You are here

Update: Adult stepson not working

reedle2021's picture

Update for adult stepson not working, original post 1/7, update 1/19


I wrote on here a few months ago about my adult SS (21 yo) who is unemployed, a pothead, and just hangs out with his dad all day. My husband is also unemployed, a pothead, and they both treat me like dirt.  My SS was supposed to “start college” last fall, but my SS backed out, “he doesn’t want to do the work it takes to get into college,” my husband reported SS told him that.  And so he and my SS continued to hang out like a couple of children all day, on my dime.  I get home from work and am generally ignored by both of them.  They work out together, get high together, cook meals together – truthfully, I find it to be unnatural – they act like a married couple.  It is an unhealthy, enmeshed, codependent relationship.  Yes, my husband does all the housework but I did not sign on to let his son mooch off of me.  My husband enables his son, sets no expectations, and I am not allowed to parent in any way.  My marriage is more like just having a roommate.  When the weather is warm, DH wants to take SS out in the yard "to play" and I am ridiculed and called names like "bum" and "fuddy duddy" if I don't joint them - no one seems to remember that I got up at 5 am to work a 10 hour day at a very demanding job. 


Currently, I have had a few job interviews, another one today and a few next week.  I have not yet found a job but the ones I am applying for are far from where I and the two adult toddlers live.  I decided it would not be wise to leave him and live in the same small town.  As soon as I accept a job offer somewhere, my next step will be to find a place to live in that area.  Once that is done, then all I have to do is squirrel money away until July (if I make it that long, I may leave sooner).  I have furniture picked out so when I get my new place, I can order it.   I have already prepared financially for the divorce, attorney is working on divorce papers for me.  I established a PO box where attorney documents and other important things can be sent now and after I leave if needed.  I will not have to pay DH any alimony as we have not been married long enough. 


The situation at home remains mostly unchanged.  I find myself feeling guilty plotting and planning this way.  But, I feel I’ve been left with no choice.  My SS did finally a few weeks ago get a “job,” but it is through a family member on his mom’s side, a sales-based income (so not any reliable paycheck), and so far in 3 weeks, he has worked a grand total of maybe 20 hours.  My husband is like, “I’m going to help him sign up for classes,” he told me this yesterday.  Well, I have no clue what he is talking about as there are no colleges enrolling right now, SS must take ACT (was homeschooled) before any university will accept him, and then there’s the issue of cost.  I will NOT be paying for his schooling, period.  Even if I wasn’t leaving, I wouldn’t pay for it as this kid as burned me more than once (not paying for his cell phone bill as promised, getting his car stuck in mud and needing it towed, promised to pay me back for the tow and never did).  It’s not the money, it’s the principle.  This kid doesn’t follow through on anything.  He has been enrolled in online classes a few years ago the fall/spring after he graduated high school – he then flunked out both semesters and then promptly got fired from the job that was allowing him to go to this online program (for free).  He got fired due to attendance.  So, I won’t be paying for ANYTHING.  But, anyway, I don’t know what classes my husband was referring to and he didn’t elaborate.  I wanted to badly to say “your son is an adult, if he really wants to go to school, he can sign up himself.”


Several weeks ago (right before SS got this “job”), my husband and SS had a huge argument about SS’s laziness.  I have never heard my husband this irate (I don’t know what started it, they were in SS’s bedroom and I couldn’t hear everything).  My husband was screaming at his son, tell him “you’re making me look bad” and “you haven’t worked in 18 months” and “you have everything handed to you.”  It gave me a glimmer of hope.  But alas, SS pulled the tears and the guilt trip about how he is “anxious about being around people” and some other bullsh*t excuses.  It didn’t take long before my husband also became tearful and they were in the room, apologizing and all but making out (I’m being hateful, they weren’t really making out lol, but I think you all know what I’m saying here).  So, in the end, my husband is falling all over himself, kissing SS’s ass after the argument and being super nice to SS.  So, nothing got solved by that whole thing.  It was dumb and I don’t know why DH even bothers raising his voice or verbalizing any disappointment to SS when he refuses to set any expectations with SS.  DH never told me what started the argument exactly (from what I could hear, SS was using what little money he got on first paycheck to purchase something irresponsible for his car – yes, the car that his mother has had to pay insurance and gas for because SS has no money).  If I ask about what the argument was about, I’m sure DH will be pissed and tell me it’s none of my business.  And it seems, the nicer DH is to SS, the ruder he is to me.  He’s just dismissive of me, doesn’t interact with me, again, it’s like having a roommate.  There’s no affection, intimacy, no privacy even.  Then I found out too the things I have told my husband about in confidence (work issues, my niece, etc), he has told his son about.  I was so angry.  My niece has had some trouble and what does DH do?  He goes and tells his son EVERYTHING.  I wanted to tell him NOT to tell his son everything I tell him, but I know he would be enraged if I told him that, even if I said it nicely.  When I acted shocked and offended that DH had told SS things I told him in private conversation, my husband got offended, defended telling his son everything and was like, “no one cares about the things you say anyway.” 


It’s nauseating to watch the dynamic between these two adult toddlers.  At this time, my husband is still convinced his loafer son will go to college.  I know he won’t and even if he goes, he’ll flunk out.  My SS finally went to his mother’s house for over a week and during that time, my husband did a complete turnaround.  We actually acted like a married couple, almost like newlyweds.  There was intimacy, conversation, affection, I mean, it was amazing.  Again, I got my hopes up.  Then his son comes back (just last night) and it’s right back to me and DH being like roommates.  Also, DH said after that big argument that SS will not be smoking dope anymore, but he still does. 


I am sad and angry.  I was hoping things would turn around, to be honest.  But it looks like I will be proceeding with my plan.  I’m trying to tolerate things for now until I can get everything in place.  I won’t lie, when SS was gone, I began to be hopeful that our marriage could be saved.  It could be, if DH would parent his son instead of enable.  But, I don’t see that ever changing. 


Anyway, that’s the latest.  I welcome any advice or support of any kind.  I am just so sad and find myself wanting to hang on to the marriage, but when I write everything out like I just did, I realize that it’s best if I continue the course of getting out.




Winterglow's picture

As you've spoken to your landlord and he won't let you out of your lease, and as it seems to me that neither your DuH or his son are on the lease, please keep your landlord informed of when you'll be leaving so that he can have the squatters removed. Also,if you can schedule time with your landlord before you go to take photos or film the state of the place as you leave it so that he can go after your DuH and his son for any damage they might feel like causing.

reedle2021's picture

Yes, my only way out is if the two adult toddlers re-sign a lease, which I don't think they'll do as it would release me from any financial obligation.  Rent is actually paid up through July, so worst case scenario, I have to pay two more months after that (lease is up Oct 1).  But I'm fine too with those two getting evicted.  I can always settle up with landlord later.  I just will NOT pay for them to live there once I am gone.  They need to fend for themselves - not my problem.

I've been taking photos and videos of the walls, basement, etc, so that will be done by the time I leave.  Like you said, that way if those two cause any damage, it'll be on them.  I plan to meet with landlord again and tell them what I'm doing so they aren't surprised when August and September rent isn't paid.  Hopefully they will just go after those two as I will be able to prove I no longer live there.  I'll be discussing this with attorney as well. 

Cover1W's picture

Good for you for planning and getting out soon. Hopefully you can make it happen faster!

He won't change and you know it.

reedle2021's picture

Thank you, yes, I'm going to try to make it happen quicker.  He won't change.  Any time I start to feel sorry for those two, I need to remind myself how awful he's been to me, especially in presence of his son. 

JRI's picture

I know it's so tough during this waiting period but you're on the right track and acting sensibly.  Your instincts about DH and SS are right on.  Be careful and take care of yourself.  Please continue to update us, you have many folks wishing you the best.

reedle2021's picture

Thank you - I'll definitely keep everyone updated.  I am so glad I have some support here.  :)  I am being careful in executing my escape plan.  I'm leaving sooner than I thought, I can't make it til July.  

ESMOD's picture

It has to be incredibly frustrating to watch all this knowing the outcome of leaving is the only way to go... But.. I am guessing the fact that you have a good and solid plan gives you some ability to view things more detached... I hate it for you that your landlord is being a pain about this and not willing to try to fill the spot.  It seems like in this market he wouldn't have a horrible time finding another renter right?  and if you would be willing to pay some reasonable penalty for early termination.. why can't he tell you that he will be looking to fill the spot and give you 30 days notice and you pay 30 days penalty for early termination.. he would MAKE an extra month of rent that way???

reedle2021's picture

Thank you and yes, it is frustrating.  But, yes, having a plan has helped me be more detached, though I started to fall back into the trap when SS was gone and DH was actually nice - but, it didn't last, I had a gut feeling it wouldn't last, but I was hoping I was wrong. But, it came as no surprise when DH reverted back to his old self once his manchild came back from his mother's house.  I can't help but feel bad about the situation sometimes, just human nature I guess, but I keep reminding myself how nasty DH has been to me and how humiliating it is to be treated this way, especially in front of his son.  And I think about how his son is just as rude to me. That makes it easier to proceed. 

I am going to put things in the landlord's court.  I'll let them know I am moving out.  I know if they relisted that house they would easily find a renter.  I just don'tknow how that would work since DH and SS are on the lease with me and would still be living there.  I guess landlord could go after them for $?  I am going to discuss this with my attorney for more direction. 

And, who knows, once I tell DH I'm out (like when I am literally packing up my stuff to leave), he might go ahead and sign the lease and leave me off, then I'll be in the clear.  Either way, for sure, both of the adult toddlers will have to get full time jobs to be able to afford to pay the rent.  My DH has expressed his disdain at working for other people - he's about to have a rude awakening soon.  Smile

CajunMom's picture

don't rule out your DH and his lazy son actually signing a new lease. My neice was in a similar situation. When she told the lazy ass (with a horrid kid) SO she was leaving and he had to sign the new lease, he actually did it! She did loose her portion of the deposit but as she said, well worth it. Definitely take pics of the place before you leave. If you aren't off the lease, the landlord can go after all of you for damages beyond the deposit. As for the rent, while you are in a lease, a landlord MUST mitigate his/her damages, meaning he/she must actively be seeking new tenants. So, there is a great chance you would not be liable for all the months left on the lease. 

I'd also consider another visit with the landlord....not giving any details of your plans but ask again to be removed from the lease due to XYZ and you are now not sure of your safety in the home, once they find out you are moving. Anything you can do to soften that landlord's heart. As someone who owns a rental property, I'd never let a female stay in such a mess. Any landlord can do a 30 eviction due to, try talking to him/her again.

Best to you. Stay on task. You are doing GREAT!

reedle2021's picture

Yes, I think DH might re-sign lease so as to try to protect his manchild.  I am going to get in touch with the landlord asap to discuss this situation. 

Thank you for your support - the kind folks, including yourself, on this site have helped me gain some perspective and I finally know now that all these years, I was not in the wrong and my gut instinct that something wasn't right between DH and SS was correct. 

Ispofacto's picture

Please ask your lawyer what you can do about your lease.  If you talk to your landlord before you go, he might discuss it with your H, but if you just skip out and let him evict your H afterwards, he and SS can do a lot of damage to the unit, which would come back on you, regardless of how many pictures you take.  It might be best to stop paying rent a month or two before you leave, so the landlord can evict all of you at the same time.


CajunMom's picture

I'm not one to advocate not paying your bills but I think this would be my option. Stop paying the rent. And you all get evicted at the same time so damages can be minimized with you being there. Definitely ask your attorney but unless he says different, stop paying. Let landlord evict and then once you are all out, settle up with the landlord. 

reedle2021's picture

I am leaving sooner rather than later.  Some things happened yesterday that made me realize, I have got to get out now.  I can't wait.  I'll give the landlord some warning and actually, the rent is paid up through July.  I will just tell the landlord that there are two grown men living there who won't work, so they can either go after them to re-sign new lease or they can be evicted after July.  If I have to pay August and September rent, I could but I really don't want to because that would be me continuing to support these two adult toddlers and they aren't my responsibility.  But I'm going to leave now and let the adult toddlers and the landlord figure it out without my help.  I don't owe anyone anything at this point. 

reedle2021's picture

I'm on it, I'm currently waiting on a call back from him.  I'm in contact with the landlord too, waiting for a call back.  I don't intend to pay rent after July (rent is already paid through July).  I too worry that those two will cause damage to the home after I leave just to be spiteful.

Birchclimber's picture

Don't be fooled by your DH's love-bombing when SS isn't around.  He probably knows that his bad behaviour has him on thin-ice with you, so he's trying to mitigate damages when his cohort isn't around to question his loyalties.  I view his weekend lovey-dovey behaviour as an act of manipulation to keep you under that roof so that the bills will continue to get paid by you.  But, from the sounds of things, you already have that figured out. 
Stay on course and don't be fooled into thinking that things are or can be better than they are right now.  What you are seeing IS your reality.  How long do you want to live there?  I think that you deserve better....
Find it, and keep us posted. 

sandye21's picture

So good to hear that you decided to file for divorce now.  It will get the ball rolling and your DH will have less of a chance to 'love bomb'.  Brichclimber is right - it will NOT get better until you get these two leaches out.  It worried me a bit when I read you had 'hope'.  For what?  If you give in to 'hope' the same situation will be back in two months or less.  It only puts off the inevitable. 

Another thing to look out for is that DH may find someplace else for SS to live.  He may think that it will placate you so you drop the divorce.  Please don't fall for it.  Your REAL problem has been DH all along.  SS is merely a 'side appendage'.  Focus on your future and how you want to live the rest of your life.

Keep on going forward with that divorce.  THAT is your 'hope'.

reedle2021's picture

Agreed.  I can't believe I had a glimmer of hope for this relationship - I know husband and his manchild won't change. 

I don't want to live here anymore at this point.  I'm going to try to leave sooner 0 some things happened yesterday and I know I can't make it til July even.  I just can't do this anymore.

Thank you!

sandye21's picture

Glad to hear you are leaving now.  I can tell you from experience that if you allow them to stay there after you file for divorce it gets worse with every day that passes.

My exDH was a pain in the a$$ before I filed but the situation became unlivable for the month he stayed in my house before the divorce was final.  It sounds as if your DH is a narcissist as mine is, and they do NOT like being rejected.  I would recommend going to the Post Office and removing your DH and his son from your address, and advise them to get a new one after you do so.  I asked my DH to remove himself from our PO Box and physical address, but instead he forwarded all mail, both the Post Office box and my physical address, to an unknown address in another state.  That was in the first part of November, and I am still trying to sort it out with federal inspectors.

reedle2021's picture

Agreed.  I don't want him to know what's going on until I'm walking out the door - he would make my life hell if I stayed after I filed and/or told him I'm leaving.  I definitely think my DH is a narcissist.  I already have a PO box of my own, but will take your advice and go to Post Office to have them removed from my address. 

Your advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Kaylee's picture


You deserve better, so much better.

Your deadbeat asshole H tells his son things you have told him in confidence, then turns around and says to you "Noone cares about what you say anyway"!!!!!! 

How could you even be intimate with this loser? It seems you may have lost your self respect. You need to find it again and kick these two losers to kingdom come.

PLEASE forge ahead with your plans to leave, ASAP!

reedle2021's picture

I do deserve better.  Some things happened yesterday and I am planning to leave asap.  I can't wait until July.  At this point, I don't care what the landlord does or says, I'll let them know that I've made my decision and am leaving before lease is up.  I don't care what happens to DH and SS.  They will either work or be homeless as the gravy train/safety net is now leaving. 

My DH acts like he's god's gift to women.  But, I don't think many women would put up with what I have put up with.  I think he'll find himself having only his loafer son to hang on to.  In a way, I feel bad for SS but SS also has no balls and will not take any initiative in his life to be independent and happy.  Codependency is a horrible thing.

Kaylee's picture

Great, you sound very positive and determined!

Keep up the momentum. Very soon those two no hopers will be out of your life forever. 

Keep us posted with updates!

Rags's picture


Why is it that the SS being a dead beat pot head POS is so revolting g to you, yet you don't have the same opinion of your dead beat pot head POS dumbass "husband"?

SS leaves, you get all filled with hope, among other things,  your DH remains  a revolting POS, has made zero effort to change, and you choose to not see the truth that this nauseating POS  keePs peeing on your leg. Why?

That he thinks his kid is making him look bad is laughable.

Wake up and knock it off.  You are your own worst enemy in all of this.  

Take care of yourself. Please.

reedle2021's picture

I do think my husband is a pothead loser.  I do.  And he has taught his son to be the same way.  I have no hope at this point for our marriage.  I had a glimmer of hope when his son was gone but I realize that DH is just being nicey nice when his son is gone to try to keep me hanging on.  The glimmer was fleeting and I know having any hope for this marriage is senseless. 

Some things happened yesterday and I am leaving sooner rather than later.  I will be taking care of myself and no one else at this point.  DH and SS can either work or be homeless.  I simply don't care any more. 

reedle2021's picture

The state we live in has medical marijuana, for which my DH has a card.  However, my SS has no such card.  DH could actually be in trouble and lose his card for giving SS marijuana.  Marijuana is NOT legal in this state recreationally. 

I've been toying with the idea of turning DH in.  I think I will but will make sure I am gone first.  DH has no friends and doesn't interact with any of his family or mine - only his son.  So he will know I was the one who turned him in. 

CajunMom's picture

Can you share this with the landlord and ask him for an immediate eviction based on that illegal activity? Or, with your attorney's approval, use it as a "threat" to get what you need out of this mess, ie divorce papers signed asap, etc. The BM here did something illegal and our attorney told her attorney if she didn't sign what DH had presented, he was going to turn her in for federal fraud. 

Just a thought to consider.

reedle2021's picture

That's a good thought to consider!  I have considered both letting landlord know and attorney as well.  I will talk to both about this.  I know for a fact DH would lose that card if the granting health agency knew he was giving his son marijuana and he might face legal consequences as well.  If my attorney and landlord say there's nothing they can do, I can always tell DH myself that if he fights me, I'll make one call to the powers that be about his card and giving product to his son.