During the summer, my step-son, 19, moved back in with us. He’s a great kid but with no responsibility laid on him by his mother.
While I was briefly away, my husband told him that his girlfriend could spend weekends at our house, though we’d previously said no.
His reason? He “didn't want to lose him."
I don't know if I can live like this, with two added people, while my step-son finishes university.
My husband won't speak up when they spend all day in bed.
We’re both early risers and very productive business people.
But my husband has a history of spoiling his children, wanting to be their friend more than their parent. He carries post-divorce guilt.
I’m about fairness and everyone contributing to the household, but that was never expected of them growing up.
My stepson treats our place as a hotel, without contributing save for doing the dishes when he eats dinner here.
Now he wants his girlfriend to stay here on a weeknight too. She’s amazing and a very positive force in his life.
Otherwise, my husband and I have a great relationship.
I just want to feel comfortable in my own home.
Am I Overreacting?
Yes, and No.
Yes, you’re overreacting about your husband for responses that weren’t unexpected, because you’re aware of what is actually a common element of guilt in many parents after divorce.
No, you’re under-reacting with your step-son, by not having a straightforward talk with him, including his girlfriend who may be your best ally.
To share your home, rather than host them, you need to state your most important boundaries, and negotiate others that suit all.
Example: Older teens and young adults sleep in when they can because their physical development stage needs it.
So, on weekends, suggest that you and your husband get going to your desired activity, and expect to either join them for lunch at noon (with beds made and their stuff tidied) or they’ve already cleaned up from eating.
You’re all past “how he was raised.” This is a new situation, and everyone can and must adjust if you’re to live comfortably together.
My wife presented herself over three years of dating, as a sweet, wholesome young lady.
Five years and two children later, I found that things she said about her past didn’t add up.
I discovered she used to be a prostitute.
I’m much older than her but she’s much more experienced than me.
I’m feeling deceived and hurt because she should’ve been honest with me.
Now I’m totally insecure and confused because I’ve lost all trust.
I’ve only told one true friend but don’t want my family to know because they’ll become bitter towards her.
She’d presented herself as having only slept with three men in her life. Now she says it’s 25 men and I don’t believe it.
Hurt and Sad
Nothing can change the past, but you both can change the present and future.
Since you don’t want your family to know, it seems that you intend to keep your family together despite this new knowledge.
That’s the decision from which to work together, committed to absolute honesty from now on.
But you don’t need a number count. You do need to both get tested for any sexually transmitted infections.
Also, she should tell you why she became a prostitute at the time.
If there’s still love/affection between you, commit to moving forward as a couple, and to raising your children together.
I’ve been single forever, having never had a guy interested in me for dating or even sexually. I’ve never kissed anyone.
I know that everything should happen at a personal timeline (not society's timeline), but whenever someone asks me about this, I feel something’s wrong with me.
I don't know how to stop feeling so down on myself.
How should I address a comment when someone raises this with me? How should I try to not let others make me feel bad about this area of my life?
On My Own
Two approaches can go a long way towards helping you stop feeling there’s “something wrong” with you.
One is to push yourself into a more active life that builds friendships, while also maintaining family connections that give emotional support.
Equally important, get personal counselling about how to value whom you already are, and recognize/understand any holdbacks from your past, to overcome.
Tip of the day:
Only accept adult children moving back with parents, if they share some responsibilities.