When love has to be tough

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by ML, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. ML

    ML Guest

    SS/J is still living with us. husband and I are seeing a therapist regularly to help us (mostly husband) learn that it is more loving to be tough and set boundaries than to enable a 27 year old. This is so hard for my sweet husband who has always had an avoidant type personality which led him to use alcohol for so many years as a coping mechanism.

    I know husband has guilt with how he parented, heck many of us do. So it is hard for him to basically say "J, be gone from the nest" because I believe to him it feels like he is abandoning him in some way. Their relationship is so odd. J doesn't have any respect for his father as an authoritative figure in any way. I don't know if he ever did and that's just the result of their relationship dance over the years. J is verbally abusive to his father and that becomes tense and difficult for me. Plus it sets a tone in my home that I do not want for manster. Whatever anger J has towards husband may be justified but I don't have to be subject to the fallout and neither does my 11 year old son. They can work it out some place else.

    The kicker is that since we've started these talks (which J has avoided every time by changing the subect) he's become more respectful and less angry. That's the good part. He's even been cordial to manster and enaged him in converation. I see improvements and I wonder myself if I should back off on my demands that J be gone by the end of January. husband told told me he felt ganged up on in our last session with therapist. I don't know how to avoid that. We're pressuring him to do something that, while he agrees is the right thing, is so painful and difficult.

    I don't want J to feel unloved or abandoned. But their dymanics are unhealthy for me and for my house. I've never been comfortable with making demands for myself. I am more comfortable putting others and their needs first. So we're all outside of our comfort zones here. I just keep telling myself I have to do what is best for the child in the home: manster.

    The bottom line is J is 27 years old. He has lived in our basement collecting unemployment, has been drinking and playing, has not contributed and has basically reverted back 10 years to an angry teenager with a sense of entitlement. I have come to feel like a prisoner in my home. I can't do it any more. I'm not sure what my plan "b" is if husband can't follow through with the plan but I guess I'll have to figure that out soon.

    I'll give an udpate soon. Thanks for the ongoing support.
  2. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    J could just be calming down because his deadline is fast approaching and he wants to renegotiate it. Then again the therapy could be working and progress is being made. I have no advice except to talk all this through with the therapist and find the best solution. Manster is the top priority here since he is the child. -RM
  3. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    I'm so sorry this is happening to all of you.

  4. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I am in a similar situation with Matt. I have no idea where he is going to go - or how. I just know that I can never live as a prisoner in my own home ever again. I guess the choices, from here, are theirs.

    You are doing the right thing. He has to go and live his own life. You can't wait any longer.

  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I would suggest to your husband that he is compounding the bad parenting by keeping his drunk unemployed 27 y/o son in the basement. This is not how a strong parent interacts with their 27 year old kids. It takes a lot more strength to walk away than it does to enable. Your husband needs to decide whether he is continuing to do a poor job and that's what he wants, or if he wants to commit to be a better parent. That will take some work.

    J's making the right noises. Come February, he'll sink back into his old ways. You drew the line in the sand, and he is trying to relocate it.
  6. ML

    ML Guest

    Thanks ladies. I really need to hear from you all that I'm doing the right thing and that I'm still a good person. Because I feel guilty too and need help working through that myself.

    Steely whatever you decide, I'm behind you.

  7. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I don't think you need to feel guilty. Like you say, we ALL have done numbskull things as parents. You're trying to move away from that. You could only have something to feel guilty about if you were to continue things as they are instead of moving on, for everyone's sake. I hope your husband will find a way to see this.
  8. ML

    ML Guest

    Thanks Witz. I always appreciate your "tell it like it is" perspective. But the guilt comes because all my life it's been my mission to make sure everyone else around me was "okay". It was a survival mechanism because I grew up in an alcoholic home. So even though I know "it's not my job" any more it's still hard. I'm working on it but I need the wise ladies here like yourself to back me up. I'm asking husband to do what is difficult and it's making him unhappy and I need to detach from that. I can't feel his guilt because my shoulders are not that strong any more. I don't have it in me to step in front of oncoming trains these days. If the train hits I guess that's when true growth begins. I just need friends right now. So thank you!
  9. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think this is very,very true. Out of a crisis can come an opportunity for change.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Or if the train hits, you will learn to move when that light starts shining!
  11. ML

    ML Guest

    I love that Janet!
  12. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    When the train HITS.....
    You will LEARN to move....

    Something like
    Fool me once...shame on you
    Fool me twice shame on me.

    Yep...it boggles my mind how often the difficult child can't see the train a coming. Can't predict that being run over by a train is gonna hurt and hurt bad.
    And that when the lights come, one better move and move FAST. How they have to get hit by the train once, perhaps twice, to get it in their heads, that when the lights come...they better get out of the way.
    Is this learning the HARD way??? Oh well...they make their choices. WE can make ours...not to put up with any of their choices that interfere with our lives.

    ML....There is no guilt. And don't fall into the same trap as our difficult children. You've been down this road too many times. Different day...same story. Repeat. Don't be a prisoner in your own home! Time for a shuffle. I think its great that you and your husband are going to therapy together. Hang in there!
    Lasted edited by : Jan 18, 2010