Dear Barb—Intolerable In-Law

My husband and I have been married five years and have one young daughter.  I always considered us to be a happy family until my brother-in-law moved in.  My husband allowed his younger brother to move in with us and our whole life was turned upside-down. 

My brother-in-law had some financial problems, so my belief was that this was a temporary situation until he got back on his feet, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.  Jason is always trying to get my husband to go out with him to the bars.  Plus, he openly talks about the girls he met and what they did, I mean intimate things.  He does this in front of my four-year-old daughter.  I have tried to get my husband to talk to him about this, but he fears this will ruin his relationship with his brother. 

When they were younger they never got along, and now my husband doesn’t want to cause problems between them.  Also, Jason won’t clean up after himself, no matter how many times I ask him.  He is putting such a strain on our family life.  I really wish he would move out. 

I do not want to have my brother-in-law living with us for the rest of my life but whenever I bring it up, my husband and I end up in an argument.  I don’t know how I can get my brother-in-law to move out, without causing problems between me and my husband.  Do you have ideas? Thank-you Paige.

Hi Paige:

Thanks for writing.  This is a situation that needs to be resolved sooner rather than later.  I can see that you are reaching the end of your rope.  Your husband is not putting you and your daughter’s happiness ahead of his brother’s and that is wrong.

If your husband totally refuses to do anything about this situation, then you will have to give him a deadline – either his brother moves out, or you and your daughter do.  You should not have to live with someone who disrespects your home and family.  The fact that your husband does not see it, is not good.  He just needs to realize how much this situation is affecting you and that you will not tolerate it.

I would suggest you give your husband a time limit, say 30 days, for your brother-in-law to leave, or you and your daughter will be finding other accommodations.  Basically, your husband will be forced to choose between you and your daughter or his brother.  If he chooses his brother at least you will know where you stand, but I highly doubt he will choose his brother.  Best of luck Paige and let us know how it turns out.

Email your questions to voice@voicemagazine.org. Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.
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