Monday, July 28, 2008

It's my party (should I feel bad?)

Jim is finally leaving in the morning. All day I had been looking at our house and remembering what it was like to be just me, DH and DD, struggling on, but as a family...remembering how it felt when it was MY (our) living room, and MY (our) fireplace, and kind of mentally reclaiming everything that Jim had kind of taken over. I was so excited, I wanted to throw a party!!!! How nice to be able to watch a movie in the living room, how nice to be able to let Buffy and Molly (dogs) into the living room to wrestle when I get home in the morning....how nice for DD to be able to play (yes, even though she's 15, she still plays with toys and dolls sometimes) in the living room again....this time has been a long time coming--too long!!!

But DH called me tonite and told me that "Jim has concerns about his relationship with (that girl)". "But he feels like he has to give it a chance." So I said, "So he's not leaving then?" "Yes, he's still leaving." "But he said he knows what he wants in life now. He wants to live in the country and have dogs and cats. And chickens and ducks. And he said that if it weren't for (that girl) he'd be staying on, and the reason he's stayed on for so long is that we treated him like a family member. We appreciated him, and he has loved being part of our family."

And I suddenly was glad I wasn't throwing a party. I guess we were right when we were trying to figure out why Jim just couldn't leave. This family life is something that he relishes and even at our most dismal, we still had a loving family. Enough where he didn't want to leave. So I'm feeling kind of mean about wanting him to go (not mean enough to ask him to stay or come back, though, LOL) but, what has been bothering me so much has apparently been a huge highlight in Jim's life. And I really hate (in a way) that he has to give something like that up.

(But don't worry--I actually told DH that I think Jim'll be back way too soon. I think that thing with the girl will fizzle and he will come back to our place to "lick his wounds".) I hope I'm wrong. What I'd really like is for him to meet a "normal" girl, one who likes men and doesn't steal from people, and settle down close to our place....but not in the living room, LOL!!!


Lorna said...

Maybe i'm just not a very nice person, but I think you are very within your rights to say to Jim that you no longer want him living in your living room. I know he has done a lot ofr you and helped you out, but I feel it is totally unreasonable of him to think it's ok to stay in your house for so long. You are a family, you have had a lot going on and if it were me I would find it innapropriate to have some one compromising my home life for so long. I don't think there are many who would in Jim's position even think it was OK, I would realise that staying in someone house, not even in a spare room is only a short term option and would try my very best not to outstay my welcome. Not only that, but it's just wierd that he would want to sleep in someones lounge, knowing how it was impacting the family and not think anything was wrong about it. He should find his own place and not sponge off your hospitality for any longer.

Surely as well it can't be good for your relationship, to always have someone else there. We use our lounge every day. The kids play in it in the day, and we spend qualitly time together in it in the evenings. I really don't think you should feel bad for wanting him gone or if it came down to it asking not to come back to live with you.

I know I don't know the ins and outs, but I would say you have payed him back 10 fold for whatever he has done for you. I'm sure he likes the family life, but a grown man should not be using someone elses family to fullfil his own desires for a smiliar home life. And surely staying with you will be making it harder for him to find the motivation to go off and make a family of his own.

I hope I haven't spoken out of turn, but I really feel for you in this situation. It seems terriblly unhealthy for everyone involved.

Carol said...

Hi Lorna, I don't think you're out of turn at all! I feel the exact same way as you in my own self. I could NEVER "live" in someone's living room for months on end!!!

I do recognize that Jim has done things for our family that would have costed us huge amounts of money otherwise. And he has also spent a lot of money fixing up our house and land. And for that I am grateful. But I did not ask him to do it. He did it supposedly without any expectations. So I don't think I should feel really beholden to him at all, just grateful, as if someone had made a donation to the family.

But you know, the part of me that takes in the stray cats, that part of me feels sorry for a guy who's "stuck" on a girl who is clearly never going to care about him, who would prefer living in our living room to living with his family, well, I feel like even on the worst bipolar day, I have a lot more than he does in that sense, and that "bleeding heart", as my brother calls it (LOL) makes me want everyone to be happy. So I do feel bad for him. But in reality, there's not much I can do. He's a grown man. He has the ability to work, wherever he chooses, whether it's in Iraq or in MN. And everyone knows you can't talk someone out of being "stuck" on someone else.

And of course, I am not responsible for his lack of family life while he grew up, and I am not responsible for restoring that now. But I do feel bad for him.

He's been gone 1 day now. And I still feel like throwing a party, even though I do have some sympathy!