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    18 year old stepson moved in, should we kick him out?

    Asked Jun 13, 2007, 12:56 PM 4 Answers
    Hi all,
    Before I get started, let me apologize for the length of this. You'll need some history to judge this properly.
    My DH was married 2x before we were married. Has children from both marriages.
    His 1st wife left him for another man when their only son was 1 yo .He kept up visitation till child was 3,at which point his ex said that she was marrying the man she had left him for and moving across country, would he please give his rights to visitation up and let her new husband adopt their child? My husband agrees to do this to satisfy his new wife, who doesn't want the child around, and never sees or hears from the child or his ex again.
    Nine years later, his 2nd wife divorces him. They have 4 kids, who he doesn't get to see because ex interferes with visitation,etc.
    Now we are married, have 4 kids, all girls 6 years and under, and I am expecting a baby. My husband calls late one evening from work - he is self-employed- and tells me that his son from his 1st marriage just showed up at his office, and is coming home with him. He turns out to be an OK kid,he is now almost 18, and his mother helped him locate his father. Turns out that she never moved away, divorced the guy she left my DH for, and married another guy who she is still with.
    About 5 months later,when our baby was about 1 month old, my DH tells me that his son needs someplace to live, his mother had kicked him out. Seems that he had been failing every subject in school for the last year, was kicked out of school, had several speeding tickets,refused to get his GED, was involved with a girl that was no good, and was anti-social at home.
    My husband had told him that he could move in with us. We live in a tiny house with 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom while we are looking for a home closer to our girls school and hubbys' office.
    So my SS does not have a room, he is sleeping on the couch, and shares a closet with my kids.

    At the time of this writing, I have four girls, ages 7,5,4,and 2, and a 4 month old son.

    Now, my problem is this. When SS moved in, my DH supposedly told him that he had to contribute $35 a week toward groceries and utilities, and he would need to help around the house,he had to get his GED or finish school, and get a different job.
    SS went to work for my husband, making minimum wage, 40hrs weekly. My DH told him that he needed to get a weekend job also, but he "didn't want to". He did say he put out some applications, but I haven't heard anything since.
    My husband pays for his sons' cell phone through his business, gave him a business truck to drive, and gave him a fuel card. SS basically doesn't have any expenses.

    He refuses to go back to school or to get his GED.
    He never paid the first bit toward his $35 weekly, and after I started asking my husband every week about it -he eats a lot of food!- , he told SS that he didn't have to pay it until he was making more money.
    SS does not do anything around the house, even his own dirty laundry has been piling up for 2 weeks now. He will do things if I ask, but only if it involves him getting to drive somewhere.
    He stays out till 3-4 AM almost every night, and nights that he is home he stays on his cell phone while playing games on the PC till 2-4AM.
    As soon as he gets home from work, he crashes on the couch and sleeps till his dad gets home.
    He refuses to fix anything to eat for himself, and will actually go all day without eating until we fix something for everybody to eat.
    He stays on the computer all the time that he is not out with friends on weekends.
    When he urinates, he leaves puddles everywhere. When I told him that he had to clean the bathroom the last time that he did that, he wiped the toilet rim with TP and did nothing else. My husband cleaned it after I told him that SS had left it like that. Said, as usual, "he is just eighteen, he doesn't know any better".
    SS won't shower unless I demand it.
    Leaves his pillows and blankets on the couch, won't even fold them.
    Leaves his shoes all over the house, and blames my kids when he can't find them.
    Leaves dishes and cups just wherever is convenient for him.
    I actually had to move our shampoos, combs, brushes,hair styling stuff, facial cleansers, nail clippers,etc. out of the bathroom because he would use ours instead of buying his own.
    Let me say here that although I have all these complaints about him, he seems like a good kid, no drugs that I know, not prone to too much attitude, just lazy, immature and more than willing to be a slacker.

    My DH won't say anything to him, and actually seems rather peeved when I say anything to him about the SS. I knew that he felt guilty for giving his son up, and I knew he would try to make up for lost time, but I feel that he is giving in to too much. What really gets me is that he acts like his son has more rights to comfort than the rest of us, like him insisting that I give SS the bedroom instead of our daughters because "he needs privacy". And DH treats him like a buddy, not a parent.
    At the same time, I admit that I have never had an 18 year old child, so I don't know what is appropriate.
    I have not said anything directly to my SS except for telling him 2x to clean the bathroom.

    Should I kick him out? Or should I let him stay? If I let him stay,should I talk directly to my SS about what he needs to do around the house, setting hours to be home or off the phone by? Or should I ask my husband again to do this? I know that he has a problem with setting limits and boundaries for his kids, he did the same thing the few times we had his kids from marriage #2, and I had to step in and set rules.

    I don't know what rules and chores are reasonable for an 18yo male.

    Please give me your honest opinion, if I am expecting too much from him I need to know!

    Last edited by breekj1977; Jun 13, 2007 at 07:57 PM.
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    4 Answers
    crystalbivens's Avatar
    crystalbivens Posts: 489, Reputation: 26
    Full Member

    Jun 13, 2007, 01:24 PM
    I don't think you are expecting too much from him and in fact I think that he should voluntarly do these things without you having to say anything, he is 18 years old and plenty old enough to know how to take care of himself (hygene and such) with out you telling him.
    I want to say that what you have taken on was very nice and your husband should be thankful to have a wife that is understanding and your husband needs to help set boundaries that you SS should HAVE to do in order to live in your house.
    This isn't just your SS fault it's just as much your husbands fault as well because he should have made the rules very clear before he moved in and when the first rule was broken it should have been addressed because if its not addressed soon your stepson will continue with his habits as long as he thinks that its OK.
    If your husband isn't willing to set the boundaries then you may have no choice but to let him know yourself.
    You should let your SS know that he will respect your wishes and obey the rules or he must leave, your SS needs to realize that he came into your home and must respect your wishes,
    froggy7's Avatar
    froggy7 Posts: 1,801, Reputation: 242
    Ultra Member

    Jun 13, 2007, 04:23 PM
    While I agree technically with Crystal, you are in a very difficult place. This is not your child. Your husband has told him that he can stay. One adult says he can stay, one says he can't. Why should he listen to you more than he does his own father? And you are likely to get into a power struggle with your husband if you don't agree.

    Seems to me you need to sit down with your husband and see if you can come to some mutually-acceptable boundaries, so that you can present a united front to the step-son. Otherwise, things could get really tense at your place.
    breekj1977's Avatar
    breekj1977 Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jun 13, 2007, 04:46 PM
    Thanks guys! I have just been so frustrated with this kid. Does anybody have a guideline or ideas about appropriate rules and chores for an 18yo guy? It would be helpful when talking with hubby about this to be armed with a list of acceptable rules and chores. Also, I am a little fuzzy on whether the staying out till 4am deal is acceptable for a guy his age. I know I wouldn't allow this of my own son, but he isn't mine, so does anybody have anything to say about curfews, etc? Thanks
    Lacey5765's Avatar
    Lacey5765 Posts: 157, Reputation: 50
    Junior Member

    Jun 14, 2007, 11:25 AM
    I have a 19 yo home for the summer and a 16 yo ( along with others) they both are working for the summer. They aren't required to pay anything but pay for their own gas an activities .They do their own laundry ( although most don't make it in the drawers). They prepare their own lunches and if we aren't having dinner as a family they can make the own. Your Ss should be able to clean the bathroom weekly. ANd I mean clean! Not wipe. My son takes out the trash regularly. Since you SS is sleeping in the family area I would say each morning he should fold the linens and put them away. He could also help with yard work, wash cars etc to help out. The curfew is another issue. He should have one. We (19 yo) don't have a set time it varies on the activity but she is required to wake me up when she comes in so I can really sleep. And usually gives me a call shle out to let me know where she is. With all of this said- You can't be the one to tell your SS the new rules. It will have to come from your husband. He will resent you for it if it doesn't. Talk with your husband about the new rules and explain that it isn't just for you but to make him a responsible adult. Let him see that without responsibility and concern for others in the house he is handicapping him. It will have to be about helping his son. You are right about the guilt of not being a father before now but he will have to make up for lost time by spending time together not by lack of structure or respect. Suggest activities that they can do together so he can build the relationship and feel less a need for giving in. Good luck to your family. You are a good woman to take on such a challenge. Even when we give birth to them they are not always easy to live with.
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