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The Strawberry Letter: He's Working Off The Money He Owes Me

Dear Steve and Shirley,

I'm 48 years old, and I've been taking care of my 26-year-old daughter and her husband for three years. I'm a registered nurse, and I got my son-in-law a job in laundry at the hospital where I work. Despite having a college degree, he refuses to apply himself and get a job because he doesn't like the starting salary. He thinks he's supposed to be ballin' out the gate with his little degree.

My daughter, on the other hand, is in dental school and will graduate next May. That's the only reason I chip in to make sure they have a roof over their heads. My son-in-law is a handsome guy, and he knows it. He's charmed all the ladies at the hospital, so they do most of his work for him. I collect his check at the end of every week because I should not have to take care of them.

My daughter has a problem with how I handle things, but she can either accept my help or divorce this deadbeat. The other day, my son-in-law had been drinking and called me, saying he didn't like his job and wanted to quit. I told him that would be fine, but he'd have to come up with a way to cover their monthly mortgage. He got very upset and hung up.

My daughter called me later and said that I was being very controlling and that I was using her husband to pay back the money they owe me as a couple. She said I owe her husband a lot of money because I've been taking most of his paychecks. I don't see how my educated daughter doesn't understand what's going on here. She's with a deadbeat that owes me money, and she's defending him. What do I do next? Cut them off and let them figure it out? Please advise.