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Thread: Done with spouses son

  1. #11
    Platinum Member IAmFCA's Avatar
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    I am the sibling of a son who was parented in a similar backwards manner. He is about 60 now, and no more able to get along in the world than as a younger man. What everyone overlooked was the significant impact of adhd, in his case, which has gone untreated. There are other dynamics too, of course. My point is, we talk as adults about the importance of forcing people out, of not supporting them when they are adults. We forget about the importance of feeling love and acceptance, the difficulty of getting by without the skills to do so.

    Yes, the son needs to move out. My suggestion, though, is to have these conversations from a place of love and acceptance, instead of anger and resentment.

    Son needs to learn to fail. Failure is an extraordinarily important skill. Son needs to fail, and find love and acceptance at home - in the midst of failure and without a bailout. This requires significant emotional discipline because failure is hard to watch without feeling pain and frustration. It is easier if you actually believe that he will find his way, in his own way, on his own. Then failure can be seen as his path to success, somehow.

    Yes, son will be angry and who knows what. Avoid taking the bait. Apologize for any anger previously expressed. "I love you and I want to see you on your own, finding your way, living YOUR life YOUR way. It takes practice. It is time for you to make it happen. We believe in you. I believe in you."

    Give a date, change the locks afterwards.

  2. #12
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    What about going to counseling with your wife?

  3. #13
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    I stayed up half the night the other night, thinking - or maybe stewing about this. It's where I came up with the deadline. April 30, money for first months rent on the positive side. On the stern side, let him know the locks get changed on May 1, ready or not.
    The wife doesn't agree.

    As far as counseling, it carries a big negative connotation for my wife as well as me. We both had spouses that did not respond to counseling and ultimately led to our divorces.

  4. #14
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    Originally Posted by IAmFCA
    I am the sibling of a son who was parented in a similar backwards manner. He is about 60 now, and no more able to get along in the world than as a younger man. What everyone overlooked was the significant impact of adhd, in his case, which has gone untreated.
    The kid does have anxiety issues for which he has finally acknowledged and is on meds and counseling for. But that's where his mom is over compensating and trying to shield him. She acknowledges that she may be hurting more than helping, but can't bring herself to cut the apron strings.

    I don't know about all that but I do know I don't like feeling like my god nature and generosity are being taken advantage of. Once I start feeling like that...well, here I am..

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  6. #15
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    Originally Posted by swampyankee
    I stayed up half the night the other night, thinking - or maybe stewing about this. It's where I came up with the deadline. April 30, money for first months rent on the positive side. On the stern side, let him know the locks get changed on May 1, ready or not.
    The wife doesn't agree.

    As far as counseling, it carries a big negative connotation for my wife as well as me. We both had spouses that did not respond to counseling and ultimately led to our divorces.
    So if you two responded to counseling and your spouses didn't - then good news, the two people who responded will be present! There is such thing as family counseling. My family went when my brother went through an extremely angry phase maybe around 9th grade. He was an absolute terror - blamed me and my sisters for us moving and going to a new school (one of my parents transferred jobs so it was none of our doing), to the point where he started getting physically aggressive. We needed everyone to be on board to talk things out. I think that you need to sit in front of a moderator to talk this out - for her to present her reasons and you to present yours and come to an agreement that you both agree with in front of a neutral third party. If you don't, she is going to choose her son over you and your marriage will crumble and he will live in your basement for life. you have been more than reasonable and your wife won't be a united front with you. And she won't agree that he can stay as long as he is working, right?

    Does the son have any sort of learning disability?

    Are you prepared to move to a place with an in-law apartment for the son to live?

  7. #16
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    Originally Posted by swampyankee
    The kid does have anxiety issues for which he has finally acknowledged and is on meds and counseling for. But that's where his mom is over compensating and trying to shield him. She acknowledges that she may be hurting more than helping, but can't bring herself to cut the apron strings.

    I don't know about all that but I do know I don't like feeling like my god nature and generosity are being taken advantage of. Once I start feeling like that...well, here I am..
    Will his father take him?

  8. #17
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by swampyankee
    I have told her that she is holding him back, and enabling his lifestyle. She admits that, but I think her obligation to right some past wrong in his upbringing holds her back.
    Even today I tried to put it in a positive light, by suggesting giving him a deadline - April 30 - and offering money to end his first months rent. She refused to "do that to him", but I told her giving him a deadline would set a goal for him, as opposed to just putting pressure on him.
    But that's when she gave me the stone wall, leaving me frustrated and withdrawn.
    She's not hearing you. You're coming across as someone who is being some kind of monster towards her son. Show her the link (and google for more) on dysfunctional helping.

    Buy her the book in the link below:

    [Register to see the link]

  9. #18
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    It sounds like she wants another divorce rather than making him an adult . Too bad.

  10. #19
    Platinum Member IAmFCA's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by swampyankee
    The kid does have anxiety issues for which he has finally acknowledged and is on meds and counseling for. But that's where his mom is over compensating and trying to shield him. She acknowledges that she may be hurting more than helping, but can't bring herself to cut the apron strings.

    I don't know about all that but I do know I don't like feeling like my god nature and generosity are being taken advantage of. Once I start feeling like that...well, here I am..
    Maybe mom will be helped by reframing her thoughts. "cut the apron strings" is an emotion of letting go. Yet her apron strings will never go away.

    She isn't letting go. she is stretching to include him in her embrace even when moves into a different home etc.

  11. #20
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    Originally Posted by abitbroken
    Will his father take him?
    He cut ties with his father when he was 18, although he alleged is rebuilding the relationship. In one of my wifes more frustrated points she said to me that she done with her son and maybe it's the father's turn to keep him.
    No learning disabilities, to the contrary, he's quite intelligent. He has just been in a pattern of underachievment since high school.

    When we moved to this town, the son complained that it was too far from his work and school (both parttime) at the time (30 minute ride). He was 22 at the time. We gave him a 2 room suite with master bath and private entrance - you could call it an in law. He clasims he doesnt like it here, feels uncomfortable, cant wait to move out, etc. He moved out a couple times, only to return 8 to 10 months later. This last time we reduced his space to one room, although he still has the master bath and private entrance. Never once has he expressed any gratitude, and has never offered to help even though we're renovating the place all around him.

    I ran into him in the kitchen at about 11 last night while up getting aspirin for myself. He of course was getting a plate of food (he waits til we've gone to bed to get food).
    I asked him if he had thought about what I had told him about moving out and he just shrugged and said not really. So I gave him my offer - out by 4/30, help with his 1st months rent. I asked for feedback and he just stonewalled me so I lost it. I told him he was riding on my back while he took his time with college courses, and now has taken what amounts to a volunteer job (Americorp). He got upset and walked away but I kind of yelled after him.
    His mom heard and came down, and it got heated. Not sure where we're at at this point since I slept on the couch.

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