38yr old stepson still at home - poor boy.

SeadawgFebruary 12, 2013

Long story short, stepson had marital problems. Wife abandoned him & his teenage daugher. (she was daughter's stepmon. Bio mom is out of picture too) Had to move out of house because he could not afford mortgage alone. Solution: move in with mom & stepdad. He quit his $40k job to "better his life by going back to school." Now, house foreclosed, vehicle repoed, no job, teenager issues, school on hold.

Here's the problem: it's been almost 2 years since this happened. My marriage is treading on thin ice as is my patience. I get every excuse why it's not a good time to kick them out. He has a girlfriend & spends much of his time with her. That was one of the problems our grandaughter has. She told the counselor that Nana & grandad are her parents, in front of her dad. Poor baby. So, I lost 2 of 3 bedrooms, 1/2 the garage, 1/4 basement, no privacy, wife does laundry constantly & helps grandaughter with homework nightly.

Although I tell my wife not to make it easy for him, she cleans & folds his laundry, caters to our grandaughters every need, etc. We've gone round & round with this. I repeatedly make it very clear what I feel about the situation & she agrees, but won't do anything about it. I have compromised on almost everything since the beginning (I thought short term - wrong).

I'm told to hold on, but I'm 60 & not very patient anymore. I'm frustrated & aggravated at the whole thing. My income is suitable for 2, not a family of 4, & it's being eaten up. Nothing left to play with. I'm just looking for support. Since I'm not providing detailed info, please don't jump to any conclusions about it. You have to be there to appreciate it. I'm just a grumpy old grandad who wants peace & quiet once again. Thank you.

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I'm sorry.
Peace & quiet are not neglible things; don't trivialize your need for them & your right to have them.

When you're being used (I say 'you', but I've been there), it *never* gets any better;
it gets worse until you snap, or move out, or put a stop to it.

One thing you must do is tell or warn your wife that this is going to stop, & you must mean it;
if she insists on catering to her son at the expense of her relationship with you, then they need to find a place together.
(It's amazing what this kind of change of perspective can do for a person's behavior...)

After that, it's time to act:
So far, there have been conversations & discussions & maybe arguments, but no action.

Here are some things that come to mind:

Cut off the money;
your income will support 2, not 4, so stop doing that.
You may have to move your money into a separate account for the time being.

Give stepson a bill for rent & his share of utilities & groceries, & tell him he must pay it by a reasonable date.

If he doesn't, serve him with an eviction notice.

Follow through on the eviction notice, & if he doesn't go, put his stuff out (check with a lawyer or housing authority; in some places, you can set it outside, but in some other places, you have to put it in a secure place such as a rented storage building), & change the locks.

If he does pay, thank him and give him a reasonable amount of time to move out,;
tell him, and his mother, that there is no negotiation, no discussion, no alternative-and stick to it.

Don't engage with or respond to his mother's enabling pleas or arguments;
nobody can win this kind of emotional battle.
Keep your discussions with her firmly based on the issues-
money, time, space.
The bottom line is, he's gotta go.

I'm sorry, I know this sounds roughshod, but being sensitive works against you when someone is using you.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 11:33AM
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I agree with Sylvia.

You are not asking for too much and have been very patient. Two years is a long time to put up with this situation.

The only way this is going to stop is if you cut off the money. I like Syliva's idea of moving your money into a separate account. Anyone would be grumpy if they were being used the way you are. Don't feel guilty for standing up for yourself.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 2:22PM
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Well, thank you. Harsh indeed & perhaps not exactly what I would do, but I am looking for answers. He does buy food with his "welfare" card. Big deal because we pay for that indirectly too, & he buys what he likes, not what I eat. I think the main issue, though, is that our grandaughter is caught in the middle. No mother & virtually no father so any further trauma to an already fragile 14yr old girl would be most devastating. She's got A.D.D. & other problems. That is where the real issues lie. We pretty much raise her. Tnx again for your feedback. I will consider some of your responses.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 2:39PM
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I'm getting a different take on this.

Your first post, I thought, was about how to solve your problem (wanting peace & quiet & privacy & space).

Now I'm wondering if you just want your wife's son to be wrong & despicable & worthless.

Your comment about the food is just not fair.

No matter how he buys his own food, he does buy it;
you don't pay for it any more than you pay for someone else's Medicare or Medicaid or the VA program to finance housing or any more than someone else pays for your Medicare, Social Security, etc.

If you want to keep your granddaughter with you, obviously my suggestions would be counter-productive.

You must set your priorities & decide what to accept *& then accept it & go on with a positive attitude & a glad heart*.

One thing I did not think of earlier is the possibility that he's suffering from depression.

Depression can absolutely immobilize a person, & disapproval, argument, judgmental attitudes, criticism, contempt, etc just reinforce the misery & the destruction of self-esteem.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 4:41PM
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I understand your concern about your stepgranddaughter. If you are already practically raising her, then cutting off the money still wouldn't be a problem. You can still care for your wife and stepGD while cutting off the money to the SS.

Keep in mind you can not make your SS be a responsible father. The only thing you can do is stop enabling him. By cutting the money off to your wife, you will control the money, and therefore your wife will not be able to enable your SS anymore.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:37AM
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Tnx Sylvia & Amber. Sorry to detour you. I guess when you vent, it comes from everywhere. Point is, long enough for both of them. I don't want to be raising any more kids I do want peace & quiet again. The invasion has pretty much made me cynical about everything. I gripe & complain over & over to get my point across. I just don't want them in the house anymore. All my projects have been put on hold due to lack of access to what I need to do. I've been parking my car outside even though I have a 2 car garage. His stuff still occupies 1 side. I've offered to get the stuff moved, but everything just seems to fizzle.

Amber, just so you know, money is not something I need to hide. We have to pay for the utilities anyway, but actual funds are not given to him. I have no idea where he gets any cash, but probably from his girlfriend. I just get fumed at the fact that my wife continues to do laundry for him (and fold it) & that his stuff is there. He just stays the night usually. I have approached her & asked her point blank if she really wants them there. She has assured me that she absolutely does not. So I ask why then can't we get him out. She just mentions our grandaughters issues.

I say I'm stuck, but yes, I have the option of giving up. She says there's a light at the end of the you know what, but I don't see it. Still hanging on to hope though as I love my wife.

Again, sorry to throw you off. It is an issue that I need to resolve within myself. Just tired of scraping ice off. We live in lovely, warm Cleveland:) NOT

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 10:31AM
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I'm confused, your OP said your income can support 2 not 4 and you have nothing left over to play with. Now you say you don't support your SS, so which is it?

It sounds like the major problem is that you're annoyed your wife keeps doing stuff for her SS and granddaughter. You can not control what your wife does. So what she wants to do his laundry and raise the granddaughter. You really can't stop her.

However, there are things YOU can do to improve the situation.
It seems like you keep expecting other people to do things you could handle yourself. If your SS's stuff is taking up all your room, don't offer to have the stuff moved, MOVE it into storage. Pay for the first month of rent, and tell SS after that he has to figure out what to do with it.

Don't ask your wife about getting the SS out, YOU tell him he can not stay the night anymore. And so what if your wife throws a fit? Is it any worse than what's happening right now?

Get your balls back from your wife and stand up for yourself. Sorry, don't mean to be harsh, but it seems like you are expecting other people to take care of things when you need to just take charge and take care of them yourself.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 12:07PM
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I concur Amber. With all the responses from the posts, I am better equipped to deal with this. I will take charge & concentrate on me. Good feedback. As far as getting my balls back, yes, I've always been on the weak side. As they say, nice guys finish last. That be me. Always been. I'll be ok though. Tnx for both of you. You've been enlightening.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 1:10PM
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Good luck to you Seadawg!!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 1:54PM
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