Wedding Woes

They need to move out and you need to back off a bit.

Dear Prudence,

Last winter my daughter came to the conclusion that her career was stalled in her city, so she moved back in with us, and is working three jobs until she could get a place of her own. This seemed like a solid plan, and we support her in this decision. A couple of months ago, her partner joined her. Our daughter’s partner graduated from college a year ago and has been living in her parents’ house before moving into ours. She rarely leaves their shared bedroom, although my daughter tells us she is applying for jobs online. Polite, direct questioning prompts her to leave the room and angers my daughter. They are planning on moving into a place of their own, possibly as soon as next month, and I’m concerned. The fact that my daughter is pretty obviously going to be supporting both of them seems like a foolish plan, but there doesn’t seem to be much we can do about it, apart from expressing our concerns to her. My concern is that her partner’s behavior looks to me like a mental health issue, and I feel as though my wife and I should be doing something to encourage her to seek help. As I see it she is a household member, and we have some duty to help her. Should we stay out of it?

—Trainwreck Imminent

Re: They need to move out and you need to back off a bit.

  • mrsconn23 said:
    Dear Prudence,

    Last winter my daughter came to the conclusion that her career was stalled in her city, so she moved back in with us, and is working three jobs until she could get a place of her own. This seemed like a solid plan, and we support her in this decision. A couple of months ago, her partner joined her. Our daughter’s partner graduated from college a year ago and has been living in her parents’ house before moving into ours. She rarely leaves their shared bedroom, although my daughter tells us she is applying for jobs online. Polite, direct questioning prompts her to leave the room and angers my daughter. They are planning on moving into a place of their own, possibly as soon as next month, and I’m concerned. The fact that my daughter is pretty obviously going to be supporting both of them seems like a foolish plan, but there doesn’t seem to be much we can do about it, apart from expressing our concerns to her. My concern is that her partner’s behavior looks to me like a mental health issue, and I feel as though my wife and I should be doing something to encourage her to seek help. As I see it she is a household member, and we have some duty to help her. Should we stay out of it?

    —Trainwreck Imminent
    It's a bad scene but no good usually comes from a parent meddling in the child's affairs of the heart.


    short+sassycharlotte989875eileenrobahoywedding
  • kerbohlkerbohl
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    member
    Armchair diagnosis ... I spent a lot of time in my room at a period in my life when I was extremely happy. And in a period in my life when I was extremely unhappy I was outside all day working around the house. What might look like a mental health issue for one person might not be that at all.
    imageimage
    mrsconn23short+sassycharlotte989875OliveOilsMom
  • Ro041Ro041
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    Your kid is an adult, so let her make a decision about who is going to be the main breadwinner.  And back off.

    short+sassyeileenrob
  • Yeah I'd express my concerns once - in a very carefully and gently worded way - to the daughter, listen to her answer and then never talk about it again (unless of course Daughter brings it up again or something like that). It's her life. Let. it. go. 

    I had a friend who was working three jobs, pregnant and bringing her other daughter to and from daycare while her boyfriend sat at home all day and smoked pot while playing video games. I never said a damned word because it was her life. If she needed someone, I was there for her but I was very careful not to say anything shitty about the boyfriend because it would have made her shut down. 


    I definitely agree with this.  They should have one private conversation with their daughter.  Express their concern about the daughter putting herself in a situation where she is supporting another adult, especially when that person doesn't seem motivated to find a job.  Also ask, in a concern for the partner's welfare tone, if he/she is doing okay.  Are they down/depressed?  Would a doctor visit/a few therapy sessions potentially help?

    And then let it go.  It won't change the daughter's mind.  But should hopefully plant seeds for the daughter to think about, if things don't improve.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Why does it matter if she leaves the room? 

    1) all job applications are online. And 
    2) it’s got to be awakened hanging out with your girlfriends parents who want to know why you haven’t found a job yet. 
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