Newlyweds and Brother in Law

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2009
Newlyweds and Brother in Law
Thu, 02-21-2013 - 2:56am

Hey All!  I am in need of some serious advice, and was hoping to get some feedback.  

I am getting married in about two weeks to a wonderful man, we have been dating for almost eight years- we are both in our late twenties.  For the majority of our relationship, we have lived in different states but always managed to see each other on weekends.  We have never technically lived together.  He lives in Virginia, I live in Tennessee.  After the wedding, our plan is to live in his condo until we find a house to buy.  We have been actively searching for a house in my home state- but have not found anything worth placing an offer on.  Our plan was to simply stay in his condo, that he already owns, until we find something suitable. is the problem.  He has a younger brother, who is 26, who is now planning on living with us.  I was just told this earlier this week.  He has never had a steady job, doesn't have one friend, and is fully supported (financially) by his parents.  He will accumulate thousands of dollars on his credit card bills buying guitars and man jewelry- and the bills are magically paid for each month by the parents.  The one and only job he had lasted about 2 months- he ended up being fired because he was caught stealing.  This was over 8 years ago.  His parents pay his rent, bought him a new car, and never encourage him to get a job or meet people (that's a whole other post!).  I have tried to encourage my fiance to build this guy's self esteem so that he can have a productive life, but he doesn't want to get involved and thinks that he is completely fine.  

Right now, my future brother in law is living with his other brother- but this brother is relocating for work so he will not be going with him.  This brother is constantly complaining about him, because he never leaves their apartment.  He sits on the couch all day, literally, watching TV and eating snacks.  He will be on the couch from 7am until midnight.  He is extremely anti-social and gets very upset if his routine gets interrupted.  He gets annoyed at the brother's girlfriend if she comes over too often, and will shoot her evil glares if she opens the refrigerator without asking first.  I have gotten these looks before from him, and I will tell you- it's incredibly creepy.  He can go from being very moody and eerie to very friendly and kind.  I am convinced he has a social anxiety problem and also a mental disorder.  

When my fiance and I started dating years ago- his brother would never say hello to me.  He would pretend that I wasn't there.  If i walked in the door and would say hello, he would turn his head the other way and stare at me out of the corner of his eye.  He started acknowledging my presence about four years into the relationship- I would only get a head nod and a grumbly 'hello.'

He always goes to my fiance's condo to stay (his apartment is about 30 minutes away), and will often stay for 2-3 weeks at a time.  It is very difficult for me to go visit my fiance when his brother is there, because it is pretty uncomfortable for me.  The condo is on the small side- and since the brother NEVER leaves the house, there is no getting away from him.  It is rare for my fiance and I to have any alone time when the brother is there.  He is very reliant on my fiance- he can't go to the bank or store alone, and can't even order food at a restaurant without clamming up.  He really relies on my fiance for everything when he is visiting, so I try to stay away when I know that he is there.  To remind you- no one in this family thinks he has a problem, they think he is completely normal and does not need any help.  

I always assumed that since my fiance and I are getting married- that the brother would find his own place.  But, he now has decided that he will be living with us since the other brother is moving away.  He will be moving into the condo the week after our wedding.  So basically, we will be coming back from our honeymoon and the brother will already be living there.  

There is no telling how long it will take us to buy a house, so I am very concerned about how long we will be living with his brother.  I voiced my concerns to my fiance, and he responded in a pretty harsh way.  He said that this is his brother, and that I cannot make him choose between me and his 'blood' family.  I explained to him that the first months of being newlyweds are so crucial...this is our first time living together, and we need to set our routine and get used to living with each other.  I explained to him that having his brother there would put a damper on so many things.  He agreed to an extent, but said that we would just have to adjust to living with a third person.  

His parents offered to have him live with them in California- but the brother's response was that he didn't know anyone there and that he wanted to live near my fiance instead.  He has other options, but he just doesn't want to explore them.  His parents had no problem with this- and think it's a decent idea that he lives with us since he is 'so familiar' with us.

His brother did make a comment to me last week that he is 'looking forward to moving to Tennessee with us.'  I asked my fiance about this afterwards, and he said that his brother is thinking of following us there- but that he would get his own apartment.  We'll see.  

I feel like I am in a very tough spot right now.  I want our marriage to be successful, and I know it is going to be a transition since neither one of us has ever lived with anyone but our immediate families.  He has all brothers, and I have all sisters- so this is going to be a real transition for both of us!  We want to start having a family right away, and I just don't feel comfortable trying to get pregnant when I have his eerie brother living in such close quarters with us.  

His brother will be home ALL day long- so that could make life really awkward for me.  If I sit down to watch TV with the brother, he will sit in silence and not say a word to me.  I'm afraid that if I'm home alone with him, I will just have to sit in our bedroom until my fiance gets home.  I really feel like I'm going to be walking on eggshells 24/7.  I'm worried that his brother is going to put a lot of stress on us as newlyweds, I am so desperate for our relationship to start off on the right foot.  

Another concern I have is that I am very afraid to leave my dog home alone with the brother.  I pray that he wouldn't harm my dog, but I have this odd feeling that there is a chance that he would- maybe as some sort of retaliation of he got mad at me for something.  My dog is like my child- I am even considering bringing her to work with me (thank god my boss will allow it).

Once we do buy a house, I will absolutely put my foot down and not allow him to live with us.  If I am afraid of him being home alone with my beloved dog, I sure will not feel comfortable having him be alone with my children.  If he has his own apartment, I can handle that.  

Do you guys think I am being too harsh about this living situation once we get married?  Should I just suck it up and try to go with the flow, or am I right in being very upset by all of this?  

Thanks in advance :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Thu, 02-21-2013 - 11:05am

You are not being harsh at all.  If I were you, I would call off the wedding until your finace grows a pair and get rid of his brother.  Right now he is putting his brother/parents as higher priority than you.

If the parents want to be enablers to his brother, they are free to do so.  They have no right to dump that responsibility onto your fiance (and eventually you).  Forget about encouraging him to meet people, build up his self-esteem, etc.  You are not his mother.  Right now your number one concern is to not set yourself up for a difficult marriage and protect your dog, which you are responsible for.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002
Sat, 02-23-2013 - 9:11am

OMG Ally---------**************PLEASE**************** listen to your instincts and do NOT live with this brother.

(Your creep-o-meter is going off for a REASON---****please**** listen to your instincts!  personally, I would be afraid to even have him visiting/staying in my home)

-----> Even leaving the brother out of situation---marriage is PARTNERSHIP, DF should not be making decisions like these by himself----which is what has happened already here.

---------your wedding is in 2 weeks?

My suggestion:

Tell DF you've searched your soul, you love DF, but are too uncomfortable to (ever) live with brother....., so that leaves 2 options (he can think about/decide):

1.  Get married as planned, but continue separate residences until better plan for living arises.

2.  Put off wedding until better plan for living arises.

Ally----YOU NEED TO HOLD YOUR GROUND on this----I am truly worried for you elsewise.........

Please try copying and posting on Second Marriages board also---I think you'll get additional help, even though it's not a second marriage-----


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-12-2014
Wed, 02-12-2014 - 12:01pm

RUN as fast as you can! If he is already not putting you first do not marry him! That is a deal breaker! I am newly married and less than a month after our wedding there was a situation where my husband refused to stand up for me to his brother and it haa put a huge divide in our marriage. I don't trust him anymore and i don't know if I can get past it. Save yourself some heartache and wait for someone that will put you first.