We are now back in regular contact with Difficult Stepson. My wife speaks to him, or sees him, on a weekly basis and he visits us again. He spent time with us on both Saturday and Sunday for Easter and a family party. He's got a girlfriend now, a girl one year younger than him, who lives across the street from them. This girl accompanies him to every visit. I'm not sure whether or not this pairing is a positive one, as she shares many of his issues, but it's obvious they care about each other deeply. Difficult Stepson has never had a close, caring relationship before (either friendship or romantic) and I couldn't be happier that he is now having this experience - I just hope it doesn't turn sour, but I'm trying not to project into the future. The two of them were holding hands, draping their legs over each other, and tried to sneak upstairs to his room at our place but I made it very clear that wasn't happening. So they came back down and we played board games for an hour or so before Difficult Stepson drove himself, his girlfriend and younger brother back home. I think we'd be naive to think they aren't sexually active. We try not to nag him about being responsible, using birth control, etc. We do know the girlfriend has more supervision at home than our Difficult Stepson has with his father so we hope that she, if not he, will take this responsibility seriously. Difficult Stepson continues to shirk accountability in every other area of his life that I can see, so I wouldn't be surprised if the same magical thinking extends to a potential pregnancy as well. I asked him how online school was going (we can tell from our monitoring that it isn't going great, he isn't completing his work, the same story as brick and mortar school) and he stiffened up, and gave a terse response. I didn't follow up. It's his life and I need to butt out of it unless he threatens his own safety, or mine, or my wife's. Overall it was a pleasant visit and it's good to have him back in our lives. There's been a definite transition since the "break" in that he is asserting his independence. We relate to him differently; more like an adult. This is both good and bad. He's only sixteen years old and has proven himself both unable and unwilling to handle the burdens of being grown up; he needs guidance and parenting, but he won't accept it and I have finally accepted that there is nothing I can do about that. I'm thankful for the good memories with him created over the weekend. I will do my best to hold on to them. Thank you for listening. I hope everyone had a nice holiday.