Family Relations/Adult stepson issues


I have a 27 yr-old stepson who recently moved back in town. Long story short, he has an alcohol/drug addiction. Furthermore, he has struggled with mental illness. Worse of all, I work in Law Enforcement and he has been involved in a gang since his early teens. The problem is that my wife still wants him to visit. Now, despite all the things I've mentioned, he has a serious problem with his language, and his behaviour when he visits. He also is VERY verbally abusive to both his mother and his sister (my stepdaughter whom I have raised).

My dilemma is what do I do. I've finally put my foot down and said enough is enough. He cannot come around anymore. He curses like a sailor in front of my children. He has brought drugs into my house (it fell out of his pocket once). He is verbally abusive to his children and wife when visiting as well. Despite all this, my wife is upset that he is not allowed here anymore. I cannot expose neither my family or myself to him. He has become aggressive towards me as well. If it were to become physical, I could forsee a huge issue with my job as well. Please help. What do I do? Do I have to seperate from my wife? This is just one problem I am dealing with. My wife also is an alcoholic. She can be abusive and irrational as well (I see where my ss gets it from). But I still love her. I cannot however, allow this to continue for the sake of my children and my sanity.

Hi, Nick, thanks for your questions. You asked, "What do I do? Do I have to seperate from my wife?". You also state that your wife is an alcoholic.

Well, it seems to me that the real problem is not your stepson - it's that you are raising your daughter in a household with substance abuse. The damage that you are doing to your daughter could be quite severe.

I would suggest getting yourself and your daughter into both counselig and Al-anon as soon as possible.

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Bruce Borkosky, Psy.D.


questions framed similarly to 'what are some ways to respond when someone does/says X' are best. Questions posed in the form of 'why does my father do/say Y', or 'how would you diagnose my mother when she does/says Z' are difficult, if not impossible, to answer. I will probably reframe your question to fit the first question (what do I do). Nay question regarding any family member is fair game. Some of the most difficult are in the area of step-parenting and divorcing families.


I've been a licensed psychologist in Florida since 1994. I've evaluated and/or treated thousands of patients.

American Psychological Association Florida Psychological association National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology


Psy.D., Miami Institute of Psychology, 1993 M.CS., U. of Dayton, 1984 B.A., Ohio Wesleyan U., 1978

Awards and Honors
Award for Years of Dedicated Service, Palm Beach County Legal Aid Society, 1999

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