DEAR DEIDRE: MY lazy stepson is taking advantage of my husband by constantly asking for money so he can go on holiday.
He lives on benefits and refuses to get a job.
My husband and I both work hard and aren’t in debt.
We’ve been married for three years. I’m 47, he’s 48.
My stepson is 23 – more than old enough to stand on his own two feet.
I’ve told my husband that he needs to say “no” to his son, but he doesn’t seem able to do this.
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DEIDRE SAYS: Maybe it’s guilt for leaving his mum.
Every time his son wants cash – for a trip abroad or to buy himself a new TV or phone – my husband opens his wallet.
We’re OK financially, so he can afford it, but it’s causing arguments between us.
He’s not doing his son any favours by treating him like a child.
Your husband is stuck in a pattern, which you see as unhealthy. But their relationship pre-dates yours by two decades.
Overturning that dynamic won’t be easy. And while you can make your opinion clear, ultimately he has to make his own parenting decisions.
Rather than criticising him, see if you can help.
Talk to your husband about how he feels about this dynamic, try to understand why it happens and then work together to set new boundaries.
My support pack Standing Up For Yourself offers useful tips.