Tired of arguing with my Man about his adult son

by Caroline Smithson
(Canada)

To begin, I am a parent of two adult children and have fostered close to 60 youth, half of them until they age out at 18 years old. My job is to teach them life skills and get them prepared to living independently. My partner and I live common law, he has a 20 year old son that was living with us after being kicked out of his Mother's home for the same reasons that upset me. His son (Jay), lived a year at my home, during this time he was required to complete school through an adult education program. Jay needed 4 credits to graduate, which took 9 months of constantly being on top of him to complete his work, as the program was the type to work at his own pace. Yes, he graduated! Afterwards, I was pressuring him to get a job, which he periodically applied for to appease me. Jay was a gamer, he tried to sleep all day and play all night, so job hunting was not on the list of things to do. Jay continued to lie about getting things done, he rarely showered, or changed his clothes and virtually did not socialize unless he required something. Jay finally got a job at Walmart with grocery carts in July. In September Jay decided he was going to college and moved into a basement apartment of a house near the school he would be attending with another friend. Jay went on social assistance during the interim, which barely covered his rent until he applied for school assistance. Jay finally came clean at Christmas that he had no intention of going to school, but just wanted out on his own. Jay occasionally asks for money or food. I am adamant that he get a job and work to be independent, my partner and I argue any time the subject of Jay arises as we see things differently. My partner will bring him stuff when he asks for it, and I see it as enabling him. My partner's concern is that Jay won't be apart of his life if he is not there for him when he needs something. This is a big worry for him, and today I saw my partner get emotional for the first time ever with this fear. I don't want to enable, I want to be supportive in ways that will help him for his future and I'm not willing to continue this for much longer, it will end our relationship if my partner can't draw the line at some point, or Jay gets it together. I'm so tired of having this between us and would like to enjoy his son like I enjoy my own grown children. My children are sociable, hard working adults. Jay lacks social skills and generally sits in a room alone on his laptop during holiday events. I love my man, but I'm so lost

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