relationship advice (post new situation)
"Enabling a friend?"
We have had my unemployed friend living with us for just over a month. When we first offered our home to her, she was collecting unemployment and we agreed that she would pay rent. We even drew up a contract that she would pay rent while searching for a job and then a place of her own. We gave her a time limit of 8 months. She has been unemployed for two years. During that time, she did not put much effort into saving any money or looking for work. About 2 weeks after moving in, she was told that she cannot get any more extensions for unemployment, so when the first of the month rolled around, no rent money. Since then, her car broke down and she can't afford the $100 to get it fixed. As far as I know, she has not asked anyone to loan her the money and my husband and I agreed that we will not give her any money. We already have to take on the extra expenses of having her there, now rent free. We barely get by ourselves. I work full time and my husband only works part-time at low pay. In August my husband will be having surgery and will go without pay, at risk of losing his job, for a few weeks. I don't know how we will even get by at that time. My friend doesn't seem the least bit stressed about her situation. My husband and I are worrying ourselves sick over it.

I don't want to enable my friend. I care for her well-being, but I also feel that she put herself in this position. (she was fired from her previous job) It is difficult to tell whether we are being taken advantage of or if I'm just being selfish because I don't want her there occupying space.

I have no idea how much effort she puts into job searching. In my opinion, she should spend a good 8 hours a day doing only that. She has no responsibilies in my home so I think it is the least she could do. Am I being an enabler?
posted by Natalie (age 39) on 7/12/2010 @10:23:05 AM •
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