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(31 Posts)
Mulberrybaby Sun 15-Oct-17 15:35:14

Our son who is 31 has been living and being supported by us whilst attending university, he only started this September. We don't charge him rent and even lent him £3k to buy a car two month ago to enable him to get to and from uni and his part time job.
He has always been a bit of a problem child always straddling the acceptable line with his behaviours. Our children have been privileged attending public schools (that we're still paying for now as we increased our mortgage to pay the fees) Our other son 2 years younger has been as good as gold and is doing very well in his career, did everything as was expected, going to uni, taking a gap year and then slowly but surely worked his way up the career ladder in his chosen career.
On the other hand DS1 has never ever achieved his true potential, didn't work for his exams, got ok grades but deemed very poor by his teachers as he didn't work hard enough and TBH has never applied himself to anything other than sport.
He has gambling and drinking problems, we have bailed him out paying off credit card debts for him (he has paid us back) etc etc
We supported him this year, whilst he did an access course and didn't work even though he could/should have.
We then agreed to take on a student and have him live with us for six months so that our son, a qualified TEFL teacher could teach him English in our home for six months.Our students father pays two months rent and tuition fees in advance, all was well with the first payment.. then our son told us the father hadn't paid him for the next two months and this has been going on for about six weeks or so, I had my suspicions but husband wouldn't listen to me, which caused so many rows between us. We have now found out that DS1 was paid but he decided to buy himself a new mobile £500 and clothes etc with the money, basically he has lied and stolen from us after everything we have done for him. We are devasted that he had done this and asked him why, he is in total denial that he had stolen the money and worryingly he can't see that whay he's done is wrong. He doesn't see it as stealing as he says he is going to pay us back, just like he is going to pay us back the money for his car.
He has currently moved in with his girlfriend who sadly for her, adores him and never questions or challenges him... she knows that we have not been on speaking terms for a few weeks before he moved in with her but she still doesn't know why and she won't push the isssue so is oblivious to it all. We certainly won't tell her but I can't help but think she would over look it because she loves him so much. She is a very decent, honourable, hardworking lady.
What would you do if you were in our position. I don't want him here anymore but I can't help think he's on a very slippery road to ruin but I have reached the end of my tether and have mentally switched off from it all, I think this is my way of dealing with it all as I have been so low over the past year or so of him moving back in with us. Self preservation.
I know this sound hideous but at this moment in time I don't think I want to see him again! He has kicked us both in the teeth so many times over the years, letting himself and us down and DS2 is livid and can't believe that he's stooped thus low and wants nothi

Belleoftheball8 Sun 15-Oct-17 15:39:51

I'm confused is he living with his gf or yourselfs? Your post is confusing tbh. It sounds like he's a man child and he needs to learn to stand on his own two feet instead of been supported by yourselves

Mulberrybaby Sun 15-Oct-17 15:45:03

Sorry if it's a bit garbled.. he moved into his girlfriends last week but has been living at home for a few years.

lolaflores Sun 15-Oct-17 16:11:28

This will sound harsh. Have you ever like your problem child as opposed to your other son who is good as gold?
Do you think a private education automatically produces successful people that move effortlessly through life?

loveyoutothemoon Sun 15-Oct-17 16:26:02

Stop pandering around him, let him stand on his own two feet but encourage him to do/find something that he will enjoy and be good at. I think your expectations are very different to what he wants and needs. Stop bailing him out.

debbs77 Sun 15-Oct-17 16:27:35


LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sun 15-Oct-17 16:31:01

At 31 years old I would be making sure every scrap of his stuff was dropped off at his girlfriend's, then I'd do up his room and change the locks. (Actually, I'd probably move house...)

FFS why are you enabling this fully grown adult with money, setting up people for him to teach? Why are you even mentioning his school performance, something that happened half a lifetime ago?

He's an adult. Cut him loose.

Neolara Sun 15-Oct-17 16:32:53

I'm afraid I agree that you need to stop bailing him out. Every time you do, it gives him the green light to go into debt again or not take responsibility for his finances. I suspect his poor girlfriend is going to find herself handing over large quantities of cash.. Hopefully she will soon see the lie of the land.

Mix56 Sun 15-Oct-17 16:35:48

I would tell the GF to be very careful with her money
I would tell him that the free loading is over, you have loans to repay.

Crunchymum Sun 15-Oct-17 16:39:46

I would forewarn his poor GF.

It's the least you can do when you are in part pretty responsible for the way DS has turned out.

Gemini69 Sun 15-Oct-17 17:14:36

he sounds like a ManChild and you've not helped him atall .. you've merely enabled him... flowers

Mulberrybaby Sun 15-Oct-17 17:15:16

I accept that we are guilty of spoiling him and loving him too much, no doubt we are to blame. He has a gambling addiction and as with all addicts you do what you do to have the next fix. I naively thought he'd overcome it all last year. Stupid I know.
Lolaflores, I've loved both my children equally... As I've said before too much if that's possible. I don't think private education automatically produces successful people, but we just hoped to give them the best education that we could as it's so important.
Crunchymum yes I'm responsible for the way he's been brought up but I would like to say that if you were to meet him, you would meet a charming intelligent young man with a big heart and a very kind nature who would do anything for anyone.
The flip side of this is he has serious issues with gambling and drinking, we are mortified with his actions but at the end of the day he is our son!
Are we supposed to give up on him now because that's what it feels like we are doing.

Mishappening Sun 15-Oct-17 17:20:45

Heave a sigh of relief that he is not under your roof still! Take a deep breath, pour a glass of something nice, put your feet up and relax.

He is off and away, like an adult should be - he needs to just get on with it; and you need to get on with your life.

whoareyoukidding Sun 15-Oct-17 17:21:40

Let him stay at his girlfriends if I were you, mulberry. If you say anything to her, you might end up all falling out. I would keep the lines of communication open but not encourage his return to you.

Ceebs85 Sun 15-Oct-17 17:24:52

I'm 31. I cannot believe you are still funding and bailing him out.

Every time you give an addict money...even if it is for something legitimate you are funding their habit. It needs to stop. Completely.

You need to be extremely clear and stick to it.

Cruel to be kind. He is an adult, not your responsibility. If you want to help you offer to support him to access support for his addictions/mental health. Money will never help an addict.

All the stuff aboit hoe different he is to yoyr other son, the stuff about private school etc is irrelevant to the story.

Ponyboycurtis Sun 15-Oct-17 17:25:45

I think you could at least give the GF a warning, further down the line it may prove to be food for thought for her or at least make her think twice before she offers money etc.

Although I will say that you don't actually owe GF anything!

As for your son, I would just sit back and wait, next time he needs bailing out (& there will be a next time), you and your husband need to seriously think about what you do.

All the best Op.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sun 15-Oct-17 17:29:01

Yes. Yes you are supposed to give up on him now, at least financially. That doesn't mean you stop loving him. It means you stop bailing him out.

If my relative's parents had done this before their son married my much adored cousin, they maybe wouldn't be getting divorced after two year's of marriage where he treated her as a cashpoint and bled her dry.

Grow a pair. Stop bailing him out. Otherwise how will he learn the consequences of his actions?

BewareOfDragons Sun 15-Oct-17 17:30:46

If you truly like the GF, please give her a heads up as to why you booted him. He STOLE from you. And he has gambling and drinking problems. Give her a chance to escape from a crappy future for herself.

FlexTimeCheekyFucker Sun 15-Oct-17 17:33:54

I'm sure the girlfriend will be along to start a thread in due course.

JaneEyre70 Sun 15-Oct-17 17:34:18

You have spent far too much time, energy and money enabling a grown man to act like a petulant and deceitful child. And you know that that has to stop. Warn the GF of his addictions, but you can't stop her from being his new enabler. What you can do is stop being one yourself. I know it's hard but you haven't done him any favours with what you've done, and you need to step right back and look after you now. And focus on the son that makes you proud and is grateful for what you've done. He may very well hit the gutter when you aren't there to pick up the pieces and you will have to let him as awful as that sounds. He has to learn to live his own life.

Fairylea Sun 15-Oct-17 17:42:43

Wow shock Some tough love is well overdue!

C0untDucku1a Sun 15-Oct-17 17:49:20

You cant 'love him too much'. You can show the love in destructive ways though.

He is not a problem child. He is a feckless adult.

He has moved out. Move his stuff out to where he now lives. He doesnt come home. Take his key too.

NoCanoe Sun 15-Oct-17 18:22:18

I feel for You, OP.
I'm guilty of being an ' enabler ' but I was groomed into that role by my mother. Long story - but I supported her and my brothers from age of 18. That's obviously a different story and I'm not hijacking your thread!
BUT, a teacher saw what was going on and told me to run. I was too young and naive to take the advice, but I still remember it and know it was well meaning and correct.
Do the same for the poor woman who is the girlfriend! At least you have warned her. She may be old enough to be aware and thankful in due course.
As for the rest, you sound like my mum with her favourite but useless adult child.
I've unfortunately got landed with huge problems over the years so I do have a lot of sympathy. But fgs, at least be honest with the new enabler!

BubblingUp Sun 15-Oct-17 18:28:58

I'd probably be sending the girlfriend a thank you card for taking over custody and control of him. I would not warn her as it will fall on deaf ears and besides, maybe they are perfect for each other. Maybe she will be the best thing to happen to him.

Mulberrybaby Sun 15-Oct-17 20:43:23

Thank you for your replies everyone, you've reassured me that I'm doing what's right for my husband and myself, as well as our son.
Some of your comments was very close to the knuckle but maybe that's what I've needed.

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