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Being Engaged While Being Trapped Financially Helping Parents

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I have been in a relationship for almost 5 years, engaged for 2. We want to get married, however I basically support my family. My mother has many health issues and has not yet been approved for disability and my dad cannot afford things on his own. My fiancé has his own apartment and I want to move in, but I am feeling guilty about it since I give so much to my parents financially, I worry they won’t be able to afford our current house on their own. My fiancé and I are tired of waiting and he is basically giving me a deadline of when I need to move out and stop helping my parents, but I don’t know if they will be financially stable by then. He is tired of waiting and quite frankly, so am I, but I don’t want to see my parents struggle to have a roof over their head and I also do not want to lose my relationship. I feel like this is the ultimate ultimatum. My parents aren’t helping any because they are not trying to help themselves and I just feel like
they aren’t trying to make their situation better. The house we are in currently is a rental and they have just been pre-approved for a mortgage but they are dragging their feet in looking for houses, making appointments with a realtor, and so on. It’s like they are putting my life on hold for an indefinite amount of time. How do I tell my parents they are affecting my relationship and my life and I need to move out before it ruins my relationship? It would be a perfect world if I can move out and still help financially like I do, but realistically there is no way that is possible. (From the USA)

Being Engaged While Being Trapped Financially Helping Parents

Answered by on -


  As long as you are there to keep things afloat your parents won’t find the resources they need to take care of themselves. Explain to them that you have a deadline. Give them time to prepare. But your support may be enabling them to remain in the situation. This is a crossroad for you, your parents, and your relationship. Without a deadline your parents won’t be motivated to change.

As you get ready to go help them get social services and give them the tools to get the information and help themselves. To stay means you will be in orbit around their needs — and continue to neglect your own.

This doesn’t men you have to abandon them, but it does mean your life can’t be perpetually put on hold. You can still help out in some ways, but not by filling in for their responsibilities.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Being Engaged While Being Trapped Financially Helping Parents

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Being Engaged While Being Trapped Financially Helping Parents. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 30, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 29 Nov 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.