family business employee/son Stockholm Syndrome

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SappyLady

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family business employee/son Stockholm Syndrome
« on: April 26, 2016, 11:21:44 AM »
This is the dilemma-Son 28 years old, dated 1 year and recently married.  Wife very controlling, as a result our son has totally changed since dating. We have a family business. This son was being groomed to run the business.  Work ethic has deteriorated since the relationship started.  Other family members continue to put in long hours and while son feels it is right to slack off.  Since we are pretty sure wife uses every chance she gets to find fault with us, the question is how do we address this issue and still have a relationship with our son.  BTW two weeks after the marriage he changed his cell number and email address.  Because his works for the family business we have contact with him.  But none of friends can longer directly connect with him.  In all the research we have done pretty sure she is narcissistic and he suffers from Stockholm syndrome.

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Bloomie

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Re: family business employee/son Stockholm Syndrome
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2016, 01:35:34 PM »
Hi SappyLady - I see you are new here. Welcome. I am glad you have made your way to OOTF. What a difficult circumstance you are facing. I am wondering if it would be most simple to address the work performance issues that are a black and white kind of thing with your son? That may give you a good feel for what he is thinking and what may be going on with him? Is it possible he is wanting to disconnect from the business and is unsure how to go about that without hurting you and your family? I know from personal experience business and family can be very complex.

Do you have any social kind of contact with your son and dil? Holidays and such? Could some of the changes be due to your son starting a new life - such as email address and phone number changes?

Has your relationship with your dil been difficult or good to this point? Is this kind of out of the blue behavior with your son? Lots of questions I know, but I am just trying to get a feel for what you are encountering and point you toward some resources.

In the meantime, the toolbox is excellent and worth reading through. Also, the traits info is really helpful as well as there is a do and don't section with each trait. I'm sorry this is happening and know it must be so upsetting. I look forward to hearing more and again welcome you here.

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SappyLady

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Re: family business employee/son Stockholm Syndrome
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2016, 01:47:23 PM »
We had a fantastic relationship - Until he dated her.....Early on I questioned stuff.....He told her and I was shut out!!!!!  Thus it hurts so much.  At one time it was a requirement from her to quit the family business for her relationship to continue with son. So we spent 3 months working towards leaving - BUT she changed her mind and wants him in the business.....But her needs dictate his hours and amount of commitment.  Like he can not go to dinner with vendors unless the salesman is will to invite his wife, not traveling and no extended hours past a 32 to hour work week......  It is a good gig them!  I just had a bday and we all had a GREAT time.

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Bloomie

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Re: family business employee/son Stockholm Syndrome
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2016, 05:18:52 PM »
Oh that does sound like it is tricky to navigate. Do the constraints on his working hours and such work for you all? Sounds like they are still figuring things out on their end as well.

I'm really glad you were able to celebrate and enjoy that time together. Finding strategies and ways of coping that can strengthen your connections may be a challenge, but well worth the effort I would imagine.

Keep reading here and sharing. It really does help to have this kind of support and others to weigh in.


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almostthere

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Re: family business employee/son Stockholm Syndrome
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2016, 03:21:05 PM »
I'm not sure if I'm reading your questions correctly.   It seems that you are saying that your adult son is choosing not to work in the family business in a way that you think he should.  You had other plans and had been grooming him to do this.  Now that he has chosen to act in a way that is not of your choosing, you are very upset, and want to know how to get him to do what you want him to do? Not what he is choosing? And you are comparing him to all of the other family members that are working at a capacity which you deem as dedicated?  I hope this is not what you are saying.

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xredshoesx

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Re: family business employee/son Stockholm Syndrome
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2016, 11:25:52 PM »
if your son had not expressed any concerns about taking the helm of the family business before the relationship i think it is cause for concern.   

my father took over my uncle's family business because my cousin was not able to put in the time committment necessary to run it successfully, however he still draws a check as a 'shareholder'. it's created some resentment between my siblings and our cousin because we see our dad (who is pushing 70) still working 60+ hour weeks while our cousin basically drinks himself to death.  our dad is too old to find other employment now and can't afford to retire or to just live off my stepmom's salary.  it's def a hard call when business and family mix.

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SappyLady

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Re: family business employee/son Stockholm Syndrome
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2016, 10:45:06 AM »
Almostthere - No, you have read it wrong.
Xredshoesx  - Yes it all changed when she came into his life. 

He used have the goal to work the business giving 120 Percent ----We had talks ----that he need to cut back ----he needs changed to focus on his girlfriends needs and now wife... We so very much agreed.....He need NOT be a workaholic......BUT now he is demanding that he should be able to work an average  32 hour work week------Not visit vendors NOT attend trade shows-----AND BE ALLOWED To text wife ALL DAY LONG......While others work 40-60!

So yes Almostthere----He is not working the way I think he should.

The question is how do we address this - Fire him - He will say You are only doing this because you do not like my wife.-----And we will lose contact with him.... 2 weeks after marriage he changed phone number and email address...We only have contact because of work ------others in life CUT OFF.
 

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DaisyGirl77

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Re: family business employee/son Stockholm Syndrome
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2016, 11:20:48 AM »
SappyLady, I think you need to look at it from your business owner standpoint.  What would you do if your son were some no-name, faceless employee who is suddenly demanding to put in less hours, no trade show visits, AND be allowed to text their spouse all day long?

Whatever your answer is to that question, do that.  & find someone else who is willing to put in the hours/work you are expecting them to put in to keep your business running.  It's clear your son is no longer interested in your business.

Additionally, you cannot keep shielding him from the consequences of his actions.  Do what you need to do, & if he thinks it's because you don't like his wife, that's HIS problem, not yours.  You can't police your behavior on what others think of you.

This is my mantra:  You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep others warm.

I read that a while ago on Facebook & it rings spectacularly true for me.  I hope my mantra helps you.
I lived with my dad's uPD mom for 3.5 years.  This is my story:  http://www.outofthefog.net/forum/index.php?topic=59780.0  (TW for abuse descriptions.)

"You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep others warm." - Anonymous

NC with uNM since December 2016.  VLC with uPDF.

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SappyLady

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Re: family business employee/son Stockholm Syndrome
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2016, 06:23:41 PM »
Thank you DaisyGirl77 -
I Love you mantra - It will be hard ----We are realizing we need to protect ourselves --- So we need to cut off the bad limb before it damages the whole family!-----So So sucks!
He was a wonderful great person--- that now has no integrity.
Thanks again for taking the time.

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Bloomie

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Re: family business employee/son Stockholm Syndrome
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2016, 08:58:17 PM »
SappyLady - I am so sorry. When family is business and business is family it is really tough. I was thinking about this and wondering if your son might want to be somewhere else and could possibly be putting you and his father in the position of the "bad guys" so to speak by ending something his behavior may be indicating he wants to end?

Would it be possible to simply tell him what you need in terms of the job requirements and see what he says and does with that info?

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kiwihelen

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Re: family business employee/son Stockholm Syndrome
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2016, 11:28:52 PM »
Do you have a job description for his role?any family organisations as they get bigger don't put HR parameters in place until a crisis hits. I would suggest investment of time and resources to address this across the business if this is not already in place. If you do this as a consultative process it gives him space to  self-reflect on whether he's performing. It may start him pushing the edge of the FOG.
Once you have the job descriptions you can have a review of expectations vs. salary by benchmarking activity vs. responsibility.
If after all this it would be easier to performance manage him, either to improve or go elsewhere.

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NaughtyNibbler

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Re: family business employee/son Stockholm Syndrome
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2016, 12:01:19 AM »
SAPPYLADY:
So sorry about your situation.  I agree with others who have said that in a business, you need to have the same expectation from a family member that you would a nonfamily member.   I think it can be tough to work in a family business in the best of situations.  It can be hard to have firm boundaries and have all family members toe the line and act like employees and not expect special privileges as a family member.

Family businesses generally take a lot of teamwork and if someone isn't pulling their weight, there will be nothing but problems until they either leave or correct their performance.

Maybe you need to check to see that everyone has a mutual understanding of their job tasks, and rules. Everyone should be allowed a standard lunch time and a break or two, but any employee who is constantly texting (talking on the phone or goofing off on the computer), is robbing the company.  I can see that a business would suffer if any employee decides to stop doing duties like visiting vendors and going to trade shows.  If those are his duties, and he refuses to do them, then he needs to be advised that the business can't survive without those duties being fulfilled. 

You probably don't want to mention his wife, but let your son know what the company needs in regard to his job position.  In fairness, all family employees need to have common rules.  Does anyone get overtime pay (beyond a certain number of hours)?  Need to make it standard.  If the agreement is that everyone gets a certain weekly salary and puts in extra nonpaid hours, you need to be consistent. 

Let your son know what is required for the job and what your business needs to succeed.  I wouldn't mention anything in regard to his wife.  Just mention what  is needed and what he needs to do to say in the family business.  He needs to be give a deadline to comply or you need to hire a stranger.  He will need to face the reality that he will have a tough time keeping any job if his attention isn't focused on the job and the well being of the company he is working for.  Let him learn on his own that if his wife may have rules for him that aren't compatible with most jobs, unless they are low level and part time.


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SappyLady

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Re: family business employee/son Stockholm Syndrome
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2016, 02:19:09 PM »
Thank you so much for your posts......You folks have been great help. 
Yes, his has a job description with expectations.  We have sent him a letter stating he has not preformed according to the job description. He has one week to decide what he is going to do.   We will be having a meeting week of May 16.....So keep any additional thoughts coming our way.
Again, thank you for taking YOUR valuable time to help us. 

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bopper

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Re: family business employee/son Stockholm Syndrome
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2016, 07:41:21 PM »
You should treat him like any other employee...go over the job description and talk about where he is not meeting expectations.
Then give him a Performance Improvement Plan that states measurable objectives:

1) Must put in 40 hour work week
2) Must attend X, Y, and Z trade shows
3) Must visit vendors as necessary, generally 3 per week
4) Must achieve sales numbers of $ZZZ
5) Minimize personal texting
6) Must use company email and cell phone and be accessible to other employees for work
7) etc etc

As far as texting, you really can't put a total restriction on that...but if it is interfering with his work it may take care of it self.

For your part: Don't talk about his wife at all...just talk about performance. Make sure he had a work phone and only communicate work matters on it.

Morale will improve when the other employees see that A) he is treated like any other employees  B) Treated in a fair, documented manner.


« Last Edit: May 17, 2016, 07:44:07 PM by bopper »
Just because they are incapable of loving you, doesn't mean that you are unlovable.
Anything makes the false self appear real is supply.

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xredshoesx

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Re: family business employee/son Stockholm Syndrome
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2016, 10:14:54 PM »
how are things going today sappylady?  did all y'all meet?

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SappyLady

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Re: family business employee/son Stockholm Syndrome
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2016, 01:51:04 PM »
He quit- in a rage last week. Come back to office 6 days later (this morning).  He did call back in to office last week and say - dock my pay I am taking off work for "awhile".
So this morning we said we are recognizing his request to resign - But would hire back as a consultant on the current projects.  But after my husband hit a never by making a comment - Son walked out.

Fighting the tears - of seeing him in so much pain....

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Bloomie

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Re: family business employee/son Stockholm Syndrome
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2016, 04:29:22 PM »
Sappy lady - I'm so sorry things are at such a difficult point. You must be hurting and in pain as well. Take good care of yourself in the midst of all of this conflict and uncertainty. :hug:

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SappyLady

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Re: family business employee/son Stockholm Syndrome
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2016, 01:59:23 PM »
We set our boundaries - Yes we met with him and he quit.
He admitted he is depressed, seeking professional help, on meds and confused.  He said he does not even know if not working for the family business will even make a difference in his life. Though he has dropped off communications with us..We have not seen him in two weeks. nor spoke with him.....Such heavy hearts.
Family so strongly believes she is feeding him stories and lies.

Thanks again all - We are now just praying.  But open to any ideas on what can be done.