Problems with stepson


I’m at my wits end with this. My stepson is 23 and on his own but I’m still not sure how to deal with him. First a little background. His mother had passed away when he was 13, and his father and I got married when he was 15. His beloved grandfather whom he lived with (with his parents) all his life died earlier that same year, then his father passed away 2 years ago. So a lot of loss in a young life. He and I had a shaky relationship when he was living with us, he’s now on his own and we get along ok.

The trouble I have with him is that I can’t believe one word that comes out of his mouth. I’ve caught him in small fibs and huge whoppers, some lies that are obviously to get out of trouble, others that were totally inconsequential, like mentioning to someone that I was giving him a drive somewhere when there was no such arrangement. I mean, why lie about something like that? I have long since decided that it’s too much trouble trying to figure out what’s true and what isn’t that it’s easier just not to believe anything he says. I don’t call him on anything, just go along with whatever he says. Maybe he’s a pathological liar, I don’t know.

This past summer I just had it with him. When his father died I had given him the chain his father always wore thinking he would like to have a keepsake. He seemed to appreciate it very much and for 2 years he kept it but he never wore it. Then he pawned it! Luckily, my daughter’s fiance works at the pawn shop and redeemed it after the 30 days were up and gave it to me. I confronted SS and told him how angry and disgusted I was. I said I wouldn’t be angry forever but that I didn’t want to see him for a very long time. After 2 months we reconciled (sooner than I expected frankly). I was getting ready to move and he said several times that he would come and help, even confirmed pickup time for him to come. Well he didn’t show up and actually disappeared for 2 weeks. Luckily (again) I wasn’t entirely depending on him. I still haven’t seen him and don’t really know how to react when I do.

I know how the world would expect me to react, but what do I do as a Christian parent? I want to continue to have a relationship with him out of love for his father but I dont’ want to be taken advantage of (lending money, etc.) and I can’t trust him. It’s very hard to have loving feelings for him. What does real love call me to do?

Sorry this is so long, thanks for letting me vent :slight_smile:


*Aw, I’m sorry to hear about this boy’s losses. That definitely has a lot to do with things. No excuse for lying, but I think that when people chronically lie like this, it’s to pretend to others that they are something they aren’t…or if they lie, then they look better in another’s eyes. He probably has a lot of pain from losing his mom and dad…and so forth, and his lying sort of provides an escape for him. I lost my parents by the time I turned 10…I didn’t lie about things, but I was very noncommital…I sabotaged many relationships with men in college for fear of losing people again. So, him commiting to saying he’ll help and then being nowhere to be found is his way of controlling situations around him. He also doesn’t like committing, because of fear of loss.

So, to me…it’s explainable why he’s acting this way, BUT he needs to get a grip and turn things around before he’s 30…40…50…acting like this. I will be praying for you and him…talk to him, be there for him. He needs counseling also…so much has happened, he needs to be able to release the pain with someone objective. He needs to learn how to grieve over his losses, otherwise, the grief turns into something else, and manifests itself in a negative way elsewhere in his life, ie: lying, being noncommital, breaking promises, etc… I think that he needs to find a way to compartmentalize his pain, so his life doesn’t become his past. We are not the sum total of our pasts…but right now, with so much loss, he fears when the next loss is going to come, so he lies, breaks promises, is non commital…maybe irresponsible…Again, not making excuses, but there are reasons for the behavior.

God bless you in this, you seem so loving and want to help him. :hug1:*


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