Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Adult Son(28 Posts)
Hello, I have namechanged for this one. My background is that 4 years ago I got out of an abusive relationship, with DS who was at that time aged 18 and in an apprenticeship.
DS was quite badly damaged psychologically by his father and I have poor boundaries and struggle with things other people wouldn't, in terms of relationships.
Nevertheless, we have thrived on our own and things are improving greatly. However, because of what DS went through I am very afraid to upset him and possibly allow him to take advantage a little.
4 years on, DS has got a good job paying around £28k. I am a single parent, have a massive mortgage and struggle to get by. There is no hope of getting finanical assistance from the Ex.
I would now like DS to contribute to the household costs, but feel guilty about it. I do his washing, all cleaning, make his bed and buy food, toiletries, pay all bills. So all his money is his own.
Also his GF stays at our house every night, although she eats at her own house most of the time. DS has an attic room at the top of the house, which is a nice big space and I have just redecorated it while he was abroad.
DS does do DIY jobs around the house and he has contacts who can get expensive work done on the house for free, so that is a huge help.
I have also got a new partner, though we do not live together. We have dated for 2.5 years and he is starting to stay overnight once or twice a week, but I am frightened of DS objecting. Ridiculous when his GF is there every night I know.
I have a younger DD as well who I also support financially.
I also want DS to start saving for his own place, so don't want to take a lot of money from him, but it would help me a little if he paid a fair amount. My partner and my friends think I should ask DS for a reasonable contribution. My parents do too but are keen for me not to upset DS.
Any comments are very welcome!
I can see where you are coming from re upsetting him etc, but at the end
You know you are not doing him any favours, right? You love him and want to look after him but he is 22 and needs to learn to pay his way, clean, cook and know that Mum has her own life. Having 2 grand a month to spend with no bills and commitments is setting him up to fail if/when he moves out. Can you just talk to him about it?
You sound like you are trying to do as much for him as you can. Setting him up with skills is important too.
Sorry. But he's earning a great wage and is more than old enough to e contributing. You don't have to go about it in a brash way that will upset him, but surely he will understand if you had a sit down with him and really talked it through? My family manage to get by with a mortgage a child two cars and paying maintain emcee for another child on 15k a year. He could quite easily put some away to save for his own place, at the same time as helping you out and still have a lot if surplus money for himself! The thing is that he will be ill equipped to deal with his finances whe he does move out...,,as well as it being unfair on you. I hope you manage to sort it all out without upsetting him, it does sound like a delicate situation and I'd be wary as you are about rocking the boat. But he's in his 20's now..... We're he 17 I'd probably say tread more carefully. As long as you let him know that you are always there for him emotionally and nothing in your relationship will or has changed then I'm sure you'll be ok. Sorry for rambling, I've had a similar family situation and just wanted to add a bit if support. Hope all goes well x
Your DS is a 22yo man with a good job. He should be offering rent and, if not, you should ask him for it. If he objects and would rather move out then he will quickly discover that living rent-free is not how the world works. If he would object to your new partner, ditto.
Why are you afraid of him?
You should definitely be asking for monthly contributions.
I would suggest taking approx 25% from him.
Keep some for you to help with bills etc. and put the rest into an account for him so he has something when he needs to move out.
He needs to learn about life and living and you need to teach him this.
Does he know how big your mortgage is and how badly you struggle financially? If he doesn't then tell him - he's obviously a very smart and capable adult and it's time he knew. If he does know then frankly he's taking the p***.
If he wasn't living with you and it was just you and DD could you downsize, reduce the mortgage and live more comfortably?
I think that all working DCs in a household should contribute financially. But then I would. My folks made all of us "pay housekeeping" from the day we started earning, even PT jobs while we were at school (Saturday jobs, paper round etc.).
I understand that you don't want to upset you DS OP, but the best way to move on from an abusive past is to regain a sense of normality, not be constrained by it and allow it to determine your present and future. Your DS is an adult, speak to him as one and find a way that you can both agree on. Good luck.
I really don't want to upset you by saying this, but I fear it will. I apologise in advance, but as you've asked for opinions and I've seen this happen so many times I felt the need to say something.
I understand where you're coming from. It happens a lot with women who have come out of abusive relationships. You try so hard not to be domineering or controlling, and to be nice and understanding instead. You are trying to undo the damage caused by the abusive parent by being the ultra-permissive, undemanding parent. It's very normal and very understandable.
Unfortunately, it's also very damaging.
By waiting on your DS hand-and-foot as you are while not expecting any contribution towards the household, you are in serious danger of creating another over-entitled man who sees housework as women's work.
Not to mention the fact that when he eventually leaves home he won't have the first idea how to fend for himself. But why would he leave? Before long, you may well find that you become a guest in your home and that DS is the one treating it as his own.
No where else in life will your DS find people willing to put up with what you willingly do for him - save perhaps a girlfriend if this spirals into abuse when he remembers how his
Please, break the pattern now. It is not unreasonable to demand a contribution from someone earning more than the national average salary in his own right. Nor is it unreasonable to expect a grown man to do his own laundry and contribute to the smooth running of the house by doing his fair share of chores. In fact, you should demand no less.
Sorry if this upsets you.
missing words: his father used violence or the threat of it to get his own way.
I agree with darken. My ex had a more just like you (still does). He is 32 and still lives at home with mummy making his dinner and washing his sheets. He's missing out in our baby son as he chose to live at home rather than as a family which is actually really pathetic. I am massively projecting op, admittedly, but someone who earns that much and doesn't even offer rent has a very big a d clear sense of entitlement and no idea about the real world. You're doing all this out of love, I get that. But you're doing him and any future partners if his no favours at all. As for tiptoeing around with your partner n your own home, I don't even know where to start. You've left one man who treated you badly. Please do not create another one
I know you are all right. I have spoken to friends and they say the same things, but deep within me it feels wrong. Cogito asks me what I am afraid of. I don;t think I am afraid of my DS I am afraid of doing the wrong thing if you see what I mean.
As a young woman I also lived at home rent-free while my mother ran round doing all the clearing up, doing the laundry etc. So it feels like I am being hypocritical asking my DS to do differently. DS can certainly look after himself while I'm away, so it's not that he isn't domesticated.
Mind you, almost every other behaviour my mother has role modelled has been wrong!
I was brought up to be a people pleaser/doormat and find it so hard to ask for anything for myself. If I can get it into my head that it will be better for him too, I might be able to get myself to act!
Your son earns more than my dh, who provides for me and our three kids.
Time for him to get his own place I think, never mind contribute financially.
You make his bed??!
You must see that this relationship is now tipping over into being inappropriate, right?
You're treating him like a schoolboy, and what's more - he is letting you.
You are just repeating your mother's behaviour - that women are thereto tiptoe around their man and not upset them. So your mother created you, you are continuing the pattern and creating your son, who in turn will expect his future partner to tiptoe around him. Please break the cycle.
You are not helping him at all. He will be pissed off, you have been a walkover up until now and I bet if he kicks off you will back track. I would kick off if I were him and thought by doing so would get me off the hook.
You are being taken advantage if though and he needs to grow up fast.
If I were you I would ask him for quite a bit more than you need and put the difference away for him without telling him.
Make sure what you ask him for includes food, laundry, heating and hot water and cleaning services and of course the extra lodger you have when his girlfriend stays.
Your job as a parent is to equip him for life as an adult, not avoid him taking responsibility just in case he gets upset.
Your job as a parent is to equip him for life as an adult, not avoid him taking responsibility just in case he gets upset.
yy to that.
How do you imagine he will be as a partner OP? After being used to have his bum wiped for him at home, and never lifting a finger for himself, much less contributing for the sake of someone else (that's you btw), he's extremely ill equipped to participate in an equal, respectful relationship, where he pulls his weight, rather than sitting on his precious backside expecting the mummy treatment. Because that's what women are for, right?
Have you had any counselling yourself regading your ex's conditioning of you?
It is very hard to break the cycle (if i look at my own Mother) and I think it's best to seek some kind of therapy in order to come to terms with what has happened. i think you also need to re learn what is right and what is wrong.
I do understand how you feel the way you do though but everyone else is right. It's up to you now to show your son right from wrong (as I am sure you do anyway)
First off is the money. Others will know what to charge. $500 maybe? I would not charge some pissy sum like $25 a week.
Do not make his bed or do his laundry. He can be in charge of some cleaning.
I do not know what to do about the girlfriend. She uses hot water and electricity too, besides being another roommate. You may not want another roommate!
If he objects and says he might as well go live on his own, that is fine. He is old enough. But I think the $500 would seem like quite a deal!
I would make a breakdown of all household bills and charge him 1/3rd, including food.
Why is the GF at your house everynight, if she is/has moved in then she contributes to the household costs.
I understand your frighten that your ds will not like it but where ever he goes he will have to the bills.
I am 28 & lived at home until i was 24, i brought home 1200 a month and paid no rent. I enjoyed myself and also ran up approx £2k credit card bills. I did contribute by replacing broken appliances etc but this was an ad hoc thing. When i moved out with now DH we had household bills + debt + saving for deposit .
I am sooooo angry with myself for not giving myself a better start in life. All my parents had asked of me was to save for a house deposit and i didn't.
I'm lucky that we now have a lovely house, a DD and no debt but i am facing redundancy and that will set us back.
DH's friends dad put all of his rent into a savings account for him and his brother and it's just paid for their deposit. Perhap you could do something like that for him? Ultimately though he needs to learn how the world works. I would have a gentle conversation with him.
agree that you need to allow him to stand on his own two feet, are you afraid he will leave if you rock the boat?
its just that if you ask him for rent and he doesn' like this then he can leaveand get his own place
or is that not what you want?do you want to in some way keep him at home by ding stuff for him?
it not a critisism just a question - straight up
Join the discussion
Please login first.