Dear Annie: I have been living with “Lila” for less than a year. She owns her house, but can’t afford the mortgage payments. Instead of trying to work out an arrangement with the mortgage company, she opted to simply not pay the mortgage. I moved in and saved the house from foreclosure.
I have noticed, though, that this avoidance affects every area of Lila’s life. All her bills go unopened and unpaid.
If I move out, it will spell disaster for her and her kids. – The Boyfriend
Dear Boyfriend: You sound like a good guy. Lila may not intentionally be taking advantage of you, but you are certainly enabling her irresponsible behavior. Since there are children involved, however, you need to be cautious.
Contact the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (nfcc.org) at (800) 388-2227, and make an appointment for Lila to see someone who will arrange for her monthly bills to be paid automatically and will put her on a budget, even if it means selling her house. Please go with her to make sure she follows through.
Dear Annie: Like “Frustrated,” I, too, worked for my parents, long hours with little pay and no vacations. I finally got fed up with my father and joined the Navy.
After my parents’ death I re-evaluated. Dad was trying to teach me the lessons it took him a long time to learn.
My advice: Do not think your co-workers are your friends. People will not show you respect if you do not show your boss respect. Have a life outside of work. Pick your battles wisely, but stand up for yourself. Learn all aspects of the business and consider it a master’s degree. Always smile in public. It can be hard, but you will be amazed at the results. – I Wish I Had Understood
Dear Wish: Thank you for sharing the wisdom of your experience. Your parents would be proud.