is it enabling to pay sober living house rent for a relative

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tipptrapp
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is it enabling to pay sober living house rent for a relative

Post by tipptrapp » Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:35 pm

Under what conditions would it be enabling to pay sober living house rent for a relative in the first weeks after rehab?
  • The extended family (who live in other cities) already paid up-front cost of sober living house (a very reasonable rate, paid directly to the house) and sent groceries.
  • Relative is asking for family to pay another week of sober living house rent since no medical leave paychecks have been received yet.
  • While it is true that the relative in recovery has received no pay since leaving rehab, the relative squandered the only paycheck received during rehab (sent it all to a drug-abusing lover who shows no interest in recovery), and since finishing rehab immediately returned to making bad decisions that are hurtful to others. The family does not wish to support/enable such behavior.
  • Relative loves the word "boundaries" to deflect questions that are too judgemental (Have you talked to your minor child yet? Do you feel it is a good idea that [name of actively-drug-using lover] is the one driving you to and from AA/NA meetings?), yet is fine with asking for money.

We would prefer to "detach with love" and refuse any financial support. Yet we understand that this is the beginning of a recovery journey and that the first days after rehab are too soon to expect the relative to make good decisions and to be able treat family with respect or to show back up in the child's life. And it is true that the relative has no other obvious means to pay the rent for a few more weeks until medical leave paychecks kick in.

If we do pay more rent, is there any way to ask for some kind of accountability that also respects boundaries?

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Brock
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Re: is it enabling to pay sober living house rent for a relative

Post by Brock » Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:18 am

Seems you have been placed in a pretty difficult position, sort of damned if I do and damned if I don’t.

In this case, once as you say the amount is reasonable, and you can afford it, I would pay. If I didn’t, and the person relapsed I think I might tend to blame myself a bit.

The first squandered paycheck while in rehab we might put down to a mistake, still making bad decisions after coming out is a bit worrying. In my experience, at this stage in recovery, the person is receiving advise from people in meetings, hopefully a sponsor if they have one, and possibly the people who run the sober living facility. When well meaning relatives also try to offer advise, it is not unusual to deflect this, the thinking seems to be, ‘I have all these people who know about addiction telling me what to do, I don’t need you doing it as well.’

If it were me, I would not push the issue with their minor child as yet, the person must decide when they are ready, and may be agonizing over hurting the child further, but I would express my concern regarding the relationship which an active user. Maybe a short note or conversation when paying the money, saying, although we are concerned about your relationship with someone who may still be an active user, we are happy to help and wish you the best. That way you have said your peace and done your part, and the person is very lucky to have someone willing to do so, we have seen others come here who were not so lucky, and find themselves unable to continue in the sober living facility.
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avaneesh912
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Re: is it enabling to pay sober living house rent for a relative

Post by avaneesh912 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 7:00 am

If we do pay more rent, is there any way to ask for some kind of accountability that also respects boundaries?
Dont know. If the candidate is thoroughly beaten to a point of surrender, it might work. You could suggest separation. If they are not considering it and get defensive, it would suggest they are not yet serious about recovery. Spouses/Partners still active is not a ideal environment for recuperating. Really a sad situation. Tough love but when it comes to daughters and son it is difficult.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Re: is it enabling to pay sober living house rent for a relative

Post by Layne » Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:16 am

The way the relative spends his money is up to him. The way you spend your money is up to you. I would pay the rent to be supportive of the recovery efforts but only after discussing a mutually agreeable repayment plan and schedule and having a contract signed. The relative's reaction might be to get upset or defensive or it could be one of understanding and gratitude for the support, but that is up to them. Your reactions to their reactions are up to you. Listen with your soul, not only your heart and not only your brain.

tomsteve
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Re: is it enabling to pay sober living house rent for a relative

Post by tomsteve » Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:16 pm

Layne wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:16 am
The way the relative spends his money is up to him. The way you spend your money is up to you. I would pay the rent to be supportive of the recovery efforts but only after discussing a mutually agreeable repayment plan and schedule and having a contract signed. The relative's reaction might be to get upset or defensive or it could be one of understanding and gratitude for the support, but that is up to them. Your reactions to their reactions are up to you. Listen with your soul, not only your heart and not only your brain.
i second this. accountability is a wee bit important for recovery. learning how to be responsible and do all that adulting stuff starts at day 1.
HOWEVER
ya say you would prefer to detach with love. that tells me theres some apprehension to LOAN money.

tipptrapp
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Re: is it enabling to pay sober living house rent for a relative

Post by tipptrapp » Thu Dec 05, 2019 7:17 pm

tomsteve wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:16 pm
Layne wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:16 am
The way the relative spends his money is up to him. The way you spend your money is up to you. I would pay the rent to be supportive of the recovery efforts but only after discussing a mutually agreeable repayment plan and schedule and having a contract signed. The relative's reaction might be to get upset or defensive or it could be one of understanding and gratitude for the support, but that is up to them. Your reactions to their reactions are up to you. Listen with your soul, not only your heart and not only your brain.
i second this. accountability is a wee bit important for recovery. learning how to be responsible and do all that adulting stuff starts at day 1.
HOWEVER
ya say you would prefer to detach with love. that tells me theres some apprehension to LOAN money.
You are correct, I would not consider a loan arrangement and have encouraged the other family members to treat any funds provided as simply a gift. This relative has failed to repay loans to other family members several times in life when substance abuse was not a factor and I have seen the resulting hurt and resentment. I see avoiding a loan as something that is more about our own self-interest than about the person in recovery, it is to protect ourselves from the potentially negative emotions that would come if not repaid.

Now if the relative voluntarily offers funds as repayment some day - although we did not make it an obligation - I would gladly accept and would encourage my other family members to do the same.

Layne
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Re: is it enabling to pay sober living house rent for a relative

Post by Layne » Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:47 pm

Good faith loans can definitely be breeding grounds for resentments. I always approach loans from a strict business perspective. Written contract and clearly expressed commitment on my part to follow through with proper channels if repayment becomes an issue. Doing this minimizes the potential for resentments for me, which is all that I can do.

I have also seen gifts become breeding grounds for resentments when the gift isn't used in the manner that the giver wanted it to be. When I give a gift, I cut any strings attached. When I receive a gift, I try to be cognizant of any strings still attached, which is all that I can do.

Life on life's terms can be treacherous waters if I don' t pay attention and learn from my higher power.

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