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Advice needed: 19 year old Step Son can't move on

theaterlover74's picture

Hi - I have a 19 year old step son that dropped out of high school before 18. We allowed him to live with us for 3 months to get his act together, then kicked him out 2 months after turning 18. He wouldn't get his GED or a job. He pushed doing nothing until the last day and we kicked him out. This was difficult for my husband and although he agreed with me on the decision, he didn't like doing it. My step son has spent the past year living with friends until they kick him out. Recently, he had no where to go, we refused to take him, so he is reluctantly living with his mom. She chose to allow him to live there. He has no job and will not even try to look for one. He stays up all night and sleeps all day. He is very depressed and brings everyone down when he is around.

Anyway, I also have a 16 year old step son - his brother. He lives with us full time (doesn't want to go to his mom's). Anyway, he wants Matt, the 19 year old, to spend the night sometimes. I can understand him wanting a "friend" to spend the night. It's his brother. And once in awhile I don't mind. So far it is maybe one night a week. This weekend he spent the night twice, and now tonight he is supposedly spending the night again. Nobody asks me how I feel about it. And I am SO AGAINST enabling him and allowing him to continue doing nothing with his life, I find it difficult to allow him in my home because I feel like I am condoning his behavior by us all ignoring the fact he does NOTHING.

I am the sole bread-winner in the family - my husband was laid off then was on disability and hasn't found a job. So when he stays over, I'm paying for his food. This past weekend, he stole cigarettes from his dad. DH caught him and asked for them back, but didn't do much else. He didn't apologize either.

He definitely needs help, but refuses to see anyone. He has no health insurance. And while his mom is enabling him and allowing him to live with her rent free (in exchange to babysit her smaller children) there's really nothing we can do from our end. So how do I come to terms with him "spending the night" several nights a week? Isn't that basically just living with us part time without it being official?

I don't want to sound like a hard person, but I am very anxious and stressed out when he is around because I am so furious by his behavior, and everyone around him ignoring the issue and not doing anything. In theory, my husband agrees with everything I feel - but bottom line he wants him around.

I need a reality check. Am I way off base thinking this way? Do I need to find a way to be comfortable with him spending the night?

JustAnotherSM's picture

I think you need to put some conditions around SS19's overnight visits. Limit him to 2 nights per week. And maybe he has to do dishes or else he won't eat there from now on. Work with your DH to set reasonable expectations for him. If you keep your expectations low, you might get lucky and SS will begin to follow thru which in turn could help build his self confidence.

caregiver1127's picture

Spike - good for you - I am sure that your DW is very appreciative that you are not shoving some entitled little asshole brat down her throat - My DH is the same way - his son is graduating next year and has never worked a day in his life - I will say he gets highest honors every marking period and there is no other option but college for him - but his mother does not make him work and my DH is getting very pissed about it but can't do anything from 700 miles away - very frustrating for us to see this kid just playing video games and hanging out with his friends - my DH even offered SS an extra $3.00 for every hour he worked - I told him he could have offered $100.00 for every hour worked and he still would owe nothing - my SS is just lazy - the only good thing is when he comes to visit he sleeps to about 1PM so I don't have to see him much!!

As far as OP - don't let him back in until he gets help and how scary is it that she lets him watch her younger children - you owe this 19 year old nothing!!! I would say if the younger skid wants to see him GO TO YOUR MOTHER's and see him!!!

Eyes Wide Open's picture

HE wanted to quit school. HE doesn't want to work. He doesn't need to be under your roof! I do wonder, just where do these kids think they will find employment without an education when there are people with college degrees who can't find work! Most manual labor jobs require at least a high school diploma these days.

Your SS should have figured it out by now that no one wants him laying around their house, mooching off of them. You're not doing him any favors by letting him stay with you, and you're showing the other stepson that's it's ok to do what he's doing.

Time for him to go. If DH doesn't like it, he can take him downtown and get him into a GED class so he can join the military.

hismineandours's picture

I wouldnt let him stay over either. Do you normally let your 16 skid have friends stay the night 2-3 nights a week, feed them, let them steal your cigarettes, and mooch off of you? Why are you letting him? He's already shown you that this is a pattern for him-a way of life. If you really want to do something for him-get him an appt at your local community mental health center (fee is based on income)and take him to the appt.

Take him to an employment agency and drop him off. Drive him by the nearest homeless shelter and tell him if he wants to stay with you he needs to get inside and volunteer so that he can see what happends to folks that don't work.

irritatedgal's picture

I agree with should NOT be having the older kid over except MAYBE, oh, one night every couple of months?? If he wants to visit brother that badly he can go stay over where he lives!! After all he needs mommy time too, right?? Wink (not to mention you could use a break)....speaking of which, Easter break is coming up soon...surely mommy can handle both her kids for a single week, hmm? Smile

theaterlover74's picture

Unfortunately it is more of an issue that the kids can't handle being around their mom for a single night - let alone a full week! She doesn't treat them well. SS16 has stood up to her and just won't even go over there - just maybe on the rare occasion for a couple of hours. SS19 doesn't really have anywhere else to go because none of the rest of his friends will let him stay there. My SD14 lives with her mom during the week and with us on weekends - she tolerates her mom, and feels too guilty to leave her to live with us. But her relationship seems to be better with her mom than the boys'. I think the mom has an issue with men in general, including boys of her own. It's a sad situation.

theaterlover74's picture

Thank you everyone. I feel better knowing I'm not crazy feeling this way. Last night I told DH how I felt - we fought over the situation - he doesn't understand why I'm counting how often his son spends the night. I also explained that I didn't trust him. So we compromised - I said he could spend the night last night as long as he woke up in the morning and left when DH took SS16 for his school testing. I didn't feel that he needed to sleep in and be in the house without any of us there. DH respected that request this morning.

The military is not an option - SS would never join. He's totally against it.

irritatedgal's picture

Well sweetie it sounds like your stepson just wants a free ride and place to sleep-even if he does leave first thing in the morning that's really only a minor inconvenience-still getting free food and a roof over his head. He really should NOT be spending the night very often and you should tell your DH that allowing to is just enabling him. There is a good reason why older stepson's friends wont let him stay with them-he's worn out his welcome. He's had more than enough time to get his act together and find a job, and place to live-if being homeless was that big of an issue for him he would have found a home (we're dealing with quite similar crap with my 18 year old steppunk-who is homeless.

If DH needs an explanation, tell him that it looks to you like SS is looking for a free ride, and note how much food costs and how much extra he's costing you with just that alone! If he wants SS around, weelll he can spend time with him that does not involve him spending the night! It's your house too.

Too bad you cant force the military on SS because he's against it....maybe he'd then realize that life ain't about what you want and he'd learn discipline, huh?