Fitness Minutes: (30,218)
16,787 2/15/11 12:18 P
Honestly given that he was putting tile up around the walls in one bathroom's shower area, I honestly do not know HOW he managed to get grout throughout the rest of the house and on both toilets - other than perhaps he never cleaned his hands or tools as he was walking about?
I have no idea how to talk to him about making messes. He's been doing this all the years Mom has known him. Both of us have tried talking to him - if there is a "right way", neither of us have found it.
But she tells me that Sunday he actually was concerned about getting the bathtub dirty, so maybe there is hope.
I think it's a combination of things - if he can do it himself then that's "less expensive" than hiring someone to do it (never mind that it takes him up to 2 days typically, and 2 days for me to clean up after). It's actually usually 4+ times more for him to do something than hire out or have me do it, but he doesn't see that.
The other thing is I am a lot better than him at handyman stuff. For one thing, I've done a lot of this before as a kid. Also, given Mom has been doing this for 20 years I believe she knows what she's doing (he doesn't). And I read books and go online to learn about things I've never done before (like fixing drywall) - or allow myself to be shown how to do a thing (like installing a doorknob).
So - I can do in 20 minutes something it takes him 2 days to do ... and that's just not good for his ego, even if I don't do anything when he is at the house.
Like I said - apparently we're in competition (plus this is playtime for him). He has to be better than everyone else in all things, despite the fact he is brilliant in many areas and we want him to bring that to the table.
Fitness Minutes: (25,247)
734 2/15/11 10:03 A
I find it odd that he wouldn't shut off the water and take the toilet out before laying the tile down? A new wax ring is only a few dollars and requires easier/faster cuts plus looks better.
It sounds like he is one of those people that do things the hard way on purpose maybe because he likes the stress? I don't know, that's kinda strange.
Have you tried talking to him and pointing about all the mess and mistakes that he makes? Do it as constructively as possible. I would think that he has to know he isn't doing things the most efficient way?
I wish I could help more. I do wish you the best of luck though in whatever happens in the future.
Fitness Minutes: (30,218)
16,787 2/14/11 1:11 P
Thanks that does help.
But a lot of the issue is he does things wrong, or badly, or destructively.
Mom wants him to put in a towel rod, so he cuts out a 2' x 4' hole in the wall in order to put in more 2x4s for reinforcement so he can make sure it's all securely attached to a stud. Now the drywall looks terrible, the towel bar is in the wrong place, and we can't move it.
I can't tell you how many times he's cut large holes in the wall, and there's this big patch of ugly where there used to be pretty - and completely unnessarily.
We want him to take trash to the curb, he dumps it in the garden.
We want him to install a heavy mirror, he has to use loads of drywall screws instead of simply using the small plastic and nail devices that look attractive. (Because it's not strong enough!)
He wants to put in tile, makes a mess, and gets grout everwhere so I have to spend hours getting grout off things - and we have to replace several doorknobs and 2 toilets as we can't get the grout off and it looks terrible - and the bathtub is permanently stained.
I could go on. The easiest and simplest things he does badly, and it's not all fixable. Mom has to hover over him to try to minimize damage - and he wants to do it his way and she wants him to not destroy the house, and they butt heads over just about everything - he wants messy, crap and ugly, she wants nice, pretty and clean; and it's a large divide between the two.
If it was a "how about you do this?" and he'd go do it and it would be done well or at least reasonably moderately well, it would not be a problem.
For a while we could get him to paint, even though that meant I had to do all the prep work and spend hours getting paint off the floor (usually because I was planning to paint it and didn't get stuff on the floor first), but now he has decided it is "work" and it isn't "fun" so we can't get him to paint.
I hear what you are saying about not working with them anymore, but truly, I have no idea how to financially support myself otherwise given my phyiscal condition. I have spent literally years trying to figure it out, and putting effort into things that never worked. Oh, I might make a few dollars here and there, but not enough to stand on my own.
I was stuck living with a man for years because I couldn't work and therefore couldn't leave, and stuck living in my Mom's house for years which was pure hell, for the same reasons.
To be able to live in peace and quiet, to have food, to use a kitchen, to bathe, to have a place that feels like home, after 5 years I really need that part for my sanity and my soul.
If I could work another job I would. When I can I will. But this is what I need to do for now.
Fitness Minutes: (25,247)
734 2/14/11 9:34 A
I can somewhat relate to your situation, although its not exactly the same situation.
I kind of went through this with my stepdad and mom. My mom would call me to help with things or do things that he wasn't doing. I live 2 hours away, so my weekend visits to spend time with them usually ended up with me helping out around the old house they are fixing up before they sell. I don't mind, but some of the really small things that take 2-3 hours to do weren't getting done and I would do them.
Anyway, what I started doing was when I would go back to help I had to come up with a plan. I would lay it out to him as we would be getting more done on the house, but I would give him a smaller task that was away from what I was doing. This way he wouldn't be in my way, poking around, going slow and wanting to stand around and talk about what we needed to do. He could do something, I would do something and then things would get done.
My stepdad is bigger than me too. Its all in how how you present it. I'm not afraid of him or anything, but maybe if you present it like "we are going to do this together and get more done" things might go a little smoother.
I don't know your comfort level with him on talking about things, but maybe you should bring up some of these anger issues. This hardly sounds like something a person should be getting upset about.
If you can't work with him and if he is still upset with you being around or giving input to make things go smoother I think you have to take some of the other members advice and tell your Mom that you can't help anymore and give her your reasons.
I hope some of that helps.
Fitness Minutes: (7,168)
105 2/14/11 7:26 A
Sounds like he is a gigantic a$$hole, tell your mom to kick him to the curb and find a real man.
Fitness Minutes: (30,218)
16,787 2/12/11 10:29 P
Now the guy is paranoid about me. Even being over 70 he could break me like a twig.
Any ideas how to work with him? Even if he is a boy child, you all were boys ... do you have any thoughts?
Fitness Minutes: (30,218)
16,787 2/12/11 4:06 P
Good points. Yes, he really is like a child, isn't he? Throwing a temper tantrum and literally throwing objects when he can't make something work or doesn't get his way? And he's 70-something.
I actually am financially interested to the point that I'm recovering from a really bad injury and this is my first job / income in over 10 years. I can pay bills now, eat regularly, live on my own, all that good stuff.
And because Mom knows I'm not wholly healed, if I can't work one day, or want to work a half day, or don't get as much done as she or I want, hope or expect in a week, it's OK. I won't get fired, peanalized, or have additional stressors heaped upon me.
Eventually I'll be able to go get a regular job (provided I can find one!). I'm stronger already - nothing like carrying a literal ton of bricks and concrete to strengthen the body.
And you're right - it does affect their relationship. He thinks of it as a "car fixing date" where Mom is to "ooh and ah" and bring him lemonade, and Mom wants to be taken out to dinner, or go for a picnic, or a walk in the woods and call that a date. She also wants to get the place rented because she tires of having to drive 90 minutes one-way just to get to the house.
She's frustrated, he's annoyed, he wants to install garbage (literal garbage, as in out of the trash), she found and did all the paperwork and effort to get a nice house (it is a nice house), and he's decreasing the quality on a weekly basis.
As an update, I found out that he is pissed at me re the dog poo because "the dog poo will turn into dirt in a few years so it was a waste of time for me to remove it", never mind most people don't want 30 gallons of dog poo in their yard, or that I had things growing there.
Also, apparently since I'm actually getting lots of things done and he is not, we are apparently in competition, so the more I get done, the more pissed he gets.
I don't see any way around that except to avoid being at the property on weekends so I avoid him.
It can be very stressful. Mostly I avoid being around them which helps. Mom texts me her venting so I can deal with that as needed, not immediately, and without the emotion. I meditate more, and listen to a lot more Buddhist chanting, which helps. Mom has gotten better about stopping the vent when I say "enough" and that helps.
We're very close to getting the house done - mostly what needs doing is stuff we've needed him to do all along ... but can't get him to actually do. Mom tries to focus him on other tasks than permanently damaging things, but as we get closer to "done" there are fewer ways to distract him, and the intensity has gone up.
This other male is a boy and not a man. He needs to man up.
You are in a no win situation. This investment property was a decision between the two of them. You are actually an outsider as I assume you have no financial interest this venture.
Go to your mom. Tell her you love her, but can not longer be involved in this venture.
You did not say, but I would be very surprised if your involvement is not causing relational strain between the two of them.
You could very well become the "bad guy" in this whole situation. A problem you really don't need.
You need to concentrate on your own heath and well being. This is no doubt cutting into the time you need to take are of yourself and is a great source of stress in your life.
Fitness Minutes: (30,218)
16,787 2/12/11 1:44 P
I don't know if there is an answer, but Mom and I are at our wits' end.
She bought a house with her boyfriend, to be turned into a rental. A year later, it's still being worked on. She brought me in to actually do the work during the week, and she tries to manage him on the weekends.
Essentially he wants to "play" and do what he wants to do, regardless of what needs doing. He also wants to make the house, as Mom put it "elephant and earthquake proof" using crapy junk from his warehouse instead of putting in nice carpet and fixtures, even to the point of tearing out a wall just to put in a towel bar. I kid you not.
He also throws temper tantrums if he has challenges doing something new, or if we try to stop him from tearing down the house in the effort to "make it ready for tenants".
As another for instance, right now he is full on pissed at me because, though he was supposed to take the trash can full of dog poo to the front for pickup, he dumped it in the garden where we were growing things. I cleaned it up, so he is raving mad at me.
It really sounds ludicrious, and I am sorry this is long. It's hard to believe or understand unless you witness it.
I was wondering if you had any ideas how we might be able to manage or work with him without (or with fewer) blowups and destruction.
We need him to use his strong muscles and truck to remove the 1+ ton of concrete (which I piled up myself, by the way), or get up on a ladder and clean the gutters, or help us dig the front yard for landscaping, or paint the high-up areas in the garage I can't reach.
I spend days every week cleaning up after him, fixing his damage. He thinks I'm ripping him off, but he leaves the place such a pigsty and in such damage and chaos ...
He doesn't see it that way.
Perhaps there is no answer, but I thought I'd put it out there and see what I get back. Any ideas how we might manage him, short of sending him off to another country for a couple weeks? LOL - can't do that, but if we could ... the house would be done.
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