Our daughter has already wasted a huge “business loan”. Now she is blackmailing us for more.
Dear Prudence is Slate’s advice column. Submit questions here. (It’s anonymous!)
Our daughter had a terrible first marriage. Her husband was a narcissist and a liar. We gave them over $50,000 in what was supposed to be a business loan. The money went to fund a lavish lifestyle, and when it crashed and burned, my daughter repeated everything her husband said and claimed it was a gift. She cut us out of her life for two years after we made a fuss about seeking legal advice. We ended up writing off the money, but secretly agreed that while we wanted to have a relationship with our daughter, we would never be in a situation like that again. Our daughter came to her senses and divorced her husband after he got into serious trouble with the law. We welcomed her back and have never mentioned money until now.
Our son and other daughter are getting married and looking for a new home, respectively. We pay for it. Neither of them have asked us to support them since they graduated from university, so it seems only fair. Our daughter learned about the arrangement and is now asking us to help her in the same way. She got engaged again, but neither of them made much money. We reminded her of the original 50 grand and she cried, saying she couldn’t believe we were “throwing that in her face” again after everything she’d been through. We don’t want to lose her again, but we also don’t want to give in to blackmail here. what should we do?
Dear Money Matters,
I don’t really understand where you are being blackmailed, but I understand that this must be very difficult, and that everyone is shocked by your daughter’s bad first marriage. I don’t think this is what you want to hear, but if you can afford it, why not go ahead and give her a gift that’s equivalent to the wedding gifts and down payment you give her siblings? listen to me! The 50k I gave her was a business loan. Sure, it was a loan that you eventually had to write off, but most of the blame for that seemed to go to her narcissistic, lying, criminal husband, who I believe was intensely manipulating her. So she never actually got to have the “here’s a big sum of money from your parents as a gift to help you get started in life” experience that her siblings were about to have. And now she could really use it. I don’t like that she “demanded” money. This is true and certainly abhorrent. But if you can keep in mind that she’s been having a hard time recently and forgive her (and again, if you’re sitting there), why not?
Now, if she had a designated account of 50k for each child and she withdrew from it when she and her ex didn’t pay off their loan, she was out of luck.
The money simply isn’t there. I hope that if she explains it clearly, without any judgment about her poor romantic choices, her failed job, or her lavish lifestyle, she will be able to move past her disappointment.
Do you have a question about children, parenting or family life? Send him to care and feeding!
I (39) have been best friends with my current girlfriend (38) since our mid-20s, even though we only started dating a few years ago. Our relationship is fairly casual in terms of life indicators (we don’t live together, and don’t plan to; we don’t want to have children together, and our finances are separate), but emotionally intense. Our connection from the beginning has been deeply intertwined with mutual artistic creativity as well. I care deeply about her and have never met anyone I felt so in tune with mentally and creatively. I dated other people during the time she and I were just friends, as did she, too, but we admitted to each other that during that time we were mentally holding all of our partners down and comparing them to the way we felt. Together, and finding those comparisons do not exist.
When we spend time together, it’s always wonderful – everything from deep, passionate creative runs, meandering philosophical conversations, amazing sex, or a quiet, comfortable cuddle on the couch, to watching a movie or just being with each other in complete contentment. Basically, I love her dearly and want our relationship to continue in roughly its current form for the rest of our lives, and she has repeatedly expressed that she reciprocates those feelings. It’s very hard for me to imagine finding another person like her in the whole world, let alone someone who doesn’t also have the traits I’m concerned about.
And Brody… Boy, do I have a premonition? I consider myself a simple, flexible and generally tactful person; She adheres to the philosophy that tact is just a nice name for lying, and is very strict about wanting things her way all the time. Although she is willing to make concessions if she resists, negotiating settlements with her requires a lot of energy. Our compromises are generally harmonious when I care enough to expend energy, but because I’m never as firm in my expectations and demands as she is, I end up getting down the road most of the time because it’s simply easier for me to yield to flexibility. Turn it around instead of trying to make it bend even a little. She also maintains a private, closed social media page that only I and a few close friends have access to, where she talks very harshly about her current roommate/ex-girlfriend and other people (her father and younger siblings). + nieces, nephews, close friends, and other mutuals) She explains that if someone doesn’t know something she considers obvious, she believes they are at best stupid and at worst willfully refusing to understand.
Although she has the ability to be very kind and supportive of people she cares about, and has successfully helped me and my other friends on a number of occasions, she also has the ability and desire to be very cruel. I already know that she will not receive any comments about such cruelty; She believes her treatment of others is justified, and believes that keeping screaming in a private space is a sufficient concession to social harmony. However, she has shared screenshots of text conversations with these people, and speaks to them in the same way she writes about them; She is very harsh and does not consider that people have different perspectives and knowledge bases than her. Basically, deep down, I have a deep feeling that our relationship is this good because I carefully avoid anything that feels like conflict with her. I’m not sure this is a wise or legally sustainable relationship. There’s a part of me that thinks I should have a relationship with someone I wouldn’t have all these worries about, but I don’t see the point in dumping my “on spec” girlfriend for something better that might be out there.
Basically, this is my question: Is it better to date someone I love dearly but also have reservations about (as long as she continues to not unleash her cruelty on me directly or cross some as-yet undefined line of cruelty toward others), or should I work on Ridding myself of an intense attachment to someone whose expectations and treatment of others I sometimes find deeply troubling?
That sinking feeling is true. You won’t give it up “on spec.” You’ll give it up because going through life while avoiding conflict with someone you see as cruel, controlling, and narcissistic is bad and no way to have a relationship. But for what it’s worth, yes, there is someone who isn’t that mean.
Get more advice from the Dear Prudence Podcast
I’m having a dilemma at work that I’ve let simmer for a long time, and now I’m about to explode. I am white and I work in a very diverse workplace at a very diverse public university. One of my coworkers has been using “herro” instead of “hello” constantly for the year and a half I’ve been here. The only reason I didn’t say anything? She’s Asian. But it started eating me up because I know it’s Chinese. My understanding of the word “herro” is that although it was originally used to mock anyone with an Asian accent, it is derived from the Japanese dialect specifically as the “l” sounds do not exist in Japanese and are replaced with the “t” sounds. “. As someone who has taught English in Japan, I know for a fact that the “l” sound is very, very difficult for native Japanese speakers! My Chinese-Canadian co-worker speaks with a Canadian accent, meaning she was born and raised in Canada, and English is her first (or primary) language. So every time you say that, I feel embarrassed.
I really hate being a white person observing Asian use of a word that has been used to mock Asian speakers. But I’m starting to feel like I’m betraying my Japanese friends, my former students, and the Japanese population of our school by not saying anything! Asia is not a monolithic bloc and what is offensive to Japanese speakers may not be offensive to Chinese speakers. I’m pretty sure I should say something, so I guess my question is: 1) Should I bring it up with her manager and ask the manager to talk to her, to avoid complicated office politics (which are very complicated at this time, not least because the coworker This is technically my main and receives comments poorly)? 2) If I had to bring it up myself, what script would I write so I don’t sound like a busy, preachy white person?
-Should I stay or should I leave?
Dear stay or go?
I started fact-checking this message to get a better understanding of whether there is a legitimate concern about your classmate’s pronunciation being offensive to the Japanese population at your school. And then I started reading it again to try to figure out whether or not I thought she was doing it on purpose. But then I stopped because it didn’t matter much. Although the issue you’re concerned about may be real, it’s none of your business, and it doesn’t directly affect you. You don’t manage this woman (in fact, she’s your supervisor!), no one has complained to you, and you already know that your comments won’t solve the issue. the problem.
So I have a script, but it’s for you to say to yourself: “My strong reaction to the way my colleague says that word is a reminder of how much I care about making this university an inclusive place.
I’ll be strategic about how I do that in ways that fit my role here. There are many cisgenders and groups here who would appreciate my support, and there will be many moments when my voice as a white person will be strong. I will look for opportunities to be an ally. When it comes to advocating for marginalized groups, I will follow in the footsteps of the people I hope to do Protect.”
Catch up with Brody this week.
More tips from Slate
I came home last night after a girls’ night out and noticed that my husband’s phone wasn’t plugged in. I picked it up, plugged it into the charger, and glanced to see what was happening on Facebook. I open it and see a picture of one of his friends in a bikini, enlarged to include her body and chest. I woke him up and asked him about it, and he admitted in a sleepy daze that he had used it earlier in the night to masturbate. I can honestly say I lost it.