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Old 08.10.2012, 13:47
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Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

While I have derived much entertainment (and learned a lot) from EF, something has been slowly driving me around the bend, and so am now asking for some wise words from any of you to help me out of a dilemma, if possible, on how to handle a situation?

My partner has grown sons. The youngest has moved back home - because - in debt, and apparently unable to manage his life financially. Now he rents a nice big bedroom just off the front hallway.

After 3 months of not cleaning his room - I eventually cleaned it. OMG ... it took 4 hours! He was then instructed to clean it regularly. Which he ignores.

He smokes and does not empty or clean ashtrays - merely dumps it all into drawers! with any left-over snack things he eats. This I found when I did that clean-up. He obviously also smokes Marijuana as the room was littered with joint paraphanalia etc. He was warned, by his Dad, to not have it on the property. (that is still a dubious point, imo)

He has his own shower (seperate from bedroom) which he does not clean, despite the initial rules, and repeated talking to.

Throws his dirty washing all over the washroom. When he does his washing, it`s left lying around until I put it in his bedroom.

BUT ......... the really ghastly part of this is that lately I`ve seen what looks like cockroach insects scuttling around in the passageway ........ and then I found clothes moths had eaten dozens of holes into his Dad`s suits stored in a downstairs bedroom where he`d dumped some of his boxes when he moved here. And today I found Cashmere sweaters in the upstairs bedroom with moth holes!

I`ve tried to stay out of this drama, but the insect invasion seems to have emanated from his slothy dirt?

After "invading" his bedroom for that initial clean-up, he requested that he have his "privacy" and said he is renting ONLY the room, and does not want to eat here or have anything to do with the home - other than having a supply of breakfast cereals/milk, he eats elsewhere.

He only speaks very rapid Swissgerman (which I don`t understand), never pauses to have a conversation, or allow a discussion, is extremely arrogant in manner. His presence in the house is actually agressive. His father is loathe to tell him to leave, as I get the feeling he is afraid of what will become of him left on his own. At the same time, there is an explosion waiting to happen.

His siblings are all successful in their careers, this youngest is qualified also, has a good job, and has enrolled to study further next year while working - but I fail to see HOW this will ever be achieved considering the chaos he lives in and with?

I`ve successfully reared step-children and my own sons, and this late-comer into my life is something I could, with much patience, try to ignore - except for the insects which he seems to be breeding and now spreading thru the house!

I`m the one to have to bring this matter to attention, but am afraid I`ll be blamed for his expulsion, should it occur. But then again, the quandary is ........ how does one live with a character like this in the same house?

Thank you for your patience in reading this "tome". I hope someone is able to offer some down-to-earth advice for me? (ahem, if it was one of MY sons I`d tell him to pith-off, actually)
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Old 08.10.2012, 13:54
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

People miss things when they don't have them any more.

Kick him out. Cut the apron strings. You do him no favours allowing him to live like this.
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Old 08.10.2012, 13:57
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

Consider a written lease? Perhaps define parameters whereby his area is too dirty and you would clean after him, but you would 'fine' him for the complete waste of your time. Tell him that the arrangement is intended to help him get his financial feet back under him, and as such, is temporary. Give him 6 months from the "start" of the lease, and then rent increases 100CHF/mo every 3 months until he moves out. Explain to him that he will be financially responsible for damages resulting from his negligence. Run all this by your partner/his father, and modify and present this with a unified front to him.
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Old 08.10.2012, 13:58
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

This worked a treat from an old mate of mine who had a 20yr old daughter who refused to tidy up...

Simple remove the door from his room and tell him he can have it back when he tidies up

The lack of privacy will soon change his thinking...
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Old 08.10.2012, 14:00
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

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His father is loathe to tell him to leave, as I get the feeling he is afraid of what will become of him left on his own. At the same time, there is an explosion waiting to happen
Sounds like you are the lit fuze at the moment, at the end of the day is your partner more likely to stand by your side or that of the boy?
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Old 08.10.2012, 14:03
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

To answer your question - no. The only way this guy is going to change is when HE decides to change. As long as he sees no need to change his ways, he won't - it's just like the old joke about teaching a pig to read: It is a huge waste of your time and annoys the pig, with no hope of success.

If he is a "messy" and this is causing problems in your house, your only choice is to evict him. You won't be able to change his behavior, so you need to get rid of the problem.
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Old 08.10.2012, 14:04
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

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This worked a treat from an old mate of mine who had a 20yr old daughter who refused to tidy up...

Simple remove the door from his room and tell him he can have it back when he tidies up

The lack of privacy will soon change his thinking...
Start storing all your glass, PET, cardboard, etc in his room prior to removal. When he questions, tell him, "If it looks like a dump, smells like a dump, I will use it as a dump..."
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Old 08.10.2012, 14:06
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

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I`m the one to have to bring this matter to attention, but am afraid I`ll be blamed for his expulsion, should it occur. But then again, the quandary is ........ how does one live with a character like this in the same house?
This is the question to ask your partner.

We also have grown children who have come back to live with us. I'm glad as they love to cook. They keep their rooms tidy, do their own wash, and help out when asked.

It should not be a nightmare. You and your partner need to sit down together with the 22 year old and lay down the rules. It is your home, he needs to treat you and your home with respect.
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Old 08.10.2012, 14:09
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

Maybe you should move out for a while; go visit your friends &/or family in another country.

Your partner should get the message quite soon; & if not then you are anyway better out of the place?
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Old 08.10.2012, 14:10
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

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This is the question to ask your partner.

We also have grown children who have come back to live with us. I'm glad as they love to cook. They keep their rooms tidy, do their own wash, and help out when asked.

It should not be a nightmare. You and your partner need to sit down together with the 22 year old and lay down the rules. It is your home, he needs to treat you and your home with respect.
"Your house, your rules, otherwise hit the door.". Whatever approach is finally chosen, this should be the underlying premise...
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Old 08.10.2012, 14:10
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

He sounds like he has severe depression. I think he needs a lot of help....perhaps counselling and therapy might help him out of his rut.


You are in a tough position..
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Old 08.10.2012, 14:11
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

Wow, not a very nice situation. You should be in a point in your life where you are enjoying it, and not having to run around after a 22 year old boy.

It sounds like he has little or no respect for you or his dad, which won't make for a nice living situation....and could in turn affect you and your hubbys relationship.

He has to take responsibility for his actions, so going back out into the world will be the wakeup call he needs.

Sometimes people have to hit rock bottom before they can get better.

I hope it improves for you and I wish you and your hubby the best.
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Old 08.10.2012, 14:20
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

English speaking Alcoholics & Narcotics Anonymous Meetings in Switzerland

yesterday I saw a very good posting here, see the 2nd posting,
Narcotics Anonymous program?

When someone is either heavily into alcohol or narcotics, it is extremely difficult to reach them & the age difference does not help, as well as him being the child of your partner.

I have tried for decades to help various friends/relatives, it is extremely difficult as well as not being dragged down with them.

What I have noticed is how insular / unsocial a person like that gets.

Some of them have to live on their own, as this is the only way they do not drag another person down who is living with them.

I have alerted you to the Narcotics listing, not for you to let him know, but perhaps your partner or someone his own age to discuss with him. He has to take the first step.

Meantime it is your home & you should discuss with your partner how you want to live.

Good luck and all good wishes
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Old 08.10.2012, 14:23
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

Has your husband spoken to him about his unsociable habits, does he even realise how bad his son is?
He may not want to tell him to leave, but he needs to tell him to get his act together. He is his son after all.
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Old 08.10.2012, 14:28
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

That's terrible. I was a messy teen/20eens. But I wasn't dirty. Food and cigs in the drawers??? Is it his furniture or yours?

How about making him pay for a weekly cleaning person? Or finding him a room in a shared house. Is that possible on the amount of rent his is paying to you?

But really, his father needs to have a serious discussion with him and tell him that dirty is not acceptable.
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Old 08.10.2012, 14:32
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

why are you cleaning and doing washing for him...

hey i can leave all this shit around and soon someone else will clean it for me - excellent!
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Old 08.10.2012, 14:36
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

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Narcotics Anonymous program?
I don't mean to go off-topic here, but I would be very careful about sending someone to this kind of meeting.

It is common knowledge that Narc-Anon is a recruiting ground for Scientology. A recovering addict is a perfect "candidate" for them - someone with an addictive personality who is currently going through a crisis and looking for help. They help people get back on their feet (good) by pushing them through their training (=brainwashing) program (very bad).
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Old 08.10.2012, 15:01
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

He needs to grow up and become an adult, because having a trash-littered room, leaving one's wash about the house, expecting someone else to put up one's laundry, brooding/avoiding contact with other household members, and disobeying house rules are what 15-year-old adolescents do, not grown men.

It is crucial that you and your partner agree and find a united front to present to him, otherwise his living in your home is likely to become a divisive factor within your own relationship.

Any necessary "retraining" will then become "self-improvement" and will be up to him. Better late than never!
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Old 08.10.2012, 15:05
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

Sorry, I haven`t been able to figure how to do the "Quick reply" multi reply to the various suggestions so kindly offered above.

Thank you to you all for your suggestions. I really really appreciate you all taking the time!

Ja, it`s a tricky situation.

What I think my posting was about ...... I`m needing some "moral" support to have a confrontation, which is sorely needed! So what you`ve all suggested does help me in seeing the reality of the situation, and given me courage to voice it, and ask some straight-forward questions.

He started out as a friendly happy person, and then seemed to sink slowly down into this morose aggressive unfriendly and anti-social manner. There was never anything at home to cause this - he just gradually receeded into his own black hole.

It could be depression. But what does one do about that when the person is an "adult" and unwilling to seek medical advice, and scoffs at any suggestions?
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Old 08.10.2012, 15:05
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

Sign him up for the military, French Foreign Legion, or at least boot camp.
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