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Thread: Done with spouses son

  1. #21
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    He sounds quite spoiled. Sadly you seem outnumbered and dealing with all emotion and zero logic, no matter the fairness and well thought out your offers are..

    Since legally you can't do anything (without your wife losing it), it may be best to consult a psychologist on this. Do it privately and confidentially. Get some navigation and coping tips for this.

    It seems every approach is met with a defiant oppositional stance by the son and an overprotective, overindulgent stance by your wife. All of this is of course psychological in nature since all your offers are beyond reasonable. So that will be the way you'll have to fight this mess.

  2. #22
    Platinum Member IAmFCA's Avatar
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    OP,

    Try to find a path inside you that allows you to communicate without anger.

    You can't control him. Never could, never will, it isn't the goal. Reminding him how much of a burden he is to you - that doesn't help either. Clearly he resents you same as you resent him, and I can see why. Try sticking to the facts, as if he were a proper tenant. The agreement was rent, he hasn't paid it, therefore, he may not continue to occupy the residence. Perhaps put it in writing, so its clear.

    Then, leave it alone. You change locks April 1; you've done what you need to do. No need to lose your temper; be quiet or be kind when conversing.

  3. #23
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by IAmFCA
    OP,

    Try to find a path inside you that allows you to communicate without anger.

    You can't control him. Never could, never will, it isn't the goal. Reminding him how much of a burden he is to you - that doesn't help either. Clearly he resents you same as you resent him, and I can see why. Try sticking to the facts, as if he were a proper tenant. The agreement was rent, he hasn't paid it, therefore, he may not continue to occupy the residence. Perhaps put it in writing, so its clear.

    Then, leave it alone. You change locks April 1; you've done what you need to do. No need to lose your temper; be quiet or be kind when conversing.
    I agree he is like any other lodger. He needs to pay his rent and on time. My son started paying rent the month after he turned 18. He gets $972 for his disability. $300 of which they give him as a rent payment. Of the $972 he pays me $450 . $300 for rent and $150 for his cell phone. He is 21 now and never missed a payment. Out of the rest of his money he pays his student loan and clothes and toiletries and entertainment.

  4. #24
    Platinum Member DancingFool'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.
    Oy.....but you aren't putting a positive light on anything. You are still very much taking on the role of the "evil" step father trying to kick her baby out into the street and THAT is triggering all kinds of past emotional and psychological trauma and damage for your wife, so round and round you go.

    Look, rationally, you are giving a good offer. However, this isn't about reason, but heated emotions and the emotional reaction is that you are kicking him out, so you are getting all this resistance and resentment right back at you.

    Stop your own fixation on how you want him out and how put out you are by this guy. I mean really. Let's talk facts. He lives in guest quarters. That costs you nothing. He eats food. OK, that does cost but that's about it.

    Your timing is awful too. Now that the wife is down financially, you choose to go on attack and dictate your way or the highway. You are just adding to conflict and making yourself look like an abusive azz. My money now, so I'm the big boss and I hate your son. That's the message you are sending to your wife. Don't be surprised if she is the one who ends up filing for divorce and I can promise you it will cost you a whole lot more than food that he eats.

    I will say this again. Your intent is correct. Your approach is completely wrong and set up to get you nowhere but into severe conflict. Back off and change your tactics. Stop trying to push him out and ask your wife how you can help instead. Honestly, you are all so entrenched in this conflict that nobody can see anything beyond their own emotions, you too OP. Do go and talk with a family counselor and get someone to essentially mediate and help you all resolve conflict in a healthier way. You all are way too entrenched in your own points of view and emotions to navigate this on your own at this point.

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  6. #25
    Platinum Member IAmFCA's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DancingFool
    Oy.....but you aren't putting a positive light on anything. You are still very much taking on the role of the "evil" step father trying to kick her baby out into the street and THAT is triggering all kinds of past emotional and psychological trauma and damage for your wife, so round and round you go.

    Look, rationally, you are giving a good offer. However, this isn't about reason, but heated emotions and the emotional reaction is that you are kicking him out, so you are getting all this resistance and resentment right back at you.

    Stop your own fixation on how you want him out and how put out you are by this guy. I mean really. Let's talk facts. He lives in guest quarters. That costs you nothing. He eats food. OK, that does cost but that's about it.

    Your timing is awful too. Now that the wife is down financially, you choose to go on attack and dictate your way or the highway. You are just adding to conflict and making yourself look like an abusive azz. My money now, so I'm the big boss and I hate your son. That's the message you are sending to your wife. Don't be surprised if she is the one who ends up filing for divorce and I can promise you it will cost you a whole lot more than food that he eats.

    I will say this again. Your intent is correct. Your approach is completely wrong and set up to get you nowhere but into severe conflict. Back off and change your tactics. Stop trying to push him out and ask your wife how you can help instead. Honestly, you are all so entrenched in this conflict that nobody can see anything beyond their own emotions, you too OP. Do go and talk with a family counselor and get someone to essentially mediate and help you all resolve conflict in a healthier way. You all are way too entrenched in your own points of view and emotions to navigate this on your own at this point.
    This is an excellent post. Heed this wisdom OP. Sometimes life is teaching us our priorities.

  7. #26
    Platinum Member Annia's Avatar
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    I agree with what everyone is saying that she's enabling you but that your approach is not the right one. Just wanted to add that I lived with my mother until what I consider "too late" (his age or maybe a bit older) out of convenience for both sides. In my country it's almost a cultural thing that almost everyone lives with their parents until late and that's not frawned upon, BUT now I see that my mother was actually enabling me and that I should've have moved out sooner and should've have contributed more.

    I worked and contributed but I know that I was the one getting the best part of the deal and I feel somehow bad for it. Which is why I turned my life around professionally and personally and took a career opportunity in another country.

    No one kicked me out or pressured me to leave home, on the contrary, I just realised I needed to be totally independent like an adult should, no ifs no buts and I realised I felt I was not the independent non spoiled person I wanted to be. He needs to realise this too, but while he doesn't and specially while his mother doesn't, there's not much you can do unfortunately.

    He's probably not happy about his situation either. I think a better approach would be showing both the advantages of independence and living independently and helping with tools (I'm not talking about money) to reach that goal and your wife should also deal with her childhood trauma so she doesn't project it on her son to compensate how she feels about having been kicked out at 19 by her parents. If you don't change your approach I'm afraid your relationship with her will suffer a lot negatively.

  8. #27
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by swampyankee
    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.
    SwampyYankee: By digging in your heals when your wife isn't on board with what you are proposing is going to (likely) cause you and your wife to lose your emotional connection to one another. I don't believe you want that (yet) so you are going to have to change your course and either see a lawyer and find out what your rights are as to severing assets etc and then your wife and her enabled son can find their own place or, you find a way to get your wife on board with what is in the son's best interests and that of your marriage.

    If you can't ACCEPT the dynamic of your wife's codependent relationship with her son, then YOU would do well to get the help you need to learn to accept and be happy in your choice or leave and find someone whose children are all grown up and have learned the life skills to function on their own.

    Would your wife and step son be open to family counselling?
    Would you be open to getting your own in order to learn how to cope and be accepting of the situation?

    If the answer to either of those questions is "no" then see that lawyer and get your affairs in order for a separation of assets and emotions.

    She is never going to see your side of things and the more you push it, the more she will be blind to it.

    Did you show her the link about dysfunctional helping?
    Did you order the book on it so that you both could read it?

    Just what have you done other then try to control while failing at it?

  9. #28
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    The thing is parents owe you squat the day you turn 18. Really. Anything else is kindness of their heart. But you have to watch you donít teach your kids that the world comes for free because the world does not care.

  10. #29
    Platinum Member IAmFCA's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ~Seraphim ~
    The thing is parents owe you squat the day you turn 18. Really. Anything else is kindness of their heart. But you have to watch you donít teach your kids that the world comes for free because the world does not care.
    Yes and we give love by trusting them to find their way, giving skills to manage each next step. You did this so well when your son was managing his benefits and applying for something (? I can't remember exactly?). It was anxious-making for you, but you held back. And look at the success story your son is!

    I believe this family needs to go back to square one, and start over from a place of love. Too much communication has been punitive.

    Love never requires disrespect. The family can convey love while respecting their own boundaries; right now, the mom is disrespecting herself in her effort to convey love, and so of course she is teaching disrespect. We are watching the sad spiral.

    Love love love. Boundaries. Self respect. OP your anger isn't how you show respect for yourself. Its a loss of control; its a reflection of the degree to which you are overwhelmed.

    Three adults, one house. Love. Practical needs. Emotional needs. Divide these out by person, separately. With love in your heart. Now. what does the solution set look like? How do you create space and boundaries within the house? Do you need to rent out the in law suite to help support yourselves? What are his needs? He has moved out before; there is a reason he is back and forth. What other solutions are there?

  11. #30
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    I agree with everyone. You are in somewhat a double bind here. If what you are doing isn't working, then do something else.
    It is true that he is essentially not costing you any money outside of the midnight food raids and a couple extra dollars on your water bill.
    In any event, I wish I had a great answer for you. At this point, I would just back off. I don't what to tell you about the frustration that you are experiencing.
    I would feel the same.
    You are almost always bound to lose when coming between a mother and her son.
    At least for now, step back, cool off and maybe things might becoming clearer.

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