Question: Dear Luise: I have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren, and all three are unappreciative and rude. My husband says they have the “What’s in it for me” syndrome. I love my children and grandchildren dearly but I just cant take anymore of this everyday battle of everything that is wrong in life is my fault. My oldest son is such a liar that we never believe anything he says, he has 2 children and is on his 3rd wife and when his wife gets her attitude with us she drops little “hints” about how his family has treated him badly. Not quite how I remember it (he tried to rob my place of business, was doing a lot of really bad things………again my fault) My youngest son likes to tell the story of how he had to roll my marijuana for me as a kid (I was floored when I heard that) he too has had his share of “issues” with the police. When we lived in Germany (with the military) they both were kicked out for being in trouble. And my daughter just expects everything to be given to her (she is 21) I have already spend 20000. on her wedding and she thinks nothing of it, I have 40000.00 worth of vehicles in my driveway for her and the boyfriend that I pay for and she appreciated nothing. They live here pay no rent and do nothing, the grandkids are taking after the parents they expect something every time I see them, they only want to come to visit if it “something for them” I have cried my last tear at being unappreciated and taken for granted (or so I say) I have even gone to therapy but once the Dr said I need to let my kids live their own lives, I didn’t go back and spent the next 10 years giving them more. No matter what I give them its never enough. So how do I stop the guilt of not giving and the hurt of them blaming me for everything? M.
Answer: Dear M.: They live with you; drive cars you are paying for, pay no rent and, at the same time, are being abusive. What’s wrong with that picture? Can you see that it is because you let them? Can you see that the situation reflects a lack of self-respect on your part? Why would they respect you, if you don’t respect yourself/ You aren’t their victim, you are victimizing yourself. Untangle yourself and create your own life. They need to take responsibility for theirs. You were fine before any of them appeared on this planet. When you look closely, isn’t guilt ridiculous?
Please come over to my Web-forum: www.WiseWomenUnite.com where your situation is far from unique. There are people there who will understand and who will support you in your “recovery.” Blessings, Luise