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How do I move my son out of my house?

(65 Posts)
PJN1952 Fri 05-Nov-21 18:43:38

AIBU in asking my son to move out my house? I am 68, widowed 15 years and own my little house. My son is 33 and has been living with me for the last 5 years. He has a cat, computers, no friends here and no job. He came home to me when his US visa expired after 7 years at university in California, studying Artificial Intelligence for a PhD. He couldn’t complete it in the allocated time as he needed to earn money to pay his bills by tutoring so he ran out of time on his visa. I thought his stay here would be for a year at most. In 2019 I paid for him to see a local psychiatrist: he was diagnosed with adult ADHD and autistic tendencies which renders him almost incapable of doing anything without prevaricating, sometimes for days. He has pills which don’t always work. He is studying and working on his PhD every day but I am paying for everything he needs from my pensions. I am paying for his personal possessions in storage in the US as he wants to return there when he completes his academic study. I can’t have friends to stay - no spare room now - and I feel the long term situation is affecting my mental health. We are happy we were together in the pandemic but I want him to make plans to move out in 2022. What can I do?

Elizabeth27 Fri 05-Nov-21 18:49:49

You could tell him how you feel. If he doesn’t know that you want him to leave then why would he.

MercuryQueen Fri 05-Nov-21 18:51:14

I think you need to be honest with him. The situation is not sustainable. You can’t afford to continue to financially support him.

Frankly, at five years of free living, and 33 years old, still not finished his schooling (plus however many years in w
the US) I’d be side eyeing his intention to finish at all. Absolutely no reason he couldn’t get a job with a Masters, imo

sodapop Fri 05-Nov-21 18:54:36

Talk to him PJN1952 explain how you feel and that it's time for him to move on.
Are you supported by any mental health professionals as they may be able with the transition.
Don't rush him, give him time to get used to the changes. Find out what help he can get with housing & benefits and work out a plan together. It won't be easy and will take time but it's a longer term goal to get your son settled in his own place. Good luck.

Nonogran Fri 05-Nov-21 18:57:42

You need to have the “conversation!”
You need to tell him how you’re feeling and how it’s affecting you. If you’ve already had a talk with him, try again and agree a realistic deadline with him & stick to it.
He may have MH needs but he needs to grow up. He can obviously function in the real world so don’t make it your worry about having no friends. Switch off to that.
It’s a tricky situation but sometimes it’s tough love being a parent. Put your big girls’ pants on, feel the fear and do it anyway.

MissAdventure Fri 05-Nov-21 18:57:53

Aside from the strain on you, I don't think his current way of life is preparing him to go out into the world, so you would be doing him a favour to both start looking at how he can move on from yours and take some responsibility.

Pammie1 Fri 05-Nov-21 19:03:19

I think maybe this is more than ADHD - he sounds as though he’s hiding from any responsibility. I would sit him down and have an honest conversation with him about his intentions. Explain how you feel and impress on him that he can’t just run away from life. He needs to be honest - as his mum you obviously want to be supportive but unless you know the full facts it’s difficult.

PJN1952 Fri 05-Nov-21 19:32:40

Thx for the messages and ideas. I will get my big pants out of the cupboard over the weekend and get talking to him. I need to be strong without being confrontational.

MissAdventure Fri 05-Nov-21 19:34:40

Perhaps do things very, very slowly, so he has time to get used to the idea (and you have little goals along the way to look forward to)

Good luck with your big pants. thanks

Hithere Fri 05-Nov-21 19:37:51

You tell him he has a month to move out and mean it

As he has been living with you for a long time, check the law and he evictions work.

Stop paying for his expenses and tell him so.

welbeck Fri 05-Nov-21 19:42:08

are you in the uk.
why are you supporting him financially.
he should be able to get some kind of benefits ?
or has he not paid in enough ?
i think you will need support with this.
could you contact local advice agencies, CAB, Age UK, Mind, Shelter.
he may be resistant to moving out.
he has it easy there. don't expect him to see it from your point of view, or to care about that.
you need to look out for yourself.
good luck.

Madgran77 Fri 05-Nov-21 21:07:27

Starting off by just giving him a short deadline and finding out about eviction laws will mean guaranteed problems for him and for your relationship I suspect!! ?

Have an adult conversation together. Explain how you feel. Ask him about his plans and how he plans to to achieve them. Explain that you can't afford to pay for his lifestyle, his living expenses, his storage etc. Make a clear plan with him with clear actions and stepping stones and not too long a timescale (probably linked to completing his PHD with reasonable cut off date.) Be clear when paying his expenses (possibly staggered) will stop and plan with him how he is going to pay for them himself. Help him to get advice on benefits/grants/finding a job. I know he is 33 but he clearly needs help to get himself out of this comfort blanket life, especially as he has autistic tendencies and ADHD.

Once the plan is agreed agree to discuss progress regularly so he can't just drift and prevaricate. He needs to plan beyond just moving out. eg. What gdoes he plan to do when he returns to US. For what purpose?

Good luck flowers

CafeAuLait Fri 05-Nov-21 21:44:22

Why is he not getting benefits? Would you be wanting to move him out if he was able to contribute financially through receiving benefits? It sounds like this could be a disability for him.

Ali08 Sat 06-Nov-21 10:22:22

Wow, why didn't we all have mums like you when we were 33?
He doesn't have a care in the world, so why would he want to move out?
Take him for a walk, make sure it's where there are estate agencies and point out all the lovely places he could be living ON HIS OWN, like big boys do, and maybe get him registered with some!!!
Stop paying for all of his needs (wants) and tell him he owes you rent instead, and he has to pay for his own food. In fact, split all bills right down the middle and he pays half!!
He is not a little child anymore, you do not receive any benefits for him but are giving him plenty!!
Do you know that he is telling the truth about why he didn't finish his course? Or that he does have important stuff in storage?
MH aside, he is definitely living the cushty life having mummy pay for everything!!!
Does he even help around the house & garden?

Oopsadaisy1 Sat 06-Nov-21 11:19:24

If he has been officially diagnosed with MH problems then he will be able to claim benefits for his rent and utilities, I’m not sure though if he would qualify for rent unless you charge him, he would have to explore the possibility.
Sadly due to his age he will have to be the one to make all of the phone calls, but he could ask them to speak to you instead.

There is also a possibility that you would qualify as his carer if he is classed as disabled, which would be a financial help.
I can’t see how he would cope with living alone.
Problem is that getting all of this in motion requires a GP appointment initially and then contact with MH people, which takes perseverance and tenacity.

MercuryQueen Sat 06-Nov-21 11:29:23


If he has been officially diagnosed with MH problems then he will be able to claim benefits for his rent and utilities, I’m not sure though if he would qualify for rent unless you charge him, he would have to explore the possibility.
Sadly due to his age he will have to be the one to make all of the phone calls, but he could ask them to speak to you instead.

There is also a possibility that you would qualify as his carer if he is classed as disabled, which would be a financial help.
I can’t see how he would cope with living alone.
Problem is that getting all of this in motion requires a GP appointment initially and then contact with MH people, which takes perseverance and tenacity.

He lived on his own in the US, managed, and intends to go back. I can't see that a man who did that AND has a Masters degree, needs a carer.

I suspect it's far more that he's comfortable and content as things are, and sees no need to change.

eazybee Sat 06-Nov-21 11:59:45

Your son needs to stop doing his PhD which I don't think he is capable of achieving, and find paid employment outside the house so that he can make social contact with other people. He needs to begin to take responsibility for his very comfortable, obligation- free lifestyle.
Persuading him to leave home will be difficult, and I think you will need support with this, but the longer you leave it the more difficult it will become.

Smileless2012 Sat 06-Nov-21 13:59:15

You need to have an adult and honest conversation with him PJN and give him a reasonable period of time to make alternative arrangements.

With regard to paying for his possessions to be kept in storage in the US, tell him you can't afford it anymore and you'll be stopping at the end of this year.

Why can't he work part time while he studies? Plenty of people do. I agree with MercuryQueen. He's not going to give up such a comfortable and easy life unless he has too.

Good luck.

ExDancer Sat 06-Nov-21 14:38:04

This will be more difficult than it sounds at first glance.
If he's intentionally 'using' you, he may be annoyed.
If it's never occurred to him that he's sponging off you, he may be upset. Whatever the oitcome, I think it could be harder to achieve that you think, so do go gently.
Look into the benefits situation, it's not too easy for students to qualify, or all students would be getting them rather than taking out loans.
I hope you can solve it amicably.

Namsnanny Sat 06-Nov-21 14:40:49

I would wonder if any of his possessions in the US are really worth paying the storage fees for?
Perhaps you can make this your first goal, to stop paying this bill?

He may come around to it quicker and easier as it doesnt impact directly on his daily life.
After all he's been living without these things for a number of years now.

It wont be easy for either of you to discuss his moving out, and I wouldn't be happy to give him a time limit at this stage if he were my son.

Horses for courses and in his case he will need some time to adapt to these new plans for his future.

Do let us know how you got on?here is the nearest emoji for Big Girl Pants! Hope it helps?

Good luck.

Germanshepherdsmum Sat 06-Nov-21 14:47:32

I think that as long as you are financially supporting him this will go on for ever.
You say he has lived with you for five years and is still trying to complete his PhD which he started while still in the US. He has no distractions such as work, responsibilities or a social life so I question whether he will ever get his doctorate. I studied for and passed with distinction all my solicitors’ exams while working full time with a home to run so he is doing his studies in the absolute lap of luxury with no excuse not to have completed them if he is intellectually capable of doing so.
He has to be encouraged to get a job and stand on his own two feet. If he was capable of living and studying in the US for seven years he must be capable of looking after himself though I suspect his confidence has taken a big knock with having to leave his uni and come back to mum, not to mention the effect the pandemic and lockdowns have had on all of us.
He may now be unable to find work in his chosen field, even with a Masters. Things in that field will have advanced dramatically in the time he has been living with you and spending all this time trying and not succeeding in finishing his doctorate, with no work experience, won’t look good on a cv. He may have been trying hard to follow developments but as a prospective employer I would take some convincing. I would suggest that he speaks to some recruiters straight away to get a realistic assessment of his chances. He may not like what he hears but if it’s not good news the sooner he hears it the better. I fear he isn’t going to come across to potential employers as a prospective employee, more a dreamer and professional student.
The idea of going back to the US is I think pie in the sky. How, with no job and dubious prospects, would he do that and at whose expense (don’t answer that last one)? It sounds harsh but I think you have to make him distinguish dreams from hard facts, and after all these years of studying (at least 12?) he’s likely going to have to set his sights much lower which will be a crushing disappointment but he may suspect as much already and facing up to it may be a huge relief.
I hope you are able to get him to face reality and that you can’t continue to keep him. I feel he needs to get a steady job and a suitable place to live before moving out but do please set a realistic deadline within which, with your support, he will do this (and sell, give away or get shipped back to the UK whatever he has in storage - can’t be that much if he was a student surely?).
Good luck!

Hithere Sat 06-Nov-21 17:56:32

Coming to the US with a visa is not that easy

Are you sure his dream is even realistic?

Shropshirelass Sat 06-Nov-21 18:03:14

I am sorry that you find yourself in this predicament. There is a very interesting film on YouTube called ‘The Magic Pill’. It tracks some children who have been diagnosed with ADHD and the way some foods make this much worse. I am afraid that this is all I can offer you but it might be worth watching. Good luck.

Hetty58 Sat 06-Nov-21 18:30:55

PJN1952, we have to accept that life may be very difficult for him (with adult ADHD and autistic tendencies) so he may not be capable of holding down a job.

He should pay his own expenses, though, from the benefits that he's entitled to. You certainly shouldn't be paying for the storage. Why not contact social services to discuss the help available for him?

Zoejory Sat 06-Nov-21 18:37:59

Does he not receive a stipend for doing his Phd?