26 year old stepson stealing

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Huff, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. Huff

    Huff Member

    A little history my wife and I are divorcing. We have been married 17 years with three stepchildren all hers. The two girls have been wonderfull, but the our son has been quite the nightmare. He was twelve when we married and his real dad was never in the picture even though I tried my best to make him welcome in my home anytime. Now our son is 26 he has quit college several times we sent him to a fireman academy he fished but will not pursue a career. He has had several jobs but quit after a few weeks. He has never been physically violent but we have endured years of verbal altercations.it has driven a wedge between his mother and I. Now for my problem. My wife and I no longer live together and live in a small town. We have a place to get gas for the farm and vehicles that is on a card reader credit system. I thought I had lost my card and went to cancel it and get a new card and PIN number. The owner checked my cards records and found some charges for unleaded gas and pulled up the video surveillance and it was our son filling up his truck. He came back two hours later and filled up a friends truc.the card is no longer valid should tell his mother or keep quite. She is the one that will catch the backlash and I just can't stand to see her going through this. Any advice would be so helfull.
  2. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Just as long as the station is "pay before you pump" I wouldn't say anything; if you tell her he used your card (stole from you) she will either defend him causing a squabble with you or tear into her son which he is going to turn it into you being the bad guy and he might retaliate. Hard to imagine that this world has come to this - where the victim ends up being the one yelled at but that's the harsh reality of it.

    Pump then pay - I hate people stealing from me and have a little mean streak so if it was one of my kids I wouldn't tell the card was cancelled and let them get arrested when they can't pay for the gas they put in the car. Though if your X has to bail him out this could put a hardship on her, anyway if don't tell and a problem comes up play innocent "I couldn't find my card and they issued a new one" "oh didn't realize your son was still using the card..."

    just my opinion use what you can and dump the rest
  3. Huff

    Huff Member

    Thank you Nancy the card gives access to all fuels I am a farmer and we get fuel at odd times. The card has been cancelled so he can't use it. Our divorce is in process and I don't want my ex to endure any more stress so I have not gone to the police. He can't use it anymore but will be recorded if he tries. Being heartbroken and then this is overwhelming for me I just need to hear good advice. Thank you again
  4. Huff

    Huff Member

    Nancy one question or anyone else. Today is my first time here and not sure what difficult child and other terms refer to. I think that this forum is going to be a godsend for me. Thanks to all I know now that I am not alone.
  5. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    hey your welcome and welcome to the site, yes divorce is overwhelming & heartbreaking both. It's a shame there isn't a way for you to be able to detach from him and reconcile with her but unfortunately they are a package deal. I can relate my kids have squashed any attempt at relationships I have had.

    difficult child means gift from god it refers to our challenging children easy child is for perfect child (should be NC for normal or nontreatment ) not that any kid is perfect. Not sure what normal is at this point either I haven't looked at the new format enough to know where the abbreviation list is usually one of the first threads is for new users probably in there.

    Ironically my most challenging of my 3 difficult child's I named Angel, she's mellowed a lot since 2010 (Lithium rocks) but some of my older posts were hard to believe she was so out of hand. There were a couple years there where a couple times a month would have 2-8 cops in my living room.

    You might want to start a thread on Watercooler forum (non parenting) on divorce / separation so others can help you process all this, I know you have a lot going on and it might help to hear how others have coped.

    wishing you peace,
  6. Huff

    Huff Member

    Thank you you are really an angel

  7. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    This forum is a godsend! I just discovered it a few weeks ago...it is part of my self-care process now. I hope it helps you too.
  8. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I do think you should let your wife know...you can do it as kindly as possible, but she should know what she is dealing with, and be kept up to date...if he is stealing from you he will steal from her too, or others...she'll know about it sooner or later, and forewarned is forearmed. I probably wouldn't tell the police in your shoes, but it is totally OK and appropriate for you to do so if you choose...you lost money, after all. But if you chose not to, be sure to protect yourself. Can he get at any debit cards and get access to your bank accounts, home equity loans, other credit cards?
    I'm sorry about your divorce. I'm at the tail end of a divorce too--married 20 years, separated for 3. difficult child was definitely a big contributor...oh but as my Cedar (another on this post) said, when I asked what the abbreviation was for an ex who just excused himself from dealing with our difficult child was...she said "I think the word you are looking for is "jerk"
  9. Huff

    Huff Member

    Echo thank you your words of wisdom help me a lot and i will say a prayer for you and everybody on this site. I just found this place today and for the first time in a long time I felt some relief a place to talk with people without the small town gossip and rumor mill. Thank you again
  10. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Huff. I'm sorry you are dealing with a divorce and a troubled son. All of that is pretty overwhelming.

    I agree with Echolette in telling your wife. She deserves to know what her son did. Not telling her could backfire on you down the line. I am a believer in telling the truth. You might talk to her about what her feelings are about what steps you might take.........or not take.

    Having my own troubled adult daughter, I can understand you wanting to protect your wife, but on the other hand, as a mother, even if I don't like what I'm hearing, I'd rather know. He may be stealing from her too, or will steal down the line from someone else.

    Our difficult child's are very hard on relationships, some don't survive.I'm sorry yours didn't, I know how heartbreaking that is. Sending you warm thoughts and hopes that it all gets easier for you.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am so sorry this son has come between the two of you. Like someone said, having troubled kids can be so hard on a relationship. When my kids were underage, I think they helped bring their father and I together in forming a united front in getting help. However as adults we often are not on the same page. He tends to be at least 2 chapters behind me...lol.

    I think you are a very kind man in that you want to make things easier on your wife but I think you should tell her what has been going on. You dont have to be mean or argumentative when telling her but tell her you want her to be aware of what he is willing to do. I think she needs to know to protect herself.

    Oh, welcome to the site. I think its the best place on the internet. I have been a member here since early 1999. My kids are well over 18 but I will probably be here until I cant type anymore...lol. My youngest is now 27 and I came here when he was 12.
  12. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Welcome to the board, sorry you need to be here though. Divorce is always difficult, kudos for wanting to spare your wife pain and upset at an already trying time for you both. It says a lot about your character.

    Given your desire to not create stress for your wife, and since the card is not usable by your son any longer, my advice is similar to all above. I would tell your wife, but gently and kindly and let her know you are not going to police, don't wish to cause stress, don't even expect her to 'have it out" with son. I actually might consider asking her to not tell him herself that she knows about it. It can be between you and him, if you see him down the road and desire to speak to him yourself on the issue. I would just tell your wife that he can't do any more harm with your cards, suggest she protect her cards for her own security, and let her know that you still care about him (and her) and hope he can get his act together.
  13. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Welcome :O)

    We almost lost our marriage too, Huff. It was a close thing. difficult child kids can put such long term, overwhelming stress on the relationship with our mates that we just cannot come back from it. That is the hardest part of having troubled kids, I think. We are so battered and hurt and filled with questions about our own part in whatever happened to the troubled child that we have nothing left to give our mates or our marriages. We live in isolation with our own pain for so long that we become strangers to one another. The memories we share are bad memories of chaotic times, of failure. Everyone who hasn't lived through life with a difficult child child has an opinion on what we've done wrong, on how they could have done better, on why it is that our poor child suffers so that he or she needs to act out through drugs or criminal behavior or truancy or whatever.

    By the time the child reaches adulthood? The blame is still on you, all right ~ but the child you still love is seen as a loser.

    More bad marks for the parent, though we have worked harder, suffered more, lost more in money and precious, irreplaceable time, than anyone (especially those with easy child kids who have graduated and done all the things we all dream of for our children) can know or imagine.

    I am so sorry this happened to you, and to your wife.

    It was my husband who actually saved our marriage. I was out of it already. I just hadn't left, yet. (Probably because I never had a minute to run out and file for divorce, with those darn kids popping crisis after crisis! :O)

    We will be married 42 years, come June.

    We are skating pretty close to the edge again, now. difficult child kids have no problem pointing out the shortcomings of their parents. They can be extremely manipulative.

    Enough about that. I am glad you posted as you did. I needed to remember these things, for the sake of my own faltering marriage.


    What we are trying to teach and learn, here on this part of the site Hull, is something called detachment. Recovering Enabler has a link to some excellent information at the bottoms of her posts. At the bottoms of my posts are links to information which gives us actual words and phrases to use when talking to our troubled adult kids, and more information on detachment.


    I would tell the mother what her son has done. She will tell the son that the card has been cancelled. He will not be caught this time, because she will tell him.

    There will be another time. He will be caught, then.

    But you will have done the right thing for the mother.

    The only thing we have left, the ultimate way to know what is the right or the wrong thing to do where difficult child kids are involved, is to ask ourselves whether we can look at ourselves in the mirror tomorrow, or next year, or for the rest of our lives, if the consequences are bad ones, if we do, or do not, do whatever it is to help them, to warn their families, whatever.


    Also, I think you should know that research indicates there is a genetic basis for behaviors. Some of us, natural risk takers, bad decision makers, impulsive.

    Though you may have been led to believe differently, over time you will learn that none of this is your fault. One of the ways you will come to know that is that the stories here are so similar it is scary. difficult child kids do what difficult child kids do, and there seems to be no way to help or to change them.

    I am so glad you found us, Huff. This is such a tough thing to cope with, alone.

  14. Huff

    Huff Member


    Thank you for replying to my post. I only gave brief synopsis of my or our situation is. What gives me comfort is that even as short and limited it was y'all responded like I had written a book. I do not want to say I'm glad others are going through this. But I am glad I found this place my heart hurts for each and every one of y'all. I have decided to tell my ex but I feel like after Christmas would be best. Christmas is going to be hard enough. And I want the two easy child to not have to deal with this whole mess anymore. It has been a bad year of me lost both my parents and the divorce has me down a litte but y'all have been a huge help.
    Thank you
  15. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome# yes, as a mom I would want to know. You can both agree not to approach with it. But she should know.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using ConductDisorders mobile app
  16. Huff

    Huff Member

    Now that a little of my situation is out there. I could use a few opinions. After our gig finished fire school the only thing he ever finished we talked about him helping on the farm to get through planting season. Then he must find a job and if he wanted to farm he would have to work to make a living and I could help him start off small. I do not have the financial resource to take the extra risk to set him up. We plant till we get done and get a crop going this was in 2009.after about 6 weeks I sit him down and ask what his plans are as far a looking for a job. He replied he was going to wait for the larger city close to us to take applications. I have several friends on this dept. and it took several years to get on there will be several hundred apply for 10 20 positions. There are smaller communities around that have small paid dept. with some volunteers and they are the stepping stone to the larger ones. I said ok but he had to start looking for a job in the mean time. He exploded and said that was not the deal. I remained calm and tried to talk with him to no avail. He threatened to hit me but did not.the words he kept screaming at haunt me to this day. He kept saying you are wasting my life. When my ex and I discussed this she thought I should fire my employee of 17 years and bring him in. It is my opinion that with difficult child history and anger issues this was not a good idea se agreed till she talked with him then everything was my fault. I guess what I want to know is was my thinking out of line. I am not real good with words I hope this makes sense. And any thoughts would be appreciated.
  17. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Firing an employee after 17 years to give the job to an ingrate who threatens you?? I think NOT. Your wife enables her son. The mere request that you do that is absurd. You did the only reasonable, honorable and right thing you could. Do not blame yourself for any of this. It is beginning to sound as if you were one against the two of them, a troubled kid and an enabling mom, a lethal combination to the other spouse. I am so sorry. You sound like such a decent and loving guy and it really does sound as if you got a raw deal all around. Our troubled kids often have a world view that only includes them and their needs, no one else generally exists for them. Do not blame yourself. It sounds as if you have been the only realistic and healthy one in the family.......
  18. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    Of course you did the right thing! It is silly and hazardous to your financial self to take on your stepson as an employee...family employees are hard under the best of circumstances, and clearly these are not the best of circumstances.
    Let that one go. We all have plenty of self doubt and self criticism in our lives. You don't need to carry that one another second. You did the right thing. Your wife was just grasping at straws that aren't there, and wouldn't help in the long run anyway.
  19. Huff

    Huff Member

    Hey thank y'all for the words of encouragement. I know in my mind i am right. But all the years of being the target of gig still makes me question my own judgement. I guess time will help. And y'all are sure a great bunch to listen and help a stranger. Thank y'all so much.
  20. Huff

    Huff Member

    Hello everyone I don't know how many on here are step parents but I could not sleep last night thinking about the last 10 or twelve years trying to figure out our difficult child triggers and go over in my mind the worst episodes. Even though there were many episodes that were very difficult every year. It seemed to me that the worst of the worst always came around events that should have been joyfull. My wife's birthday Christmas ect. But the more I thought about it the more I realized that the week before our anniversary always exploded and would last a few days past. I have discussed this with my counselor but did not realize the timing of the events till last night guess I grew to numb over the years to see. Is it common for difficult child to take certain occasions to cause problems. I hope I am not overstaying my welcome but this is the only place I know that people understand and have experienced what it's like. Counselor is great but I feel like I haven't been able to state things the way I feel in the short times week talk. It is easier to write it down and get it out. I thank god for leading me here and I will continue to use y'all's shoulders to help me through this. And I want to say thanks to everyone on this site a to wish y'all a blessed holiday season