SONS GIRLFRIEND - ARE WE BEING UNREASONABLE?

(102 Posts)
MINNACK Mon 25-Mar-13 19:56:53

never done this before so will try and keep it simple

our sons girlfriend is lovely and we genuinely love her but we feel a little put upon lately.

the two nights per week we agreed to let her stay over have turned into three and four now and we are finding it a little hard going as we never get the house to ourselves and every weekend is spoken for. not to mention the extra mouth to feed etc. she never contributes financially to takeaways etc but is on a very good wage.

just lately she has taken to raiding the fridge and cupboard when she feels like it and it using food we thought we had for ourselves and set menus etc - on top she is gradually just putting her washing in the laundry and instead of me having less work as our children grow - my workload is increasing. when she is here - she never helps me around the house and literally leaves a trail of mess everywhere she goes and i have to tidy it all up.

like i said we love her but all this is starting to grate on our nerves and we fear it will spoil our relationship.

any advice would be greatly appreciated

thank you

jumpingjackhash Tue 26-Mar-13 15:41:26

Minnack you really do need to be stronger with them - tell your sons that you'll be charging them board from next month @ £x, which will include bed, bills, food. Get them to do their own laundry (or they can find a local laundry service). Of course a quick and easy fix is to just stop doing their laundry and cooking for them!

I'd also be tempted to give them a bed & board rate just for them and one for if their gfs are going to stay - then they might just see the added work/food etc.

Seriously, they are 20/28, that really is old enough to look after themselves and realise they have a responsibility to pay their own way/sort out their own shit.

I'm sorry about your recent loss, but don't see how you can give yourself time and space to grieve with all this extra stress.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 26-Mar-13 15:44:00

I am so sorry about your sister thanks this business about your home and being taken for granted is like the straw that broke the camel's back.

For now, you and DH have to be a united front, you both have to state how you would like things to be. Give them a week. Then start buying food just for yourselves and DD. Wash your clothes nobody else's. Put a padlock on the fridge and cupboard if necessary. Do they use a family car? If they don't put petrol in it they can't use it.

Phase 2: Ask them to tidy their rooms because you have someone coming to view them as potential lodgers.

Phase 3: As mummytime suggested upthread, I wonder if talking about downsizing would give them a rude awakening? In fact is it something you have ever given thought to?

zzzzz Tue 26-Mar-13 16:00:47

They are utterly capable of doing there own laundry. Put aside a day when they can use the machine and they can sort themselves out.

Tell them that unless they tidy and clean their rooms once a week, you will expect them to pay a cleaner to do it.

Sort out a reasonable contribution to all bills and get them to set up direct debits.

Choose two nights a week when gf's can stay and tell them to stick with them.

Invite elderly boring relatives to stay and make them give up there bedrooms regularly and make polite conversation.

Al this should focus their minds on how ver nice it would be to be independent.

MrsKoala Tue 26-Mar-13 16:11:23

Minnack that is very sad that you feel this way and your recent loss. You must reclaim your home.

Personally i wouldn't bother with their rooms and their bathroom. Leave that to them to sort out. I would just shut the door and block it from my mind. I would concentrate on communal areas and chores. Ie a rota for dishwasher emptying etc. I would also start charging bed and board as a percentage of their incomes - you don't say if they work, but if they do maybe work out 40% or something you feel reasonable. I would say gf's staying 2 nights is included. If you want to have more space i would be strict with the 2 nights rule rather than charge extra per night they stay and i would also make a rule that either Friday or Saturday is a no sleepover/gf zone from 6pm - so you and DH can have an unwind and relax together.

fuzzpig Tue 26-Mar-13 16:13:08

Oh minnack I'm so sorry about your sister sad thanks gosh you really don't need all this stress on top of a bereavement, let alone with a chronic illness as well. I have a chronic illness as well, and am well aware how much even a tiny increase in my workload makes me more ill.

I think, given the death of your sister, their aunt, a reasonable approach would be to say "I need time to grieve" and then tell them that GF cannot stay for, say, a fortnight or a month. Hell, if they really want to sleep in the same bed they can stay with her mum (and if she is stricter or doesn't allow it maybe that will make them see sense?) or since they are working adults they can pay for a hotel!

This will give you some space which you have every right to and you need it while you come to terms with your loss. During that time you can also think up new rules that will be absolute set conditions if she is to come back. Make it clear she will not be allowed back unless these new rules are followed to the letter.

You need to vastly increase your expectations. You sound like a lovely nurturing generous person, but long term by expecting so little of your boys you are doing them no favours. I'm sure you've seen lots of MN threads about useless husbands who do not pull their weight around the home, and very often it transpires that they were never expected to lift a finger when they lived with their parents. Don't let your sons grow up like that! It's time for change. It's not too late - but you have to be strict. You will be doing them a favour in the long term - and their future wives too.

Just emptying the dishwasher every day is far too little. Given their age, and the fact they are working not studying (ie needing extra time to study at home) I think they should be doing an equal amount. There is no reason why they can't do their own laundry, take turns to Hoover, wash up etc, and help with cooking and shopping. Maybe you could tell them how much they would be doing if they lived alone - because even if they do their fair share, they will be getting a damn good deal compared to how much they'd need to do if they lived away from home.

MINNACK Tue 26-Mar-13 16:15:35

thank you for all the kind sound advice and condolences - will have a meeting with hubby then family meeting.

sorry if i confused you - sons are 19 and 23, girlfriends are 20 and 28.

because house is quite big they seem to think its ok to use it as hotel but it is just more mess and more things to wash etc.

like the idea of downsizing !

lots here to take on board and think about - many thanks to everyone.

anonymosity Tue 26-Mar-13 16:15:36

Have a "family meeting" and set out the ground rules - now that 2 nights has morphed into her practically living with you. That might work.

Nanny0gg Tue 26-Mar-13 16:22:19

Dear heaven's it just gets worse!

The girls are taking you (and possibly your sons) for a ride!
And it isn't your fault - your husband has a say and your sons are taking advantage.

I'm sorry for your loss - which is showing up your sons' selfishness even more. Don't be downtrodden, tell them they're pretty much not welcome until they buck up their ideas. And if your sons are earning then they should be paying as well as contributing to the running of the house.

DiscoDonkey Tue 26-Mar-13 16:29:27

28 shock totally taking the piss!

EldritchCleavage Tue 26-Mar-13 16:34:03

They need to move out, seriously. I moved back home for a while as a working adult and my father made it quite clear that the rules were different now-I had to pull my weight. I did chores, cooking, errands and paid rent in addition to working full time. He also made it clear that, adult or not, it was my parents' home and ultimately, they called the shots. I would do exactly the same.

MINNACK

Sorry for your loss. I think you have every right to say that under the circumstances you want so peace and quiet to come to terms with your loss and ban all staying over for at least a fortnight.

zzzzz Tue 26-Mar-13 16:40:31

Just to add a little perspective. My doting and very loving Mother stopped doing my laundry when I was 12. It really isn't hard to stick your laundry in a machine and press go.

Dozer Tue 26-Mar-13 16:43:41

The situation is bad for you, they are all being selfish and taking advantage of your kindness, time to read the riot act followed by a total change in rules. Starting with your DSs paying rent and doing their fair share of chores, and their girlfriends' overnight visits vastly reduced. If they want to play house/hotels they should stump up their own cash and go elsewhere!

fuzzpig Tue 26-Mar-13 16:44:08

Somehow it seems worse that the GF who should be 5 years more mature is actually the oldest. If that makes any sense.

2 years older than me FFS.

Dozer Tue 26-Mar-13 16:45:46

It's shocking that their behaviour has continued when you are ill and bereaved. Don't put up with any more.

daintree3 Tue 26-Mar-13 16:48:02

What a cheeky cow! I'm speechless

Definitely set some boundaries!

amothersplaceisinthewrong Tue 26-Mar-13 16:49:52

I am gobsmacked that a 28 year old is not renting her own place by now, espeically as she is on a "good wage". I would reduce the visits to a couple of nights a week. My son's gf stays with us sometimes, but never more than a day or two a week and my son stays there as much. No way does she leave me any washing or clearing up. Riot act definitely needed.

ivanapoo Tue 26-Mar-13 16:54:33

Sorry to hear about your sister.

I would go with making a list of additional costs eg cleaner, food shop, extra utilities so they can't argue and ask them to pay it - while they look for their own places.

Could your DH have a word instead? Why does it fall to you?

OK, minnack I am cross on your behalf, and I dont get cross often.
How very DARE they treat you like this? I dont mean the girls, I mean your sons. How very DARE they.

Time for some straight talking. Do you know what you actually WANT to happen? What do you absolutely NEED them to do? How much are they all actually costing you?

Some straight talking with some facts and figures is the way to go. I am happy to come and mediate if required. smile

You go girl!

SherbetVodka Tue 26-Mar-13 17:16:27

I would go with making a list of additional costs eg cleaner, food shop, extra utilities so they can't argue and ask them to pay it

This, definitely. They should be paying for a cleaner for their rooms and bathroom at the very least.

mrsjay Tue 26-Mar-13 17:20:00

she isnt staying over she is moving in lovey you have to talk to him about it put it back to 2 nights and say they BOTh have to contribute to takeaways and show her where the washing machine is or say LOUDLY WHOS KNICKERS ARE THESE if her washing appears int he basket wink

NinaHeart Tue 26-Mar-13 17:33:11

Minnack, I am totally with Norks on this one. Enough said.
Feel the supportive vibes and off you go to sort them out.
and let us know how you get on.

riverboat Tue 26-Mar-13 18:14:21

Good luck OP, I hope the family meeting goes well.

If it doesn't have the effect you hope, I would just wordlessly and non-confrontationally:

- Stop doing anyone's washing except DH and DD (leave all else in basket)
- Stop cooking meals or ordering takeaways for more than three people
- Throw any mess left in communal areas into the bedroom of the offender, including dirty plates, empty yoghurt pots etc. And stop trying to get them to clean their rooms, just don't go in there.
- Clear a couple of shelves in the fridge, a cupboard and some freezer space, and tell them this is where they can store the food they buy. You could be kind and start them off with a loaf of bread, milk and a few tins.

If they complain, just explain mildly you thought they'd prefer to live outside your system of housekeeping and cooking, since they didn't like it enough to contribute.

MimiSunshine Tue 26-Mar-13 18:19:56

Ok stop worrying about the GF(s), they don't live in your house so unless you're about to adopt them, don't include them in a family meeting.
Work out what you and DH are happy with I.e
GFs over only2 nights of the week including weekends
Sons do they're own washing. (Just leave it in the basket)
Sons contribute to bills and food (realistic amount)
Sons and daughter cook one night a week each (sons to buy ingrediants and if your daughter is over 12 then no reason she can't join in this plus age appropriate chores)

Then you tell your sons that its up to them to communicate the house rules to their GF. You will tell ask GFs nicely to leave on night 3 and no screaming and shouting will stop you.
The boys take the piss because they know you'll eventually back down and just do it yourself.

Be strong and just keep in mind that in the long run you're doing them a favour

LifeSavedbyLego Tue 26-Mar-13 18:20:14

Surely it is time (at 20 and 23) they move out. They are working adults, not children, not teenages and not students. They need to man up and rent a room/flat elsewhere.

Because you are NOT A FUCKING DOORMAT WOMAN.

(they may come home once a week for the Sunday tea - but only if they've been good and bring you naice wine )

Failing that they should be doing their own washing, and two days each (per couple) of the cooking and cleaning. Girlfirends that don't help can fuck off home. Oh and paying the going rate for bed and board.

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