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  1. #1
    Member MusicIsLove's Avatar
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    Is this normal behavior for a 19-year-old??

    Hi all. I am having some issues with behaviors exhibited by my boyfriend's 19-year-old son and I just need to know if I am justified in feeling the way I do or if I am overreacting.

    I am almost 30 years old and live with my boyfriend, who is several years older than me, divorced, and has two sons. He has joint custody of the younger one, who I am very close with. Mike, the 19-year-old, lives with us. He doesn't have a job at the moment and is taking a couple classes at a community college. He is very bright and is generally a pleasant young man.

    However, Mike is a slob. This isn't leaving wet towels on the bathroom floor or dirty socks under the bed. It's turning our living room into his personal dumping ground (backpack, books, shoes, clothes, guitar etc.), urinating all over the toilet seat, defecating and forgetting to flush the toilet, spilling drinks and not wiping them up, smoking in the house (which he has been told repeatedly NOT to do) and using drinking glasses as ashtrays, burning holes in the furniture, concocting things in the kitchen and leaving food scraps all over the place... I could go on forever. He has also broken numerous things - furniture, dishes, vertical blinds, some of my boyfriend's musical equipment that he has been told time and time again not to touch, our XBOX 360, to name a few. I am guessing that he has cost my boyfriend upwards of $2,000 in damages to his property.

    The worst part is Mike doesn't seem to care a bit about his behavior and how it affects everyone. He frequently denies responsibility and outright lies about what he has done.

    I know Mike is my boyfriend's son, but he is also an adult, and the fact that he treats the home of three other people as though it is his off-campus apartment makes me frustrated and angry and I think his behavior is over the top even for a young man.

    Is this typical 19-year-old male behavior that he will outgrow or is it more extreme than that? I have never seen it in my life and I grew up with four brothers, had mostly male friends through school and two male roommates in college.

    Unfortunately (and my boyfriend does NOT know this), this is all causing me to feel some resentment toward Mike, and I am ashamed to admit that, but I hate that I feel uncomfortable in my own home because he makes it look like we are white trash. My boyfriend owns a small business and is very busy and I do a large portion of the cleaning and cooking. I spend hours cleaning up Mike's messes and then he comes home again and BOOM, you'd never know I busted my A$$ all day.

    I don't say anything to my boyfriend but I think he senses it bothers me. I worry that it could cause problems in our relationship.

    Am I overreacting here or what?

    Thanks in advance.

    (By the way, I am well aware that since Mike is not my son, I have no pull. I am more concerned with whether or not I even have a right to feel this way.)
    I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I'm not.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member karvala's Avatar
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    Of course you have a right to feel that way. I would feel that way if I were sharing the space with anyone, regardless of whether or not they were related to me or I had any sort of authority over them. It's a shared space, so it requires considerate behaviour, and much of the behaviour you describe is not just inconsiderate, but quite appalling. The question is, does your boyfriend see this behaviour at all, and if so, what does he think about it? I suspect that he's become desensitised to it over the years, and doesn't realise just how bad it is.

    You need to stop clearing up after this guy, and you need your boyfriend to realise just how bad the situation is, so that between you it's possible to start doing something about it. It's not something you can solve on your own. How long have you been living together, btw? I hope it's not too long, because the longer you tolerate this, the harder it will be to stop.
    May you live all the days of your life

    Trying to heal from after a breakup? Perhaps you need Enhanced No Contact: http://www.enotalone.com/forum/showthread.php?p=1438257

  3. #3
    Platinum Member top bloke's Avatar
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    At the age this boy is you do have a right to feel this way. You are in essence his step mother. Have a word to your boyfriend nicely about what is happening and ask him how he fells..also what should be done to get his son in line . The behaviour is wrong of the son
    You have choices!

  4. #4
    Platinum Member lostandhurt's Avatar
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    I was not like that at 19yrs old. Of course I was raised to respect others and their property.
    What would happen if you went away for a few days to visit someone (sister, aunt) and let your bf deal with his sons disrespect of your home.
    You have every right to have this bother you but as you say you have no pull on this. I am sure someone will be on here that has been through something like this and will have a couple of ideas that might help.
    I want to kick his lazy butt and it isn't even my house! LOL

    Ultimately your bf is the one to teach his son how to act properly.

    lost
    Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
    Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace and happiness;
    Trusting that I may be reasonably happy in this life and forever.

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  6. #5
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    I myself am 19 and a male and not like that. It sounds like he needs to experience life on his own. I spent a year 3000 miles away from home after i graduated high school. This made me grow up VERY fast. I've gotten a taste of having to pay bills, cleaning and keeping my apartment nice, shopping, working, going to school. It also gave me a lot of motivation and confidence. To me this sounds like this is what he needs. I don't honestly think talking to him will work. Hope I've helped!

  7. #6
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    I think you should really talk to your boyfriend and make it clear how this is affecting you. You have every right to live in a decent environment. I know it's awkward because you aren't the parent, but you still have the right to set some ground rules about your living space. If it were just towels, laundry, and dirty dishes, I still wouldn't blame you for being annoyed. But, what you're describing is really disgusting and should be completely unacceptable to both you and your boyfriend. It's understandable that it affects how you feel about his son--why would you feel endeared toward someone who does those things? You are not obligated to like and accept him, unconditionally.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member BellaDonna's Avatar
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    Is this typical 19-year-old male behavior that he will outgrow or is it more extreme than that?
    This is not typical behavior for a 19 year old- but it is typical behavior of someone who is inconsiderate and/or spoiled. He definitely sounds like he is taking his living arrangement for granted and doesn't respect anyone else around him.


    I spend hours cleaning up Mike's messes and then he comes home again and BOOM, you'd never know I busted my A$$ all day.
    I don't think you should clean up after him. If he leaves messes in various rooms of the house, the most I would do is pile it all up on the floor in the middle of his own room.

    Does this kid pay any kind of rent? Does he have any chores? Does he contribute to the running of the house in any manner?

    Maybe if he took a turn cleaning the toilet he'd be more mindful of peeing in the bowl and flushing.


    I think you should talk to your BF about it. Of course you have to approach it the right way- you can't attack his son in any way or you will immediately get a defensive response. But you need to let him know that you find the living conditions unsanitary and the constant messes disrespectful.

    Do you think the son has a problem with his dad dating you and he does it as passive aggressive behavior to get under your skin?
    Carly, don't be sad
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    Carly, don't be sad
    That's your destiny, the only chance
    Take it, take it in your hands



    Well behaved women rarely make history.

  9. #8
    Silver Member ErikT's Avatar
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    I have to imagine that you bf knows all of this, but accepts it. What may seem like a big deal to you is just normal behavior to you bf. (I'm not saying that its right, but it is what your bf has become accustom to.)

    You need to talk to your bf and let him know that it bothers you and see what his response is. My guess is that he doesn't;t realize how much you are bothered by it.

    Even if he is going to school, the slob needs to have chores and responsibilities around the house. Yes he is 19, but he is still living at home and has to follow the house rules or there will be consequences. You and your bf need to come up with the house rules and consequences, sit down with the slob, and then let him make his choice: follow the rules or face the consequences. (All of this is well in good so long as your bf actively agrees to all of the rules and consequences. If not, sucks to be you!)

    Finally, I would stop picking up after him, let the house get trashed, and see what your bf thinks then. Or if you can't stand to live like that (I couldn't), simply, as another person posted, pile up all of his messes on his bed or just throw it out. IF he drops his book bag in the middle of the floor, pick it up and put it into the trash. (Let him see you do it!) The key to this approach is to not make a huge scene of it - do it with out saying a word. If he freaks out, just calmly tell him you are cleaning up after him.

    As far as the using glasses as ashtrays, stack them in his room! When your bf asks where all of the glasses are, tell them they are in the slobs room and you don't have any clean ones.

    Are you sure that your bf didn't ask you to move in so he and his boys could have a maid?
    Go Gators!

  10. #9
    Platinum Member KG's Avatar
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    Listen to ErikT....very well put.
    Thank you for the laughter,
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    thank you for the Love,
    and thank you for the chance.

  11. #10
    Member MusicIsLove's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice, everyone. It's been awhile, so I just wanted to give an update.

    I ended up talking to my boyfriend about how upsetting this situation is and he said he has been aware of my feelings for some time. He agreed that Mike is completely out of line, and asked me to be patient with him because his awful behavior isn't going to change overnight. I told him from now on I will not clean up after Mike or his younger son - they are both more than old enough to assume responsibility for any messes they create. He seemed upset at first and told me it would 'really help out a lot' if I could continue to straighten up since he is very busy. I told him I understand that he has a lot on his plate but his GROWN SON is perfectly capable of cleaning up after himself and I will find other ways to help around the house without allowing Mike to take advantage of me. He pushed it a little bit and I said I'm sorry, but I did not move in with him to be his son's maid. A little bit later I was in our room reading and I heard him telling the boys that they are going to start contributing more around the house and cleaning up after themselves, and that things never should have gotten as bad as they did. He never mentioned my name.

    Moving on... I'm going to answer the questions some of you asked.

    karvala - we have lived together for five months. It wasn't like this until about November. I am not sure what happened to cause Mike's behavior to spin so out of control. He was never a terribly neat person but all of a sudden things just got ridiculous.

    BellaDonna - he doesn't pay rent. My boyfriend has talked about charging Mike rent but so far nothing has come of it. He is having an extremely hard time finding a job. He doesn't really contribute anything... although about once a month he will concoct something and invite us to eat it. I never do, because he is not sanitary in the kitchen (my boyfriend has talked to him numerous times about that - it baffles me that a 19-year-old can be so ignorant about something as basic as that but he is obviously not a normal young man).

    As for his behavior possibly having something to do with me, that was one of the first things out of my mouth when I told my boyfriend how much this situation bothers me. He insisted that it is not personal and that Mike has never complained about me or told his dad he didn't like me. He said he "really doesn't think he is doing it to be an a-hole." I asked him what would happen if one or both of his sons openly disapproved of me - mostly out of curiosity. He said that he would talk to them and make sure they knew that I am a good person, that we are in love and happy, and that while my presence in their life was an adjustment, there is no reason it should be treated as a negative one. He said he would basically tell them, in so many words, to get over it, because I have never given either of them any reason not to like me. I think Mike could be having some issues with the fact that I am not old enough to be his parent, but I'm not TRYING to be a parent - I let his father handle that. Any opinions on the age difference being a problem are welcome, although obviously nothing can be done about it!


    Anyway my b/f has gone out and purchased some shelving units and several storage bins for his sons' things so Mike will stop throwing his belongings all over our living room. We'll see how THAT goes.
    I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I'm not.

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