Our 20-Yr-Old Son Still Lives at Home

 by Chuck Snyder
 co-chaplain for the Seattle Mariners


Dear Chuck
My 20-year-old son still lives at home with us. He dropped out of college for a semester and works full time now. He plans on going back to college in the fall. My husband and I disagree about everything concerning my son. It has been a problem for our 20-year marriage. My husband and son don't have a very good relationship, so my husband is negative about everything he does. How can we resolve this without further damaging our marriage?

Chuck's Response
Thanks for the note about having your 20-year-old son home with you. I think it is great that he can still look to you as being interested in helping him get started in life. If he were 24 or 25 I would feel differently, but I think it is very normal to have kids kind of come and go about that age before they settle down. Your husband cannot just decide to make him leave without your permission. I would stand strongly for letting him stay until college. In fact I'm impressed that he works full time and is planning to go to college. I wish others would be so blessed to have a son like that. Stand firm on letting him stay. Don't try to arbitrate their relationship. Your husband is the one who is the juvenile in this situation, but obviously you can't tell him that. Just see if you can protect your son until he leaves home. I think in time, your husband will see the wisdom of your actions. Let him pout and stomp around ... he'll get over it. Easy for me to say, and maybe hard for you to do, but these are my suggestions for your consideration. Be sure to let me know if you want to talk further.

Chuck Snyder



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Contact Chuck: chuck@chucksnyder.org
Updated 05/24/2005