Not Feeling Guilty

Patrick has a sister who’s been living with him for two years and has asked her to move out if she doesn’t find a job. He feels guilty. Dave doesn’t think he should feel guilty at all.

QUESTION: Patrick in Austin has an older sister who’s been living with him for two years. It was supposed to be a temporary arrangement while she found a job. Patrick has realized she’s taking advantage of him and has asked her to move out if she doesn’t find a job. Now he feels guilty. Dave doesn’t think he should feel guilty at all.

ANSWER: You feel disappointed and you haven’t helped her. You tried but you didn’t. Here’s the deal; you have crossed the line between help and enabling. You are now giving a drunk a drink. You need to love your sister enough to do what’s good for her. She is not becoming who God put her on this earth to be. She is a mooch with no dignity or energy, because she has nothing of her life to take pride in. You are now going to love her well enough to help her.

Tell her she will be leaving the house in 90 days. She needs to get a place to live and a job or two to make that happen. You can help her look for a place and put together a budget and coach her on her interviews, but you are no longer participating in her being a couch potato because it’s not good for her. While she’s at your house these next 90 days, she will be doing something to generate an income to build up savings for the move out.

If she’s still doing what she’s doing in five years, she’ll slip into depression and be suicidal. If you help her, then in five years she may not like you, but she’ll be out and doing better. If the 91st day comes and she’s $20 short on her budget, then give her the money and get her out.

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