My fiancé and I are waiting for his daughters (35 and 36 years old) to get to a place where they can financially afford to move out! But one of them spends her money on things such as a nose job and botox and doesn’t seem to be concerned about moving out. She at least works. The other daughter doesn’t work. She has a 5-year-old son and has bipolar. She has very little work skills won’t go to school, won’t take any medication for her bipolar and is divorced. I realize my fiancé is in a tough situation, but I’m tired of waiting for something to change. It’s been 5 years now. I would walk away if I was younger or if I didn’t love him, but I don’t want to do that. I know its his responsibility to communicate with his daughters and he says he has, but I don’t think he has. I don’t have a close relationship with the daughters mainly because they are never around. Hopefully I was able to explain the situation thoroughly. I want to know what can I do to help resolve this problem? Is it OK for me to continue to express my anger and frustration? Or should I just leave it alone? (age 50, from US)
Yes it is OK for you to express your anger and frustration, but it would be even more meaningful for you to do what you are hoping he will do: act. I’m sure he has talked to his daughters, but it hasn’t brought about change. You might have to lead by example and show some tough love. In other words, as much as you don’t want to end things with him, doing just that might be the incentive he needs to really lay down the law with his very adult children.
However, you also need to really ask yourself what you are willing to live with and what you are not. Do you love him unconditionally enough to allow for this situation to go on indefinitely or will it only build resentment if he never puts good boundaries in place with them, whether or not they live with you? Leaving him now would be easier than leaving him down the road, especially considering the circumstances of the daughter with Bipolar Disorder and a young child. Are you willing to let them come in and out of your lives? There are no right or wrong answers. I just want you to think about how you want your life to look. Many times, love just isn’t enough.
It might be helpful for you and your fiancé to engage in some couple’s counseling. Or at a minimum, read some books together on boundaries and codependency. I hope you can find a mutually agreeable solution.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts
My Fiancé’s Grown Daughters Still Live with Him
Holly Counts, Psy.D.
Dr. Holly Counts is a licensed Clinical Psychologist. She utilizes a mind, body and spirit approach to healing. Dr. Counts received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wright State University and her Masters and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Counts has worked in a variety of settings and has specialized in trauma and abuse, relationship issues, health psychology, women’s issues, adolescence, GLBT, life transitions and grief counseling. She has specialty training in guided imagery, EMDR, EFT, hypnosis and using intuition to heal. Her current passion involves integrating holistic and alternative approaches to health and healing with psychology.
APA Reference Counts, H. (2018). My Fiancé’s Grown Daughters Still Live with Him. Psych Central.
Retrieved on November 13, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/02/17/my-fiances-grown-daughters-still-live-with-him/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.