The adult kids can often be a problem when their middle-aged parent either gets married again or has someone move in with them. One of the worse situations for a parent is to have to choose between the person they love and their children. Even if neither side is demanding a choice be made, it can feel that way when there are constant problems.
Not wanting to admit that they don’t approve of the relationship, the children’s attempts to cause problems may be subtle. So subtle in fact that it might not be obvious to their parent. What are the signs that indicate your children are trying to cause relationship problems?
To regain some of their parent’s time and attention, the children may start demanding more of their time. This may not be much at first, but could increase to the children taking up every free moment their parent has. They may also request that you baby-sit the grandkids even if you never did before. They could even go as far as desiring to move back home.
The children may also call or drop by at all hours of the day and night to show their parent’s girlfriend/boyfriend that they are going to do whatever they want. Sometimes, they’ll bring in other family members on this plan and have everyone calling or dropping by when the couple is trying to sleep. It may even go as far as the family members staying until late hours in the night. This is pretty obvious if your family never behaved this way in the past.
When the children are trying to control their parent, their time isn’t the only thing they will go after. The adult kids may constantly ask for large sums of money to prevent the parent from spending any extra money they may have on their mate.
Why do adult children try to break up their parent’s relationships?
Feeling as if they are losing their parent to someone else is usually a big part of the problem. However, that may not be the driving force behind your adult children trying to run off your boyfriend/girlfriend. The kids might be concerned about their inheritance. If they wanted the family home after their parent dies, this won’t happen if it is left to the parent’s significant other. But it isn’t always about money, sometimes it is about the memories. Maybe they want to have their dad’s belongings when he passes on rather than their parent’s partner getting everything. This can be a complicated situation, which is only enhanced if the parent dies without having made a will.
What can you do about your adult kids causing problems?
If you’re having these problems with your adult children, do not ignore the signs. It isn’t as if the problems will magically go away. It’s impossible to discipline an adult child, especially when they don’t live with you, but that doesn’t mean that you’re helpless. Sometimes, honest communication about everyone’s feelings may help the situation. But if it doesn’t, it’s time to set boundaries. Start with telling them the appropriate times of day to call and visit.
Above all else, being fair to the person living with you is the right thing to do. When your girlfriend/boyfriend agreed to move in with you, they didn’t agree to this kind of control and harassment. You have to remember that it isn’t about choosing between the person you’re living with and your kids, but about not allowing your children to control your life. If you don’t stand up to them, you’ll never be happy in your relationship. And in the end, you may end up completely alone if your children run off your significant other and then return to their own lives.