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Show ALL Forums  > Dating and Love Advice  > Dating people with problem kids      Home login  
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 tgif2005
Joined: 12/12/2005
Msg: 1
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Dating people with problem kidsPage 2 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
I'm on the verge of breaking up with a woman I've known for sometime. She's a wonderful person, but her family is a horrible mess. To be blunt: Her two sons who are adults but still living with her are rotten and lazy. One barely finished high school, got his girlfriend pregnant and now he's got a baby he can't take care of. He is unemployed and heavily into drugs. The girlfriend who is the baby's mother ran off with her drug dealer. The other son is just as worthless, except that he doesn't have a baby (but he doesn't have a high school diploma either). Both sons have been in and out of detention over the years, and they have caused tremendous heartache and financial damage to their mother and everyone around them.
At any rate, I feel badly for the woman. But I believe she could and should have exercised some tough love along the way before things got out of control. I just don't want to be in the picture anymore, but I feel like a jerk - like I'm "abandoning" her. On the other hand, I can't stay in a car that's headed for the cliff, either...
Any advice?
 bonniebrownap
Joined: 10/27/2006
Msg: 2
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Dating people with problem kids
Posted: 11/27/2006 5:14:34 AM
Threads like this make me want to go over to my childrens houses and just hug and kiss them and say thank you. (which I do often). I can't tell you what I did right in raising my children to be responsible adults. I think it may be that I always raised the "responsibility bar" with each stage of their lives. I too have a really hard time getting involved with someone that have adult children with the apron strings still attached. I know that I could not handle this situation so I would only be inviting trouble into any relationship. I feel like this makes me look shallow but, I just don't get it. I am at a wonderful time in my life and want a peaceful relationship. I love to cook supper and have all the kids over to eat and plenty of family time but not to the point that they are a responsibility. I wouldn't put up with it from my own children, much less someones elses. I'm a mean mama. lol OP listen to your gut.
 Wrenchspinner
Joined: 10/19/2004
Msg: 3
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Dating people with problem kids
Posted: 11/27/2006 5:36:43 AM
Hmm, though this is a bit of a slippery slope let me slip in a few pennies from my own life perspective.

As has already been mentioned, these boys turned out as they did through their Mom (and surely others) enabling them to do so. Far too many folks wanna make all kinds of excuses about how their progeny turn out instead of being truly honest and taking responsibility for their own child rearing actions. It's not the schools, counselors, churches or anyone elses job nor responsibility for determining how they turned out .... it's the parents job and anyone believing otherwise is just kidding themselves !!!

In my last marriage, to a woman I loved and adored deeply, her children and their continual manipulation of her led to our demise as a couple, though with the perfect hindsight of 20/20, the marriage should never have occured anyway, but I digress.

After a heartwrenching break up and divorce to someone I cared so deeply for I made a determination for a period of several years afterward that I would no longer be wiling to date someone with kids still at home. Eventually, through a journey of introspection and discovery of deeper sensibilities I came to understand it was much more about the parent themselves and their relationship with the kids than it was about whether they had kids or not that was the real issue.

As always, YMMV
 moraima
Joined: 6/26/2005
Msg: 4
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Dating people with problem kids
Posted: 11/27/2006 7:07:20 AM
I long since set boundaries regarding dating where children (adult or not) are still in the home. Big no for me.
 bonniebrownap
Joined: 10/27/2006
Msg: 5
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Dating people with problem kids
Posted: 11/27/2006 10:46:26 AM
The key word here is PROBLEM kids....... I would go to the end of the earth for my children. I see some cases that the parent always cleans up the mess that the kids create. Ain't gonna happen here. My experience has been that the kids that can't cope with everyday life are the ones that parents have always bailed them out. It will never change until they let them reap what they sew. A few doses of this will surely cure them or kill them. And yes, I agree with helping those who help themselves. That is different than enabling an adult child to stay on a destructive path. If they are trying and doing the best that they can, by all means do what you can to help. And I have seen that it is not always the parents to blame. We do the best that we can and the rest is up to the child. I did my part as a parent, the rest is up to them. My motto, sink or swim. That was the option I was given and it worked real well for me. I had a mean mama. The best in the world.

I sure hope I spelled everything correct: English teacher watching.
 BrownEyedLeo
Joined: 1/5/2006
Msg: 6
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Dating people with problem kids
Posted: 11/27/2006 11:22:28 AM
I also have two grown sons. Both are married and have families of their own. I went through a turbulous time with my youngest son when he was 17. He got his gf pregnant, got heavily involved in drugs, and also got arrested a couple of times. I made him move out after he finished High School because he did not want to work and his choice for his life was to stay high. I refused to allow him to come to my home when he was under any kind of influence of drugs or alcohol. Many times we had family gatherings and he would not be there. He would call me and tell me he could not come because I would not allow him to. I always told him he knew my rules and he made the choice not to abide by them. If he did not show up at a family gathering it was because he made the choice to use drugs instead. He had a choice, but so did I. I chose NOT to allow him to destroy my life along with his. Many times my son tried to manipulate me and make me feel guilty. I refused to allow it. I told him I chose to live a life w/o drugs and his choice was to use them. I also still had a Daughter at home that I would not allow him to be around if he was using. Somehow something I did was the right thing to do. My son now has three boys of his own and is a wondeful Father and Husband. He made many mistakes and wrong choices before he made the decision to change his lifestyle. He even stopped smoking. It has been nine years since my son used any drugs or drank. I feel if I had enabled him to continue his behavior, he would not be where he is today.
I do not think I could be involved with someone that allows their children to control their home as your gf does. I could not have respect for them. As long as the Mother allows the boys to continue this life style they have no reason to change or get a job. Personally I feel you would be doing her a favor to let her know your choice is NOT to be involved in a relationship with the baggage of her two sons. She makes the choice of allowing them to continue their behavior.
 Wrenchspinner
Joined: 10/19/2004
Msg: 7
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Dating people with problem kids
Posted: 11/27/2006 12:57:31 PM
Ok, let me back track and clarify a bit on my earlier posts, since it came out with a cuppla generalities and didn't really completely reflect a more precise view, so ...

While it's not fair to say all responsibility for a childs actions lie with the parents, my thoughts are that about 90% of the bad ones out there are such due to their rearing, which of course includes the actions of BOTH their parents. The other 10% can be accounted for by medical conditions, psychological disorders and several other factors, but to my way of thinking the bulk of what folks would call bad kids are more a direct result of poor parenting.

In regards to adult children living at home, sure there are a few justifications for that and they've been well noted above. My youngest is college bound and understands she'll have free bed and board until her secondary education is completed, though knowing her as I do, she'd never be one to abuse that arrangement regardless.

My household rules are fair, firm and unwavering. She understands that so long as she resides in my household there will be duties and responsibilties for her to shoulder and if that becomes too much to ask, she'll certainly know where the door is located.

To me, if more folks were firm with their children (and no, I do NOT me physically), did less about continually making excuses for their poor behavior while denying culpability for it on their own behalf as parents, we'd see a much different society in a matter of 20 or so years in the future.

But, YMMV, so ....
 tgif2005
Joined: 12/12/2005
Msg: 8
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Dating people with problem kids
Posted: 11/27/2006 3:40:41 PM
Thank you for your insight. It's true that I shouldn't have continued the relationship early on, when I first sensed trouble. I guess there is something in every guy that wants to rescue a woman in need - especially if it's a very charming and beautiful woman... In a way I kinda felt manipulated, but you're right, the fault was mine as well. I did speak up on several occasions, but my suggestions went nowhere, and I know in her heart, her kids will always come first. She has made that clear to me several times - I think part of the reason is their father was killed in a car accident when the boys were young, so there is a big guilt factor there...
I have a grown daughter of my own who is very hardworking and well educated, and she really resents those boys. The difference between her and them is like night and day.
It just won't work. It's very sad because she doesn't deserve the quagmire she's in, but then, I didn't create or raise those kids.... All I know is I can't stand them, and I will never tolerate or condone their behavior. Oh well.
Again, thanks.
 moraima
Joined: 6/26/2005
Msg: 9
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Dating people with problem kids
Posted: 11/27/2006 3:51:07 PM
^^ Rescuing a women who doesn't want to be rescued??? Both sexs would be a lot happier respecting other people's choices, and not rescuing them from themselves. No one will thank you for assuming that you know better than they do how they should live their life.
 tgif2005
Joined: 12/12/2005
Msg: 10
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Dating people with problem kids
Posted: 11/28/2006 3:49:27 AM
um1reel, I agree with your perspective: Very few "level headed" women would date - or put up - with a man who can't control his kids (well technically they're not kids anymore but it's the idea).
 tgif2005
Joined: 12/12/2005
Msg: 11
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Dating people with problem kids
Posted: 11/28/2006 3:57:17 AM
ksue44, that was my biggest mistake - I should have ended it as soon as I realized that I would have zero input in the situation, and nothing would change (because those boys have no incentive to change!). I've read that kids are the biggest cause for divorce in second marriages. I wonder why :(
However, I suspect that now that she's a "free" woman, some other guy will come along and take my place... Amazing, huh?
 windowshopping04
Joined: 3/10/2006
Msg: 12
Dating people with problem kids
Posted: 11/28/2006 1:44:25 PM
tgif -

Look at it another way... she enables them to continue their behaviors. That is not good for them as individuals, but satisfies some need to nurture in her (whether she admits to it or not). By staying, you would enable her to continue in her behavior. So far, she hasn't had to evaluate her behavior or the price of it. Sometimes, putting distance between you and the person you care about is the only way to get them to consider change in their lives. She may not choose to change, but she definately won't consider it until things get rougher for her and she approaches "bottom".

You aren't abandoning her, you are providing her with an opportunity to re-evaluate her lifestyle and choices. You are not the "bad guy" - you're being smart about this, even though it feels rotten. You are leading by example.
 SueCat51
Joined: 8/11/2007
Msg: 13
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Dating people with problem kids
Posted: 11/23/2009 3:40:24 PM
OP - it's not just the kids with the problem, it's their parents. Unless their Dad is deceased, he's as much to blame for the mess as the Mother. If the relationship went into marriage or a live-in situation, simply put, it's a package deal. If you can't deal with the kiddos, it's best to call it quits, end the relationship as tactfully and gracefully for the two of you, and move on. It isn't going to get better unless SHE makes it happen.
 dd3va
Joined: 11/18/2008
Msg: 14
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Dating people with problem kids
Posted: 11/23/2009 6:00:02 PM
You need to break it off for your own sake, before the feeling like a jerk turns into resentment and hatred. Deep down she knows what she needs to do too, she just has to find the strength to do it for her own sake and sanity.
 Sapphireeyes
Joined: 1/13/2008
Msg: 15
Dating people with problem kids
Posted: 11/24/2009 9:39:50 AM
LMAO the op lives like 20 minutes from me! but since the thread is 3 years old hopefully he has resolved the problem by now.

To those who are think you can judge a parent by their children, I have to disagree...many factors go into what makes a child turn out one way or another...my father drank, my brother drinks, I dont. My brother was in trouble with every branch of society he ever came in contact with, doesnt pay taxes, etc. We were both raised exactly the same but some individuals have personality disorders, or mental illness that make it hard for any parent to know what to do with the child. My two kids are completely different from each other also...the clue is how the parent handles the situation.
 gentlebear22
Joined: 8/30/2006
Msg: 16
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Dating people with problem kids
Posted: 11/25/2009 4:23:46 PM
I would run fast as I can out of there. Life is too short. If she is dealing with this mess, she is not ready for an relationship.
 Walts
Joined: 5/7/2005
Msg: 17
Dating people with problem kids
Posted: 11/25/2009 5:11:29 PM
Precisely why I also won't date people with kids.


Ummmm,,,,you do know that there are good Mommys and Daddys out there that do one hell of a job raising there children into productive members of society, do you not???? I'm the complete opposite and would like to date a woman whom is also a mother. Their parenting skills speaks volumes to me,,,,and not just about parenting.

In the OP's situation he shouldn't even thought twice after meeting the "children". Run for the hills mister. The apple NEVER falls very far from the tree.
 Walts
Joined: 5/7/2005
Msg: 18
Dating people with problem kids
Posted: 11/25/2009 5:29:12 PM

They have lacked common sense and leadership. Provide that, and they will respond.



At their age(and Mommy's) it would take years,,,,and more than one "professional,,,,not a boyfriend. If it was that easy fix, the moron numbers would much lower,,,,and not rising everyday. Right now(and more than likely,,,forever),,,,this is/will be "normal" for this Mommy and kids.
 Walts
Joined: 5/7/2005
Msg: 19
Dating people with problem kids
Posted: 11/26/2009 5:31:13 AM

After a child has reached an age of majority, I think it's unfair to hold parents accountable for the behaviour of their children.


Reread,,,,the "kids" are under Mommy's roof,and they are NOT children anymore. That is a form of enabling,,,which some have posted here. Don't think anyone disagrees that once a child reaches a certain age,,,,it's up to them. But before the child reaches that age,,,,,,maybe some should start teaching that responsibility and the "accountability" factor. It IS part of the "job description" of a Mommy AND Daddy.
 Gue$$who
Joined: 11/14/2009
Msg: 20
Dating people with problem kids
Posted: 11/26/2009 6:29:49 AM
Are the kids the problem really though? or is it the morals and upbringing they've gotten and if that's the case, is the parent choosen really a good choice? Remember we are the ones who are the ones our children develop and grow from. Food for thought.
 Argentum Crinis Philogus
Joined: 4/3/2007
Msg: 21
Dating people with problem kids
Posted: 11/26/2009 9:46:38 AM
These are not problem kids. These are irresponsible adults.

Why should you feel like a jerk? Did you make commitments and promises knowing the issues with she and her offspring--marriage, co-habitation, long-term commitment? Did you promise to stick with her regardless of how her offspring have chosen to continue to live their lives--manipulating and managing their mother while their mother continues to choose to enable their irresponsible lifestyle.

Why should you feel badly for this woman? She is her own worst enemy. The adult offspring did not arrive at this place because they were born useless. They are the way the are because she created them, along with their environment. Her failure to be a parent to them, to provide structure, and to manage her household has arrived at its logical conclusion. You feel sorry for people who have no choice and no way to alter their situation. This individual has had a generation to make changes an alter her situation. She has chosen not to do the hard work of parenting and is now continuing to pay the price for her choices. The result of her choices are not worthy of empathy or sympathy. They are the deserved consequences.

Regardless of when you break off the relationship (You will break it off if not now, when you literally cannot stand another second of it and filled with rage, later) it will be emotionally hurtful to her. Do it now, while you don't hate her and don't have to deal with your own self-guild and loathing from failing to take care of yourself and preventing the rage and frustration that you will undoubtedly feel if you continue much longer the relationship.

Regards,

ACP
 Rythmn
Joined: 1/21/2006
Msg: 22
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Dating people with problem kids
Posted: 11/26/2009 9:50:27 AM
i adopted "problem" kids and i also used tough love when necessary. they are all out of the home, but they still have problems. i'm there to support their good choices. there is no way they would be lounging around my house, on drugs, as adults.

however, i do visit them and they are not quite the "norm" yet. although, they argue that they are the norm and i'm old fashioned. so, let's just say they are not quite emotionally healthy yet, but they do try and all are thus far in college and "self supporting". i help with the crises, as long as i deem them not self inflicted with drugs, drinking or unecessary debt.

as to your lady friend, if she were a he, it would be "no way" for me. i wouldn't want to be the one kicking them out. that is her job! since i want a long term, i would not date someone in that situation. assuming they are older adult kids, as you describe. if they were younger, i'd assess how much is the parent's denial and how much is just a difficult situation. i'd be willing to lend my experience, strength and hope with the latter. but, no way would i be living in that milieu. once is enough!
 MargaretChristianPsychic
Joined: 11/17/2009
Msg: 23
Dating people with problem kids
Posted: 11/26/2009 6:23:48 PM
Have you talked to her about the different Roads She Could take?

Number 1:
If she truely wants her life to be with you. And this is the Over 45 Forum.
She Needs to If anyone is living in the house with drugs...If her name is on
the mortgage...or the lease....she can be arrested for their mis-deeds.

Number 2:
Calling Social Services...if she is the one takiing care of the baby now.
That Usually helps the Younger Parents ...because that is what Social Services Is Equipt to do.

Number 3:
Can't She See herself what this is doing to your and to her...???
You seem like a caring person...And you seem like an intelligent human being.
Why Does her heart feel that letting things go as they are...is a suitable answer?

I say Call the Police even Anonymously calling the Police about the drugs...but GOD ALMIGHTY...is showing me your heart....so all this is way too much for you...so I know you will take heed to this advice.

GOD ALMIGHTY is showing me...that if you talk to her quietly...when you are alone with her. And let her know...something has got to change. Re-asure her that you love her... and that you will support her on kicking the grown adults out... but you cannot support the Illegal Activities...Or the Way that There is a Reason for Societies Rules..That you Cannot and Will Not Jepordize your going to jail...just because you are associated with this Very Dis-functional family.

I wish you the Best...In Making Some Very Tough Decisions.
Whenever the Heart Is Involved...It Always Makes It Much More Difficult ;
In Doing the Right Thing.

I Will Pray To GOD ALMIGHTY...that HE WILL WHISPER IN YOUR EAR...
WHAT THE CORRECT ANSWER IS.
Margaret
:)
Christian Psychic
 cncgandolf
Joined: 7/29/2007
Msg: 24
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Dating people with problem kids
Posted: 11/27/2009 9:25:48 AM
"enabling makes a certain type of bed to lie in...one that I refuse to lie in."

Kicking my youngest son out the door and locking it behind him was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. He was gone for 2 years. He's back... doing better but not excellently ... different from his older brother who has always been very responsible.

I have a rule about making beds.... if you don't like the way it is made, don't lie in it - remake it until you do like it.
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