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Disrespectful 19 Year Old Son And My Husband Enables Him

by Anonymous

Our only child is 19, soon to be 20. He's very disrespectful to my husband and myself but mostly to me. I recognize that this disrespect is mostly directed to me because I am the main person that speaks up and disciplines.

My husband tends to say very little or, in my opinion, he makes excuses for his bad behavior. He treats our son as if he's twelve, continually doing things for him...lending him money, paying for his vehicle repairs, giving him gas for his car. And our son works two jobs! I do not agree with any of this, yet when I speak up about it my husband becomes defensive.

When we ask our son normal questions such as 'What time do you work today?' He answers by saying 'What do you care?' Asked to take his laundry to the laundry room, he replies 'no' or 'shut up, I don't have to'. My husband ignores this and I react (sometimes I become VERY angry and yell) because I cannot believe that this young man is living in our home FOR FREE and treating us so disrespectfully.

I think he needs to move out but my husband won't allow that... He worries that he will have no place to live. Sometimes, if pushed far enough, he will threaten our son with all kinds of things but my husband never follows through and our son knows it.

It's interesting to me that my husband has no problem expressing his feelings to me when I react and become angry or act upset yet he will very rarely say a word to our son. We were out on New Year’s Eve, and our son and his friends were at our house before they went to a New Year’s Eve party. We asked him to make sure he tidied up before they left, to make sure that no one was going to be drinking and driving, etc.

When we got home the house was an absolute mess. I refused to clean it, as I think that our son should be made to do it. But my husband refused to wait till morning and cleaned up everything into the wee hours. I heard our son get dropped off but instead of coming into the house, he got into his car and drove away.

I was horrified as I knew he had to have been drinking! I told my husband that these things need to be made into a big deal because they are a very big concern. In the morning my husband (with a grin on his face) said to our son 'So you think you were going to drive your car last night?' Our son said he never drove his vehicle...lied. I told the kid right off that I'm so tired of him being so immature, and that it's time to grow up already.

My husband does not understand that all these things he's doing for our son is not helping him. My husband checked into a course he wants our son to take and he was mad at me because he felt I was being ridiculous by insisting that our son check into the class himself, register for it himself and pay for it himself. I am not trying to be unreasonable, I just think that if this is something our son wants to do, he should check into it himself.

Why would he need his dad to do this for him? I'm afraid I'm fighting a losing battle here. I feel that my husband is not doing his job as a parent. How are we ever going to have a responsible young man that can stand on his own two feet and function normally in society if we continually do everything for him? If he never has to take responsibility for his actions how will he ever learn and grow?

What do I do? How do I change things when I'm fighting with two issues? How do I get my husband on the right parenting page? I feel like I have two children here.

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Jan 08, 2016
You Are Exactly Correct
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hello - I agree with every viewpoint you are expressing here. The only solution I can think of is marriage counseling for you and your husband. Or, if you could find a really good family therapist, all three of you could get help, and that would be good also.

I'm not sure how you're going to get your husband to cooperate with getting help, but I'm sure you can think of some things you could do.

Meanwhile, things are going to continue to get worse as long as things stay the way they are, and I think you know that.

It will help you to read this page on parenting adult children, especially the stories by other parents at the bottom of the page.

Try to believe the best of your husband and son, as hard as that may be. Take one step at a time in the direction of resolution, and make up your mind to correct your situation...and you will succeed.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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