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About my brother and 'living with us' issues
23 replies to this topic
Posted 31 July 2006 - 06:16 PM
My 29-year old brother is currently living in what was our guest room, after separating from DW and their 2 kids 7 months ago. He rang crying after DW asked him to leave, asking to stay with us, he had no-where else to go ... etc etc, so what could I say? Also, I should add, this is not the first time: he lived with us for about 6 months in 2002 when he separated from his then fiancee' (different woman to DW). He then left us to live with the lady who would become DW .........
Anyway, we took him in. He lived here for about 6 weeks for free while he got himself together, after which we came to an arrangement that he would pay board to cover groceries, telephone, and internet access. Dinner is cooked for him every night with our family. And in return, the only 'rules' (for want of a better word) were that he:
- helped with the chores by vacuuming the house once a week on sat mornings
- did his own washing
- did not have anyone stay over in our home unless we knew/met them
Divorce was always on the cards, though we assumed he would get his own place eventually. We were keen for short-term, as well; especially when we were not only getting my brother, but also the stress of his separation, and as he has 2 kids with DW, we were also opening our home every Saturday for him to have them for the whole day. These days are very stressful, as my nephews (26 mths & 12 months) are not disciplined in *any* sense of the word. So DH and I inevitably spend the whole day helping my brother care for his 2 sons, while also looking after our own daughter.
So it was our assumption that the stay was short-term arrangement. But one week early in the stay he casually springs on me in the kitchen that he planned to live with us for 4-5 years, so he could save for a house! DH was in the lounge when my brother told me and while I was pretty much gobsmacked and speechless, I let brother walk off and DH and I vowed to discuss it with him. We should have nipped it in the bud then, though for reasons too long to explain (largely my issues with not being able to say no), we didn't and its been left undiscussed.
During the first month or two, things were pretty good, although it was a very stressful time given his separation from DW and us helping him to make sense of it all. He vaccumed on Saturday mornings so DH could mop afterwards; ate dinners with us every night; watched the occasional movie with DH & I and became part of our little family. He even mowed the lawn a couple of times for DH, when DH was working weekend overtime. And he also introduced us to a few of the ladies he'd been chatting to online and with whom he dated for a little while (one and a time, of course), before they stayed over.
NOW to the present and the main issue of my vent. Things have gone downhill quickly. We have to constantly remind my brother about the vacuuming. He comes home from work, asks whats for dinner, goes straight to his room, comes down for dinner, and then we don't see him again until morning. He has never offered to cook (even when he knew I was struggling for a while due to PND). Thus we feel we have a hermit with us. We've just gotten back from a weekend away, and take-away containers in the bin hints at someone who stayed over (now confimed: was actually some chickie he'd been talking to online that he had over night without first introducing her to us ggrrrrrr). He's also borrowed DH's socks straight from his draw in our bedroom. Borrowed DH's aftershave from the bathroom and kept it in his own bedroom. Borrowed by laptop to watch movies through the TV. And all without asking.
We're now both a little jaded and fed up. We feel we've gone above and beyond family duty and we want our house/space/life back. We're building a new house at the moment and will be moving into it around Feb 2007. My brother assumes he's coming with us, but we're thinking it might be a good move to say "Ok, it's time for you to get your life together." We will also (hopefully) have a newborn (#2) a few months after moving into the new house, and I don't want to have to deal with a 2 year-old, a newborn, and also my brother! Though I'm conflicted because: of my issues of wanting to help (he is my brother and I love him); not being able to say no; that the money he's paying *is* handy; and my worry for him and his next life move. But on the other hand, he's nearly 30 years old!!!
So, WDYT about any or all this? Am I over-reacting? Am I asking too much of him? Or should I get a spine and show him the road? Do I owe him because he's my brother? Or am I letting myself be trampled on.
Posted 31 July 2006 - 06:28 PM
i think you're showing you love him more by encouraging him to move out and be responsible for his own life 9and grow up!) than by letting him move with you! good luck, sounds tricky but i think you have the perfect excuse to give him the boot
Posted 31 July 2006 - 06:28 PM
Edited by *~emporia~*, 11 August 2006 - 06:56 PM.
Posted 31 July 2006 - 07:05 PM
As already said, by encouraging him to move out and move on you are really loving him. But if you plan for him to move on when you move in to your new house, tell him now, give him plenty of time to make alternative arrangements.
Best of luck
Posted 31 July 2006 - 07:10 PM
Sounds like he is taking advantage of your kind heartedness and if it starts to effect your family, he needs to be told.
Can't he move into a caravan park or similar if he cant afford a place of his own.He seems to see you as his safety net everytime his life goes wrong.My 2 brothers used to do this to me re: money borrowing cos I was too soft. When i got married and had a house, I told them that if they dont like the answer no, dont ask. I would help them if they genuinely needed it but when it happens more than once, they knew I was a soft target.
Good luck with your bro.
Posted 31 July 2006 - 09:45 PM
I had my sister live with me for 9 months - moved in 2 weeks after I got married. I had to ask her to leave which was hard.
You can do it!!! At the moment you are being taken for a ride IMHO.... help him out but don't get stomped all over!
Posted 31 July 2006 - 10:26 PM
While I don't really think that you could expect your brother's kids to have that much discipline given the ages they are, overall I think you are very much justified in feeling the you do, and Feb 07 and your new house is a very reasonable time to move on with all your lives. It's not really fair of your brother to just assume that it would be OK to live with you for 4-5 years!! It sounds like he's treating you a little bit like "mum" now, actually and that you and your DH are his parents in a way It's often a bit of a role that women get lumped with.....being the caretakers for other members of family and feeling that sense of obligation.
If it's any consolation, I have a 29 (almost 30) year old brother who constantly oversteps boundaries also. He's been unemployed and bludges money off family constantly, going through it all like water. If anything, he's even less mature than your brother as he hasn't been able to sustain a relationship long enough to have kids yet!! I feel the same way you do - love him dearly but he frustrates the carp out of me at times.
Posted 31 July 2006 - 10:35 PM
Am I over-reacting?
Am I asking too much of him?
NO, not nearly enough!
Or should I get a spine and show him the road?
Do I owe him because he's my brother?
Maybe up to a point, but that point was passed a while back.
Or am I letting myself be trampled on.
Somehow I think you already knew this
Edited by Mum of One, 31 July 2006 - 10:37 PM.
Posted 31 July 2006 - 10:52 PM
I know what you going through. My brother stayed with me for a few months and My god I hated it. At first it was good having someone home, as DH works nights.
My brother did pay $100 board, that included everything. The rest of his dole was spent on the pokies or with his w*n*er friends.
In the end I had enough, I was stick of him teasing my 3.5year old. He said its funny, but my daughter bites at everything, and my parenting rules just went out the window. He has no kids.
His a smoker (ciggies) and he had to smoke at the top of the driveway, as I can't stand the smell. He also had to put deoderent on when he came inside.
So in the end my daughter was getting hard to control and pick up and words which I didn't like one bit.
I told him stright out You need to move out, move in with friends or who ever.
He got the hint and moved out.
If you don't say anything he will keep bludging from you and your family for ever.
good luck I know its hard but Your FAMILY COMES FIRST.
Posted 01 August 2006 - 08:03 AM
Thank you *so* much for reading my long post and replying. In the light of a new day, you are all saying what I already knew, though it is good to know that it is the right thing, yk?
DH and I discussed all of this briefly over breakfast this morning, and we're going to tell my brother than when we move, it will be just DH, me, and DD. By that stage, he will have been with us for 14+ months, which is more than enough time to get his life together .... as an adult, on his own.
Again, thanks gals!
ETA: spelling errors
Edited by KylieV, 01 August 2006 - 08:04 AM.
Posted 01 August 2006 - 08:19 AM
We had a friend stay with us that we had to ask to leave. She moved in with us, and was supposed to move when she got a job (had moved interstate), but she made no effort to get a job, so dh gave he a temp job, she still made no effort to move out.
In the end my mother was coming to stay and we needed her room so she had to move out - I feel she would have made no effort to move if my mother was not coming to stay.
I would sit him down and say to him that when you move to your new house he will have to move out, but if he doesn't pull his weight by doing the things you asked with out prompting (ie vaccumming) and also if he has someone else around without your permission then he will be asked to moved immediately.
Posted 01 August 2006 - 08:30 AM
Thats exactly how we started to feel ... like his parents! there is a lot of history behind that role for me -- partly my own doing -- so I think it's time to stop it!
Patient to some Zorro; a pushover for others LOL
Edited by KylieV, 01 August 2006 - 08:44 AM.
Posted 01 August 2006 - 08:44 AM
I think by the sounds of his recent behaviour that perhaps he's starting to feel like his style is being cramped to a degree anyway?
Posted 01 August 2006 - 10:00 AM
Its great that you and your DH had a chance to talk about it today.
However, I wouldnt be giving him until Feb next year.
I would be giving him a date of November this year so that you can have Christmas with YOUR own family and be able to get the house packed and ready.
You know how quickly Christmas comes around and then its suddenly February.
I still think your being too kind and he has worn out his welcome time. He will be able to find accomodation somewhere else and November is still 12 weeks away not 6 months like February - Do you still really want him around for another 6 months?
Good luck Felicity
Posted 01 August 2006 - 10:06 AM
Sounds like he's gone from ex-fiancee to you to wife to you - has he ever lived on his own? I think it's about time he did, and maybe he'd make a better partner next time around!
When I left my first husband, I moved in with a friend (in another city, single mother with one child, I had no kids then) for 3 months. I paid my own way, and helped out with things around the house, and was very grateful for the breathing space to get myself together. By the end of that time I had got myself a job, a place of my own, and a car. I couldn't imagine staying longer than that.
I've also been on the other side, and had short-term boarders who stayed ... and stayed ... and stayed. You have to be blunt if you want someone like this to go. You have to set a reasonable time limit (perhaps a month? but whatever it is, set a firm date) and make plans that mean he has to be out then (plan to use his room for something else, invite someone else to visit for a few days ...). It's hard when it's family, but you just have to do it, or it can cause problems for your own family.
I hate having anyone here for more than a few days - I like my own space too much. I like to be able to wander around in the morning in my underwear if I want to. I like to be able to have an argument with DH without worrying about someone overhearing. You're really just going to have to sit him down (preferably on your own so he doesn't feel like he's being ganged up on and get defensive) and simply explain that you need your own space back. Be very firm and clear, don't let him talk you around, and don't let the conversation end without a firm commitment from him and a date set. Yes, he will probably be peeved, but that's his problem, and you need to let him know you won't be bullied into changing your mind. He'll get over it, and you'll be doing him a favour in the long run. He needs to be able to stand on his own two feet and take responsibility for his own life and actions. If it were me, I wouldn't even leave it until you move - I think 4-6 weeks is ample notice, and that will give you some leeway in case it genuinely takes a little more time for him to sort things out (but don't tell him that!).
Posted 01 August 2006 - 12:32 PM
I agree with the PP (mum2brodie), you should get the ball rolling asap and give him a deadline. He can prepare in advance and come the date he should be out.
DH and I have had various family members stay with us throughout our marriage and at times it has been extremely upsetting that they've taken us for granted but more so that we've allowed them to. Take a stand and set a date.
Best of luck
Edited by nazza.online, 01 August 2006 - 12:33 PM.
Posted 01 August 2006 - 02:05 PM
Yep, I'd have him gone by November too. Can be hard to give family deadlines though. He's a big boy, he can take it.
Posted 02 August 2006 - 08:55 AM
Thanks so much ladies for taking the time to reply. I think it is unanimous that we need to be firm and let my brother know that (a) he's not coming to the new house with us in Feb/Mar 2007, and (b) that he needs to have organised somewhere else to live in November.
Now comes the harder part .... telling him
Posted 02 August 2006 - 09:29 AM
IKWYM about the rentals, makes sense ... so November would be better for him.
Shall let you know for sure!
Posted 18 August 2006 - 01:12 PM
UPDATE: Well, I know we should have done it sooner, though DH and I are telling my brother this Sunday night that its time to move out. Wish me luck!
Posted 18 August 2006 - 01:19 PM
Wow I just found this thread.... good luck! Let us know how you go.
Posted 19 August 2006 - 10:22 AM
I just found this thread and think that you have been more than generous. When you said that he could stay until Feb/Mar, I was also thinking that he should move out sooner..
Good luck with it! He needs to learn how to look after himself.
Posted 20 August 2006 - 07:29 PM
Well that went easier than expected! We were all sitting down to dinner and brother says "When will the baby be due if you end up being pregnant now?". I say early May, and he says he's thinking about moving out before then, more likely before we move into the new house! I was just gobsmacked! So I pick up the lead and say that DH and I have been discussing the very subject and feel that he should move out for his own well-being and to get his life on track. We discussed November being better for rentals (rather than the slow Jan/Feb period) and all was agreed!
Now I wish I hadn't of stressed so much about it. Could have saved a few years of my life
Anyway, thanks for all your help girls. It was much appreciated.
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