Moving out
01/02/2012 at 18:52 PM

I am a young adult still living with my parents and adult brother. I moved out for 4 years when I went to college in another state. When I graduated I moved back in when looking for a job.

Because I had so much trouble finding something full time, I could not afford to move out for about a year. My parents are great in some respects. I don't have a curfew and I'm not expected to pay rent (I do help out with things like food and household needs and I pay my bills). That said, I feel emotionally drained.

I'm pretty sure both my parents are alcoholics. They get drunk at least 3 times a week and they drink at least a bottle and a half of wine per night. They also argue with each other a lot, while drunk and sober. My father is overbearing and treats my mother like his paid chef and maid. She is incredibly stressed out about it, but talking to him seems to do no good and she routinely locks herself in her room to cry. She won't talk to me about it, because she doesn't want to burden me.

A couple months ago, I got a full time job with a modest salary. I've brought the idea of moving out up a couple times to my mother, but she finds excuses as to why I shouldn't ("you should really be saving up money", "what if you decide to go back to school", "you don't really need to", etc.). I know she really wants me to stay and my brother says he has experienced the same thing.

I don't have much money, but I have a friend who owns his own house and will rent me a room for very little money. Alternatively, if I am very frugal, I have looked on Craigslist and found rooms I could afford to rent.

I think I will be a lot happier if I move out. I wouldn't say that my house is abusive, but it is definitely not happy and I've come to the conclusion that there is nothing I can do to fix it. My greatest concern is that my mother will not be able to endure my father being angry and demanding all the time without me. Although I would be close by and would routinely come for dinner, I am really concerned about how my move would emotionally impact my mother.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Read Matthew 18:15-20 very carefully. This is my paraphrase of that passage:

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If your brother hurt you, cheated you, ticked you off, then go privately and tell him what you think he did. Do the Covey thing, try to understand what your brother thinks happened. If he just won't talk to you, take a counselor or mediation team with you, could be a family member if it's someone that he trusts. If that doesn't work, bring in an unbiased authority. That's right, try 3 different times. But don't ask a bunch of people what you should do, that's just gossip. If he'll talk with you, you have a chance to regain your brother.

If he just won't deal with you, then you have to let the relationship go. You have to respect his decision not to reconcile with you. But you have to make an honest effort to get his side of the story three times first.

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It sounds to me like you have exceeded the advice to try 3 times to heal the relationship. The respectful thing to do is to walk away. It is possible that your family has mental illness, but if they are unwilling to seek treatment it is foolish for you to stay involved. If you speak of them in the future, try to be respectful, not bitter. I have great admiration for you.

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