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Adult stepson(9 Posts)
This my first post on here, hoping for some perspective on my DSS. He and his dad moved in with me and my two DCs 6 months ago. DSS is 20 and has had some significant mental health issues (nothing violent or criminal, but difficult for everyone to cope with). This is now under control with medication. My issue is DSS does absolutely nothing around the house unless specifically told to and is generally a bit off and disregarding with me. He and DP moved into my house as DP's wasn't quite big enough for us all (one bedroom short but a nice house). I've probably been a bit territorial about how my house runs but equally I have happily provided meals, laundry, ironing etc for DSS.
DP helps a lot around the house but DSS just doesn't. He's immature for his age and behaves like a child that needs looking after, except for when he has his gf round to sleep over.
I can see it's partly a DP problem as DP won't set out clearly for DSS what he should be helping with and babies him a lot.
DSS's DM also has mental health issues and she and DSS don't get on, hence him living with us. DP feels a fair amount of guilt still over his divorce and her subsequent breakdown (she was sectioned for almost a year a couple of years before I met him), but he left her about 13 years ago.
I get the feeling that DSS doesn't like his dad moving on with his life. We are getting married soon and DSS has made a point of being uninterested in the wedding (unlike his older brother who has been fine about it). I got on well with DSS until the point where we first all went on holiday together so I dont think it's personal, but still difficult to deal with.
I'm just not sure if this will ever get better, and I'm worried it's going to drive a wedge between me and DP.
I would say it’s still early days and as much as his behaviour is frustrating I would continue to make an effort with him.
In terms of him doing stuff round the house it sounds like he needs set jobs that are his responsibility. If your DP won’t work with you on that then I think that’s a far bigger problem as you need to have a joint approach to these things.
We have a chore chart on the kitchen door.
Everyone has a turn at cooking and cleaning each week and have done so since they were 9 and 10.
Everyone contributes to the mess so everyone contributes to the clean.
Once he realises that he is not being treated any differently to anyone else in the house, his behaviour may change.
Mine were responsible for their own washing at 16 as well.
i wouldn't marry your dp until he learned to parent his son properly.
Sounds to me like your dp is using MH as a way of opting out of setting boundaries, disciplining and parenting his son.
Your dss is also old enough for YOU to speak up when he mistreats you.
He's also capable of doing chores, in fact every person in the household should be sharing chores so i'd have a 'family meeting' where the chores are written up on a chart and explained to him.
Thing is if dss refuses to do anything and your dp refuses to back you up, then you're going to have to live with this forever - because your dp won't kick his son out.
I would really get this sorted before you get married, why would you want to tie yourself into this unhealthy dynamic?
I'd just send them back to their own house so they can both grow up.
I definitely agree with having a family meeting and setting up rules for chores around the house. If he's old enough to have a girlfriend sleep over then he's old enough and quite capable of running the hoover round or putting a load of washing on. Equally, as you've outlined they have moved into your house. I suspect he could be very aware of this -it's your home, not his- and does not know the appropriate boundaries for the cooking/cleaning and perhaps just needs this explaining to him.
Does dss bring any £££ to the pot?
Sounds like he needs a kick up the arse. Unless his df is prepared to do that you may have to kick them both - back out the way they came in....
Thanks for the replies everyone. We did think about a chore rota in the beginning but were both a bit crap about following it up.
@chanel05 I agree DSS needs to have it all explained to him - he's not proactive enough to offer.
I spoke to DP and he has got DSS involved in clearing up/loading dishwasher/washing what won't fit in the dishwasher so that's a start.
I would not marry this man until your stepson is permanently out of the house.
We're getting married in 4 weeks Aquamarine. I'm actually fairly convinced that DSS has ADHD or similar - he really struggles with communication and planning in everyday life.
It's not clear when he'll be able to live independently and that in turn makes him a bit of a challenge to live with but DP and I have talked and DP understands where I'm coming from and has made changes.