No it isn't normal behavior, even if your self-diagnosis is incorrect and he doesn't have Asp.
He may just have childish communication skills though it seems like much more than that. Perhaps she encouraged and raised him to think this was normal, so try to be open about solutions.
Did he graduate from high school and what are his plans? Has he ever worked and is he working now?
How long have you known her? Have you 2 interacted with others in your social circle, and was he involved then or did you plan it so he wouldn't be around?
Does he have friends, and what are they like?
Can you talk to your fiancee about what you have observed and ask her what she thinks? This must have been on your mind for a while, so it needs to be brought out in the open, because it is going to be easier now than later to come to a solution after you marry.
Does he talk to you or her (other than the child talk you mentioned)?
What did your fiance say about his son's behavior patterns? Surely he must have discussed in length these behaviors with his fiance? I'm a little confused. Are you saying here (by not saying it) that your fiance doesn't believe or has ever discussed with you , that his boy is obviously slow? Has your fiance discussed his education and whether or not his child has been held back?
So, why are you trying to diagnose him? Are these things bothering his mother? In general, we can put the name of a disorder to lots of things but the real test is if someone is functioning. We ALL have quirks and oddities and it boils down to if those things interfere in someone's life. Is he going to graduate high school? Does he do anything outside of school? Does he function as an individual or does he just have these quirks that you find odd?
Some kids call their parents babyish names . . . my sister's kids (one graduated college and one in college, a boy and a girl) call their dad Papa. Always have and always probably will. I still have one who calls me mama at 12 years old . . . gosh, I hope he still does that at 18. It's his name for me. Society dictates that it is manly to say Mom? And perhaps it is SHE who said he has to ask for a snack before taking it.
I don't know. I don't know their dynamics. But I do know that you will absolutely mess up your relationship with HER if you continue down the path of trying to diagnose and judge her son. If he is leaving the nest soon, revisit a relationship with her then and stay out of her relationship with her kid. If he doesn't plan to leave the house (her house)--- then it's time to decide if you want to be in a relationship with HER>
Remember, kids are often the product of their parents and perhaps if you don't like the way he is, it's his mom who is responsible.
This post is meant to help give you a different perspective for how your post reads to a stranger. good luck
What's normal for one isn't always normal for another. Maybe there is something wrong with him or maybe not.
Well, if his mother doesn't have a problem with it then what can you do? No one here can confirm any diagnosis or diagnoses for this child. It seems to be ok and normal for this child and mother. I think some people go into a relationship hoping to change this and that situation with the other person when they should just accept the situation as is. If they can't deal with it as is then it's probably best that they find a more suitable relationship/partner. You are struggling to accept the situation whereas mother and son are fine with it. Plus, you are feeling uncomfortable with them in public and noticing others' reactions when it's not a big deal for her and her son. Instead of trying to give the problem as you see it a diagnosis you should probably reevaluate the relationship.
I would be careful talking to his mother about this. It could give the impression that you are criticizing her parenting skills and her child and in turn she could become defensive.
It's really her problem to figure out; that's if she sees it as a problem.
It would be really helpful if you came back and answered some of the questions asked of you. ie. has he been held back in school, does he have friends, do you go out as a family and socialize with others, and how do the mother's friends seem to think or not think , about her son's behavior.. etc.
PS, i have to add, unless the child was diagnosed as being slow, I would not be comfortable being with a person who led their children to be so needy or infantile as exhibited by this 18 year old. especially if this was in addition to this child not keeping up with his peers. That's just me. I very much value creating an atmosphere of independence for teen age children, certainly not the the exclusion of being close to their parents, but not so much that it would ick out their peers, which what your describing would almost certainly ick out his peers. You have to own who you are and make a break to be free to pursue a relationship with a person whose parenting style better reflects what you feel is normal. There are other fish in the sea. Don't feel guilty if this is a deal breaker. I think you have to really think about how you feel about it. And if this is a deal breaker and you feel that the mother has created an overly obsessed with his mother young man, I say speak up and tell her what you think (but first you have to be sure about how you feel (not asking others if it's normal). I've brought up my concerns with my husband the way that he parents his daughter, he was overcompensating for the loss of the young girls mother and she was a shut in and he was enabling her to be so. I had to insist the young lady wen t o college (peferably) or work or see a therapist, But she must deal with herself never leaving the house. As my husband's partner, and in name only this girl's step mother, (she still won't talk to me directly) It was part of our commitment to one another to help each other in our role of parent (we both have one child). So find where and how you fit it,n Is there a way you think you could help? Could you help to guide this young man to open his horizons.? Again, you've said nothing about his young man outside of his relationship with his mom, If he is an average person outside of the mother son relationship, you're looking at a closed system that the mother has created. Is she willing to accept your ideas and consider that what you might have to say is worth considering.? It's hard to say with the little info you've given but i hope our collective advice will help you.
Another possible explanation might be that this young man had no father figure, or grew up without a lot of male bonding or support. It could be that his mother is his whole world, and his actions are the result of being overly coddled or being over compensated for losses in other areas of his life. It could be that he is dramatically showing his love and dependence to his mother as a way of emphasizing his closeness with his mother, to you and to her, because he is jealous of you being in the picture. He could be trying to scare you off or even cause problems in your relationship knowing that his mother would defend all of his actions.
Mike, have you ever had a discussion with your fiancée about all this? I am getting the impression you either haven't or you have and she isn't open to discussing this. You can also try consulting a professional on your own about this and they can help guide you in a better direction. It's difficult to put everything pen to paper or in this case typing everything out in regards to your situation. They reason I am recommending professional help is because this woman is your fiancée, so you are serious about the relationship.
I have a sister who has a child like your soon-to-be stepson. My sister's fiancé was constantly coming to her taking about the child in a negative way and wanting him to change and then it really started to erode the relationship between my sister and her child. They got married anyway knowing this was a big issue between them and then they ended up divorced because the relationship between sis and him totally eroded because of the situation with her son.
WOW,,,,thanks to all for making the time to respond. Later today I will re read each of your comments and respond as best I can.
You are very polite and well spoken. I sure hope you don't take offense to what I am trying to tell you but I don't get it. Why are you so bent on proving he's not normal? What is normal? If you have a problem with this person being permanently in your life because of dating his mom, then leave the mom. Don't expect to come into the mix, cause a whirlwind demanding there is something wrong with him and expect things to drastically change. This sounds very much to me like you are overstepping. I have one quirky kid. Maybe this is hitting a nerve with me. But it makes me honestly so glad I don't have a man that is a stranger to the situation coming into our life with judgment and expectations such as you seem to have. And just about EVERY therapist, whether psychological or occupational or psychiatrist or a neurologist will tell you that it isn't always cut and dry for diagnosing. It's a process. And one of the hallmark issues of diagnosing is how it impacts someone's life. He's not too impacted other than irritating you.
He's a straight A honors student. Wow, that's awesome. I hope he finds his path in life and that he has a cheering section rather than a group who want to tell him he's not alright, needs to be diagnosed with a neurological developmental delay such as autism, etc. Not everyone has a ton of friends and not everyone is super social. It's who he is. Isn't okay for him to be who he is? I just don't get it.
A few more points I would to express.
And please read some of the above comments that show I do care about this 18 year old.
This is a teenager who never lifts a finger to help his mom.
Me? Growing up? If I came home and my mom was raking the leaves my dad would always say,,,go do that for your mom,,,,don't make her have to rake the leaves. Even though my mom would say I don't mind. Or. If it was night time and snowing a lot. Dad would always say. Make sure you get up and shovel the snow for your mom so she can walk down the front porch and get her car out okay.
This 18 year old. An actual example of how he acts?
Last winter. 3 feet of snow. Car covered in snow. Windy. Snowing like mad. Time to take the 18 year old to school.
His mom and I grab the shovels and brooms and get at it,,,,the 18 year old walks out to the car,,,opens the door and sits n the car,,,,,for a half an hour ,,,,reading,,,,as his mom and I dealt with the snow. This I don't find normal. Whether or not his mom should or shouldn't say anything to him about this,,,,,I just don't get it. How can an 18 year old just sit there watching his mom work in the bitter cold. He made sure the car was started so he could be warm inside I might add.
More to come and thank you all for being here.
I am the type who questions everything,,,even at 60 years of age,,,,from what we eat and why,,,,,to what will happen if light a fire and aim a spray can of wd 40 into the fire. LOL?
My friends? Those who have known me since I was wee? Most who are typical Italians? All of them will say the same thing about me. Which is this. "He can be the most annoying irritating prick on the planet but you always know where he stands,,,and we love him".
Well, if he was able to get into a University that's a GREAT accomplishment. If he isn't into the partying, girls and loads of socializing then he will have little to no interference with his studies. Perfect!
Mike, my question is why are you wanting to change him into you or what suits you? This is what I thought the situation was. Why can't you accept who he is? What if the situation was turned around and you were the young man and your mother's partner was jabbing at your weak points or just taking jabs at you? Maybe you should try to look at things from this child's point of view. Instead of jabbing at him why not jab at the mother and father because they have LOADS to do with this. If you cannot accept this woman's child as is should you marry her?
If he isn't lifting a finger to help it is because he has be conditioned to do so. If he hangs out all day in his room he has been allowed to do so, etc. I get the concern about some of his behaviors, but as an outsider, which you are even though you are his mother's partner, you cannot and will not change him. Back to your original question......"Is this normal?" It is normal for this family. If the parents aren't seeking Dr. Google for help or professional help then you shouldn't either. I understand you like to help people, but why not help people who actually want the help? These folks aren't asking you for your help and in my opinion you are meddeling where you weren't asked. Then you go on about the father-influence behaviors. Well, you definitely aren't going to change those either.
It's as if you want to rearrange the dynamics of this family; almost like you want to fix the situation. Instead of focusing on this child, etc., why not do some deep soul searching about why you need to fix this? Why can't the situation be as it is and you accept it? Why are you so rigid in your thinking?
I don't know about you, but I definitely don't believe in wasting time on things I can't change. It's a waste of time and your life. To be honest, your post should be aimed at the parents; not this child. He is the product of his environment; upbringing.
Get up in the mornings and be glad you've been given another day and use the time in the day focusing more on the positives then the negatives in others. Try to be more understanding that everyone isn't like you and can't be like you. Embrace the idea that everyone is unique, flaws and all. Enjoy and praise the good bits of the relationship with this child. I don't know if this mindset has to do with your upbringing, i.e. a criticizing mother or father? Overbearing mother or father?
Like I stated, I have a nephew like this kid. I also remember I wasn't in the "popular" groups either when I was young. I was pretty much a loner. I loved reading my books and my "me" time. I was social, but it wasn't necesssary for me. I am still somewhat that way. I was teased and bullied for being different throughout my life and occasionally it still happens because I don't fit into someone's box of how I should be. I signed up for a class and I am pretty much to myself and quiet and then this woman yapping a mile a minute comes to me and asked me "Are you always so quiet?" Geesh! LOL! What's wrong with being quiet? Why do some feel the need to find something wrong with someone when there is nothing wrong?
To all. An example. he (the 18 year old) had very very severe acne. He and his mom and dad for two years were stumped as to why such a serious acne problem.
Did I sit and say nothing because it is not my place or my business to say anything? No. I knew what the problem was all along and never said, is all. The boy was drinking about 2 litres of the breast milk of a mommy cow every day. I had read many articles about it before. There was some resistance from the boy and the mom but as soon as he stopped drinking cow milk his face cleared up. And has stayed that way. Had I said nothing the boy would not have gotten better.
Maybe my point is this. For the most part I could say, hey, not my problem and say nothing. I would be very happy, as I have been for some years now with the mom and 18 year old (again he is with us for 2 weeks then to his dads for 2 weeks).
I am not even sure if I somehow found out that there is problem that I would say anything about it. Repetition again. Some of his problems could be Aspergers, and the babying thing, and acting like a baby may be normal. I am not necessarily trying to push my values on him.
Frig,,,,here,,,,,,when it turned out he may have Aspergers I became more gentle with him, more understanding, less likely to think "why does he always interrupt, thats rude",,,,,now I just remind myself,,,it may just be Aspergers. Do I make sense? When you know someone has a disorder,,,,understanding that his behaviours are just crossed brain wire issues and not selfish or rude traits.
It is easier to understand people if you understand they may have a minor disorder.
I JUST WANTED TO KNOW IF HIS BABY LIKE BEHAVIOUR SEEMS NORMAL OR NOT. If not normal then I am sure science has an explanation for it.
SO No. I am not necessarily trying to push my values on him or them. I just want to understand.
Cheers to all, please feel free to comment if you feel to do so.
So you've cleared up most questions i had now.
The mother has shown concern that this boy has been raised to be exactly like his father. The mistake that she is making with her son is to enable his lazy behavior by not having him contribute to the running of the house. He should have a list of chores, daily weekly and monthly that he must adhere to. She is doing him no favours teaching him that it's okay for him to sit in warmth and comfort while a women cleans the car off to drive him to his next appointment. Her enabling him to be selfish is the main problem this kid has. Unless she sees the folly of her ways, and puts into effect a new way of doing business in the house for this kid, he'll likely never have a partner, or he'll end up divorced like his dad. Honestly, it would be better for him to get away from both his mom and dad , it wold be far better for him to live in the dorms at the university where and get away from the family dynamic that allows him to be consistently indulged to the point of him never bothering to try anything new.
I think the best thing you could do is to make waves. I think you should discuss how you grew up, what helped to make you into the man you are today. The fact that you did clear the driveway for your mom, took the groceries into the house, raked the leaves , took out the garbage, cleaned the windows etc That you were taught "There's no free lunch, if you don't work you don't eat" mentality to your finance, and to the boy , and to the Uncle. I think the Uncle should come over and help to question some of what's been happening, and be part of a new way of doing business in the house.
Your fiance should be open for you and her to get to a therapist and open the lines of communication between the two of you, prior to your marriage, and start a new way of life, particularly having the son contribute to the household in a meaningful way.
You've said that the boy lives 2 weeks with you and 2 weeks with his dad... and that when he lives with you, he spends the majority of time in his room. So whether he changes or not, you still have a good relationship with his mother. You've said that you like to help people and that is your incentive with this boy. IMO, you should try to get your fiance to see that she is enabling he son to be the type of man his dad is. If she doesn't want that for her son, there is a way to change that still, IF SHE IS WILLING to talk to a family therapist. I don't agree that you should stay on the outside of this mother and son's relationship. You are engaged to be married. You are a part of this family if you choose to be. You are fast becoming a step dad to this young man, and how you grew up, and what you have to say may be the most valuable advice he's had thus far from any adult. If your fiance is unwilling for you and her to talk to a therapist about how to get her son more involved in the day to day life, and away from his sources of entertainment schedule, you can't do much about anything i'm afraid. If there is to be ANY change in the boys life, it MUST begin with his mother acceptance that she has enabled him to be Lazy and Entitled around the house and Selfish in his interpersonal relationships. IF she is able to see that she has done her son no favours by allowing him to hide in his room and not participate in life, , then, and only then, will the boy have a chance at learning that living with honour (towards oneself and others) is a worthwhile way of life. He needs his mother to be capable of looking at the bigger picture. ie. that the body needs exercise for the body to be fit, and the mind to be well. She needs to be humble enough to accept that she has made mistakes with this boy, and that with help ,she can learn a new way of working with him, so that he may start to embrace dmore of life than one get's from an entertainment center. She needs to be asked the question, if you were hurting you child in any way, would you a) want to know about it, or b) be happiest not knowing. If the answer is A, you have a chance for change, if it's b), you might as well say what's on your mind, to the kid. This little wolf pack needs new blood to shake things up. Do what you reel is right. You've shown great restraint, and caring for this young man. Trust yourself to speak up and tryi to make some significant changes. Don't be afraid to show that you have expectations of your step son, ie.if your job is to cook and your wife's job is to do the dishes, his job should be equal always. Tell them both you care enough to try to help him become able to be in a loving long term relationship that lasts.
I've read most of this thread, and haven't seen anyone mention this - this isn't "him". It's "them". She is encouraging this behavior by her behavior - this is their dance. She got divorced when he was 5 or 6, and at that time, she encouraged him to remain her little boy of that age. And now he's a great big strange child who says mommy. Inadvertently or on purpose, she has caused this, IMHO.
Hey Mike, when your soon to be step son says, "Why (go do this or that) when i can watch tv" do you tell him to combat obesity? Have you followed through and showed him the link you put here (which i really am going to watch before my day beings hopefully at the gym this winter). ?
As i said very early on, that the first change should happen immediately to set the ball rolling, by the mother insisting the child helps out around the house. That will help this situation out a lot. It Should get real old having a prima donna in the house.