piscesjavagirl's picture

18 year old SS issues

Ok folks...my SS just finished his first year of college. My DH and I got married last October. The SS is living with us for the summer (he sees his BM about once a month). He's working full time.

I've asked him to help out around the house. Nothing...or if so...eye rolling. I've asked the DH to talk to him...he has, but SS acts as if he knows everything and doesn't listen.

He doesn't come home after work (until late) and seems to expect there to be food waiting. He doesn't call either to let us know he's going to be late. I text him to find out if he's coming home, when, who he's with, etc.

When the DH and I moved him in here for the summer we realized that his BM had been bringing clothes (piles of them) to him every time she came to visit him. After a few days of living in our new place, I smelled something from the SS room and realized all the piles of clothes were dirty. I asked him to please do his laundry. After a couple days I couldn't stand it so my DH and I went through the piles of clothes and washed them all. 11 loads worth. 121 dirty shirts, 27 pairs of cargo shorts...and that was just the dirty stuff!!!

I'm concerned that his not coming home is due to the fact he's partying with friends (drugs & alcohol). He lost his driver's license due to issues relating to that.

I'm frustrated, because I feel as if the SS expects us to just do whatever he wants us to.

He's smart, has a good heart...but just doesn't think - and often I feel as if I can't trust him!

Any suggestions on how to get him to help out? How to get him to be more responsible? How to deal with the frustration of it all.

He basically is using our new home to crash when it's convenient.

I'm having surgery in a couple weeks and my DH has a vision disability and I can't expect him to do everything. So frustrating.

Sorry this is so disjointed, I'm just at my wits end.

Orange County Ca's picture

Well you're making it all

Well you're making it all possible. I would have put that pile of laundry on the back porch. He'll wash it when he needs it.

Food waiting? What kind of fool are you?

Wash his dishes? Let em pile up until there are none left and wash only the ones you immediately need for your own use. He'll have to do the same. And that goes for pots and pans also. I know it runs against your grain but this is war.

Better yet - change the locks. At this point you're paying his expenses and doing his work in order to receive abuse in return. Hello!!!!!!


I've observed humans for 70 years and dogs for 10. I prefer the dogs.

piscesjavagirl's picture

I'm making it possible? I

I'm making it possible?

I would have gladly just left it, however, this isn't our house. I didn't need the smell seeping into everything. It's an old house and it's our temporary home. My DH and I are care taking here for the next year or so.

I don't have food waiting...but it seems as if he expects it.

The dishes have to get washed regularly. This is an old house and there have been ant issues if food/dirty dishes are left around. So they can't pile up.

Again...changing the locks...not an option. We are caretakers...not owners.

herewegoagain's picture

Your DH needs to set up some

Your DH needs to set up some rules with him or get rid of him. However, you state that you are having surgery and that your DH has a vision disability. What exactly are you asking him to do besides clean his room and laundry? Are the other chores things that you would normally do but now that you are having surgery can't do? What about his dad? I think it is reasonable for him to cook for himself, clean after himself, do his own laundry, etc...but if you are asking him to do more because his dad has a disability and you are going into surgery, then I can see where he could be resentful. Who would do things for you if he wasn't around?


piscesjavagirl's picture

We are asking him to do

We are asking him to do things such as taking out the garbage (which I won't be able to do after surgery), lawn mowing (we have a riding lawnmower) and just general cleaning up...like you make a mess you clean it up (especially in the bathroom or kitchen). My DH would do the things if he wasn't around.

SS has long hair. After he showers there is always a mess of it in the drain...but I only realize it when I'm showering and nothing is draining because there is so much hair in there. Then it's a nasty mess of soap scum and hair to clean out so it drains properly.

piscesjavagirl's picture

He has a HUGE room. My DH

He has a HUGE room. My DH and I are taking care of my Aunt & Uncle's house. The home was left to them when my grandmother passed away, but they live out of state. Anyway...it's a big old farm house...with LOTS of space. His closet could literally fit a single mattress in it.

Rags's picture

So, you rewarded him for

So, you rewarded him for being a sloppy smelly swine by doing his laundry. Really? Puzzled

Next time try 50gal garbage bags, fill them with his nasty crap, seal them then put them on the curb a few days before garbage day and tell him where they are and that they will not re-enter your home until they are clean. Then give him a Google Maps print out to the nearest laundry mat. Hint: Many laundry mats have wash-and-fold service and charge by the pound. He can drop off all of his laundry on his way to work and pick up clean folded laundry on his way home and he can pay for it.

You and DH have already done his laundry .... NOW BILL HIM FOR THE TIME AND MATERIALS!!!!! Not at some low rate either. Charge him your equivelent hourly rate for your profession. BOTH OF YOU!!!!!

And as you implement this going forward don't forget to bill him for the trash bags and your's and DH's time to bale his shit........

A parent is an example, mentor, confidante, advocate and disciplinarian, not a buddy.-Rags
If you can't listen and learn then you will have to feel.-WLR
If you want to be a part of my life then use your head or STFU and do what you are told.-Rags

jennaspace's picture

Wow, that could have been me

Wow, that could have been me 6 years ago. I had read over and over in step books that my H. needed to confront SD not me. I wish I had talked directly with her more because he wouldn't. I also felt insecure confronting her, I have since gotten much better with this.

When DH and I were married only 10 months we asked sd20 to move in with us to avoid living with her 32 year old boyfriend. She had a bout of mental illness and she truly was lonely (she could have lived w/mom or gma though). I wanted to support her so asked her to move in with us. I was one to work 2-3 jobs and worked my way through college. I had no idea how lazy some people can be. It truly never occurred to me that she would feel she had no responsibility to contribute to the household financially or with cleaning, cooking etc..

She went into my makeup and used it, almost never cleaned, had her boyfriend over (6 yrs younger than I was) who ate the food I shopped for and sometimes cooked all while I was pregnant with a terrible pregnancy (heart issues). I did not know her at all when she moved in and it was really uncomfortable.

Sadly, she probably would have done some work if my H. had the needed parenting skills to ask her to do so (he's terrible at confrontation though he's a good father in other ways).

I wished I would have sat down with her back then and told the truth (since my DH wouldn't).

You may want to consider spelling out very specific rules with consequences (like I do my 5 yr old). Before you throw his clothes to the curb you might want to say "you have xx days to get your 10 loads of laundry done, if it is not done the clothes will be bagged and set out to the curb" Ideally, this will all come from you H and not you!

As for the hair... if the hair is not cleaned out every time, you will no longer be able to use our shower. He can shower elsewhere.

Warn him that if he does not clean dishes they will be put in his room and if they are not cleaned within a day, he will not be allowed to eat at the house for xx number of days.

spell out the consequences so he knows it's his choice. I say to my son when he refused to pick up his mess "you can leave your toys on the floor, but I will pick them up and then they will go in the garage where you won't see them for awhile".

You may want to read the book "Have a New Kid by Friday" by Dr. Kevin Leman. It's pretty helpful with this type of thing.

I know this is a tough time having been there myself! It's such a challenge to navigate. I hope all the suggestions posted in this thread help a little!

piscesjavagirl's picture

Jennaspace, thank you for the

Jennaspace, thank you for the suggestions. I appreciate it. I'm totally new at this parenting thing. I had a hysterectomy in December (I don't have any kids of my own) due to complications and longer recovery time, I lost my job. It's been a long, hard road and I'm tired of doing everything around here. Just because I'm unemployed right now doesn't mean I have to do all the work and upkeep on the house.

Anyway...I think since the hubby has off tomorrow, I will sit down with him and set up rules, chore schedules and consequences and then go from there.

It is tough...but I will get through it. Thank you again. I REALLY appreciate it!

cpreston's picture

I’m going to speak to you as

I’m going to speak to you as someone who is going through the same thing… only my stepson is now 27 and still lives at home, with his girlfriend and their baby.. YUP! They still don’t do anything and it causes MAJOR Problems between my husband and I… I really ‘expect’ them to help?? They’re “rarely” there… we provide a place for them to live and all the expenses that go with it, yet it’s like pulling teeth to get my SS to even cut the grass. They also have mountains of laundry up in their room…

I did the same thing as you once, I gathered ALL the clothes that were piled up in SS”s room (he was going out and buying new clothes instead of just washing what he had)

I took twelve lawn & leaf bags to the laundrymat and washed, dried and folded every piece of clothing and then put them all away…. He was mad at me for ‘invading his privacy’ by going into his room!

If you don’t do something NOW it won’t get better. I made the grave mistake of letting it go for too long and now we’re in this situation. We FINALLY made the ultimatum of $$ every month toward their move out date which is now SET IN STONE…but I’ve got another YEAR of having to deal with these three in our house… (unless the g/f flunks/quits school, then they’re being served with eviction papers and they get 90 days to find somewhere else to live)

Trust me, you and your husband will in the long run be happier people if this is taken care of sooner rather than later. (you mentioned you’re having surgery, I wish you well, PLEASE make sure that these issues are resolved beforehand, you need it for your own recovery)

(I hate to say this, but you should let him know that if he can’t live by your house rules, then he should have to find someplace else to live)

"I'm a human being. God Dammit, my life has value." So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out, and yell, "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm

piscesjavagirl's picture

Thank you cpreston. I

Thank you cpreston. I appreciate your words and suggestions...and this will be my 2nd surgery in 7 months...so hopefully the recovery for this one will be easier. Smiling

LizzieA's picture

Can you say "coddle." You and

Can you say "coddle." You and DH need to be on the same page with house rules, same as any roommate. Otherwise take care of the baby and suck it up...seriously, how hard is it to say this is how it is or you will have to leave. So what if he doesn't "like it." If he moved in with some other kids, he'd have to do the same things or else live in a pit.

And in response to herewegoagain--so what if they need more help because of their physical problems? What ever happened to family helping each other? No, it's the parents' role to do everything for these infants in adult clothing. And then the lame and blind can suck it up not to inconvenience junior.

ItAlmostWorked's picture

Lizzie-I also remember the

Lizzie-I also remember the days when it was common sense that one helps out another who is recovering from surgery or having other challenges. Previous poster feels someone who lives in a home rent free has the right to be resentful if those allowing the free abode might need his help? What has this world come to?

cpreston's picture

If you're referring to me, I

If you're referring to me, I never said he had the "right" to feel that way, I was only relaying that was his reaction to what I did for him to show how the situation will and can escalate and progress to where the 18 year old who's not contributing can turn into a 27 year old who thinks he's OWED everything that is being done for him... I freely admit that "we" dropped the ball with my husbands "kid" (I use that term, becuase in reality, he hasn't matured much from the 15 year old he was when I met him)

It's a cautionary tale (don't be like me.. this is how bad it can get)
In the future, I would ask that you please not "put words in my mouth"
if you want me to further explain anything, I will be open and honest, but I truly do not appreciate having my words taken out of context or twisted.
Have a great day!

"I'm a human being. God Dammit, my life has value." So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out, and yell, "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm

LizzieA's picture

It wasn't your comment, it

It wasn't your comment, it was herewegoagain about SS being resentful if has to take up slack.