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Behaviour of adult step-son.

(20 Posts)
15july Thu 19-Jan-17 14:54:26

My husband's son has moved back in with us after four years in a flat while he was at university. He is supposed to be trying to get a job so he can get his own place again. He doesn't't seem to be getting any interviews, never mind a job. He has had a short-term temporary job. He very rarely goes out as he appears to have no friends. He socialises only when his father or younger brother invite him out to the pub. He showers but his appearance is unkempt - overgrown beard and hair down to his waist. His bedroom looks and smells like a teenagers bedroom. He spends most of the day in his bedroom, where he consumes cans of carbonated stuff and packets of biscuits, cake, crisps, chocolate. He does not normally get out of bed before midday. He does make meals for himself, but not every day. He sometimes eats with us. He was like this before he went to uni. I feel pity for him as I think he has long-standing mental ill-health, but I hate him being here. He is estranged from his mother (his choice). I would just like to read any thoughts that people have about this situation,

Petal02 Thu 19-Jan-17 16:47:34

Don't confuse being lazy/apathetic with having mental health problems!

15july Thu 19-Jan-17 21:47:43

I don't doubt that he is lazy

swingofthings Sat 21-Jan-17 15:01:33

What is his father doing about this situation? It isn't right that a young adult who has just graduated should have so little motivation to get on with life as an adult.

Whether he is clinically depressed, or just a bit lost and demotivated, he needs help and the person to help should be the one parent he has left. A child doesn't stop being your child once they've turned 18.

15july Sat 21-Jan-17 18:12:51

His father, my husband, has done nothing, apart from "having a word with him" when I express my unhappiness about the situation. I think the son needs professional help. He has been like this since he was 16 (12 years) apparently, since his parents split up. My husband struggled to deal with his other two sons laziness and apathy. They are not nearly as introverted as their older brother but were not self motivated at all and just expected to be handed everything on a plate. They split their time between us and their mother (a hangover from joint custody that was ordered after the separation) but eventually went to stay with their mother all the time when I lost the rag over their behaviour.

15july Sat 21-Jan-17 18:18:15

2 young men in their twenties moving between between their parents' houses on a weekly basis.

ooooopppsss Sat 21-Jan-17 20:09:09

I would find this frustrating, they are in their 20's you dh and his exw needs to pull their heads out of their arses and do something about their dependency.

However, the eldest, at your own admission has long term mental health issues and has no relationship with his mother. Regardless of whose choice this is, there has to be reasons behind it and you don't have to agree/like it.
You have been in his life for how long? If your dh won't do anything to promote self esteem or address mental health issues, why aren't you???? If your so bothered, put your annoyance into action and don't pass the buck?!

User1234567891011 Sat 21-Jan-17 20:14:50

Just for a new perspective, I'm coming out of uni next year and will be returning home to live.

I will be expected to transfer my part time job (fast food) to a location near home and work there full time while I am searching for a degree-related job.

I will be expected to contribute to the household both financially (although at a reduced rate i.e £60 a week) and with upkeep in chores etc. I will be expected to keep my room very tidy as I have always done.

I would not be allowed to live at home if I was dossing about not actively searching for work - I would be expected to do the job I am doing which I don't really like so I am able to contribute.

I think these expectations are all extremely reasonable and what would be expected of my friends returning home too. I always have MH issues in regards to depression and anxiety but this is still expected of me as being a normal part of adult life.

15july Sun 22-Jan-17 09:29:37

He had a part time job for first two-year at uni, then gave it up as his savings abs student loan were enough money for him. I was angry when he did that because he should have kept the work so that he had something when he lawfully uni. He is applying for jobs online using his laptop, I believe but he's not got a lot to put on a CV that will interest employers. I agree with your post. I seem to expect more than his father.

User1234567891011 Sun 22-Jan-17 13:06:40

I get top of the student loan but still work multiple jobs while at uni so I have savings for when I know uni will end.

Are you sure he's actually applying? If he's doing it on his laptop and you've got no way of being sure maybe he isn't actually doing it - or he's applying for one a week and making it sound like more?

I'd be given an ultimatum by my parents if that was me - I either get a small full time job e.g fast food and pay rent/work while I am job searching or I find some place else to live.

You need to make sure your money isn't supplementing his lifestyle and only his father's is. If his room is a tip go in and throw everything on the floor away (then take the expensive stuff on the floor and hide it). Tell him you couldn't make out was was rubbish and not so tossed it all. He won't leave stuff on the floor again - happened to me in my childhood and I soon learned my lesson.

15july Sun 22-Jan-17 15:31:20

He claims yo be. The odd occasions he has had his laptop out in the kitchen,the screens are showing job sites and I've seen him typing letters. I am sorely tempted to go in his room and chuck everything out. His father has never given an ultimatum and never asserted his position to any of his sons. All three of them have used him as a doormat. I had a completely different relationship with my daughter.

NewNNfor2017 Sun 22-Jan-17 16:49:30

As is often the case, this is a DP problem, not a step-DC problem.

If your DP had given anyone else (an adult nephew, friend or sibling) a roof over their head, would he be tolerant of this behaviour?

He is infantilising his adult son and all you can do is decide whether you are willing to tolerate it or whether your respect for him has been lost.

TwistedReach Sun 22-Jan-17 17:00:47

Please be very careful here about assuming he is lazy. He sounds depressed and young men really struggle to get help with this (suicide is the biggest killer of men under 40). I'm not saying this to be alarmist but it really sounds like he needs help- no friends, poor self care, little social or independent (work) functioning, little motivation. He does not sound like a happy or well young man.

ooooopppsss Mon 23-Jan-17 01:22:40

Maybe you could offer to help write CV/covering letter with him. Maybe he isn't tailoring his experience or qualifications enough and as you seem to think it's not hard to get a job, your must be the right. person to help huh!

No offence, but you don't appear to be interested in helping him??

NewNNfor2017 Mon 23-Jan-17 07:38:27

No offence, but you don't appear to be interested in helping him??

The OPs role is to support the DCs parent to help - not step in when a parent absolves themselves of responsibility.

The adult-DC has not given any indication that he wants the OPs help - and has only behaved in a way that will alienate the OP and destroy any good will that she may feel towards him. That is not his fault - his parents are responsible for teaching him how to contribute effectively to society as an adult and they seem to have failed in that - but it certainly isn't the OPs responsibility to fix their failures and nurture the man-child who lives in her home. That is not a reasonable expectation of the partner/wife of a man with adult children.

TenaciousOne Mon 23-Jan-17 07:48:44

User that is a horrific idea. Do not throw his things away or hide his things.
OP I think you are letting the fact you don't want him there to cloud your feelings. He doesn't sound well. I did the same at uni and didn't continue with my part time job in the third year as I was struggling with how much time it took out of studies and writing my dissertation. However, I had a job as soon as I had graduated. The fact he barely leaves his room isn't healthy and he needs help either to get up and out even taking a walk or to go to the GP.

MistressMaisie Mon 23-Jan-17 07:51:46

Who buys the sweets and drinks.
I would say he is largely not seen or heard and ignorable at present. Obviously not good in the long run. What jobs are he applying for, if he is unkempt he will fail interviews. DF could start there.

TenaciousOne Mon 23-Jan-17 07:53:26

NewNnfor2017 I find that interesting as both of my stepmothers children have been allowed to move back home/never leave but even when I was on my knees after my own mother had died (i had just finished my A levels when she died)I was told I was unwanted. In my experience it's very hypocritical who is allowed help and who isn't. What to you may seem like laziness could also be down anxiety.

swingofthings Mon 23-Jan-17 09:39:24

Your issue is with your OH, not your SS. He is behaving how his father is allowing him too. If that happens not to suit you, then it's a matter to be dealt with your OH.

Clearly you will need to come up with a compromise. It is highly unlikely that your OH will be happy to do what you would do in his shoes. However, he can't bury his head and not appreciate the impact that doing nothing is having on you. He needs to accept that he is stuck in between and needs to act to appease both of you.

In an ideal world, that would mean trying to understand his son's lack of motivation and disinterest. Then again, I expect that with a father who is avoiding facing the issue, a SM who wants him out and probably not hiding her feelings too well, and a mum who he felt he needed to stop contact with, he is feeling incredibly rejected. Add this to a sense of helplessness that he can't afford to be independent and get away from the tension and it would be no surprise if indeed, he is battling depression.

His dad needs a kick in the bottom to realise that his son needs his emotional support.

15july Tue 24-Jan-17 17:25:47

Thanks for your thoughts and opinions.

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