Step Parenting Grown Stepsons
My new husband of a year and a half has 2 boys, 20 and 22, who both live on their own. The 22-year old is going to school at a university and in his senior year.
The other son who is almost 20, dropped out of community college, got fired from his job and bounces around living with friends and spending a couple nights at different relative's houses, mooching off them all. He has a girlfriend who tags along, living with him where ever they go.
She has also stopped going to school because she was fired from her job and has no money to pay for school.
The two of them have gone around to family members, asking to live with them including their 2 dogs, both males, one fixed, the other not.
My husband and I told them that we would allow them to stay with us if they found homes for the dogs, since we have animals of our own and one of their dogs has a problem with marking his territory and I do not want the carpets ruined.
To add to the problem, this young man has lost so much weight, he is literally skin-and-bones. All my husbands family members have tried to get him to go see a doctor, but he refuses. (I think he is doing drugs.) Either that, or he is depressed.
My husband is worried but does not want to admit to himself that his son might be doing drugs. (I have no proof other than the weight loss, him not showing
up to family functions and acting like he doesn't care about commitments and calling people back, etc).
Lately, I have noticed things missing from our garage. Some how, the dog food (in a Costco-size bag) is almost empty. I suspect that my stepson has been coming over when we are gone and stealing things. One time, we caught him in the act and he told us, "You said I could take it."
Here's the problem: my husband knows his son has a problem and hopes he will get his act together. I try to tell him to invite him over so he can talk to him and tell him how concerned he is with him, but he will not do it. He's afraid he will not listen, storm out and be mad at him.
If I make a comment about my stepson or ask if he's found a job, my husband gets bothered by this. I just don't know where the boundaries are. What is a step parent allowed to say and not say. It is hard for me to accept his behavior, should I just shrug my shoulders or say nothing?
It is hard for me (inside myself) to not think how this son needs to get it together, especially when my eldest is a US Marine, fighting for our country and my youngest is living here and is basically a good honest boy who helps around the house and for the most part, does what he should.
What are the limitations regarding what I can say about my stepson's behavior?