Steph & Dom solve your troubles: I've had enough of her stepson
Steph & Dom solve your sex, love & life troubles: I’ve had enough of her stepson lazing around
- TV’s Steph and Dom Parker, 53 and 56, solve your relationship problems . . .
- This week an anonymous reader asked for advice on his partner’s stepson
- He feels that the youngster should pay housekeeping money as he works
TV’s Steph and Dom Parker, 53 and 56, draw on their 23 years of marriage to solve your relationship problems . . .
Q Six years ago, my partner and her stepson moved in to live with me. The problem is her stepson — he does absolutely nothing around the house.
My partner works, as I do, and often moans about the chores at home. My job is a physical one, but l try to do my bit to help out. The most annoying thing is that, a couple of years ago, her stepson started work. I mentioned housekeeping money to him, but it fell on deaf ears.
Whenever I bring up this subject with my partner, it causes an argument because she always defends him. She just doesn’t see how much resentment this causes.
Money is tight and I work six days a week to keep a roof over our heads.
What do you think I should do about this?
TV’s Steph and Dom Parker, 53 and 56, (pictured) draw on their 23 years of marriage to solve your relationship problems . . .
He’s sponging off you – infuriating!
YOU are far from the only person to have gone through this. Paying rent to parents will always seem wrong to a child who has spent their whole life being paid for — and it often seems wrong to the parent, too.
They have spent decades forking out for everything and it can seem unnatural to change that. But change it they must, for their sake and the child’s. It is vitally important that they learn life doesn’t come free.
It is a rite of passage for a young person to learn that laundry costs money, a shower costs money and keeping the fridge cold (never mind filling it) costs money. It must be beyond irritating that this young man refuses to see this, especially as he has had a job for a while.
I’m very sorry his stepmother isn’t being supportive to him or you. I’m quite sure the resentment you describe is real. If you don’t deal with it now, it will only get worse and cause issues between you and your partner.
It is time for a very strong conversation with your partner, as this is where the problem lies. His stepmother is mollycoddling him and making it difficult for you both. It is unfair that you have to work six days a week, and it’s time to get tough.
Steph says that the reader should not allow his partner’s step son to treat them like skivvies
You say your partner works, so presumably she contributes towards the mortgage and bills? If so, and she continues to insist that her adult stepson doesn’t have to pay his way, the onus must go back on her.
She must increase her contribution and you must reduce yours, because you simply can’t do it any more. You are being sponged off by this young man. He must pay up or move out.
Then, he would quickly find out that, in real life, rent and rates, bills and so forth add up to a daunting amount. All of a sudden, a reasonable rent to stay in the family home will become very attractive.
Explain to your partner that, with money being tight, the alternative is for you to work seven days a week. Surely she wouldn’t want that. You must be getting tired of working six days as it is.
Your resentment will only grow. The joys and benefits of living with your partner are being eroded by the fact that she is forcing you to work six days a week. She is putting her stepson’s comfort ahead of your relationship, which is not fine if he is an adult.
With the threat of lockdown reappearing and work drying up yet again, it has never been more important that everyone pulls their weight. It’s time for your partner and her stepson to step up to the plate.
Don’t let him treat you like skivvies
I sense that you are an honourable man, who has always done the right thing by his family, and that you feel you are being taken advantage of. So I understand your frustration. However, I’d like you to consider a few things that may not have occurred to you.
I think there are two problems here. The first is the stepson’s domestic laziness and the second is money. To tackle them both is to recognise one thing —this conversation should have been had before they moved in!
I know how important a step cohabiting is and you are obviously in it for the long haul. But, much as for couples getting married, the conversation about children must be had.
You may not have fully realised the commitment you were taking on when you decided to live together as a family unit. Sadly, it’s a familiar tale that a rift appears and, suddenly, you are two units, as your partner is siding with her stepchild, regardless of his behaviour.
As the head of your household, it is down to you to create a relationship with him and lead the way for him to follow.
I feel he is not showing you any respect with his behaviour. Your partner works, yet still seems to be doing the lion’s share of the household work, too, which I’m sure you can see is not fair.
Then, despite being physically tired when you come home from your job, you pitch in, too — as you all should.
So my advice is, as you are now a family unit, you should behave like one. Get your evidence ready and all sit down as equals. If her stepson could see how much time it actually takes to manage a home, to clean, to cook, to do all the life admin, he might soon see that these tasks have great value.
I would ask your partner and her stepson to look at the simple numbers: what money is coming in; what money is going out.
Ask them where they think you could all contribute. I don’t think it’s right to ask a young adult to pay a full third of the expenses — but my point is that you share your concerns.
Hopefully, your partner and her stepson will see you are exhausted and would like to spend your time with them, rather than doing chores.
Tackling this together is the right way to go about it, rather than reprimanding your partner for not teaching her stepson how life as an adult works — and him for abusing your generosity.
Include them in your fears.Show them your concern is for all of you, so your stepson sees his behaviour is not acceptable when you all share a home.
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