My Fiance's Son Won't Follow House Rules!

Updated on November 08, 2018
C.L. asks from Modesto, CA
27 answers

I'm at a loss here.My fiance has a 26 year old son that lives with us. He does NOT want to aspire to anything and is used to his mom and dad catering to him and coddling him.

So, now that we have set up house rules for the boys. 2 of them live with us. One is HIS 17 year old and is no problem, he picks up after himself and is responsible.

But the 26 year old continually chucks his chores and has to be reminded EVERY SINGLE DAY to clean his bathroom, his room and clean up around the kitchen where he and his girlfriend spill and don't clean up.

We made it CLEAR, that he can have his girlfriend overnight 3 nights out of the week. I wanted NOTHING to do with that...his dad's idea because the kid told his GF she can "MOVE IN"! ( I said "hell no!) But in the last few days, I have found out that he's been sneaking her in every night for about 2 weeks!

So next day.....bathroom is still not clean! It's disgusting! and.........and the nights he was NOT supposed to have her over....again.....I heard her voice at 3am! She has a loud voice and even though in the past we've repeatedly asked them to keep it down since we both get up at 4:30 am.....she is still loud!

I confronted him, and also about being reminded every day about cleaning up. He YELLED back at me and said IF I WEREN'T IN THE PICTURE, HE CAN DO WHATEVER HE WANTS! His dad said: "Since you've abused the privileges here, you can only have her over 2 nights ....on your nights off of work. And CLEAN YOUR BATHROOM!"

I told my fiance that I have to give a 30 day notice for him to get out! I can't do this anymore and he continually goes against the house rules. He only works part time and plays x box all day long when he's not working. She and he eats our food and uses our dishes and water!

But since the fiance keeps saying "well? What can I do"? That means that I have to be the A$$hole and lower the boom! His ex and he have always looked the other way when it comes to discipline and house rules and are somewhat disengaged with their kids to a certain degree.
Which is why this man-baby is lawless!

Maybe I'm looking for suggestions on how to better handle this? i'm really feeling a bit defeated. I don't know. I just feel like I'm on my own on this, but I need to stand firm on the rules we set forth and teach him that there ARE consequences. No...he's not MY son, but my fiance and I are on the lease and this "kid" is only on there because he's over 18 and had nowhere to go because his "friends" and him got kicked out after 4 months for not paying rent and haveing loud visitors. He's basically semi contributor when it comes to rent since his dad said "pay what you can in rent". Ugh!

Fiance and I do NOT want to break up over this. It's the "easy way out", but again, he's coddling this guy! And rather than walk away like everyone else does, we want to work at the relationship....but this is one HELL of a monkey wrench!

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

1st off. Thank you for everyone's input.

I have to admit, I did a low down dirty thing yesterday. I placed a surveillance cam on the kitchen counter. I wanted to catch the son sneaking his girlfriend in so I can serve him a 30 day notice..........but I got an even BIGGER surprise.

Turns out my fiance and his son were having a conversation and the son asked for money for tires. Then, the fiance said: "you know what? I'm NOT a bank! You are supposed to be paying rent. I know her (me) and I have told you about paying your share. I told you (apparently while I was gone to work) that you don't have to pay ANYTHING! You haven't paid in 7 months because you won't find a full time job because you complain it cuts into your girlfriend time! "

"Here's the money.......DON'T TELL HER! (me) She's paying me 1000.00 and she doesn't know this money is helping YOU! "

After feeling physical ill, I confronted him. Yes maybe I shouldn't have done that (with the camera) but I wouldn't have known I've been LIED to for months! He said it was a "chickensh!t thing to do". "Yeah, maybe it was" I told him: "but you've been lying to me and giving him MY SHARE of the rent behind my back! And you would have continued to do so if I hadn't found out!!!"

So now he's kicking ME out! Oh and for good measure...he's moving the son's girlfriend in (out of pure spite) and she doesn't have to pay anything too!

I have NO where to go and I have to have my stuff (a lot of it) out by the end of the week. NO family, and my friends HATE him so they won't bother helping me move. I have enough to get my own place but this moving out is happening pretty fast. So I guess catching him in a continuous lie is MY punishment! I suppose. I feel the lowest I can possibly feel. Worthless!

Thank you all regardless.

Featured Answers



answers from Appleton on

The son will not change until he is FORCED to. He needs to get his own place to live and get a full time job or another part-time job. Housing is expensive in California, I understand this. But if the girlfriend and the son each have a full time job and equally split the household expenses they can afford to move out.
Give him 30 days to have a job and a place to live then move him out. If he won't comply, move him out anyway. He is an adult time for him to grow up.
If his dad will not agree to this then it's time to break up with him. He doesn't respect you.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

The easy way out is the best option in this case.
If he cannot get his man child to follow rules then he needs to kick him out and the man child needs to learn to be responsible for himself. He's old enough to get his own place.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

How long have you been married to him.? And is it the husband's house.? Are you a new addition to the house or did y'all jump on the lease together.? This is very hard because of bond between a dad and first son is very hard to break and seeing that he is 26 and the dad is still cuddling him it don't look good my husband still cuddles my son and I don't think it would ever end did you know about this behavior before you got with him.? This does sound like a monkey wrench

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Norfolk on

Move out and date fiance.
No living together or getting married until adult son is independent and living anywhere else.
Your fiance and his son are codependent.
There's no way you can come away with a happy ending as long as that is true.

Go get your own place to live where you won't have to deal with fiance sons drama.
If dating fiance is not enough of a relationship for you - then cut bait and move on.
There are other fish in the sea..
While it's a problem that fiances son is not following rules - your bigger problem is fiance is not enforcing the rules.
Fiance has a backbone made of wet spaghetti.
He doesn't want to fix it - he's perfectly happy letting his son do what ever he wants to do.
So - he may never force his son to move out - this could go on for decades.
You need to move out and be in total control of your own space.
Date fiance but do NOT live with him again until he can be totally sure and adamant that his kid(s) will never live with him again.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

If I were you I'd just move out and not even consider moving back in until the son has moved out. You don't have to break up with your fiance but this living arrangement clearly isn't going to work.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Move out.
You are not married and there is no reason to put yourself in this position.
YOU do not need to stand firm on the rules...your FIANCE does. It's his son...not yours.
So now you get to choose. Do you want to be miserable and fight with his son or do you want to live on your own in your own clean house and marry him and move in once his adult son moves out?

11 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

There's no need to break up. But obviously this is no way to start a marriage. Get your own place until your fiance's son has moved out and your fiance is truly committed to starting a life with YOU.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Get out of that cluster..k while you can.

Let your fiance and his 26 yr old baby do their own thing.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i'm at a loss understanding a) why you moved into this situation and b) why you think it's your job to teach a man well into adulthood about responsibility when it's clear he's never been exposed to it before.

unless you're a martyr. or a masochist.

you might back into this by giving some serious consideration into why you want to marry a man who is this squishy and ineffective. you call the son a man-baby, and he is. sounds like he came by it honestly.

unless you're secretly enjoying the drama, and if you really don't want to break up over this, i see two possible solutions, preferably used in tandem. one is couples counseling so that you and your helpless fiance can communicate more effectively, even if you don't agree. the other is to move out and continue your engagement from a happy distance until either his kids are gone or you are able to live with a challenging status quo in relative equanimity.

good luck.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

You can still be together and not live together. I know two couples who just couldn't manage to work out differences when it came to child rearing (ugh, for a 26 yr old?) and didn't want to break up. They lived apart until the kids were moved out and then moved back in together (and the both couples are STILL together to this day)

Move out, get your own place, tell fiance "Hey, I love you, I get you are a package deal with your kids - adults or not - but I don't have to be a part of being yelled at in my own home. Rather than fight about this and be unhappy, I have decided that I can be happy in my own place without all the drama and still love you. Maybe when you are done having kids live with you, we can look at moving in together again."

Just because you are on the lease, doesn't mean you have to stay in the place . . . that's a poor excuse. If fiance can't afford the place on his own, well perhaps he should reach out to his adult child to kick in more, or her girlfriend - if she is there that much, she can kick in to. Maybe his 26 yr old son has another friend or two that can move in and help with bills.

Good luck - this isn't anything I would EVER pander to. I get loving a guy, but I'm never going to give up my happy place for a man's bad judgment in dealing with his kids.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Your fiance’s son wants his GF to move in so I would let her take over your part of the lease and then you can move out.

Date your fiancé until his son is independent knowing he may never be. I’m not sure why you would be willing to put up with this situation though. Being second fiddle to an adult child would definitely not work for me. Your fiancé’s priorities are clear. Your feeling and needs don’t count.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

all I can say is


You already feel alone. It won't change when you get married.
Your fiance doesn't back you. He moves the line with his son.
This will be your life. In fact, I bet it will get worse and things will start disappearing in the house too.

This is a BAD example for your 17 year old son. It will cause a LOT of resentment and a LOT of rebellion. "IF HE CAN do it? WHY CAN'T I???" yeah!! NOT FUN!!


8 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Your fiancé has raised and coddled this 26 year old man. His parenting is done. His version of "consequences" is saying "only 2 nights a week"??? Come on!

You have no role here. This is not your child, and you have no ally in your fiancé. You ARE in this alone. If you marry this man, the 26 year old will take you for everything you have.

Breaking up is not the "easy way out." It's hard. But you have to do it. Move out, and date if you really want to. But if you don't draw a line in the sand, why would you think your fiancé would?

Frankly, it sounds like you both want to complain but not actually do anything about it.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Your fiancé is using you to finance his 26 old man baby son living in your home and mooching off you. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Run away fast and hard.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

I realize that since your names are both on the lease, it might be hard to move out. But that might be the only way to get a message across to your fiance.

And if your fiance is sincerely asking "What can I do?" then get an appointment for both of you with a couples' counselor or therapist and ask that question there.

Your problem is not with the son, or the girlfriend, it's with a spineless fiance who is abusing this entire situation, and who is tolerating an adult son who was no responsibilities or respect.

By the way, we've rented places in several states due to moving because of my husband's career, and in each place, we have had to list any adult over 18 who is living there. We have to list our daughter because she's over 18, even though she's medically disabled and has no work/credit history. They accept her SSI documentation in lieu of credit history or employment, but she's on the lease because she lives with us and she's just as responsible as we are (legally, must adhere to lease terms, etc). She still had to undergo a criminal check, predator check, etc, the same as we did. She had to sign/initial every clause in the lease exactly the same way we did.

So if you really want to straighten things out, report something to whomever you signed the lease with, that you have a legal adult living there. They would have to amend the lease, maybe charge more, check his credit and history, and possibly evict all of you for violating terms of the lease. Of course this depends on your location, lease terms, etc, but it's seriously something to consider. If this boy or the girlfriend damaged something and the landlord found out, or if someone complained about noise, etc, and the landlord found out you have another resident, there could be serious legal problems for all of you.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

You don't have to break up you just have to move out. Hang on until the end of your lease and rent a new place alone with your 17 year old.

You can still date/be engaged and have him over to hang out or stay over...whatever...but is it worth living with him if you have to take the 26 year old too?? NO, life is too short.

You are going to be kid free in a year or two...and it sounds like he never will maybe you rent your own place and your fiance rents his own place...he stays most of the time with you and his son lives at his dad's place.

Like I said life it too short to live with an entitled brat man/child and his girlfriend. Good luck!!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I really like the idea of you moving out. It means you don't have to deal with the constant irritation of his older son's behavior and it lets them figure out things on their own (as they should). If the GF wants to move in, great, she can take your place on the lease. You and fiance can continue your relationship if you want, but for your sanity, it seems like you need out of the living situation. The only person's behavior you can control is your own, so take some action to to care for yourself. Isn't it fascinating that the younger son seems to be more civilized? Maybe you could take him with you? Just kidding! Anyway, good luck with the situation.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Yikes. Your fiance's kid was right when he said that if it wasn't for you, he could do whatever he wants. It's been that way his whole life and that isn't going to change until his parents change, or he grows up and moves on.

So...I would let your fiance know that this isn't a situation that you all can live with right now and see what he suggests. This is his problem to solve. It's not your job to teach this kid is your job to hold your fiance accountable to doing that or decide if this is really the kind of man you want to spend the rest of your life with. I normally wouldn't advocate a stance of giving a "pick your kid or me" ultimatum because normally the right thing to do is for a parent to side with a child, of course, but in this case...this adult should be living on his own and his parents aren't helping him mature into a grown man by allowing this.

I think if I were dating someone in this situation, I would have kept separate households until the adult child was established. If it's a case where he moved in AFTER you had already put plans in place, then there has to be a clear timeline on how long he will stay that you and his dad both agree on. My siblings, ex, his brother, and I have all had brief periods where we moved back home as adults between apartments but those were a matter of a couple of months and we were respectful of our parent. Temporary boomerangs are fine, but not when someone is taking advantage of his parents.

If you think this is worth the effort to save, and fiance sees that this is a problem and doesn't know how to fix it, maybe agree to a grace period where he seeks counseling and learns how to become the parent he failed to be in the past. Channel that urge to be firm with his child into being firm with him - he learns to set boundaries with his kid and prepares him adequately for adulthood so that you two can enjoy the kind of relationship that you should be able to have at this stage in your life, or your relationship won't last. It's not just this situation...if he doesn't sort this out, this will be a thorn in your side throughout your relationship. This will be the kid who needs to "borrow" money, borrows a car because his broke down, asks for a co-signer on a lease or loan, etc.

I hope that with some coaching, your fiance can learn better ways to manage his son and can save this relationship. It's hard to find love when you're at the age of having grown kids so I understand the desire to make this work. Hopefully he shares that desire and will be willing to do the hard work of getting past this issue.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Your fiance lacks respect for you. He does not care about your boundaries. He has the responsibility of making his sons man- he failed and continues to fail. He has the responsibility of enforcing your boundaries- he couldn’t care less. Of corse he does not want to break up with you. Why do you want to stay with him?

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Abilene on

You have accurately seen what your future looks like. Now you choose how to live. If you decide to stay, know this dynamic won’t change. You’ve seen it before marriage, it will more than likely get worse. The son’s girlfriend will move in...his dad gives in.

You are capable of choosing differently for yourself. If you marry this guy, you need to be in counseling to figure out how to disengage. I would also make sure to keep my finances separate so when you end it later, you have the resources to do so.

Reread TF Plano’s response. She’s accurate.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Well, you have to stand up for yourself because no one else is putting you first.

This isn't going to change - if you don't say he's out - then this will be the same in another 3 months - another 6 ...

It would be one thing if you guys were helping him out and he had a plan and he was being respectful. He's not.

Don't be a doormat. Stand up for yourself. If you need help with that, I'd see a counselor for a few sessions. It's fine for your fiancé to help out his son - but he could help him with rent somewhere else. This is causing friction between you and your fiancé and stress for you. Not cool. I'd put it to him that way - and tell him you've been patient, but you're not willing to do this anymore.

Then stick by your words. You know where you stand in things. Then put yourself first. Good luck. (Don't be a doormat). You deserve better.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I am not familiar with real estate in your area, but, why not just buy the son his own apartment? Or rent one for him.

The thing is, dad is subsidizing son's "rent" either way. So why not tell dad to just subsidize son's rent in another place? It would make *your* home life less stressful for you.

Also, dad can tell son how much rent to pay - review his budget, choose an amount for him to pay, and subsidize the rest.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

The “easy way out” is staying in an unhealthy relationship just because it’s there and comfortable. This is NEVER going to get better, and it’s likely going to get worse. If the son isn’t an adult at 26, and made to act and sustain himself as one, he likely NEVER will... he may move out, for awhile, but mark my words, he’ll be back, with a wife/gf, and probably a baby or four at some point.

Don’t stick around for this. It’s unhealthy, and it’s not working for you. Leave, end the relationship, it doesn’t have to be nasty, you can remain on pleasant terms, but you don’t REALLY want to be mixed up in this type of baggage for the rest of your life.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I would move out. And if you don't want to break up, continue dating. There is no way I would be happy or comfortable in my own home trying to put up with the situation you are in right now. Yes, it's going to be a pain dealing with the lease in both of your names, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. Get your OWN place in your name only. If your relationship goes well, perhaps at some point, HE can move in with YOU. But you can draw the line then and not allow his adult child to move in to YOUR place. Even if the 26 year old moves out on his own awhile, I would stay prepared, as it's likely he'll be back around looking to move in with his father in a year, or 3 or 5.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Well it sounds like ya'll need couples if not family counseling. If he can't stand up to his adult child now he's not going to do it once ya'll are married.

If he's going to stay and you are too my other thoughts are don't bother him about his room. The bathroom if it's shared space yes it needs kept clean and he needs to clean up after himself and girlfriend in common areas. Maybe if you respect that he's an adult and not give him grief about his room he will respect you more about your areas in the house

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

Wow! So you are being forced to treat a 26 year old "man" like a teenager?
He's allowed to have his girlfriend over so many nights a week, he doesn't clean up after himself and is allowed to eat the food you and your fiancé pay for?
This is totally ridiculous. This man child needs to support himself!
You need to put your foot down!!! I would NOT stand for this. If he is going to be allowed to live in your home, he contributes, he's respectful, follows your rules or he can get the hell out!
It blows me away parents tolerate this from their grown children. But he and his ex groomed him to be this way. I would tell your fiancé that his son needs to get his own place since he can't be a contributing adult. Even if he was, he's 26. He needs to become a grown up.
If not you're finding your own until things change.



answers from Miami on

I'm sorry, but I have to say that breaking up is NOT the easy way out. Letting this kid and his equally awful girlfriend stay is the easy way out. Your fiance is enabling a grown man to act like a teenage. He isn't requiring him to grown up, and that's a terrible parent. He will NEVER learn to depend on himself with this kind of set up.

You will be a fool if you continue this. Move out.

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