detatched, denial, intermittant lies and stealing credit card no. to buy "toys"

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by tfd, Sep 15, 2015.

  1. tfd

    tfd New Member

    first post here - my 20 yr old son was the sweetest and lovingest kid until he hit adolescence. never serious alocohol or drug usage - just experimental occasionally. he has always been fascinated by police, military and now just the guns. not a hunter. barely got his HS diploma. moves from one marginal job to another. dates a goth bi-polar drama girl who currently has a restraining order on him. this kid was overindulged with love and material goods - and inconsistent parenting guidelines. I lean a bit toward the strict side especially with adult lying and stealing. my wife ever accommodating and generous before and after all the lying and stealing thru teen years and still going in. He seems only to REALLY care about his classic car, girlfriend and guns. When he gets "depressed" or sad, he needs to buy toys. since he is underemployed his M.O. is to sneak into the house, steal Mom's c card and order stuff on line which we eventually catch him at. he usually confesses (with no remorse) when we check the statements. more embarrassed. he wont really talk. and after 5-6 mo. of "OK" behavior and letting our guard down, we find we have been had again. he knows not to steal my card because i would totally call the police and have him charged, whereas mom just accepts his silent admission (no apology really). I think the kid is may have some adhd issues although never diagnosed. other psyche issues too no doubt but he won't get into any counseling. we had an alarm system installed but he sneaks in when just my daughter is home or even sneaks into my wife's purse when visiting. so now i don't want him on the property at all and told him i won't try having a relationship with him anymore until a few years when he possibly grows up or changes. Honestly, he seems stupid and is just silent when I try to persuade him to be honest and to change, because that has worked in the past. my wife and i are near divorce for a number of reasons including my resentment of her over-coddling and enabling. i think he seems doomed and that we will be financial supporting him and putting up with his dishonesty until the day we die. i don't care to be part of that scenario. i found this site by trying to subject him to some type of diagnosis. "Conduct disorder" seems to work. thank god he is not too active if at all with drugs and just a few beers here and there. any insights or thoughts? i am over simplifying the scenario but i am open to all ideas and criticisms. thx.
  2. tfd

    tfd New Member

    oh - and we did kick him out 1 1/2 yr ago when we busted him. since he has lived with his girl friend until the restraining order and now his friend's couch.
  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Welcome tfd, I'm glad you found us here but sorry you had to. Your story is a familiar one here on this site. Read my signature and you'll get an idea of what I have been through with my own son.

    Your wife sounds like she is in real denial which is not at all uncommon. I think sometimes it's harder for moms to detach because by nature we are nurturers. When our children are small and they get a scrape or are scared us moms are always there to comfort them and make everything ok. We can continue this right on into adulthood. What starts out as helping quickly can turn into enabling. All we know is we want to make everything ok for them. It's also hard to see our adult child as an adult. It some time for me to stop seeing my sweet little boy when I would think of my son. I had to really work at seeing him for who his is, a grown man with Rastafarian hair and a scraggly beard.

    It's understandable that you kicked him out. I know all too well the feeling of betrayal when your own child steals from you and acts like it's no big deal. I did on more than one occasion call the police on my son. He once stole $3000 in cash that I had hidden very well (so I thought). Never underestimate their desire and determination to find what they want.
    It's not an easy thing to call the police on your own child and for some they just simply are not ready or willing to do that.

    There is a good article at the top of the PE forum on detaching. It's very good and you might want to share it with your wife.

    I know how hard it can be on a marriage when dealing with a difficult adult child. My husband and I weathered some pretty good storms but we made it.
    Perhaps you and your wife might benefit from some counseling. If not together then you might consider it for yourself. It's good to have someone that can offer unbiased clear perspective.

    This video gives a clear description of helping -vs- enabling. Setting boundaries is vital in surviving an adult difficult child.

    Keep posting and let us know how things are going. Others will come along and share.

  4. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    tfd, it is really hard for some moms...and dads let go of the babies they've raised and see them as the people they've become. I know it's so very hard for me. In fact, I recently took all of my son's photos in my office and put them up so that can't see them. I've had the same job for 21 years, so I literally have photos from newborn to high school graduation. When he'd call all I could think of was my little boy. Now I find it easier to think of the man.

    We put our son out for stealing. We didn't call the police because I couldn't face it, but I don't see any way he'll ever live in our home again. It's taking a lot of time for me to get to the point of telling him "no" and to take care of his own problems. My husband, Jabberwockey will be along.

    Welcome. I'm sorry you have to be here with us.
  5. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    tfd, Lil and I are in a fairly similar situation to yours other than the fact that we are finally pretty much on the same page as to what needs done and not nearing divorce. It is VERY difficult when the parents aren't working together. Its one thing to disagree in private but parents MUST provide a united front in public. When we were in disagreement about how to handle our son it made it easy for him to play us against each other. I'm the disciplinarian as well but Lil is coming around. Answer this question to yourself. Do you still want to spend the rest of your life with your wife? If the answer is yes then get counseling. Couples if at all possible but definitely for yourself. You need an unbiased opinion and someone to whom you can tell everything you're thinking about but not have to worry about anything being told to your wife that you dont want told. By all means, keep posting here but get counseling as well.