Honest Living: My Boyfriend's Adult Children
My life is about to change dramatically, and I’m anticipating the transition with keen enthusiasm. My boyfriend and I are going to sign a lease together for a townhouse, which means I will be leaving my one-bedroom apartment for a two-story, three-bedroom living space with a washer and dryer. Needless, to say, I'm a little excited. But a conversation we were forced to have put just a bit of a damper on my excitement.
He has three children, ages 20, 22, and 24. For all intents and purposes, they're adults, but they’re not yet to the point where they are fully self-sufficient. Therefore, his sons will live with us until they decide once and for all what they want to do with their lives. This means I will help support the lifestyles of these two boys, who up to this point have toured America from California to North Carolina with their folk/rock band.
Needless to say, I have mixed feelings about this situation. When I was 19, I went to work full-time and never looked back. I’ve spent every day of my adult life employed in one job or another, and I’ve had to support myself since the day I moved out of my parents’ house at 21. So I can’t relate to the vastly different way in which these kids have been raised. More than that, I can’t accept it. I think they should hold real jobs and do the band thing on the side, at least until it provides enough money to support them.
My 2 Cents
I’m not in a position to make this happen, but I did voice my opinion - I had to. Otherwise, I’d have gone into this new lease feeling like I was strangled by my own silence. My boyfriend doesn’t fully share my sentiments; he agrees that the boys should be working, but he also thinks they’re trying really hard to make the band work and deserve some financial assistance.
Having said that, he told me he will continue to help them for as long as he’s able to do so. Translation: He will take money from our household to give to these kids who have had a pretty grand time traveling from state to state, earning a little cash on the side while sightseeing and planning their daily itineraries.
Living honestly means being true to yourself. So I told him I will let the kids stay with us for a brief time, and then they will have to leave. I don’t feel it’s our responsibility to provide for them when they have chosen a lifestyle that precludes them from making money. It’s not like they're out looking for work and can’t find it; they’ve made it quite clear that they don’t want “normal” jobs and are too focused on their music to work for a “real” employer. Therefore, I feel that they should be made to live with the consequences of their decisions. And if that means they have to reside in a $300 per month studio until the band starts cashing in, then so be it.
I realize I probably sound harsh, but I don’t mean to. I’m just worried about being taken advantage of, which, at this point in my life, is the last thing I want. I like his kids and agree they have genuine musical talent. If they ever needed help, I would fully support my boyfriend’s giving it to them. But I don’t want my new home (or life) invaded by a rock group that’s chosen to neglect day-to-day responsibilities in exchange for their dreams.
So, we’ve come to an agreement. The boys will live with us (when they’re not touring) for this year, and then they’ll have to make new arrangements. We’ll see how all of this pans out, but I'm glad my boyfriend and I have opened up the lines of communication to the point where we can talk about these issues openly and honestly.