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Need some advice on 35 year old stepson, please

BrettT's picture

Hello. I have a 35 year old stepson that is in jail at the moment for meth and some other charges. His cousin is a lawyer and is helping him legally for free. Before he got locked up, he sold 2 houses he had and his vehicle, so he basically has nothing now. I had gotten him a job, which he blew off after becoming a meth head. His mother wants to help him, of course. The problem is, he said he needs $80 a week to eat in jail (which is bs, they feed 3 times a day). She had him move in once before, trying to "help" him and I told him to get out when I caught him smoking meth in the house. I know she's been giving him the money and I think she'll want him to stay here again when he gets out. I love my wife and we rarely argue, but I feel like enough is enough. I don't want him here. I will honestly say that I don't like him, I've told him that, too. He's a manipulator and a user. I think my wife feels she didn't do the best job raising him, but c'mon, he's 35 years old! I don't want to lose my wife or move out of our home. Why should I have to start over? Shouldn't he be the one to start over?

Any advise is appreciated.

Thank you,
Brett, OK

sandye21's picture

He's 35 years old - time to take responsibility for his life. There are all sorts of programs/ half-way houses out there to accommodate his needs. Your wife is placing her son first instead of the marriage. Start saving up for a possible exit plan. It's not you.

notasm3's picture

That $80 is for drugs, cigarettes, etc. not food. Just say no.

If he shows up call the cops as he most likely will have drugs on him.

Merry's picture

When my SS left Rehab #1 the counselors there told my DH that the worst place for SS would be living with family and in the same situation he was when he entered rehab. So, what does DH do? He brings SS to live with us again, back in the same environment. No surprise, SS started using again. (He's been through Rehab #2 and clean for 3 years. Very proud of him.)

Do some research on this. See what professionals (counselors, addiction specialists, probation officers, etc.) recommend. Sometimes "helping" is actually enabling. Parents by their nature what to help and give and nurture, but that could be the exact wrong thing to do.

IF your SS moves in, there has to be an exit plan and understanding about the temporary nature of the living arrangement, along with an understanding that if drugs are found he's out immediately. But I hope he doesn't have to live with you at all.

Steppedonnomore's picture

There is a difference between "helping" and "enabling." Your wife is doing the latter. You really can't help someone who is still active in their addiction. The addiction rules their lives completely. I would find a marriage counselor who has experience with addiction issues and make an appointment. If your wife won't go with you, go alone. Stand your ground about not letting him move back into your home. If necessary, separate your funds so that the money she gives her adult son doesn't affect you. Take care of you. I wish you the best.

Steptococcal's picture

I can completely understand BM wanting to help her son and feeling responsible in some way for his addiction. However, I'm with others who believe giving cash and allowing him into the home is enabling rather than helping. There are so many ways to show an addict in recovery loving support however money is definitely not one of them. I don't think returning to BM's home is one either. It could be a trigger so I would encourage looking into supportive transition housing or a treatment facility. Best of luck to you and your wife. I'm so sorry you're in this situation.

ESMOD's picture

I think a half-way house with access to counseling will be infinitely more helpful than at home where he has nothing to do.

I would stand firm as the last time he was allowed this soft landing, he abused that privilege.

Maybe some alanon classes for you and your wife to see how helping people can actually lead to further destruction in their lives?

SugarSpice's picture

i thought of enabling as well.

any man who is that old who have chosen to ruin his life and is given additional chances by his family is being enabled.

we had a family friend who was an alcoholic. he was fired from several good jobs, including those found for him by his family. in the end, he became unemployed. his family just kept giving him money. thats enabling if there ever was.

Goodluck's picture

Brett from OK:

In your quite moments take a hard look at your wife's family history. I would bet my last 25cents that this behavior of cleaning UP everyone's mess "blood is thicker than water' and WE are FAMILY, WE stick together no matter what....has been going on for the past generation, maybe two past.

Your wife's mindset will not change--even IF you were to say to her "its either him or me", she will pick her crack head son over you. That is how some families are.

The history of on going legal/drug problems were before YOU married her and will continue in the future. I can not tell you how many times a family that I have knowledge of, the aging parents keep bailing their offender kids out of jail and/or paying their bills. One of the kids still lives in the home and adult kid IS AARP age. Wouldn't doubt if 2nd mortgages were used and retirement is nearly gone.

In most states BEFORE release from your jail term you must provide proof of a residence and WHO will be responsible for you, THAT includes financial responsibility. Keep in mind your step son does NOT have a job therefore can not support himself. But your wife and YOU can if you stay in the home.
His probation may require a job---look into that.

I am sorry your dealing with this mess at this age in your life. You may be better off finding a condo or 1bedroom apartment away from this train wreck. It will ruin the peace you deserve.

still learning's picture

When my brother was in jail he only got fed one meal on the weekends. My mom who is on SSI would send him $40 a month to help supplement his meals. He had to put it into his account and spend the money in the "jail store" and bought lots of snacks. My brother went in pretty husky and came out of incarceration very skinny.

I can see how it would bother you if she was sending him your money but If your wife is using her own money to support him just let it go. Now is the time to discuss where ss35 is going to live when he gets out. It sounds like your wife does not have the skills to actually "help" him but may only enable him further. If possible get some counseling with your wife and help her work out a plan on how to best support her in supporting her son when he gets out.

DH and I had to set a plan in place for ss32. Jail was not the issue but pure entitled laziness and wanting to live off daddee indefinitely. DH knows that if ss shows up at our door "homeless" again (this happened several times in the first 2 years of our marriage) that he is to immediately take him to a hotel and he will pay for a week of lodging and give him money for food. It is an expense but my marriage and peace of mind is worth it.