How much longer...

sm2332June 26, 2009

Ok, I'm past the point of losing it and I keep thinking just hold on a little longer but...

I'm SM to 2 (SS-24 & SD-21) and have been married to DH for 12 years. The kids have always lived with us, not BM. She actually quit paying CS within a year of me being in the picture. So in a way I've paid for her non support all this time, as i guess she figured she no longer had to. We're past that, but I'm to the breaking point on taking care of these now adults. Neither have had jobs for about a year now. I know the economy is bad, but you have to actually make an honest effort to find a job. They aren't all going to start at $15/hr and drop into your lap.

They really do not have that many responsibilities at home either. I've tried asking, writing notes, taking away internet time, helping with resumes, asking each week on where they may have applied etc...

Problem is, I'm not the *real* parent, and for years it's been me b*tching about the kids and in turn the kids b*tching about me. At least that's how DH has heard it, when I've tried to make rules, or gripe when the kitchen is a mess when we get home from WORK blah blah blah.

For the most part we have a good relationship, although it does not sound like it. I know this situation has developed over time, I just feel like they have their way and we (DH and I) get to work for it. DH tends to let things slide for a while then he'll get to a point where he'll crack down on them and tell them they need to get jobs, do the dishes etc...The thing is, it never lasts and there are no repercussions when it reverts back. The rules don't last and I end up more stressed and angry trying to keep them in place or caring how the house looks. It has caused problems between me and DH and at this point in my life, my marriage comes first. I don't want to fight, but I'm sick and tired of working everyday and nothing changing at home. I keep thinking surely things will change, they will start working, move out on their own and things will get easier. I love the SKs and want to miss them, but I find all I am is angry and resentful most times now. It's not worth fighting with DH anymore, but IMO, it's just not fair what is going on. Sometimes the house has been more like a Frat house and the kids have full reign when we are not there.

I just don't know what to do anymore, except suck it up for a few more years...but I don't know if I can do that. I also know, that the more they don't have to work for things in their life, we are setting them up to fail in the real world. And ultimately they will always fall back to living with us if something doesn't change soon.

Sorry if I sound selfish or just plain mean. I'm not perfect and I've made a lot of bad decisions along the way, but I've also tried to provide and be there for them when and if they needed. Furthermore, I would like to have a retirement of some kind with DH, but we are not going to have much if we continue to take care of anyone. I just wish they had more drive and wanted to actually grow up and out.

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I have two kids, ages 19 & 20 still living at home. If your DH isn't on them, they are not going to change. It's amazing how my DH can say "would you please clean your dishes" and they ignore him or in a brave moment, tell him no. But, I can go in there and tell them and they will do it. If a kid doesn't listen to a step parent, the bio parent needs to take the lead.

In other words, your beef is with your DH, not his kids!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 6:27PM
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Do they have any goals? A game plan? Are they in school?

I guess I don't understand some of this failure to launch phenemona and I'm not that much older than your oldest stepkid. From all accounts, it is becoming a pretty common thing as it is harder to get on your feet now as an adult than just 10-15 years ago, but they aren't even working towards a goal? Finish school? An apprenticeship? Something? lol, just so crazy to me. I was excited to leave "home" lol.

Well, I would be talking to DH about a game plan to get them independent pronto.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 6:32PM
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Is there any way you could make 'Home' a less cushy place for them to live?

I guess I'm seeing a clean line between "independent adult" and "dependent child" --
and clearly your two want all of the benefits of each role without the downfalls for each role.

In other words, a dependent child doesn't have bills, but they have a few chores, a curfew, and supervision. They don't have the right to tell Mom & Dad to "Butt out!" because they are dependent children.

An independent adult has much more freedom, but also an adult's share of the responsibilities. So for a household of four adults, each adult should contribute about 1/4th of the work. For some, that would be income from a job. For others, it would be housework and yard work. For most, it's both.

Would Dad agree that this is a reasonable view?
Would the kids? And would they be willing to up their contributions in order to stay 'square'?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 7:41PM
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If nothing is done you will be writing the same letter in 2, 5 or 10 years time. They are adults now. If they did not adequately prepare themselves to be self sufficient then that is now a big problem. It is THEIR big problem and no one else's.

Ask DH what would happen to the SK's if you died tomorrow. They would live like kings until the inheritance was gone and then they would wither. What to do about it? Make them fly solo while you can still be a resource and maybe a safety net. The SK's need to be put out on their own and made to survive on their own, and it needs to happen now. Why so soon? So that they still have the time to make up for their prior deficiencies. They both can still decide at what level they want to live and that they need schooling to do better. But, as long as they live in Disneyland they are not going to do a thing.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 1:46PM
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Thank you all for the response. It is something we are going to have to work on. And Wallypog, 2 or 5 years from now, you are dead on as this has been going on for some time. I don't want to things to remain the same for many years to come.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 7:57AM
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