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Grown Abusive Son Needs To Leave

by Bob
(Atlanta, Georgia)

My wife and I live in Georgia. I have a 38 year old adult step son (my wife's) who has done drugs since he was about 15 and for years, pretty much lived out of a duffel bag, coming around the house every once and a while. His ex wife literally dropped all his things off on our door step when they divorced 7 years ago and he has an 11 year old son who was 4 back then.

Even though we have been storing his stuff off and on since he was a teen, we do not consider him living in our house because he may be here one day and gone for a week or two. He has always talked to my wife like she was nothing. Cruel and abusive, he would humiliate her in front of his son and call her everything you can think of.

One time a few years ago, he snuck a girlfriend into a guest room down stairs and slowly, methodically, we found ourselves supporting them. Until, one day we had a terrible argument where he threatened to slit my wife's throat and hurt me if I call the police. Over the years, we have changed our locks about 5 times after such violent arguments. He has always broken in because his stuff is inside the house. We have even found a fake gun, brass knuckles and a taser down stairs in the guest room, so we can only imagine the kind of life he lives outside our home.

He has slowly taken over a guest room downstairs and if we have anything to say about him being there, he verbally abuses my wife, because he despises her and throws things. He doesn't work because he lost his job by refusing to take a drug test. He doesn't mess with me because I am a quiet person who tends to keep quiet. I am ashamed that I let my wife suffer so long with her son's verbal abuse.

Now he has a girlfriend who is about to get out of jail (she was wanted in two counties for drug possession) and he thinks he will marry her and move in for us to support them. Neither one works. We did not work our whole married life to pay off a house so that my adult stepson can "milk off of us" and feel better about himself by abusing my wife, and me if I cross him.

We feel that, if we were elderly, (which we are not), he would find a way to get rid of us and have everything we've worked for all of our lives, since he is approaching middle age and has nothing to show for it. My wife is very depressed and we see no light at the end of the tunnel if we don't get him out of the house. She has no use for him either. Thanks for listening.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Bob, and thanks for telling your story here. This is your time. Your wife needs you, and your peace of mind and the quality of life you have worked for depend on you taking action. I will try to help.

This is what I recommend. You need some healthy anger--which fuels effective action. I suggest you file criminal charges against your step son for all of the crimes he has committed, including drug use and breaking and entering. Try to get a restraining order against him. Find an understanding, supportive police officer who will advise and help you.

You cannot afford to be passive any more, Bob. Your situation is asking you to rise up and do the right thing for yourself and your wife. It might help you to get in touch with your anger if you do the first two journaling processes you will find on this page. You need to find and feel your healthy anger, which you apparently learned to suppress a long time ago.

Use the police force to support your need for safety and protection in your home. Hopefully, you will not have to physically confront your step son yourself, but if you do, make up your mind that you will not be intimidated by him, and make it clear that you will not allow him to abuse your wife any more. That has to stop, and it sounds like it's up to you to stop it.

Without meaning to, you have given your step son the message that his behavior is acceptable. He thinks he can get away with this. Hopefully, you can file charges against him, get a restraining order, and the next time he shows up, call the police immediately. If your wife is uncomfortable with this plan, I suggest you do it any way. She has gotten herself into a helpless victim role, and you cannot allow that to dictate your actions, or you will join her in helpless victim-hood. It doesn't have to be that way.

Keep a cell phone with you at all times, and at the first sign of him, call the police and report an intruder in your home. He has no legal right to be on your property. He has threatened your wife's life, which is a crime, not to mention the breaking and entering.

Find the grit in your gut, Bob, and do this.

Believe in yourself and the good, strong man that you truly are inside.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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