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What is your 24 year old son like?

56 replies

UmbrellaWeather · 12/06/2023 15:54

My DH is 30, his brother is 24.

DH gets pissed off because BIL is pandered to by MIL and FIL. Examples are:

He has never been told to get a job. He has never even gone for an interview or applied for anything. They say he has no confidence and hopes he grows into himself in his 30s 🤨

He won't learn to drive or take public transport (I know this doesn't make you an adult, but it does help your independence). This means DH is often asked to get him from A to B or pick him up to take him somewhere. He refuses to walk and gets angry if nobody gives him a lift. DH has said no a few times now, but MIL and FIL get annoyed as they end up taking him. He won't get a taxi either, they say he is 'too shy'.

DH could say anything and MIL will try and get BIL invited. Example, DH is going to Manchester for an event with his work. MIL has asked him to invite his brother. DH has explained its a work thing but MIL is still saying he should say to his brother and take him down and spend time with him after work. I dont even think BIL would care to go, maybe this comes from her. DH feels like a 24 year old man is his 'kid brother' that he has to take with him everywhere or something. DH just wants to see his work friends, or any friends, without having to invite his brother and arrange everything around him. He has stopped mentioning things to them now.

He even wants to meet DH at ours instead of just meeting him wherever they're going.

BIL doesn't have any social life except DH or dating history (as far as we know). Doesn't make you grown up, but gives you some life experience, and seems a natural part of a mid-20 year olds life.

MIL and FIL talk about him and treat him like he is a 14 year old. My own brother is 17, has a job, drives, studies, has his own social life, his own hobbies, has confidence, talks like an adult etc. If you put them next to each other, you'd think my brother was much older. BIL acts like a teenager and is sadly very socially uncomfortable.

DH has mentioned this to his parents. They say it's 'normal' and they never pushed DH to come out of his shell or anything as DH was just a different personality. DH feels like they are enabling him and making life harder for him. However, I personally feel like it's their business and DH should just stop the lifts, stop mentioning where he is going and what he's up to, but DH said he doesn't want to keep making excuses or lying (which I get).

I don't think this is normal for a 24 year old though?

OP posts:
DickieAttenborough · 12/06/2023 15:59

Sounds like a sad situation for the brother if he doesn't have any life at all. But the solution is not your DH trying to provide him with a life. Does he have any mental health issues or disabilities? It's awful to be so dependent at 24.

I agree that your DH should pull back at bit. At 30 it's quite unusual for him to be sharing quite so much with his parents.

UmbrellaWeather · 12/06/2023 16:47

I know, it is a shame to be so reliant on others at 24 :( I do feel for him! He's actually lovely once he relaxes a bit! I think if he even just got a part time job to ease him into the working world, his confidence would grow so much.

No, he doesn't have any disabilities or any MH issues that we know of. Doesn't seem depressed, although he could be hiding it of course!

OP posts:
UmbrellaWeather · 12/06/2023 16:51

It's tricky as we see both our families quite a lot due to living in the same area, so it's easy to say too much sometimes!

OP posts:
AutumnCrow · 12/06/2023 16:56

OP, do you think the PiL are unnecessarily infantilising him to meet their own needs, or (in their own heads) to meet their younger sons's?

If you and your DH, with BiL, got him a paid work trial day, and he stayed at yours the night before and after, would the BiL agree to that? I think distance from the PiL might help - but if this guy has no income then it's a bit of catch 22.

UmbrellaWeather · 12/06/2023 17:11

@AutumnCrow yes, I think they shelter him and I think they'd really miss him if he moved out, or if they weren't needed.

Other people also treat him younger though, he's very small. Like 5ft 5. I think this makes people think he's a teenager or something.

Maybe. Its an idea. We've been sending him through some jobs and he says he will apply, but then doesn't. I know, he's so dependent on them financially.

OP posts:
JustDanceAddict · 12/06/2023 17:21

It’s not normal, no.
My DS is 5 years younger:
he works
will study again soon
is learning to drive and in meantime he gets public transport- we only ferry him when he really needs it.
he has friends (could have a better social life atm but that’s his choice)
has a full-on hobby
He also has pretty poor mental health but manages all the above.
Why have your PILs let your BIL get into
that state? Does he have some other issues (MH/learning disability/neurodiversity/physical health problem?).

UmbrellaWeather · 12/06/2023 17:26

No @JustDanceAddict he doesn't have a disability or a MH issue (that we know of).

I really don't understand it. I think they fear he grows up and leaves. When DH moved out, one of them had a nervous breakdown, even though he lived a 10min drive away. I think they see them still as kids and maybe struggle with them moving on/growing up?

OP posts:
IDontWantToBeAPie · 12/06/2023 17:30

My brother is 23. He works full time in a trade and drives his own van. Works for my dad. He also collects scrap metal and flogs it on the side. He still loves with my dad but pays board and he has a lovely girlfriend a year younger than him.

He can be a bit selfish but he's also very kind, thoughtful, generous (for some reason refuses to let me buy my own drinks despite me being 28 and earning more than him).

He's really a lovely lad. Did OK at school but decided not to do uni because of the fees and how the loan system keeps changing.

MissMogwai · 12/06/2023 17:36

They're being cruel to him, although I imagine that's hard for them to see.

His life sounds very small and sad. I feel sorry for him.

What's his mum playing at, trying to get your DH to take him on work trips! How embarrassing for both of them if your husband actually does that. Your DH needs to just stop entertaining it though, no running about or 'minding' him - his mum can like it or lump it can't she.

My SS is the same age, he's done an apprenticeship and now has a job in a field he loves. He has a very active social life and is doing everything you'd expect a lad his age to do.

My DD is 19 and just finishing a levels then off to university. She works part time and is learning to drive.

They're both living their best lives as they should. I can't imagine holding them back for my own selfish needs.

UmbrellaWeather · 12/06/2023 17:38

@IDontWantToBeAPie see, that sounds more what my life was like at that age! I was an independent young adult, doing my own thing.

And yes, living with parents is obviously fine in mid 20s, the cost of housing is nuts! However, at least with income and experience, you know it won't be forever and you're working towards getting your own place. I just see BILs life staying the same forever :(

OP posts:
UmbrellaWeather · 12/06/2023 17:41

@MissMogwai I know, the work thing really pissed me off because she said it in front of DHs work friend, who was obviously a bit puzzled. DH was embarrassed and said he wouldn't be saying to him as it was a work thing.

Your kids sound like they're doing great and it must be lovely watching them become more independent. I found early adulthood such an exciting time! Loved uni etc.

OP posts:
Anaemiafog · 12/06/2023 17:41

DS bought his first house at 23. He had completed an apprenticeship, (at 20) drove a nice car and apart from his mortgage had no debt. He'd also been with his girlfriend for seven years by that point. My 19 year old is completing an apprenticeship, drives and sounds far more productive that your BIL. It's sad life is passing him by, whatever the reason.

AutumnCrow · 12/06/2023 17:41

When DH moved out, one of them had a nervous breakdown, even though he lived a 10min drive away. 

Dear lord, can you get BiL away from this for a while? What a burden for him to carry. He'll have lived with all that as kid/youngish teenager. And that's where he's arrested, development-wise.

turnthetoiletpaperroundproperly · 12/06/2023 17:53

My son at 24 had left uni,moved into an apartment (rented) with his boyfriend.was working full time.passed his driving test then crashed my car! They went away every weekend with friends (still do) and went to concerts,cinema etc. This poor lad needs a life badly.I feel for him.

PandaG · 12/06/2023 17:55

Son is 23. Currently living with us as graduated last summer, is working in a graduate job (and worked summers while at uni) and saving very hard to buy a place later this year. Can't yet drive, but about to learn. Cycles, walks or takes public transport everywhere, including fortnight long cycle holiday round the country, or simply travelling to see uni mates or extended family. Out with friends several nights a week at each others' houses, or sometimes out for a pint. He eats with us in the evenings unless he is out for dinner. We sometimes watch telly together or play board games through choice, but we very definitely have separate social lives. We are looking forward to being empty nesters again, but would have a weekly or fortnightly dinner and catch up planned.

So I think your bil is very unusual.

Chypre · 12/06/2023 18:04

I think it’s generational? When I started dating my DH at the age of 23 he had a job, a car and rented a studio. That was exactly 10 years ago. His younger brother now is 22, can’t drive, lives with mum, never worked a day in his life (and I doubt he will ever will).

AuntieMarys · 12/06/2023 18:12

Ds is 24. Is a home owner with his partner, has a degree, good job, company car.

Serena73 · 12/06/2023 18:54

My DS is a year younger and totally different. Been at a uni at the other end of the country, about to start a job in another city. He's very proactive at seeking out the things he wants.

Sounds as though your husband's brother definitely lacks confidence but confidence often comes with getting out there and putting yourself forward. Feeling less confident about things but doing them anyway. I don't think people magically come into themselves in their 30s, if anything it would be harder if you've shied away from everything for so long.

anonymous98 · 12/06/2023 19:12

None of this is normal for a 24-year-old. However, I can't say I don't entirely relate, as I am a similar age, have had to move back home, and don't really have a social life at the moment. I am, however, very agoraphobic. Could your BIL have something similar going on?

anonymous98 · 12/06/2023 19:14

Something is definitely not right, even if he won't admit it. Has he ever had friends or a normal life?

Frith2013 · 12/06/2023 19:22

My 23 year old learned to drive (slowed down by tests being cancelled due to lockdowns).

He's travelled with his girlfriend/friends all over the world.

He's worked abroad.

He's lived away from home (my house) for 2.5 years and now shares a house with his girlfriend.

He works full time and cycles there and back (20 miles a day). He loves cycling and will easily do 50-100 miles on a day off.

Idratherbepaddleboarding · 12/06/2023 19:26

My brother is 2 years older and has been in the army since he was 18, bought his own house at 23, gets married next year and has a car and motorbike. My own DS is 14 and has a part time job, a solid career plan and can happily take what little public transport we have around here. I’d say there must be something underlying with your BIL.

Frith2013 · 12/06/2023 19:27

At 23 I was doing my post graduate degree, had a flat and was married!

Daleksatemyshed · 12/06/2023 19:33

There's a very unhealthy dynamic in your DH's family Op if one of the DP's had a breakdown over your DH leaving home. They're now desperate to hold on to his younger DB, asking your DH to take him out is just giving him hints of a normal life to try and stop him leaving too. Did they lose a DC in the past? It's the only reason I can think of that they might act like this, that they've been truamatised by something

ThreeRingCircus · 12/06/2023 19:35

It's not normal and something is definitely up. It sounds like mental health issues you may not no about or the effects of terrible, overbearing parenting from your in laws never cutting the apron strings. I'm not sure how you find out which, but perhaps trying to talk to him one on one, away from his parents would be a start?

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