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  • I'm 26, living at home, and still have "restrictions" from parents. Anyone else?

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    Old 05-29-2003, 10:51 AM   #1
    blurr
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    Post I'm 26, living at home, and still have "restrictions" from parents. Anyone else?

    This is long, but I havne't seen anyone post any problem that is quite like mine. I am hoping that some people can relate to me and help!

    My current situation has me up in arms. I am a 26 year old female, and I am living at home with my parents. I have lived on my own for a few years, while away at school, and for awhile in a few other countries while working. Recently, I have come back to live at home as I have a small loan to pay off from school, have a serious bf, and I am currently looking for a full-time job related to my education. I have been faithfully looking for work day in and day out, and some leads and interviews have come up, however I don't have a bean to my name, which is why I am living back at home. I live with my mother, father, and older sister (by 2 years).

    Now, I am in a long-term relationship with someone. We are planning a future together, however we are both still young and saving money...trying to become a bit more financially stable before this all happens. The guY I am with has a bit more saved up than I do at this point, as he has been working steadily at a job for a year. I, on the other hand, have been out of school for a year...however I have been working in a few different countries and travelling along the way (I haven't been slacking off my responsibilites of making & saving money, however...went I went out of country for the first job, time I worked exclusively for a few months at thisjob, and made absolute ~peanuts~ doing it, therefore not saving any real money. I went away again, for a few months, to another country, and worked the job that I did as it was my first shot at working at a career related to my education..the travelling was minimal and secondary...my lack of money had more to do with the fact that I was living in one of the most expensive cities in the world). I came back home as I wasn't saving any money, while I was getting experience in my field, and wanted to start making some money, saving funds, paying off my loan, and settling down. All in all, I have lived on my own for 2.5 years. Another reason that it is difficult to come back home, nevermind the fact that I have some crazy, outdated expectations of me.

    Now, my parents have always been conservative, however I thought that my sister might have broken the ice with her ways when she was younger (heh heh). We are both, actually, in serious relationships. As for the guy I am with, we have talked about moving in together, marriage, etc...(although marriage is in the distant future). Essentially, we know that we want to be together and it's going to happen..it's just a matter of when we can both save enough money to make it possible. I've been with this guy for 7 months..and we spend quite a lot of time together. I have been open and honest with my parents about this relationship and what it entails (something I have not done in the past with other, serious relationships..as this is not my first). My bf and I have also travelled overseas together for a bit. My parents were OK with this (prob. because I was living on my own at the time and they couldn't do much about it). My dad generally seems OK with things (at least he doesn't get in my face about it), while my mom tends to kick up a stink *whenever* I go out (usually with my boyfriend). She will get really pouty and quiet when I tell her I am going out after supper, and say things to guilt me into staying home like, "Oh. You're going out again tonight? I never get to see you." And then she won't say goodbye to me when I leave. Sometimes I get nasty note in the morning about how late I have been out the night before. She calls home almost everyday from her work to see what i am doing, what job leads i have, and WHAT I am doing in the eve. If I am going out, I will tell her...however she ~conveniently~ forgets when she gets home and will ask me again (so that she can get mad at me all over again!), in an irritated voice, what my plans are for the eve. We have had a few arguments over this...essentially because she tried to place a curfew on me (although it wasn't the time that I was getting home at that was bothering my mom, per se...it was more of the fact that I was going out all of the time PERIOD!). I told her that I would be a bit more cautious during the week (although the way I see it, if my bf and I can handle seeing each other until the wee hours of the morning and still be functional at work at other aspects of our lives, all the more power to us). I also told her that we would make time to be with each other during the week, and I spend one night at home a week with my parents and will talk with my mom, spend quality time with her. I think this is reasonable. My mom has backed off a little bit in that respect, but still guilts me about this at least once or twice a week. I know that she is moody...part of it IS hormonal (she has said), although a LARGE part has to do with her (I feel) clinging onto having us home at all times. Now, the funny part is that she doesn't do this with my sister as much...only with me. Could be because I am her youngest, but all the same, it bothers me. Now, the other aspect to some of her restrictive ways is that I am not allowed to stay over at my bf's place during the week. I guess I COULD do it, but that would cause a LOT of fighting at our house. My bf and I will go away on the weekends, occasionally (my mom gets bent out of shape about this), and once or twice on one weekend night, I have told my parents, flat out, that I am staying over at his place. Again, got a lot of guilt for that, mostly by my mom. A couple of times my bf has stayed over at my place (due to the fact that he forgot his key to go back home)...my parents willingly and kindly put him up in the guest bedroom.

    So...the next point is that my bf's parents are not like this at all. They are quite open about letting me stay over, and even wonder why I don't stay over during the week and on some weekends, instead of leaving at 3 or 4am to drive home. It is silly because my bf and I are at the point in our relationship, I think, that we are emotionally ready to move in together and spend our nights together on a daily basis. Financially, however, we are not (at least, I'm not). My bf gets frustrated over this because, as he sees it, I am a very responsible adult (as is he) and we are trying to build a life together. We are both the same age. It is getting to the point where we are BOTH frustrated, but in some ways he doesn't understand why I can't just tell my parents that we are going to spend most of our nights together. I try to tell him that it is different with girls as opposed to boys (he grew up with two older brothers, I grew up with an older sister). The dynamics and protectiveness are just different.

    Until we are able to move out together (probably in another YEAR), this is going to continue to be the issue..me and him not able to stay over at each other's place very often, due to my parent's restrictive policies (even at my age) and my mom's guilty ways. I should also mention that my mom's mom used to guilt my mother into staying with her all of the time and taking care of her. My parent's, after they were first married, were advised by other family members to move away from the city where my grandmother lived so that my parents could make their own life and that my mother wouldn't get guilted by my grandmother all of the time. Scarily enough, I see this pattern repeating in my mother.

    What do I do? Should I demand more freedom? Should I try to get my bf to understand that my family dynamics are just plain different than his, and that nothing's going to change? I have already tried talking to my mom on several occasions. She backs off for a bit and then comes back full-force again. I should also mention that I was never brought up in a religious household, just a strict one. My parents also adore my bf... it is just that I get trouble from my parents (mom in particular), when I spend late nights out with him, or spend a night every once in a blue moon with him.

    Please...does anyone else have any of the same experiences. How do I get my mom and dad out of this 1950's mindset?! They were married at 21, they should understand!! To everyone else, what advice can you give me? Please help!

    [This message has been edited by blurr (edited 05-29-2003).]

    [This message has been edited by blurr (edited 05-29-2003).]

     
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    Old 05-29-2003, 11:25 AM   #2
    blurr
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    As well...I am worried that this issue (me not having as much freedom as my bf) will put a strain on our relationship. My bf is supportive of me and has said that he will follow my lead, but I feel bad when he tries to plan a nice night out where I can stay over at his place, or him mine, and I have to decline the "sleepover" as I know it will cause strife at home. He sometimes says that he would like me to stay over so badly some nights that he wants to beg me to not go home some nights. I feel the same way...it is difficult and almost comical that I have to resort to maintaining the illusion that I come home each night. I, also, want to be able to fall asleep next to my bf and wake up to him the next morning. We love to be able to fall asleep next to each other and just be together.

    I am 26, so I am an adult. However, I also have to respect my parents as I am under their roof. Moving out is not an option as I have no savings at this point, nevermind the fact that I am in-between jobs.

    Again....what do I do?

    [This message has been edited by blurr (edited 05-29-2003).]

     
    Old 05-29-2003, 12:03 PM   #3
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    From what you have written, you sound like you have a good head on your shoulders. There are a couple of sides to this situation.

    Your parents side:

    It's their home - they have a right to establish "rules of conduct" so to speak for the occupants.

    I'm talking specifically, and can relate personally to, the late hour returns. My 22 year old son just moved out and he would come and go at all hours of the night and it really bothered me. It was more the sense that my house was not "locked up and secure" for the night - ever. That doesn't lead to very restful sleep. He would come in, make food, leave dishes - then sleep till 10 or 11am causing the house to have to be quiet. The hours were topsy turvy and upset a normal routine. Your mom may also be concerned about your safty out on the road and driving tired at those late hours. I'm not saying this fits you - but if any of it does, it might give you some insight.

    If you go out every night they also might get the feeling that they are just being used as a stop over place. I know for myself that when my son started not really participating as a family member and more of a boarder - it bothered me. Us moms care about having a relationship - not just proximity.

    They also care about you and feel it is their job to protect your morals. What you may or may not have done outside their home is irrelevent - it wasn't under their noses. Now with you home, if they didn't give you a hard time about sleeping over and such, they might see it as "condoning" a lifestyle they are not comfortable with or would be embarrassed by if other family members/friends knew.

    Your side:

    You seem to realize that their are compromises that need to be made on your part since they are helping you out at this time in your life. One thought that I had, you already seemed to be doing and that was to schedule one night a week for your mom.

    The family history comment was interesting - have you discussed this with your parents? Sometimes we don't see the forest for the trees until someone points it out.

    If you haven't done it already - I would suggest sitting down and writing out what your upsets are - concise and bullet pointed. Then ask to have a meeting with both your parents to discuss them. Take notes about what their grievances are. Then together come to an agreement - point by point for both your lists - that you all can live with. Draft it out in contract form so you all can see in black and white what the agreements are. No need to formally sign it though for heavens sake unless you feel it's necessary.

    In families, sometimes we have disagreements that "get talked about" but not in a really constructive concrete way. As children learn to interact with parents as adults the lines can really get blurry because the rules change.

    Parents need to learn to communicate with and respect their children as people - just as if they were a 26 year old person they met in the workplace.

    Children also need to realize that the home they have grown up in - while theirs - isn't really. It belongs to their parents who need to have a marriage life outside of their duties of raising children. When grown children live at home - that complicates things. So grown children living at home need to not take for granted the abilty to push restrictions they don't like. If they were living in their own apartment they would have to follow the restictions of the landlord or not be afforded to opportunity to live on that persons property.

    That being said - most people - both parents and adults - when approached respectfully are open to negotiation.

    Good luck!

     
    Old 05-29-2003, 12:08 PM   #4
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    Well, you are living in their house and you are pretty much bound by their rules....

    Is your mom dominant such that your dad can't get her to stop her complaining? Is your mother aware that her complaining is only acting to drive you out of the house sooner? I mean, it appears she is glad to have you living at home and probably is dreading the day you leave home again. If she realizes that her behavior is only hastening the day that you leave, and that you may leave home sooner than you otherwise would, she might back off a little.

    Otherwise, I don't know what you should do.

     
    Old 05-29-2003, 12:43 PM   #5
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    Ahhh...I am happy to see some responses...! Both of you make really good points.

    Let's see...short-stuff: Thanks for highlighting some of the aspects that I don't necessarily see as a mom (seeing as I am not one). I can definitely understand my parents not wanting me to use their home as a "stopping point". I really do understand it. Perhaps they see my arriving home late at night as such. However, during the day, I definitely try to contribute to our home as much as possible. As I am at home looking for work (which I generally do from about 9am-3pm..it is literally a full-time job for me), I will find time to clean the house daily, and do everyone's laundry. I also try to have dinner prepared or half-prepared on the nights that my mom, dad or sister doesn't want to prepare something. As I am writing this, I have just finished cleaning the house from top to bottom, bathrooms and all! I am an early riser (I don't require that much sleep, and I usually end up falling asleep with my bf, whether he is over here and we fall asleep on our couch downstairs, or I am at his place..so I usually get a good 4 hours before I go home or he leaves), and am usually up at 8-8:30am. I also try to bring my bf over to our home about half of the time during the week, as well as having him over for dinner and he spend time with everyone on the weekend days. He helps out a lot with my family and I do the same with his family. So I really do try to integrate my private life into my family life. I definitely try to be a responsible adult at all times, although I do find myself fighting to become more independent, even under their roof. Another part of me wanting to get away at night, even if my bf comes over here (we will go elsewhere after spending some time with my parents) is because I am at home all day long, faxing in resumes, job applications, making phone calls and scanning the internet for jobs. I really don't want to spend another 8 hours in the eve. cooped up at home. My time in the eve. is my "break".

    However, I do see many of your points. My mom has always said to me that I will understand when I am a mother (I usually roll my eyes at this...but I know that she is ~perhaps~ right..*lol*).

    Magnetic: My mom is dominant...in a passive kind-of way. She is one of these passive-aggressive types, SO difficult to approach. She HATE confrontation, so as soon as I confront her, calmly, about a situation (although I have been known to fly off the handle at times, I'll admit!), namely this situation, her defenses are UP as soon as I try to point out my side. She gets angry and starts to cry. She cries a LOT. I think my dad tries to avoid setting my mom off like this because then she has to deal with my mom and hates doing it when she is like this because she is INCONSOLABLE! And yes, I have pointed out to her that her behaviour is making me want to leave sooner. She cried horribly for a good half hour after I told her this and then gave me a hug...but did it help? Not really. She tends to back off for a bit, and then goes back to her old ways.

    But anyway, it was so nice to see your responses... thanks again!

    Oops...phone just rang and it's mom..heh heh..go figure.

    [This message has been edited by blurr (edited 05-29-2003).]

     
    Old 05-29-2003, 12:53 PM   #6
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    Quote:
    Originally posted by blurr:
    I will find time to clean the house daily, and do everyone's laundry. I also try to have dinner prepared or half-prepared on some nights that my mom, dad or sister doesn't want to prepare something.
    Can I adopt YOU?!!!!

    But seriously - especially dealing with a passive aggressive type as you indicated - try my suggestion about a calm negotiation resulting in concrete parameters. Make it very clear that that family meeting time is the perfect time to bring up any objection - and kinda like in the marriage ceremony when they ask if anyone knows why the 2 people shouldn't be married or forever hold their peace - if she passes up the opportunity to voice an objection, she will have to live with the negotiated parameters.


     
    Old 05-29-2003, 12:58 PM   #7
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    Ok...that's a good idea.

    My dad *will* definitely get confrontational during a meeting such as this (although I'll give him credit, he's mellowed out quite a bit...ha!), and will back my mom. They are a funny couple. Opposite, but not really. My dad, i would say, is the more visible (to the public eye), confrontational, domineering force in the family, and I think my mom has compensated by being passive aggressive in her ways. They both seek control in different ways...and MAN, it is frustrating. I guess it doesn't help that both my sister and I are stubborn (yes, I said it, I am stubborn! But I've also mellowed out in my ways, too.) They are both very protective of each other and back each other most of the time.

    However...I will try anything! Will take some time to figure out how to get this thing off the ground without feelings being hurt.
    Thanks!

    PS-the house doesn't get cleaned and disinfected top to bottom everyday, but it ~looks~ clean...*lol*...

    [This message has been edited by blurr (edited 05-29-2003).]

    [This message has been edited by blurr (edited 05-29-2003).]

     
    Old 05-29-2003, 01:15 PM   #8
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    If you do not like the restrictions your parents are placing on you then why don't you get a decent paying job (it may not be in your field). You can always look for something related to your field later on. With a degree it shouldn't be too hard to find something decent.

    Your mom tries to blames her hormones on her "moodiness". Personally I don't believe in "moodiness". Being moody is a way to control someone or a situation. If you feel guilty then that is your choice. I won't allow someone to make me feel guilty, unless of course I have done something that would warrant it.

     
    Old 05-29-2003, 02:02 PM   #9
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    Actually, I'm not restricting my job prospects, I have been applying EVERYWHERE. I seriously mean that. For the first couple of weeks, I'll admit that i was picky, however for the past 6 weeks, I have been applying for any job that sounds remotely like somethng I have the skills for. I am not picky. I've even gone so far as to apply at a shopping centre. I went to many, many stores. When i handed them my resume, they either turned me down (saying that I am over-qualified and they knew that I would quit on them) or haven't called me back. I have been to about five interviews thus far, all but one that is in my field. To answer your question, I would take a job ANYWHERE...if one got offered to me. I have another one tomorrow and am waiting to hear back from two (neither of them also in my field..in fact very far removed from it). It sounds silly, but I cannot get a job anywhere and I have two degrees. If you saw where I've applied, how diverse I have been with jobs, and how many I have applied for, you would agree with me on this on. I know that I'll get one..I'm not discouraged, and I have friends in the same boat. I'll let you know what happens.

    [This message has been edited by blurr (edited 05-29-2003).]

     
    Old 05-29-2003, 08:04 PM   #10
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    Hi Blurr,

    Oh yes I know exactly what you are saying.Iam the only child,30 and live on my own.I was somewhat overprotected growing up.Every move I made my parents(esp my dad)had to know where I was or what I would be doing.Dad constantly to this day tries to tell me what to do and when to do it and gets angry if I dont do it his way.

    I remember when I was 22(still living at home),a friend called me up and asked me to come over to her place so we could go out and do something.My dad had just had major surgery and had been slightly injured at work.He gave me all sorts of reasons why I didnt need to go including the line,"you better not go because you may have to take me to the hospital"or"there is so much meaness out there you better just stay in tonight."

    If dad dont agree with what I do with my life,he gets reallly defensive and lays guilt trips on me.Several years ago I moved close to my Mother's family.He wouldnt let me take my car because he thought I would let them drive it and he used it against me because he didnt want me living near them.

    Iam having LOTS of problems at the moment with my dad because my Mother just died and he has always depended on me,my grandmother or mom to do for him.It makes it very hard since Im the only child.

    I would sit your mom down and tell her that you love her,but you are a grown woman that makes decisions based on how you see fit.I would also tell her that she raised you up properly but she needs to realize you are a mature adult responsible to handle anything that comes your way.

    It may be that she will continue monitoring what you do,your comings and goings,continue laying guilt on you until you move out.I would hope it stopped after that,but parents have their ways.

    Parents need to understand there is a moment of letting go.That letting go time should be at 18.

    I wish you all the best!
    Jasmine


     
    Old 05-30-2003, 05:18 AM   #11
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    True true...

    I think that my mom does just need to let go a bit more. Although I have written all of this, don't get me wrong, my parents are great and they are really helping me out at this point. Sometimes, however, I think that they help me out a bit ~too~ much because they don't want me to move out. Just the other day, I came home from an interview, and had have an early supper as I was playing on a sports team soon afterwards, so I didn't have time to eat with my family. My mom jumped up and said "Are you eating, now? Is there anything I can make you? What can I make you for dinner?" This was while I was in the process of getting my own food for dinner. I think that she was slightly offended that I told her to sit down, and that I was quite capable of making dinner for myself. She really just needs to learn that her children are grown, can make grown decisions, and can fend for themselves.

    ONE MORE THING: I just want to make sure that the different expectations of us, compared to my bf, doesn't clash and that my bf doesn't get frustrated over my lack of being able to do as much as he can, even at our age. Just last night, when I was leaving my bf's place, he asked if I thought I could stay over at his place even for one night this weekend. I had to decline and said that perhaps we should hold off for a week or two. I could tell he was disappointed. I don't want him to think that I am turning him down because I don't want to spend time with him. He does understand that my family has rules for when I am living at home. However, sometimes I know that it really frustrates him. How do I avoid this?

     
    Old 05-30-2003, 06:21 AM   #12
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    If your Mother is acting this way towards you and not your sister it very well could be that your the baby of the family.Its great to see your parents are supportive of you :IE giving you a place to stay while looking for employment-etc.Maybe your Mom is having a hard time adjusting to the fact that her baby is all grown and dont need her anymore.

    Do you suppose your Mom could be a bit jealous of you?Afterall your young,starting out in your career,in a serious relationship.Be open and communicative with your boyfriend as to how your Mother acts toward you.I believe he would understand as it sounds he loves and cares about you.He may even be able to give you insight into how to handle the situation.

    Someone mentioned in a previous posting that while you are in your parents home it is their right to have rules since its under their roof,however I truly hope it stops there when you find a job,move out or in with your boyfriend.

    Ive noticed with my dad that he tends to get possessive with me what I do,who I date or decisions I make.Just the other day a certain topic of debate came up and I asked him what he would think if it were me in that situation.He told me he wouldnt like it because"I was his".Im his daughter he dont own me.

    I hope this gives you insight and I wish you all the best

     
    Old 05-30-2003, 08:10 AM   #13
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    thanks, jasmine!

    Yes, your advice definitely helps. Makes me breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that I am not the only one. Since I've started this thread, I have actually come to some necessary conclusions. Where as right now, my parents are very much NOT in favour of me moving out until all of my loan has been paid off (I never understood this, my loan is quite small and people pay off loans while living on their own all of the time, it is a matter of budgeting your finances), I have decided that once I have a job, have worked for a good amount of time and have some money saved up, I will think about moving out. It is really the only way to handle the situation. It may not be ideal, financially, but I've always lived on little money when I have been on my own and had no real problems.

    Thanks again, everyone!

     
    Old 05-30-2003, 09:29 AM   #14
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    Your welcome Blurr glad I could help.I wholeheartedly know where your coming from on the money side of things..When I was in college,I didnt take out loans,but dear ol dad loves butting his nose into how I spend money,save money,if I have money...

    My personal finances are none of his concern because

    1)I dont live with him(would be the same if I did,same should go for you too)

    2)Ive hardly have had to ask for loans from him

    3)I budget myself well because I dont have much money to start with at the moment.

    What I did was:I told him thanks for worrying,but my buisness isnt your buisness and your buisness isnt mine,please but your nose out.It got so bad that I had to tell him like it was.

    Your parents need to step back and evaluate how they are to you and let it absorb how their actions and behavior towards you is making you feel.I dont think they would want to jeopardize the relationship.

    My Mother used to tell me,"Your dad and I dont want you to make mistakes."I told her,"What is the use in living or going through life if you cant make mistakes and learn from them?"

    Our parents dont want us to make the same mistakes they've made or to suffer,but sometimes they should back off and let things be.

     
    Old 05-30-2003, 10:13 AM   #15
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    It was the same thing for me when I lived at home with my parents and 2 brothers. I moved out last year and I'm almost 26. I had thought about moving back home a few times when things were going bad for me but I wanted to be able to handle the situation myself since I am an adult now. How come you ended up moving back home?? If you don't mind me asking.

     
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