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Brother-in-Law is a huge thorn in my life right now :(


I just need to vent!! And please tell me if I'm in the wrong here. I'm just resenting my brother-in-law (I'll call him 'H') a lot right now and it's causing my husband and I to argue. We have a healthy marriage for the most part. We get along great until it comes down to 'H'. Where do I start. 'H' divorced after being married for a year. During this time we became pregnant with our first. I felt sorry that he was going through what he was going through, but my priority was the health of my pregnancy and bonding with my husband on this new and exciting journey, and not on some 35 year-old whose M.O. is to live paycheck to paycheck spending it on eating out all the time (because he doesn't like to cook), going to concerts, drinking and smoking pot. His ex-wife was just as irresponsible and she had a drinking problem where she would black out at bars. Real winners these two. As I progressed in my pregnancy my husband all of sudden shifted his attention to his brother to help him move in with us around the baby's due date (combing through the internet for hours looking for jobs and applying on his behalf). Clearly this irritated the sh*t out of me because I couldn't believe that my husband was doing what his brother expects from everyone -- to be catered to. I was against his move from the beginning because for one he's not an ambitious outside the box thinker, so for him to find a job and keeping it was going to be a challenge. Our son is born and two months later he's living with us. His first week with us we tried setting some ground rules...because if you think you can move in with family rent free and not have some general rules then you're wrong, right? Well when we asked if we could split the grocery bill with him he said "no, I'll buy my own because I live off chips, salsa and sodas". Ok. Fine. When we asked him to please be quite during babies nappings and pick up after himself he called his mom complaining that it was living on eggs shells with us. Well what did he expect? That he was going to move in with a bunch of frat boys?? We had just had a newborn who were still getting adjusted to and we are on little sleep because he was waking up throughout the night. One night my husband and 'H' were hanging out drinking beers till late night. They're both being loud and obnoxious, but all of a sudden I hear a lot of commotion. I put the baby down and go downstairs to find out what was happening. They had gotten into a physical argument. This caused 'H' to move out that night. Apparently my husband was trying to tell him that he needed to get his priorities straight and 'H' was not having any of it. He moved out and a few months go by. Everything is fine up until just recently. His parents one day tell us that they're coming out to vacation and to bring his dog out here to live with him. They want to rent a beach house for a few days for all of to enjoy so I help find this really nice one just a few steps from the ocean. My husband and I helped chip in to get the rental and I picked up groceries to stock up the fridge. 'H' did absolutely nothing, not even a thank you for making breakfast and dinner. Everyday we were there all of us sat at the dinner table except his brother. All day everyday he smelled like a cloud of pot. He doesn't realize this but it's hard to have a conversation with him when he's high. The beach house wasn't equipped with basic beach necessities, so my husband drove an hour back home to grab chairs, umbrellas, towels...etc. Total team player. While they were gone we needed a few things from the grocery store which was a mile away. I kindly asked 'H' if he could go and he wasn't up for it. His mom volunteered to go, but at that point I was a little ticked off so I went and asked her to just keep an eye on the baby. I needed to get out and get fresh air and get away from him. After leaving the beach house his parents were going to stay with us for a few nights to visit with us, but to help 'H' get a smog check and oil change to register his car under his name and transfer titles. Now you might be asking why did his parent drive two days just for that?? Because that's what they do. The mom has enabled 'H' to the point that she would probably wipe his as if he asked her to. Well all is fine until my mother-in-law is going through the cellphone bill and it's for $400. She about lost it. I drive her to the phone company and while driving her there she gets on the phone with 'H' and he starts telling her "i'm so stressed out, I don't have any money, my roommate keeps asking for the rent....I'm freaking out mom...I don't know what to do". And instead of her yelling at him as why he's put himself in this situation she caves. She starts consoling him. I was like 'what the heck lady, this idiot son of yours just your cell bill to a few hundred dollars, he quit his job because he couldn't take the people he was working with and now he's crying about it to you???'  I was so upset by that interaction. I wanted to blow up. He ran up the bill because he doesn't understand how to a smart phone works and data usage and ignores data alerts. All this time they're staying with us while they try and figure things out for him, so the mom asks 'H' to come and stay with us. In the three days they all stayed with us, this is what I observed: His mom in an enabler, he's a 35y/o child with mental issues, the father is hands off, and I don't have the patience for this nonsense. All while my husband is working 14hr days under tight deadlines and has no idea what's going with his brother. At this point I want to pull my f/ckn hair out. I want to yell at him and tell him how I really feel. So they all leave finally and I'm like 'holy sh*t I need a break from his family'. Not even a few days have gone by and 'H' is low on money and wants to come paint our fence for a few hundred dollars. I tell my husband "no, I need a break...tell him in a month". Again my husband ask and I say "just give him the few hundred dollars and tell him he can come in month or so". Again my husband ask because 'H' is down to nothing and wants to paint the fence. And like an idiot I cave and said fine. So my husband and I get into this conversation how 'H' has some serious life skill issues and needs someone to tell him that the way he's living his life he's going to be in his forty's someday living check-to-check. Well we ended in argument because he tells me I sound like a broken record about it. I don't know what to do anymore in re: to his brother. I don't want 'H' to think he can use us like he's used his parents. Am I in the wrong for asking my husband not to loan him any money? That his brother needs an intervention because he doesn't realize what a burden he's become? Or should I just stay out of it? 
Jun 30, 2015 @ 08:16 pm

6 Replies



Sounds like a frustrating situation for sure. I'm not a professional or anything but I've dealt with personalities like his before and it definitely seems like he needs some help or councelling . I doubt saying anything to him will help, He's really got to realize things for himself maddening as that is. You might have some luck talking to your husband or Mom in law about their enabling but sounds like you've been trying to do that without much luck.
I saw a documentary a while back about weed smoking and how it triggers depression and mental illnesses in some teens.. after hearing your story and from the others I've known personally they all have that(weed smoking) in common which I'm starting to think might not be a coincidence..
If he got violent with your husband when he tried talking to him I wouldn't feel safe with him around my baby to be honest. I'd talk to your husband about that aspect he might see things differently. Instead of giving him more money to keep the same cycle going try talking about getting him some help, nothing will change unless he sees that something isn't right and he'll never see that if everyone keeps doing more of the same, if you know what I mean.
I've had parents tell me that I'm the one who needed to change because they couldn't see that anything was wrong with their son. It's tough trying to get change especially when no one seems to really want it.
Sorry you are going through this situation having a new baby is hard enough. Hope things get better.
Jul 01, 2015 @ 09:06 am

Thank you

Thank you @myhappymail for reading my struggle and advising. You're right, talking to him at this point isn't a good idea, seeing that he's we'll into his thirties and behaves the way he does. He needs professional help, but he has to want it and seek it. You know I have read articles hear and there about pot and depression. I wouldn't send it to him but if I come across one again I'm going to send it to my mother-in-law so she could talk to him. You know, the night before they were scheduled to leave his mom wanted us to talk as a family because 'H' had told her he felt as if he was bipolar. Which explains her attitude that day. As soon as she brought it up in the evening because my husband was in the room along with their dad, 'H' got up really mad and walked away saying it was not our issue to deal with. So my in-laws went upstairs to talk to him and I could hear the mom crying. At that point I told my husband everything that was going on as he was not in on all the details due to work. A part of me wants to believe he is bipolar but at the same time I don't know if he's crying wolf because the wants people to feel sorry for him. I'll talk to my husband tonight and settle things with him. I don't want to fight about 'H' anymore as it is tiring. I do want to be supportive, but I just don't know how considering that 'H' is not a teen who is misbehaving and could be given direction. Also, I come from a hard working family where this was just unacceptable. If you behaved liked this my parents were not the type to console us, instead they would kick us back out (figuratively) and tell us to get back up and not come knocking until we had it together. At the time it felt like they were such jerks, but looking back that's what made my brothers/sisters and I the strong men/women that we are today who are self sufficient. So, this to me is all new which makes me go bonkers. Ok, thanks again for hearing me out. Sometimes all you need is to vent it out to move on with it.
Jul 01, 2015 @ 12:22 pm


I'm so sorry you have to go through this, especially now that your newborn, as well as your marriage, need all of your attention. Your brother-in-law is in dire need of some tough love. In order to change "H's" behaviour, you all need to change your own. Setting consequences and following through with them is an important factor in this situation. If not, then you'll only continue to enable him, just like you said his mother was doing.

What you need to decide with your husband are the rules of your own home and how they apply to "H". Help your husband understand that "H's" actions will affect your child and possibly your marriage, now and in the future. Agree as to when and how he is allowed to be in the house. Does your husband agree with having the smell of marijuana near your baby or even in your home? What about access to your child if you feel that he's high? Will you allow "H" to sleep over if he still doesn't have a job? What about once he does find a job? What will the consequences be if "H" doesn't follow through? What will the consequences be for you and your husband if you both don't follow through with what you discussed?

I suggest putting all your rules down in writing and both sign it as an agreement. Some may think this is an unnecessary or silly step, but you all need to be accountable for the decisions that are being made, especially now that your child is in the picture.

You can't control how his parents deal with their son, but a conversation with them about this situation is necessary since it is affecting your own household. Let them know about the rules you've decided upon with your husband so that they do not interfere with what you both agreed upon. Hopefully, they will start to do the same and create rules of their own. Offer them all of your help if they ask for it.

I wish you the best of luck with this situation and hope this advice helps.

Jul 01, 2015 @ 08:48 pm

House Rules...thank you

@prettyrainbow you've made some really good suggestions that I had not even thought about...putting our house rules on paper and consequences for ourself if we don't follow through. I will definitely draft one up to get it started. The odd thing is that my husband agrees with me 100% but it's how we should go about addressing him that we conflict. I'm not one to sugar coat things when it's this bad. He needs a straight up talk, but it's too late, so he just needs professional help. We both don't smoke anything and live pretty healthy lives. 'H' is renting a room about an hour from where we live and he doesn't come around much since he first move out of our house. He knows that I see right through all his bs, so he stays away from me for the most part. I'm cordial if we see each other but other than that I don't have a real connection with him. I would like to have a healthy relationship with him but right now I just want him to stay away for the same reasons you gals mentioned - our sons safety and my sanity. Thanks for your support in this. Really mean a lot.
Jul 02, 2015 @ 07:28 pm

I know your pain

I also have a butt hole for a brother in-law! All his family except my husband thinks not matter what he does it's ok and he should be forgiving. One Thursday night at 11pm he calls our house all drunk up (he's an alcoholic) cursing and swearing at me and tells me to go f myself because I do not cower to him. My husband doesn't think its right but will not confront him on it. My kids think he's nuts and wants nothing to do with him.

You choose the man to marry and we have been married 24 years, but you can't pick who your brother in-law. They cause stress in your life but I am so glad I don't have to live with him.

I hope your husband comes to his senses for your children's sake because it does effect them.

Good luck and it does help to vent:)

Jul 02, 2015 @ 08:19 pm

Ugggh A-holes everywhere...so sorry!!

The struggle is real @katieg and I'm so sorry that you've been dealing with it for so long!!! I really hope that it doesn't ever get to that point between my brother-in-law because he will be exiled from our lives. He won't even be allowed a footstep in my home and in our children's life. My hubs knows that his brother is a freaking loser and wants to help him so much...but he's beyond help. My husband runs his own business and he has all these great ideas that he has run through his brother so he can open up his own business. You would think that 'H' would be all over it, but nope, he's so negative about everything. Ugggggh. I can go on and on. I hope you're BIL also get's the help that he needs. And what's wrong with their families that they allow this kind of bs?? I really don't get it. I can understand a teenager acting up but a grown adult. Inexcusable. 'H' behavior didn't come out until my husband and I were already married...mainly because up until now we've lived in a different state so we had no idea the severity of his incapabilities & addiction (out of sight, out of mind). I knew he depended a lot on his mom for everything like driving over to their house on a daily basis to eat their food. She was in charge of paying the bills for him and his ex-wife because they were not capable of balancing their checking account.....which I found out when time when we went back to visit one time and she confided in me. I was shocked to say the least and I remember telling her she needed to stop it and to teach them how to be self-sufficient vs just doing it for them. I'm glad you and your husband don't take your BIL's crap either. I mean who has time for that!!
Jul 03, 2015 @ 12:11 pm

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