General Question

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Should I Give Our Houseguest a Timeframe?

Asked by ItalianPrincess1217 (11850points) 1 week ago

My boyfriend has a best friend that he grew up with. He considers him family. His friend got into drugs at some point and ended up in trouble. The plan was to let him move in, make sure he stayed clean, and help him get his life together. This was the plan before my boyfriend and I moved in together and I knew of this plan.

The time has come and his friend is now staying with us. Having a guest is probably always hard to adjust to. It’s awkward for both sides. We’re all trying to settle into this new situation.

Before he got here, I asked my boyfriend if there was a time frame of how long he would be staying. He said it’s hard to put a timeframe on it because he wants to make sure he stays clean. I understand but in my opinion, if someone isn’t motivated enough, they may never leave.

I don’t want to keep bringing it up and come off as insensitive. I’m also trying to stay compassionate of the situation and remind myself that my boyfriend only wants to help his best friend. However, I know my limits and eventually I will start to become resentful if I have no end date to look forward to.

Am I being unreasonable to ask for a specific amount of time? Should I let it go and realize I can’t control everything? Or do I bring this up again and risk my boyfriend taking it the wrong way? I don’t want to be selfish about this. Yes, it’s my house too but I did know about this ahead of time. I know this is a temporary issue and eventually we’ll have the house back to ourselves but I worry that he’s going to let him overstay and become comfortable with an extra roommate.

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61 Answers

gorillapaws's avatar

I think you’ll know if your boyfriend’s friend is taking advantage. If he’s trying hard and doing the right things (holding down a job/actively looking for work, trying to help around the house, etc.), being firm really shouldn’t be an issue and could result in unnecessary tension. If he’s screwing up, you should have a private conversation with your boyfriend right away.

janbb's avatar

I think it would be best to establish a time limit. You can give him a lot of notice and make it lenient – like three months away – but then need to stick to it. You and your boyfriend (didn’t you have a husband and kids?) need to be on the same page on this though and it should be communicated by him to his friend. If you don’t have a set time limit, I think you will become resentful and the friend complacent.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Since you are committed in any event, I would suggest you will soon be able to determine your tolerance limits. Your guest might well turn out to be as unobtrusive as humanly possible, as well as eager to be on his own as you are to be free of him. You might have the good fortune to be spared the necessity of an ultimatum. Or you might discover that your “guest” interferes less with your existence than anticipated

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@gorillapaws That’s a good point. I’ll be able to tell if he’s taking advantage and unmotivated. My boyfriend will know too. He’s not a fan of freeloaders. So if it becomes apparent, it would be easier to set a time limit.

janbb's avatar

IMHO it’s easier to set a timeline before things become a problem.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@janbb that’s how I originally felt but I also don’t want to create an issue if there isn’t one yet. So it’s difficult to decide.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Tough call. Mind if I ask what kind of drugs?

Addicts are unpredictable, you’ll need to stay really alert as to who and what is in your home, if things go missing, etc…

I’d say if you knew the deal before you moved in, you can’t really say anything for awhile.

Men are so much more comfortable with that kind of thing than we women, usually, they don’t always understand how it limits intimacy, etc… Plus it really shows what a good, loyal friend your guy is, try to take it that way on your tough days.

I sure hope you aren’t cleaning & cooking for both of them, yikes!

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@KNOWITALL He did whatever drugs were available. Pills, cocaine, etc. My boyfriend told him one screw up with drugs and he’s out. We both have children and they come first of course.

Luckily he’s very far from his hometown now where all the friends and drugs were. That’s supposed to help. I’ll absolutely be alert though.

You’re right, guys are a lot more comfortable and casual about their living situation. That’s why I don’t want to nag him over it already. I know he can’t relate to my side.

Heck no, I’m not doing any extra housework!

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 It makes me feel much better for you that bf says one screw up and you’re out. That means he’s not babying him when it comes to recovery.

Just remember, make sure you have at least one room to be your private space, maybe take time to yourself there or out a bit more over the next few months. Holidays are stressful already and you may need some space. :)

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@KNOWITALL I agree, and I’ve already made our bedroom “my space” because I know I’ll definitely be needing some time away from the madness!

rebbel's avatar

I think it is not at all unreasonable to ask for a time frame.
In these circumstances I always exaggerate it to get it more clear.
No time frame could mean, exaggerated, two years, or maybe seven years, or till the end of time.
Your boyfriend is to be commended for what he does for his friend, but he should, I feel, do the same for you; clear up this omission.

Vignette's avatar

I wish I could offer you a “things will work out, this friend will heal and move out” but odds are he will not heal, he will struggle with his addiction and you and your boyfriend stand a real good chance at having to deal with this friends addiction struggles. He will need professional help and even then the odds are not in his favor in recovering simply by flopping at your home. Be prepared for a roller coaster there. Not knowing the extent of his issues other than he is homeless, that that dynamic alone suggests compromised income earning which almost always begs the question how he got money for his fix. Addicts going totally broke and not being able to buy their drugs is a usual first step toward recovery but when that fails they resort to more unscrupulous methods of getting drugs. Lock up all valuables and I am being serious here, stash all other medications you might have as to not leave anything that can be a temptation. Even OTC and pet medications if you have them. Alcohol should not even be in the house either though pot and booze can provide a temporary, less harmful method of substituting for harder drug addictions, I would simply not have either around for him to be tempted with. You are an angel for giving this friend a fighting chance as he does need all the help he can get but do not forget you may be housing a friend but you are housing an addict albeit clean addict at the same time.

janbb's avatar

What about the fact that you have children in the house? What effect might extra drama have on them?

stanleybmanly's avatar

We must all admit the risks. But when the BF announced the done deal, the princess must either attenuate to his wavelength or foment dissension in the palace. Hang in. If the deal goes South, the lesson will be learned.

chyna's avatar

Not really “lesson will be learned” if this guy does something to the kids. Sorry @ItalianPrincess1217, but you could be putting your kids in danger and you even knew this before you moved in.

Patty_Melt's avatar

First of all, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!

I think set a date for a time review. Make it known that at that time you will discuss together how things are going, and make your decision then.

canidmajor's avatar

How long was the friend clean before he moved in? How did he do in rehab? As commendable as this all sounds it raises a lot of red flags for me.
And all obfuscational persiflage aside, @stanleybmanly, it’s her castle, too, she gets some say in all this.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Wait, kids are living there?! To me thats a dealbreaker. No addicts around the babies imo. Too risky.

mazingerz88's avatar

Jumping in without reading any of the posts above. I suggest setting a time limit sometime in the future, but not now.

SEKA's avatar

If he’s as irresponsible as many druggies, he’ll most likely be slipping drugs into your home. He gets busted with drugs in your home, you could lose your house, car, and kids just because he lives there too. Just saying

Sagacious's avatar

If you are in the USA I hope you got a written agreement before you let him move in. If he is saying he “lives” there and he gets mail there then you don’t have a guest, you have an occupant with rights. Getting him out might be a huge headache. It will require written notice to vacate and if he doesn’t, legal eviction.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

The kids come first. I’d give him an ultimatum.

seawulf575's avatar

Kind of a tough call. I understand the BF wanting to help his friend and I commend you for supporting him in this. And I understand the answer that it is kind of hard to set a date because you want to make sure he stays clean.
I think the conversation you need to have with your BF should be open and honest. Tell him you want to support him but really don’t want a permanent houseguest. Tell him you agree you want to help the friend but that the two of you need to establish what the end point is…when are you sure he is clean?
I have some experience with recovering drug addictions in the family. There are some keys to look for. @gorillapaws hit on some of them…is he working and holding a job, is he into some sort of recovery program, etc. But there are other keys. Has he completely divorced himself from his prior friends? Has he changed his haunts or does he still go to many of the same places he used to go? Part of recovery is avoiding the triggers that bring the drug usage back into his mind. Does he still partake of alcohol on a regular basis? One of the dangers is that a recovering addict will think it is okay to partake of alcohol. After all, it isn’t drugs, right? But alcohol can lower your resolve. You drink and start thinking that you can handle it so maybe you could do drugs and control them too. I’m not talking about a beer on the 4th of July or a glass of champagne on New Years Eve, but regular drinking.
The danger you two (you and your BF) have is that you might become enablers. Oftentimes when loved ones try to help an addict, they actually just make it easier for that addict to do drugs. You give them a place to live and food to eat and all the bills are paid and they don’t have to worry about any of those things so they have more time and money to spend on drugs…that sort of thing. You should know what the warning signs of drug usage are. Do a little research but basically, does he spend a lot of time in his room or in bed? Is he constipated? Does he just seem like a shell of a person?
Another consideration is his financial situation. Is he asshole deep in debt because of his drug usage or the associate effects of it? That might be another consideration of when he is good to go. After all, even if he is clean now but has problems with money, if he is on his own, he might get stressed about the money and go right back to drugs as an escape.
I would suggest talking to the BF about your concerns. You might even want to include the friend. After all, it does involve him as well. I wouldn’t be emotional about it, but I would be firm. Tell them you are happy to help the friend, but you don’t want a permanent houseguest. Make sure that they understand that doesn’t mean you want him gone NOW, just that you want a plan in place to get him clean and self-sufficient again. There should be a plan in place that give an endpoint. And there should be a discussion of what to do if he gets back into drugs before the plan is completed. Understand that it is very likely that even if he is clean now, he might have a relapse into his drug usage. And that discussion doesn’t necessarily mean that one slip and he is gone, but it could. The three of you should be able to come to some agreement. And you might be surprised…the BF and his friend might come up with things you had never thought about and they might have a plan already in mind.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@seawulf575 Great advice, thank you. He’s been clean awhile but he was previously living with family that has a lot of drug addicts around. He wanted out of that life and to cut off ties from all his old friends. He also has no way of getting back to the city so he definitely has no opportunity to see them without us knowing. He does have a job that he’s starting and the goal was to get him a car and get him his own place nearby. I’m not sure how long that will take. My boyfriend has dealt with a family of drug users so he knows exactly what to look for and signs of when a person is using.

To all that are concerned for the kids, they’re always our first priority. As of right now, he’s not able to bring friends to the house and the only time he leaves is to be driven to work. We’re taking every action to ensure they’re safe and the second we suspect anything is going on, he won’t be allowed here. I’m hoping he stays clean for his entire stay until he gets his life together and moves out but I’m not naive and I’m aware that he can relapse at any point.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Patty_Melt I’ve been missing you guys! I’m back :)

jca2's avatar

To me, a relevant issue would be where does he sleep? Is he sleeping on the couch? Does he have his own room? Does he stay in bed late?

Good friends had a young teen daughter and they had a homeless houseguest friend sleeping on their couch. I pointed out how it’s not good to have the teen daughter walking around with this guy laying on the couch. If the girl comes out of the shower she has to make sure she’s covered up.

If your houseguest/friend is sleeping late and he’s on the couch, it’s not beneficial for kids to be around it. If it’s a small house and there’s only one place to watch TV or hang out, other than the bedrooms, and this guy is sleeping on the couch, it’s a weird vibe. Just my opinion.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@jca2 He has his own bedroom away from the kids. We don’t see much of him (unless he’s hungry).

seawulf575's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 Part of the plan for him getting independent definitely needs to be a budget. Has the friend actually written down a budget to follow? He is now working and has income, he needs to lay out the plan on spending to get independent (while not feeling like a slave!).

jca2's avatar

He’s going to start the job or he has already started, @ItalianPrincess1217? Do you or your bf have to drive him to work?

He should make a plan for saving so he has about 2k within, hopefully, three months and then he can put it down on a place of his own, including security deposit.

Maybe while he is working, he can and he should offer you some small money to help out, or he can buy some groceries.

Also, hopefully your bf keeps in mind that, even though he is helping his friend, if, in the future, your friend leaves and ends up back on drugs, it’s nobody’s fault and you’re both not responsible if it happens. You can only do so much, and sacrifice so much. It’s like being a parent. You do what you do and in the end, the child grows up and is responsible for themselves.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@jca2 He starts work Monday. My bf is driving him because it’s on the way to his job. I’m not sure if this is a bad sign but he’s mostly been in his room since he got here. He’s still sleeping and it’s 1 in the afternoon. I’m not sure if this is just him feeling awkward about living here and not wanting to be in the way or if it’s something more.

jca2's avatar

How old are the kids that live in the house, @ItalianPrincess1217? I think it must be weird for them to see. Someone coming out of their room in the middle of the day, and by the time he gets a shower and gets dressed it might be dinner time.

Does your bf say that he thinks this is all perfectly fine?

jca2's avatar

If it were me, staying with someone else, even in my own room, I’d feel kind of obligated to get up somewhat in accordance to the host’s schedule. In other words, at the breakfast table around 8 or 9 on the weekends, getting dressed and maybe offering to help do stuff around the house in late morning or afternoon, etc.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Seems to me he’s trying to stay out of the way, and stay in his room. If I lived with a family unit, it would feel less disruptive to the routine. Plus some peace, sleep and meditating is healthy.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@jca2 My bf’s kids know him well and call him uncle so it has not been weird at all. My kids don’t care and he says hi and makes small talk with them when he is out of his room. I would also try to follow a family’s schedule if living with them but maybe not everyone thinks the way we do.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Darling…calling the guy “uncle” means absolutely nothing. How many people were abused by an “uncle”? Almost all of them.

snowberry's avatar

He needs to join and go to a recovery program. I’m sure there is one in your area.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Dutchess_III Absolutely and I’m aware of that. They did grow up together and he’s been part of my boyfriend’s life as well as his kid’s lives forever. He interacts well with my kids too. He’s definitely immature for his age but that’s probably why the kids enjoy him. I would still never allow them to be alone with him. Even though I don’t get any pedophile vibes, you just never know.

Update:
Without me needing to say anything, my bf got fed up with his friend’s behavior. He’s had to talk to him several times yesterday and today about things such as not talking loudly on the phone at 6am as the kids are still asleep, or not telling his stories while swearing every other word in front of the kids. He’s frustrated that he’s been drinking all of his work drinks and not buying food for the house, not cleaning up after himself, etc. So my bf told me this morning that we need to have a sit down with him and go over the house rules and come up with a plan to get him on his feet and moved out. Phew. I’m glad I didn’t need to be the bad guy here.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

I have an empty home about 20 minutes from here that I was either selling or renting out. I was thinking about offering it to him to rent but I really worry about renting to a friend. I feel like that can get messy if he stops paying rent or trashes the house. I would love to help him out and get my own house back in order but maybe it’s not the best idea?

chyna's avatar

Do not rent to him! That is the quickest way to lose a friend and have a house trashed. Look how messy he is with people around. If he’s by himself, he will really be messy.

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chyna's avatar

Ok, so I see how you feel we got off topic. Honestly, I know I feel like I know people who have been on here for years and take an invested interest in them. I remember helping you plan your first marriage, you leaving the states, etc. When I see your name pop up, I wonder how you’ve been doing.
I hope you stay with Fluther and when/if I answer any of your questions, I will stay on topic.
As for this last question, don’t rent to him. Don’t you watch Judge Judy?

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@chyna I have and that’s why I was worried. I see more bad than good coming from me renting to him. I just figured it would be a kind thing to do for someone who is going to have trouble finding an affordable place of his own in a good area. I can also see it really biting me in the butt. I would likely end up with a trashed house and no rent payments made.

SEKA's avatar

Since he’s not responsible enough to live in the same house with you and your family, I definitely wouldn’t rent my house to him! Once back out on his own, he may well back slide and return to his old bad habits. Then he could become more irresponsible and stop paying rent. I’ve learned the hard way to never loan money to friends and I consider renting him your home the same as loaning him money. When he doesn’t pay you’ll be back in the middle of drama between your bf’s best friend and the man you love

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ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@SEKA I can absolutely see that happening. It’s a real possibility.

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Vignette's avatar

Things are clearly not working out with this man in your home and he does not provide food and instead drinks, does not clean up after himself and you are seriously thinking of renting your other home to him? Do you think he will do a better job of managing his life on his own? My advice is to lean on your boy friend now, he brought this man into your home, it is not working out and time to end this experiment before the situation gets any worse.

There are lots of critical comments here and IMHO deservedly so. Our good intentions often get taken advantage of this is pretty much happening here with your situation and we are simply unattached observes, observing and commenting and not to be judgemental in anyway. Simply sharing our observations and suggestions again with care and compassion and not to be mean. Addiction is ugly business and you have a home with kids not a rehab facility. I know you want to help this man, but your kids should be the ultimate priority and limited from being exposed to this mans behaviors.

snowberry's avatar

@Vignette She said he buys work drinks, which I believe means he buys drinks for while he’s at work.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Sorry for the confusion. What I meant is that my bf is frustrated that his friend has been drinking his cans of soda that are specifically meant for when he goes to work. His friend drank the whole case without asking.

jca2's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217: That’s very inappropriate and rude for the guest to drink a whole case without asking or replacing it.

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