted"

"I'm sorry to hear that, I/we can take your son until you found a new place."

"I'm going to get arrested"

"I'm sorry to hear that, I/we can take care of your son if you need."

If she turns you down, let it go and then call Children's Services if whatever her solution is seems like it's put the kid in danger.
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

#13 May 10, 2013
liner wrote:
<quoted text>
I listened and came up with the following: Like it or not, there is a difference between giving gifts to a 20 year old man and "trying to seduce an 18 year old girl".
Hi, liner!

I had to chuckle when I saw your location. My dad accidentally called St. Petersburg "Patchogue" yesterday. He said he wanted to go somewhere and that it was right there in Patchogue.

Funny!

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#14 May 10, 2013
L1 makes me wonder if the niece is like the kidnapped girl in Cleveland who lost custody of her son and then disappeared.Her family thought she ran away bcause of the lost custody issue.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Lawrence, MA

#15 May 10, 2013
liner wrote:
there is a difference between giving gifts to a 20 year old man and "trying to seduce an 18 year old girl".
Like what?

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#16 May 10, 2013
Raise your daughter to respect herself and have some standards and maybe she won't be so susceptible to the advances of a man more than old enough to be her father.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#17 May 10, 2013
LW1 - Let her crash and take in her son.

LW2 - So, when your spouse texts hizzer platonic friend, "I'd like to be ripping your clothes off right now and bringing you to one orgasm after another, but my legal ball-and-chain is glowering at me, so I guess I can't do it right now. Anyway, see you tomorrow for diner and a movie" and then orders said friend a new Rolex as a present, you have no problem with it whatsoever? Good for you! Since your spouse has not actually ripped the platonic friend's clothes off, he/she is not having an affair.

LW3 - If you did your job as a parent right, at 19 and 20 years of age, your offspring should be adult enough to be able to make rational decisions about their romantic and non-romantic relationships.
liner

Brooklyn, NY

#18 May 10, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Like what?
Oh I don't know, how about an 18yo(barely) girl may or may not be able to handle a guy trying to seduce her. A 20yo man probably could manage to refuse a gift from someone if he were so inclined. Not quite the same thing IMO.
liner

Brooklyn, NY

#19 May 10, 2013
Stina wrote:
<quoted text>
Hi, liner!
I had to chuckle when I saw your location. My dad accidentally called St. Petersburg "Patchogue" yesterday. He said he wanted to go somewhere and that it was right there in Patchogue.
Funny!
Hi Stina, Patchogue is where my ISP is. I live a couple of towns away. Your dad live in St Pete? We snowbird in Boynton Beach.
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

#20 May 10, 2013
liner wrote:
<quoted text>
Hi Stina, Patchogue is where my ISP is. I live a couple of towns away. Your dad live in St Pete? We snowbird in Boynton Beach.
Yeah, we both do! My Dad used to work for LILCO up there. I grew up a few towns from there myself and I still have family there. It was so funny because he said it without even realizing it and I commented that Patchogue was a pretty far drive for an appointment.

What an odd coincidence that he mentioned it randomly yesterday and then it showed up on your ISP! <plays Twilight Zone theme>

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