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Guest ASchwartz

Hi forgeting,

Wow, you have asked one of the biggest questions of all.

The problem is that there is not much you or anyone can do and, believe me that I know because I have lots of experience with this.

All you can do is tell this person what you think and feel, including how worried you are and encourage them to leave.

After that, there is noting you can do and, having told them this once, do not bring it up again, unless they do. None of us can get other people to do things even when we know it is in their best interests. In fact, the more you try to convince this person, the more helpless and angry you will feel. You keep thinking about this because you are a caring person and because you do not like feeling helpless.

What you need to know it that no one can get other people to do things that they will not do.

Remember the Serenity Prayer? : "Lord, give me the power to change the things and accept the things I cannot and the wisdom to know the difference between the two." By the way, that is a very approximate paraphrase and not an exact quote but you get the idea.

What do others think about this issue that forgeting has brought up.


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Hi Forgeting & Alan, My advice would be that no matter what she/he decides, Just be there for them. At a time like this, they will need all the friends they have. Even though others can see what is going on, you have to let them see it for theirself. Then they will be able to judge on their own opinion. as long as they have got some one there to may be lend an ear to listen to/shoulder to cry on. Thats all that matters. My Mother used to always say to me: True friends are like four leafed clover's, Hard to find and lucky to have! And that's a true saying. I still think of that saying many of time. Hope things work out? Take care! Paula x from the U.K.

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Hi Allen and all,

This is something that really hits home with me. I just came back from yet another abusive scene at my daughter's house(actually my house).

I just want to cry because I see what is happening to her. I do not think there is physical abuse, but there is a constant barrage of verbal abuse and since this a**hole refused to work for many years and is now too sick to work, it is financial abuse as well. And the abuse extends over to me as well.

I, truly, want to cut her off financially. She leaves him, gets me to set her up and then he comes back. She has always worked and done the best she can. She has gone thru her 401 K, declared bankruptcy on $50,000 of debt, sold Mom's diamond ring I gave her as a keepsake, "borrowed" money from work, and spent every penny she has on keeping things going. She gets him to leave and comes to me for help getting set up and then allows him back.

Now, finally, he is on SSI. It is classic abuse. She has no friends, he gets upset when she talks to me on the phone, he yells at me and calls me names when I go to see her. He NEVER shuts up. And, this has been going on for over 9 years. She did leave and come to live with me for a year and I bought this property that we were going to share--a place in the back for me. He came back and now he is there for almost two years again. It is not just with me, he called her a F***ing pig in front of the handyman. I hate to visit because he either causes a scene while I am there or harasses her after I leave. I do not live there. Instead I bought a small mobile on a beautiful lot and put it in her name and stay there when I go to visit. I will be moving to the area in the next few months.

It hurts me so to see this.


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Hi Suzi-

You asked me to respond to your post about your daughter & the abusive man she lives with. Is he her husband? I would think that if they have no legal relationship that you could have him arrested for trespassing on your property.

That aside, the real problem you have is with your daughter who seems to be drawn towards this abuse. I have very little experience with this sort of thing and I can't imagine tolerating it for a minute.

Were I you, I would go with what Allan said since he has a great deal of experience in such things. By the way, the Serenity Prayer reads: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." That was more for Allan than for you, Suzi Q, since you were in AA at one time.

I get very impatient with people who encourage and tolerate being abused. I don't permit it in my life and don't expect others to permit it in theirs.

Sorry I don't have more to offer but if your daughter is an adult and chooses to be abused, this may be in the category of things you cannot change. That is the "Wisdom" part of the Serenity Prayer that can be so tough to determine.

I can only offer my sorrow that you are going through this with your daughter. It must be very difficult for you.


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Thanks Catmom,

She does pay the mortgage for the last year and so in essence rents the house. No--he is not a husband and no longer a romantic partner. He lives in one part of the house (the part where I was to have my room when I visited) and she in another.

I think it is bothering me right now because some lucrative gas leases are in the works and I know there will be discussion of money. And I know I will need support to work this out in a rational manner. My son is not close--he was raised by his father--and is very successful in what he does, but not happy. And my other son is gone. So she is really all I have left. And she feels that I am all she has--at least, that is what she says. She could not have children. So, it is hard to walk away and hard to stay close. I know Michael's temper is to drive me (and everyone)away so she will have no one and I just hate what I see happening. One other thing--she joined a cult when she was 18 and was in Europe for 7 years with them, so she is very submissive to male dominance. She is not open to therapy. And she is in her mid 50's so she is not young.

I do appreciate your responding---sometimes that is all that is needed. Just to know there is someone to communicate with.

How is your situation coming along? I think, maybe because of her, I want you to have someone in your life. And I do understand your desire to have someone to communicate with. It is so important.

Wishing you love and joy, SuziQ

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Hi Catmom,

There is one thing I think I don't want to see---I think she has a problem with gambling--and that is why the money issue is coming up again. She has worked in casinos for 30 years. I know the money she "borrowed" from work was to gamble--she was working at an off track betting place. She told me she gambled that money. She currently works in a casino, but I don't think she is gambling now---but I don't know. I know nothing about gambling and I know she can be very secretive about money. And very upset when I insist she pay her portion of bills, etc---like I am being money hungry. She has gone thru a lot of money and I am very conservative with money. I have to control the(my) money because I don't trust her. I feel that what she does with her money is her business, but what she does with mine is my business.

Any suggestions?

Love and joy, SuziQ

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi SuziQ,

And, thank you Catmom for your excellent advice for SuzieQ. B)

SuzieQ, I understand that your situation with your daughter is very painful. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about it or about her behavior. You have made valiant efforts to save her from this abusive relationship and to save her from her self. You have given her lots of money, place to live and, in fact, have been incredibly generous.

SuzieQ, what I am going to say is not just as a therapist but the father of two adult children. You must take care of your self and stop the financial hemorrage that you have been suffering through.

I understand that your daughter is all you have and, therefore, you want to save her. I think every parent feels that way. But, the children are now adult and must become responsible for their own lives. You provide her with everything but it does no good.

I would suggest that you stop quarreling with her because my guess is that the arguments have to do with getting her to change her behavior. You are completely correct, of course, but she won't listen. She has taken her abusive boyfriend back again and she has an addiction and that addiction is gambling.

Though it is difficult and painful, many suggest a "tough love" approach to this type of thing. What I mean is that you stop giving her any money and stop providing any type of economic support until she deals with her two problems: her abusive boyfriend and her gambling.

What do you think and what do others think??


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I want to thank both you and Catmom.

I, for whatever reasons, just realized that my daughter has a gambling problem. I had not, for many years, helped her at all financially, nor had she asked for help. She normally works, but doesn't make a lot of money--so help here and there seemed reasonable. She has been secretive over the years, but was as a child, as well. It was just that when there is the possibility of a rather large sum of money on the horizon, she does not tell me about it and I am being accused of being money hungry, I wonder where that is coming from. I knew she gambled, but she works at casinos and would stay after work with others---as far as I knew. I know absolutely nothing about gambling---one addiction that had not touched my personal life. In looking back, I see so much I did not recognize then because I was focused on her "other".

I have contacted an agency in Shreveport where she lives and where I am planning to live. I will attend a gamblers anonymous meeting next week when I am there. The meeting for families is on the same night as the meeting on gas leases. As therapy has taught me that I am responsible for my re-actions, I want to have all possible info in order to react in a responsible manner for both of us. As I have stated on other posts, sometimes one has to take whatever program is available, so it will be a 12 step program initially. I truly disliked Alanon, but will try to keep an open mind --at least until I have some information to work with and, hopefully, can find someone that I can relate to there.

As with the many mysteries of life, I have no concious idea why I started using this site, had no clue why I was so attracted to Catmom, but it seems that it is exactly what I need right now. The only other post I use is for Hep C, which is a gift? from my addiction days. Since I have no desire to have the devastating treatment for Hep C, I have found supplements that are helping to raise my energy and emotional levels.

I do want to thank everyone on this site, primarily AA post and Catmom. for being here. I'll let you know how it goes and if anyone has any info about gambling, I'd love to hear about it.


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