I have always had this issue with my boyfriend and my family, but it always required me to give up one thing for another.
For example, if I had a trip I was planning for a long time, and I had to give up my money for small family favors.
It's those kinds of options that never have a "Win-Win" result, it comes out to be a "win-lose" because I always had the funds and time to go for a vacation to be with my mate or let my family suffer with tasks or issues they’re not capable of dealing with, or vice-versa.
Even though if I deny one option it ends up as a total loss, which causes one or both parties to be disappointed or enraged with my choice.
How can I resolve this for all parties to be in common ground with me?
And I am sorry if some things don't make sense on a few things...
Oni Foxandez The 3rd (age 21)
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It sounds, on first glance, as if your family depends on whatever income you are making in order to get by. And, by family, this means parents and siblings and possibly other relatives? Clearly, we’re not talking about your spouse and your children, since you are seeing a boyfriend. Given that you are 21 years of age, we are also not talking about you being obligated to live with your family; however, my guess, too, is that they are helping you some financially by giving you a place to live, which I am speculating you cannot afford on your own.
Next order of business is prioritization. Big priorities would be things like rent, food, clothing, paying the utility bills and so forth. If, by visiting your boyfriend, you were depriving your family of these necessities, then I would say that is not a very good thing to do. BUT! (And this is a big BUT) you explain, “I had to give up my money for small family favors.” That, to me, sounds like they are asking you for money for things that are not vital to their survival.
Since you are living with your family, and since you seem to be making some money on your own, it is fair that you help your family with the daily needed expenses, such as your share of food, housing, and so on. Anything beyond that is “discretionary money.” That is, while you’re being an adult and doing what is right by a family who is giving you a place to live, you also have the right to your own life, including spending time with your boyfriend if that’s what you wish to do. And you have the right to do that without feeling guilty about it.
The troubling thing you say is that you might “let my family suffer with tasks or issues they’re not capable of dealing with.” If these tasks or issues are serious, you, as part of that family, and because they are helping you, need to make them your first priority. If you’re family is truly suffering, then doing otherwise would be immoral. On the other paw, if they are just being whiny because they want a new DVR or video games or a computer or things that are not necessary, then see my above statement about not feeling guilty about it.
Legally, of course, you are under no obligation to help them. If you wanted to, and if you could swing it, you could abandon them, find a roommate or two or move in with the boyfriend, and move on with your life. Morally, that would be a rather selfish thing to do should they genuinely need your help.
Once you've figured out the priorities, discuss them with your family and with your boyfriend so that everyone is on the same page.
If you wish to provide me with more details so that you can get a better, less generalized answer, please write again and I’ll add your reply to this letter.
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