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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been surviving month to month and rolling with the punches financially okay. Some headway on the debt so that was alright.
Now my 26-year-old niece has moved in with me. Her Navy husband asked for a divorce out of the blue so she left her home and many of her belongings there. The financial agreement with him was "you keep the $20,000+ in unsecured debt, I'll never ask for alimony"
For the last two months she has been paying her share of the rent (350) out of savings and money she made from selling her home daycare items before she left. I had asked for food money for Dec but realized that it was way to much and so haven't asked for anything for Jan.
Her (insert bad words here) father gave her $100 cash instead of presents at Christmas. (Her stepsister got a $400 camera).
She is now coming down to the wire for Feb rent.
She is applying for food stamps now. She is applying for jobs, not as much as I would like but with the economy, I don't have a lot of hope either way.
She is a little niave and still cynical because she has been a SAHW for much of her marriage (6 years) and I want her to pull her own weight. For her benefit even more than mine. I know that she would love to cook and clean for her board and room but I want her to independent not some wierd form of a wife for me.
Any ideas or suggestions?
 

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If she has training in being a day care provider are there other settings she can work in that are local? I agree that having her do the housework for you really won't get her on her feet and would be quite weird.
 
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It has only been a couple of months and she HAS been a SAHW (like me), if I had to all of a sudden get a job and had nothing else going for me I would love it if somebody helped me get back on my feet.

I say give her a break, but not forever.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Her daycare was licensed through the Navy so she has had a LOT of training as a provider. She says that it probably will be too emotionally difficult for her because of her situation. It would be emotionally draining and remind her too much of her previous life. There are a few things she has said she won't do right now because her head isn't in the right spot and I have cut her some slack on them:
Work in a daycare (she says now that she might consider baby-babies because it would be less conflict resolution etc)
Quit smoking (she does roll her own cigs though)
Get a driver's license. She asked to move in with me specifically because there is good public trans in Portland.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh, and the whole seperation thing happened in late October so it has been a few months. She went to another friend's house for about six weeks so she wouldn't have to do anything but nurse her wounds for a while. I agree it has been a HUGE change for her and am trying to cut her some slack while urging her forward.
 

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Is this agreement with her husband official, signed, etc. If not, make sure she has consulted with a lawyer to see what she should be entitled to so that she doesn't get ripped off.

It takes a long time to recover from divorce. I was depressed for about a year, and I'm the one who initiated mine. It can be hard to figure out how to redefine yourself.
 

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I don't know about now, or about the Navy, but when I was an Army wife, many moons ago, there were programs for the families, even if the family was dissolving. She should be eligible for some help thru the Navy, I'd think? Get her to ask. Even if she doesn't ask for alimony, she might still be eligible for some benefits.

Judi
 

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I know she isn't your own kid, but the rule at my house is that everyone living there has to do SOMETHING full time: school full time, job full time, or volunteer full time. That being said my daughters have engaged in both school full time, school part time/job part time, and school part time/volunteer part time and job part time/volunteer part time.

The reason being that even if you can't find a job, you could be helping society in general which benefits everyone. Volunteering makes people get up, dressed, and meet new people every day. Meeting new people can commonly increase your "network" of people who can then help you find a job. Volunteering can help someone feel better about themselves which is sometimes then reflected at home. My daughters took better care of their appearance, cleaned up after themselves, and were more respectful when they were busy. They hated the volunteer in the beginning, thought it was stupid, but they did it and ended up meeting people they liked. My youngest, who needed a bit of a kick in the pants, one day told me, "I could be getting paid for this instead of doing it for free, I'm going to put in an application." Geeee, who'd have thought? :)

Some people will unknowingly milk a situation for as long as they can. They don't mean to, necessarily, they just don't have their own "kick in the pants" to do something about it. You may have to be a small kick in the pants for this person but its your house, your rules, so you're in a pretty good position to be that if you truly want to help them.

If she's not taking care of herself, I would also suggest that you encourage her to seek counseling to help pull herself out of the depression that divorce can throw people into. It takes an average of 1/2 the length of the relationship to get over the relationship so in her case she's looking at 3 years to really feel herself again. That doesn't mean she has to waste those 3 years, just that she may need extra help during them to get where she needs to be.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I know she isn't your own kid, but the rule at my house is that everyone living there has to do SOMETHING full time: school full time, job full time, or volunteer full time. That being said my daughters have engaged in both school full time, school part time/job part time, and school part time/volunteer part time and job part time/volunteer part time.

The reason being that even if you can't find a job, you could be helping society in general which benefits everyone. Volunteering makes people get up, dressed, and meet new people every day. Meeting new people can commonly increase your "network" of people who can then help you find a job. Volunteering can help someone feel better about themselves which is sometimes then reflected at home. My daughters took better care of their appearance, cleaned up after themselves, and were more respectful when they were busy. They hated the volunteer in the beginning, thought it was stupid, but they did it and ended up meeting people they liked. My youngest, who needed a bit of a kick in the pants, one day told me, "I could be getting paid for this instead of doing it for free, I'm going to put in an application." Geeee, who'd have thought? :)
I like this. A lot. It also will look better on an application as well as get her out of the house. I am trying very hard to help her and make good suggestions without going all "I'm yo' mama" on her.
Some people will unknowingly milk a situation for as long as they can. They don't mean to, necessarily, they just don't have their own "kick in the pants" to do something about it. You may have to be a small kick in the pants for this person but its your house, your rules, so you're in a pretty good position to be that if you truly want to help them.

If she's not taking care of herself, I would also suggest that you encourage her to seek counseling to help pull herself out of the depression that divorce can throw people into. It takes an average of 1/2 the length of the relationship to get over the relationship so in her case she's looking at 3 years to really feel herself again. That doesn't mean she has to waste those 3 years, just that she may need extra help during them to get where she needs to be.
I've been impressed with many, many things she has done to take care of herself. I might suggest counselling while she still has Navy health care.
 

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I agree with the others--in the meantime, take it slow and deliberate. Sometimes we try for instant solutions to our problems that take time. Good luck !!
 
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Maybe some type of group therapy may help her. To know she is not alone. I realize her whole situation is difficult.

On that note what you are trying to do is very understandable. Maybe you can sit down with her and try to explain why you want her to be self sufficient even at such a difficult time in her life. Many of us here know what it is like to have to keep plugging along even though it might feel as if the rug has been ripped from under our feet.

If she does go to the Navy for help encourage her to speak up for what kinds of services she needs. Hopefully they will be able to help her or direct her to the right agencies.
 

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The financial agreement with him was "you keep the $20,000+ in unsecured debt, I'll never ask for alimony"
She needs this in writing, all nice and legal from a divorce lawyer. Otherwise the agreement is worthless.

Right now she needs a job, any job. Tell her you appreciate the housework but that she has to have a plan for getting back on her feet. I have been in her shoes, I moved in with my brother for most of a year, and it is bad enough being separated from a spouse. On top of that she has to change her whole way of life in a new city. It's emotionally overwhelming. But having some serious short term goals like getting a job and planning out where she wants to be in a year will help keep her focused on the positive.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The financial agreement with him was written out with a list of the bills and signed by both of them. I don't know if there was a witness but there hasn't been a lawyer yet.
Since I started this thread she mentioned that she is feeling out of it because she only knows family here. I brought up the volunteering. She doesn't think it would be smart to volunteer where she has to take a bus, but there is a school "down the street and around the corner" so she might go there.
I am going to suggest a divorce support group from the Navy resources somehow but that will be a long haul because she is pretty private. We will see.
 

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The financial agreement with him was written out with a list of the bills and signed by both of them. I don't know if there was a witness but there hasn't been a lawyer yet.
Since I started this thread she mentioned that she is feeling out of it because she only knows family here. I brought up the volunteering. She doesn't think it would be smart to volunteer where she has to take a bus, but there is a school "down the street and around the corner" so she might go there.
I am going to suggest a divorce support group from the Navy resources somehow but that will be a long haul because she is pretty private. We will see.
Ya, I wouldn't like a group support, unless it was online. There are online ones, though. I hope she does do the volunteering, particularly if she's feeling isolated. I'm glad she has you, its not an easy road to travel.
 
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Does she have children? It's unclear to me.
If she doesn't I guess I'm one of the few thinking that she should find herself a job and get on with her life. You can only hand hold and coddle so long before it becomes a crutch. Sure what happened is sad and hurts but the perfect answer isn't going to come along as she says "no" to this & "I can't do that". Yes you can and in time it will get better. I'm sorry this happened but it's time for her to get on with being an adult and that means taking care of business. In the end this may just be the best thing that could have happened to her. She's 26 and has a whole lifetime ahead to become an independent self assured young woman. :heartsm:

If she has a child or children my words would be different.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Does she have children? It's unclear to me.
If she doesn't I guess I'm one of the few thinking that she should find herself a job and get on with her life. You can only hand hold and coddle so long before it becomes a crutch. Sure what happened is sad and hurts but the perfect answer isn't going to come along as she says "no" to this & "I can't do that". Yes you can and in time it will get better. I'm sorry this happened but it's time for her to get on with being an adult and that means taking care of business. In the end this may just be the best thing that could have happened to her. She's 26 and has a whole lifetime ahead to become an independent self assured young woman. :heartsm:

If she has a child or children my words would be different.
She doesn't have children but I wonder how your answer would be different. I think I would be harder on her if she had kids. Instead I think this is a chance for her to re-launch her life, hopefully more thoughtfully and well-preparedly than she did before.

I have to admit that I would even like to see her go to college and given the state of the economy might even suggest she take out some student loans to do so. However two factors make that a totally unwise choice: She hates school and has no idea what she would take. If she wanted to get her LPN in a year I would say go for it but the concept of borrowing money to explore while doing something she hates...not a chance.

And yes having her become an independent self-assured young woman is my goal for her. Of course it has to be her goal as well before it can become a reality.
 

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I'm really sorry kita. And I hope the best for her, but all I hear is excuse after excuse after excuse of why she can't do this, or won't do that.

she sounds like a whiner to me.

"I can't do daycare because...."

"can't go to school because....."

"I can't quit smoking right now because...."

"I can't get a driver's license right now because....."

"I can't volunteer if I have to take the bus...."

nothing personal kita, and please don't take it as an attack (on you or her), but stand back and look at it again from an outside perspective....

she needs to put up or shut up.
 
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Sometimes when we are forced out of our comfort zone we learn the most. None of the suggestions would be easy, but all of them seem to have the advantage of helping her to meet new people.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I agree with you on a lot of things here. She has gotten better over the past few months. She wouldn't give plasma because she didn't like needles. (who does?) She has tried to give now but one place has said that her veins are too small. I walk a fine line betweeen making suggestions and letting her figure things out herself.


I'm really sorry kita. And I hope the best for her, but all I hear is excuse after excuse after excuse of why she can't do this, or won't do that.

she sounds like a whiner to me.

"I can't do daycare because...."Yeah, this is frustrating. I have seen her say she would do babies now so I am guessing that this will be gone in a month.

"can't go to school because....."I wish she would have a love of school. I wish she would have a career goal in mind. She is right though that borrowing money for exploration is not a good idea.

"I can't quit smoking right now because...."I am selfish enough that I don't want to hold her hand while she quits smoking and deals with the divorce. ;)

"I can't get a driver's license right now because....."Yep, this one is annoying as well. I guess her husband drove her nuts when he was teaching her to drive. The little teachery section of my brain has a goal which says something like "She will be able to legally drive the streets of Portland with 100% accuracy by June 30. I don't have a problem letting her borrow my car when she needs it(as long as she is legal) because it is easier that drivingher around.

"I can't volunteer if I have to take the bus...." Well very shortly it will be MY money that will pay for that bus and I don't know if I can justify it either.

nothing personal kita, and please don't take it as an attack (on you or her), but stand back and look at it again from an outside perspective....

she needs to put up or shut up.
Yes, I guess I have to say that she has shut up. Up until now she has paid half the rent and contributed for food. Starting in in Feb she says she only a partial month of rent.

I can wish that she had a more "burn the ships attitude" but I have seen change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
She got a job! Janitorial. The hours are crap for the bus but she says she will tough it out. Once she knows exactly which building she will be at and who her crew includes she will know if she will be waiting for an hour to two hours for a bus or car-pooling or getting a taxi. I have agreed to pick her up on night since on that particular night it wouldn't be that difficult to be up that late. She might spring one or two nights for a taxi. Her money her choice.
She has orientation today and I am just thrilled for her.
 
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