AITA if I kick out our unemployed son, but not our employed son?

  1. This. You didn't teach your son he needed a job and now you're paying for it. Who's been buying all his video games? That stuff isn't cheap.

  2. YTA also for ignoring James’ issues as a child/teen and waiting until he’s an angry, dysfunctional adult

  3. Minor quibble but it is closer to 10 years. He got a degree in chemical engineering so was probably 22 or 23 when he finished and nothing wrong with not working while in school.

  4. Agreed. It's reasonable to kick him out, so NTA there. But at least part of the reason he acts the way he does is your responsibility somewhere along the line.

  5. This is succinct. Op is an asshole for letting his son sit at home wasting his life for 15 years.

  6. NTA, but be aware he may have some legal rights. I suggest researching tenant laws to ensure you aren’t at risk of repercussions legally for booting him. He seems like he might be willing to fight losing the gravy train. Protect yourself, but you’re not the asshole. 30+ is plenty old to learn to live as an adult.

  7. We would not kick him out right away. We would definitely give several months of time for him to figure it out, but would be firm going through with it. We are familiar with the laws since we have property and have gone through something similar not too long ago.

  8. He finds ways to blame everyone and has been doing so since he was in high school. We have spent a lot of money on doctors and counselors just on James alone and nothing has ever worked. He actively refuses any form of help. James is academically smart, but falls short when it comes to getting a job and socializing in general. He is abusive to everyone in the family and especially his mom. Joe was a much more mellow child and has (still has) ADHD and struggled with school, but is talented when it comes to computers and tech. We worried about both of them in different ways.

  9. Agreed. I wonder if the GC/scapegoat thing has been present long before this. Are there people who refuse to adult? Sure. But I'm side-eyeing this whole thing.

  10. To be fair, it is completely possible to get through an engineering degree with no talent, passion, or desire. I studied mechanical engineering at a state school and got to see several people graduate who did not deserve a degree. Universities cannot afford to fail too many students, my favorite professor I had was banned from teaching undergraduate courses because he failed too many of his students in his class, and he told me he did so because of the lack of effort shown on their part. The universities often turn a blind eye to cheating despite threatening expulsion from the program, and this is especially common with international students. Through a combination of cheating on exams, plagiarizing old lab reports and presentations, and heavily curved final grades, it is very possible to graduate with a degree despite knowing basically nothing. Granted, chemical engineering is slightly more rigorous than mechanical, but my cubicle neighbor who studied chemical engineering in the best university in my state confirmed that there were plenty of people that skated by undeservedly within his degree program.

  11. Ehh my brother is like that. He has an MD and keeps trying to live rent free with all the relatives while NOT working as a physician. Refuses to get any other job because it’s beneath him. He’s also got substance abuse issues so, it’s possible to be that out of touch.

  12. Okay so, hypothetically speaking, what could OP have done that would make this 33 year old man (who managed to graduate college with a degree in chemical engineering) sitting around and mooching off his parents for a decade not his fault?

  13. NTA. Honestly, I'm in a similar position to Joe although I'm a bit younger (26) and I totally get it. The housing market sucks, apartment rentals are high, and if he's helping out you and your wife and you like having him, there's absolutely nothing wrong with having him there.

  14. Good lord no you are NTA!!! I would have kicked James out ages ago. And no you are by no means showing any favorites by letting Joe stay since he is such a huge help and is striving to make an effort in life. You really do need to set a timeline for James to have a job and be moved out of the house. If his anger gets in the way then you all may need more help than you think just to get him out of the house. There is no way I would support a grown adult at this age that cannot seem to get a job.

  15. We've tried to get him help. Joe also paid for a therapist to talk to James, but James wanted nothing to do with it. We love James and have tried to be firm with him, but anytime we do that he gets very angry and it scares both of us. We've just been dealing with it since. Joe has tried to help him in the past but he rightfully said this is beyond him and we need to kick him out. We don't want to.. but we are tired.

  16. NTA. Long overdue. Not to be morbid, but I hope you have your financial affairs in order (wills, trusts, etc.). It will save heartache in the end, especially for the son who hasn't been freeloading all this time.

  17. NTA kick him to the curb. You are enabling him and he will not be able to support himself if y’all continue to do it for him

  18. NTA, my parents kicked me out when I was 17 because I just wanted to party and had no real interest in doing anything else. I was very spoiled growing up and had more than most other kids. That all ended for me. I STRUGGLED. I was hungry a lot, couch surfed, slept outside and eventually lived in an old school trailer on a horse farm where I worked for rent only. Still went hungry for the most part. I was a complete loser dude. Eventually I got a job, got a townhouse with some friends, met my wife and now I have 2 kids, 2 businesses and what consider to be a great life. Not hungry anymore! I don’t think I would have half of what I do if I didn’t spend so many days hating myself and hating my living conditions. Kick that fool out it’s time to sink or swim!

  19. NTA yet, but you may want to push harder to see if he is dealing with bipolar disorder or something before you send him out on the street. Abandoning him if he has serious issues will not only be terrible for him, but it will make your life even worse.

  20. NTA. An engineering degree and unable to be employed? Good grief. Time to wean him off the financial tit. Give him reasonable notice and push him out. As for his brother that is not relevant really. He has a job, helps and has a solid plan for independence.

  21. Not only that. His brother has worked in the medical and scientific industry for 2 years. He has the made friends with a lot of directors and managers in the field during those two years who have asked him if there are any entry level engineers that would be interested in work. James has a good resource right there already and has repeatedly for years turned down any help from his brother who has these connections. He is terrified of what kinds of questions interviewers may ask him. Joe has helped prepare him for these interviews before and James is arrogant enough to think it's no help.

  22. NTA - 33 is more than enough to parent😬 Kicking him out may actually be the best thing for him. He’ll have no choice than to overcome his issues and get a job and mature. Not an easy situation as I’m sure you love both boys dearly but one child is working hard and taking full advantage of the opportunity to save while the other is just strictly taking advantage of you at this point.

  23. NTA - people need out of their comfort zone to grow. If they don’t do it themselves, sometimes you gonna force them.

  24. Most likely. We have tried to help him as he grew up but he's very stubborn. He has never wanted any mental help from anyone. From his perspective, he thinks he's fine, it's that people around him want him to fail, so that's why he fails. Joe used to work at a biiotech company that hires chemical engineers and tried to get James to come to a company event to talk to his bosses. James refused and yelled at Joe. He was tired of Joe pestering him into doing something he doesn't want to do (get a job).

  25. YTA because sometimes you have to hit rock bottom so you can only go up. You’ve done all you can as parents and provided in the best way you know how. However your good intentions have enabled him to use your resources like this. He is entitled because he doesn’t have to earn his stay and he can just live there because he can. He has no respect for the hours of your life that go to funding those hours spent on his ass. He has no respect for you as his parents. Otherwise he would show you through his actions that he returns the love and effort y’all put into his upbringing. He doesn’t respect himself, because he’s willingly stunting his potential. He’s not creating value for himself by looking great to future employees or future relationships. He’s 33, you probably should’ve done this by mid 20’s. But now you’ve become the asshole to yourself, youve hit your limits in dealing with his bullshit, but you should’ve put the foot down a long time ago. Now you may be faced with a wild / dangerous/ vindictive situation because he won’t care what it puts you through to stay in his castle. Best of luck

  26. NTA but ita gonna be hard on all of you, and it sounds like he does have some mental health issues. You will have to come to terms with the very real possibility he ends up homeless.

  27. NTA - I can't get past being a 33 yr old chemical engineer and only applying for one job while never having been employed.

  28. “We've given James much more attention growing up than Joe because he was a bit more troubled.” This line really stuck out to me and I imagine there is a LOT of information missing from this post.

  29. The way I read it is that the parents have always had very high expectations of their children. Both of the sons have college degrees in academic subjects. One child busts a gut with all the things he does for his parents (with lots of conditional approval from OP) whilst the other is an angry, emotionally immature adult who escapes into fantasy. Those are both typical responses to growing up with demanding, unempathic, emotionally unavailable parents.

  30. YTA for enabling James so long. Give him a timeframe to find a job and move out with roommates, as this has gone on too long!

  31. The issue with mental help is that he wants none of it. Joe even had a therapist show up to the house. After talking with everyone James, just storms into his room and locked his door and stayed in there until the next day.

  32. NTA. You should have kicked out a long time ago and forced him to stand on his own feet. Based on what you describe, kicking him out may be the best thing for him because he will finally have to be an adult.

  33. I think a better strategy would be to require a rental payment from both of them, and without a payment, they can no longer live there. That requires James to get his shit together, and avoids you looking like you're playing favorites (at least in James' eyes).

  34. And if you want, you can contribute Joe’s rent sum to his house fund when time comes for a down payment! (If James gets it together, could do something similar fir him too.)

  35. Or put both rents in a secret savings account they only get access to when they move out, if OP doesn't want money from them.

  36. NTA, though you should have kicked him out after he wasted your money on a college education and then made no effort to use it or support himself beyond 1 job interview.

  37. NTA that's an unfortunate situation. Only consideration I'd say is giving them both the same deadline to get out would leave less potential for drama/conflict. Might not even matter since you said he has anger issues he's likely to make a big fuss of being kicked out anyways. Either way NTA

  38. When I read the title I was like wth but when I saw their ages you are NTA. He is a grown ass man and should start providing for himself. Granted, his behavior sounds similar to s form of depression, maybe hospitalise him because that is not normal behavior and he needs help. Best of luck OP

  39. NTA - first it is your house and you are allowed to decide what adults share the space with you. James will blame you and call you names but he is not entitled to permanent support by you and your wife. I recommend changing your locks.

  40. NTA. I expect that there will be posts that say that you are TAs because you gave Joe more attention than James because Joe was a bit more troubled. However, there comes a time when you have to stop blaming mommy and daddy and just grow up. Having said that, you have been doing James no favors by letting him do nothing. For God's sake, he is 33 years old! Yes, give James x amount of time to find another place to stay. Since Joe is contributing to the family, I see no reason to punish Joe by kicking him out.

  41. YWNBTA if you kicked out Goofus but allowed Gallant to stay. Be prepared for James to act out in anger, though.

  42. I encourage you to take this with the seriousness it merits: be very careful. This has the potential to be a very very dangerous situation for you and yours at the volatile entitled hands of James.

  43. YTA: get your son the professional help he needs. The kind he probably needed as a kid to grow into a well rounded and functioning adult. I would be surprised if your son doesnt have ADD.

  44. YTA, based on how you talk about them its obvious who the favorite is, your treatment of him probably IS a big part of why he's having issues. Video games are good for stress relief but also keep you from having to interact with toxic people you live with, he is probably having difficulty doing other things because it's his own coping mechanism.

  45. Kicking the unemployed, to be honest is in his 30s and without a job kicking out as soon as possible, he is no longer your problem

  46. NTA- NO, he needs to grow up and get a job. You've not done him any favors by allowing him to not pull his weight. He either gets a job by X date or he is kicked out would be what I'd say to him. I'd also charge him rent.

  47. NTA for kicking your unemployed son out. However, why would you never force your kid to get a job he's in his 30s sorry but that's bad parenting.

  48. NTA I had uncles like this. Never left their parents house, made everyone miserable. Started fights, made messes, generally disagreeable. You should have booted him ten years ago but definitely need to do it asap. You deserve to enjoy your home and your retirement.

  49. NTA for the actual situation, but YTA for letting this go on so long. He’s never had a job and you’re taking action now? Damn, my parents would have thrown my ass out a long time ago.

  50. yta. youu stated that you give the golden child more attention growing up. why u suprised the other one acts that way. i don’t feel like explaining much but hopefully you catch my drift

  51. AUTOMOD The following is a copy of the above post. This comment is a record of the above post as it was originally written, in case the post is deleted or edited. Read

  52. NTA Be prepared for the tamper tantrum of the century, violence, anger, and maybe revenge. My brother is like James, and my mom preferred building another house, moving out and leaving him there. It is a huge financial burden on her, so much so that my sister and I have to help her, but she refuses to put her golden child on the streets. She gave him so much more than me, paid for expenses while he was in college, got him his own place because he is terrible and nobody can live with him, while I had to work since I was 15 and put myself through college. Yep. She really gave him her house. It is not easy to deal with this situation; if you find the courage to treat your son like an adult and hold him accountable, be prepared for the fallout. Either way you go about this, it won’t be pretty.

  53. NTA for the situation, he should’ve moved out a long time ago. But you’re an AH for how you talk about your son. And the preferential way in which you speak about Joe. It may come as news to you but I’m sure James feels how much you prefer Joe which adds to his “intensity” as you put it.

  54. NTA: If his anger is making you feel unsafe to be around him than by all means you need to kick him out weather he has a place or not!

  55. NTA he's older than me with a degree and never had a job. sounds like u did everything right besides not making this decision sooner.

  56. NTA. Your job as parents is to raise your kids to be independent and responsible adults who can figure out how to take care of themselves. Your older son at least has a plan - save up some money for buying a house - and has a job in order to implement that plan. To that end, you are at least helping someone who is an active participant in a productive life. But for your other son, nothing is going to change him unless he is forced to change, and you are not doing him any favors by making it easy for him.

  57. NTA, he needs to leave the nest, his life's not gonna progress just sitting on your couch. While your reasoning is ehh, kicking out I see as tough love, he needs to adapt to society.

  58. NTA. There is no reason for him to be unemployed and sponging off of you. If he's not given the option of free living, he may actually have to get a job (gasp!). With this extended length of being unemployed with no valid reason, he may have to settle for a less than ideal position though.

  59. NTA. Also consider what happens when you guys inevitably pass. Even if you leave a solid inheritance, he still very likely won´t be able to keep himself sheltered and fed longterm without working. It´s much better to force him to figure out what it means to earn a living now when he has you as a safety net then later when he doesn´t. He clearly isn´t thinking that far ahead but kicking him out will likely force him to get his act together enough that he´ll be ok later.

  60. NTA i guess but I think its kind of insane youre letting your kids in their mid thirties live with you regardless of career status. 34 is certainly old enough to be financially independent

  61. Very unlikely that James is going to "figure it out" at this age. Most likely he will be homeless or turn to crime. In order to go thru with it, OP, wife and Joe will have to be willing to do so and go thru with it. Most people would falter, and then relationships will fray.

  62. NTA ... for this. It is more a point of what they contribute than of employment. One contributes no money, no work and no positivity. The other does. You have a right to decide with whom you associate and that includes your roommates, children or not.

  63. NTA. Do it, but make sure you take security measures, especially if your angry infantile don’t has access to guns. Don’t want to spook you but angry useless folks are the ones who make the news, usually. Take care!

  64. NTA but this is an obvious sign of favoritism and enabling. You gave more attention to the problematic son, you kept investing on him emotionally, you have let him live in your house like a bum for fourteen years (counting that he should have a job at least at 20), and now you are shocked he mistreats you and throws his failures at you.

  65. NTA. James sounds like he is channelling "my business is my business". All he needs the katana.

  66. INFO: How on earth did you let it go on this long? Where does James get his money for video games from? N T A for kicking him out but Y T A for not dealing with this within a year of him getting his degree.

  67. NTA for tough love. My brother is like your James. He is 42 and 4 years older than me. He still lives at home with mom cooking and cleaning for him. No job, no girlfriend, no friends.

  68. NTA. But give Goofus notice so he can at least try to find a job first. And clarify Gallant’s timeline with him so it looks less like you’re favoring him. Good luck.

  69. NTA but I kind of think you might have to plan for an outburst for when you inform him he's gotta go and when he actually leaves. You say he's angry and hateful but if there's a chance he'll be violent you might need to take steps to protect yourselves and Joe when the day comes.

  70. YTA - What do you mean by "kick him out"? Force him to leave your home, go no contact, and then look away as he attempts to fend for himself? It's hard to imagine that working out well for anyone. It doesn't sound like he is simply lazy, he sounds depressed, possibly even with mental issues.

  71. NTA, damn James is definitely doomed to fail if you don't give him the boot! As if now he has zero motivation to be self sufficient because he's never needed to be. You and your wife aren't totally to blame because obviously his brother has been given the same advantages and has at least a job and plans.

  72. NTA however I would say they both have to pay rent or get out. You can hand the money back to your son who’s saving up to buy a house and is being useful while he lives with you. As for your other son he will either find a job to pay or he will be forced out without looking like you’re playing favorites.

  73. This is the reason my mom had a strict “you don’t have a job, you don’t come home” rule for me and my sibling. She made it clear to us once we were in high school that that rule would go into effect once we graduated. She didn’t care where we worked but made it clear she expected us to do something with our lives.

  74. Nta. If you want to retire then do it. You dont have to support your drop kick of a son for life. Maybe if he had a reason to work he would. Good luck.

  75. Nta. Go to a lawyer and have them draw up an eviction notice and if hes not out in 30 days, have the cops enforce it. Its long past time to remove the kid gloves and rip wax strip off his balls.

  76. NTA should this be true, but I do find it odd that someone who got a chemical engineering degree, one of the most difficult degrees out there, is having trouble with this. If they suffered through that hell, I find it a little suspicious that they wouldn’t have a job for no reason

  77. I’ve seen articles about the large percentage of adults who are waiting for their parents to die so they can live off the inheritance. They don’t bother starting an adult life because they know the money is coming. Sounds like this guy. NTA

  78. NTA but honestly I would offer the option to stay if he gets a job and goes to therapy because this definitely sounds like some sort of mental struggle

  79. NTA for kicking out your deadbeat son, but you’re not so great of parents for raising him to be a deadbeat and then washing your hands of him.

  80. ESH. You let him spend 14 years into adulthood living with you doing nothing and paying nothing and literally throwing fits... You're assholes to both yourselves and him for letting it go on this long before doing something.

  81. ESH unless you made a typo and Joe is 24, not 34. Allowing your grown adult child to live with you rent free for this long while contributing nothing to the household is ridiculous. Your enabling made it so that he may literally be unemployable in his field now. The time to kick him out was at least a decade ago.

  82. NTA! Kick him out but contact an attorney first so you know your legal rights and call the cops and have them present when you have him leave since he’s prone to having anger issues. Best of luck! Definitely NTA. As a parent, you are always giving one more day, one more chance because you always want to believe your child will final take that step and you always want to believe the best about your child. It can take a long time to finally realize that some people will not grow without tough love. Best of luck! Please update when you decide to move forward! 😁

  83. Originally I said YTA but reevaluated my statement and am coming up as NTA. James needs to grow up. He cant depend on his parents forever. It's a harsh lesson but a needed one.

  84. NTA. There are an odd number of suspicious folks on this thread that seem to think a 34 year old needs to be handed opportunity after opportunity without engaging in any reflection or self-driven growth.

  85. Nta. 33 and never employed. So he a free loaded. Ya kick him out. Make him stand on his own to feet.

  86. NTA. I’d recommend getting a firearm if legal where you live for protection. I’ve seen a case exactly like this before where the son killed his parents because he felt entitled. Good luck tho

  87. Sometimes you have to be tough to do what's right for your child. If Joe were living somewhere else, would it be OK for James to live with you endlessly playing video games? No, it would not. You mentioned James was hateful and has anger issues. Are you afraid of him? Does he pose a threat? I'm trying to get my head around why this situation has been tolerated for as long as it has.

  88. NTA. I applaud you wanting to help James and allowing him to stay home and unemployed (it’s a terribly western thing to just kick your kids out post-high school/college), but if he’s

  89. Have the same situation with my brother. Can’t help someone that doesn’t want to help themselves. NTA. Maybe it’ll kick his ass into gear

  90. Sorry but I call BS. I have more than one family member who have high difficulty qualifications like this (I call them that because they require a LOT of effort and dedication) and while I can’t stand a single one of them they didn’t turn out lazy. There’s definitely something more to this.

  91. I feel like theres gotta be a lot of missing info here, tbh - how and why did this situation get so far? Are you positive there's been no favouritism and proper mental health advocacy in your home? Is there some sort of family dynamic that needs to be acknowledged? All this post seems to do is make a case for why one is better than the other, there isn't much to circumstantially go on.

  92. NTA. He has a degree. He is capable. Give him a deadline to get a job or get out. Yeah yeah yeah this should have been addressed years ago, but he needs to learn the lesson someday, why not now? Better late than never.

  93. NTA you raised 2 boys and it is not your fault one turned out lazy and angry. James needs to stop freeloading on you.

  94. NTA, because you can’t light someone else’s fire for them. As for your son, with that kind of education he should be doing quite well off in life. Therapy really would do him good, but to be honest I’d resist if my parents told me that. Do your two sons get along? Definitely be firm and have a date maybe 3-6 months out where he leaves…but do it too soon and it causes the situation to escalate. It’s hard surviving on one or two days notice.

  95. 33 years old with a chemical engineering degree and can’t be arsed to get a job? Some people don’t know they’re born. ESH, you for letting that be okay for so long and him well, for being 33 years old and never having worked a day in his life.

  96. NTA. I think you know that this isn’t going to change if he remains in your home. But I think you also have to accept some responsibility for enabling him. Because he’s never had a job, he’s going to have a tough road ahead of him. Not only is he going to have a harder job finding a professional job because his resume will be completely blank, he’s also going to adapt to the employee/employer relationship.

  97. NTA, kick him out. He needs to grow up and him still living with mommy and daddy is holding him back. He wont start his own live out of his own accord.

  98. YTA - Because you enabled this behavior for years and now expect him to change. However sometimes you NEED to be the asshole, like kicking out your ‘ failure to launch’ adult son. Hopefully this will be the kick in the ass he needs. Assuming he doesn’t have credit. Your going to have to help him move into a place he can afford. Do not co-sign anything for him, you will regret that. But maybe let him know you guys are downsizing and he needs to go land on his feet. His brother has a plan so he gets wiggle room but not by much. Make it about the retirement just to help avoid his outburst. Also it’s your house, he pays no bills. Start cutting off his internet and phone now. You need to make things uncomfortable for him for a while. All you’ve done is coddle.

  99. YTA. You let your son be this way. Don’t blame him for the way he was raised, blame the people that raised him…you

  100. NTA. But maybe change it from kicking him out to starting to charge rent and let the problem take care of itself. Employed son will gladly pay and unemployed son will either get a job and move out, or just get a job.

  101. I'm sorry to say it.. but YTA and not for kicking one son out. Why? Because your other son has PLANS to buy a house and MOVE OUT. So you are not kicking out your other son. But YTA for enabling your video game son for soooooo long, he has suddenly become a burden to you. IMO you need to change your WIFI PW and make him get off his ass and give him time to get on his feet.

  102. NTA but I think you need to be very careful about how you do this. Your story has me thinking about the Guy family, and that did not end well. In your position I would change my will and my life insurance so that he does not benefit and let him know. You could change it back once he starts taking care of himself or at least making a good faith attempt to deal with whatever his emotional problems are.

  103. NTA for wanting to kick out Joe and not James, since one is employed and saving for a house but the other is unemployed

  104. NTA and YTA at the same time. You allowed James to live in your home, rent free/chore free/responsibility free for 15 years. YTA. He is not bringing benefit/joy/happiness to your lives and you want him gone. NTA.

  105. NTA and people saying you created this are out to lunch. My parents did everything in their power to help my brother not be a complete loser. Therapy, doctors, tutors, special trips to make him feel important, high expectations, punishments, you name it. He’s still a loser. He lies about everything, cons anyone he can, steals anything not nailed down and is a leech on society. His preferred existence is to play video games stoned, in a dark room. He’s never worked, he has 2 kids he won’t acknowledge or support, lord knows how he convinced someone to sleep with his sorry ass. He rarely showers. Our parents were hard working middle class, community minded people who were looked up to in our community. After our parents passed I did my best to help him learn to support himself including letting him live in my rental which he caused over $50k in damage to. He is a loser, will always be a loser. Making judgement on these parents because one is successful and one isn’t without knowing any of the details is rich. NTA ditch the deadbeat and enjoy your retirement.

  106. If you've tried everything else, then, no, you wouldn't be assholes for kicking him out. But I'd like to know if you've tried cutting him off in less drastic ways?

  107. YTA. But you wouldn't be if you required them to pay rent. Give them 30-60 days' notice of the rent you'd like them both to pay and then feel free to kick out whichever kid doesn't pay it.

  108. It's partly your fault (and your wife's fault) that James is like this. You've been enabling his laziness for years. You've been financially supporting him so that he doesn't have to work. You say you try to get him therapy and that he refused to do it; you should have insisted that he do something to improve his life and be self-supporting as a condition of him staying. And now he's in his thirties and has done nothing with his life, and you have surprised pikachu face that he's like this. You should have put your foot down a long time ago.

  109. Nta but I think you’re about 10 years late on this decision. I actually think kicking him out is probably the kindest thing you could do. Without you and your wife to rely on he will be forced to be independent. I’d set a time line now, and start helping him look at apartments and job postings. It’s totally possible he doesn’t know how to do those things.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may have missed