08 Feb
Help! My Almost-Stepson is Not Growing Up!

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I am engaged to a wonderful, kind and supportive man. I love him very much and I know he loves me. (You should see the rock! I kid, I kid.) He was married before and he has three adult sons, and even though there is quite an age difference between my future husband and myself, we are okay with it.

The problem is his youngest son who is just six months older than I am. He never had a good relationship with his father before, but now that I’m in the picture, (and have been for the past four years) he is downright hostile. He will not come to our home for family get-togethers, nor will he return his father’s phone calls. The only thing that he is receptive to is taking money from us, but I’ve now put my foot down on giving him any more. After all, I worked my way through college and grad school with very little help from my parents. He is 30 years old and almost flunking out of grad school, so I think it’s time for him to be an adult.

Am I wrong? Am I being too harsh? I’m tired of being used, but my fiance had our first fight about this. Help!

Sincerely,

No More Hand-Outs
_______________________________________

Dear No More Hand-Outs,

I consulted with my 8-year-old son about this, and he agrees with you. He said definitely don’t give this kid any more money because you probably will need it yourself. That’s advice is worth its weight in gold.( The bill is in the mail.)

And I agree with you, too. A 30-year-old man is, indeed, an adult who, barring some limitation, should be able to pay his own way. And what would really help him reach his earning potential is if his father stopped doling out money.

I hope you know that you can’t fix the father-son relationship, so resolve right now to quit trying. (And if you haven’t even started trying, brava! Good call!) But on the issue of finances, I’m afraid that you and your fiance will have to revisit Your First Fight. Make it festive and celebratory. It’s an anniversary of sorts, after all.

Discuss with your fiance what your financial expectations are (try not to work “and of course you’ll leave me a huge inheritance” into the conversation). Will the two of you be combining your finances, keeping separate accounts or a hybrid of the two? If your fiance expects you to contribute to his son’s upkeep, voice your feelings on the subject. If he doesn’t expect you to chip in, but wants to continue to pay for his son, set a budget that passes your gag test.

And if all else fails, feel free to quote my 8-year-old to your fiance.

Be$t wi$hes,
Marinka, TMH

3 Responses to “Help! My Almost-Stepson is Not Growing Up!”

02.08.10#1

Comment by Ann.

I thought you only signed correspondence with me like that…

02.08.10#2

Comment by Bejewell.

Thinking about going to grad school myself but I don’t have a dad I hate who’ll still give me money. In fact, come to think of it, I don’t even have a dad I LIKE who’ll give me money for school. Do you think this person can convince her fiance to adopt me? I’ll be super nice and come to ALL of their family functions. I pinky swear.

02.08.10#3

Comment by Amy.

Wise advice as always.

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