Feel like I'm being used...

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-06-2011
Feel like I'm being used...
Sat, 09-29-2012 - 5:15pm

Need advice....I am married with three children, and we recently let my mother and step-father move in with us temporarily (for "about a month") they said, until they could get some things straightened out in their own home.  My mother is having health issues, and she said it would be better for her to be in an environment where she felt like she could recover.  She popped this on me (the request) the day that she was being discharged from the hospital, so I didn't really have time to think it over.   My mother and I have never been extremely close, but I thought it was the "right thing to do."  We converted our downstairs office (which we need badly) into a fifth bedroom, and they have been staying in there for two months now.   The reason she wanted a change of environment is because they let my grown sister move in with them a year ago, with her four children and now they don't want to make her leave.  Basically she has taken over their home, so much so, that she felt she did not want to return there upon discharge from the hosptial.   My sister lets her children have the run of the house, and they have destroyed most of her furnishings, leave garbage lying around, and caused some type of damage to their central air conditioning, and that is the major reason that she moved in with me.  My home is clean and cool, and they needed time to repair some things in their own home.     Keep in mind, that my mother and stepfather, while not rich, are not without resources.  They actually have a decent home 2 blocks from the beach, and it's plenty big enough for two people, but not seven.   They just have a big problem with letting some of my siblings take advantage of them, and they repeatedly make bad decisions that have costs them lots of money and grief.  My sister lives there rent free, even though she works, and half the time she is gone...while her eldest daughter watches the three small children, not to mention they are not even in school...even though they are supposed to be.  My mother seems to be "okay" with this.  I am not, but I am told to be quiet, by my mother and leave it alone.  My big problem is that I feel like we (my husband and I) are being used.   Since she and my step-father moved in with us, she stays in her room and never comes out.  Part of the reason she moved in with us (she says) is because she wanted to be able to get out, walk around and get stronger, something she says she couldn't do in her own home, due to my sister's children leaving stuff lying around all the time.  Instead, I never see her.  If she wants something, she calls me from her cell phone, even though she's 50 feet from me in the next room.  When we ask them what their "plan" is...as far as making my sister move out, so they can have their own home back, they avoid us.  This was supposed to be a temporary move, and it has caused a lot of changes in our schedules and lives, but they don't seem to be going anywhere fast.  My husband has difficulty working because he gave up his home office, and we are constantly on a schedule because they don't even eat meals with us; they do everything apart from us...what little that is... so it's a big rotation for everything.  We jump up from the table after dinner as quickly as we can, because we know my stepdad will be wanting to come in and cook a second meal.  They also don't respect our schedules.   They stay up all night and sleep all day, but we have bedtimes, school and work.  (my step-dad only works a couple of days a week)  We have had to go downstairs and tell them to turn their TV down because our daughter was trying to sleep and could hear it all the way upstairs.  We also feel like we have to watch everything we do and say.  I was lying in bed with my husband the other day, and fortunately was covered, but here comes my stepdad at our door and while he knocks briefly..he still walks right in..and  I'm lying there.  They drink all of our coffee, use our supplies, gas, and the like,  and while I would never ask for anything..they sure haven't offered.  I am the primary wage earner for my family, and we don't have an abundance of money lying in the bank, so this is extra for us.  I suppose I would be more okay with this is if I felt like she actually moved in for the reasons she said, and we were actually helping her. and also if I actually saw them making efforts to improve their own home so they could move back in, but they're not doing anything.  They stay in bed, in there room,24 hours a day.  He hasn't bothered to fix the AC in their own home, or make any repairs or cleaning to it. Instead I feel like my sister, once again, has manipulated a situation where it's easy for her.....rent free living...but difficult for everyone else.   It's driving us nuts.  I'm not sure how to handle this.  Advice please. 


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2004
Tue, 10-09-2012 - 9:16pm

Wuau! I wouldn't`t like to be in that situation. It seems to me that she let your sister took advance of her, and now your sister owns her house. So, she is now taking advantage of you. Nice switch.

How old is you mother? Are her health issues very bad? How capable is stepfather to do things around? Could it be that both of them are depressed?

Not sure what advice to give you. I can see things from their, and your perspective.

Guess my reply would depend on how strong and well you see you mom. But you need to talk. Ask her how long does she think it would take her to feel capable to return to her place. If she complains about your sister, remind her it was her decision to let her in and that you have always been told to shut your mouth.

About not doing things with you, ignore that. Probably they feel more comfortable and in that way, and they want to feel that at least they have some independence.

If your mom can´t stablish a date, you will have to do it, depending on her health, what you perceive and your wisdom.

This topic touches problem in my life. I`m in my 60s and have daughter who is never willing to give me a cup of tea if I´m sick and a lovely son who married a troubled insecure woman, who makes a problem to everything I do, say or don´t do, or don´t say.

I´m a very proud woman  and I don´t want to be a burden to any of my kids, and I know that if I get sick, I´ll be a burden. So I ask God to keep me in good health, or take me with Him in the minute I can be a burden. I rather die in a street or alone in my house than in  any of my kids place.


Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2011
Wed, 10-03-2012 - 1:12am

First off don't worry about when they are going to make your sister move out of their house that is none of your concern or business. Your business is your home. Tell them your husband needs his office back and that they need to leave. You can not be the solution to their problem if they are unwilling to take control of their house and get the sister and her kids out. You are concerned about your mother being taken advantage of by your sister and feel as though she should be more assertive with you sister, but you are doing the same thing as your mother by not taking control of your home. No matter if the sister stays or goes from your mother's home you have to be clear with her that she has to go home, like now. Get your life back!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2002
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 5:05pm

You can only be used if you allow it to happen.  I agree with all the other posters who said to give them a date that they have to move, and in the meantime, start turning off the extra cable, don't answer the phone when Mommy rings, and live in your house the way you want to live in it!  You said yourself that you don't have much of a relationship with your mother so what's preventing you from standing your ground (both you and your husband)?  If you talk to them, and they keep walking away, follow them, confront them at every turn, make sure that you don't buy them any food, or necessities, make sure that you make them as uncomfortable as they have made you.  This situation is truly disgusting, that your own mother would treat you and your family like this is just unbelievable.  Get mad, and stay mad, don't back down, things will get back to the way you want them to be. I've seen this happen too many times, it's always the responsible, respectful kids who get taken advantage of or ignored, but the trouble-makers always seem to be the golden children....I just don't get it.

You also need to deal with one issue at a time, get your mother and step father out of your home, and then work on getting the authorities involved with regard to your sister.  Those kids have no responsible adult caring for them and they have no choice, that's not fair to them at all.  And again, that your mother is siding with your sister and not caring about the welfare of her grandchildren is very troubling.



Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

.  -Albert Einstein

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-14-2003
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 11:42am

I've been where you are, OP.  I let a sibling stay with me and it was the worst living arrangement experience of my life and it will never be repeated. 

I agree with the other posters that said to give them a move-out date.  It is just disgusting that your stepfather walked in on you and then walked away from your DH when asked about his plans on leaving.  No way, this is too much.  Get them out and be firm in your talk with them today.  Perhaps give them to the end of the month - tops - but then they have to be gone.  Bite the bullet if you have to and help them move back.  Anything to get them out of your house ASAP.

At this point I would not get into how you feel with them, how you are angry regarding your sister etc., because you've made it clear in your posts here that they are enablers so your words will fall on deaf ears and may just stir up drama that you don't need.  Have the conversation with them to ask them what their plans are and when they think they will be moving out, and then when they tell you their plans, give them your end date.  That's it.  They've overstayed their welcome and I think you've been gracious enough.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2004
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 1:28am

To the OP...I don't think this has all that much to do with your sister...I think it has more to do with your mother and SF feeling entitled.  You need to stop being a push-over.  WHY do you even answer your mother's phone calls when she calls you from within your home?  If you don't answer, she'll just have to get up off her arse and go find you or do her own errand...or go without.  And why are you setting YOUR life up to make them comfortable, for example, rushing through your meals so SF can use the kitchen?  Take all the time you want in your kitchen...in fact, take MORE time enjoying your evening meal.  AND, turn off the TV cable in their bedroom.  No sense playing for cable YOU aren't using!  Things shouldn't be arranged in a way that makes them comfortable while living in your home and making you and your family uncomfortable, disrespecting you and not playing rent!

I agree that getting boxes, tape and marking pens and setting up a truck to carry their stuff.  A legal eviction notice seems necessary...maybe even have an attorney send it signature-required so they can't say they didn't get notice or weren't given a legal amount of time to move out.  Sometimes living in a house, even one that's not theirs, gives them ridiculous legal rights, but an attorney can tell you what YOUR legal options are. 

On move-out day, if you don't see anybody leaving, you are going to have to call the police.  They are obviously not going to pay attention to your requests, so give those "requests" some teeth.

As for your sister...is she calling what she's doing "unschooling"?   If she is, many states give her more freedom to NOT teach than any reasonable person thinks appropriate.  Contact your school district and report her...let them deal with the problem.  Who cares what your mother thinks?  She obviously isn't trying to maintain any sort of proper relationship with YOU!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-23-2010
Sun, 09-30-2012 - 6:44pm

Honestly, you have nothing to lose if you call CPS....your Mother not speaking to you might be the best outcome here.  Sorry but your Mother is abusive in so many ways and you need to get your life back.  I hope this goes well for you. 


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2004
Sun, 09-30-2012 - 5:44pm
Give them 10 days and tell them to go to the beach house.

Sending you a pm.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-06-2011
Sun, 09-30-2012 - 4:19pm

I know that speaking with them is the right thing to do, and we have actually tried to do that...perhaps not strongly enough. The last time my husband tried to ask them some questions about their "plan"...my step-dad just turned around and walked off, and didn't even answer my husband.   I feel like they are avoiding us, because they don't have any intention of moving at this point, but that doesn't work for us.  I think we've been generous enough already.   As far as my sister not educating her children...that has been a long running argument in our family, and the very reason that I do not even speak to her or have any contact with my her.  In the past, my sister has said that she IS educating her children by "home schooling" them, but she's never home, so I'm not sure when this "home schooling" is taking place.  Home schooling children requires a lot of effort and discipline and I've never seen any indication that she is putting forth that effort.  I think she actually was questioned about this from CPS in another state, and she moved to avoid scrutiny.  The children seem to know very little, and she refuses to let anyone in the family ask them anything about their education or what they are learning.  She is very manipulative and has basically brainwashed her older daughter (who is 16 and should be in high-school with friends, driving, dating...and does none of this) into thinking it's "okay" for her to have taken on the role of mother and educator for the three youngest...ages 5-12.   It's crazy.   I have threatened to call CPS and my mother says it's none of my business and that she will never speak to me again if I do.  I'm not sure I care at this point.  I just want them out, and they can move back into their home with my dysfunctional sister and let me get on with my life.  We have plans to speak with them tomorrow, and tell them they have three weeks to get their home in order, because we need for them to leave.  Hope it goes well. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-27-2004
Sun, 09-30-2012 - 10:32am

I agree 100% with the other posters--they've WAY overstayed their welcome.  I'm just wondering what you will do if they refuse to go?  Call the police?  You need to have a plan in place for what you'll do when they say, "We can't leave yet."

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-16-2008
Sun, 09-30-2012 - 6:40am
I agree with elc and San. Give them a deadline. They are not going to initiate moving back. Be strong and don't feel guilty or wrong about taking care of you and your family. "doing the right thing" does not mean your family needs to suffer. Especially when your mom and stepfather are not doing anything to help themselves.