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How Do I Deal With My Sister's Boyfriend Always at Our Home?

You Asked: Why Is He Always Here?

Dear Sugar,

I live with my sister. She has a boyfriend, and they've been together for almost a year. At first, she would go stay at his house and he would come stay at ours on limited occasions, but now he comes over almost daily. Instead of leaving in the morning like he used to, he's been hanging around until mid-afternoon. When we first moved in together, I had no idea that I'd have two roommates, and truth be told, I'm sick of it! He eats our food, uses our bathroom, and they are always all over each other and he just takes up way too much space. Do you have any suggestions to help me deal with this situation? — Needing Space Stacia

To see DearSugar's answer

Dear Needing Space Stacia,

Since I live alone, I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to have an unwelcome third party always in your personal space. Have you talked to your sister about your annoyance? Even though your roommate is your sister, she still needs to respect your needs.

Try sitting her down to set up some apartment ground rules. Let her know that this is your home too and that it isn't fair to you to have someone constantly around when you don't necessarily want him there. Since her boyfriend has a place of his own, suggest they stay at his house a few nights a week. Also, if he's taking up bathroom time in the mornings, ask her to have him get ready for his day at his own home so you don't have to be put out. I advise you not to come off angry or bitter, as that will only create drama in the house. Approach the situation with diplomacy and she'll be more willing to accommodate you. Good luck!


Join The Conversation
Redhot44 Redhot44 9 years
have you tried talking to your sister?i can imagine that might create some conflict, since its her boyfreind,but try expressing your thoughts.
giveveesomesugar giveveesomesugar 9 years
Why dont you go find another apartment for yourself, it's inevitable that they will move in together and you'll have to go find a place anyway. It's just time.
ninjastarlett ninjastarlett 9 years
second the "get your own place" idea, granted you can afford it
If you don't want to deal with the drama and dilemas that come with a roommate, it's as simple as you not having a roommate.
sarah_bellum sarah_bellum 9 years
I think the people who are calling the OP jealous might be guilty of letting a boyfriend do the same things that she's complaining about. ;) Seriously, it's self-centered of you to think that just because you share rent with someone that they should have to put up with EVERY aspect of your life, especially when it involves interjecting another person into your home. Why should she have to feel uncomfortable in her own house and put up with it when her sister is the one changing the status quo of their living arrangements?
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
how do we know the poster DOESN'T have a boyfriend??? and who the hell is jealous over something like that??? i don't know about y'all, but i wouldn't be. that's SOO high school. i mean, really.
reeeeka reeeeka 9 years
This doesn't seem like an issue of space/him eating your food or just being around. It seems like you're jealous that she has someone and you don't. I'm not trying to be mean but maybe you should get your own place if it bothers you that much OR just suck it up and act like an adult. I'm sure if you had your own boyfriend you wouldn't really care what your sister and her boyfriend were doing.
Random2 Random2 9 years
You really need to talk to your sister. Try to work something out so that you're not constantly in each other's hair. Ask her to try to spend more time in her room instead of communal areas, and start having separate shelves for food, buy your own and have her do the same, it saves on fights in the long run. That way, it's her food her boyfriend is eating, not yours. And hint that maybe he should splurge on supper for you two once in a while, or bring over some food that everyone can share instead of him always eating yours. I'm in sort of a similar situation with my boyfriend. He shares a house with three guys (a fourth is moving in shortly), and they all have girlfriends. Luckily, we all get along. I'm there quite a bit, but my guy and I usually vacate to other ares of the house so we're not constantly underfoot of everyone else there and I bring food for everyone every once in a while. My guy and his room mates also all buy their own food, so that isn't really an issue. They share some stuff, but it's replaced or the person who bought it is paid back.
red4bonez red4bonez 9 years
well I think you need to talk to your sister. Maybe to your sister and maybe to both of them because you live in the apartment too and i mean it is definatelly not fair to you. they need to respect you and you need to tell them that whatever they r doing is disrespectful to you and annoying and you didn't sign up for living with your sister and her boyfriend only with your sister. good luck but you need to talk to them !!!
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 9 years
Glutton for pain I would love to hear more of these stories. I swear im fascinated. Please continue.
Brooklynbee Brooklynbee 9 years
Asia84, you must not live in NY if you don't believe in roommates and can afford a townhouse (or, you live in NY and you're a multi-millionaire). ;) I've been through a similar situation w/ roommates & their boyfriends before. One roomie had a bf who was always over and the last straw was when I was watching tv, he picked up the remote and changed the channel because he wanted to watch a baseball game. Well, at that point I just lost it and I yelled,"I am watching MY tv in MY apartment and if you want to watch something else you can GO HOME or go to the SPORTS BAR ONE BLOCK AWAY." It wasn't the best way to communicate, but he got the message after that.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 9 years
Stick to your guns, Asia. Anyway, talk to your sister. This totally does make me ambivalent about living with a roommate. No one wants to be made uncomfortable in their own space.
Marci Marci 9 years
I don't think you sound jealous, either. You just sound like someone who would like to go home and not have a third person person there all the time. That's valid. Dear makes good suggestions here, and I am totally with Asia on this subject. This is one of the reasons I never had a roommate. I didn't want to deal with any of this stuff and was willing to live in smaller space that I could afford if that was what it took to have my own place.
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
i'm looking into buying this townhouse, and my big mouth mom told my brother (30). and he's been begging that we live with each other. i tell him that i don't do the rommie thing. he goes, "aww, com on Bighead (that's what he calls me) we can do it REAL BIG. i'll pay you like $800 in rent a month. it will be cool!" i'm like, the mortgage will be $2,800, plus utilities (i'm basically paying that now where i live). $800 won't even cover utitlities! plus, i don't want no chicken-headed girls (my brother's favorite) walking around MY house, and sitting on MY toilets (ok, i'm a bit of a germaphobe). my brother will eat up all my food, and not handle his business. so, that with my no rommie policy, means not no, but HELL NO!
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
This is why i don't believe in roommates! i don't think you're jealous. look, when you pay rent, and buy things for the house (and since you're sisters, alot of things are more communal than if your rommie was some chick you were cool with). i know that if i was buying toilet tissue, and folks was using it that i didn't plan on using it (toilet tissue AIN'T cheap!), that would piss me off. ya go in ya fridge and your apple sauce is gone! his a*s ate it! you had dreams of walking around naked, but no. that can't happen. see, you heard your sister leave this morning for work, but she left her boyfriend there to help himself to all the free amenities. who wouldn't be pissed?! i always say get your own place. i don't know where you live and how expensive things are. rent is crazy high here in Los Angeles. but even then, you can get you a studio apartment. it would be your own space, and you don't have to answer to nobody, and nobody has to answer to you. the place will be too small for free-loading friends to want to stay there, and you don't have to worry about walking in on anyone's make-out fest. good luck.
MisterPinkNoTip MisterPinkNoTip 9 years
I think you need to talk to her, otherwise your anger will build up and take a toll on your relationship with your sister. I would talk to her in a casual yet blunt manner, not at all in an accusatory way. Just tell her you'd rather be straight with her than let your feelings hurt your relationship. I think it's important to set ground rules, especially since she is your sister and her bf is constantly at your house, and I'm assuming you would like to remain on good terms with both of them. Contrary to other posters, I don't think the original poster is jealous. Having unsolicited persons in your space can be quite annoying. Maybe you could ask her to hang out at his place a few days a week and also ask her to try and spend time with her bf at your place while you are at work. I also like a previous poster's idea about separate shelves in the frige. I don't think you should mention that it bothers you that they are all over each other and taking up space. However, I definitely think you should mention the bathroom and food issues and work out a schedule compromise.
linb linb 9 years
As roommates, you need to talk to her and set up some ground rules. Ask her what she would want out of you if the situation were reversed.
Liss1 Liss1 9 years
Unfortunately i have been through this. My hubby and i shared an apartment with my sister and her two kids. We split everything three ways even though there was three of them and that did not bother me. What bothered me was she moved her loser/dead beat boyfriend/kids dad (who hubby and i hated) in and didn't say anything to us. He didn't contribute to anything. When i brought this to her attention, she claimed he did not live there. He had not left the apartment in over a month! So we decided they could afford the place on their own and we found our own place place. she was fine when i told her we were looking she freaked out when we found a place and gave her notice. We ended up having a huge fight and didn't speak for two years. I still feel guilt about it, but it was really not a good living situation and i hated going home and we never left our bedroom because it was so uncomfortable.
silly3 silly3 9 years
I don't think she's jealous. I think it's annoying when someone is around using things that you weren't expecting to have around. I always think of home as being a relaxing place and if there's someone there annoying you, it's not relaxing! I had this problem in college with a suite of girls and one who's boyfriend was around all the time. We could never figure out how to deal with it, but he was always taking a long shower when we needed to go to class or drinking our beers. And none of us were jealous of our friend for having a boyfriend; he just didn't behave respectfully! I would have a talk with your sister, then try separating your things and laying ground rules, and if that doesn't work, look to move out (which can be hard if you have to pay more rent to live alone!). Good luck!
sass317 sass317 9 years
I had to have this talk with my last roommate, she tried to claim that my boyfriend was always there, but then I pointed out that I worked 6 nights a week and when I worked I went to his place afterwards, that kind of ruined her argument. You need seperate shelves in the pantry and in the fridge so that it is very clear which food belongs to you (which he is not allowed to eat, neither is your sister, without getting permission from you first) and which food belongs to her. Ask her to keep his stuff confined to her room, what she does in there is none of your business within reason, but they cannot monopolize the common space. I imagine if you are firm enough about starting to split things three ways bc he is there all the time they will either shape up or spend more time at his place. If none of that works, get your own place- and start by telling her that his constant presence is making you uncomfortable and you dont like paying for him to eat and shower and have a place to sleep- and so you will be moving out, that might make her see that she is being unfair.
mnp mnp 9 years
I don't think you're jealous of your sister like the few comments posted before me. Sharing space with one person is one thing but another is way to many if the living space is only meant for two people. Anywho, I agree with DearSugar. Have a talk with your sister and see where it goes from there. I think this conversation will be easier to handle because she is your sister. And then, see where it goes from there...
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
ah the old "he is always here" dilemma. truthfully since she is family you have more cause to take her aside and be blunt. Either he moves in and contributes, or he contributes anyway to the food budget, or you give her an ultimatum to either shape him up or you are going to ship out. Sometimes, because you are family, they think that they can get away with more than if you were just a normal roomate.
lolalu lolalu 9 years
In my opinion, someone sounds jealous... If your sister wants to have her boyfriend over she should be allowed to, its her apartment too. But if he's using common areas all the time and eating your personal stuff then you should talk to her. Suggest that they not use common areas all the time, and when he's over a lot ask them to stay in her room. But sister or not these are the things you have to deal with if your living with a roomie. It sounds to me like you want your own space (which you're not going to have all the time if your living with someone else) so think about getting your own place, or suggest they get thier own place. I know i'm playing devil's advocate here, but think about how you would feel if your sister asked you to have the person your in love with over less...
gooniette gooniette 9 years
You could ask her to move things to her bedroom, or you could spend more time in yours. And you could move anything that's yours that's in shared space right now into your room if you want to use it more often, but feel like you can't because of them. Oh, and if he's eating your food and doesn't contribute anything to the household, ask your sister for reimbursement. If she gets mad, just start keeping your food separate and don't buy things together. I know she's your sister, but she should also be a respectful roommate.
marcella marcella 9 years
Why don't you get your own apartment, then you don't have to worry about it? It's better than straining your relationship with your sister by complaining about her boyfriend. If I were your sister and you told me this, I would think you are bitter. You should get your own apartment, boyfriend, and life.
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