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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!

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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.

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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.

 

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 :(

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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.

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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.

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.
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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.

I just feel like it shouldn’t be this hard with a grown man :(
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Basic hygiene standard are not just being ignored, it seems like a hostile and willful behavior. What you wrote about in the bathroom is disgusting and I sure would not tolerate it.

 

Kick the BIL out. Find a different revenue source.

 

Who cares that he is family. He can crap elsewhere.

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Raise the BIL rent to hire a housekeeper. There done. If he doesn't like that, then relocate to more affordable lodging or offer a room to a student, kick the BIL out. As for the 16 year old son, tell him to get off his lazy butt and get a job to take some of the financial burden off of you...make him do simple chores like kitchen duty, his own laundry and room.

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Financially :/

 

Did you rent or buy a home that you can't afford on your own? If so, why?

 

Being financially dependent on a roommate is not a very secure way to live.

 

I suggest moving to a place you can afford on your own. Problem solved. Alternatively, a second job for you and/or your husband is another solution.

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Raise the BIL rent to hire a housekeeper. There done. If he doesn't like that, then relocate to more affordable lodging or offer a room to a student, kick the BIL out. As for the 16 year old son, tell him to get off his lazy butt and get a job to take some of the financial burden off of you...make him do simple chores like kitchen duty, his own laundry and room.

 

That is exactly what I was going to suggest - since you already don't mind doing some cleaning have a biweekly housekeeper to do the deeper cleaning. If he wants her to clean his room (unless you want his room cleaned because of the odor) then raise his rent even more. But yes raise it so that he is chipping in for the maid -three way chip in with you and your husband doing 2/3rds as the son if he is not working shouldn't have to right now.

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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.

 

I was thinking this.

She's been vocal about the mess and nothing changes.

They are roommates after all and can be evicted or the terms can change.

Hire a housekeeper and up their rent to cover the costs, split 3 ways.

Tell them you have no other choice, seeing the requests for shared responsibilities are continually ignored.

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Hit him where it hurts: HIS wallet. I hope he contributes to the rent. Increase his rent and when he gets his act together by cooperating with cleaning his fair share, then revert to charging his previous monthly rent payment. I completely agree with the extra $50. rent "cleaning fee." Consider it a monthly cleaning deposit and sweeten the deal by telling him you'll reduce his rent to the previous amount IF he cooperates with cleaning up after himself.

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So you have a 3 bedroom with only one bathroom and all four of you are sharing the same bathroom?

 

That's stressful all on its own without adding the mess.

 

I recommend you do what my coworker did...when she and a family member were roommates and he was making her home life a living hell, she simply allowed the lease to run out and then rented a one bedroom. Sorry Family Member, no bedroom for you in my new place!

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Thank you everyone for all the replies. To make it easier I’ll try and answer everyone’s questions here. Moving into something smaller and cheaper just isn’t an option right now. We are getting a great deal for what we have and where we live, it would be impossible to find something cheaper. Right now we rent but in one week we will actually be buying the home - the landlord is ready to sell and my mom lives next door (my dad passed away just a few months ago unexpectedly, so I really love being next door and being close to her). But, I was thinking since we will be purchasing the home, maybe this is a great time to sit down and have a serious conversation with my BIL. things are going to need to change once we purchase the home. Because now it’s ours and it needs to be taken care of and maintained. I’m thinking I’ll be honest with him and tell him, if things don’t change and we continue to clean up after him, then rent is going to increase. I really do wish we didn’t need him financially, but my husband and I both are artists and we are self employed. We make decent money but if we didn’t have my BIL living with us it would just be too hard. The thing is, the BIL makes more money than both of us combined so maybe increasing the rent is what we should do. I’m first going to have more of a serious talk with my husband, and we’ll talk more with my step son and get him to help out just a little more. Thanks again everyone for the advice

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To Cherylyn, I really like this and I think it’s what we’ll end up doing! Thank you, because I was worried it would come off rude. But to be honest the way he’s treating me and the house is even more rude, considering we’ve asked him so many times over 7 years to just put in a little effort.

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Just because he makes more money doesn't mean he should pay more.

 

If you can't afford the place on your own, why buy it? You'll be digging yourselves into a hole that's very difficult to get out of. And what if the BIL on his own decides to move out? Would you have to foreclose?

 

It just seems like you're forced to put up with a situation you don't like because you need his money. Home is supposed to be your peaceful safe haven, not somewhere where you have to have a slob living with you because you can't afford to pay for it otherwise.

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Hit him where it hurts: HIS wallet. I hope he contributes to the rent. Increase his rent and when he gets his act together by cooperating with cleaning his fair share, then revert to charging his previous monthly rent payment. I completely agree with the extra $50. rent "cleaning fee." Consider it a monthly cleaning deposit and sweeten the deal by telling him you'll reduce his rent to the previous amount IF he cooperates with cleaning up after himself.

 

So you have a 3 bedroom with only one bathroom and all four of you are sharing the same bathroom?

 

That's stressful all on its own without adding the mess.

 

I recommend you do what my coworker did...when she and a family member were roommates and he was making her home life a living hell, she simply allowed the lease to run out and then rented a one bedroom. Sorry Family Member, no bedroom for you in my new place!

 

 

Yes, we have a 3 bedroom 1 bathroom home. We’ve lived here for over 2 years. Before we had a 3/2 and I really miss having my own bathroom. I’m the only female in the home so yes, to say the least it is extremely stressful sharing a bathroom with 3 men..

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Just because he makes more money doesn't mean he should pay more.

 

If you can't afford the place on your own, why buy it? You'll be digging yourselves into a hole that's very difficult to get out of. And what if the BIL on his own decides to move out? Would you have to foreclose?

 

It just seems like you're forced to put up with a situation you don't like because you need his money. Home is supposed to be your peaceful safe haven, not somewhere where you have to have a slob living with you because you can't afford to pay for it otherwise.

 

 

I wouldn’t charge him more just because he makes more money. He’s lived with us 7 years and we’ve always charged him a perfectly split and fair price. He pays exactly 1/3 of the bills. What I meant was because he does make plenty of money that it wouldn’t be hurting him financially to pay a $50 cleaning fee each month.

 

A mortgage on the home will actually end up being cheaper than the monthly rent we are paying now, so affording it won’t be a problem. The nasty messes and laziness aside, he’s a great roommate. He’s gone a lot, when he is here he keeps to himself, he pays on time every month. It’s just he won’t lift a finger to clean any of his own messes. I don’t expect him to clean our messes, just his own.

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I wouldn’t charge him more just because he makes more money. He’s lived with us 7 years and we’ve always charged him a perfectly split and fair price. He pays exactly 1/3 of the bills. What I meant was because he does make plenty of money that it wouldn’t be hurting him financially to pay a $50 cleaning fee each month.

 

A mortgage on the home will actually end up being cheaper than the monthly rent we are paying now, so affording it won’t be a problem. The nasty messes and laziness aside, he’s a great roommate. He’s gone a lot, when he is here he keeps to himself, he pays on time every month. It’s just he won’t lift a finger to clean any of his own messes. I don’t expect him to clean our messes, just his own.

 

Then it seems a simple case of you take the good with the bad. You've listed a number of good things related to having him as a roommate. So what I would do is put a deodorizer in his room and don't do his laundry. As far as food tell him he has to clean up after he prepares food including wiping the counters, etc. If he will not do that I would tell him he has to use paper plates that he purchases, for example.

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Then it seems a simple case of you take the good with the bad. You've listed a number of good things related to having him as a roommate. So what I would do is put a deodorizer in his room and don't do his laundry. As far as food tell him he has to clean up after he prepares food including wiping the counters, etc. If he will not do that I would tell him he has to use paper plates that he purchases, for example.

 

Thank you, that’s actually a good idea

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