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17 yr old DS moving in with 16 yr old GF

(25 Posts)
magily4 Tue 17-Dec-13 08:36:57

Having stumbled upon this forum a few months ago I would like to acknowledge the support it has given me. My 17 yr old DS and his 16 yr old GF have certainly caused me a lot of stress since they got together in June this year. My son has changed so much and as much as I would like to blame the GF I have to accept the fact that he is responsible for the choices he is making. Within the first 2 mths of them dating she got pregnant, she did have a termination. This was an extremely difficult time, we had know choice but to let them know we would be there no matter what decision they made. In Sept he told us he was no longer going to go to Uni, again we had to put our feelings aside and just made sure he understood that he would have to get a job as we would not financially support him once he is no longer in education. Yesterday he announces that at the beg of Jan him and his GF are moving in together. They are renting a room together ( one of his friends parents rent out rooms) they both have part time jobs. He intends to finish college and then hopefully get a full time job.
I am just saddened by the whole thing, I guess it's the loss of the dreams I had for him and the feeling that I did something wrong. His reasoning is that he respects our rules, but he wants to do more than we allow, we won't allow his GF to spend the night here as I have a 9yr old and 14 yr old to consider.
We just told him that it is not what we wanted for him but the most important thing to us is our relationship with him. We told him that he is loved unconditionally and that no matter what this will always be his home and he can return anytime.
I can truly say if I hadn't been on the sidelines reading many of the posts I would have reacted very differently. I would like to think that once he has a dose of reality he will come home but I realize that I have no control over this. I can only hope that it works out for him. One blessing is that where he will be living is literally 5 mins away, he did say he will miss us and that he plans on visiting us on a regular basis.
As we don't agree with this I won't be helping them with things they may need, furniture etc... I feel if I help him financially this is of no benefit to him at all, above anything this has to be a learning experience for him.
So do you think I have handled this right or does anyone have any more advice for me. I have cried so much over the last 24 hrs, he doesn't know this, I am in bits but as I said previously I am grieving the loss of my dreams for him.

LadyGardenersQuestionTime Tue 17-Dec-13 08:47:59

I think you have done a very good job in staying calm and keeping the doors open. It is a shock when our children don't follow the 'normal' path we have laid out for them.

Don't be too sad or hard on him - things could be a million times worse. Your son sounds amazingly measured and sensible - carrying on with college and getting a job too.

If he was the youngest child would you let his gf stay over?

Don't be too hard on him - by all means don't give him money but maybe have them over for a really good meal regularly? Give them some old stuff you don't need any more?

magily4 Tue 17-Dec-13 09:13:17

I have to be honest and say that even if he was the youngest I still would not allow his GF to stay over. I explained to him that for me first and foremost it goes against my values. I am not old fashioned to say they have to be married I just felt that although they have been through a lot they have only been together 6mths. I have questioned would it be easier to say ok don't move out she can sleep here , but he wants total freedom to come and go as he pleases. He didn't agree with the rule being home for 11 pm weekdays and 2am weekends. Also he had to be home for tea unless pre- arranged or he is working. Not unreasonable I thought, he did say he respected that we had rules and as long as he lives here he abided by them, he just feels restricted. My 14 yr old DD has given us no cause for concern "yet" but I do know that it all could change and I have to give a clear message to her as to what is expected.

Bonsoir Tue 17-Dec-13 09:16:27

I think you are being a bit stubborn and should consider renegotiation with your DS.

titchy Tue 17-Dec-13 09:20:52

Really bonsoir, or are you playin your usual wind up the OP games?

I think you've handled it extremely well actually, in a way that hasn't damaged your relationship and you haven't allowed yourself to be a doormat. Well done! I suspect that he'll be back soon enough though!

On the other hand his friends parents must be barking.....

magily4 Tue 17-Dec-13 09:37:12

Bonsoir - as stated I am open to advice. He is 17 his GF 16. When my DD comes to me at 16 and says she wants her BF to stay over am I to allow it.

With regards to his friends parents, I have made the decision to say nothing negative about them to him. Let's be honest this is great for them, they rent out rooms and their mortgage gets paid. In his eyes they are wonderful, he doesn't see how they profit from this.

I have not heard what his GF parents have to say about it yet as she was telling them last night. I imagine she will feel the same as me that her DD will be 17 soon and she doesn't have any control, they can legally leave home I believe.

CustardoPaidforIDSsYFronts Tue 17-Dec-13 09:41:13

have you done a household calculation with them so they know they will be indefinatley skint?

Slipshodsibyl Tue 17-Dec-13 09:47:21

I too think your rules are very slightly on the strict side for this generation of teenagers and I would have discussed what he envisaged about gf staying over sometimes and trying to see how it might work without compromising your values too much.

Bonsoir Tue 17-Dec-13 10:27:15

Frankly I would much rather my 16 year old had sex in his/her room in a bed under my roof than in a car/someone else's house/behind a shed.

You cannot prevent teenagers from having sex by forbidding them from having sex in your home. You will have more control over the situation if you allow your DS to have his GF to stay than if you don't.

Claybury Tue 17-Dec-13 12:01:05

Is he really prepared to move out just so they can spend their nights together ? Is he allowed to stay at her house now? How do you see their relationship? Can you talk to her parents ?
I think you are right to set your house rules. I wouldn't want people coming in at 2 am, it's just not fair on the rest of you.
Was he doing well at college? Does GF have any future plans? College?
Are you able to sit with them just once and calmly discuss where they feel they will be in 6 months time ? Talk about money ? Would they be able to afford to learn to drive for instance ? Being an adult is not all fun!
I can't imagine the new arrangement will last long, is he unrealistic about what 'freedom' will be like? Not much fun staying out until 2am when you have no money.
Don't make it easy for him financially either. The reason to go to college is to earn better money in future.
Must be tough for you , but nothing they are doing is irreversible. Maybe a mistake he needs to make ?
Maybe you can buy some time and suggest they plan to move in together in the summer, then they will not think they are defying you and maybe by then they won't want to anymore. ?
( when my DS wants a piercing at 15 I said yes great idea, just wait 3 months till you are 16. He never mentioned it when he turned 16. Teenagers are very short termist)

Thecatisatwat Tue 17-Dec-13 12:11:53

On the other hand Bonsoir, if I had a 17 y old who came to me and said 'I'm gonna have sex whether you like it or not would you rather I did it here in my own bed or in the back of a car somewhere' I'd feel emotionally backmailed and highly pissed off. The dangers of sex are frankly the same wherever you have it (although you're probably more likely to get done for indecency if it's in public) so I've never really understood that argument. How does them having sex in your house give you more control over the situation? Genuinely, I don't understand this. Since Magily's DS's GF has already become pregnant once and had an abortion (and by the sounds of it, the couple needed their parents help) I can fully understand why she does not want to be seen to support their sexual relationship in this way (especially when there are younger children witnessing all this).

Anyway Magily4, I think your house your rules. I think you've handled it really well so far. He's 17, and maybe it's time that he learnt that with freedom comes responsibilty like paying bills etc. Presumably if they're literally just renting a room they'll be sharing things like washing machines, cooking facilities etc which will also provide new challenges and restrictions. So long as you make it clear that he can come home any time he wants, I'd wish him well and let him go, after all lots of 18 year olds cope fine living away from home.

(Fair play to friends parents BTW if they genuinely don't mind people coming and going at all times of the day and night - I can only assume they have a massive house so it doesn't interfere with their lives too much).

Bonsoir Tue 17-Dec-13 12:45:11

Transparency and honesty with your DC make for safer sex. You cannot eliminate all risk but you can support less risky practices.

magily4 Tue 17-Dec-13 12:46:01

First off thank you all for the advice, it certainly is a hot topic whether or not you should allow your teenagers to have sex in your home. I genuinely never thought I was strict I really thought I was fair.
Believe me it would be very easy for me to allow her to stay, move in even, but to what end just so that I know where he is and make things easier for them.
I have to give my son credit, he is doing excellent at college, he works at a supermarket Sat/ Sun as well as some week nights. He is very responsible and is well liked, his GF is also doing well and works at a restaurant.
His plan is to work full time for a year and then go to Uni, him and GF will both go together then.
Financially he seems to think he will be fine and I have no doubt he will. By nature he is not a materialistic person, he has never been into designer clothing. They will not starve, it will probably be a lot of ready meals but that would be the same if he was going to uni. And as our home is 5 mins away I know he will be here for food.
The reality is his mind is made up that he is doing this, my focus is more on keeping communication open and letting him know that he will always be welcome home. I can only pray that he does go onto to do well.

Floralnomad Tue 17-Dec-13 12:50:41

I don't think you could have handled it any better TBH. I don't allow my son to have people stay overnight ,he can do whatever he wants in his room before 11.30 but then its downstairs or out . In our case this rule is because it would adversely affect everyone else who lives here .

magily4 Tue 17-Dec-13 12:54:41

Bonsoir - I can say that I have been very open and honest about sex with my DC. My son knows full well about safe sex, him and his GF knew exactly the risk that was being taken when they made a choice to have unprotected sex.
True he is moving out as I wouldn't let her sleep here, but it isn't I don't think entirely sex related as they have lots of opportunities at both their homes to have sex. It is simply they are young, in love and want to be together all the time. They have a romantic fantasy as to how their life is going to be.

Dontletthemgetyoudown Tue 17-Dec-13 13:00:40

how does letting them have sex in your home make it less risky? And why should parents be blackmailed into letting their older dc have sex in the house where younger dc are present?

There is being transparent and honest with your child and saying yes I understand that you want to have a sexual relationship and whilst I am here to listen to you if you need my help and to offer them advice on contraception making them fully aware that it is for protection from STI's as well as unwanted pregnancy, with younger dc in the house, the actual practice of having sex in our family home is just not on.

Teenagers are less likely to be aware of disturbing others around them and less likely to exercise caution in ensuring that younger siblings don't see them.

perhaps the op's ds shares a room with younger siblings, therefore it would be 100% inappropriate for the gf to stay over, and even more so for them to engage in sexual activity.

It would seem that you have only posted to disagree with the op and people saying that she has done the right thing.

I have 16yr old ds and whilst he is not currently in a relationship, I would not be supporting him having a partner to stay overnight or to have sex in our family home. Its not a new issue at all, I remember feeling envious of my friends (of which only 2) who were allowed to sleep over at their bf's house or their bf allowed to stay at theirs whilst my parents I wouldn't even dreamed of asking them, but I can see now that that's how it should be. When all dc are adults and in proper adult relationships, and coming home to visit then yes sharing a room with a life partner is a totally different scenario. Oh and on my anecdotal evidence the couple of friends that were allowed bf's overnight, were both pregnant before we left school.

gallicgirl Tue 17-Dec-13 13:00:52

He sounds fairly sensible in some ways even if his plans aren't what you would wish.

I would go over budgeting and finance with him. Make sure he knows how to pay any bills which fall due. Is it a room in a shared house?
Also perhaps you could make sure he knows how to cook a few basic meals.

IamGluezilla Tue 17-Dec-13 13:16:58

I think that this will probably turn out ok. Sounds like e fundamentally has his head screwed on.

I wouldn't like it either, but sometimes you have to let them go. You've been so measured- I think you've been brilliant.
I would reiterate about contraception though!

Slipshodsibyl Tue 17-Dec-13 13:18:56

It is difficult for those few years when they are young. My guide which is the best I can come up with, is that staying over is ok with parents' permission and if the relationship is a proper one and not just casual. I did not have to face it with teenagers as young as yours but things seem to have changed in that far more parents do allow some stay overs.

The coming in rules you made seemed reasonable to me. I guess that in the absence of family quarrels over this, his new arrangements won't last so very long.

MoominMammasHandbag Tue 17-Dec-13 13:20:59

I have allowed both my oldest teens to have partners staying over. DD was 17 and had been with her boyfriend for about 5 months. She asked if she could stay at his and I insisted she went on the pill first. After a month or so we decided we were being hypocritical in not letting them stay here so we relaxed that rule. They stayed together for about a year. DD has done a bit of casual dating since but has not asked for anyone else to sleep over.
DS 18 brought his girlfriend home from Uni and just installed her in his room without asking really. We were a bit taken aback but considered he is an adult now. They were together a year as well. He hasn't tried to bring anyone casual back.
We have a younger teen and a little one. I think they are getting the example that sex is something you do in a loving, serious relationship. It's not a hole in the corner thing to be ashamed about.

magily4 Tue 17-Dec-13 14:53:10

Thank you all for your positive words. I have just had a long chat with my DH and both feel that his mind is made up. We are deeply saddened simply because we had different plans for him but recognize it is his life to live and as much as we can advise he has the right to make his own decisions. We have agreed that we just want to make it so that he wants to visit and will keep reiterating our love for him.
With regards to teens having partners stay over I don't think there is a right or wrong answer, when faced with this,it comes down to what is right for your family taking into consideration culture and beliefs.
I never thought I would be in this position but it has happened and all I can do is hope that we have given him enough of a well balanced, grounded upbringing and that this will hopefully have an impact on him and have a positive outcome. I do not want this to be he comes home feeling like he failed at something I have to believe this is a learning experience for him.

Floralnomad Tue 17-Dec-13 15:13:40

I don't think that because you don't want bf/gf staying overnight it implies that sex is 'hole in the corner thing to be ashamed of' . My son is more than welcome to have as much sex as he wants in my house before 11 30 pm but after that time I want to be able to walk around dressed however I wish without bumping into people who I'm not related to .

MoominMammasHandbag Tue 17-Dec-13 16:29:47

Well my kids have lots of friends staying over anyway; it's a rare weekend when there's not someone staying over. Fortunately we have a big enough house to accommodate lots of extras.
Personally I would find it quite unpleasant and disrespectful to have to get up, get dressed and leave at 11.30 after having sex with someone.
But if it works in your family.....

cory Tue 17-Dec-13 17:26:45

You know, I think you all sound like very mature and sensible people. He is able to keep a job and has plans for the future, she is also by the sounds of it capable and willing to pull her weight, you are willing to keep communications open even though things aren't going as you'd wanted.

This may all work out better than you think.

My bf did something very similar at about the same age 30 odd years ago. It's been a very happy marriage and they have been able to support themselves financially throughout.

freeezing Tue 17-Dec-13 19:17:31

I may be missing something but am not really seeing any problems here either. Your ds is still going to go to uni, just slightly later than planned. He is working hard academically and has a part-time job. He has a girlfriend who he cares about and who cares about him, for the moment (they're young - it might not last forever, but at least it's a respectful, caring relationship).

I think it sounds like you've brought him up well, he obviously respects you enough not to wish to upset you by breaking your rules. But I don't see how he's gone against 'what you planned' for him - he'd presumably have been leaving home soon anyway to go to uni, so he's just changed the dates slightly. Nothing else changed.

But yes, a reminder about contraception is the one thing he could probably do with! And agree that you and dh have also behaved in a thoroughly mature, sensible manner. So no worries...

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