Rough road

Just me1972

New Member
I never thought I would be in this position. Our 20 something son stole $10, 000 from us over the course of several months. He bought expensive gifts for his much older girlfriend (she is 18 years his senior with two kids in their very late teens). He paid a collection agency for a $1300 ring he purchased for a previous girlfriend, paid several hundred dollars to his cell phone bill, bought tickets to professional sports games. He even used our money to buy us Christmas gifts that we could not afford. The list goes on and on. He does work but was blowing his money as well and eventually his car was repossessed. He lives with us. To compound matters, my husband was unemployed for a year and was the primary bread winner. My meager salary does not cover our monthly expenses so we were eating up our savings every month. He is now back at work making a quarter of his previous salary and we are slowly getting back on our feet. When we discovered the money was gone we blew up at him. The choice was to recover the money by reporting the fraud and ultimately sending him to jail or kick him out. We did neither. I just couldn't bring myself to do either. He gives us a small amount of money when he gets paid but it's not every time he gets paid. We discussed at length with him how hurt and betrayed we were. Let him know we didn't trust him. He swore up and down it would never happen again. Two days ago we discovered another $200 gone. Fortunately we were able to recover it. My husband is livid and wants to kick him out. We have changed credit card numbers, passwords and the like several times. We take all of those things to our room every night and never leave things lying around but he has managed to get the numbers again. Clearly this isn't going to stop. Further, he knows what our current financial situation is and how much we pay for his brother's college tuition. My son is a good person. He is always willing to help, he is kind and caring so I am at a loss to understand why he does this. I don't know what to do. The thought of sending him to jail or even kicking him out when I know he has no place to go just breaks my heart. I am at the end of my rope. He has damaged his relationship with both of us and we don't know that we can ever trust him again. I guess I'm looking for some advice or even just some encouragement from other parents in this situation. I know that we have to make a big decision but with all of the financial issues we're having absent this issue, I don't know that I have the emotional strength to handle this.


Well-Known Member
I know this is hard. But your son is not a nice person. Nice people are incapable of doing what he does. He is nice on the outside to fool you then he rob's you blind. You should not have to lock up all your belongings every night. That isn't normal. I agree with your husband...get him out. He doesn't care if he hurts and betrays you and your talks are a wastebf time. He did ,it again!! I wish I could encourage you but if my kid ever stole from us he would be out of the house and facing jail for all our sakes.

Your kid stole a ton from you and is still stealing. What on Earth will he learn if you don't call the cops and make him leave? That he can rob a bank next?

This is very serious. I suspect drug use. If not that is actually even worse. He just steals. He will not just steal from you. He will steal from a stranger and go to prison. You did him no favor letting $10,000 go. And you do him no favors letting him in your house throwing you a tad here, a tad here than stealing again. While he sneakily gets all your account numbers. This is no nice person. This is a young criminal.

This is a serious behavior. Does he have a conscience? I am wondering about antisocial personality disorder.

You need to protect yourself before you are broke from him and he MUST face consequences. His future doesn't look too bright right now and it won't if he isn't stopped. If this had been my kid, the police would have been called FOR Our sake AND HIS. Yes, jail better than him facing nothing.

And he would never have been allowed in our house again after the first robbery. Think about it. He took 10k from those who love him most on earth. It's not normal. Not that amount! And he keeps doing it!

Strangers will not hesitate to press charges. I think he must do other illegal stuff. And not care apparently.

Do you pay for his car, his phone, his anything???

in my opinion he needs a really shocking awakening or things will get worse.

I hope you have the ability to realize that no consequences just shows him he can get away with serious crimes. It will not end up well. Do other kids live in your house? If so they are in danger too. As is anyone he is around who has money.
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New Member
I understand how you feel, I have been there. Our son stole from us and pawned things, wrecked my car, stole che is and cashed them. But every time I couldn’t bring Myself to turn him in to go to jail so he went on abusing drugs and using me up and spending my hard earned money. Then while we were at our daughters out of town he broke into our house and took our safe. It had his dads coin collection in it, all our important papers, more checks that he used to clean out our bank account with and left us broke. My husband and I were at the breaking point and that is when we decided to press charges for grand theft . He knew what he had done was wrong, he begged me not to prosecute but then I thought well maybe if I had done it earlier when he stole from us we wouldn’t be facing this now. He went to court and got five years. Five years I was devastated he was infuriated even though he knew it was his own doing and his dad was so mad he didn’t talk to him for months. The first few weeks he was in prison I was sad, but oh my gosh I felt relief for the first time in years. No staying awake worrying, crying, being all consumed with drama. So yes it was one of the hardest things I had to do putting him in there but I was able to live my life everyday and be happy for him because he was alive and clean of drugs. Those years went fast an before I knew it he was getting out. He just got out last summer, his dad and him had reconnected , he was doing good. Had a job, girlfriend and friends. Sorry to say he relapsed a couple months ago and lost it all but I have hope he can find his path back to being the person I know he is. So what I am saying is sometimes when we think we are helping them by not turning them in all we are really doing is prolonging the inevitable.
I wish you the best and just know you are not alone that everyone has a story. I know you have to take care of yourself or you will be the one that gets sick. Remember sometimes you have to go with your gut and. Not your heart no matter how it makes us feel.


New Leaf

Well-Known Member
Hello JM. I am flabbergasted by your story. It is an outrageous amount of money. On top of that, to use it to buy expensive Christmas gifts for you, it is like a huge slap in your face.
There is something very wrong here.
I think I am more angry about this than you are.
It brings back memories of having stuff stolen from us. My hubs 25 years of treasure hunting- safe jimmied open and gone, what little pieces of heirloom jewelry I had, gone, money lifted from our wallets, we locked things up in our cars.
It was insane.
We were trying to help our kids and they just helped themselves to whatever they fancied. No apologies or regrets, in your face denial.
My son 14 at the time said to me “Why do we have people living with us who we can’t trust?”
He was right.
We finally said no more.
What you are putting up with your 20 year old son. You describe him as “nice” helpful. It sounds like he knows how to play you, to manipulate your heart so that he can keep thieving from you.
That is horrendous and unacceptable.
I am sorry for your heartache.
It is an unacceptable betrayal of trust.
There is something very wrong going on here. With my two, it was drugs.
If I had to do it all over again, I would have reported the theft. Our problem was that it was not traceable. Small amounts here and there. Jewelry that was not insured. Cash from our wallets.
With your situation, this is credit card theft. Traceable and recoverable. On top of ten grand, he stole again.
What about your credit? Your retirement?
You matter, all of your hard work matters.
If our adult children don’t have to pay consequences for their misdeeds, it just emboldens them to keep doing what they are doing.
They don’t learn.
I agree with you Mimi with one exception, you did not put your son in jail, he put himself there.
There are limits and boundaries that we set for ourselves even with our own adult kids. They cross a line, and expect for us to look the other way. It is not right for them to completely disrespect their parents, to abuse our love for them.
10,000 is a lot of money. I am so sorry for your situation. I know it is a hard thing to stand up to the reality of this.
How will your son learn otherwise? His stealing again shows that he has not learned and has a deep seated issue.
It is your decision to make, how to move forward. You have to be able to live with yourself, look yourself in the mirror.
You and your husband don’t deserve to be mistreated this way.
It is abusive and wrong.
You would not accept this from a stranger. Don’t accept it from your son.
I am so sorry.


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

I agree. You are enabling your son by not reporting this. I know how hard it is. Our son stole from us too but small amounts and it broke our hearts. He is in rehab now and is facing his demons but I guarantee you I would not ever put up with that again.

It doesn't mean you don't love him. Love says no.

This is hard stuff, we get it. We are not judging you. We are trying to show you that we love our children too but we will not let them ruin our lives....anymore. We have learned the hard way too.


Well-Known Member
Wow. I'm gobsmacked by your story too. I try to refrain from flat-out giving advice on the forum, but I vote with the others. Even *IF* you hoped this was a one-time thing, he already proved you wrong by taking another $200. Turn him in to recover the money and kick him out.

I'm so, so sorry, Just Me. It felt like my heart shattered when my son stole some jewelry and coins. I can't imagine your heartbreak at being targeted that way.


Well-Known Member
I agree that is alot of money. My son never outright stole but manipulated me into giving him thousands of dollars. Things like paying rent , food, helping with business expences and on and on. Then i found that while i was helping him with all this he was using his money for drugs. Not acceptable. He is currently in jail i didn't put him there but i refused to bail him out. He has been told that there will be no further help from me. I enabled him for far too long. Please don't do that. If you stop now he has a much better chance of changing his behavior. I am retired and still have a long road to fixing the damage he has done financially. I don't deserve that and neither do you.