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I have been married now for 10 years to what I thought was a wonderful and caring woman. One year ago my step-grandson moved into our home because he was having problems dealing with being picked on by his siblings all the time. Anyway, now that he is living in our home he does not have to pay rent, does not have to do any house chores, and basically does little to nothing except play video games in his room all day if he is not sleeping. My wife seems to think that asking him to help out around the house is just being disrespectful and mean on my part. She says that he is a good boy and that he deserves respect and that to ask him to do anything is going to hurt his feelings. My step-grandson is 20 years old, and he has lived a sheltered life with his mother, so he is not very good socially, and is very immature for his age. The problem here is that my wife has been accusing me of being very insensitive and mean to him because I will at times tell my wife that I wish that he would help out around the house more. I have also talked to my step-grandson about this one on one and in a way as not to upset him. Soon after we talk is when my wife usually starts accusing me of being disrespectful and mean to the boy. At this point my wife and I are still together, and I keep trying to work things out with her to at least meet me half way on getting my step-grandson to help out in exchange for room and board. My wife still insists that he does not need to earn his keep, and will then be very defensive of him saying things that are really not true at all about me. I feel that if this issue does not improve at some point that our marriage is going to suffer greatly which I do not want to happen. I am at a loss as to how to handle this situation except to possibly leave or separate from my wife for a while. It does seem obvious to me that she values my step-grandson's company more that she values her own husband's wants, needs, and feelings. I feel like I'm ignored most of the time anyway when the two of them are together. Someone please help! I need advice quick.
 

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There is no incentive for him to grow up as long as he is getting a free ride. However I would turn the conversation a different way: don't focus on you, rather you need to let your wife understand that advocating the current activities of non- chores is irresponsible parenting. Face it you are playing a parenting role. Your grandson is learning how to be lazy and manipulative rather than productive and responsible. Honestly if your wife does not come to this realization I think there is not much you can do.

My motto on raising kids is with the thought they will be someone's spouse, co-worker and neighbor someday. Currently your grandson will be poor in all these areas from your description.
 

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At age 20 he is not a child any longer; he is an adult. This problem is not about you, but about the well-being of a young adult. Why is he not in school or working? Your wife is wrong on this one.

In discussions with your wife, make the subject about this boy's future. Ask her what he is going to do when she and his mother aren't around.
 

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Does the boy have aspergers or some form of autisim?
He probably does need to help a bit around the house, you could try starting him with 'light' jobs, ie, clean & tidy his room. Maybe unpack the dishwasher or wipe dishes.
As for how your wife is acting, she is protecting him like he is her son, if he does have aspergers or similar she may be allowing maternal instincts to override common sense. I know I am the same with my eldest son.
 
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