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Help with boundaries (again) #369917
12/08/14 03:27 AM
12/08/14 03:27 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 20,616
B
believer Offline OP
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believer  Offline OP
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B
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 20,616
So, I'm back in the same situation that has been the story of my life. I've done lots of work on boundaries with my IC and read all of the books, but seem to do the same thing over and over.

Over a year ago, I got a housemate who is a college student and previously was in foster care. She's been great, is getting straight A's and nice to have around. She's a hard worker, helps out around the house and yard.

However, in July, she told me her brother needed a place to stay for 3 days until he could put an ad on Craigslist. He and his girlfriend broke up after 7 years together, and he was hoping to get back with her, or find a place he could afford.

So (yet again) I told her he could stay for 3 days and sleep on the couch. He moved in, and is a nice guy. We get along fine. However, he didn't seem to be looking for a place, and after being here for 2 weeks, lost his job. Then I felt like I couldn't ask him to leave.

So, Andy is still couch surfing. He did find another job, but it is "temporary." Plus, the engine in his car blew up and now he's biking to work.

I keep getting into these situations where I agree to something, and then it turns out to be something else.

As I'm typing this, Andy is on the couch (has been all day), watching football. He brought a dog with him that needs walks, and I'm the one that does that. I've mentioned to Andy several times that his dog needs to walk, or he pees on the floor. My words go unheard.

I spent the day cleaning the carpet in the living room. When I was done, I mentioned again that the dog pees on the carpet. I asked Andy if he had walked the dog today, and he thought about it and said "no", but he would. He seemed very surprised that the dog pees in the house.

Okay, that was 6 hours ago. The carpet has dried, Andy is still on the couch watching football, and the dog hasn't been walked.

I know that I have to speak up and tell him to move. It's just so hard for some reason.


"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."
Re: Help with boundaries (again) [Re: believer] #369918
12/08/14 03:53 AM
12/08/14 03:53 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 8,766
NewEveryDay Offline
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NewEveryDay  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 8,766
Believer, the lesson I've been learning with this stuff fix to match up the words with the actions. if it was going to be three days, he would have been out by now. So now you need a new plan. Maybe you could tell him he can stay until Friday if he starts walking the dog every 4 hours, otherwise he needs to be out by Wednesday. They always have someone else to couch surf with.

Or you could ask his sister to tell him, since it's hard for you. Or one of your sons. Maybe there's an MAer in your town who can stop over and deliver the news.

What would make you enthusiastic about him staying until the end of the year? Maybe if by Wednesday he gave you how much his sister is paying? Maybe nothing at this point.

I have a good friend who got a nanny from overseas. She interviewed her over the phone, did the sponsorship paperwork for her, bought her the one way plane ticket. Then the first week, the nanny said her daughter was too much work, even though in the interview she said she could handle that. My friend had to get another sitter and fly this lady back at her own expense. She told me what she learned from that is to negotiate and agree to the exit plan up front, before there are bad feelings. Kind of like how folks get prenups, or lease agreements.


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: Help with boundaries (again) [Re: NewEveryDay] #369920
12/08/14 04:47 AM
12/08/14 04:47 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 20,616
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believer Offline OP
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believer  Offline OP
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Posts: 20,616
Thanks, NED. I know I need to match up the words with the actions.

My problem is that I agree to things, thinking in my head that it will be one way (Andy on the couch for 3 days), but for some reason I can't think of the contingencies ahead of time. I know for sure that it is me, not them because it happens over and over.

I have discussed it with his sister, but she has avoids conflict like me. When I mentioned the dog peeing to her, she made out a chart, showing who walked the dog, and whether he peed or pooped.
But it was always she and me. The dog owner didn't partake.

I just got back from walking the dog again tonight, and the couch surfer is still watching football. Nothing fazes him, and it seems like he feels very entitled.

I'm just going to have to put my [Bleep!] boots on and tell him to get out. He seems to be working because he leaves every morning at 7:00AM and on weekdays doesn't come home until 10:00PM.


"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."
Re: Help with boundaries (again) [Re: believer] #369921
12/08/14 04:59 AM
12/08/14 04:59 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 8,766
NewEveryDay Offline
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NewEveryDay  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 8,766
She said three days, you didn't make that up in your head. Stop blaming yourself! You keep checking in with the situation as it is, assess your choices, and take prompt action!

You assumed the best because the sister had been honest with you up to that point.

You're awesome, believer, please don't let these incidents make you sending guess that!

How about having us here as accountability partners, the next time you want to have someone stay the night, check in here, we'll be happy to get you thinking about contingencies.

Just think, the one thing all these situations have in common is that they are over, except this one that is about to be over more speedily than any previous ones. You're not stuck with any of these folks, "Oh but he needs me" wink It could be so much worse!


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: Help with boundaries (again) [Re: believer] #369923
12/08/14 06:01 AM
12/08/14 06:01 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,883
Gateway to the West
N
Not2fun Offline
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Not2fun  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,883
Gateway to the West
B,

I just love you...

You have an amazing heart.

XOXOXOXO
(there wasn't a good enough emo for what I wanted to express...sigh)

Not


" If you couldn't change your partner when you were together, you sure aren't going to now that you aren't together..." Words of the teacher of the court mandated parenting class...and the ONE thing that stuck out to me!!!
Re: Help with boundaries (again) [Re: Not2fun] #369931
12/08/14 08:00 AM
12/08/14 08:00 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 10,887
HI
O
Orchid2 Offline
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Orchid2  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 10,887
HI
B,

You have a heart of gold and it seems others know it.

That said, it is your heart and your gold. Don't let others walk away with your treasures.

I get the helping piece. As I have written before, we took in a family of 2 due to her H turning into a WS and attacking her and her son. Ok, I didn't know them other than she was the parent of my son's former classmate.

Long story short, they stayed with us for 5+ months from May - Oct. It was suppose to be a 1 month stay. Shelters couldn't take her and her 17 year old son together, so they could go to shelters but separately. Our home gave them 1 bedroom and their own bathroom.

I had a few boundaries that I set. When one of them was crossed (sick people taking care of their illness and not coughing without covering their mouths in my kitchen), I informed her that if her son was not interested in being proactive with his healthcare, he could not longer stay in our home. I am have bronchitis and it is not wise for me even to catch a simple cold. She wasn't making parental requirements of him so she packed up and left with him the next day. Seems she rather not teach her son how to take care of himself (good eating habits and take vitamins and/or medicine as needed, even going to the doctor, etc.). He went to the doctor only after I made that recommendation (with his green phlegm and all - yuck).

Anyway, their leaving was the best thing for us. Looking back their stay cost us $$$ we really didn't have to spare x 5 months. She did contribute to some of the food costs but our electric bill went up over $100 and water went up a bit also. Sigh......

So, I suggest you enforce your boundaries. If the dog pees in the house and your boundary says no peeing dogs, then tell him that he and the dog must go. Maybe if his sister feels bad, she may need to go as well.

You made it too comfortable for them.

jmo,
Orchid

Re: Help with boundaries (again) [Re: Orchid2] #369936
12/08/14 12:35 PM
12/08/14 12:35 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,981
star*fish Offline
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star*fish  Offline
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Posts: 3,981
B,

I love Ned's idea about making us your accountability partners. So start with this---Pick a deadline (or a compound deadline like Ned described).

Here's how the conversation starts: Brother, let's sit down and talk. I like you and you're a good guy, but the commitment I made for you to stay here was supposed to be short term...and you know that. Because of your troubles with the job and car, I gave you a little more time, but that window is closing too. Let's get on the same page in terms of the time frame we're looking at now. I'm willing to let you stay until Christmas if you're willing to make contributions to the house and take care of your dog. We'll talk about what that looks like if you want to stay. If you aren't willing to do those things, then you've got three days to find a new place to stay. If you commit to pulling your weight, but don't follow through, it's the same thing as being unwilling. So what would you like to do?


"Yes, I'll have the love combo, open faced with a side of respect and large a glass of forgiveness, easy on the ice please--my brother
Re: Help with boundaries (again) [Re: star*fish] #369964
12/08/14 03:52 PM
12/08/14 03:52 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,091
SFB Offline
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SFB  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,091
B:

Boundaries.

He is crossing yours.

Since there is no Penalty for doing so, he will continue doing what he is doing.

To the sister: "Your brother is leaving by Friday, and if not, then you BOTH are going." Here is crate for the dog, it can be outside, or inside, but the dog is in it ALL day, no matter what.

Sorry, this sounds harsh, but it been this way since July. The welcome wore out months ago.

And it WORKS for him. So why should he change.

Because it DOES NOT work for you.

SFB


Finding an ethical way to deal with pain, fear, disappointment etc..is part of the experience of becoming a stronger person...one who is driven by compassion instead of compulsion...ie I have a legitimate reason to be stressed out right now...however, my response to it will determine how others percieve me, and myself. (quoting Star*Fish)
Re: Help with boundaries (again) [Re: SFB] #369991
12/08/14 05:35 PM
12/08/14 05:35 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 3,611
wiser_now Offline
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wiser_now  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 3,611
Originally Posted By: SFB
B:

Boundaries.

He is crossing yours.

Since there is no Penalty for doing so, he will continue doing what he is doing.

To the sister: "Your brother is leaving by Friday, and if not, then you BOTH are going." Here is crate for the dog, it can be outside, or inside, but the dog is in it ALL day, no matter what.

Sorry, this sounds harsh, but it been this way since July. The welcome wore out months ago.

And it WORKS for him. So why should he change.

Because it DOES NOT work for you.

SFB


I completely agree with SFB.

You are so kind, B. hug


A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short. --Andre Maurois


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