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21 year old hell

JanetinAZ's picture


I have been with my fiance for over two years. He has four children in an unconventional way.
Son #1 was adopted by Fiance from ex druggie gf 21 years ago when child was 3 months old. Childs BD was also a druggie and is no where to be found.
Son #2 is fiance step son. His wife's son from a previous marriage. She died unexpectedly 4 years ago.
Son #3 is finace bio child from him and wife that died.
Nephew who is 30 from his sister and brother in law.

Son #1 is 21, son #2 is 18, and son #3 is 12, nephew is 30

I have two bio children myself, one son who is 19 and one son who is 21.

I have not married this man yet, I want to because he is wonderful but I won't marry him until he stops enabling his nephew and his children. I write this because I'm teetering between calling it quits with him or giving him an ultimatim. I don't like ultimatims and so I don't think my idea will work. I'm at the end of my rope in my life situation so I'm asking for some help from anyone out there.

The 21 year old was thrown out of the house by fiance in January 2009 for being horribly disrespectiful to me, and everyone one else in the house. He did not listen to me or his dad, and did nothing around the house. When asked he did such a poor job that fiance ended up doing it so it would be done right. (big mistake) After running to his bio grandmothers house to live for a year, he finally reconnected with his bio mom. Things did run smoothly between the three of them. Things were great at my end because Son #1 was gone and out of the house and we never heard from him. He became such a horrible handful that bio grandma threw him out of her house and bio mom would not take him in, so he ended up right back with his adopted dad, my fiance. He showed up 21 years old, with no job, no money, didn't bath, clean up after himself. Oh and he has real issues with women due to his bio mom abuse when he was a toddler/sml child. He resents all women and will not take direction from them at all. He was actually moved out of any school class room if he had a women teacher and placed with a man teacher otherwise he was so disruptive.
So he is back in the house where I live with my fiance. He now has a job deliving papers and makes $800 a month. When not delivering papers he plays world of war craft non stop, still does not bathe or do basic hygiene, clean his room or his bathroom. He is not stupid and gets out of doing any house work he can. I stay away. I have a house of my own and I go there everyday after work but we sleep at my fiances house because of his 12 years old son. We have joint checking, have made a trust/will for ourselves and have my stuff at his house and his stuff at my house. We call the houses 'our' houses and plan to sell both in 2 years and buy one house.

I will not marry him or live in one house with the love of my life until his adult children are responsible for themselves. I don't know if I should simply start asserting myself to 21 year old son #1. If I do I know that will cause choas and horrible arguements. Fiance interceeds all the tine now trying to keep peace. He says he wants to go to school in the fall and pick up where he dropped out of college. I feel he has a job now, he should start paying rent, and a percentage of the utilities no matter if he is going to school in the fall or not.

My son goes to college and pays for his own school, has a job and rents a house and pays all his bills and he is 21 also. My other son is 19 and has worked since he was 15, bought his own car, pays for his insurance, and pays me for the electric bill everymonth.

Fiance 30 years nehphew has lived with us for two years and has worked sporatically, does not pay rent, pay for food, utilities, nothing! He does help out cleaning if we ask him. I love his nephew but once again my fiance is enabling him to be a loser. I want to set up limits and give them both one month and then they need to start paying rent and a percentage of the utilities and buy their own food if they are going to stay at the house. If they can't do that in one month then they have to leave.

If that is something my fiance can't abide with then I feel I should tell him goodbye. He is a wonderful giving loving man and has also been so good to me and my kids but I can't stand how his adopted son and his nephew take advantage of him. I'm at the point where I can't particiapte in this anymore. It bothers me so much. I want to stop comingling our bank accounts and get all my stuff out of his house and into mine. My first option is to kick the lazy loafers out of the house, sell the houses, get one house for us and be happy. But as long as he lets the lazy losers in to take over then I can never be with him. I'm at the point of telling him them or me, pick one. Not sure if this is the right approach. HELP!


JanetinAZ's picture

That is whay I'm afraid of. These kids will be coming back and coming back in our lives forever because they can't stand on their own and make a life of their own. I don't want to be supporting them in the way of paying for the higher electric bill, food bill, water bill and "oh dad, I need a little cash for this and that". They are not stupid, they know this is a good gig by using him.

I'm already moving many things out of his house and into mine. It's amazing how much stuff gets gets comingled in 2 years. I have not clearly stated that I am leaving. I'm just bit by bit getting my stuff out. Once it is all out then I'll sit down and have the conversation (in a month) that their has to be clear cut rules and timelines for them to follow and what happens when they don't follow through because they won't. I need to reinforce that that is when I end this relationship and move on.

I had no idea what a mess I was getting into when I met and fell in love with this man. Step Children can be real monsters. His other two sons are not perfect, but they are at least normal boys with normal behaviors and my fiance has been so much better about being tougher on them to be responsible for their room, belongings and respectiful about the rest of the house. Not saying it's perfect, there is a ways to go but I can clearly see a huge difference between those two and his son #1 and his nephew.

I think I should move out and let him know that I really want to be with him but with conditions and stipulations related to children. I don't want to lay down a blanket rule that no kids come back ever to live with us because my kids my need a month or a couple of weeks here and there in their life when things happen. My kids are responsible so I don't want to punish them when they need help becuase of his loser son.

stepkate's picture

Well, you can't live with him if he's living with the lazy losers, really is either you or them. He does have to make a choice, black and white.

Seriously, though, 30 years old and not paying rent? He's older than me. Crazy.

JanetinAZ's picture

Believe me I am shocked that this 'man' would want to live in his uncles house and do nothing with his life. He complains he can't get a gf......OMG. I tell him all-the-time women are not going to date a man who doesnt have a job, a car or at least an apartment.....

winehead's picture

I can tell you love this man, but you're smart enough to see that love doesn't fix everything. I'm crazy about my DH but was in a situation a while back that I simply told him I couldn't live the way we were living (financial and househole issues due to an irresponsible adult SS, who is happily working on fixing his own life). And I am certain I would not have stayed if things didn't change.

Would your fiance consider counseling? He might listen to someone besides you and begin to see that he is not in fact helping the two losers. If not, I think you have to figure out your bottom line. Don't compromise your own happiness. Don't think of it as an ultimatum--think of it as telling him what YOU need to live a happy, productive life.

You said you have a joint checking account, but do you also maintain your own individual account? You simply must have your own financial resources, whether or not you continue in this relationship.

JanetinAZ's picture

He is open to counseling. He went with his own bio child when his wife died and the son was going through so much grief. No we don't have our own accounts as well as joint. (I know) I think at this moment I'm supposed to kick myself in the arse for not listening to my own advice I give my gf's! It's been quite crazy the last two years, we actually have two joint checking, his (he added me) and mine (I added him). So does that technically count? Wink

winehead's picture

Wellllll, I guess it depends. As long as you know that he can completely wipe your accounts out and leave you with nothing. Doesn't sound like he's that kind of guy. If neither of you came into the relationship with big pots of cash, then I guess the issue isn't such a big deal as long as you're ok with the risks. Money can be such a huge issue, especially when SKs are supported.

buttercookie's picture

As long as your man continues allowing this behavior you will not have a healthy loving relationship. Time for tough love for them

JanetinAZ's picture

There has certainly been a wedge between us lately and that is why I know I can't marry him until this gets straightened out! Oh I love your sign line. Loved that movie!

stepoff's picture

I think it's your BF's responsibility to straighten them out. If you step in and try to do it yourself, you will get nothing but backlash from the boys (men) and your FDH will resent you trying to run his family. Talk to your FDH. Tell him that there needs to be boundaries set with them. He needs to give them a cutoff date to be out of the house. Then, sit back and see what happens. If he says nothing or doesn't back you up, then you have your answer. Remember, things are as good as they'll ever get before marriage. After marriage, nothing will get better. So if you can't live this way now, you won't be able to live this way later, either and then the real fighting begins. Good luck to you!

SteppingUp's picture

I think an "ultimatum" of sorts is definitely in order here. Your fiance sounds like he is deep-down a very "good" guy. He wants to help out where he can...looking at it from his situation of course he doesn't want to just turn out these adult-children living in his household, especially if he has little faith that they will be successful in the real world. I think you need to be as honest as possible with him about how you feel...but be sensitive in making sure the focus remains on your relationship and not picking on his children as most people would get defensive in that situation. From there, go with a timeline like you suggested. Once you and fiance determine a "plan of action" you need to have a sit-down with every person in the household. Discuss how you plan to help them get on their feet and the expectations you have of them (jobs, time frame, paying rent, etc). Maybe you can work something out that if they start taking care of their environment NOW, you/fiance will help with a downpayment on an apartment? If they have to, they might need to look into government funding once they get on their own. Food stamps, HUD, etc...there are resources to help people!!! Maybe all of the loafers can get a place on their own? Smile

Again though, tread softly on picking on the kids themselves...make sure you are specific that this is to better EVERYONE's future, and most specifically you and your fiance's stability as a couple.

stepoff's picture

SteppingUp, I agree with what you have written. However, I find it hard to understand the "you/fiance will help with a downpayment on an apartment" part. At 21 and 30 years of age, they are plenty old enough to take care of themselves. It kinda like saying 'we don't expect you to be able to afford the down payment, but we expect you to be able to finance your own life'. A bit of a mixed message. I know that if my SD21 asked for a down payment on an apartment, I would have a HUGE laugh. The only reason why the OP's leeches and my SD21 don't have money for a down payment is because they just won't work and save their money. That's not the fault of anyone but themselves.

SteppingUp's picture

Good point and I do see what you are saying. I'm just trying to think of a way to make it so that they don't just throw them to the curb with no help. I thought it could be a way for the fiance to still feel he is helping out (which obviously he has issues with) but to get them out of the house at the same time.

These "kids" obviously have no worldly responsibilities so I'm just thinking maybe they just need a little help getting started. However, I agree that they are old enough to be able to figure out how to be an adult by now and this would definitely only be an option only if the circumstances were, the kids realized the error of their ways and were very thankful for the start-up help Smile

JanetinAZ's picture

Thank you so much for the advice. It has helped tremendously hearing someone elses perspective and also getting validation that I'm not the bad person because I expect them to start acting like adults. My fiance really has a heart of gold and is the most wonderful person, many times toooo good to those he loves to the point it does not do them any good. He grew up very poor and worked so hard to get to where he is that he says he just wants to make life easier for his kids. I'm trying to get him to see that making things easy on someone is not always the best idea. The rough times and struggling is what makes us a strong person, gives us character, the ability to persist. He just does not see anything wrong with letting them take their own time to 'become' an adult. He says some people take longer than others. (oh brother!)

Hey I'm an optimist myself! I believe he will listen and give them limits. I don't think I've been firm enough with him because I didn't feel it was my place. But he always tells me that we are the team and no one comes before us. So now I need to hold him to his words and be firm that I will move completely out and be gone if he does not set a limit to their stay and other boundries as well.

I really do feel so much better in reading from you and so many of the other's comments.

I'll post on my progress this week!

JanetinAZ's picture

Smile I wrote a reply to stepoff and it was meant for you as well! thank you! I'll be having a discussion with him tomorrow on time limits, boundries, my sanity.... Smile