His mood is constantly up and down and he has, on numerous occasions, shown signs of being intoxicated (though he has only admitted to one “slip” since he moved in). I suspect that he may have bipolar disorder, but he has no insurance so he cannot see a doctor for an evaluation (I doubt he would go even if he had insurance). He pays no rent and gives the bare minimum of his unemployment check (his only source of income) to pay his portion of utilities, yet he buys expensive electronics, cigarettes, and fast food meals three times a day (as well as paying for his “dates”).
I have become increasingly uncomfortable with him in the house due to his mood swings and occasional violent outbursts (screaming, yelling, and punching walls, usually after exchanging texts with his ex) and also increasingly annoyed as my boyfriend and I both work 40+ hours to pay for our home and the extra cost of him living there. He shows no signs of moving out, and since January he has crashed his car, been arrested, invited a complete stranger over for sex, threatened our pets, threatened his other brother with a baseball bat, and had a very scary explicit monologue at the dinner table where he talked about murdering his ex-wife’s parents in front of her with a shotgun.
He has never threatened me or my boyfriend, but I assume that’s only because we have yet to correct him and he doesn’t want to “shit where he eats.” I feel like the minute we let him know that his behavior is inappropriate he will turn on us (possibly violently). I have just been trying to avoid him while my boyfriend and his family have been figuring out somewhere else for him to stay, but I am getting tired of waiting (no one wants to take him in) and would like to resume a normal happy life like the one my boyfriend and I were building before this massive wrecking ball came into it.
My mom thinks I should just move out til the situation resolves, but I feel that could take months. And, honestly, if my boyfriend and I remain together (which I’m sure we will), his brother and his problem will always be a part of my life. Should I just suck it up and confront him? Is there anything else I could do? Some insight would really be appreciated. — Annoyed and Scared of His Brother
Your boyfriend is allowing a man to stay in your home who has violent outbursts, threatens to kill family members, brings strangers over for casual sex, and threatens your pets? Oh, hale no. I don’t care if he DID pay rent — I’d still be saying hale no. But the fact that he doesn’t pay rent and instead spends whatever income he receives from unemployment on gifts for himself or his dates is just a nail in the coffin. Brother or no, this guy needs the boot.
Where does he go? Who knows. It’s not your problem. Oh, but he’s your boyfriend’s brother, you say. He’s family! I don’t care. Give him the boot. He’s a grown adult. He’ll figure something out. He’ll get a job — whatever job he can find — and rent a motel room if he has to. He’ll find a rehab program. He’ll quit spending his money on stupid shit and put it toward getting a roof over his head. He’ll go to his parents’ home or a friend’s home or anywhere else besides your place.
And what do you say to your boyfriend when he says he has to help his brother? You tell him he can help him without enabling him. You tell him he can help him without destroying your home life and putting your relationship, not to mention your well-being, in danger. There are ways to help someone without opening your home indefinitely. And if your boyfriend refuses to kick out his brother, then I agree with your mother that YOU should move out. And don’t continue paying rent either! If your boyfriend suddenly has to be responsible for rent on his own, he’ll think twice about letting his brother sponge off him one more day.
It’s true that as long as you and your boyfriend remain a couple, his brother is always going to be part of your life, which is why it’s especially important to start setting your boundaries NOW. Let it be known that you will not allow someone who refuses to take responsibility for himself stay in your home indefinitely. Let it be known that you will not live in fear in your own home. And let it be known that anyone who threatens your pets or brings strangers into your home for sex or makes comments about killing anyone is absolutely not welcome to stay under your roof.
I would also sit down with all parties involved — your boyfriend, his parents, his siblings and their partners, and possibly the estranged wife — and discuss and brainstorm as a collective group what some options are for getting this troubled man the help he needs. What programs exist in your area for alcoholics? What medical care does he qualify for? You also need to discuss as a group how to protect yourselves. This man sounds dangerous and you all need to know what has been said behind your backs and what he is capable of.
Whatever you do, DO NOT confront this man on your own. Do not stay in the house with him by yourself. Please consider staying with a family member or friend, at least for the immediate future, until your boyfriend kicks the brother out. And when he does leave, change the locks on the doors.
You can follow me on Facebook here and Twitter here.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].