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GrampsX9

The Two-And-A-Half-Generation Household

387 posts in this topic

I understand what you are say, so what were/are the expectations of your son and DIL?

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2 hours ago, GrampsX9 said:

I absolutely did have expectations, summarized in the OP (now I know what OP stands for) of this thread and in RoseRed's Thursday 2:47 pm post.  I wonder if @PattyGram has read either of those?

I agree with the previous owner of this house (who, FWIW, is a member of the upstairs family's church), who said, "I'd expect that you would be welcome up there at any time."  Was he just humoring me?  Of course there would be some limits.  He didn't say, and I'm not saying, "welcome anywhere up there".

My family, my house.

And I think that's the problem here.

 

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In my opinion...(not worth much)...IF I had raised my kids in a two story house with a basement, it is obvious that I am used to the run of the whole house and If I invited/agreed for an adult child and his family to move in and due to that I had suggested I move my bedroom and private area to the basement...I think it would be understood that the kitchen, main living area and laundry were still my domain and the upper floor with the bedrooms would be their private space for the duration on our living agreement.

But, we have no idea how long gramps and his son and family have been living in this huge house or what the original arrangement was OR IF there even was one.  I think all this information does matter.  Not for me, but for gramps.  He needs to comprehend what is going on here and if things need cleared up, he needs to do that with his son who will have any discussion necessary with the rest of his family.

I understand that fees to change this arrangement at this point might be restrictive to everyone involved, but demolishing a relationship is also costly even if not in monetary terms.  If I found myself in this place, I might move myself to another apartment and rent out the basement to help with the expenses due to my move.  I have been in a touchy relationship with my own daughter, and I'd do almost anything to not go there again.

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31 minutes ago, ImpishMom said:

And I think that's the problem here.

 

If my family, my house is the problem, as you indicate it is, whose problem is it? -- and why-

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This man was hugely taken advantage of- That's the bedrock on which this situation sits-

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I hold mortgages on 2 of my ACS homes, enabling them to live near work. They pay when and what they can....and utilities. Here's the thing; I don't think paying for college or buying houses entitles me to access. Maybe Gramps might explore his wants against everyday 24hour young family reality.

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And we can do nothing about his sons actions...or intents...

gramps is the one asking for advice so all we can do is advise him to what we hope might help him.

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18 minutes ago, INCOGNITO said:

I hold mortgages on 2 of my ACS homes, enabling them to live near work. They pay when and what they can....and utilities. Here's the thing; I don't think paying for college or buying houses entitles me to access. Maybe Gramps might explore his wants against everyday 24hour young family reality.

Anonymous poster hash: ea945...f93

The red clearly indicates they live in those homes that you hold the mortgage on but you do not- You even refer to the homes as theirs- Not even remotely close to Gramps situation- The home is his, he invited them to live in it with him-

Edited by Komorebi
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I think your DS and DIL are taking advantage of you. You are paying a great deal of their living cost (no rent, no student loan payments, just utilities) and they spent time with you, loved on you, during the decision making time only to dump you into the basement once everyone moved in. Yes you should have had more questions before signing up for this deal but if you never had experienced living with an AC and their family then you don't know what problems to anticipate. Your DS and DIL didn't bring anything up before on how they saw the actual living in the house would be either. I expect your autism to be a part of this disconnect too. You are very direct in your posts, you don't really know what emotions your DS has about the living situation (although the very cruel dumping of your gift in the trash in front of you disturbs me). I think you did for your DS for the same reason most parents of AC do, out of love and the hope to be emotionally closer with the DS and his family. It's why I allowed my DS, DIL and GC to live with me temporally when they were moving after selling one home and waiting to close on the new home. It didn't work out as well as I hoped, but as it was temporary I could tolerate it and I knew going how it would likely be.

I once lived in a very nice, large, well decorated basement apartment one year early in my marriage. I would never do it again. I was miserable with not having a view out and no natural sunlight, but other people may not be affected as much or at all. My DH didn't like it but he wasn't affected as much as I was.  I'm the same way when I have had to work in interior spaces with no windows at work. There's probably a name for it. Again, not something you know until you live it. At the very least talk to your son and work out a solution to spending time on the main level during the daytime. Maybe just a "grandpa corner" with a comfy chair by a window. My grandfather didn't interact much with me and my siblings as a young child but loved to just be in the room with us kids, seeing what we did. I hope you can work something out because both you and your DS and his family have much to gain. I would make sure to phrase my conversations with DS from the point of view of wanting to be a valued member of their family and that you want that to be more than just paying for their expenses. The board games suggestion is great, ask DS what other activities his kids might enjoy doing with you. Maybe have a part of the basement living space be an area with toys for them? I don't see my GC often but I have a basket with age appropriate toys, a stack of books, a few parent approved movies for them when they visit. Balls and outdoor games are also ready to go.

 

 

Edited by missmm
clarify
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9 hours ago, GrampsX9 said:

I agree with the previous owner of this house (who, FWIW, is a member of the upstairs family's church), who said, "I'd expect that you would be welcome up there at any time."  Was he just humoring me?  Of course there would be some limits.  He didn't say, and I'm not saying, "welcome anywhere up there".

My family, my house.

There's ^^ the problem. Yes, the previous owner was just humoring you, or ever how you want to say - he was trying to be nice because you asked. Don't let a prior owner's thoughts weigh heavy. IMO, it makes zero difference what the prior owner thinks, who asks that sorta question? They are not as into you as you'd like.

Find something to do between Sunday visits and whenever you see them. You bought a home, they didn't know you expected any more time than they are giving now, can't buy family time. Yep, can't buy family time, if you do please tell us all how.

ETA: IMO, you're not being taken advantage of, you offer DS to live in a house you purchased and he is. With no rights, responsibilities, and rules in advance - all seems well, you just don't like it.

These 3 GC are 12, 13, and starting college age - likely have busy lives and activities. Perhaps you could do the same. If you act in a pushy demanding manner my bet is they move and you hear "pound sand".



 

Edited by JanelleK

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2 hours ago, Komorebi said:

If my family, my house is the problem, as you indicate it is, whose problem is it? -- and why-

It's Gramp's problem.

He bought the house. Not the family. It's his extended family, yes, but primarily his *son's* family. He doesn't own them. But by putting them on the same level, 'my family, my house' it indicates a feeling of ownership over both.

Are they using him, or are they holding up what they perceive as being their end of the deal? Since there seems to have been no discussion prior, I think the latter. They aren't going *against* any agreement...there was none.

From Gramps side, he feels duped. From their side? They probably feel duped too. They've said, according to Gramps, that they viewed it as a landlord/tenant situation. As much as Gramps feels there was a bait and switch (based on no discussion), I'm betting his ds and DIL feel that way too. Instead of a landlord/tenant situation, they're now being expected to have an additional immediate family member, one they never agreed to. Extended, yes. Immediate, able to access their living space as he pleases, be included as much as he wants, no.

And the real kicker of all of this is, neither expectation is, on the face of it, wrong. Gramps assumed he was becoming a part of the immediate family. They assumed landlord/tenant. Neither of them is wrong.

Where they *both* went wrong is the complete lack of discussion prior. 

Gramps is wrong to think that owning the house = buying time/relationship w/his ds's family. That they'd owe him for it, be indebted for it, and therefore couldn't say no to any of his expectations/requests.

Ds was wrong not to discuss Gramps' expectations of what the reality of living under the same roof would entail. Ds was wrong to think that Gramps' paying the mortgage wouldn't come with strings.

When something seems too good to be true, it usually is. And that's where both Gramps and his ds went really wrong.

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Personally I think that since Gramps has funded the house, that Gramps should have the best room in the house, let say the master bedroom and bath, for his private space, not the basement. If my mom or MIL had done something like this for us, I would have insisted they take the best room out of gratitude for them giving such a massive gift that they did not have to do. If I didn't like Mom or MIL then I would have struggled on on my own. 

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Just now, missmm said:

Personally I think that since Gramps has funded the house, that Gramps should have the best room in the house, let say the master bedroom and bath, for his private space, not the basement. If my mom or MIL had done something like this for us, I would have insisted they take the best room out of gratitude for them giving such a massive gift that they did not have to do. If I didn't like Mom or MIL then I would have struggled on on my own. 

And if that had been the agreement prior, I'm totally with you.

But it wasn't. 

I suspect, if that had been the plan, the ds and DIL wouldn't have agreed, b/c it seems very clear to me they had no intention of living *with* Gramps, as one big family. 

And if they'd had the full knowledge of Gramps expectations, and refused, seems like it would've been a better outcome than the current situation.

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6 minutes ago, ImpishMom said:

It's Gramp's problem.

He bought the house. Not the family. It's his extended family, yes, but primarily his *son's* family. He doesn't own them. But by putting them on the same level, 'my family, my house' it indicates a feeling of ownership over both.

Are they using him, or are they holding up what they perceive as being their end of the deal? Since there seems to have been no discussion prior, I think the latter. They aren't going *against* any agreement...there was none.

From Gramps side, he feels duped. From their side? They probably feel duped too. They've said, according to Gramps, that they viewed it as a landlord/tenant situation. As much as Gramps feels there was a bait and switch (based on no discussion), I'm betting his ds and DIL feel that way too. Instead of a landlord/tenant situation, they're now being expected to have an additional immediate family member, one they never agreed to. Extended, yes. Immediate, able to access their living space as he pleases, be included as much as he wants, no.

And the real kicker of all of this is, neither expectation is, on the face of it, wrong. Gramps assumed he was becoming a part of the immediate family. They assumed landlord/tenant. Neither of them is wrong.

Where they *both* went wrong is the complete lack of discussion prior. 

Gramps is wrong to think that owning the house = buying time/relationship w/his ds's family. That they'd owe him for it, be indebted for it, and therefore couldn't say no to any of his expectations/requests.

Ds was wrong not to discuss Gramps' expectations of what the reality of living under the same roof would entail. Ds was wrong to think that Gramps' paying the mortgage wouldn't come with strings.

When something seems too good to be true, it usually is. And that's where both Gramps and his ds went really wrong.

My only two issues with the above:

Gramps has mentioned numerous times that "his family" treated him one way prior to the purchase of the house and differently afterwards- It's been discussed here- Other discussions may or may not have taken place -- we don't know that- We don't know that about any story at all that's shared here- We're usually only privy to one side- 

If they ("his family") feel duped, it might be because they've discovered "their plan" isn't working as well as they had thought it would-

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Not only Gramps having the best room in the house not part of the agreement, but not even offered by DS. Sounds like the plan was to put Gramps down in the basement from the start. No wonder Gramps is having problems, his DS shows no gratitude or respect for all his father is giving him. Entitled much? If this is something they wouldn't agree to, then they shouldn't have proposed or taken the offer. Again it sounds like bait and switch, be sweet to Gramps, spend time with him, imply that he is much loved and valued, until you move in and then it's stay in the basement. Of course if you take an offer like this there are unvoiced expectations. Every human interaction has expectations. It's pretty clear from DS and DIL's actions during the decision phase that they knew Gramps wanted to see them and the GC more and be like family. To take it away after they got what they wanted doesn't say good things about them.

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13 minutes ago, missmm said:

Not only Gramps having the best room in the house not part of the agreement, but not even offered by DS. Sounds like the plan was to put Gramps down in the basement from the start. No wonder Gramps is having problems, his DS shows no gratitude or respect for all his father is giving him. Entitled much? If this is something they wouldn't agree to, then they shouldn't have proposed or taken the offer. Again it sounds like bait and switch, be sweet to Gramps, spend time with him, imply that he is much loved and valued, until you move in and then it's stay in the basement. Of course if you take an offer like this there are unvoiced expectations. Every human interaction has expectations. It's pretty clear from DS and DIL's actions during the decision phase that they knew Gramps wanted to see them and the GC more and be like family. To take it away after they got what they wanted doesn't say good things about them.

In the area of kindness, Gramps has mentioned that his son is handy and fixed a lock, that either he (the son) or someone would provide a ride for Gramps to get to and from where he needs to go for a medical procedure should Gramps need it- He also mentioned that he and his son together could remove firewood and leaves from beneath a stairway but Gramps never mentioned (to the best of my recollection) that the task was accomplished- They've invited him for dinner a handful of times although according to Gramps his son was uncharacteristically quiet during dinner -- opposed to how talkative he was prior to moving into the house-

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20 minutes ago, missmm said:

Not only Gramps having the best room in the house not part of the agreement, but not even offered by DS. Sounds like the plan was to put Gramps down in the basement from the start.

DS didn't make the misleading offer, Gramps did, how do you justify blaming DS?

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2 hours ago, Komorebi said:

The red clearly indicates they live in those homes that you hold the mortgage on but you do not- You even refer to the homes as theirs- Not even remotely close to Gramps situation- The home is his, he invited them to live in it with him-

The exact same, imho.

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19 minutes ago, INCOGNITO said:

The exact same, imho.

Anonymous poster hash: ea945...f93

Do you live under the same roof with your adult children?

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Holding a mortgage for an AC is not at all the same as buying with the intent of living in that house with AC. If Gramps has the money to just gift the house to his son and gift his daughters equivalent in money or kind, then that would be a great solution. Just give the house to DS and live elsewhere. But it doesn't sound like Gramps can afford to do that, therefore the arrangement to live with his DS and family. Gramps helps financially, DS expected to help Gramps as he ages. Works out for a lot of families and maybe even this one if some problems can be worked out.

Edited by missmm
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1 hour ago, INCOGNITO said:

DS didn't make the misleading offer, Gramps did, how do you justify blaming DS?

Anonymous poster hash: ea945...f93

Hmmm... In his OP in this thread, Gramps says the following:

So at their suggestion...I bought a large house and invited them to move in with me and just pay the utilities. 

Sounds like it was originally DS' and  DIL's idea, even though, in the end, Gramps' "invited" them to live w/ him. Seems like that justifies "blaming" both sides for not discussing their respective expectations and figuring out how this would work beforehand.

@All - As the above quote also shows, the idea that DS/DIL would "just pay the utilities" was clearly agreed upon from the start. Perhaps, of course, the utilities are high. And, as Komo points out, Gramps is also getting a free handyman in the bargain. So DS/DIL might feel their contribution is about even. It might appear to the outside viewer that they're "taking advantage," financially. And, sadly, that might have been their intention. But it's also possible they don't see it this way, at all.

You or I might think they should have worked out the finances differently. But they didn't. Maybe Gramps could renegotiate this w/ them now. But that might be a very difficult conversation (or 2 or 3).

Edited by RoseRed135
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1 hour ago, Komorebi said:

They've invited him for dinner a handful of times although according to Gramps his son was uncharacteristically quiet during dinner -- opposed to how talkative he was prior to moving into the house-

If I read correctly, DS was only "uncharacteristically quiet during" one recent "dinner" - not every dinner since the move. Did I misread that, Gramps?

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I think the deciding factor in all of this is going to boil down to, who needs it more?

Does the ds and DIL need the house enough to capitulate to what Gramps wants?

Does Gramps need them paying what they do/offering the assistance to him they do to keep the house, and accepts what they're offering?

B/c really, that's the only end I can see.

If the ds and DIL answer 'no' to the first question, they may well move out, leaving Gramps with a large home that he now pays everything for.

If Gramps answer is 'no' to the 2nd question, then he can issue an ultimatum: give me what you want, or move.

I just don't see a happy compromise here. Gramps wants what he thinks he deserves: open access and inclusion into daily family life.

Ds and DIL want what they think they deserve: privacy and independent family life, helping and including Gramps as works for them, on their schedule, their terms, not his.

Gramps holds the mortgage. He can choose to attempt to leverage that to get what he wants, but that's a 'go broke' scenario if I ever saw one. If he tries to pull, "It's my house, follow my rules" or anything similar, I suspect that ds and DIL will find another residence PDQ. 

Either way it goes, be it they move out willingly or Gramps sells/demands they move, I don't see a positive end for the relationship, b/c I just don't see where either party is about to compromise.

1 hour ago, Komorebi said:

In the area of kindness, Gramps has mentioned that his son is handy and fixed a lock, that either he (the son) or someone would provide a ride for Gramps to get to and from where he needs to go for a medical procedure should Gramps need it- He also mentioned that he and his son together could remove firewood and leaves from beneath a stairway but Gramps never mentioned (to the best of my recollection) that the task was accomplished- They've invited him for dinner a handful of times although according to Gramps his son was uncharacteristically quiet during dinner -- opposed to how talkative he was prior to moving into the house-

I'd say 3x a week is more than a handful, given that my impression is that it happened several weeks running...and is down one visit from before they moved in together. And the quiet was after the photobooks, I believe. 

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9 hours ago, GrampsX9 said:

I agree with the previous owner of this house (who, FWIW, is a member of the upstairs family's church), who said, "I'd expect that you would be welcome up there at any time."  Was he just humoring me?  Of course there would be some limits.  He didn't say, and I'm not saying, "welcome anywhere up there".

My family, my house.

IDK if the previous owner was "just humoring" you or not. Problem is, IMO, it doesn't matter how he thought things would be. What mattered is whether you, DS and DIL all had the same vision of how it would work out. Apparently, you weren't sure or you wouldn't have asked the previous owner his opinion. Unfortunately, the person you should have talked to about this, IMHO, is DS.

My family... - Yes. But as a PP said, they probably see you as "extended family," at this point, even if you see them as "immediate family" (a common difference among parents/PILs/GPs and AC/CIL). If they lived in a separate house, would you think you had the right to 24/7 access to, say, their livingroom? I don't think so. They probably don't see any difference in the current situation.

...my house -  Yes, it's your house. You bought it, it's in your name (I take it), and you pay the mortgage, etc. And as the saying goes, "Thems thats got the gold, make the rules." So yes, you probably should have been able to make a rule that you would have "anytime" access to, at least, the lower floor of their part of the house. In fact, I like MMM's idea that the owner of the house should have the master bedroom.

But you didn't lay down any such rules though as Imp says, I don't think DS and family would have moved in if you did. Nor again, did you let them know how you saw the situation before the move. Clearly, they see it as a matter of a "building" w/ 2 separate "homes." But, to reiterate,  they didn't let you know what their view was either.

Obviously, you and DS have discussed your different expectations since then or you two wouldn't have had arguments where he shared their "landlord-tenant" view. It doesn't sound as if either you or they are going to change your respective POVs. If you're not ok w/ the idea of selling, Sue's suggestion sounds like a good one to me. Otherwise, you may just have to find a way to make the best of the situation as it is (getting board games in your apt or letting the kids know they can bring board games there and you'll play w/ them seems like a good way to begin, IMO)

 

Edited by RoseRed135
typo

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15 minutes ago, RoseRed135 said:

IDK if the previous owner was "just humoring" you or not. Problem is, IMO, it doesn't matter how he thought things would be. What mattered is whether you, DS and DIL all had the same vision of how it would work out. Apparently, you weren't sure or you wouldn't have asked the previous owner his opinion. Unfortunately, the person you should have talked to about this, IMHO, is DS.

My family... - Yes. But as a PP said, they probably see you as "extended family," at this point, even if you see them as "immediate family" (a common difference among parents/PILs/GPs and AC/CIL). If they lived in a separate house, would you think you had the right to 24/7 access to, say, their livingroom? I don't think so. They probably don't see any difference in the current situation.

...my house -  Yes, it's your house. You bought it, it's in your name (I take it), and you pay the mortgage, etc. And as the saying goes, "Thems thats got the gold, make the rules." So yes, you probably should have been able to make a rule that you would have "anytime" access to, at least, the lower floor of their part of the house. In fact, I like MMM's idea that the owner of the house should have the master bedroom.

But you didn't lay down any such rules though as Imp says, I don't think DS and family would have moved in if you did. Nor again, did you let them know how you saw the situation before the move. Clearly, they see it as a matter of a "building" w/ 2 separate "homes." But, to reiterate,  they didn't let you know what their view was either.

Obviously, you and DS have discussed your different expectations since then or you two wouldn't have had arguments where he shared their "landlord-tenant" view. It doesn't sound as if either you or they are going to change your respective POVs. If you're not ok w/ the idea of selling, Sue's suggestion sounds like a good one to me. Otherwise, you may just have to find a way to make the best of the situation as it is (getting board games in your apt or letting the kids know they can bring board games there and you'll play w/ them seems like a good way to begin, IMO)

 

The problem I see w/this idea, is that it's another assumption, another expectation.

They may well mean what ds said...no kids coming down to visit. It may be that the kids don't want to, *and* that their parents don't want them to.

So, I would ask ds if he thought board games would be a good idea, rather than buying some, only to find out it was another mismatched expectation.

Ask ds *before* you invite gc. ALWAYS ask the parent before the child.

Edited by RoseRed135
to reflect editing of typo in quote
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