Dear Ann Landers, You recently printed a letter from parents whom you termed "enablers" because their young adult children still expect money from them. Ann, my husband's situation is exactly the same with his daughter. (She is his only child. I have no children.)
"Linda" quit high school in her senior year and has moved from one mediocre salesclerk job to another. Her father stopped paying child support a year ago, but he still gives her money to live on. She calls him regularly every month crying about one financial emergency or another. My husband sends her $200 or $300 after every tearful call and swears each time that it is the last check he will mail.
My husband saw the column where you said, "Tell such children the bank is closed." He vowed that his "bank" was going to close. I was thrilled. Then, two days ago, we received another well-rehearsed call from Linda, with the same old song and dance. Again, he sent a check.
Ann, how can I convince my husband that he isn't helping Linda by caving in every month when her bills are due? He won't listen to me. He tells me I know nothing about children since I don't have any. We've been together for 12 years. We get along beautifully. I love him and want to stay with him forever. This is the only major conflict we have, but I am a nervous wreck every time the phone rings. Do you have any advice for me? -- Rebecca in Mississippi
Dear Rebecca, Yes, I do. Lay off. You have spoken your piece, and it has not made a particle of difference. The problem isn't financial; it's emotional. And it isn't YOUR problem; it's his. So swallow it, dear, and don't let this issue ruin your relationship. That grabby daughter would then have her daddy all to herself, and wouldn't that be nice?