spreading his wings


New Member
difficult child as you will recall came back after moving out in a fit of anger after 4 days. All was going well. He has had the last 4 days off from work and has been staying at a friend's home. Not one of my favorite kids. He has been checking in with me regularly.

Today, he called and said he wants to move in at this kid's house-parents have said it is ok. While I do not think it is a good idea-he is 19 and I cannot stop him. He went home and got his clothes. husband spoke to him and made him relinquish his house key and told him that we are not running a revolving door. He told him that if this doesn't work out for him that he could come over and we would discuss the possibility of his coming back. He said that if we decided he could come home, he would give him his key back. He has blown through a bunch of money lately (graduation gifts) and only has some clothes and my Mother's Day gift to show for it. he eats fast food alot and I know he shares with those who don't have $$. I am concerned that he may be smoking pot.

For once this came without a fit of anger or any real drama, which is a good thing. I am just hurting because I cannot understand why he would want to leave his things, TV, video game, dog, etc. and go to another family's home. Our home is much nicer but I don't think that this kid has many rules. I hate this and hate the fact that I cannot seem to be at peace with this.

I want him to be happy and to succeed but do not feel he is mature and ready enough for this.

If we do allow him to return, which I know he will want to eventually, once again, there will be an agreement drawn up much like the previous one and all will sign it.

Again this did not come with any drama or as a result of his bucking the rules. So.....why can't I be comfortable with it?????
Putting myself in your shoes.

Why are you not comfortable with it? Because it makes no sense. Had the exact same scenario with difficult child 1 last year.

If it were truly a move forward (school or something like that), it would feel like the child was spreading his/her wings. Moving from one house to another house is a lateral move. There is no forward progress.

That is how I interperet it. My difficult child is still in the same "place" as she was when she moved out a year ago. Working at a fast food place, no school.

JMHO. Hugs to you, you sound like you could use them. :flower:


You're hurt because your child is rejecting you. Who wouldn't feel hurt. It's probably about exactly what you said--the rules.

My son has never left home (he's 17) but has always tended to gravitate towards the homes of friends who have parents who aren't home much and/or don't worry too much about what the kids are up to. He is also quite comfortable when he is somewhere where no one has expectations of him as we do as his parents.


Active Member
Sounds like difficult child's need for (perceived)freedom is so strong that difficult child cannot see very far into the future.

Can you convince difficult child to either continue with school, obtain full time employment or join the military?


(the future) MRS. GERE
Robyn, truth be told, if I was 19 I'd want to move anywhere else, too. And I was a easy child!

I was just dying to get out of my parents' house. I would have moved in a heartbeat to the home of a friend if the friend's folks didn't have rules. It wouldn't mean the I didn't love my parents...I was just bursting at the seams to get OUT!

It might be a lateral move as BBK said from the standpoint of it being a home where parents reside...but it's still a step towards being independent from his parents and that's progress.

Enjoy the peace and quiet. Run around nekkid in the house :surprise: . Go out on a date with your husband. :smile: Enjoy!!! :smile:



New Member
This sounds so like my daughter. I do think part of it is trying to grow up, especially when they know you will be there to pick up the pieces if necessary. I think another part of it is to let us know that we can't control them. Even if the rules are minimal, they are rules and they are legally adults, so why should they follow these rules in their own home? It is okay to have some rules at someone else's house, but not their own. Wouldn't it be nice if they got the fact that it isn't their house, it is yours and your husband's -- you paid for it, you bought the stuff in it, you pay the bills for it, you maintain it. He sleeps there and, if like my daughter, eats there on occasion. But it is HIS house -- just ask him. :hammer:

I understand your pain. It does feel like you're being slapped even if you understand the thoughts behind it. Many hugs.


New Member
"If it were truly a move forward (school or something like that), it would feel like the child was spreading his/her wings. Moving from one house to another house is a lateral move. There is no forward progress."

I agree with BBK. In my case my difficult child was living on the streets for two months. (Her choice) She had no place to go and none of her friends offered up anything as far as housing or anything. It was a good thing though considering that I don't think enabling a bad situation is a good thing anyway. She was also bursting out of the seams wanting to escape Moms house, Moms rules.... thinking that she could have it better anywhere else because she wanted to make her own rules but landed on the streets. At this point I think that she has realized that the comforts of being in Moms home are really not that bad and is out to get the scoop as I type on a job that she might be starting soon. Last week she was getting antsy and I told her straight up that if she takes off one more time to go visit with her friends that she hung out with when she was on the streets that she will not be welcomed back ever and that I would give up the horses as well. She was thinking that it was all ok to go visit with her buddys and be on the streets for 3-5 days and just come home at her convenience. Hmmm, Crazy for her to think that its ok to live on the streets part time but yet come back home whenever she feels like it. Not going to happen!!!! I am not here for her convenience.


New Member
Thanks to you all for you kind words.

difficult child does have a job-getting 20 hours per week and sometimes as many as 40. Has asked to become full time (which will help). He has a checking account which he has done quite well with. He did tell me last night when I asked that this kid does have some rules at his home and that he doesn't have to pay rent but was asked to contribute to the food, detergent, etc. I told him that I knew he was intelligent enough to be able to make this work and to remember that we are open to discussion if he feel it isn't working for him. I also told him that the reason I am opposed to it, is because I would rather see him spend his money saving toward being able to have a place of his own. He told me he understands my feelings and that he doesn't want to talk about it right now, because he was trying to feel good about it and if he talked to me, he would feel guilty. I told him I was backing off and for him to please check in with me periodically to let me know how he is doing and to come by if he wanted and that I love him. He said he loved me too and that he would call,

This is all I can do for now.

Thanks again for listening and the kind words!


Active Member
robyn, let him stretch his wings. I know you want to help him in other ways but he is determined. let him learn how other households live. it can be a real eye opener for him. remember deep down he is ingrained with how his world was in your house. it will feel like freedom at first, but he has to miss you to appreciate you.

sad though when the chicks leave the nest.

now/ go out there and enjoy the next few dys and dont mope!


New Member
I am trying so hard with this. He is supposed to be at work at 12:30 today (first time on schedule in 4 days). He called me this morning at 8:45 to tell me he had thrown up twice. I told him to go back to bed and get up in time to go to work-and let me know how he was feeling. He said OK. He called at noon and said he wasn't going in and wanted me to call in for him. I told him I would this one time but never again. His boss told me to call him and tell him it is mandatory that he call. (I knew he would) I called difficult child and told him this-he said he was going to call boss.

I am really worried he will :censored2: up this job-husband says he's not gonna :censored2: it up and then move back in. If he losed his job, he cannot pay for gas and insurance to be able to apply for jobs. There is no bus service for him to ride. I am so upset and am trying to detach.

Thanks for all your kind and wise words.


Hi Robyn,
yes, you do need to detach. He is 19, he is not living with you, let him take care of his responsibilities, such as calling into work. If he loses the job then he has to figure out what to do, don't figure it out for him. Don't make his problems into your problems. I know how hard it is but it is for the best. Nineteen is not so young to want to be on your own and running your own life and you are bound to make mistakes. He knows you love him and are there for him.


New Member
I know about detachment having lived with DEX for 10 years with his addictions. There has just been too many times in the past week even his morning that he sounds like he may be messed up on some kind of drug and although I know from experience that I CAN handle whatever comes my way, it is tearing me up inside.

I cannot imagine his losing his job and being out in the streets with nothing. It is killing me. I have not laid eyes on him since Sunday morning and I have this need to see him for myself an know he is ok. Something is telling me he is not ok.

Trying really hard not to bawl like a baby-I want my kid-the kid that is so wonderful-back. I am trying to go one minute at a time here but my mind is running away with me. Like the co-dependent I know I can sometimes be, I want to FIX it and I know I cant't. I never thought I would have to possibly live through the H@** that was my life 14 years ago with my own child and the possiblity scares the bejebers outta me.
You asked, in your first post, why you could not relax and be comfortable with this. I think it is because your intuition is telling you what your brain and heart will not acknowledge.

I am sorry this is happening, and I hope this goes well for difficult child.

Experience here would indicate that this might be a good time for you and husband to set up the rules for difficult child's return.

And the expectations.

If the time comes that you do need to harden your heart, it would be better to be prepared.

Then, as the others of us have suggested, go and do something memorable with your husband.

We had so much chaos in our marriage for so long a time. Both husband and I believe it was those islands of sanity and reconnection a couple can create by leaving the situation for awhile that saved our marriage.

You are stronger than you know, Robin, and you will make it through this successfully.



New Member
Barbara, thanks for that. Right now, husband and I are having a tiff-imagine that! Everytime we try to have a discussion about this, he gets all gruff and states how it is gonna be and then I get my back up because I feel like I have no say. When I try to say something other than his way, then he says he has no say and gets his back up. It is a vicious cycle! When we get to this point, he, as always, will say,that if we cannot agree, maybe we need to go our separate ways, me with my son and he on his own. Or he will say, fine you just do what you want and I want nothing to do with difficult child. Both of these scenarios are unacceptable to me and both things are being said because he know it hurts me. He has admitted that, Even though I know that he does not mean either of them, it still hurt and then I get resentful. He refuses to go to marriage counseling with me and says that he doesn't have a problem but I do. I knida feel like it is our problem. I know difficult child is not his son and if he were that things would be different.

I am going to seek some counseling for me since it seems that everything I ever let go of has DEEP scratch marks in it.

I would love nothing better than to get away with husband but I am thinking at this juncture, it is not gonna happen. I have, in the past, asked if we can go and do something, out of town andhe always says yeah and never does anything about it and when I say, I will plan it if he can give me an idea of something he wants to do, he never seems interested.

I know I am whining and I hate whining. I am just feeling like everything i hold dear is crumbling around me.

I WILL get through it, like I always do but I have to let out my feelings somewhere-you you guys are the lucky ons!


(the future) MRS. GERE
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I am going to seek some counseling for me since it seems that everything I ever let go of has DEEP scratch marks in it. </div></div>

....deep scratches because you clung to it way too long perhaps?

Robyn, I think getting counseling for yourself is an excellent idea particularly since you already know that you have a tendency to be co-dependent and enable behaviors.

If your difficult child wants to be independent, he needs to be independent. Having Mom call him in sick? Sorry, but that is such a juvenile request that it made me laugh. He wants to be a man, he needs to act like one.

Rob blew so many chances that he ended up homeless for several months....and it was through the winter, too. It was horrifying but it was something he had to go through in order to appreciate having a job and a home and working for a living. He still struggles but I know that I need to let him struggle if there is any chance for him to grow up to be a man of character.

Hugs to you. I know this is hard.

Well, when husband and I would go away somewhere?

We literally hated one another.

I remember one time waking up in our bed? Amd I was lying there, thinking how disgusted I was with husband? And I turned over to give him the old evil eye while he was sleeping?

And guess who was already giving ME the evil eye because he thougt I was asleep and would never know?!?



It was my husband who forced me to go away ~ I never wanted to leave the kids.

If you cannot go away together, can you have Happy Hour together?

That was the other thing that saved our relationship.

Happy Hour.

I have posted all this before, but just in case you haven't seen it....

Happy Hour was our time to reconnect. In order to create a sense of isolation when we could not get away, we picked a piece of music having nothing to do with the present, and played it everyday at Happy Hour.

For us, that was Dean Martin.

And you would be surprised how well that all worked.

The other thing that helped us was to say it, straight out, that we needed to do what we could to save the relationship.

Kiss your husband hard when he first comes home, whether you want to or not. Ten seconds ~ and whatever your brain is telling you about him will be forgotten in what your body begins to tell you. I am not even talking about sex. I am talking about that initial attraction.

You can bring all that back.

You can make your marriage a place of sanctuary for both yourself and your husband.

You need to have that as a goal, first.

The rest will follow naturally.

Wishing you and your husband well ~ I know how impossibly hard what you are going through can be on a marriage.



New Member
reading your post brought back a flood of memories.

I also learned detachment from ex. I have cried countless nights not knowing where my son is. I have been at the point of not even being able to look at husband.

My husband and difficult child (his stepson) never got along. I went from telling husband he would leave before difficult child did, to making difficult child leave.

If you are worried that your 19 yr old is using drugs, ask yourself, what is it that you can do to change that? Nothing.

The only person that change an adult's behavior is that adult himself. He is an adult now. You have no control at this point to do anything to change him. Trust in the values that you taught him and learn to detach.

Any 19 year old wants freedom. I am sure he is doing everything that he is able to do being out of your home. I would not take his word about what the rules are there. I too have a difficult child that seems to be able to live anywhere but home. I couldn't get him to stay in school but another mom did just that. You never know the reasoning behind it all.

As I have posted before ~ once my difficult child was told to leave, and everyone in our home knew he couldn't come back, we all began to heal. Living with a difficult child is more destructive than we imagine at the time.

Let him go, he is 19. He has to learn about the real world. Love husband, even if you don't want to right now, you will see the change in him.

I blamed my husband at first because I didn't think he was trying hard enough to be a good step dad. It wasn't fair to him. It made him put up walls which in return made me put up walls.

When I let go of difficult child, it was amazing how quickly the walls came down