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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
THE SETTING: Married with other people's children.
I am 43, my wife is 49 with 2 children from 2 different men. We have no children together. Her older son, 27 now, and the father was never in the picture. He still lives at home. All tattooed up, even his fingers, no job, no school with a criminal record, smokes weed and get up really late. The daughter was a very troubled child, spoiled, tantrums. However, she grew out of that nicely and I love her. She is now 11 and most likely gay.

My wife and I met on a job. She made such a big impression on me that I said "You have to marry me". That was the first thing that came out of my mouth. Be careful what you ask for folks. I love her dearly, still do, and we general don't have any issues with each other.

THE ISSUE: The son.
He is the absolute bain of my existence, no education, and a loser. I graduate late from college by a long shot. I graduated from Duke University when I was 30 years old. I had many jobs and careers but went back and finished college. All on my own with no help, academically, financially or otherwise. Hence, my attitude of self-reliance. And not pursuing a higher education when you have the means is unacceptable for me.

THE CLIMAX:
I came home from a trip and my audiophile stereo system was pushed over. I had a sound engineer friend came by and tune the system to the acoustic of my living room. I am eluding to the fact that the stereo system is my pride and joy. My speaker was dropped and scratch because he came home drunk, high and fell on it. That was the beginning of the end. A culmination of different incidence has reached its boiling point. My wife and I nearly parted over this last event.

Wife: How can you put materials things above a human life? Did you ever stop to consider his condition?

Husband: This is not his only incidence, two wrecked cars, smoking weed, sleeping in late, not looking for work, and a criminal record is not going to help. You don't understand tough love, and this is the result.

Wife: I can never abandon my child.

Husband: I am willing to pay for his apartment, get him a car. Two years
is my time limit, after that he will have to learn to hustle. You are not abandoning your child, he will always have us.

Wife: He doesn't have a job, couldn't find one. Do you want me just to kick him out?

RESOLUTION:
We went for days without speaking to each other. I miss her dearly, still my sense of anger and disappointment at myself for making the monumental leap of getting married. When we became man and wife, I didn't have much. But have always been generous with her when my career progress. One night I came home, parked and sat in my car, listen to a song ( https://youtu.be/50VWOBi0VFst ) that touches me deeply. I can picture her on a rainy winter night, walking home late alone, heart broken.

I came into the house, climbed in bed, held her and kissed her. We made love.

ANTICLIMACTIC ENDING:
Elation sets in. I am filled with compassion for her situation as a single mother and her son not having a good role model, offered to buy him a car. Giving him a boost, filled with new possibilities he would then catapult himself to greatness. At this point, he had stopped smoking weed for a week. And he made plans to return to school. I was changing inside. Then a job interview he had prior called to reject him from a background check. I backed off fairly quickly from the initial exuberant. Questioning myself, "Am I putting the carriage in front of the horse?". I am trying to convey responsibility. Merits and respect are earned, not given.

I then changed my offer, I will co-sign a loan. Mother and son will have to work out the financial details to pay for the car and insurance themselves. I will be the net when they falter. In a hope to have them make a more financially sensible purchase. By me paying for the car, does not put any kind of hardship, nor practice risk-aversion on his part. No lesson learned.

As of now, me and my wife are not speaking to each other.
I am now thinking of a single life once again.

PS. Please help

Minh
 

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Your wife is not doing her son any favors.

The best way out of the pit is to hit the bottom hard, then climb out on your own.

I wouldn't co-sign anything for that loser either....what liability will you have when he hits someone driving drunk or high?

Personally, I would walk away from the entire mess....plenty of unencumbered without rotten kids fish in the sea....
 

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It's a tough one, but really you are not doing her son any real favors. She won't do what is necessary to show him what life is like when you are on your own. I don't know why you are rewarding bad behavior, but we all do things at times with the hope it will change that which was not in our power to control in the first place.

If he is legitimately disabled in some way, there is help he can get access to. If he's just a delinquent, then it comes down to his mom cracking the whip. He won't take you seriously.... If he has never had a serious consequence to learn what real charity is, why should he be grateful for yours?

Sounds like she chooses her grown son, which really when you look at it, seems like it's what is logical and right to her mind. She said herself, she won't "abandon" him.

It means, though, that unless you are prepared to accept things as they are now for the foreseeable future, there's no room for you.
 

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Wife: How can you put materials things above a human life? Did you ever stop to consider his condition?
Sometimes people choose an object that you value to damage to pi$$ you off and, as your stepson has successfully done, to make it difficult for other people to empathise.

I also noticed that as per wikipedia, one form of child abuse is to damage a child's belongings. I don't see why that cannot be applied to the definition of abuse at any age.

I certainly remember that if we broke anything of our parents there was he!! to pay.
 

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OP,

When you have two female posters in the first 5 posts telling you to walk, you should listen.

You sound like a KISA type. Plenty of good women out there to meet without kids, or with kids who are not losers.

BTW, keep in mind that if you think the 11 year old girl is going to stay nice and sweet like you said she is now, think again. Wait till she hits the teen years, especially with the awful example her mother is setting for her with the loser son. Wait till her sense of entitlement kicks in after watching mom do everything for the brother.

Also, I don't care if a person has tattoos, but I know they are not cheap to get, so if he doesn't work, who payed for all of them ?
 

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BTW, keep in mind that if you think the 11 year old girl is going to stay nice and sweet like you said she is now, think again. Wait till she hits the teen years, especially with the awful example her mother is setting for her with the loser son.
That's possible. But also, a lot of times people allow themselves to be abused because they want to get along and they don't know that that's abuse in the first place (one reason why some people want to lower the age of sexual education).

the problem here is that she may be coming to terms with that abuse in her teens or worse, early 20s. (if you're going to have a meltdown, I believe it's better to have it sooner rather than later).
 

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What were you thinking when you moved in with your wife and the bum?

Did your wife make any promises about him moving out? Why did you put yourself in this situation?

Can your wife support him in a separate place? If not, maybe you'll have to pay for his apartment and living expenses if you want him out.
 

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I'm not getting why you even considered marrying her in the first place?

Why not just be in a relationship and that way if things get tough with her obviously problematic children you don't have to take over the responsibility of this dysfunctional family?

Second marriages rarely succeed, mainly from problems with the children- and in this case there are huge problems with the children.

No way this will work and the more time, effort and money you put into trying to salvage this sinking ship the worse things are going to be for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everyone for helping out.

I have been in difficult situations in my life. There have been good people along the way to give me a helping hand.
I truly feel I can make a difference in their lives. Compassion is a great word, it put me a different state of mind.
However, the future is uncertain. Even more so when my own future is affected by some else.
 

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I then changed my offer, I will co-sign a loan. Mother and son will have to work out the financial details to pay for the car and insurance themselves. I will be the net when they falter. In a hope to have them make a more financially sensible purchase.

This makes no sense at all. You are going to co sign on a loan to be the sucker who pays for the car when your wife and her son default. When he totals the car, you will have to pay for it.

You'd be better off buying him a dirt cheap used car. Pay cash and have the pink slip made out to him. Leave it in the driveway let them figure out the other expenses. At least that way you won't be wasting as much money and won't be legally responsible for anything he does or does not do with the vehicle. Unpaid parking tickets, impound fines or whatever.
 

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Thanks everyone for helping out.

I have been in difficult situations in my life. There have been good people along the way to give me a helping hand.
I truly feel I can make a difference in their lives. Compassion is a great word, it put me a different state of mind.
However, the future is uncertain. Even more so when my own future is affected by some else.
Pie in the sky dreams

He's not your kid. You can only suggest what to do. If she is unable/unwilling, then you are odd man out.

DO NOT co-sign. You are attempting to put a band-aid on a bullet wound!!!

You need to take a step back and really think.
You obviously didn't think before getting married (I'm asking "how" did you not know about the kids)
You have drastically different opinions about child rearing (TBH 27 old acting like a lazy turd wouldn't fly with me - I would have sent the kid packing a LOOOONG time ago)
You wife can't parent properly (parenting is extremely had even for the best parents in the world - impossible for those that have no backbone to stan up to their kids)
You have unrealistic goals and ideas with in this family unit.

you need to think about wanting this from now on. Not you being a KISA and saving her - because you can't save someone that doesn't want to be saved.
 
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Thanks everyone for helping out.

I have been in difficult situations in my life. There have been good people along the way to give me a helping hand.
I truly feel I can make a difference in their lives. Compassion is a great word, it put me a different state of mind.
However, the future is uncertain. Even more so when my own future is affected by some else.
Your future is uncertain if you put its steering wheel in someone else's hands.

Your future is yours if you take control of the wheel.

Compassion is altruistic, however there is no valour or virtue in providing what YOU feel is right for others. Rather, the virtue comes from giving and doing that which is truly needed. Does that make sense?

Would you rather buy a little spoiled girl yet another doll to add to her collection of decapitated Barbie's or would you buy a goat for a family in Africa?
 

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I'm not sure what to think of all of this.

My sister and my mother now volunteer with school age kids. That's good.

I don't think that they would take the plunge and marry someone with "damaged" children.

A friend of mine said that he and his wife tried the Big Brother route. They said that the teenage boy that they were assigned was nice enough but the mother started asking that they buy things for the boy. You know, the usual, tennis shoes and so on.

My friends were in a position that they could do those things, but I guess, it's better to let them come to that conclusion. When they didn't buy those things for the teenage boy, the mother started holding back claiming that he needed to stay home and babysit his siblings.

(She was a single mom with 5 kids).
 

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OP,
If people just understood that helping an individual by disallowing them the experience of life and the accepting of responsibility is the exact opposite of helping, it is severely damaging. At 27 this man should be mature and responsible but if he has never had to be then why would he? Hardship is a strong motivator and can force maturity however there is a cutoff point whereat growth is no longer possible. If he reaches that point, if he has not already, then a "turnaround" for him will take a miracle. Your wife is enabling his behavior and he is more than willing to be enabled.

You cannot force someone to want to make something of their lives it must be their drive and currently there is no impetus for him to change. He simply likes his current life of unemployment, drunken evenings of substance abuse, sleeping late and coming and going as he pleases. This will continue to worsen if he is not shown that life does not really work that way because right now, his is and he likes it. What your wife believes to be helping is in reality ruining. Sad.
 

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You're doing what step parents ALWAYS do. You came into THEIR lives and started judging and deciding you have a better idea of what THEY should be doing. He was a slacker when you met her. He was a slacker when you married her. And she was a crappy parent all the while - the parent who allowed him to be a slacker. But you came in and decided they should be the way YOU want them to be. That's ridiculous. It's always ridiculous when step parents always do this.

Nobody has any business telling you to leave your wife. Your marriage doesn't have to have anything to do with her son, and it shouldn't since that situation is what you *decided* to marry into. You have no standards you are supposed hold them. You are to expect nothing of her children except that they respect you and your belongings. Instead of flying off the handle, all you should have told your wife was that she or her son has to pay for your stereo that he destroyed. Other than that, he and no one else is to touch your personal property without your permission.

And frankly, you were wrong to retract your offer to buy him a car. You were high on love and all that jazz, and you were supposed to keep your word. Plus, the subsequent offer doesn't make a darned bit of sense. If she could afford to buy him a car, then don't you think she would have done that already? And since she obviously cannot buy him a car, you know full well co-signing still means you will be the one paying for the car. And that's not even to mention how much you will be paying through the nose if he has an accident. So why screw up what could otherwise be a good marriage over something like this? Over your judgment of her son and what you think he should be doing.

You're right in the way you feel about him. Everyone here is right, of course, to agree with you that she's not doing him many favors. Everybody has an opinion and judgment about other people, but you're wrong at the same time because you have no right to judge him. If you didn't like that she had a slacker living off her at home, you shouldn't have married her and shouldn't have moved in with them. He's not your kid. You didn't raise him. You are not responsible for how he turned out. And you are not to decide how YOU think he should be or what he should be doing.

You can love your wife and have a good marriage despite her son. You are the one causing the problems. You are the reason she is not speaking to you.

The better concerning the car is you should go on and buy it since you opened your big mouth. At least that way, you won't have to be responsible for anything. You won't have to put your name on anything. You can just pay for the car and wash your hands of the matter from that point on.

Tell your wife you expect him to apologize for tearing up your stereo system. You certainly are supposed to require decency and respect of them.
 

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The son has become too comfortable living with you both. I absolutely agree that further education is vital and why not access it where available? Even if he doesn't want to study further an apprenticeship in something would be a good start. You already know that this boy lacks ambition and has demonstrated this timeously. Getting an apartment for him is very nice but it doesn't sound like he will appreciate it. If anything it will be more hassle that it's actually worth. The Failure to Launch movie comes to mind.
 

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She won't do anything to help him because she feels guilty. Letting him slack is a way for her to feel better about herself. The kid is not even an issue but she doesn't realize it.

Anyway, you'll never get through to her on this point.

You don't have to live like this. You don't have to live with a disrespectful lazy adult who is not your responsibility.

In no way, shape or form are you being unreasonable.
 
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