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Adult stepson wants to move back in again, what do we do?

(57 Posts)
Mamma66 Tue 26-Oct-21 23:28:56

My husband has three sons and a daughter from his first marriage ranging from 28-34. We don’t see his daughter (her choice) but see the sons frequently. I have an excellent relationship with the oldest and youngest son and an okay relationship with the middle son. None really have a relationship with their Mother. For the first 9-10 years of our relationship we had one, two and sometimes three of the sons living with us and spent a mere three months on our own. The youngest finally moved out about two years ago.

We are on the last leg of renovating my family home. It has been an epic slog and after nearly 11 months we can finally see light at the end of the tunnel. Completely out of the blue the oldest of my husband’s sons rang me last night to ask if he can move back in. He also has his two sons every other weekend. We have suggested that we all get together over the weekend and talk it through properly and see what the options are.

I love my stepson, he is a lovely man, but I can’t help but feel a bit crestfallen to be honest. I am very tidy and neat. He is not. We have spent a fortune decorating the house and had such lovely plans of seeing our diminishing wider family and having get togethers but this will be impossible if my stepson moves in. Last time he lived with us we had to make very strong hints about him moving out after three and a half years. He is a great chap but neither of us were banking on this. I feel so torn. If it was a case if helping him out for two or three months that would be doable, but I don’t think that’s what he has in mind. I know we need to talk on Sunday and take it from there but I feel so torn. I want to help him, but I wasn’t expecting this… Am I desperately mean?

Shelflife Tue 26-Oct-21 23:45:57

No Mamma IMO you are not being mean . Having your stepson move back in could be very difficult for you and his father - especially as you had to drop hints to get him to move out last time ! Much as you love him and he is a decent man it would not be easy. One very positive thing is that you and your husband are on the same page, you really would have a huge problem if you had different views on this. I suggest that between now and Sunday you and your husband make a plan of action , join forces and stick to your guns. Your stepson appears to be a reasonable man so he should understand. I can understand how difficult this must be for you and I hope whatever happens it goes well for you and your husband.

VioletSky Tue 26-Oct-21 23:53:57

It's OK to say no, he might not be very happy about it but it's still OK to say no. Hopefully it won't go too badly

Ro60 Wed 27-Oct-21 00:57:39

Now you've done all the work he wants to move back in! 🙈

No you're not being mean. At the most, maybe suggest he can stop every couple of months for a weekend. It would also be a reminder to all what it was like before.

Summerlove Wed 27-Oct-21 02:37:02

Definitely not mean.

You and your husband should talk beforehand and decide what If anything you can offer him.

Then go into the talk knowing where you stand

vegansrock Wed 27-Oct-21 04:48:10

Why is he wanting to move back in? Is it a broken relationship ? Lost job? If it’s an “emergency”situation I think you should tell him you’ll help out but there’s a limit - say 3 months- till he can find a suitable alternative. You need proof that he’s actively looking for a flat. Charge him the market rent - you could save this for him as a deposit. Of course there’s the danger that the 3 months extends to 6 and so on, but only you know whether that’s likely. If it’s not an emergency situation - just say no sorry, but we’ll help you find somewhere, maybe offer help with the deposit.

BlueBelle Wed 27-Oct-21 05:21:13

No you re not being unreasonable at all and I totally totally understand where you’re coming from but my goodness what a dilemma I can completely understand why you are so torn To say no however kindly will change your relationship for ever
I think if it is an emergency situation give him short term help but be very clear that it is short term and you will have to stick to it however hard How very difficult and how disappointing for you If it’s none emergency then you need to be much more definite with him and this will be down to your husband

I can feel your disappointment and the dilemma you’re in I do hope you find an answer

Esspee Wed 27-Oct-21 06:52:35

Frankly I would say no. He is a grown man and should find his own accommodation.
If there is an emergency situation and there is no alternative then perhaps, for a limited period with strict ground rules I might agree.
You and your husband must present a united front on this, otherwise it may affect your marriage.

Mamma66 Wed 27-Oct-21 07:51:35

Thank you, your comments have been very reassuring. Hubby and I have talked about this a fair bit and we think we have come to a decision. We are both definitely on the same page, thank God.

My stepson has been sharing a house with a friend. I have thought for a while that their friendship was strained, but my stepson has said nothing. The other day he disclosed that his housemate was drinking too much and he didn’t want to expose his boys to this, which is completely understandable. The issue is that whilst we would be happy to let my stepson live with us for a month or two, I think I have a niggling feeling he is thinking of this being long term. He works night shifts, hubby and I both work full-time and mostly in the day. All of us would spend our time creeping around trying not to disturb each other. Even at the weekend hubby and I are early risers, stepson and his boys are not.

We have decided to listen, see what stepson has to say, and if it is short term, agree and if it’s not we will just have to say he can stay but limit it to three months absolute max…

Juliet27 Wed 27-Oct-21 08:07:48

I think half measures could allow more problems . I think I’d want to be firm from the start but help him find alternative accommodation perhaps with some financial assistance at first.

Juliet27 Wed 27-Oct-21 08:11:22

I hope whatever the outcome, that it all works out comfortably for you.

Eviebeanz Wed 27-Oct-21 08:11:53

I would think long and hard about agreeing even if he says it very short term (because he probably would say that). You may then find him immovable. I have experience of this and have found that it's easier to say no at the outset.

JaneJudge Wed 27-Oct-21 08:12:09

From your second post i'd suggest he looks at a flat to rent on his own!

If it was a marriage break down I'd have said otherwise as even adult children need support through that but as he has just fallen out with his friend (to a degree) I think he needs to adult up and treat it as an eviction and find somewhere else to live independent of you

Eviebeanz Wed 27-Oct-21 08:12:33

Agree with Juliet.

Kandinsky Wed 27-Oct-21 08:12:47

That won’t work.
What will you do once the 3 months is up? Kick him out?
It’s either a ‘yes, okay until you sort something else out’. - no time limit.
Or ‘no’

nanna8 Wed 27-Oct-21 08:16:06

Be careful. If he moves in it might be really, really hard to get him to leave. Can you help him find new accomodation with another house share arrangement ? Perhaps fairly close by and then you could help him out with a few meals etc from time to time. Maybe go with him to check possibilities out.

FindingNemo15 Wed 27-Oct-21 08:18:18

Surely he could find another place to live with another housemate. He has obviously been paying rent and has a job.

Kim19 Wed 27-Oct-21 08:29:00

Totally with Kandinsky on this. Once the 'initially agreed' time expires and he shows no sign of moving this becomes awful. Even worse with children involved. I would bust a gut to help them find replacement accommodation but that would be it. Really difficult present for promising long term future I think. Gosh I feel for you. Horrible situation indeed. Thank goodness you and your husband are in accord. I wish you all a happy and amicable outcome.

Iam64 Wed 27-Oct-21 08:29:54

Could you offer rent free with a contribution to food, for 3 months? The deal bearing he saves a deposit for private rented accommodation.
We really do need more social housing. So many children spend time every week, sometimes 50% with their separated parents. Private rents are high and there’s little tenant security

mokryna Wed 27-Oct-21 08:34:51

When I was a single mother in my early twenties, I had to ask my parents if I could stay with them for a couple of months. I had to agree I would leave by a certain date and contribute to household costs and food.

Shelflife Wed 27-Oct-21 08:44:42

This such a dilema for you ! You both obviously have kind hearts and want to help - however you have great doubts and I can imagine how hard it would be to say no. You have different lifestyles! I agree with the responses on this thread. Think about it this way , your stepson knows how much you care for him and his boys , he recognizes how difficult it will be for you to refuse him . With this in mind he has made his request. Wouldn't it have been better if with this knowledge he had decided not to put you and your DH in this awkward situation? Sharing your life with him in this way may well damage your relationship with him and having two children there too - not easy for any of you. I know it's ok for me to 'say' these things when I am not in your situation! I don't envy you both . Be strong offer to help in other ways , your stepson is a grown man . Thinking about you and good luck when you have that family conversation.

Sarnia Wed 27-Oct-21 08:56:31

You have to be honest and say what you really feel about this. This is your home after all. Don't be press ganged into something you may regret. Fingers crossed for you.

Grandmabatty Wed 27-Oct-21 09:04:57

It is a very difficult decision for you both. I had my son return to live with me in his late twenties after a relationship failed. But the plan was for him to save for a deposit as he had been renting previously. We both knew it was temporary. That's a very different situation to someone with children who works nights, thus affecting how you live your life in your own home. I think hard questions have to be asked. Why has he not explored another house share? Was going back to your home his first choice and if so, why? Why has he not saved a deposit for a new rental, knowing the situation with his housemate? Why does he not get rid of the housemate?
I suspect that you will be back here in a year, asking how to get rid of him from your house

Smileless2012 Wed 27-Oct-21 09:15:14

A very difficult dilemma Mamma and I think Iam's suggestion is a good one.

The problem is, even if he does agree to just a 3 month stay once he's moved in it may not be that east to get him to leave. He really should have been looking for alternative accommodation when he was beginning have doubts about the friend he's living with's behaviour.

It's good to know that you and your H are in agreement about this only being a short term solution but I would give some serious thought to saying no from the outset.

I hope it goes well for you all.

trisher Wed 27-Oct-21 10:04:30

Sorry I disagree with almost everyone. If any of my 3 DSs needed a home whilst I had the space they always knew they could come home. It never meant they wanted to live with me for ever. It was just a place they could come to when they needed a little extra support. All of them moved in and out at different periods of their life and one brought a child with him. Maybe I'm weird but I can't see the point of a beautiful renovated house if it isn't there to provide shelter for a family member who needs it.