To think we should not invite stepson for Christmas?

(43 Posts)
KittyShcherbatskaya Tue 15-Oct-13 11:47:38

I will try to keep the back story short. DH has a 23 year old son who is clever, able and charming but doesn't behave well towards us. He lives abroad and his pattern is to go out of contact for ages (sometimes months) while DH gets incredibly worried imagining him in hospital/prison/dead; then gets in touch when he wants something - nearly always money, sometimes practical help as well. He says it's a loan and will lay us back, then goes incommunicado again. DH usually says no immediately, pointing out how much he owes already, but then agrees (and yes this is a major part of the issue).

This last weekend DSS visited at a few days notice, bringing four friends as they were all competing in a sporting event near where we live. He asked DH to pay for his transport and said he would pay us back when he got here. However one of the friends told me that the team has sponsors who gave them money for their transport in advance. I suspect that they got money for accommodation too which they saved by staying with us - which would be fine, if that was explicit.

DH asked DSS for the transport money and he stalled until he was leaving, then said he had left it on the table in the bedroom. There was no money there. DSS said one of his friends must have taken it hmm by accident! DH said your responsibility, pay us back in the next two days.

I clearly don't know for sure but suspect he never left any money. He does have form for lies and sneakiness but this has really riled me. I don't care about the money, wouldn't mind paying his transport whenever he comes to see us, but do mind being used as a free hotel. I am sick of seeing my DH, who loves him dearly, worried sick about him and having DSS break promises to keep in touch. DH split from his mother when he was 12 and feels guilty that this had a negative impact on DSS, and blames himself that he isn't more sorted - but this translates into letting him take advantage repeatedly. I really want to draw a line somewhere so that this cycle doesn't continue indefinitely, it's no good for anyone. Am considering saying that DSS is not welcome for Christmas if he doesn't repay the money. AIBU? Or can you think of a better course of action, I am sleep deprived and hormonal with new baby so probably not the clearest thinker at the moment!

(Not very short after all, thank you for reading)

AndysMildAdventures Tue 15-Oct-13 11:49:32

I can't think of an alternative for you but do you thinking banning your stepson will make things easier for your DH or harder and more upsetting?

Well he's in his twenties, it's not like telling a child he cant come for Christmas but he is still your dh's son.

I think your issue really isn't stepson but husband! Tell him to stop lending him money that he doesn't get back.

Don't bring xmas into it, adress the issue now, in October.

BurberryQ Tue 15-Oct-13 11:53:36

the thing is that if you "ban" him just as you have had a new baby, how would it look?
it certainly does sound as though he is taking the piss but then so do many adult children - i think your husband should lay down the law a bit tbh, stop being an easy touch, easier said than done i am sure.

KittyShcherbatskaya Tue 15-Oct-13 11:53:57

DH is very upset at the moment and said he didn't feel like having him here for Christmas. I suppose I want DSS to realise he can't keep doing this, but yourhand you are right, DH needs to do things differently too. Just not sure how to address the issue.

BurberryQ Tue 15-Oct-13 11:54:41

also being told that you are not welcome at Christmas is not nice, even for adults, esp. when other children are on the scene.

Edithmark Tue 15-Oct-13 12:00:00

Poor you and poor your DH. Is terrible to worry about your children. Of course your DH is trying to do what he can for his son when he's around ie lend money, provide accommodation, etc etc. that's natural.

You can only support your DH in doing what he feels is best for his son. Really hard for you but don't start a row about money and/or Christmas- they're both massively emotive topics between parents and children, and husbands and wives. Best to steer clear and support your DHT in whatever her thinks is the right approach.

Generally though do whatever it takes to stay on good terms with your DSS. It will repay you a hundredfold over the years to come. (Not in money, I mean in domestic harmony for you, your DHT and your child who is after all a younger sibling to DSS).

DoJo Tue 15-Oct-13 12:04:17

I don't think YOU should do anything about this except support your husband and encourage him to take whatever steps he feels are necessary to manage his son's behaviour.

tinyturtletim Tue 15-Oct-13 12:06:03

Maybe you could speak to him and advise you are struggling to afford the Christmas you would like to provide? Advise he will need to stay in alternative accommodation/ provide his own meals however is welcome to visit?

May prompt him into paying you back.

Your dh seems lovely, I would love a dad so kind. However he is part of the problem here and is compensating something he doesn't need to.

KittyShcherbatskaya Tue 15-Oct-13 12:06:32

Thank you for your thoughts - I knew you would help! You are right of course, Christmas is a side issue, and not the right time to make a stand. DCs would be gutted not to have their big brother there. I am now thinking that maybe it would be better to have a proper chat with DH, once current emotions have calmed downed bit, to try to stop him feeling like he has to give in all the time. And maybe talk to DSS about keeping in touch with his father more?

pigletmania Tue 15-Oct-13 12:15:02

Yes you dh is enabling him and you should tell him to stop! No have him for Christmas it's mean to say no, but your dh should stop funding this big overgrown baby

LtEveDallas Tue 15-Oct-13 12:25:11

What makes you think he will definately come for Christmas? If he owes you money now, maybe he wont bother.

If you can have him and not feel resentful towards him, then great. But if having him for Christmas would spoil your Christmas, then why put yourself through that? Yet again he gets off scott free whilst you inwardly fume.

I think I would have a chat with DH, apologetically even, explaining that whilst you don't want to 'ban' your DSS from the house, you are going to find it very hard to welcome him with open arms, knowing that he thinks he is Pay Per View - ie doesn't turn up unless he gets something out of it. Tell DH that if he does come, then it will be up to DH to entertain/feed/pay him (and make sure he doesn't neglect his other children whilst doing so). You will be pleasant and polite, but detached otherwise.

Remember YOU have done nothing wrong here, so YOU being punished (your feelings being hurt) is unfair and YOU need to be important to YOU.

Best of luck.

WaitMonkey Tue 15-Oct-13 13:01:32

I'd ask for this to be.moved to step parents, you will get lots of advice. Good.luck.

Kewcumber Tue 15-Oct-13 13:07:23

Doesn't sound like he'll come for Xmas if you don't pay for him to come so the decision will make itself I suspect.

Loaning Giving him money isn't going to make him a different person and teaches him nothing - he's too old now, he's cooked. If you want to give him money then give it to him not expecting it back - as long as its money you can afford and give freely.

Try to take the moral high ground - treat him the way you want to treat him whilst bearing in mind that you have other impressionable children who grow up watching this.

And stop loaning money - give or don't but no "loans".

pigletmania Tue 15-Oct-13 13:10:24

I agree knew, he can com for Christmas if he pays to get to yours, if not than tough!

neolara Tue 15-Oct-13 13:11:21

ALthough I think your DSS has clearly behaved very badly, can I just say that I don't think much of his behaviour is untypical for a young man in his early 20s. I don't think, for example, that it is particularly uncommon to not speak to parents for a couple of months, or to bring friends to stay with parents. It might not be what you would have done, but I think it is what lots of people do do. In itself, I don't necessarily think those issues mean your DSS is behaving particularly badly. I guess there is lots of back story to this though.

tobiasfunke Tue 15-Oct-13 13:19:16

He is 23 - an adult. He has basically obtained money from your DH by deception and then lied about it. Then worse than that blamed his friends for it. Never mind Christmas your DH needs to have a serious adult talk with him.
Christmas is a totally different issue.

KittyShcherbatskaya Tue 15-Oct-13 13:20:49

Thank you everyone for your views. Sorry I didn't realise this should be on a step parent board, I am quite new to this! How do I move it?

Kew I was just thinking the same thing - write off what he owes now and say no more "lending", treat every request for money as a request for a gift, and decide whether he can have it on that basis. I don't actually have any issue with paying his travel and I agree with Neo that being a bit rubbish with money is quite normal at his age, but I do want him to realise how worried his dad gets when he 'goes missing', and would like him to show he cares. I also agree with the point about the example he sets to his siblings; it won't be long before the oldest wonders why he doesn't ring her, write to her etc. when he has promised to sad

MavisG Tue 15-Oct-13 13:22:08

I'd be looking for family therapy for dss & dh: what is dss's thought process, that allows him to think this is ok? Just immaturity? Resentment at his father's old actions? Maybe they need to talk through this stuff. If therapy too expensive NVC by M Rosenberg v useful for communicating but tbh a good therapist would be easier & quicker.

pigletmania Tue 15-Oct-13 13:24:13

Neo read ops posts. He has lied, he expects his dad to fund him, and his lifestyle, he treats his dad very badly, he is 23 not 13 fgs! A grown man who should know better. I have known dh since we were 21 and Noway did he ever treat his parents lie that. He had a good job, carand owned his house when he was 24

moondog Tue 15-Oct-13 13:25:32

Let him come but don't lend him any money. He's 23 not 12.
You should let what you were foolish enough to give him in the past go.
Just treat him neutrally but don't enable his pathetic behaviour.

pigletmania Tue 15-Oct-13 13:25:44

The DSS needs therapy, dh needs to be assertive. Some eople are just freeloaders

Flyingbytheseatofmypullups Tue 15-Oct-13 13:34:31

I would invite him for xmas but make it clear you wont be handing out any more money or indeed buying any presents (in order to recoup some of the money already lent to him). If he chooses not to come you will all know where you stand.

KittyShcherbatskaya Tue 15-Oct-13 13:39:00

Mavis I think therapy would be complicated as DSS lives so far away. I have got the Rosenberg book though, a colleague lent it to me for an issue at work before maternity leave and I forgot I had it blush will look at it again with DSS in mind.

I'm not sure why he behaves as he does, definitely immaturity and a sort of sense that he should be able to have whatever he wants now. I think the link to his parents' divorce is just DH's parental guilt talking but it might be worth DH considering this a bit more.

"Freeloader" is right but I think "enabling" is as well. The change needs to come from us/DH.

moondog Tue 15-Oct-13 13:49:49

He doesn't need bloody 'therapy' which will just extract even more ££ from you.
He simply needs clear boundaries of what you will and won't tolerate and the fact that these have not been put into place (quite the reverse) means that you have reinforced his appalling behaviour.

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