Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by yangstein, Dec 14, 2016.

  1. Hi everyone,

    I have 3 children. 2 from me and 1 from my wife. Obviously it is our second marriage.

    My step son, who will be 22 in February has been the biggest problem in the household. My daughter, who is 23, graduated from an IVY League school, now heading to a law school so she has no problem causing trouble. The youngest is following his sister's footstep. He's senior in high school and can't wait to get out to live his life. My step son on the other hand, dropped out of college after partying for 2 years. He moved back home and is the center of the whole problem.

    He has a serious habit of smoking marijuana he developed since 15. Last week, we found him 3 times passed out with vaporizer in his hand, light on and fan blowing at full speed. No matter what his own mother says, he would not listen. He has this little catering job and delivers dominos at nights, which keep him to support lavish purchases on expensive goods and smoking which I think it is not cheap to keep the habit if you are not a recreational smoker. Well he could do whatever he wants as he is an adult. However, it is not fair for other family members to suffer.

    When we knew he was coming back home from getting kicked out of college, instead of apologizing, he literally said he is not the only one didn't do well in college in first 2 years as he is totally fine with what happened. He is extremely lazy, unmotivated and does whatever he pleases. Football and Basketball are the main focus which he could sit and watch TV for 12 hours straight unless someone interrupts.

    My wife begged me to seek counselling and I went with her. We have gone counselling few times before but mother would not follow up as the counsellor said. That is why I did not want to attend and waste my time. I thought I would give it a last shot so decided to go. This time, I asked 3 times during the session if my wife is REALLY willing to do things that the counsellor suggests that we must do. She said "Yes" 3 times. It's been almost 2 years and absolutely NOTHING has been done or changed.

    I do not want to come home after work. Getting stressed from work is enough to handle and I do not think I deserve any more. After 6 months my step son came home and saw what was happening, I stopped talking to him at all. I have not spoken to him one word for a year. My message was "If you think you are an adult, go out and live your life as you wish but do not make any of other family members suffer because of you". It doesn't bother him at all as he continues to do whatever he wants. At least he's not home when I get home. He comes home after I go to bed. We both try to avoid each other, which is good for me. I do not want to deal with unmotivated childish grown up whom I have helped, supported and given him countless advise for the 7 years. He doesn't feel sorry or anything. He is taking full advantage of us.

    Last night, I heard my wife and him talking in the kitchen as he was about to go out at 10PM. My wife screamed and went through the facts what he has done. Him? He acts like "Here she goes again" and acts as if nothing ever happened.

    I can't, do not want to and continue to go on like this. The therapist told us to kick him out when he disobeys the house rules. House rules were ridiculously simple for most of people but are impossible for him to follow.

    Therapist said numerous things but clear house rules to be implemented
    1. Cut off his phone
    - He went out and got a new phone for himself

    2. Sign him up for rehab
    - He went for the first day then quit as that was not for him. Mother bought that story and this rehab
    thing was shut forever.

    3. Kick him out
    - We are stuck here. Therapist said he would go out for few days/weeks, then will come back and
    repeat this for a while. Mother isn't capable of doing this.

    As I mentioned, he has 2 jobs and can support himself the way I see it. He even bought a newer car. (We gave him a car when he came back home to use it but he abused it, we repaired the car spending obscene amount of money) On his birthday, I handed him the old car's title so that he could learn some sort of responsibility but again he never appreciated it, abused it, calling it a piece of :censored2:, trashed it and finally
    traded in for a newer Prius without even asking anyone. Our family members have nice cars. Yes. Ferrari, Porsche, Audi and the youngest one in high school drives a MB SL. Therefore, he could say his car was crap but we bought him 2 cars when he was in high school and he trashed them. When he was in school for 2 years, he did not work for 1 single day and blamed on not having a transportation. Mother bought him a moped to ride around campus and find a job, he totaled it in less than 2 months.

    Well I do not have a problem with trading in the old car but it would have been nice if he asked us what his plan was. He is uncontrollable grown up but has maturity of 13 year old. There is no positive focus or plan in his life that we would like to hear. The only focus I see in him is "Football" "Basketball" "Weed" and "Buying expensive stuff". When school is mentioned, he would say he would attend next semester, next semester in local college but it hasn't happened in 2 years. I do not expect to happen.

    Now, it is affecting not only everyone but my marriage. The house is not a happy place. I do not want to come home to deal with this caused by one person. When mother and son argued during the day, I will be the one have to deal with angry or depressed mother. What have I done to deserve this?

    I have told my wife she needs to kick him out, let him hit the bottom, start to appreciate things, gather his thoughts and get back on his feet to be a real man. Well.... it is not happening. He doesn't want to move out. I totally understand him. Why move out where I get a free room and board and do whatever I want to do? I have no place to vent as we recently moved to CA from NY 3 years ago. To avoid this, I started looking for a job leaving CA hoping he won't follow us. That is how bad it has become.

    I feel hopeless and my depression is getting worse.... I've been fighting it but there seems to be very few options left for me to do......
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I think you should go to therapy, this time to help yourself in this difficult situation. Wife is being unreasonable. You will deal with this dynamic if you stay with her. To be fair, you did help enable step son by handing him free big items, like cars. He never had to go without if he didn't work. He still doesn't.

    If wife won't go to therapy with serious intentions of resolving this, go alone. You would be amazed at how much a neutral third party can help you gain clarity. You probably need to decide if you love your wife enough that it is worth it to deal with how she treats stepson. It won't be easy.

    That's why I suggested a therapist to help you sort it out. Your own therapist who is helping you, not telling you and wife what to do about step son. Obviously Wife won't take advice. It's time to focus on you, and what YOU need and how to cope with whatever decision you make.

    It sounds pretty unhappy.

    You have a lot to think about and I wish you the very best of luck.
  3. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    I think pot has killed his motivation in life. Cancel cable since he is obsessed. Since the house is in your name, he won't be able to have the cable provider come to re-install it. If you don't have TV in your home, he probably won't want to stay. He may have the money to pay for cable, but as the owner of the house, you have the right not to allow the cable people to enter your home. He will start streaming it or trying to watch it on his computer, but you can cancel the internet, too. As for re-entering college, a community college doesn't have the party environment that universities do, mainly because no one lives on campus. Since he obviously has money and a job, he can find a cheap apartment. You don't need to worry about him being able to support himself. He has enough money to make it if he cuts out the unnecessary things. If he wants to come home, tell him he has to be enrolled in college and can't use drugs. If he wants to piss his life away, tell him you can't bear to watch and want him to ruin his life elsewhere. He is 22. He should be ready to graduate from college by now. You mentioned you have two other high-performing kids. Just make sure you're not making him major in something beyond his ability. My concern is that maybe he can't live up to his siblings. Some kids can't handle AP courses, even if their siblings can. For example, I have a student whose parents haven't spoken to him in 2-3 weeks because it's clear he won't be getting a scholarship. Both his sisters got full scholarships.
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    yangstein, welcome. I am sorry you find yourself in this awful predicament with your step son.

    I agree with everything SWOT has suggested. If you read awhile on this site, you will see how difficult it is for us mothers and fathers to detach from our difficult adult kids. Your wife does not sound as if she has any commitment to change at this point and for any real change to take place, WE are the ones who must change. As you mentioned, your step son is living on easy street, why on earth would HE change.

    How we change is we begin responding differently. We set boundaries. We stop the money flow. We say no. We get the help we need to make the changes. It's your home, you make the rules. Your wife may not change, but YOU can. I agree about you seeing a therapist on your own to look at YOUR options. Living with our difficult kids can suck all the joy out of life and you're right, you didn't do anything to deserve this, but you are......I needed a village to make the changes necessary and I needed a safe place to go to vent and be heard. You deserve that too.....find yourself the support you need. At the very least, you will have a place to vent and that will help a lot.

    You might find the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here helpful. You also might attend an Al Anon or Narc Anon or Families anonymous meeting to get yourself some support from other parents in the same place. Many parents here have received support, guidance and resources at 12 step groups.

    I understand how you feel. I recall not wanting to come home when my daughter lived with us. My husband put up with a lot for a while there, he is not the father of my daughter either......... I could see that if it continued in the same way, my marriage would have suffered greatly. I had a huge commitment to change though, I did not want to live in the hell that my daughter brought with're in a crummy situation because he is not your son and your wife is not willing to make any changes......I can see how you would be depressed and of course, feel utterly powerless.......

    It sounds as if you are reaching an end for yourself.......where "something" has to move, to shift......perhaps if you see a therapist or attend a group, you will begin to see options.....nothing feels worse than that feeling of being stuck and having no options.....where you presently find yourself. I'm so sorry. I know how bad it can get.

    Get yourself support, keep're not alone.....we're all here for you.....hang in there yangstein.....
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  5. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    One other thing I would recommend is culinary school. You said he has a catering job. Does he enjoy catering? Maybe you could persuade him to work towards the goal of opening up a catering business someday. Cruise lines hire chefs, and the employees basically get to travel for free.
  6. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Crayola, the entire family in my opinion should not have to go to without cable to make this young man move out. Why change the normal home for him?

    Also he hardly sounds motivated enough even for culinary school. My daughter is a pastry chef who even taught for a bit and culinary is often pushed by parents of low achievers. Many of her students quit. When a grown kid is refusing to work, they dont tend to last in any sort of college program. They are too lazy. They want no demands made on their idle times. They want to smoke pot, party, do other drugs, etc.

    It isn't hard to control the environment with young kids but adult kids will do what they want to do and we won't know. Trust me. I experienced it. Up until 12 is a cakewalk. 12 can be the beginning of awful. Eighteen is the beginning of no legal control. And the most irresponsible adult kids are the ones who tend to want no structure and no rules and lots of pot.

    There is no way I'd deprive myself and hub and other kids of cable or anything we enjoy for an adult problem child. It's our home. Not to mention this man's mother is treating him as if he is a dependent child. I personally think he should be forced to stand on his own. Then he won't have cable unless he pays for it but the family will. Why punish them?

    RE, I love all your posts. I do think pondering the options is the only way. And it's too hard to do alone. I forgot to mention Al Anon. Glad you did!
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    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
  7. Thank you for your thoughts. I agree 100000% of what you mentioned. We never push him or compare him with other siblings. We just want him to be on the right track and happy. He has never had a girlfriend. It takes too much time and efforts to have a girlfriend according to him.
    As far as school is concerned, it is totally fine and we encourage him to go to community college to gain some momentum and confidence. We do not expect much at all from him. We just want him to have some sort of mid term goal in his life to get back to reality.... It seems very difficult and that is the dilemma we have.
  8. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Culinary School, at least a good, reputable, "name" culinary school, is not only expensive, but darned hard work. husband went to culinary school (GI Bill) and worked as a chef until his health began to fail. It's grueling work, in a very hot, loud, crowded, noisy environment, and everyone is swearing and yelling constantly. Add in heavy lifting, etc. It's not an easy living. You also start at the bottom, even if you have a degree. husband advanced much more quickly as he had previous experience as a pantryman and line cook from years before. It also takes literacy and math skills to work in the culinary arts, as I'm sure SWOT's daughter could tell you.

    It's not work for the thin-skinned, or for those physically unable to keep up, follow directions, or unwilling to work their tails off, while being screamed and cursed at.
  9. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis

    Your story for me was hard to read. I can feel your wife's love for him...but you should come first. You are her husband, and step dad or not, you will need to work on being a United front.

    Our adult son lives with us...I wish he didn't, but he does for now...he too has no idea what he wants...though our stories are very different..I agree you need to get help, then maybe you can help mom.

    Maybe your steps are assisting him to move, roommate..he obviously gets up goes to charge him where do you want his money to go?

    Weed would have to go...if he does it in his own be it.

    None of our children should be compared to each other...our son saddens us, but it's his journey to live...he is working to buy his own car.

    Stay strong...keep communication open with your wife...your stress can harm you. Decisions can be made with all in mind.

    I agree...he should move out since he has no respect for your rules.

    Keep posting, it helps.
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  10. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    GN, thsnks. you are right. My daughter catered and worked 10 hour days,six days a week. If you want to make more than minimum wage at a restaurant, that's what chefs do. My daughter won a few awards for her cooking. Not everyone has the knack for making extra delicious food either. It's a gift and an art. And the course is not easy.

    Our difficult and unmotivated adult kids do not usually succeed even in the easiest college classes. Been on the board fifteen years or so...seen many stories and lived my own. These are not sad little boys who need hugs. These are grown men who turn their noses up at extensive help we give and ask for more help and never think it's enough. They don't want a hand up. They want us to support them financially forever. They are in victim mode and refuse to admit that they make choices that cause their own sorrow. A lot of people are lonely. Grown ups don't crash on moms couch, rejecting the house that mom paid for. Adults deal with it.

    Of course mature adults buy their own houses too and they work hard to do it.

    You have to wonder how these adults will survive when we are gone. One thing for sure...if the adults refuse to work, most will be in and out of homeless shelters. I
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
  11. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    I see a lot of our story in your story as well.

    First of all I give you a lot of credit. Being a stepdad you are really committed and trying to find answers for your family. I don't think my husband could have handled this if it was not his own flesh and blood.

    You can see by my signature we have been through a lot. It is so hard for a mother to kick out their child. They feel like they have given up. I'm sure she loves you as her husband also and it is a hard spot to be in the middle. Mothers try to fix everything. No one asks for this. This is not normal parenting. It is a vortex of despair.

    It went on in our home for five years. The odd thing was that our son was SOBER most of the time but even then was not growing as a person at all. Didn't want to work - said he did but anxiety etc. etc. He then would go on drug binges and raise holy hell in the house. We felt so trapped. It drug (no pun intended) out for so long because it seemed like he was doing better in between binges - until he wasn't. And he was very young.....

    Through the help of this forum - it was a Godsend for me - I gained strength and we finally gave him an ultimatum after his last binge. Go to rehab or get out. I was so afraid to even give him that option because he was so against rehab and he had been several times before. He did choose rehab only because he had nowhere to go and got through it and then we sent him to Florida to continue his treatment. He has struggled since he has been there (March of this year) BUT he is doing better. I don't know what he does day to day nor I care. I don't want to know. He is working. If he does drugs I know he will lose his job (he is an all or nothing type) and then he knows our help will stop. He is growing and being more responsible. Not as quickly as we'd like but most importantly our home is again peaceful. We are able to enjoy each other again. I look forward to going home each night. I wish we had done this years ago.

    We have suffered so much. I hope that you are able to find the answers you need. It sounds like your wife is not there yet.
  12. Wow... I am getting more support than ever. It makes me feel very good. Thank all of you for your support. I have faced this issue for a long time but nowhere to bring up the issue and vent. If he were my own son, I would have made decisions and actions long ago. Since I am the step father and do not want to get blame like "You do this because he is your step son". I would have kicked him out and face the reality long time ago if he was my own child. I take discipline seriously but am not a helicopter parent. All my children have been brought up without prejudice or strict rules where I gave them freedom but always taught that "Freedom comes with responsibilities and when you abuse that, then you will have to face consequences" type of environment. Never checked whether they did the homework or anything like that. However I always asked if there is any problem with school, friends or other issues. I made sure I was there to help if they had any problems and questions.

    For my stepson, I made it very clear during the Freshman Summer break in high school before he went back to school. His cousins that he grew up with has zillionaire father. Therefore they will be taken care of no matter what. But "You have to create your own life as you are different from your cousins. Sophomore year to graduation of a college, which would be 7 years from now could decide rest of your life and make sure not to lose focus and invest those time for yourself" From that time, things got out of control. He started smoking, things around the house started disappearing but he always denied for anything. Changes in his attitude and behavior were not tolerable.

    When we moved to NY from FL, I bought him a nice new car, telling him it is your final year in high school and sorry for the move. However, I got you in the best school so you could have a better access to the World. House rules.
    1. Do not smoke pot in the house
    2. Do not smoke pot and drive
    3. Do not get into an accident (being a cause) or get tickets for petty things
    4. Do not drink and drive

    Within one month, he broke 3 out of 4 simple rules and got caught. For drinking and drive, we do not know whether he did or not. Then we decided to let him go back to FL to attend his senior year in same high school living with his uncle as he wanted. It did not turn out in a good way. He skipped classes and literally wasted his senior year.
    Somehow he got into a decent school in FL and spent next 2 years doing absolutely nothing. I tried to help him with selecting classes but when the student doesn't go to classes or study, you can't pass classes. He lied to us and flew to Colorado to celebrate 420 day is one of the thousand things he lied. He did not even do the walk through after moving out of his apartment. Collection agency finally got hold of me one day before they were going to report to credit bureau. I signed the lease so it was my responsibility. I paid the fine and that was when I decided that I could not rely on him and put my credit or other things at risk.

    I heard mother and son talk for 2 days in a row. Mother clearly mentioned that he had all the chances but failed in every single time. Current house rule or what mother wants are very simple.
    - Get a real job with future (Not Dominos)
    - Exercise and get into shape
    - Go to any school to find out what you would like to do with your life

    It doesn't even have smoking rules as I believe mother kind of gave up on smoking thing. He doesn't smoke like ordinary recreational people would. He would do so called "Dabbing" When we were away to go skiing the day after Christmas last year, he did not want to join the family. Later we found out that he went to urgent care on that day and January 2nd. He would not tell us why he went there as he claimed he is an adult. That is when I felt my patience ran out, sorry for the youngest one to witness all of this and decided not to even talk to him anymore.

    Mother has been saying the same thing over and over again but it just doesn't get to his head. He rolls his eyes and moves on. In some way I understand his point as his mother abuses alcohol for a long time. I have 2 problems to deal with. When you come back home from work and walk in the house, the first thing I find is a glass of wine. That is another issue but I just can't handle both at the same time.....

    Mother kicked him out of the house, sent him to Cape Cod where her family is for the Summer hoping he would bounce back to life. Instead, he hung out with his cousins doing the same exact things... Did not work for a day where Cape in the Summer screams for money and opportunities. His aunt sent a text message to his mother that he could no longer stay with her. He came back to CA and I did not even know until the day he came back. His mother did not even discuss or tell me that he was coming until the actual day when my wife was going in to a hospital for a hip surgery. That made me not to express anything. What could I have said to a person going into a major surgery???? I sent text message to my step son stating that I did not know why he is back but told him straight forward that he would have to move out for everyone's sake and happiness. I am totally stuck where there seems to be no exit.

    Mother son talk for 2 days will not do anything as I have seen it for the last 7 years. I told my wife that some people understand and learn through discussions with other people especially with parents. Some people just can't do that and have to learn things by himself. If you keep letting things happen the way it has been, then there will never be a change. It has been ignored and I decided not to even mention my step son's name as it would boil me inside out. I just let it go and as long as I do not see him and he does not do something stupid, I will carry on. I gave up. When 2 toilet lever broke in one day, I told my wife it is him as he uses toilet with his feet. He pushes the lever down and it breaks. How simple fact is that? My neighbors all laugh at it as I was telling the truth how some men do those things. He already has broken a couple of toilet seat by slamming it with his feet. Mother denied it and fixed it herself as I was getting angry that she would not admit the fact. Little careless things like that irritate me as I see it coming from "Zero Respect" He doesn't appreciate things that have given to him. First red flag and we have not passed the first red flag for years. That is why it is so stressful.

    Soon, I will have to tell her I would move out or something to wake her up. I am preparing myself for the worst as I have done enough and think I deserve some sort of peace and happiness.

    I took 100000% more patience on this issue because of he is my step son.
  13. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    yangstein, thank you for telling us your story.

    Ok, here is my first my opinion, you are dealing with substance abuse with not only your step son,but it sounds like your wife as well. It sounds as if you are codependent with both of them. Enabling both of them. You are in a bad place. Your needs don't matter within the present framework you find yourself in, all the focus goes on to the "other." It is a desperate, devastating, terrible place to be. It is no wonder you are depressed and hate to go home.

    I am a major enabler. In order for me to stop it, I had to enter a 2 year codependency course through Kaiser here in CA. You may be familiar with them. It saved my life. It gave me the tools and the information and the necessary strength to change. I can't recall if you are in NY or CA. but if you belong to K.P., check out their substance abuse program near you, they have a codependency course within it which is incredible. Maybe you can all go. I went alone, but most of the folks were there with a family member who was a substance abuser.

    In order to change anything in this scenario (in my opinion) you need to seek support for yourself so you can find options that work for YOU. When we are enablers, we just continue helping until it darn near kills us. It sounds as if you are pretty close to making some kind of choice and I suggest you attend Al Alon, CoDa, Families Anonymous or therapy. It is pretty difficult to change this pattern on our own because it is so a part of us we can't separate our love for them with our enabling of them.

    You have no allies in your own family. I can relate. I trained everyone around me NOT to care about my needs, I trained them and then I had to retrain them once I learned how to care for my own needs and desires. This is not easy to do, it's like trying to stop a runaway train going at warp speed. Hence, getting all the support you can get.

    In m opinon and experience, this is now about YOU, not your step son or your wife. They are the opportunities for change, the catalyst for you to see how far out it's become. You can't change them, fix them or control them. You can only change YOU. When you change, they will be forced to shift their behavior or not, but change will happen for you. When one person changes, everyone around them has to change or they will make it obvious that they are unwilling to change and then you have a choice. Your wife and your son are strongly influenced by mind altering substances, their ability to be real, to be authentic, to be rational and truthful and loving is thwarted by their abuse. So, you are running around in a terrible hamster wheel trying to get them to hear you when in reality, they cannot. YOU have to seek help to find a different approach. Remember the adage "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?" Well, it sounds as if that is where you are........and that feels really bad. No options. Stuck. Powerless. Out of control. Sick and tired of being sick and tired. I've been there, I know exactly how that feels.

    My strong suggestion to you is to seek professional help or get yourself into a 12 step group or some kind of counseling as soon as you can. You will learn tools to help you to change the behavior and you will gain the strength to make whatever changes are necessary for you to regain your joy in life, your peace, your well being and believe me, you will feel so much better about yourself.

    You already exhibited enormous patience with your step son. Go take care of YOU now.

    Hang in there yangstein, this feels really bad, I know, but it is fixable and doable. The first step is recognizing that you have a problem, you've done that. Now seek the support to change.
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  14. JaneBetty

    JaneBetty Active Member

    Yangstein, your stepson has been bailed out many times by you and your well meaning wife, and he has learned that someone will step in and fix whatever he breaks, be it cars, or even toilet flush handles!

    You are in an unenviable position: you love your wife, who is the mother of an only child. It sounds as though you have financial resources to keep solving his problems, and even though it is the easiest way to deal with him, in the long run, he is not taking charge of his life.

    Somehow, your wife needs to be convinced that the kind of help he is getting is actually causing your step son damage.

    We threw lots of money towards helping our daughter until she was nearly 27 years old. Sadly, she didn't really start confronting her problems until she was forced out of our house.

    For the longest time, I simply could not imagine her making it on her own, fearing that she would be taken advantage of, or that she would end up homeless.

    I was also hyper aware of how our situation appeared to our friends and neighbors, and tried to hide how disfunctional things had become.

    She is out on her own now, and she has just lost another job, but she simply must figure out how to survive, and in an odd way, I am proud of her for trying to figure out how to get by. It isn't easy to be aware of her struggles, but things couldn't go on the way they had while she was under our roof.

    Your living situation sounds frustrating, and I hope your wife comes to the same conclusion you seem to have come to, that your step son isn't thriving, isn't growing into a man.
  15. I really think the best solution right now is to let him out of the house. I kind of mentioned about cutting his health insurance to get his won but backfired on me. If he lives by himself, then he will learn to live, survive and appreciate things he used to have without having to do anything. The only obstacle is my wife who fears she will lose her only son forever. My stepson has never met his birth father and as far as I know, he had substance abuse issues....

    My experience with my stepson used to be good in the beginning until he started lying, smoking pot and doing things he was not supposed to. He has never faced a real tough situation in his life as mother always gave in... Sometimes, you have to be tough as a parent but that doesn't work for my wife. She could yell and says things to her son but my stepson knows his mother doesn't mean anything when she is angry... I feel like we are waiting for a miracle to happen considering the current situation.

    I went to see a therapist by myself and talked. I have almost identical thoughts as the therapist. That is why I stopped going to see him. Maybe I need to go and check on him again.
  16. Last night when I went home, my wife was preparing dinner. Youngest went out to see the new "Star Wars" movie with his friends. As I was hanging out in the kitchen, 2nd one(Problem) just walked out of the house without saying anything. As mother started putting food on dishes, I said "One is enough, He went out". She acted like she couldn't believe it and texted him. I said "Thursday night football is on... Do you expect him to be home? I don't..."

    She really started to make something different in her mind few days ago but it just isn't happening. She had 2 days in row conversation with her son, which is pointless, wasting time without any positive outcome. I am so not in it anymore because nothing nice would come out of my mouth so I would better stay away from it as far as possible. What I say doesn't matter anymore as mother will always bend the rules and her son knows it and will take a full advantage of it. I know mother's endless love, unconditional love but my wife is not doing it right. Instead she is harboring wrong behavior and takes it as her fault and believes in 'oh he will get better' dream.

    Well... I grew up in an extremely wealthy family where money was never an issue. You could say I was spoiled rotten as some say I was. I was 18 when I had my fist Porsche and had different cars every Semester. I lived in a penthouse near school where all the parties were held every weekend. Yes. I was money spoiled but it doesn't mean that I was like a ill behaved uncontrollable puppy. I had my goals and rules that there was no way but to follow my parents' direction.

    My apartment was like a half way house where people drop by on the way out to party and stop by on the way back to their homes. I played Div.1 sports, turned pro after graduation before heading back home to go to the Army. People that did not know me could have thought I was a major party animal with girls and drugs. We are talking about 80's. However, I stayed away from drugs (NCAA would test me anyway. Why take that stupid risk?), party hard and study hard as well. I graduated with Summa Cum Laude. When I visited home during the Summer break, I had to get down on my knees, listening to my father's preach for 2 hours after 17 hour flight...
    Each time when I went back home, I had to go through this torturous thing. Blood circulation got cut off and when it was done, I could not get up where I crawled out of my father's room. I had to pay respect... No matter what time I came home the night before, I had to be at the breakfast table at 7AM showered and clean clothes on.. It is a bit too strict but I did what I had to do. I was under my parents roof and had to follow their rules.
    It is called RESPECT..... In my house, there is no respect at all... my stepson is 6"4" and weighs probably 180 lbs. He looks terrible with dark circles around his eyes. I have learned that when you abuse substance, you do not eat real food. He eats cereal and junk food that I see here and there. You can't do anything about it as he is a free spirit person with no discipline.

    My wife told me she put up a nice message on a post it then put on his door yesterday and it wouldn't hurt. I said it is away too late for that kind of thing as that memo would mean nothing to him. Talking phase, saying nice things are a way too over and she is doing nothing but exhausting herself. Nothing gets through the kid's head unless there is a serious impact. I also told her to remember what the therapist told us what would happen. The same exact things are happening as he predicted and she is not doing anything about it but letting it happen. I said I do not want to be a part of it as she doesn't listen to me. I got shut down after that.

    Again, things go around circles and nothing gets done. When nothing is happening, you have to change how to approach things that will work. I deal with this kind of things everyday in the office. Drama after drama and I fix them everyday in the office. I come home, see the drama and no action is made makes me very angry but that angry phase also passed. I am all numb and know whatever my wife tries will not work the way she hopes. I am about to cancel his health insurance unless he moves out of the house. This will create a HUGE storm in the house but I can't support a non responsive grown up refusing to talk or take any positive action any longer. I will have to take that chance....
  17. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I think your wife has as many problems as her son. And she won't get help either. And you can't change either. Only yourself.

    The marriage doesn't sound very happy.

    I hope you start to take care of yourself. That's all you have control over.
  18. in my humble opinion, a substance addiction come in various forms that you could notice. I overheard few conversation between the mother and her son over
    last week as I am feeling that mother has the fear that I would finally come out of my cocoon and start saying something which will trigger a
    big thing in the house. Mother started to converse with her son but I see and hear conversations but nothing is directed to core problems where mother is
    constantly asking for "PLANS" which he doesn't have but always gives so called BS plans to escape once again with the awkward moment plus
    buying time as this became a usual pattern that I have witnessed for years.

    Mother began to attack the issue that the son has not improved anything over the years, which is 100% TRUE. She started the conversation with him expected to have come back home with his tail between his leg, where he acted totally opposite way with cockiness. Obviously attending a rehab course, drug test and other things to follow up recommended by the therapist were never implemented because of the mother who bent the rules left and right despite her promises with me and the therapist. Her biggest fear is that once he gets out and will never return in the meantime others in the house continue to suffer. I think and understand the excuse on this part from the mother's point of view. However, we should do the middle check just like mid term election is my opinion. Mother not strong enough to put into real actions must be discussed but each time I bring up the issue from a small incident, she rather protects her son, denies facts or changes the subject so I have no ground to pursue any further. It is the worst time of the year to discuss but I will have to man up and bring up the issue on the table on the holiday season. What will happen? A chaos is 100%. Tension between the mother and me, 100%. However, the instigator will not have any effect or consequences is the most frustrating part that I do not even want to bother most of times. Sometimes, I think it is not even my worth of aggravation where there will be no action to follow. I ordered 2 books last week from Amazon recommended by forum members dealing with problematic adult child. I will read first to see if the book is relevant to our situation. Then I will give it to mother.

    I strongly believe mother has the KEY to the whole situation. I heard that mother kept on buying excuses the son was laying out concerning taking that ONE stupid class. How difficult would take one class be where there are so many institutions around where we live? When the issue comes up, son has answer to everything why he couldn't take that particular class for last 2 years to get back into a student life. There are many great people who did not go to school and we do not push him to go to school. I think comparing one child to another is the WORST thing a parent can do and I do not want to go there. Other 2 children are extremely self driven and ended up in an IVY school and the other will go to similar caliber institution because he wants to. We have never pushed him to do his homework or anything. We just told him to enjoy life and follow his instinct. As years go by, the difference is becoming far apart and it becomes more difficult to even talk to the one with the problem. It broke my heart when the youngest one said of his step brother "Oxygen Waster" where he doesn't show any effort to improve himself. He told his stepbrother "When your mother says go wash your hair or put some decent clothes on before you go out, then do it... It doesn't take 1 hour to do it where it takes only 10 minutes. Do it and make her happy. Why do you resist to do a stupid easy thing and create scream in the house?" The other doesn't even respond.

    Since there is absolute no response to anything, I will have to come up with some sort of shock that can wake him up. I will tell him he will no longer have health insurance. He only used it to go to urgent care for whatever the reasons (We expect that it was related to smoking too much) On 2 occasions, we were out of town. One incident, he complained pain in his knees... For me, it is luxury that we are providing him for no reason. Knowing how expensive it is to have him under my insurance policy, I do not think it is fair that I give him for free. I am not sure but someone mentioned that you cannot even file the income tax if you do not have a proof of insurance soon. Instead of buying a Gucci wallet, Ferragamo bracelet and other expensive stuff, he could buy his own policy.

    1. Attitude
    This is the most difficult thing to deal with as a parent. It is "I am doing everything right, Nothing's wrong. You are making it
    sounds horrible but everything is under control" "You don't know what you are talking about as I know a lot more than you do"
    "Whatever you say, I will do whatever I can and I do not think anything is wrong as I do not bother you guys"

    He doesn't see any problems or uncomfortable things that he creates around the house. Once someone doesn't admit facts, then
    the whole things become very difficult. Lies will make other lies to stay in the "La La Land with lies" I think you will not even understand that
    you are lying anymore and get caught up with your own lies. We have passed that point.

    2. School
    The first excuse was he had to establish a residency in California in order to enroll to a school as "In State". This is correct but he could
    have taken core courses needed in CA in various ways to prepare before the residency issue. Mother proposed that she would pay for the courses and
    the son said only one course is needed. This is when he came back to the house in 2015 after Spring Semester. I would have taken that specific course
    from a local community college to get it over with as so many different options are out there. He kept on saying he has taken all other pre requisite
    classes from his previous school and only one is needed. Almost 2 years no action.

    3. Job
    From the very first day, mother has been saying to find a restaurant job, then make friends with similar situation he is in to share ideas and make
    friendships, move on... No... Dominos is enough as he doesn't have to listen or associate with other people. According to him, he spends lots of so called
    friends that participate in "Fantasy Football" On weekends, he's gone from the house as he would watch the games all day somewhere else.

    4. Kicking Him Out Of The House
    I briefly mentioned this. Mother kicked him out to Cape Cod where her family is. Instead of finding a job and working, it was more disaster where he drained
    all his money and influenced his cousins where one of his aunts told my wife that my stepson needed to come back to CA as they couldn't handle him there.
    It was never discussed with me but the mother told me in front of the hospital building when she was going in to the hospital to get her hip surgery. The kid
    came back on the same day. Ever since that day, it is as bad a situation with a grown up 22 year old can bring to a family.

    5. Volunteering and other activities
    His mother and I see lots of productive young kids all around, supporting him/herself through college, working 2.3 jobs.. It's great to meet those people
    and opportunities are out there. Nothing... Just nothing....

    As I mentioned before, there is ONLY one solution that I can see to wake him up. OUT OF THE HOUSE and face "The Real World". I think it is the only and last solution to make things moving. Our neighbors who have seen what is happening, suggested the mother the same thing but mother is not budging.

    Conclusion, mother and son have the KFS(Key For Success). Action Required... Me? I am just a stepfather providing free room and board for him. I am so fed up with this whole situation and not looking forward to this holiday season at all..... My father, who will be going into his 4th round of Chemo in 2 weeks is my main concern now than anything. There is no life for me and I do nothing but regret all these BS's happening in the house.

    Sorry if I put anyone down this Monday but I had to let it out somehow. I will post this on my thread....
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2016
  19. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    My suggestion is to deal with this after the holidays. Two weeks isn't going to matter much. Make a plan now and be there for your dad.

    In January, execute your plan - whatever that may be.
  20. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    You obviously care a lot about step son and mom and took much time thinking about it.
    I admire your love and tenacity.

    The thing is, while I agree that with his attitude, the family may be better if he left, I dont think that will wake him up, at least not for a long time. Many of us have done that and it rarely wakes them up. Instead they pout, say you're mean and learn to live homeless.
    Many bounce home and out again as loving parents try them back then toss them out as they refuse to follow the conditions of living at home, such as working or sometimes just going to therapy or rehab
    This is one time where logic isn't logical.

    Mom is not helping but she is not the core problem. Step son is step son's problem
    Mom is mom's problem.
    We can't strongarm anyone to change so we can only change ourselves and our reactions to others. That's it. So your biggest problem is yourself to you and how you want to manage this mess. It's all you've is all anybody has.

    You are a good man
    I wish you the best
    Maybe private therapy can help you make decisions and cope.
    Not involved third parties are more open to seeing how it really is than those enmeshed in the fray.