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Mark Manley
Mark Manley, Counselor
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  Want help with your most important relationships? Licensed Marriage/Family Counselor.
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Well, here is a life event I never expected. My wife,

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Well, here is a life event I never expected.

My wife, Kelly, (not real names) and step daughter, Sally, are both wonderful people. They have a special bond beyond any that I have ever seen. Sally has always wanted to "please", made straight "A"s in school and just graduated from collage after receiving full ride scholarships. When Sally was two, mother and daughter spent days on the floor, laughing and talking baby talk to no end. twenty years later, they still spend days and evenings playing on the floor and talking baby talk. (a little weird in my book) While they laugh at me and say I just don't get it, she has grown up to be an honest caring individual. How can I complain?

Not easily! I am very lucky in many ways.

This past winter, my daughter became quite serious about a boyfriend. He is a positive, kind, helpful, interesting person. A real nice guy who jumps at every chance to help around the house etc. Again, how can I complain?

Well, let me add... The boyfriend is 30 and has never had a job. When asked, he says he wants to be a "self made man" and never wants to work for anybody else. (!?)

Since 2011 is coming to a close I'll keep it simple and limit my comments to this year.
I'll start with January. Sally and boyfriend got a tiny basement apartment up the street yet started spending (a few) weekends in our house. Actually it was every weekend. In most cases, Friday through Monday. My thought was to be tolerant 'till graduation when they launch into there careers in the spring. Graduation came and went. I travel for work but each time I come home from a trip, I'm greeted by smiling boyfriend who wants to shake my hand and offer me a beer. (a really nice guy, remember?) Anytime I mention something about helping to get on with that yet-to-be-started career, my wife cries and says that I just don't care about "family" and "I'm just trying to get rid of the kids". Then she and the daughter go into the other room to talk baby talk and I'm left spending the rest of my days off, trying to make small talk and smile at the friendly boyfriend. He has come with us on every vacation possible and (I'm not kidding) I believe would try to sleep in our bed if he could.

My wife and I had a little boy who is now 8. My high point of the year is to go skiing with my boy on Saturdays but as of this past January going skiing means having a real friendly boyfriend politely try to hand me a beer on every lift ride and then try to talk all the way up. Man, I would have loved this guy when I was 18! Now, however, I feel like my time with my little boy skiing was lost and I have every reason to believe that this year will be worse. (boyfriend's ski gear stays permanently at the house)

After a year, I no longer see any hope that they will ever move out, and my wife is so happy with this situation any thought of these kids actually growing up causes her anger and panic.

I was grown up to value goals and achievements but by those standards, I really feel like I live a house where I support a bunch of losers. I really don't think I can take another year of this. I hate feeling this way because, otherwise, they are all really good people. I don't want to hurt nice peoples' feelings but this is killing me. How do I get past this sick feeling that is making me want to just want to give up and run away?

I'm not often lost, but I could really use another opinion on this one.

Thanks

Wayne
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Mark Manley replied 2 years ago.
Hello Wayne.
Be the change you want to see in your family.

There is only one person in the house who is a mature man, (that be you!). I appreciate how you are trying to be gentle, loving and accommodating but in the process you are abdicating your responsibility to to LEAD the family in love.

First you have to take a firm stand with your wife, gentle, but firm. You need to let her know how much you appreciate all she does to foster wonderful family ties and family relationships and how wonderful your family is because of her wonderful contribution. Then you need to let her know that it's time to make some changes in the family structure so everyone gets more of what they need as best as the family can provide for those needs. You need to gently remind (or if necessary teach) her that 'warm and fuzzy' is wonderful but not sufficient. Sometimes cool and firm is required to help everybody reach their full potential. Convey to her your perspective that some of the things that have been going on in the family are not helping but actually hurting members of the family. Tell her you love her, and you want her to be happy, but you know for sure that if some things don't change she will be less happy and you don't want to be a part of condoning or contributing to that.

Now for the changes:

BF moves out. (that includes 'sleep overs' not allowed)
Adult daughter can stay or go.
No financial support for BF
No family vacations for BF
Once in a while you take the family including BF out to dinner or ? (exception not the rule)
Financial support for daughter (if she lives at home with out BF) is time limited.


Why? Because you love Momma, daughter, son and someday maybe even BF. Love demands that you, (leader, less emotional and more objective president of the family), stand firm for what is most healthy for the development of each member and potential member of the family. Yes Momma will cry and complain or ?, but in the end she will appreciate your integrity and leadership.

Be the man! Show your daughter what her BF is supposed to be developing into.

No offense intended just calling it as I see it.

Sincerely.
Mark Manley
Mark Manley, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 402
Experience: Want help with your most important relationships? Licensed Marriage/Family Counselor.
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