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Can I ask him to leave?

(10 Posts)
Mamma66 Mon 25-Nov-19 18:40:20

My Stepson is 27. I love him, but feel he needs to grow up and stand on his own two feet.

He has three children from a previous relationship; a stepchild aged 8 (he has been in her life since she was 15 months old) and his biological children aged 5 and 3. We treat the children the same and love them all dearly. My Stepson’s relationship broke up very acrimoniously almost two years ago and the children have been coming to us every other weekend since.

My Stepson leaves the care of the children primarily to me and to my husband. Nothing we say or do seems to persuade him to step up to the plate. He just leaves the children at every turn. With 90% of their care falling to me with my husband’s work pattern I was getting very weary. We both work full time and it’s hard looking after three young children every other weekend for the whole weekend as much as we love them.

The issue is not really the kids though. My Stepson has left yet another relationship and shuttled back to us. It’s been rather rocky and he’s been back and forth for months. We keep telling him he needs to get a job but it’s excuse after excuse and I am beginning to feel more than a little resentful of him. He lounges around playing X Box, chatting to friends on the phone or going out. His room is a foul hell hole. My Dad is getting elderly and frail and needs a bit of support and stays with us as needed. I have actually had to move my Stepson out of his bedroom and one of the kids into the double bedroom as the 8 year old can be relied upon to be tidy and no amount of asking made a difference. My Stepson has three bedrooms and a bathroom at his disposal, doesn’t pay rent or board and can’t even be prevailed upon to keep his room tidy so that is occasionally available for my Dad.

I know my Stepson is probably feeling low, but at what point can we say, “stand on your own to feet, you have responsibilities”. He refuses to house share, but there’s no way he can rent without sharing. I am not a parent, I appreciate my husband can’t easily walk away, but this is heaping on pressure at a time we cannot afford it emotionally or financially. I don’t know what to do, or indeed if there is anything that can be done. Advice would be welcome, I can’t see the wood for the trees right now.

FlexibleFriend Mon 25-Nov-19 18:59:04

How would your husband feel about asking him to leave? He must be aware of the amount of work you're putting in for his son and GC. I can only say what I'd do if it was one of my Sons, of course I would offer them support but it wouldn't be limitless. I'd tell them straight they have 3 months to find work of some description and start paying rent. That I'd help them clean up their room and then they'd have to keep it clean. If he's not working is he claiming benefits? even if it's just job seekers. He'd not get away with playing x box all day either I'd limit that to evenings. I'd want him actively looking for work and on top of that I'd find him jobs to do around the house, if he doesn't like it he can leave. He's getting away with behaving like a teenager and you and his dad are letting him. You need to make him want to move on or step up and behave like an adult.

MissAdventure Mon 25-Nov-19 20:09:02

I'm afraid I would be very unwilling to support someone like this.
I would give him a timeframe, during which I would expect some effort from him.

If it didn't happen he would be out.

agnurse Mon 25-Nov-19 20:21:24

I agree, you need to give him a time frame to be out. It should be something realistic - say, three months.

Then you need to stick to it. At the end of three months, he gets the boot. The only caveat is that you may need to consult with a solicitor - in some jurisdictions, he may have tenants' rights if he's been living there for a certain amount of time. I am not sure how this works in the UK; a solicitor would be able to advise you in terms of specifics.

M0nica Mon 25-Nov-19 20:38:26

The house is yours, he is a lodger, he can be asked and expected to go when you tell him.

Go and speak to Citizens Advice, They will be able to advise you and help you to get rid of this great big cuckoo in your nest.

Mamma66 Tue 26-Nov-19 04:34:18

Thank you for your comments, I really appreciate you taking the time to respond. It’s quite helpful seeing it through other people’s eyes. Of course these things are often more complex than they first appear and this is certainly the case with our situation.

I do have quite a degree of sympathy for my Stepson, what I didn’t say in my post (it was already War and Peace!) smile is that he had a terrible accident three years ago and I think he is still coming to terms with the life changing injuries he sustained. He does have periods of working, but I think the cold and damp weather at this time of year might be the real reason he’s not working right now. I think his physical limitations are too much to bear in winter. He could claim ESA because of his injuries but I am not sure he wants to admit to himself that his injuries really were life changing. The compensation for the accident should come through next Spring (give or take) and maybe I should swallow my frustration and try to continue the positive encouragement and continue to support/steer him in the right direction.

There should be a natural time frame for him to move out as the compensation will easily allow this.

I really do thank you for your replies as it has allowed me to see the situation with fresh eyes. This step parenting malarkey isn’t always easy. smile

bingo12 Tue 26-Nov-19 05:41:31

Has he got any professional/work qualifications? Perhaps when he is not working he could take courses to give himself goals for the future - a career that will fit in with his ''disability'' . This would be a positive step for him if he can find a field he is interested in. I certainly think he needs to change a lot especially for the sake of the children. If he leaves your house - where can he go?

M0nica Tue 26-Nov-19 09:08:16

Mamma66 That changes the situation entirely. DD was seriously injured in a road accident 8 years ago, which has left her with a disabled right arm. She was deeply psychologically affected by the accident, which didn't start to clear until her medical treatment, which took 5 years and compensation negotiations which took 3, were complete.

bingo12 is right when she says that planning and possible retraining is a good way forward. DD was fortunate not to lose her job as the result of her accident, but she used some of her compensation to fund an Open University degree. It was seven year's hard work, but her progress was good enough for her to move to a new and better career, even before it was complete and gave her life a focus. A focus training and a new career might help your stepson to move forward.

Tedber Tue 26-Nov-19 11:10:24

Your second post does put a different slant on it, my initial response was going to be a lot less sympathetic to your step-son.

He obviously does need help to re-adjust and be independent, but maybe he just doesn't know where to start? Perhaps depressed? Loss of confidence? Fear?

Can you get any other help to support and encourage him? Are there any support groups locally? Perhaps you could speak with someone and explain how hard your life is trying your best to support him?

I definitely would not just give him an ultimatum but I would assess and give him specific jobs about the house that you know he can do. He needs to keep active. Working towards independence. He also must understand that he needs to apply for all the help he can get, money wise and that you are struggling to support him financially if he doesn't.

As for the children, well what was he like helpwise before he had the accident? If it is getting too much for you how about them coming once a month? Are you on good terms with their mother? You can explain to her so no offence taken but that does depend on how much you love having them and if you are only annoyed with their father?

By the way this is NOT just a step-parent problem. It would be a problem with any adult children regardless.

humptydumpty Tue 26-Nov-19 11:33:47

Has he put his name down with a local Housing Association? My brother did that and had a long wait, during which time he lived with our mother, but a flat materialised eventually and he has lived there for years now.