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Thread: Lazy family roommates

  1. #1
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    Lazy family roommates

    Hi everyone, I wasn’t really sure which category to put this post under, but considering everyone I live with is family, I figured it would go here.

    I currently live with my husband, step son, and my brother in law. My brother in law (age 35) has lived with us for 7 years, and as of about a year ago my step son (age 16) lives with us full time.

    For years I have struggled with anxiety and OCD. I think it’s because of this that a lot of things just get to to me easier, but I’m almost at a breaking point.. I can’t stand that I am the only person who cleans. My husband does a lot too, but it is mostly me. My brother in law and step son are so lazy that it really blows my mind. We’ve had countless convos with them about helping out more and they’ll help out once or twice and then never do it again.

    With my brother in law we’ve only asked him to help with the bathroom (we only have one) and the kitchen - our shared spaces. He literally won’t do anything. I’m so OCD that I’m constantly cleaning because I get so grossed out by their messes. I’m not talking a hair on the counter or one dirty dish in the sink. I’m talking pee on the toilet seat and floor, pee on the shower curtain, hair everywhere, poop on the toilet, leaving empty toilet paper rolls, dirty disgusting unrinsed dishes, trash can over flowing, the list goes on.

    To be honest my 16 year old is actually a *little* better than my brother in law. My BIL is the laziest one in the house. He goes out drinking every single night, he smells bad and his room has the most awful smell I’ve ever smelled. I feel so gross in my own house that I try to keep clean as often as I can..

    I think he’s gotten used to just coming home to a clean house that he just doesn’t care what kind of a mess he makes. He knows someone will clean it up. To be honest if I got a “hey thanks for cleaning the bathroom” or “thank you for rinsing my dishes” every once in awhile then I wouldn’t feel so disrespected. My stress level is out of control. I don’t know what to do because talking doesn’t do anything and I don’t want to sound rude about it because we need him as a roommate, and we don’t want to live with anyone else. But, I feel so disrespected at this point that now as soon as he comes home from work everyday I’m rolling my eyes and stressed, and I sigh at everything he does. I hate it :( Since he is my husbands brother I’ve asked him to really sit down and have a talk with him, and he keeps saying he will but he doesn’t. We’re both non confrontational people so those kind of conversations are already hard for us.

    It’s just frustrating because the tasks I would love to see him help out with are SO simple. We have a small house that’s easy to clean, he’d be done in 20 mins if he just did it.

    I was thinking of having a talk with him one final time and giving him an ultimatum:
    Help out with these cleaning tasks.
    OR
    If he really just doesn’t want to help clean or doesn’t think he will stick with it, then we’re going to add at least an extra $50 a month onto his rent for a “cleaning fee”..

    Would love yalls opinion on this. Thanks for reading this far!

  2. #2
    Platinum Member boltnrun's Avatar
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    Why do you "need him as a roommate"?

  3. #3
    Platinum Member SherrySher's Avatar
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    Have you talked with your husband about this? It sounds like a serious issue to be honest.

    The BIL is not being respectful at all, he is being irresponsible, you don't need or deserve the extra stress.

    I would think if your husband understood at all, that the BIL would be moving out. He sounds gross.

  4. #4
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    Originally Posted by boltnrun
    Why do you "need him as a roommate"?
    Financially :/

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  6. #5
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    Originally Posted by SherrySher
    Have you talked with your husband about this? It sounds like a serious issue to be honest.

    The BIL is not being respectful at all, he is being irresponsible, you don't need or deserve the extra stress.

    I would think if your husband understood at all, that the BIL would be moving out. He sounds gross.
    Thank you for your reply. I talk to my husband all the time about it, I think he’s getting tired of hearing it. Sometimes he’ll say something to my BIL but my BIL is so quick to say “okay” and then runs off, avoiding conversation. And then the rest of the time my husband feels frustrated and awkward too because this is all stuff we’ve talked to my BIL about already. My husband and I feel like a broken record. If we change the way we have the conversation (really make him sit down and talk/listen) we don’t want him to think we’re attacking him or come off rude. We don’t want to run him off. I think my husband and I both feel stuck.

    We’re just really nice and I know we can be “push overs”, maybe we just need to toughen up I guess. I just feel like it shouldn’t be this hard with a grown man :(

  7. #6
    Platinum Member SherrySher's Avatar
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    Okay, so let's look at this realistically.

    The guy is 35, a grown man, which means this is how he is. It won't change. You've lived with him for 7 years and nothing has gotten better, despite him being talked to about it.
    That's basically a dead end.

    You need him financially, and are unwilling to live with anyone else besides him.
    So what are you choices herer? Sell the house and get a smaller place, or put up with this guy since you don't want to kick him out and get another roommate.

    That's really all the options you've got. Get a smaller place, or put up with him.

    As for the 16 year old, that's a different story altogether. He is still considered a kid and it will be a lot more upset if you complain about him some more to your husband.
    Best to let that one lie as you've already told your husband about it.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member SherrySher's Avatar
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    As for the "cleaning fee". I understand where you're coming from. But it might come off as snarky. But who knows? maybe your husband will agree with you.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Both you and your husband need a better source of income, so you can unload the BIL. The son is old enough to work also. That means cutting down on unnecessary costs and each of you getting a second job. In the meantime get a cleaning service in there and add that cost to the BIL's rent.

    In fact keep raising his costs until it's cheaper for him to find a room somewhere to live. (utilities, food, cleaning services, etc). Stop being the maid and stop talking at them. It's not working. You need to take action. Nagging goes in one ear and out the other and is a position of weakness.
    Originally Posted by undertheivy
    My brother in law (age 35) has lived with us for 7 years, and as of about a year ago my step son (age 16) lives with us full time.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Have you ever raised his rent? I would skip trying to get him to clean, which obviously will never work, and just do that. Or better, I'd sell the house and get something I can afford without him.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    It this a cultural thing where you are expected to be a maid for the husbands family? Is this an arranged marriage? That's because you are acting like the maid for three overgrown children. Why is your husband allowing this? Does the BIL own the house? Keep in mind your husband is the one allowing and driving all this this. His BIL and his son. You are simply the household help while they live like pampered kings. Get to a therapist to develop some negotiation and interpersonal skills. Consider moving out until your husband grows a spine and kicks him out.
    Originally Posted by undertheivy
    I just feel like it shouldn’t be this hard with a grown man :(

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