Okay ladies, I need some advice. =/

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-18-2005
Okay ladies, I need some advice. =/
Thu, 01-28-2010 - 11:52am

When I moved out here after Adam and I got married, I told my little brother who is also stationed here that he could stay with us. We have enough room, and I told him to pay $100 rent and half of the cable and Internet bill ( which is ALL he does is watch TV and play on the Internet) At the time, I thought it would be great to have him around and especially while Adam was deployed. Well, I was wrong. It went down hill pretty quickly. We had a talk before Adam deployed, while Adam was deployed, my parents have talked to him, and nothing seems to be working.

He doesn't contribute to the house at all. He cleans his bathroom when I ask him to, but leaves it a mess everyday. (This bathroom is the one people use when they come over) His room is DISGUSTING, I have never asked him to clean it because thats his space that he pays for, but sometimes you can smell it across the house. When Adam was deployed he didn't help me out AT ALL. He might as well have not been there at all. One day I asked him if he would mow the lawn for me, and he just flat said no. We had a nice looooong talk after that. He eats our food and drinks our drinks. I make dinner every night and I rarely hear a thankyou. Last night, we ordered pizza. He asked Adam if he could have some and Adam told him to ask me. He didn't, but Adam told me what went down. So, when the pizza got here I handed him and plate and said "you can have some, but you get to buy the pizza next time" We have bought pizza twice in the past month, and he never even offers to pay anything, so I felt that was more than fair. He acted like I totally offended him, like he is entitled. Then after that he asked us if we had talked about letting his GF come and stay at our house for spring break. (Who I CANNOT stand. She has cheated on him twice and is

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2008
Thu, 01-28-2010 - 12:21pm

Oh Steph! ::big hugs: I'm so sorry to hear about this situation with your little brother. It sounds like you really have bent over backwards to accommodate his needs and to not step on his toes; really it sounds like you have been trying to be a good big sister. Now that you are married and especially now that Adam is home, i think that it's time to tell your little brother that he needs to go. It seems like the stress is getting to you and i would hate for his continued presence to affect your relationship with Adam, Adam's relationship with your brother, or anything else. Plus, being Adam's friend AND your brother, i can't believe that he wouldn't help mow the lawn while Adam was away...

You said so yourself - he's 20 years old. He's in the military. Theoretically he's independent and that means he can be responsible...in the barracks! The majority of single military guys live in the barracks; you're not sending him to a prison on a tiny island :) I know that it must be hard, since you're family, but it sounds like you know that it's been too much. There's no point in him staying around; he's not cultivating your relationship with him, he's not pitching in, and he's taking advantage of your generosity.

I would suggest just sitting down with him in the next week and telling him firmly, but gently that you and Adam want to focus on your new marriage and would like space/time to yourselves now that Adam's home. Give him a specific time (e.g. "by the end of February") to talk to his command, pack up his stuff, and move back to the barracks. To soften the blow, you can make it clear that his gf is still welcome for the week that you already promised (only if you want!) and that he's still welcome at the house for dinner every once in awhile.

Hopefully he'll abide by your wishes and just move on out without anymore prodding, but if he looks like he's slacking, you can always go ahead and turn off the internet/cable connection in his room...;)

Keep us updated on how it's going. :big hugs: What does Adam think about all of this?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-05-2006
Thu, 01-28-2010 - 12:27pm


If I was in your situation, I probably would have pulled all of my hair out by now. Dealing with live-in siblings and in-laws can be so difficult.

You brother is taking advantage of you, but from what I can tell, he doesn't see it from that perspective. Perhaps it's the 20-year old in him seeing things this way, or perhaps he grew up feeling entitled. If he wasn't living with you, he would need to be paying for these things himself.

You have every right to ask him to contribute to food, cleaning, etc. Were these "ground rules" set out clearly in the beginning? If not, I think it would be worth you, Adam, and your brother sitting down and deciding what the expectations are. Although, it sounds like Adam is trying to stay out of this (which he does have the right because dealing with in-laws can be VERY sticky) - I would recommend that you first talk to Adam about how much he does or does not want to be involved. It is his house too, so how he feels about the situation is really important!

By the way, even though your brother is paying for his room, he's not paying very much. You do have a right to ask that he keeps it in decent condition, especially when the smell starts to affect other people.

If you decide that this situation is just not working, you don't need to feel an ounce of guilt for asking your brother to move out. He was incredibly lucky to get a room for $100 a month and be able to stay outside the barracks!!! He made out like a bandit, and you don't owe him anything. He's 20 years old and he can take care of himself.

Besides, it's not like he doesn't have another living option - the barracks are perfectly fine, or he could use his salary to rent another room somewhere.

Good luck with this!

Hugs, Marin

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-18-2005
Thu, 01-28-2010 - 12:43pm

Thanks girls, I totally agree with both of you, I think I just need some reassurance. =D

Adam is so funny because he is the most laid back person ever! lol He totally understands why I feel the way I do, but it's not bugging him as much as me. We did talk about it for a long time last night and will probably talk again tonight. Even if he wants to stay out of it, I feel like I need him to sit down with me and it come from BOTH of us not just me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2009
Thu, 01-28-2010 - 2:03pm
I'm sorry Steph, I hope it works out for you. I know its super hard to have to tell a close family members things like this. I wish I had more to say but I think the ladies before me covered it well..

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-21-2009
Thu, 01-28-2010 - 4:55pm

Having had a "third wheel" roommate twice in my life, I can comprehend how stressful it is. (Granted, my situations have been a little different in that I wasn't related to either of them.)

The first thing I think might help you is to decide which aspect of this mess is bothering you most. Is it that your brother doesn't really contribute outside of his rent money? Or is it that he seems to feel entitled to favors and such from you? Or is it that he doesn't seem to be interested in you, his sister?

The harsh reality is that you can't force him to take an interest in your life. Unfortunately, military or not, most guys his age are pretty self-focused. They don't think to ask you about what's going on in your life, nor do they really expect you to ask about theirs. If you feel like you really need your brother to express an interest in you in order to prevent damaging your relationship as siblings, that's something you need to tell him. Don't hint at it. Just tell him. "Look, it hurts my feelings that you never ask about my day or what's going on with me, and it makes me feel like I'm not important to you even though I'm your sister. You may not understand it, but I need you to make an effort to do that so I know you care." But be prepared. It may not make a difference. And if it doesn't, don't assume he doesn't care. Instead, try to give him the benefit of the doubt by realizing he just lacks the maturity to be as aware of others as you need him to be.

With the other issues, I think you really need to consider modifying your agreement with him and setting some more specific ground rules. It sounds like you need to consider establishing rules that require him to keep his room from stinking (i.e. you can say "I don't care how cluttered it is, but your laundry needs to be done regularly BY YOU and the room needs to be clean enough so that it doesn't smell."), trade off on a few chores that affect the public areas of the house (i.e. trash, lawn work), keep his bathroom scrubbed weekly and de-cluttered daily (since it is also the "public" bathroom), etc. Decide what must be done to make the situation livable for you, and talk to him about it, letting him know that he either works with you to come up with and stick to a plan that you both can live with or he needs to find another place to live.

Yes, it will probably be hard to have such a conversation with him, but in the long run, it will be a good thing because if things continue as they are now, resentment will end up building until things just explode, and that might damage your relationship with your brother for a very long time.

By Dedi (mom2jess_n_ky) on iVillage Sig Showcase