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My Husband Doesn't Understand...

Almost a year ago, my husband decided to let his younger brother (age 22 at the time) move in with us because he was in a bit of trouble back home.  At first, I wasn't 100% in this event taking place as we were just about to move out on our own for the first time in our 3 year relationship.  We'd only been married about 2 yrs at this point and I was excited about us moving out on our own (no roommates!) and starting our life together.

Anyway, so after I said it would be ok but I had reservations about it and we needed to talk more on it, he decided that meant, 'Yes! Go buy him a 300$ ticket now!" and long story short, his brother became a part of our lives about a month or less after.  I did feel like he jumped the gun a bit, but I didn't want to have him feel as though I wasn't willing to support him when he only wanted to help his baby brother out of a bad situation.

All he told me, was that his brother had an issue with drugs and had been living on his own since he was 16.  He felt like he was the only person that could help his brother out and that living with us would be the best medicine for him since it would get him away from the source of his problems.  So he moves out here.

We move in to our new place.... things are ok for a few weeks.  When it comes down to the time for him to start looking into getting his diploma (he dropped out of HS at age 16), I'm getting a bit uncomfortable with his attitude and tone.  He seemed very uninterested in the idea of the ground rules my husband was beginning to set. "You have to work and pay bills once you get your diploma" was pretty much all my husband said.  Well, it took a while for him to get start with school because they said he didn't complete enough hours to get his diploma at the Adult Center so he had to get his GED and take these tests.  A little, minor set back, but all he had to do was show up a few days a week and take a few tests to prepare him for his big test.

 

All the while I am noticing his attitude is still sub par.  He never really seemed to like the idea of my husband getting on him about school.  He would rarely study and my husband is big on studying and doing well in your classes.  He'd even get an attitude in conversation with my husband and that made me uncomfortable.  Overall, I felt like his attitude about everything was more so him just wanting to get out of the crowded house with his druggie buddies than actually bettering himself.

When it came time for his tests, he was very nonchalant about them and actually missed one or two... further putting him behind time wise in getting his GED so he could get a job.  He would say, "I don't know, I just forgot" about them like they weren't important enough to worry about and then he'd have to wait 3 months or so to retake.  He had found a part time job cleaning with this small privately owned company who was "paying him under the table" he said.

I was just happy he had a job because he had been playing WoW (which my husband was paying for) and being lazy for months before this opportunity arrived.  I was trying to help him find jobs that did not require a GED/Diploma that could hold him over until he got his because he was becoming a drain on our finances.

So he gets this job and has to use our brand new car, which wasn't even 3 months old yet, to drive back and forth about 45 minutes away.  We were paying for the gas until (I thought) he was making money and doing it himself.  My husband had to catch the bus to school or make me late for work from taking him before I left and it was beginning to get tiresome, but I kept telling myself it was temporary until he could get on his feet, get his GED, get a local job... etc.

The people would call him ONLY if he didn't need to come in to work.  He went for a while, maybe a month or so, before he just stopped going saying, "Oh they never called me so I guess they don't need me anymore"  Now, he had specifically stated that they only call when they DON't need him.  So I suspected he just didn't want to work anymore and was lazy.  My husband had questioned him about finding another small labor job to which the B-I-L got mad and began to tell my husband that he had no idea what hard work was because he was in the military for 6 yrs!  As if he just had it so easy in the military!!  I was pissed, but my husband shrugged it off.

So for months, he had no job, was barely trying to get his GED, failed the writing test because he only tried to get help once or twice to better himself at it, and again, we'd have to wait weeks or so for him to retake.  All the while, he's using this as an excuse for not finding work.  Our finances kept dwindling.  My husband starts getting on MY case about MY job and how I should be trying to get more hours at work because I wasn't in school at the time due to having some issues which tied up my transcripts from a previous university. 

I began to feel put off because he wasn't jumping on his brother and pushing him to find another job or to work harder on his GED, but he began to push ME because our finances were getting slim and I felt so upset because I was already doing what I could to try and help out.  I work in retail and our hours are based on the money we made for the week.  If it's low, hours are low.  So I was missing lots of hours because there were none.  So he was pushing me to get a second job.

I felt a bit ganged up on and like it was unfair that he was constantly on me about another job when his brother was the cause for our increased expenses.  He wasn't paying any of the bills and was only paying 200$ for rent when he could get it.  For a few months he had no income so we were footing everything. He finally found a small job through a temp agency, but after a few months or less he stopped working with them saying they hadn't called him back for another job. (apparently, this one was a short contract he says) But I tried to explain to my husband that temp agencies don't call you... you're supposed to call every week to let them know you're available for work and if they have something, they'll tell you. If not, they'll log that you called so if something DID come up, they'd know you were still looking. 

He didn't call for weeks.  All the while, he's living it up playing WoW that my husband was STILL paying for, eating whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted, using our $34 a month Blockbuster membership to watch as many movies as he wanted, and sleeping on my couch.  I told my husband this bothered me because I didn't want our couch to start to smell from someone sleeping on it every day (especially someone who barely got up enough care to shower!) But my husband just blew me off.  Anytime I brought up valid points :" Your brother should work harder at this GED thing.  Your brother isn't actively searching for another job or following up with his current jobs." he'd just say, "It takes time.  He needs time.  He doesn't understand things.  He isn't like you, he has to rethink his whole mentality. Blah Blah"  I understood that but just because you made the choice to drop out of school, get into drugs, and get into trouble with the law, doesn't mean you don't know basic etiquette when living with other people!

I expected him to be able to realize how important it is to carry your own weight, try your hardest to find a job or to get your GED so you could help out the people who are giving you another chance at making things right.  This isn't a free ride.  You don't just lay about and do things when YOU want to because WE are taking on the responsibility of the bills.   I was beginning to feel a bit used.

FINALLY, he got his GED, and began looking for jobs.  We tried to explain to him that he should find something full time because expenses couldn't be paid in a part time job.  Instead of going to the places I actually FOUND FOR HIM that were hiring for full time, he goes on Craigslist and finds some easy part time job.  I asked my husband what he was thinking because he couldn't afford his part of the expenses with that job and plus, AGAIN, is was a great distance away from our home.  But my husband dismissed me again with, "At least he has a job now.  Isn't that what you were complaining about?"

I felt like I couldn't complain since he was in fact working, but I knew he could have found a better job, working FULL TIME, but when I said this the BIL stated, "Nah I like his job" he hadn't even WORKED it, just had an interview.  And because he was the first to reply to the ad, he was hired.  He is currently driving our new car to this job.  He has kept it for a few months, but the problem is that he is putting a huge bind on us by having my husband's car all the time.  He drives miles away and yes he's putting his own gas in, but the wear and tear on the car is unnecessary when he could just find a job nearby!!

Not only that but the car has over 10k miles on it and my husband and I barely out over 2 on it by traveling home to visit my family two or three times AND driving locally.  We never have the car! He's living it up in my house barely paying us any money and it is working my nerves.  Things just got really bad recently when he got the tires rotated and oil changed and made my husband pay for it!!!!  He took the money out of the already slim $200 a month he pays us because he didn't feel like he had to pay for OUR car that only HE drives.

My husband ALLOWED this and I was furious!  This is a grown man, age 23, who is just getting everything handed to him basically.  He's got a better place to live, food, internet, a brand new car!, everything.  And he barely works for it.  Our expenses are now over $1000 .  He eats like 2-3 people and we buy groceries almost every 3-5 weeks! That's over $300 worth of groceries mind you!  I don't know what to do.

I'm at this point where I feel so dismissed and walked over.  I am constantly stressed and arguing with my husband who just this last argument made me feel 2 inches tall.  I was so upset that I broke down crying and decided to just GET AWAY from my house.  My own home! I feel like a stranger here.  I don't feel like my husband understands why I'm so upset over these things and even when he says he KNOWS what I'm talking about, I don't feel he really understands.

When the BIL left messes in the kitchen my husband would get mad at me for mentioning it. He'd literally have 14 dishes brought out of his room and leave them sitting in the sink for days for someone else to clean up.  His room is disgusting, smells horrible, and he's just lazy!!  He only wants to work so he can have money to spend on junk.  He never contributes to our expenses and will rarely buy frozen pizza or some take out for dinner for everyone.  I can count on one hand how many times that's happened.  

I ALWAYS make dinner for EVERYONE, but refuse to cook him breakfast or make him lunch because HE IS AN ADULT!! I'm only responsible for my husband and myself, but I don't mind cooking dinner for everyone because I wouldn't expect him to have to wait on me to finish cooking for myself and my husband and eat later or something.

But it's become beyond tiring.  When I directly ask him to clean up a mess of his, he whines to my husband who makes some excuse for him every time.  And I'm tired of it.  Now, his attitude is completely different.  He has this smug, I do what I want attitude and is no longer even cordial with me which is fine by me because I'd rather not speak to him, but this is MY house.  My husband argues that it's his house too and we're ""roommates" but all the roommates I've had buy their own food, have their own car, clean up their own messes, and pay their FULL part of the expenses.

I know he knows my husband and I are fighting and he seems to like it.  His attitude towards my husband isn't one you would expect a brother to have for someone who is helping HIM out.  Their older brother came down to visit and caused a bunch of drama by provoking the BIL and he was out in my parking lot screaming about how he's a man and wants to be treated like such and not have to do what my husband tells him to do.

If he was any kind of man, he'd be on his own and not causing problems.  I'm just miserable because my husband and I haven't talked in 3 days since our fight and I feel so alone.  I feel like they're both against me and it's making me miserable.  The BIL tried living with their older brother and wife once but the wife couldn't take his BS and claimed he was stealing from her so he "hates" her now and I'm probably on that list too.  That situation just makes me think he's jealous of his brothers and their lives and likes to cause issues between them and their spouses.

I just want my life back.  I want less stress and more happy time between my husband and I.  I got so tired of hearing my husband ***** about my one job that I ran out of the house and went to find a new job and actually got hired the next day.  So I work TWO jobs now and it's tiring and I'm just miserable and having thoughts about leaving that make me want to cry.  I feel trapped and don't know what to do.  This guys is walking all over my husband and he refuses to see it that way and jumps all over me when I tell him how it is.

I don't know what to do......

 

FeelingAlienated FeelingAlienated 22-25 6 Responses Jun 30, 2009

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Just found your writing while searching on the Internet.
I too feel very alone.
My husband & I have been together for 12 years. Both of us ran a large home with numerous roommates during school. So we have the experience of living with numerous personality types. But eventually we move into our own home, grew a garden and well, had a brother move in.

The opportune time for him to leave was months ago. The fact that I work from home has increased the awkward moments. I empathize with everyone’s above comments because I relate. I have a 33 yr old man living as my husbands surrogate son. I’m involved in their patterns of dependency and will be judged if I say or do anything . This is why I am feeling alone. I feel like I have no other choice right now but to bit my lip.

At this point, standards have been set & I expect he will move out in two months. My husband has realized this is a pattern and his brother is a user.
I could choose to be mad, but the truth is my B I L is a depressed individual with a lot of sensitivities. I am judged daily because he has a really low self-esteem. My B I L ran away from home when he was 15, and has a very defiant personality.

When my B I L first moved I tried to connect with him. But it was when my husband went on his 1st business trip that I saw the true colors of my B I L. Sleeping in, smoking pot all day, hiding out in the bedroom … saying he was looking for work on the internet???
My second approach was stood back and observed. Not sure if this was a mistake, but this is when he mirrored my actions. Later I found out he thought we were butting heads. WTF? The truth is, I had lots of ‘other’ things outside of the home happening, and my husband was the one who made this connection. I stop emotionally catering to my B I L, and he took it personally. Instead of realizing I might need support in this circle too?

Finally – I’m staying out of it. I can have empathy for having hard times, but this grown man is creating his own reality. I have lived with many friends/roommates over the years to have a strong idea of what a healthy living environment is. Unfortunately in my decision, I have not include myself in a lot of my home interactions.
I feel alone. I can not talk to my husband, who is my best friend. I feel stupid for allowing someone to steal my home. I feel dumb for thinking this would help us build a stronger relationship. So currently I am focusing on the long term results.
I hope my B I L moves out and refrains from any mellow drama.

As per my relation with my husband.
I was straight up with him and used the terminology of our house as ‘ project’ .
I gave him hell for poorly managing this ‘project’. There were no expectations at the beginning of this. He set no guidelines & nothing was required from his brother. Therefor leaving me as the one to set standards and show him the ropes.

Lets just say, I love my husband. All I want is for him to have a supportive friends & family. Unfortunately this winter he learnt that his brother will not help him grow at this time. I feel sad for the lost in their relationship.

Lastly I feel sad that I have not gained a brother. In this large world I respect and honor relations in my life. I believe strongly in communities, but I also believe some people do not know what a healthy relationship is.

Thank you for reading my words. About an hour ago I was really frustrated, then I found this site. After reading a few of the above responses, I knew I was not the only one going threw this. It seems like a small thing but I am thankful.

I understand how you guys feel. I'm in a similar situation. My bil moved here from another country to go to school. My husband agreed to pay for it. I was very upset about this to begin with because my husband worked 3 jobs to pay for his own college and I spent 8 years getting my degree because I had to work to pay for mine. I felt that his brother should have to do the same and maybe we could just help him out every once in a while if he got in a bind. We discussed bil living with us while in school, but I was against it. He ended up in another city renting an apt. (that my husband is paying for). He did get a job to help out some. In the meantime, we also moved to another city due to dh's job. This required me to quit my job of ten years. If bil wasn't in the picture, we would be fine financially, but since at least $800 a month is going to him, dh is stressed over money. He then starts giving me a hard time wanting me to sale a piece of property I own and hurry up and get a new job (I'm not lazy and had every intention of getting a job when we moved- but ended up prego and sick). He continued blaming this financial strain on me while not saying a word to bil. I told him I was not going to work a job I hate and sale my property so that he can afford to pay for his brother to go to school when his brother is perfectly capable of paying his own way- just like we did.
Then, bil gets shot by some gang members (wrong place and very naive). He has to take a semester off from school and come stay with us until he is healed. I am glad he is ok and understand that this is an emergency circumstance... but try to set up some ground rules and dh gets mad at me again. First of all, I hate living with people. I never had roommates and it took major adjusting for me to even move in with hubby- and I love him. So now, bil has come to stay with us in a house we just closed on the same week bil was shot- also the same week I found out I was pregnant. Bil had spent a couple of weeks with me in the old place before starting school, so I already was aware of what type of person he is. He is a 25 year old man that acts like a 7 year old little boy. LITERALLY! I have to bribe him with cookies to get him to wash his dishes. He pokes his lip out and pouts and whines when he doesn't get his way. He's a major drama queen and extremely loud and excitable over the stupidest things. He stays on the phone and video chatting for hours and hours every day. He is completely helpless in taking care of himself. So, I told my hubby I would like for bil to do his phone/video calls in his bedroom or outside. Turns out the walls in our new house are very thin. bil stays in the living room from the min. he gets up until he goes to bed around midnight. The living room is in the center of the house so there's no escaping his voice. DH says he can't do his calls in the bedroom because he uses skype and our router doesn't reach that far. I've asked dh to get a new router, but he thinks I'm being petty and selfish. To make matters worse, bil has to have a colostomy bag while healing. I have an aunt with one and she never smells bad, but bil smells horrible (pretty sure he's not doing something right). He will NOT turn the fan on in the bathroom when he empties/changes his bag and leaves the door open for all the smell to come out to the rest of the house. Dh and I both have gone in and turned the fan on and closed the door more than once, but 7 year old bil doesn't seem to get the message. He left a walmart bag with his used feces covered bags on my bathroom counter for six days. I finally couldn't take the smell anymore and went to see what it was. He had not thrown anything away since the first day he was at our house. WHO DOES THAT!!! I don't understand why someone has to be TOLD not to leave feces sitting on a counter- at all- much less for six days! It doesn't help that I'm pregnant with severe morning sickness- to the extent that I've had to go to the ER. I can not leave my bedroom without a 75% chance of puking. He is ALWAYS there and it ALWAYS stinks in the rest of the house. It's either him frying food, his cologne, or crap. He was leaving dirty dishes, old food, and trash all over the living room until my mom came and made him clean everything up. After she left, I told him that he needed to keep his dishes and trash cleaned up. Every day I have to tell him to wash his dishes. I finally asked him if I was going to continue to have to tell him everyday and his reply was yes. Since the only thing that works with him is treating him like a 7 year old, I told him that I was going to take his cookies back to the store if he didn't get his stuff cleaned. Boy, that motivated him. He got those dishes done in record time. When he was finished, he stood up real tall and proud like a kid with his hands behind his back and said he was ready for his cookie. IT'S SICKENING. This is a 25 year old man!!!! I've told hubby that all I want is for him to clean up his mess, take his feces outside to the garbage can immediately, and do his phone/video calls from his bedroom instead of the living room so that I don't have to hear his voice or laughing all day. But hubby insists that other than him picking up after himself, I'm being too demanding. He doesn't get that I (like previous posters) am being held prisoner in my bedroom and during a very difficult pregnancy. I can't leave the house all day everyday because I feel like crap. I shouldn't have to leave my own house. I hate fighting with DH about this. I know he loves his brother and wants to help him, but this is too much! Any of you previous posters get your issues worked out?

oh that is bad! Maybe if you don't care what he thinks about you be like his other bothers wife and not take the BS either. Don't nag just tell him straight and only once. get the **** out of MY house or get some respect! please update on what happened next

What happened? As you found out, blood is thicker than water. A lot of times, the in-laws want their sibblings/children back from the mean YOU who took them away.

My issue is different. I don't even want to give my DH the opportunity for any fiascos like what you ladies experienced. I told him no right away and now we are having the same problems. He wants BIL to move in for his 1st semester of college. Don't get me wrong, this BIL doesn't seem to be lazy. He's had short visits with us before and has been mindful to clean up after himself but boy was I glad when he left! There's nothing like enjoying your own home. Problem is, I will be 8mos pregnant with our first child and already agreed to MIL staying temporarily to help out. We just moved into our new place and nervous about being a new parent and also about my interaction with MIL (not wanting her to take over my household). We aren't even unpacked yet (DH hasn't lifted his precious finger either to help us get situated). Now he wants to bring in another dependant (I consider MIL a dependant because she has $0 because she doesn't work). I don't really care that he's starting his first semester because I asked him why he won't just attend his own city's community college. Instead, he's coming to our town to go to our city's community college (not even a university). Who travels 100 miles to go to community college without any provisions of housing? Community colleges don't usually provide dormitories for their students. That's why most people go to their own city's college and then transfer to a university that has dorms to house them. We just moved out of a cramped apartment to accomodate the new addition in our life. Now he wants to make it crowded again. Whether temporary or not, this is not just my DH's decision to make on his own. I like his family but to be honest, due to the personality differences, that likeableness will wear thin with me if I can't feel comfortable in my own home during the most difficult time in my pregnancy. Decisions that impact both of us should be made by both of us not just one of us. I'm not trying to control my DH but he has no clue what it's like to carry a child (i.e., waking up in the middle of the night because your lower half is sore or cramped up, headaches that won't go away, charlie horses, hips throbbing, or when the little one is on a different sleeping schedule so he's punching your gut from the inside out causing you to not be able to go back to sleep. Then to add more stress onto an already uncomfortable situation by having his little bro there???? I can't just sit in my living room anymore because he will be there in the middle of the night. Once the baby is here, I can't just whip my boob out to breast feed while sitting int he rocking chair trying to calm my baby because BIL will be right there. What is he thinking? I guess trying to play savior/daddy to his kid bro. Next thing you know, he'll want to move in the other vagrant, I mean BIL #2, who can't even afford to travel anywhere right now...thank God!!!! he's lazy and full of excuses. Anyway, If he pulls this on me, he's picking a fight with the wrong woman. I will not let this happen...not while I have to make contributions to the rent!

I understand when you say , "I don't know what to do".



I got to the point that I didn't know where I began, and the crap with my BIL ended. I went into a severe depression because I realized I was losing my marriage, and me, as a happy person. I turned into a withdrawn, lonely, hurt and angry person. At one point I filed for divorce because I felt it was for my personal sanity. My husband morphed into a stranger because I was in direct opposition of their relationship.



My BIL was in the picture before my hubby and I got married. I figured once we were married he would fade a little into the background, but he didn't.

BIL actually felt he had the power to make life decisions for me and hubby! We are talking about men in their 40's not 20's! My husband and the BIL would consult each other about money, and living arrangements, before me! I turned into a third wheel.



In the beginning I wanted to please my hubby, and I didn't want any problems between us, so I didn't say a whole lot about how much money was spent on tools, the businesses, or even where we lived, or when we moved. Finally I just couldn't do it anymore.



Like you, I became the nagging house maid. I didn't want to take care of TWO men. I only wanted to take care of hubby. BIL never said thank you, he is a smelly slob, and it took a lot to get him to pitch in.



On many occasions the house turned into a war zone, esp. in the morning when they were leaving for work, they would start fighting and I'd be a nervous wreck all day! I started having stomach problems, sleep problems, and I quit doing things that made me happy. I just didn't care anymore.



Hubby became withdrawn too, we didn't have much to say to each other because our relationship was stunted because we always had another adult peering into our private lives.



Finally, when we moved, yet again, to the West, I got a little one bedroom apartment and left my full sized couch in storage. I refused to have a place for BIL to land if he got kicked out of SIL's house. Sure enough, they got into it ,and he ended up with their cousin. My hubby brought up BIL staying in the living room but I told him, "Absolutely NOT, NEVER and don't even GO THERE with ME!".

Hubby didn't bring it up again.



I'm wondering if BIL will try to follow when we move back to the South East. I won't allow it. If hubby has a need to help BIL that much, then BIL can HAVE hubby. Sad but true. I'm done with all of that mess for good.



I realize that they have an unhealthy codependant relationship.



Your husband has the same thing, I can tell because he is willing to pit himself against you, and allow you to feel unhappy in your own home. Your husband probably doesn't realize how cold his actions toward you are.



If you can get him alone, sit down and come up with a time line to get BIL out of your house, that would be great. Things would settle down and life will return to normal.



Hopefully, BIL won't manipulate hubby into believing that he is helpless and incapable of helping himself. If he does then it's best to ask hubby if he is willing to be a full time parent to his adult brother by himself, and if he's willing to allow your marriage to literally fall apart.



My BIL never lived on his own for any length of time. He was alway attached to a family member in one way or another. Even now, my husband is working in another state, and guess who's with him? YUP the BIL!

db