Question: Dear Luise; I have a son that is 21. His main focus is sleeping most of the day and drinking at night with his friends. He has a nice car we helped him buy and will not work and make the payment. He is depressed and angry at times, but won’t get help. He lives with us and it is really starting to take a toll on all of us. He flat out refuses to go out and get a job and better his life! He can be the funniest person to be around sometimes, and he has a good heart. He is so lost, I don’t think he ever want to grow up. He also is very manipulative and asks for money often. I give in alot and I know I should not. He will drive me crazy until I give in. It is getting ridicoulous and I fear he will never be able to take care of himself or a family in the future. Please help! J.
Answer: Dear J.: It looks to me like you need a lot more help than I can offer.
You are enabling your son’s dependency and he is holding you captive with his anger and manipulation. No wonder he is depressed, he has no self-respect.
If you can’t stop providing free room and board, making the car payments and providing money for his drinking, you need to see a counselor and work through it. He needs to have the car repossessed and he needs to be without a place to stay and nothing to eat, so he can move on into adulthood. He is refusing counseling, OK…but you don’t have to follow suit.
Your work is done. You gave him life and supported and protected him until he reached “adulthood.” It’s not something optional that he can decline. He is an adult. Let him go and let him learn and let him face the consequences of his choices. When you give in, you are step by step aiding him on his path to self-destruction. Let him grow up whether he is wise enough to see that’s what’s next or not…his survival depends on it.
You may want to come over to my Web-forum with this. There and women there who are facing all kinds of issues with their “adult” children and extended families. We’re at: www.WiseWomenUnite.com
When you take a stand, your son will turn on you. Be ready for that and don’t give in. Tough love can save him. Blessings, Luise