My husband and daughter let their anger out on me. I’m the family budget-keeper.
My daughter’s in love and living with her boyfriend, both 27.
I’ve welcomed him into our home but been warned by her that he’s unwilling to “bow to my authority.”
My only boundary with her is no physical violence, but last summer she grabbed me in a headlock and tried to smother me. When she’d been physical with me a year ago, I told her to leave, but let her come back after a week.
I’m almost 70, my husband’s 60, and never comments unless he’s also haranguing me.
I want to leave home but who’ll keep the ship afloat financially? I make the budget and pay the bills.
She’s been paying rent for an office in our house but stopped paying even though it’s still occupied with all her things.
When she attacked me I said she had to leave. She moved to her boyfriend’s place but she’s been keeping her bedroom here intact.
It’s time for her to leave home permanently to grow up. They always come over to “chat” when we’re asleep and then she says she’s moving her stuff out, but that I’m trying to prevent it.
Not everything in her room is hers. I bought her furniture for university, and I still need the heaters and rugs that I put in her bedroom, to keep the house warm. She feels I’m abusing her by keeping items.
Though she’s no longer paying rent, she’ll want a tax receipt for “rent paid” to offset her income. I want the arguments to stop but don’t want to jeopardize my future either as we needed that income.
Her boyfriend has saved over $200,000. She makes more money than my husband. I’m on a disability pension for severe arthritis. I’m using credit to buy food due to no rent from her.
My husband resents conflict and has resorted to drinking uncontrollably on the weekends as retaliation for the unrest.
I’m always to blame or supposed to make it all better.
I depend on my husband and she needs to take support from her boyfriend.
Looking for Light Ahead
Your living situation has become too threatening. Your daughter’s physical assaults can happen again. You may need a restraining order against what is becoming her “elder abuse.”
I understand how difficult it is to have poured care and concern into raising your only child, and to dearly want peace rather than cutting her off.
However, her belief that she can get away with physical harm to you, and your husband’s silent acceptance of it, makes the home environment dangerous for you.
It’s not worth haggling with her over which items are hers or not. Just keep what’s essential to your home.
Then re-do your budget. You’ll live more peacefully without her rent money.
But if your husband continues to drink excessively and offers you no respect, support or company, you should consider - logically and for your well-being - whether you’d be better/safer to separate.
Yes, you may have to be the one to leave, to avoid further violence. Or, report your daughter to police and get a restraining order.
Research needed information privately. Learn your rights over finances, and division of assets.
Contact a local agency which can help you with a safe move, if that becomes necessary.
It may well be better to live on your own without constant stress, turmoil and looming fear.
FEEDBACK Regarding the “still-new” boyfriend who invited another woman to dinner at their home when his partner was away on business (Feb. 9):
Reader – “I’m a 64-year-old happily married man. This woman heard from her ex about her partner’s “dinner arrangements.” I’d tell her to “run for the hills!”
“You sometimes give people the benefit of the doubt. However there’s only one reason for an adult male to stage a private dinner with a woman.
“Her daughter was fortunate to have arrived home when she did, and not “later.”
Ellie – I’m not naïve, not after years of writing this column. But a new partner arrangement requires discussing expectations and no-no’s. If he’d alerted the daughter that he was having a guest, or had informed the woman himself, that would’ve been a start to their needed conversation.
I concluded: Either she trusts this man or has doubts. If the latter, I partly agree. But she should send him running for the hills!
Tip of the day:
When an adult child becomes physical, your personal safety is the priority.