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My boyfriend's brother comes to our house and acts as if he lives here.

By August 19, 2009 - 9:59am
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My boyfriend and I have been living together for over 2 years. We enjoy living together, and have a modest home. Neither of us has a high paying job, but we manage to pay the bills. My guy has a brother who lives fairly nearby (with his mother). He is 40 years old (the brother). He has been in and out of work for most of his life. In the last 2 months he was let go from his job. Since then he comes over almost every day for 5-6 hours. During this time he will help himself to whatever food is in the house. Often, he brings his laundry over to do as well. My boyfriend has mentioned to him that it is rude to do this. Still, he continues to do the same thing every time he is here. It's really frustrating because I buy all the groceries and household goods as well as pay for some of our other bills. I don't have the money to be buying extra groceries for my guy's bro. He never brings anything of his own or offers to get any groceries to make up for what he takes. What is the best way to handle this sticky situation? I hate grocery shopping for anything "good" or moderately expensive for my guy and I to enjoy, because I know the brother will end up eating it. Thanks for your help!!

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HERWriter Guide

Hi fitgirl!

This one is pretty straightforward!

Your boyfriend's brother should have contributed to the bills for laundry if you allowed him to come over and use your home like this (like some money for laundry detergent and the power used and throw in a small usage fee because he is contributing to the wear-and-tear of your appliances) and he certainly should have paid for food eaten. Your boyfriend (not you) needs to tell him that neither of you are in a position to finance his life. Especially in this economy, it's hard enough to pay your own bills without having to babysit a 40 year old man who lives at home with his mom.

Straight talk here : send him back home. Spending much of the day living with you both is unacceptable but it's your boyfriend's responsibility to make sure this is taken care of. If he has said something before then it's time to be very polite but very clear as he obviously wasn't the first time! Your home is not his home and he is welcome to visit once or twice a week with advance notice (whatever your choice is) but the daily 6 hour stays are over.

No lying like saying "it's just not a good time" or "we have issues" or any of those cliches - just tell him that he can't sit around your home all day.

Unless he has a disability (mental or physical - is this the case?) he needs to spend 6 hours a day looking for a job, not living it up at your house - at your expense. Libraries are free and have free internet all day long, so he has no excuses. If he does not have a disability, his lifestyle is to bum around all day and at 40, he's unlikely to change (anything is possible though, right?). Don't let him bum around all day on your dime.

Have your boyfriend make this clear to him and follow-through, don't let things slide back. It doesn't have to mean a fight or a rift - you all just need clear and firm boundaries.

August 19, 2009 - 11:50am
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