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How can I set boundaries with my adult stepsonand get my husband to back me up?

My husband an I married alittle over 3 years ago. I have two children 15 and 9. My stepson was 18 when we married and is now 21. My husband moved into my house for the first 8 months. My stepson stayed in his house. Then, due to financial reasons, we all moved into his and his sons house. It's a 2 bedroom. We have been trying to sell it fo the past 2 years with no luck. A blended family in a 2 bedroom house. What a nightmare this has been. My stepson thinks I have taken over he and his dad's pad. There was very little responsibility put on him at all. I think he should pay rent. He has a job making as much as me if not more, a bass boat, a 2006 king cab Silverado truck, 4 wheeler, 2 dogs, hunting and fishing gear, guitars, amps, etc. My husband doesn' think it's fair to make him pay rent in this small home, however my children have slept on the couch for the past 2 years and changed schools. Any advice?

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Asked by Jones5 at 8:05 PM on Feb. 23, 2009 in Adult Children (18+)

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Answers (11)
  • would you expect your child to pay rent? My parents let my husband and i move in with them when i was pregnant and didnt expect a thing but we did help put and i cleaned and cooked when i could but can you honestly expect your husband to charge his son rent ?

    Answer by aubrees_mommie at 11:35 PM on Feb. 23, 2009

  • I feel very strongly about teaching children resposibility. How are children supposed to grow into self sufficient adults if we don't teach them how by giving them age appropriate tasks. I guess I came off as sounding a bit like a wicked stepmother. To the contrary, I love my stepson very much but see him starting his life out already in debt. That is why I suggested him paying rent so that he can become familiar with earning his keep. I, too, had to move in with my parents after my divorce with two children. They did not expect rent but I helped with groceries and the caring of the household. I do expect the same out of my children. If they choose not to go to college, I will expect them to take part in adult roles of our household, including rent. I would never suggest anything for my stepson that I would not impose on my other children. It's open for discussion w/my husband. We need unity on something, though.

    Answer by Jones5 at 12:01 AM on Feb. 24, 2009

  • if he is 21 its time for him to grow up and pay rent why should he live there and do nothing at all and as for your children if they are working and all then they should be paying rent also

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:35 AM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • Talk to your husband and see how exactly he feels. maybe your step son paying rent isn't the best route instead maybe spliting bills that he uses or chipping in for groceries and always of course helping out around the house. My parents as well as my ex's family never charged us rent instead we payed a certain percent of the electricity, water, and gas bills as well as giving a certain amount towards groceries and of course helping out around the house. He's 21 he should atleast be chipping in if nothing else. Of course your kids as well need to be helping around the house.

    Answer by ramita at 12:38 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • JMO- but if he has all those toys, he should have his own house to store them. He's an adult and obviously making pretty good money. If he has a boat, he can afford his own house. I'm not sure why your DH isn't trying to encourage him to get his own place. That's too much stuff to have at a 2 bedroom house with just 2 people. But you guys have 5 people and your kids are sleeping on the couch. Wow!!!!
    I'm not sure how you would go about setting boundaries, esp if your DH won't back you up. I would just start planting the seed of have your step-son move out.

    Answer by nwdeserangel at 1:02 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • Well, imho, it is not your place to set boundaries with his child especially since he is an adult. It is your husband responsibility. And he is not doing a good job at it to say the least! I would sit your hubby down and let him know exactly how you feel. If he only pays $50.00 a week, that is teaching him responsibilities and respect. A grown man acting this way towards his Dad's new wife is shameful and NOT good character. He should be proud to chip in and help, especially since he has all these toys and you two are struggling. Really, what is wrong with this picture?!! I am sorry that you are going through this, men can be so idiotic sometimes. It could be that your hubby is parenting out of guilt and that never works! You two and your children are sacrificing, what is his son doing and what is that showing? Poor character, and it's a shame that hubby is allowing it, he isn't doing his son any favors!


    Answer by blessed5x at 10:56 PM on Feb. 27, 2009

  • I'd really sit hubby down and have a real heart to heart, lay it all out there, gently, you know men, they have to be stroked while you let them know how you feel. Sending you hugs though!

    Answer by blessed5x at 10:57 PM on Feb. 27, 2009

  • No idea! I can't say a damn thing about my 13 year old step daughter without my husband threatening to divorce me!!

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:26 AM on Feb. 28, 2009

  • -0-

    I'm siding on your husband.

    Your children have at least a roof over their head and they aren't going to die because they sleep on the couch.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:38 PM on Feb. 28, 2009

  • I think adult children should pay rent when they live at home. They should also get groceries and buy there own personal use items. As for you all living in a two bedroom home and your kids sleeping on the couch...........No Way :(. I wouldnt go for that. Sounds like you were better off on your own. If adult son doesnt like it...........then dad needs to tell him to leave. If husband doesnt want to step up to the plate then I would find different living arrangements on your terms. Tell husbnd he is welcome to join you but adult son needs to stay put.

    Answer by mistynights234 at 1:00 PM on Mar. 2, 2009

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