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Just Need A Place To Vent

goldengoat's picture

I'm in dire need of a place to vent.  Also, does anyone know the protocol if your SS is just 18 as far as whether he's considered an adult or teenage step at this stage?  

When I met my fiancé 5 years ago on a dating site, I liked him a lot and we had an instant connection.  He is a sweet, intelligent, caring man.  I was still reluctant because he had sole custody of his then-13 son.  I think my dear fiancé maaaaaaaaaybe embellished a bit about the kid's motivation and direction in life.  He also definitely didn't mention that he has moderate-severe GPS.  And that's where I guess I may have made a mistake in insisting on not meeting FSS for the first year-ish and keeping things with DF to a weekend together here and there. 

The fact that BM was willing to have him to her place for two weekends while I spent them at DF's apartment was comforting and led me to believe that maybe she liked having him over sometimes, but it turned out those were the 1st times she'd seen him in about 3 years, and she wasn't super interested in seeing him often after that.  In the 4 years we've been living together, she's only had him over to hers once more.  FSS18 definitely still hasn't quite recovered from her general lack of interest.  No child support or anything, either, and the couple of times she had him she actually called DF to ask for money and openly complained that he eats too much (which, to be fair, he really does, but I feel like she should have been willing to suck it up and not make the kid feel bad given how little time or effort she's given him since he was, like, 7).  

But it turns out the homeschooling situation was a pretty lax one that mostly included DF making him read history and science books and then talking with him about it before bed.  Bed for DF, that is, because FSS18 has not had a bedtime ever in life.  He went to bed / goes to bed when all his gaming friends have logged off their Xboxes for the night.  Once his 18th hit, he made it pretty clear that he was done with "homeschooling".  I send him links to GED prep sites and fun math and grammar sites all the time, and he knows he can ask me any questions he wants and let me know when he's ready and I'll help him schedule his testing and even drive him there, but that's as involved as I'm willing to get.  It's honestly just too frustrating to watch him not try at all and I don't have the patience, so I never push him on anything... which I guess is how his bios feel, to be fair.  

I was also under the impression that he had big plans to join the Army at 18, but I can't imagine that having worked out for him.  He is too embarrassed by criticism to put it to any use, and the idea that he would ever get up early, make his bed, and go for a run or some shit is the best giggle I'll have all day.  I will grant that he works out for about 30 minutes a day, but there's no routine to it, it happens when he decides he wants to.  Anyhow, when the time came, he wanted to see how the elections went because he thought an administration change would mean he was definitely going to have to fight in some war he didn't support.  I honestly think it was mostly just a cop-out.  I would never say as much to him, but I don't think at this point he's got what it would take to serve successfully, and maybe deep down he realized that, too.  

So to FSS18, life is basically Xbox and chatting with his online girlfriend.  He is a sweet kid but there's a little manipulation to it, as well.  He has daily chores but they happen every other day at best, and he's got what he and DF like to call "mess-blindness".  DF did the "clean up for when she comes over" thing and I just assumed he didn't keep his house a god-awful mess, but they didn't bother with the clean-up the day I moved in and, yeah, they are very happy to live in lazy-bachelor conditions.  I point out the obvious stuff to them and handle the rest as well as I can.  It's mostly up to standard, at least.  *ROFL*  

FSS18's laziness truly knows no bounds.  I think I mentioned "sweet kid" before, and he mostly really is, but he has no motivation and no direction in life.  He's super immature, as well, which I guess is to be expected with an 18-year-old, it's not like he's had much experience outside home... but he doesn't seem interested.  He's been talking to his online girl for almost a year now and they're both 18 and I was sure that by now he would be dying to meet her in person, but there's been absolutely no mention of that unless they're keeping it to themselves for some reason.  I can't imagine he wouldn't mention it to DF and I if it was something he really wanted.  He knows I support the idea of him traveling because I'm always trying to express how much there is to do and see, and how much easier it is when you're young.  The fact that my little basement-dweller is rarely upstairs doesn't seem to have changed DF's mind on limited physical intimacy for fear that we might be overheard or something, so I'd also just plain like to have him out of the house once in a while.  *ROFL*  Plus it's one less person to cook for and clean up after.  

OK, I think this is enough rambling for now.  


JRI's picture

How does your DF feel about this situation?  I get the impression he is fine with it.  If that's the case, then you will have to decide if living with the two of them is what you are willing to accept.

We all have the idea that when we marry, it will be just the two of us, for better or worse.  But this young man isn't going anywhere and dad doesn't seem to have a problem with that.  Vent here all you wish but I don't see any change coming.  Good luck and best wishes.

goldengoat's picture

Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. 

DF feels very guilty that BM wasn't around and that there was nothing he could do to make her care about her son.  He feels guilty that he pulled him out of school because in the end he had to work full-time and wasn't able to homeschool him the way he'd hoped, and that he didn't do a few things differently over the years.  He's also expressed that he's "just not quite ready" for SS's childhood to be over.  They seem to have more of a friendship than a parent / child relationship for the most part.  DF rarely corrects him and always apologizes and all but takes it back after.  

I do think about how the future looks for our little family often, and sometimes I'm really not sure it is what I want.  I also feel that I have a little time.  The kid is still pretty young and things may turn around yet.  I'm thinking a couple more years just to see if anything changes at all, and then it'll be time for an exit strategy.  When DF brings up setting a date, I always suggest we wait a couple more years to save for something really special, so that in that time if things are still going the same direction, I won't have to go through the trouble of a divorce.  

JRI's picture

If you read around on here, youll see many examples of dads who dont correct their kids, or enforce standards, because they feel guilty about how their divorce affected the child.  Your DF seems to fall into that category.  Its not good for the child since it keeps them from maturing into an adult who functions in the real world.  You are wise to delay marriage.  Many people on this site have married into this situation in the hope? expectation? wish? that the dynamic would change but it doesnt.  The saddest cases are where the woman has had kids with the new husband and now agonizes over their situation.

goldengoat's picture

Yeah, I have seen a few already.  It seems like a prevelant issue amongst steps.  And DF is definitely one of those dads.  

I definitely feel for those that rush in, and don't want to find myself in that position.  

justmakingthebest's picture

I had too look up GPS, I am assuming it is  Gray platelet syndrome. If he has that, it is unlikely he would be able to join the military anyway. They don't take people with blood conditions. 

But back to your main issues, I'm not sure why your FH chose to have him homeschooled vs. a traditional school but it is too late now to do anything about it. He is essentially a drop out. I think your FH needs to fully understand that. 

He does need his GED and he does need to enroll in community college. This would be line in the sand stuff to me. I would not marry a man who won't get his adult son launched. He might be behind the curve due to poor parenting and all the covid crap gives him a little grace but not much. 

All gaming is gone until GED is done and college has been applied to. Cut the internet while you are out of the house. He can get a GED study guide BOOK to work on. There are a ton of trade schools that he can start and get hired and make a very good living with minimal student debt, if any. I would tell your FH that he has until Aug 1 to have SS moving forward in life and his GED done or he gets the boot out of the house, or you are leaving. Those are the options. 

goldengoat's picture

GPS = Guilty Parent Syndrome.  Sorry for the confusion.  

DF homeschooled because SS wasn't having success in a classroom environment and he really believed he could figure out a better way that was more suited to SS's needs.  It just turned out that he couldn't, and he was terrified of SS being taken away and sent to BM (DF had an irrational fear of this because it seems like courts really want kids with their mothers if at all possible, and he was afraid the school would get the state involved, etc., and he would have to give his kid up).  I don't think this was even remotely the right course of action, and I doubt BM would have had any interest in taking SS, anyway, but he was really, really worried about maintaining his custody.  

I think your plan is a sound one, but I have a hard time imaginging DF following through with cutting the internet / gaming off, nor SS having any response but to whine and complain and be generally unpleasant and manipulate DF's emotions until he rescinds the restrictions.  That's just never going to be their dynamic, so I may have to get a little creative and be a lot patient here.  In the end, though, no, I don't see myself marrying DF if we're not counting down the launch pretty soon here.  

Harry's picture

Regular school / classroom.  Red Flag, Red Flag.   There is something radical wrong with this kid .  How is he going go handle the Army if he could not handle school.  How is he going to hand a job with out education, skills, people skills .

You must get this kid out ASAP.  This with Disney dadddy may be the end of your relationship 

goldengoat's picture

Those were always my thoughts when he said he wanted to do military service.  I'm all for it and would never discourage him from trying, but I just felt like there was no way it'd ever work out until he's gained some maturity.  I think he's very stunted socially due to most of his friendships being online.  He had one friend when I 1st moved in that was local, and they only met because they used to live in neighboring apartments.  Otherwise all he's really known in life is gaming and online socializing.  

notarelative's picture

SS may have had big plans to join the military, but they are not holding out the welcome sign for recruits without a high school diploma or GED. Take a look at the websites for recruitment. Google 'joining the military without a high school diploma'. You will find that SS is going to find is almost impossible to join with his current qualifications.

This kid is not leaving any time soon. He has no incentive. Fiancé likes things the way they are. 


goldengoat's picture

Yeah, the GED would've had to happen 1st, for sure.  But I honestly don't think it would've been his thing, anyway, though I would've been proud of him for trying.  I'm just not sure he's ready for anything that serious yet, and there's no point in setting out to fail.  

You're right, DF does seem to like having him around / dependent more than I consider healthy.  

notarelative's picture

 I'm just not sure he's ready for anything that serious yet, and there's no point in setting out to fail.  

SS is 18. He is not in school. He needs a job. There are places that will hire him. It's time for fiance to push him out of the basement. He'll never be ready for anything serious if Dad continues to coddle him. 

Failure is not always a bad thing. No one is successful at everything. Failure at one thing can lead to success at another. Success takes work.

Dad pulled him out of traditional school to shield him, but hasn't done anything to help him succeed. SS needs to work if he is ever going to move out of the house. Either Dad gives him a push toward a job, or this manchild will be 40 and stll living in Dad's basement.


CLove's picture

He gets a GED and JOb, NOW. Or you are gone. Move out and date your partner.

SteppedOut's picture

Yikes. Run. This will take an enormous amount of work on YOUR part and likely many years to "correct" - IF it even can be.


simifan's picture

Call it what you like the kid is a dropout & your SO was just fine with it. SS is not launching anytime soon. Cut your losses and run now. I doubt little if anything will change in 5 years.