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what if they stop loving me
August 7, 2007
11:26 pm
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sosorry
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Hello All
I just found this site and am very glad there is support out there. I have a 21 year old son that I have enabled and spoiled. I wish I could do it all over again. The biggest feeling I keep fighting is "What if he stops loving me" I know that this is crazy believe me. I know that stopping the madness would be the best thing I could do. I just can't seem to tell him that he is not a baby anymore. I'm angry with myself for letting it go this long. He is not working. I am letting his girlfriend live here. They do not pay rent.
I let them take my car while I am here at home. I rationalize everything. I can seem to get out of this emotional mess. Then today out of the blue I blew up and told him I am not going to be taken for granted anymore. Now I feel guilty. This is awful.
Someone please help me!!!!

August 7, 2007
11:47 pm
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Tiger Trainer
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Don't feel guilty feel empowered. Now stick to your guns. Go somewhere quiet, think hard, take some time. Establish some boundaries/rules you feel comfortable with. Then take a big breath and hold on.
There are many strong people here at this site. They have done the same thing. They can really help you.

August 8, 2007
12:56 am
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fantas
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Sosorry,
The chances of them not loving you are slim. As it is they must know that you are doing a lot more than you should be doing. I bet you they will behave for a while now that they heard you upset and then they will go back to their old ways.
It's more likely they will try to guilt trip you into doing things for them again but if you stick to your decision, they will be more respectful. What does their dad think about all this?

August 8, 2007
9:22 am
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sad sack
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Hi sosorry,

You have come to the right place.

You have taken the first step and please, do not feel guilty about it. What you need to realize is that you are not helping your son by enabling him. Keep telling yourself that.

I, too, have an adult son who is spoiled beyond belief by his dad and his godmother. His dad is more concerned about being my son's buddy than about being a real father.

As a result, my son has no sense of responsibiltiy, no value of money and is almost child-like in his coping skills.

I am fighting a losing battle. I think it is more important to teach my son to fend for himself. I am not afraid of my son not loving me. Although I am not the most popular parent, I truly believe that years down the road, my son will appreciate my firm stand. And I believe that yours will too.

Give your son a time line. Tell him he will have to get a job by a certain date and then be out on his own (by a certain date,as well). The important thing is that you have to stick with your deadlines. You cannot afford to be weak here.

So what if he gets angry. Ultimately, he NEEDS you to be strong. Remember what I said - you are NOT helping him by allowing him to do whatever he pleases. You are simply creating a monster.

And why is his girlfriend living there as well (rent free, at that)? That should be UNACCEPTABLE to you. They are walking all over you but the sad thing is that you are allowing it. IS that love to you? To me, it is someone taking advantage of you.

Please gain some strength. Post here as often as you need to. We will support you.

I wish you the best. Stop enabling him !!!! He needs to grow up already.

sad

August 8, 2007
9:36 am
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jasminum sambac
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Hello, sosorry

The hard part will be making changes in your own actions and making the changes consistent, regardless of how people describe you or act around you. If you want change in how you're treated, do Tiger Trainer's inventory, and tackle one situation at a time. Good luck. My sympathy is with you. I do believe it comes down to you doing things that you choose.

I did some real work with myself about love, and dug down as deep as I could get with it. I came to the conclusion that love among human beings rests on respect.

As I see it, respect is its strong foundation, that gives love a chance of enduring and growing. Acceptance is included in respect.

For me that goes for erotic love, friendship love, and love of one's children.

OK, here's a hardball. If I'm right, that means that if you don't respect your son enough to treat him like you'd treat any healthy young adult (for example, expect him to get a job; not make it possible for him to live without one), and if you don't treat yourself with respect, what you and your son have between you will be sickly, and given enough time, die.

Something will remain, and it will have affection in it. Human beings are wonderful creatures, often easy to appreciate even while they've got problems going on in them. You'd remember good times with your son. But it would be your memories and hopes, your affection for parts...not love based on respect.

The upside, in thinking about it this way, is that if you begin respecting your son more by treating him like a competent adult, and respecting yourself more by being faithful to your beliefs about what's right to do, love based on respect will flourish and unfold.

This is just the way I think about situations like yours in my own life. I can guarantee it's hard at first to make it stick but that it gets easier.

Jas

August 8, 2007
9:58 am
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atalose
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Welcome sosorry,

I think you are getting some great advice here. The hard part will be in changing your behavior and sticking to boundaries. As Sad said you need to keep reminding yourself that you are NOT helping him by enabling him to be a nothing doing nothing with his life.

21 or not he's still very much a kid, and kids need boundaries and rules. As much as they may not like them, rules and boundaries offer them stability. What he has right now is his mommy taking care of him and his girlfriend what kind of foundation is that for a young man to begin adulthood with.

Try and replace YOUR fear of losing love by offering him tuff love and begin to set boundaries and rules and stick to them.

Are they going to school? Do they work?

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

August 8, 2007
12:46 pm
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AQueen
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I have lived with my Mom off and on and I've always paid at least $250 month in rent. Right now we are roommates, we are both on the lease and we split the rent. My 9 month old son lives with us too. I'm living with her not because I have to, I actually just got approved for a low income apartment in a nice area but I passed and told the agency to take my name off their list. I was at the top and they had a unit for me to view any everything.

I live with my Mom because I need help with my son. She works full time and I'm a stay at home mom/full time student. I would feel very isolated if I lived on my own with my son. She helps me in the evenings and on the weekends. I don't go out much so she doesn't babysit him often, she just helps me with him. Another reason I live with her is I don't want to live alone right now because I just left a domestic violence relatioship in March and my Mom and I both have restraining orders againist my ex. We live in a controlled access security conscious building with camera's everywhere. I'm in a address confidentiality program so my ex can't find me. If I lived alone I would be more prone to backsliding and allowing him to visit his son at my place or worst case scenerio letting him live with me. I'm in domestic violence counseling and I attend support groups but I set things up in my life so I can't backslide. I'm getting stronger though and have no contact with my ex at this time.

I pay for all the food we eat, and I cook dinner all week long. We share cooking duties on the weekend. I pay half the rent. I pay for my own gas, cigs, extra's. Even when I was using drugs I paid my Mom rent when I lived with her before I got into treatment. I've been clean over a year now.

When my brother who is 22 lived with us last year he paid rent too. In the real world you can't live anywhere rent free. You are supposed to teach your children life skills so they can be prepared to take care of themselves when they are on their own. This involves teaching them how to pay bills, set up cable and electric when they move in a place, the importance of car insurance and renters insurance, financial stability, budgeting their money, how to write checks/money orders/cashiers checks, how to grocery shop, how to set up appointments at the doctor-dentist-etc, the importance of getting an education, and much more.

It's good to start young. My Mom starting have me book my own dental and doctor appointments at 13. You will have a monster if you don't set your foot down now. In 15 years you will still have someone depending on you for money. I know, I 've seen it. My ex is 32 and still bugs his Mom for money because she always gives in. She's gotten better, she doesn't give him large amounts anymore. Maybe $60 a month and that's it. She hasn't allowed him to live with her in over a decade. I wouldn't worry about making him angry. I would worry about him being permanently crippled because you are babying him so much. He's an adult and needs to be treated as such.

Classic codependent behavior is to give in and do things we really don't want to do for someone and then we are angry with ourselves for doing it and angry with them for "making" us so we blow up and have a fit and get really upset and verbally abusive. We don't say what we really mean and we don't mean what we say. If you get the book Codependent No More by Melanie Beatty (sp?) you will gain a lot of insight on why we do the things we do. Why we feel the need to please and not be the bad guy. Why we enable. Why we anticipate others needs. All of that and more. Good luck

AQueen

August 10, 2007
10:49 am
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wannabe
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they wont stop loving you.

I was spoilt and had everything by my foster parents even thouigh I met my biological parents as a teen.

In high school I got pregnant,they took me back to school to complete my education and took me to college, but I took advantage of my foster mum's illness, she had stroke and was always home, so I would go to college and go hanging out, come home drunk and go to bed, I never cared about my months old baby.

My mum never raised a word or try to correct me she would continue financing my escapades and covering for me. My foster dad, gave me three months after I completed my certificate course to get a job that can finance my diploma and get out of his house with my baby.

I went to my biological mum, she told me she cant house a grown up, I was 20. sure enough I got a job and a house within three months and though I ahve lost my job several times, I never went back to stay at home.

I love my parents very much and I owe it to them that they taught me responsibility, I raise one of the best and diciplined kids (thats what her techers and neigbours say) I am now 27, she is 8years and we have a very healthy relationsip. actually every holiday she alternates btw staying at my biological and foster parents house.

your son may feel neglected for a while but he wont stop loving you, in the long run he will see it was love that motivated you to take a stand.

what happens if you die today???????? (God forbid)

August 11, 2007
8:41 am
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risingfromtheashes
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loving someone doesn't mean letting them walk all over you.

you can love your son and still have rules to live by.

as a grown adult, there is NO reason he can't contribute to the household.

there is NO reason he can't get a job - even if it' something small.

You are teaching him to rely on you - and what if something happened to you tomorrow? where would he go, what would he do? He would be lost - helpless - you are doing more harm than good.

Loving your children means teaching them to stand on their own two feet, to do for themselves - not rely on you to do everything for them.

He will be angry. He may SAY he hates you. But he will always love you in his heart - even if he acts angry for a while - maybe even a long while.

In the end - you have to -

A) love yourself more first - if you don't love you - he won't either - if you allow him to walk all over you, he will.

B) love him enough to make him be a man - he will thank you for it SOMEDAY.

C) be firm - stand by your decisions - and stick to them. If you can't stick to big decisions, make small ones at first.

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