This topic contains 51 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Nicole 7 months, 1 week ago.
April 11, 2017 at 12:43 pm #681360
My older brother lives with my parents in the next town over from me, about half an hour’s drive away. He’s in a long-distance relationship with a girl from another country. They planned a vacation where she would come out here to Idaho and stay for a couple weeks. My brother asked if I was okay with her staying at our place while she was here (my parents’ house is small and really doesn’t have a lot of room for extra visitors). I was happy to host her and told him so. He then asked if he could stay out here, too, to maximize his time with her. I said that would be fine and we’d set up an extra bed for him, no problem.
Now, a little background. I grew up in a religious home and still hold that religion now. My brother has a different set of beliefs and that’s fine. However, in our home, we do ask that unmarried people sleep in separate beds (funny rule to have when your kids are still learning to walk and talk, I know, but either way, it’s how we were both raised and what we’re comfortable with). I didn’t explicitly state this to him, I just figured he knew my position on the matter based on our shared upbringing, as well as setting him up a bed in a separate room.
Anyway, she got here yesterday I took their bags to their respective rooms. She was tired from travelling and retired early. My brother went down to her room with her, and then a few minutes later came back up, grabbed his bags and headed downstairs. We didn’t see either of them for the rest of the night. My wife is really uncomfortable with the situation and feeling very awkward. I’m in a place where I’m realizing they didn’t ask to stay with us in order to have enough room, but in order to stay together without being bothered about it by my parents.
I know the “they’re going to do it anyway” answers are going to come up, but that’s not the point. I’m not trying to force them to live a different way, because I know it’s not going to happen and because it’s his own life. But this is my home, and I really don’t want to feel complicit in something I don’t agree with.
I know this next part will sound weird to pretty much everyone, but another of my religious beliefs is that we ought not drink alcohol. I bring this up as an example because if we all went to dinner, it hasn’t in the past and still wouldn’t bother me if he ordered a beer or some wine with his meal. He believes differently that me and that’s fine. That being said, I would feel a lot differently if he brought it to my house to drink while we had dinner at our table.
That’s a lot of rambling, but here’s my point and my question: How do I go about bringing this up? I don’t want to drive a wedge between us (he harbors some fairly bitter feelings toward what he considers overly judgmental religious people and I’d rather not add myself to the list). I also don’t want to ruin his vacation with his girlfriend whom he only sees on very rare occasions. However, I don’t want to compromise my standards, and I don’t want to leave my wife feeling awkward and uncomfortable. If I had been really explicit about my expectations beforehand, this would be a less awkward situation, but where he’s already moved his stuff into her room and stayed the night there, I feel like it’s partially my fault for not being vocal, but I can’t just ignore it because that’d be choosing my brother’s feelings over my wife’s, and she’s my #1 priority.
Any advice for how to diffuse this would be much appreciated.April 11, 2017 at 1:13 pm #681367
“Yo, I put your stuff in the guest room because I expected you to stay there. If you want to share a room with your girlfriend you will need to do so under another roof”. You are being generous letting them stay with you. If your brother has a problem with it he and his girlfriend should get a hotel room.April 11, 2017 at 1:19 pm #681369
it’s your house, and he’s not respecting that. if you don’t want to compromise your standards, then you tell him he needs to sleep in his own room – or get a hotel (which would be a lot more polite imho). but yea, you do risk driving a wedge between you both, but honestly he’s done it himself. he doesn’t respect your hour or wishes.
but I don’t know if you can actually ‘diffuse’ it at this point. even if you had said something the night before, he would have been upset.April 11, 2017 at 1:27 pm #681371
Also–stop putting this on yourself and start putting it on him! You shouldn’t have had to tell him to stay in the room you made up for him, it was obvious–he knows how you were raised and he knows you keep those values alive in your home. You shouldn’t have to have an awkward conversation about this at all! HE has made this awkward by doing whatever he feels like in *your* home. If little brother doesn’t like it he should grow up, move out of mommy and daddy’s house, and stop crashing with you when his girlfriend visits. Seriously, start getting offended yourself, he is the one who caused this and frankly, he owes you an apology for putting you in the position of having to say something at all.April 11, 2017 at 1:31 pm #681372
The thing is, he knows this. He knew it when he asked you to stay there and he most certainly knew it when his bags were put in a different room from hers. He was just hoping you wouldn’t have the guts to call him on it. So you’re going to have to tell him straight out – “Look, man, I know you don’t follow [the religion] anymore, but I do. And you know it. It’s not okay for you and your girlfriend to share a bed in my house.”April 11, 2017 at 1:42 pm #681377
Dude – I set up two rooms for a reason. You know (wife) and I are religious and unmarried people can’t sleep together under our roof. Do you want me to check into a list of hotels for you guys or are you gong to move back upstairs?
You want to accommodate his visit with his girlfriend – he has to be respectful of your rules.
Same for liquor. You know we don’t allow it in the house. He doesn’t get to run roughshod over you because he doesn’t agree with how you do things. Your rules are for your house. He can live anyway he wants to…just not under your roof.
Tell him – I’m trying to do you a favour – you asked if she can stay here and if you can stay here. Both totally fine. You didn’t ask if you could share a bed here. That’s not cool with us. If you want to share a bed at a hotel – that’s fine with us. I don’t expect you to believe what I believe. I expect you to respect my beliefs in my home. and yes you should have made this clear ahead of time since you knew you two had differing beliefs. Ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure and all…April 11, 2017 at 1:44 pm #681378
Firestar, he didn’t bring liquor into the house. I was just giving that as an example to try and explain that I’m okay with him doing his own thing outside of our home. I don’t want to misrepresent the situation.April 11, 2017 at 1:46 pm #681380
Redessa, unfortunately you’ve called it. I really am the type of person that doesn’t have the guts to call people out on things. I got on here with two motives: 1) find out if I’m way out of line, and 2) try to build up the confidence that I can actually say somehting. Thanks.April 11, 2017 at 1:56 pm #681383
That being said, I’d still like to do it as diplomatically as possible.April 11, 2017 at 1:58 pm #681385
Tell him they cant sleep together in your house. Let him know where a cheap hotel is, he is already living off of your parents so he should have the cash to pay for a room for him and his girlfriend. Your not 5 anymore, quit letting him disrespect your beliefs in your home, stand up for yourself.April 11, 2017 at 1:58 pm #681386
Oh grow the fuck up. Religions are just so much fucking utter nonsense. My patience with such fucking bullshit it at an end.April 11, 2017 at 2:00 pm #681387
Liquor IN THE HOUSE!? Try not to drop dead from the vapors…