Help with adult SKs and DH

sm2332September 22, 2009

Ok, so I've posted a couple of rants, sometimes mirroring what some others have felt on here since I've been reading this site. I've read many many posts and there is a lot of good advice here. I really need help and yes a lot of things are always easier said than done, but it's got to change and it's got to start somewhere.

We've been providing for SKs since I've been in the picture (over 13 yrs), and before that DH was single and had custody and all the responsibility as well. They are now 22 and 24 and STILL not working. I'd say well over a YEAR w/no jobs, there's been plenty of chances, excuses and time to "get a life". It's a very sore subject, of course it causes tension becuz its easier for them to keep doing what they do, not look everywhere and anywhere for a start, an opening. I've tried helping, suggesting, even went onto websites and submitted resumes. Reality is, you can't make someone want to work, or pursue and call for a job. Most often the subject is only brought up by DH ever few weeks when he gets fed up w/something and starts trying to push them to be adult. Then it gets "talked" about, "yeah, we know...yeah this and that", but after about a week it's like nothing ever changed or was said. I'm always the bad guy when I push or bring it up. If I try to just inquire, I hear either so many reasons why they either couldn't go look, or are not getting the jobs applied for. I can see this for a short time(not going on 2yrs), but if they are 25...possibly 30...still living under our roof, still having us pay all utilities, groceries, soaps etc...I'm not going to make it. I don't think I can do it much longer down this road. I try to gauge when i need to back off as DH also gets upset and starts to defend SKs and seems angry at me. So, for the sake of our relationship I tolerate more. I've lost sleep, been stressed more than I can handle anymore. I don't want it to affect my liking and caring for SKs, or ruin my marriage, but it's ruining me now. I feel resentment inside, I feel mad a lot, it just sucks. It gets to the point that I don't even want to hear what else SKs have going on, what movies/friends/drawings they've done, if it doesn't precede with looking and finding a job. I'm now going to try and get my ducks in a row so to speak on how to again approach this with DH. We have to meet, set bounderies (again), and I need commitment from him. The SKs need consequences. There's been many consequences "spoken" but NEVER followed through on. He's said he'd wake them up, take them to work all day w/him to sit there or go out and look, if they don't get up and go look themselves. Well, hello..of course they say they will go, but when we leave for work, it's just as easy to wake up late, stay on computer or whatever.

What I need is a way to bring this up again with DH first. List some plans that we will stick to. I even thought about having them keep a journal of jobs they apply to, checking with them each week (which i attempted w/SS-24 but didn't work out). I don't know, I know it's going to take DH's commitment and support. He gets tired of me complaining, and I know he wants them to get out and succeed, but he also tolerates and would rather avoid conflict. But I'm on the edge and it's going to be a major conflict between the 2 of us if something doesn't give. The option to kick them out if they do not find something is NOT there. He would never do that, and I do love them so I can't see homeless being an answer. But, I don't want to hate them or my home. I don't even like taking days off from work anymore bcuz it's not a vacation, it's dealing with them always at home or doing what they please. I don't get a lot of respect when I try to change things. I've even been laughed at for getting mad, so pushing my buttons is apparently amusing. DH and I also have no time to ourselves, and if we do, we have to pay to go somewhere away from the house, which is not usually an option. I don't care if it's selfish to want our own space, to be able to have things or be in better financial shape if things were different and we weren't still supporting 4 adults full circle. I'm just tired of feeling defeated, judged and just the outsider b*tch. I wont leave my home again and I put in usually over half of the $$ into the bills and what we have. I wouldn't really care about that if I didn't feel used and that things will never change. I think at this point in our marriage as well, we deserve to have some things and time ALONE.

Sorry so long, there's just so many things...I am at the end...

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What I never understand with posts like yours is why people, like you, insist on (u)making(/u) others conform to their/your way. I understand how you feel and I agree with you. I think you're right, but no one else has to think the same way. You can't make hubby do anything. You can't complain him or force him into being under your control. You can only control your own response to a bad situation since he obviously does not feel the same way. He says he does and you believe him, but he apparently does not. Instead of selecting one of the only three options you really have - to either accept the situation, leave it (put them out if it's your house), or at least stop contributing and supporting his adult children - you make up your mind you will never leave and insist everyone do as you say. Depite all your best efforts in the past, they are showing you they will not do as you say, and hubby is the main one. Why not just stop supporting his adult children? Stop paying "over half" the bills. Stop putting groceries in the house. Stop buying soap and detergent. Buy your own and lock it up. Yours are the only actions you can control.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 10:23AM
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Wow. I understand what you're saying, but my heart just sank. From that response I am a control-freak who needs to just shut up and deal or move on. Thanks for taking the time to read I guess, I don't know what else to say now.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 11:01AM
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I don't think Thermometer meant that about you at all sm2332, that wasn't where she was going from the way I read her post to you at all. I think she means if you don't want to move out, you can't change these "kids" without your DH's help. But as she pointed out, there are some things you can do. I think you need to also really sit down with your DH and talk, really talk, and do it privately, outside of the house. I think it would also be great fo you to speak to someone about it, both of you, but if he won't go, go alone. You need to figure out why you tolerate this, you don't deserve this behaviour from the SK's but you also do NOT deserve it from your DH. I can imagine why you don't want to hear about the SK's "plans" for the weekend or movies or treats with their friends, they must be laughing their butts off at your DH and you (sorry) for putting up with their crap and paying their way for EVERYTHING...Thermometer's ideas to stop filling the fridge, buying soap, detergent, toilet paper, a GREAT one...also, lose the internet, the cable, the phone for's too fun for them, and there are no consequences...Is there any way you could "lose" your job, take a hiatus and go back in a few months..then there is no extra money to pay for everything, when it's not fun anymore, they won't stick around...:)
Hugs to you, I have been there and the ladies on here helped me to "Wake up" and stop getting tramped on:)

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 11:46AM
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You said "control-freak" but I wasn't thinking that. I was thinking in terms of you doing the same things over and over and expecting a different outcome. It's time to look at the situation differently, consider other options and act on them, or accept things as they are since you can't make someone think and feel the same as you do. Most people would write your exact post, and there have been many of them here. It doesn't make anybody a control freak. I don't know anything about you to be of that opinion, nor was I trying to hurt your feelings or tear you down. I pointed out that what seems logical to you (and to me) isn't so simple to your husband. He is not capable and you can't make him be. He's as entitled to the way he feels and his limitations as you are. Therefore, you may have to accept that what you want is never going to happen, and then consider what to do after that realization.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 11:51AM
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shannon2356, thanks so much.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 11:58AM
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I agree with Thermometer and with Shannon. She just got right to the sharp point. The point is after 13 years with their father and approximately 5-6 years of these kids being adults they have never stepped up to that and the dad is not helping them to step up to that. I have a very similar situation with my SS29.

I had to stop chipping in, buying clothes and stuff for the grandkids who really shouldn't be here, slow down on how much I was spending for the "household" and accept that these grown people are only going to do what they want, not what I think or say, even when I'm right! Right or wrong doesn't matter a lot, these are grown people you are talking about. lots of friends including the ones on this board will tell you that you are right but if you want peace of mind, then understand that they are just going to do what they are going to do!

Because they ARE grown, that really let's you off the hook if you look at it differently. There must be better uses for your money, resources and energy than dropping them in to that bucket! As the others have said, they have shown you that they are not going to do life your way. I don't mean that to say you are wrong, I think you are right, but as said earlier, they are going to do what they want to do.

But, they don't need to do "what they want to do" in your house, eating your groceries, flopping on your dime while you lose sleep, raise your blood pressure etc. Cutting them loose all together would be tough, but weaning them, all of them including hubby as it relates to HIS kids, is something you can do gently and with love. It helps no one to be co-dependent, slaving for some eternally needy but ungrateful adults.

Save your money and your sanity!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 12:40PM
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Thank you, and Thermometer I didn't mean to snap and take it the wrong way. I'm trying to realize what I can do to make changes and that it does begin with ME. The quit job or quit paying bills is also not an option or lose everything we (DH & I) have worked to get to this point. I plan on talking to DH, and yes if he can't follow through then it's up to me to make my own life decisions. I can certainly start with not getting the extra's in life and not add any perks. It's hard because I can't just cook for me, can't lock up supplies (had issues with even locking our bedroom before with DH), and really I don't want to come to that. I have considered counseling too, as I don't think this is a healthy situation for any of us and I don't want contribute to the co-dependency any further. What would happen if DH was no longer there for them to depend on? I think I just needed to hear you guys say that, and find a way to tackle this. I think I have to make some decisions for myself and stick to them, and I hope my marriage will survive because other than that it's great and I have a really good man. I think he will just always see them as his babies, and that can be okay too. It's just not as it stands today.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 1:37PM
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Did I miss something? I thought the man involved was your boyfriend, not your husband. BF is boyfriend, DH is dear husband. A little confuse here.....

None of the most extreme options are anything you have to do.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 2:06PM
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I know what you mean about Thermometer. I don't think that you are a control freak and I think she is very black and white in the way that she things. I have felt the bristle of her opinions in response to some of my posts. I have to say that by purchasing your own things and locking them up comes across as very petty, sort of passive agressive and not the best option to bring harmony. If you are going to do something like that, I think you at least need to let your DH know before hand, but then that will start an arguement. It would probably be good to have a couple of counseling sessions. Maybe your DH doesn't know how to help his kids made the transition into adulthood and therefore, things stay the same.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 6:10PM
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I suggest if you don't want to get divorced, then separate your finances, have your own bank account and let DH pay for his kids out of his account. spend your money on other household stuff or your own needs that doesn't involve SKs. If your DH wants to support his grown kids, he could do it wiht his own money.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 11:45AM
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Yes, your post hit home for me. My adult Ss ran me outofmy own home with DHs full cooperation & assistance.ill update later, at wk, but just wanted to say I totally understand where your at. Unfortunately for us, our DHs just don't give a crap what "we" think about their enabling of the adult kids. Since I have stopped loaning out my family cabin when skids asked DH (not me)and quit babysitting on command SS has nothing to do with me. Surprise surprise.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 1:36PM
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Cat, I'd love to talk more with you...

Unfortunately nothing is ever black and white as far as splitting finances and being able to stop providing for the SKs. I have quit buying extras at the store, bringing home only the basic needs and dinners. I've been told "they have to eat too", so I do have to get some things for everyone to survive on. It does seem so petty, and it's crap that I feel this way or have to shop that way. I know the job market is tough right now, but I still can't see not getting something, anything, if you really try to work. I really don't know how this will end, and I also know that you get what you settle for. Thanks for everyone's posts, it just feels like a helpless situation. I'm not giving up, I just have to choose my battles and try to strategically throw in my opinions and what I think is right. It may very well come down to a nasty ultimatum in the not so far future. I really don't want it to be "me or the kids", it can't be and I know we would all lose in that scenario. But I wont be able to live and feel this way for years to come. Sad thing is, when I quit doing or buying things, DH and I also have to live in the messy house and have limits food wise. I'm not a perfectionist by any means, but things could be so different...

I'm going to try and focus on changing the things I can, that keep providing the same results. As Therm said, why keep doing/saying the same things and expect anything different. I just don't know what else it will take beyond leaving the situation.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 8:04AM
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sm2323, Maybe those kids "have to eat too" but you don't have to feed them! Or at least, not every day. Before you leave, make the changes small, wean them off of you and see how that works.

It's tough, good luck

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 8:14PM
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Sm, I don't think I have contact info up due to privacy issues with ssks however I'll check for yours on the GW site. Sadly I don't have much to offer advice wise. The end result for me was to leave and when dh figured out I was really leaving he got us a condo to use from one of his friends til our fixer upper home was complete. That house has not been touched in almost 6 months. Short of cash, yet he continues to pay the land rental on our house that we left ss in.
I hoped by us moving out our marriage might improve and in some ways it has because the constant drama isn't in our faces all the time. But in some ways it hasn't. The topic of ss either purchasing our old home or moving into his own place so we can sell it and DH not pay $400 + monthly for a home we don't live in is OFF LIMITS, period. So I have to accept DH will continue his enabling & I do. I will not pay household bills or rent while he continues this, though I do pay for DH's health insurance, groceries,my car pyt & ins and other incidentals along with personal bills. Keeping in mind DH makes 3 x what I make there is still tension and resentment over this he makes little comments but refuses to discuss. What I'm trying to say is you can only decide what you can & are willing to deal with because he is not going to do it your way. It has been an extremely painful process for me and Iam doubtful our marriage will survive it. Now I am leaving soon for the winter, and I cant see a forever future of spending holidays away from my family and my DH because I do not want to be with his kids who have no use or caring for me unless there is something I can do for or give them. Sorry its such a long winded response but I think you need to assess thoroughly what it is you want for YOUR future. It is painful, but you have to look at things with a cold clinical eye I think.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 1:53PM
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