How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask proexpert37 Your Own Question
proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1374
Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
Type Your Parenting Question Here...
proexpert37 is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

A little background step-son has been in first relationship

This answer was rated:

A little background: step-son has been in first relationship with a girl that doesn't support or inhance his life much at all. Both seem unhappy but content (23, living together at birth mom's guest house, rent free for last 3 years, have jobs but didn't finish school and believes he should pay for everything (cell phone, cable, food) & girlfriend gets a total free ride) In past he says he feels sorry for her. Ugh! Birth parents don't say anything as son typically doesn't like conflict and will ignore parents until issue blows over. Step son did live with me for 10 years ages 8-17 and we were able to talk and discuss things openly - while he continued playing mom & dad. Yes, that did cause tension between my husband & I, but we got through it.

Question: Now that he is 23, making poor choices with life and relationships, what's my role? I feel the need to "enlighten" him on certain choices and opportunties while in his 20's but I also understand it's his life. Mom & Dad do not join forces ever and I fear, not guiding a son by remaining silent and hoping he'll turn around won't continue to work. Any suggested readings I could suggest to step-son to so he gets what a healthy relationship is and so he's able to come to the decision to grow and develop better? I have no problem trying to talk with him, but he's avoiding those times, I'm also willing to email, but I believe that's not effective as face to face.

Many thanks for any advice -
Hello...I am sorry to hear about the circumstances with your step son. It sounds like you are the only concerened parental fugure in his life at the moment. Does your step son listen when you talk to him? Is he trusting of you? Does he have a good relationship with his dad?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Our (son & mine) relationship has been limited once he decided to move out into an appartment and then into to his mother's guest house, so he and his first girlfriend could live together. I totally disagreed with this as they were only 18 years of age.There are so many issues here, and with all relationships so it's hard on which one, to focus on. Son's relationship with parents is what I call convienent - it's good when he gets what he wants from them. - like now with Dad, son & girlfriend come to eat and run. Somwhat typical of young kids, but it's very obvious they are only interested in the food. Once parnets disagree or object, relationship goes on hold. I'm tired of holding my tounge, son avoids confilct, won't make himself available to speak to, brings the girlfriend EVERYWHERE! He does however, have the capability of hearing and then thinking things over later on. I 'm aware of how to phrase things so he can see that I'm trying to help rather than lecture. I guess I'm just not sure how he will react with his father as I am the wife, once I say things. Sorry there are so many layers here, this has been developing ever since he was young. Thank you for your help, hoping this gives you more of a picture.

Right now, your role is just to sit back and observe and bite your tongue even if it is killing you inside. Your husband should be the one to speak to your step son.


Here are some books as you requested that will give you some detailed advice:


Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children

by: Allison Bottke


The Enlightened Stepmother: Revolutionizing the Role

by: Perdita K. Norwood and Teri Wingender


Stepmotherhood: How to Survive Without Feeling Frustrated, Left Out, or Wicked

by: Cherie Burns


The Happy Stepmother

by: Rachelle Katz

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Great, thank you - figured that was my role. Cry ha ha. Any relationship books for the step son? Perhaps one to help finding a decent relationship?


a bit more info...He says he's not going to marry her and has no interest in kids - my relpy is "why waste her time"


Yes, I can suggest some books for him as well. He is wasting his time with her and maybe she just is not the right one. The list of books are on the way.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

That's exactly how we feel. Thank you so much for your help and time. I look forward to receiving the list. I greatly appreciate your advice so now when I sit back and bite my tounge at least I know some agrees with my approach and perhaps it will all work out eventually. Laughing

Here is the other list:


The Heart of Love: How to Go Beyond Fantasy to Find True Relationship Fulfillment

John F. Demartini


Inspired Destiny: Living a Fulfilling and Purposeful Life

John F. Demartini


How to Attract Your Soulmate: The Secrets of Lasting Love

Barbara Gulbranson


How to ttract Your Ideal Mate

Linds Georgian


Finding True Love: The 4 Essential Keys to Discovering the Love of Your Life

Daphne Rose Kingma


Have a great day!!!! Glad to assist you.Laughing


proexpert37 and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thank you - you too!

No problem. Have a great day