Could use a lil advice and a lil comfort...thanks!
Hi~I am divorced and have 3 children. My 2 daughters are in college and it's me and my 14 year old son now at home. I started dating a wonderful gentlemen about 1 year ago. He has 2 sons, one is almost 19 and the other is 21. The 19 year old lives every other week with his dad and the 21 year old lives with his mother. You are probably already starting to see where I am going with this. We have had just a wonderful fun year together, really enjoying each other and learning about each other. Well, recently we have started discussing some long-term plans about spending our futures together. I love this man dearly... however, I have some real concerns about his sons. The 19 year old that lives with him every other week and has not graduated from high school, has no job, and smokes. The 21 one year old living with his mother graduated from high school, has a job, but he smokes too. I am nurse and smoking is just not healthy, but I understand it's a choice, but I don't want anyone smoking in or near our home. He seemed to handle that one well. Well, the thing that really got my goat was that the 19-year old told his father he needed new tires on his car (which is his father's) so my boyfriend who works over 60 hours a week went out and bought him new tires. I was livid! I stewed and stewed for a few days over whether it was my business to say something or not. He works so hard and the 19 year old is not doing anything, so I kinda' let it rip last night the best way I knew how. Needless to say, it didn't go over very well. There has been several incidents like this that have happend in the past and if we are talking about our futures together I decided it was my business. I honestly have tried really hard to get my children out on their own and to be accountable and responsible. And, my children aren't perfect either, but I have always been good about lighting a fire under their butts! During the course of this conversation that turned really sour my boyfriend said that he didn't want to take away to much from his children (ADULT) because he was afraid he would alienate them and then they wouldn't come over to his house anymore. Plus, apparently the ex is wacky and he HAS to be there for them. I tried to be supportive and went through the whole thing about do you want to be a good role model and parent or do you want to be their friend...etc. This has been our first so-called fight and I am very sad. Sad because I went home crying and he went home pissed plus I forget my doggy bag at the restaurant and I am not sure if I can live with children that don't seem to be motivated to do anything. It's not the end of the world, but it can sure make things pretty uncomforable for me. Is it my business? Do you think these adult children will ever be motivated to move on with their lives? Is my boyfriend and his ex playing the game of who can be the best parent? Do you think my boyfriend is not emotionally available and still living in the past? He says he's not. Should I stay in this relationship or call it quits? The more and more I write the more confused I feel and the more things sound so screwed up to me. I am starting to feel like I am in the middle of something I shouldn't be. So much for making a long story short. Thanks for reading and listening. Any thoughts would surely be appreciated.
"What you see, is what you get." What I mean by this is, only your b-friend can stop this cycle with his grown kids. No matter how much it may upset you and you guys argue over it, only HE can stop it. He is enableing his 19 y/o to be "dependant" upon him. That is not good. He should make his 19 y/o get a job and take on responsibility. IF you are preparing for a future with this man, then it is your bussiness. Because once you two marry, you will have to deal with this too, if it dont stop. The only way these adult children will ne motivated, is only if, their father quits "enabling" them. He can be there for his kids emotionally, but financially, no. They need to learn how to take care of themselves. Staying in the relationship is your choice on if you can deal with your b-friends behavior or not. Who pays for the cigarettes the 19 y/o smokes? Does he or your b-friend? If you stay in the relationship with your b-friend and you two decide on marriage, I would ask your b-friend to at least make his son get a job and pay for his own responsibitlities. He needs to quit trying to "buy" his kids. They are not going to alienate themselves from him and he is not taking anything away from them. He would be doing them good , by letting them grow up. One day his sons will eventually get married themselves, and then who would your b-friend have? If he loses you? His sons are grown and he needs to think about you two and your future together.
Your are exactly right! Thank you very much for taking the time to respond to my posting. My boyfriend and I are getting together this week to talk about this topic. He sent me an email last night stating that he felt my words to him were uncomfortable, but that he was grateful and they made him realize that he has been to "easy" with his sons and that his actions were stemming from his guilt over the divorce. I am hoping that this is the beginning of communicating towards a positive future and will help us get through the many, many more difficult conversations we will probably need to have before we take the "BIG" step. Thanks again!