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Mark Manley
Mark Manley, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 402
Experience:  Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Over 15 years exp. Married 30 years and happy.
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I am conflicted and think Im not responding correctly. My

Resolved Question:

I am conflicted and think I'm not responding correctly. My son is a doctor and recently landed a 7 figure position. Until a year ago he was draining our bank account. We agreed to pay for his education, but he extended things for 5 years. We are both teachers and spent more on his education then we ever thought we would make. Gotta say, I'm tired. I would like to enjoy some perks for my 35 years of work, but this son has taken all the funds. He has recently purchased a million dollar home, furnished it, and travels extensively. I want to enjoy his good fortune but feel anger every time he asks me to look at a piece of furniture or comment on travel. I've never selected furniture and haven't ever been outside the US. Not sure if I'm envious, resentful, or just a bad person. I made the deal, but now that he's living the life, I'm feeling left in the dust.When do I get to buy furniture or travel? I'm broke and he's having a party. I made the choices. Now I'm angry
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Mark Manley replied 4 years ago.

What a great question. Good for you for admitting your dissatisfaction with the situation.

First of all, you are a good person. A bad person would not sacrifice as you have to help your son.

Your son is enamored with his new found freedom to spend and travel and enjoy. He is in a honeymoon phase that won't last forever. When he comes back to earth he will likely look around and he will see you. Then he may be open to your suggestion that his good fortune would enable him to reimburse Mom and Dad for their expenditures and allow them to recoup a bit. Also, he may become more generous without prompting. You can see how it goes and prompt if/as needed. Of course if he is married this may change the equation depending on his wife's perspective.

One way to broach the subject, if needed, would be, "Do you see something wrong with this picture?" and "What ideas do you have about how things could be made more fair?'

If the original idea was that you and your husband would spend X thousands of dollars on his post graduate education and never expect any reimbursement, you may need to reevaluate and renegotiate the deal.

Try not to be a victim, a winer, or a martyr, just matter of factly and directly tell him what you and your husband decide is fair and ask him for his opinion on the matter. Better yet, consider having dad be the spokesman as he is likely to be less emotional about the issue. Try not to personalize the situation and instead keep it on the level of business.

I am sure there may be complications I am not aware of. Please let me know if I can be of additional service.

Thank you,
Mark Manley
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