Having "the talk" this weekend

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by ML, May 22, 2009.

  1. ML

    ML Guest

    I need support here. I have reached a boiling point with stepson J. I suppose being the non bio parent it's understandable. I don't have that programmed need to rescue and enable him that his bio father does. I've shared my feelings with husband and though difficult for him to hear he has agreed that we will talk to him together.

    J has done nothing. I have never seen anyone do nothing so perfectly. He must be nocturnal because he sleeps all day. He wakes up at 5 or 6, coming up to eat dinner and basically acting like an jerk. He has that "don't approach me I'm angry at the world and at you and I will bite your head off if you look me in the eye". It's intimidating and it works. I just avoid him. He is taking advantage of us and we are allowing it. Though it's scary, both for me and husband to confront him, we must.

    Here is what I'm preparing to say along with husband. I may have to take the lead because it's easier for me I think, husband has too much guilt and rescue synapses going on so he may not be able to pull it off. He can back me up.

    J, we love you. But we made a mistake by not setting boundaries with you when you moved in with us months ago and we want to talk about that now. We can see what having no responsibility has done for you and it isn't good and we're sorry for treating you like a child when you're a 26 year old grown man. We know that your unemployment is bringing in about 1600 a month and that you have a $200 motorcycle payment. Hopefully in the past several months you've been able to save up some money. At this point we've decided to charge rent. Currently you're giving us $200 which about covers the increase in our food bill. He will say "I won't eat with you then" like he did a prior time he lived with us but always ate our leftovers which I always had (who's the enabler now lol) so we're going to have the food inclued in the $400 and just say the rent includes food, utilities, cable etc. We'll say we understand that this may not be suitable and you may decided to move which we would totally understand. We know you have some decisions to make but we can't support your drop out from life and adult responsibilities.

    This will be the gist of it. I'm not sure if we should also put a timeline in his staying. My thinking is that he will be furious and the offer not attractive enough and he'll move back into his old roommate situation (they told him he could).

    What do you think? Anything feedback or advice is much welcome.



  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    He's 26? IF husband is willing, I'd go for it--at his age, anything to get him out of the house and responsible for his own self. Nobody forced him to buy that motorcycle. He could have bought a used one that is cheaper or a used car. But I wouldn't try to explain what the $400 entails because that opens you up to arguing with him over semantics. I'd just say $400 a month. It's a fair price. And I'll bet it is--bet he can't get better living conditions for less.

    If he moves out, well, it's about time he grow up or fail on his own. Otherwise, he will NEVER become the adult that he already is.
  3. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    $1600 a month? That is more than I make in my good paying job! I would definately give him a time line. With that income, he should be able to find a good apartment and still have a lot more money left over than I did when I was living on my own paying rent and a car payment. He will be able to buy his own food something I often did not have money for when I was on my own.

    He is very lucky to have an income. That will make it easier for you to make him grow up in the pay-for-your-own room and board area.
  4. ML

    ML Guest

    Truly husband would prefer no confrontation and status quo. If I hadn't married husband I am sure J would be doing the same thing and that husband would probably never stop the cycle of enabling. So truly I am the evil step mom in this but I'm starting to become "ok" with that lol. Not really but I'm trying :)
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I'm a "Wicked StepMother" too so no worries. Besides - you are doing this for you! If it didn't affect you, it would be totally their problem. But it does. So they can deal.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think you are totally within the golden realm here. I might also include something about while he is there he needs to abide by some normal tenant rules such as if he wishes to attend meals they will be at this time but he must let you know if he is going to be eating with you before hand and that his manner is civil. No glaring! He also keeps his area neat and tidy and does his own laundry etc.
  7. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I think I wouldn't go into too much explanation. It gives them too much opportunity to debate it with you.

    How about "Our circumstances have changed and we can't afford to only charge you $200 a month rent any longer. It doesn't cover expenses. Beginning in June we need $500 a month." If you really feel like stringing him along, ask for $600 and settle for $500. Then he'll feel like he got away with something.
  8. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think I'd be prepared for an immediate backlash/argument.. practice some good, short responses so you'll be prepared. That list created elsewhere might help. I think a timeline is VERY important.. i.e., "we expect you to start paying this beginning June 1" (or whenever he gets his next unemployment check?) If he balks, you scan say, "well, it's up to you. We'll either expect a check on [June 1] or we'll expect you to move out. Shrug and move on.

    Let us know how it goes!
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    No one else said it that I saw, so I will. If you and husband want your sanity, and this kid has actually dropped out of life and adult responsibilities....

    Set that move out date. You can be reasonable and give him time to get a job and apartment of his own. But at 26 he has no reason to be living with parents. Period. He's raking in plenty of cash to afford his own place now, but I can see how landlords may shy away from him since he is unemployed.

    Prepare for a major difficult child moment or more. And if he doesn't like it, he can move. Good grief 1600.00 unemployment?? OMG!

  10. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Hi ML-

    This is the link to the responses that Crazy alluded to above. Commit them to memory...heck, write them on the palm of your hand as a cheat sheet if you need to. ;)


    I also agree that you don't want to go into details when discussing the raise in rent. Room and board for $500 a month? Not to mention that he has maid service (a clean house) and utilities included. We should all be so lucky!

    You might want to throw in asking him what his "goal" is and "how can we help you achieve it?" It would be interesting to hear his response.

    At 26 it's hard for me to muster any kind of sympathy for him. He's turning(ed?) into a huge mooch and he isn't even appreciative.

  11. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    Hi ML,
    I agree with the great advice you have been given here. I have a 25 yr old easy child son and he did live with us for a couple of years while he was trying to get a business off the ground. We hardly saw him as he worked 12-15 hr days. He was very polite and appreciative of having a place to live. I know it bothered him though to be living with his parents and once the business failed he moved across the country to make a new start and is doing well now on his own, no support from us. Just for perspective....even my difficult child dtr has been on her own since she was 18--best thing that could have happened to her.

    Good luck!

  12. ML

    ML Guest

    Thank you all sooo much. I wil print the list out and commit it to memory. I don't know why this is so hard but it is. Love and thanks ML
  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    ML, I agree that the ultimate goal for him is to move out for everyone's sanity. He can't be happy living in mom and dad's house and not being his own man. It is something that you should be keeping in mind, as the time will come. But I think that it has been advised before and so far you are not ready for it, so, you should stick with your own comfort level as far as talking to him, and maybe he will become uncomfortable enough with $500 - $600 a month to mom to get his own place.
  14. ML

    ML Guest

    Witz, you're right I know it. It's just that husband and I are slightly on different pages, but close. I'm trying to find a compromise, a kinder, gentler way if you will lol. My ideal situation would be to give J a 3/4 month time frame for moving out and upping the rent in the meantime. husband and I have to talk a bit tonight after manster goes to his dad's so we can sync up our stories. Wish me luck.

    And wouldn't you know it that J picked today to start smiling and being friendly again. These difficult child's are rather intuitve.
  15. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Ain't that the truth.

    When Rob was living at home and at his worst.....the best day we had in years ended up being the day/night he left in the middle of the night, stole my car, vandalized my brother's lake cottage, etc, etc, etc.

    In retrospect I decided he was so pleasant that day because he had a "plan."

    I think you are doing very well. What you are anticipating is a very difficult conversation; and it will be. It isn't for the faint of heart...but you CAN do it.