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surlygirl's avatar

How do I tell my younger brother to move out of my house?

Asked by surlygirl (363points) February 8th, 2008

he’s been living with me for the last three years after his marriage (of 4 months) didn’t work out. he’s 28 years old. shouldn’t he be living out on his own? he has some emotional/self-esteem issues and keeps developing more ocd quirks. i don’t want to be mean, if i don’t have to. he did talk about moving out a while ago, but has recently started talking about home improvement-type projects he’d like to start.

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12 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

Does he have a job? He might find comfort in having you around. He sounds exactly like me. I have been diagnosed with Social anxiety Disorder and PTSD. I have a hard a hard time if my sister isn’t around. She is my rock.

I bought a RV and live in her backyard. I want to move but I’m not sure if I can.

cwilbur's avatar

Sit down and talk with him. Figure out why he’s still living with you. That’s the key to the whole situation.

If he’s just being lazy and you’re a convenient way for him to avoid responsibility, then set a firm but generous deadline – 3 months or so – and tell him that by that date, he either pays you rent or moves out. No exceptions, no excuses.

If he has mental health issues that need to be dealt with, then set the same deadline, but instead of paying rent or moving out, by that point he has to be actively seeking help and working on his issues – seeing a therapist, talking to a psychiatrist about medications, whatever will convince you that he’s taking steps to becoming independent.

The goal is to clearly establish that you’re not going to help him avoid taking responsibility for himself.

I’ve been on both sides of this. It’s not fun for either person, but it’s a lot less fun to sit and let it fester. And it’s a total relationship-killer.

gooch's avatar

Communication is key here. Sit and talk with him and explain why you need your space then tell him how you will help him in his moving out process. Have a plan to suggest to him.Definatly remind him how much you care for him but need to have your own life. I am guessing that he is not just being a mooch. If he is then be less compasionate and be more firm.

MrKnowItAll's avatar

Change the locks.

glosski's avatar

First you need to understand your own issues with him living there before you can address your need for him to leave. When you understand WHY you want him to leave, you can introduce the topic in those terms. Even if it is as simple as your desire to live alone. “We need to sit down and plan your next move because I really need to be back by myself in my home. What do we need to do to get you back out there on your own?”

surlygirl's avatar

my brother technically has three jobs. he is a teacher’s aide (working to get teacher’s certificate) in a special ed class, he coaches junior high football, and he’s employed part-time at a local rec center. none of these jobs are particularly high paying, but the only debt he has is a college loan and a car payment.

he does contribute some, $200 rent and $45 cable/internet. i have mentioned to him many times before that i think he should be paying more rent. my mortgage/utilities/etc run about $700. he always wants to know if i need more money. i kinda think he’s just stingy.

when he was in college, he went to a therapist for awhile. he thought my brother was mildly bipolar. but it was about the time when there was a lot of talk about bipolarism and you saw a lot of tv show characters with it. so i’m not sure i have much confidence in that diagnosis.

the ocd is little things like a certain parking spot he has to have at work and home. it doesn’t criple him if he doesn’t park there, but he’s in a bad mood the rest of the day and can’t stop talking about the terrible person who took his spot.

i’m not sure that i have issues with him living with me. i no longer live with my family because i’m an adult, responsible, and need space and time to be my own person. otherwise, i’d move back with my parents and save lots of money ;) 900sqft is not a lot of space, esp when i had originally planned to live there by myself.

it is very possible that he’s just lazy and comfortable at my house. i guess i’ll just have the big talk and find out. thanks for all the advice!

artemisdivine's avatar

why not get him to move back in with your parents is possible? ps not ALL people who live with their parents have a choice. there can be many life issues that force them into that position, through no fault of their own.

ultimately the “care” issue might be dealt best by them. or maybe you and your parents can figure out a solution. you definitely are entitled to your own space having earned it etc. three years is MORE than enough time to get it together.

i know how it is to get too comfy somewhere. but he will NEVER move unless you bring it up. i would sit down and think what YOU want. if you are still okay with him staying a while, put it in WRITING, say you want 1,2, 3 if he stays (conditions, money all of it) and both of you sign it.

that is what i would do. say something like: i love you and want the best for you, however it is time for me to live my own life here. i spent a lot of timing planning my life and i want to help you get in right track. so you can live here for three more months.

after that you need to have found a place of your own. we can see if you can apply for assistance (either like “being poor” assistance, or mental issue assistance). and maybe he need to live with a roomate (but that will be tough to find someone to put up
with his quirks). however maybe he is bad enough he needs to live in a group home too. i dont know the severity of his condition. but i do sympathize as most of the world cannot for the life of them understand mental issues.

you are simply enabling him. i feel you DEF want your own place much MORE than having him pay 50% his share (but dont complain when you LOSE his share of the expenses – just remember living alone comes at a price). on the bright side your social life will improve likely.

glosski's avatar

Well, give him notice that either he’s going to have to move because the place isn’t big enough OR that the two of you are going to have to combine incomes and get a bigger place together—give him the estimate of $700 each. Next, break out the newspaper and start LQQKing—involve him in the choice and ask him which of the utilities he is going to take care of in his name. Suggest that a joint account be opened for automatic deposits from paychecks with the minimum value going there first on payday. Have it understood that this account is for household & nothing else.
I’m betting EITHER he runs for the hills OR you both end up happier in a bigger, better place :)

ezraglenn's avatar

trickery, thy name is glosski.

susanc's avatar

glosski may have read the psychologist Jay Haley’s book LEAVING HOME about young and not-so-young people who can’t make the break. He would ask you to first consider very carefully why you haven’t moved your brother out before now. There has to have been a payoff for you in these many years. How will you deal with losing whatever you’ve been getting out of this?

cwilbur's avatar

@surlygirl, it sounds to me like he’s getting a sweet deal – his total cost of living is $245 a month. Why would he want to move out with a deal like that? And it doesn’t sound like you think he has any issues that would prevent him from living on his own.

So I’d sit down and say, look, you living with me was supposed to be a temporary thing while you got back on your feet after your divorce. That was three years ago. I need my space, and this place is not big enough for two people living here full-time.

I wouldn’t take glosski’s approach unless you would be happy (not just comfortable, happy) living with him in a larger place. When he’s facing the actual cost of the two of you living together in a place that would be large enough for both of you, he may run—in which case, problem solved—or he may decide that he likes that just fine—in which case, if you were using it as a bluff to get him to move, he just called it and you’re kind of stuck with hit.

airairariel's avatar

if it were my brother i would say “yo, doofus. gtfo!”
but not everyone has quite the relationship i do with my brother haha.

but i definitely liked the suggestion of sitting him down and talking to him about it. 28 is a bit old to be depending on someone else.

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