need advice, brother in law

carolssisJune 9, 2013

My brother in law moved in with us, he was homeless thru no fault of his own. Has applied for disability, not approved yet, has no income. We are retired, have limited income, obvioulsy. We are happy to have him here, but he seems to be clueless about money all of a sudden. He got food stamps, good, we need the help. But he smokes, $90 to $120 a month for that. He doesn't seem to realize his eating and drinking habits are affecting us all. He drinks lots of soda, over $30 a month worth. Last month I totaled up over $60 spent on junk. chips, ice cream, soda. I don't know how to bring it up to him without hurting his feelings. We keep our soda consumption in check, don't drink 2 or 3 a day. We rarely have lots of chips here, last week we got 2 more bags, and there were already 5 bags here! We usually have 2, that last a month or more. My bil stated he could live on sour cream and onion chips and ramen noodles. Well good, but what about the rest of us? My hubby seems to think that since the food stamps are bil's he should make the decisions about how it's spent. Not good, he's not thinking. How do I bring this touchy subject up? and advice is welcomed gladly!

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Really not a marriage question....

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 11:03PM
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I think it is. The husband is responsible to keep his brother in check. Sounds like wife needs backing from her husband and isn't getting it.

Is the subject touchy between you and your husband or just between you guys and your BIL?

Be clear with your husband how this impacts YOU. Sometimes women have a hard time expressing their own needs and so they will put it off on someone else ("he's being irresponsible" rather than "His smoking and drinking is in conflict with the rules of our home and it makes me uncomfortable." "He is not contributing to the income of the home by providing us with either money, or food we can eat. This leaves me resentful."

If you are cleaning up after this guy, I suggest you stop - or whatever else you might be doing that makes you resentful.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2013 at 11:19PM
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Right now your BIL's food stamps are his "income" and it's fair that a portion of the value is provided for your "rent."

Right now your BIL is costing you in such things as increased water usage, lights on in more rooms, etc. so there's more of a strain on your budget than just the groceries. Your husband is mistaken if he thinks his brother is a free addition to the household.

It's unfortunate that you and your husband and BIL didn't have "the talk" before he moved in, but if you can get your husband on board (and he should be) you need to sit down with your BIL and tell him straight what your financial situation is and the drain some of his habits are putting on you.

This is not a matter of hurting feelings. It's a matter of honesty and respecting him enough to make him an equal partner in your mutual well-being.

Getting disability can take a long time so it's important to resolve this before you have a nervous breakdown or your own finances are seriously compromised.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 1:26AM
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You say you dont want to hurt his feelings, well your feelings are being hurt !

Suggest a round table discussion about the living arrangements. It doesn't have to descend into to a big argument. Just choose your words carefully. Maybe he doesn't know how you feel.

Always best to speak up.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 3:39AM
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