I helped my girlfriend's partner get a secure job where I work. I invited them to live with us as they were moving from across the country.
We tried to help him become established - cooking all his meals, driving him to and from work daily, not charging for anything beyond giving them a good rate for rent.
It’s gone on for the past five months.
He’s filled my partner's gas tank only once – with no other offers of compensation.
My girlfriend (his partner) moved in with us three months ago. We thought they’d get a car and become independent.
We expected their stay to be short-term. Now our utility bills are skyrocketing and they haven't even looked for a car.
They invite their adult children over and don't mention that they’re coming. My girlfriend was discussing with her partner (not us) that her daughter and boyfriend would be staying for a weekend.
All are using our shower, Internet, cable, with no regard to our costs. I don't know why, but we find it difficult to tell them to take a hike.
You’ve indulged these blatant users far too long, so the level of friendship’s likely to be affected no matter what you say.
But the longer you delay speaking up, the more likely one or both of you will explode soon, and throw them out.
Tell them they’ve had time to get settled, and you two can’t support all the extras that the rent doesn’t cover. Say they have one more month to find a place to live and arrange their own transportation.
Write a dated, signed note stating the moving date, and hand them a copy after you’ve told them the news. Say that the note is to keep things “clear.”
Keep the original copy, which you may need in case of any legal backlash. Yes, even “friends” can do this, when they’re like these people.
If they give excuses about why they need more time, can’t find a place, etc., speak to a lawyer sooner than later.
FEEDBACK Regarding troubles between ex-spouses and new ones:
Reader – “My husband and his ex-wife had two children together, their marriage didn’t end well.
“After several stressful years of animosity, including some psychological scars on the younger child, with me trying to play mediator, and her refusing to involve me in discussions of "her children," life is good for us all.
“I always maintained that for the kids’ sake we all had to get along.
“I don’t have my own children, don’t know how to be a mom, and didn’t want to replace her.
“I do know how to be a great friend. I now have fabulous stepchildren and grandchildren.
“We invite their mother for holiday dinners and celebrations, and we’ve been to her place, too. We visit her parents.
“She and I hug when we see each other.
“My husband still isn’t happy with some past events, but they’re both mature enough to get on with life.
“I’m the one going home with my husband, so I don’t stress over the little things.
“Our children have prospered mentally because they see that the people whom they love can all get along.
“When this became obvious, their earlier dark clouds cleared up.”
Ellie - Thanks for this sterling example of a mature approach to the petty in-law and ex-spouse issues that tear couples apart, and leave disturbed children in their wake.
Time helped, but your attitude made sure it also healed.
I was swept off my feet by a charmer who mirrored all of my dreams for the future.
However, over several years he caused incredible financial duress in my life.
He also burned bridges and embarrassed my kids, and me, repeatedly, in front of friends and publicly (blaming it on alcohol).
We’re now long divorced, but it was a difficult and toxic roller-coaster ride most days.
Unfortunately, the good stuff in these kinds of relationships has you hanging onto the limited redeeming qualities “charmers” do have.
It sometimes goes beyond their drinking to the personality disorders that come along with narcissistic and sociopathic tendencies.
It’s amazing how such people fool us into falling for them. Their masks come down once they know they have you in their lives.
If a “charmer’s” behaviour turns your world unstable, discuss personality disorders with a behaviour specialist for an accurate diagnosis and any possible treatment.
Tip of the day:
People who take blatant advantage of your help are rarely true friends.