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How do I get my SS out of my house?

dont-buy-it's picture

Situation... 30 year old, 2 years sober alcoholic, unemployed stepson with a college degree has lived with us since August 2012. My wife and I get along fine until the subject of her son comes up. He was tossed from his last halfway house due to aromatherapy irritating the other residents. She is currently giving him money for everything - gas so he can go see his girlfriend 30 miles away everyday, fast food, cell phone, cigarettes, medicine, whatever he needs. She's retired, fixed income and not rich. He has it made. A warm bed, a 30 minute shower every day, nice clothes. He has no idea he is poor and homeless.
My wife fears he will relapse if she confronts him and I know he is well aware of her fear. He stays up all night and sleeps all day. I'm ready to shoot him. He is an only child and it shows. I love his mother but I'm about ready to blow up (as I've done once already when he was still drinking) How do I confront him to set limits she's afraid to like get a job by February, move out by March, pay your own way by June, stop taking 30 minute showers everyday without paying the water bill, turn down the space heater when you are a little cold, etc.
He is staying sober, I can say that much good about him...but little else. He's been fired from his last three jobs for various reasons, one for alcohol, once for taking too may smoke breaks and the last was because he left work upset that he didn't get a raise he asked for. He is living the high life every homeless person dreams of.

forgotten wife's picture

well, you could start by telling her, "he needs to...get a job by February, move out by March, pay his own way by June, stop taking 30 minute showers everyday without paying the water bill, turn down the space heater when he's a little cold, etc., or...i'm moving out. i'm not in love with HIM."

3familiesIn1's picture

Well, as for getting him out, sigh, I fear I will be in the same situation in due time - my DH was explaining to me why its normal to live at home until you marry the other night where he grew up. This was on a comment I made that his 40 something friend was dating a woman in her late 30s who still lived with her parents just because she had no reason to move out. How my DH feels that is perfectly fine - I had nightmares about exactly what you posted that night. The skids never expected to leave the house....

So no advice on that part...

But the showers, that is easier - simply start turning off the hot water heater. You must know when he approximately showers - or turn it way down - doubt he will last that long when it gets cold very quickly. Just make sure to turn it back up in time for your DW to shower - lol

hismineandours's picture

You may want to let her know that a HUGE part of recovery is becoming a responsible adult. She is assisting him in NOT reaching his full potential. She is allowing him to live in irresponsible lifestyle which is going to trigger a relapse much faster than a working, taking care of a home, paying bills (you know being responsible, staying busy so you dont have time to think of relapse). Irresponsibility is considering an relapse behavior-it is what you see just preceding the actual relapse. Sounds as if he is just a step away at all times-but she is not preventing him from relapse SHE is actually helping push him closer to having one.

Perhaps you need to schedule a couples therapy session for the two of you with an addictions specialist.

2Tired4Drama's picture

Good advice on couples therapy w/addictions specialist. However, make sure the therapist understands what the goal is and doesn't wind up facilitating or mollycoddlying the SS staying in the same groove he is in now.

If your DW does not agree to such therapy, then ask her how she will support herself and her son on her fixed, retirement income. He's not the only one that can wind up poor and homeless.

Sounds to me like you are financially supplementing this situation because without it, they probably would not be able to live in the fashion they are right now. Maybe a dose of this kind of reality may make mom realize that she is sacrificing her own life, happiness and security by doting on her "boy".

He's not going to be successful at ANYTHING until she cuts the umbilical cord. That's why he gets fired, kicked out, etc. He doesn't have to be responsible in the most basic ways - like figuring out how to put a roof over his head and food in his gut. He knows mommy will bail him out every time.

30 years old, college educated and the only success he's had so far is to stay sober? Damn that is ridiculous!

Orange County Ca's picture

Your problem of course is not the kid. Are you ready to take the risk of telling her its the kid or you?

If so tell her what you're going to give him a deadline and one of you will be leaving on or before that date. Then give him the deadline.

Perhaps a half-way measure will work by paying the first months rent on a one room apartment, not one bedroom, one of those bachelor places. A few hundred dollars a month. This might ease her fears somewhat.

Also get books off or another bookseller about dealing with recovering alcoholics and adult kids who won't leave home. In both cases the primary problem is the person allowing the alcoholic child to stay on. The enabler.

oldone's picture

You do what I did. Let the spouse know that they are free to live with worthless bum alcoholic SS forever BUT it will not be in MY home.

I don't even have to tell DH to send SS away. He knows he's got a good thing with me and is not going to let SS ruin it.

shes driving me crazy in my retirement's picture

Seems recovering addicts have a huge control over others who are concerned for them. Never had to deal with it so I don't know. I guess it would be real hard for a parent to do....if SS goes back on drinking, etc., she will blame herself.

Perhaps, OP, you could start by setting limits on his lounging around, tell him its time to kick in by getting a job and paying rent for the food, water, shelter, etc.

Sometimes someone moves in and you can't get rid of them. FWIW, my girlfriend's hubby had a nephew that moved to where they lived when the company (both her husband and the nephew worked for same company) relocated. Her husband offered to let the nephew (40 something at the time and divorced) stay with them until he found his way around and got an apartment. Of course, like a lot of men, he never asked her. This went on for 4 years! The guy didn't pay rent, didn't buy groceries, didn't do any housework and whenever there were weekend projects planned, always had to go away for the weekend (back to the city to check on his mother or ???) She told me how the shite hit the fan one weekend when they went to the show and the nephew went along. He was waiting for her husband to pay for his ticket!!! My friend told him right then and there the gravy train was over, he had 2 months to get out of the house, that 4 years was long enough and he could start paying HER rent (as her husband didn't charge him or want to charge him). Guy's response to her was that it didn't cost them much to have him around!!!! But once the gravy train stopped and she started insisting that he pull some weight around the house, rack a few leaves up in the yard, etc., he found his own place quite quickly.

Shannon61's picture

Indeed. Sonny boy has it far to easy. When I moved in w/DH and SD (25), she had no chores at all, was paying less than $100 a month for rent, didn't pay any utilities, didn't buy any food, detergent, etc. DH was just happy to have her here.

Her plan was to finish school and move out after she started working. It took her over 3 years. Once she finished and started working, she was in no hurry to move out because she had it far too easy here. And DH didn't want her to go. The coddling was pathetic.

So I pulled the gravy train into the station! I made him charge her a real rent. I rode him about her laziness and messiness, so he got on her every chance he got. I forbade him from buying her food since she was working and could buy her own food. He was no longer allowed to bring home her favorite food when we went to dinner . .(what are we 10 years old?). I had to constantly remind DH that she was an adult and responsible for her own meals. I explained that it was his job to teach her to become responsible. .not take care of her forever. And to top it off, SD was evil and mean-spirited to me, so she had to go. She moved out sooner than she wanted . . but not soon enough for me. SD almost destroyed our new marriage.

Get SS some counseling, and make things so difficult that he won't want to stay any longer. Make him run for the hills. Get him out of your house before he destroys your marriage. Good luck!

dont-buy-it's picture

Thank you all very much. I needed to vent but I also needed to hear what I already knew - it's time to fish or cut bait. We've talked about couples counselling but didn't think about the addictions specialist aspect. She knows she enabling...just doesn't know how to be tough enough to do anything about it.

thumper50's picture

Smile I so feel your pain! I have the same problem, although I will say my SS is only 18, but I see it coming because of how it is now. His BM was emotionally abusive, and she also had us in court for 12 years, just torturing my husband, claiming abuse, etc. Finally about three years ago, the court slapped her with a no-contact order. She's making an appearance in our lives again, and my SS wants nothing to do with her. That was just an aside to the real problem and maybe a reason as to why.

All my SS does is play video games. He's 18, goes to an alternative high school because he refused to do homework in regular high school. He's supposed to be working part-time half of the day. He's doing nothing. His dad coddles him because of the hell he went through with his mother, but he's not helping him! He doesn't have to lift a finger, just waits for the next meal. I've been banned from Day 1 having any authority. If I try or I speak my mind to what he should do, my husband and I have a huge blowout. Luckily my situation, he's younger than your situation, but I still feel it will be bad. Oh, and he smokes cigarettes now (not in the house) and he reeks all the time and it comes right into my office. I just want to puke. No disrespect if you're a smoker.

I know exactly how you feel!! I feel trapped. I would even separate for a bit to send a message (we have two younger children of our own) but I work from home as a closed captioner and have three modem lines, phone lines, etc., so my work is a huge set-up and not easily moved. I would be really interested in hearing if you gave the ultimatum and what happened.