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AIBU to not want sister staying over for no good reason?

(80 Posts)
RiverCambs Mon 23-May-16 10:17:54

We have a bit of a rocky relationship - we've never really seen eye-to-eye on things. She has always been financially irresponsible and relies on our parents for money (she's 23) which always annoys me. She refuses to take responsibility for her actions, it's always someone else's fault, she doesn't see why she might be the problem. Has had about 7 jobs in as many years (there's always a problem with the people there/she ends up falling out with colleagues because 'they're bitchy', and so on and so forth). She has been given SO much help both financially, physically and mentally over the years (from me, parents and her ex-BF) but always fritters it away, and then the cycle of 'I have no money, can you lend me some' continues.

My main gripe is that she asks to sleep at mine at LEAST once a week. I have a small one-bed apartment and I'm an introvert. I don't mind hanging out with her but I don't see why she needs to sleep at mine so frequently. Her reason is always "I'm lonely/I feel emotional/I don't want to be on my own/it's easier if I stay at yours because you're closer to my work" and I can't help thinking YOU'RE AN ADULT. Learn how to be on your own for more than a week without asking for a sleepover.

She's not a particularly good guest either - will sit on the sofa ALL day watching stuff on my laptop, sleeps completely naked sprawled out on my bed, asks that we don't open the curtains so we're stagnating in the dark all day.. the list goes on.

WIBU to tell her that no she can't stay over, that I want my own space? And that we're adults, you can't just have a sleepover when you feel a bit sad? (In a slightly softer way!)

AndNowItsSeven Mon 23-May-16 10:21:57

She sounds lonely and depressed , family should support each other in the absence of abuse. Yabu

KinkyAfro Mon 23-May-16 10:22:33

YANBU, I'm just surprised you have put up with it for so long! Is the reason she wants to stay because she still lives at home with your parents

acasualobserver Mon 23-May-16 10:23:40

Relatives don't have any special dispensation that allows them to become intrusive and inconsiderate house guests. Yes, dear family, there's always a bed for you here in extremis but, please, don't take the piss.

rollonthesummer Mon 23-May-16 10:24:57

Why does she sleep in your bed?!

I wouldn't fancy this at all!!

bibbitybobbityyhat Mon 23-May-16 10:25:33

Yanbu. Of course not. I expect you love her but it doesn't sound like you like her at all ... and why would you have someone you don't like sleeping naked in your bed confused ?

It sounds like she could do with someone giving her a wake-up call.

fuzzywuzzy Mon 23-May-16 10:26:44

YANBU I'd have said no ages ago.

So what if she's your sister, you need your own space, which is fair enough.

oldestmumaintheworld Mon 23-May-16 10:27:23

You need to practice the following:

'No, I'm sorry you can't.'

You are not unreasonable at all to decide who sleeps in your flat and when. Yes, she is your sister, but you didn't choose her and you are not responsible for what she does or how she behaves or how she feels. That is her job, not yours.

Saying no to people is not always easy. especially those whom we are supposed to love. But it up to you to have things as you want them in your own flat. And if you don't want her staying over say so.

A very wise person told me years ago that when you are stating what you want you should 'Never apologise and never explain'. Trust me it works.

RiverCambs Mon 23-May-16 10:35:44

Ok. It's good to know I'm not a total monster. Thanks for your replies.

AndNowItsSeven I get what you're saying and I agree to an extent, but she has had COPIOUS amounts of support over the years from her ex-boyfriend, MY boyfriends, my parents and my aunts/uncles etc. My parents are very supportive but they don't live in the UK which makes things a little harder.

bibbitybobbityyhat You've hit the nail on the head. I love her by proxy but I don't like her as a person. We have argued a fair bit in the past.

I tend to put my foot down now and say OK, you can stay, but you need to sleep on the sofa (she is the worst person to sleep with).

I just feel stuck between feeling like it's my duty to take care of her (I am actually younger than her) and wanting to say get a grip woman!

EveryoneElsie Mon 23-May-16 10:39:19

YANBU. Look after yourself first.
Its not our job to be the rock of support for everyone else; they have to learn to take care of themselves.
It sounds like she doenst take responsibility because she doesnt want to. Its not MH issues, its immaturity.

EssentialHummus Mon 23-May-16 10:50:11

You sound a bit fed up of her dependency on you, your family, BFs, and no wonder. I would be too.

As to your apartment, just say no, and keep saying no. If you are happy to see her, offer to meet her for a coffee somewhere other than your apartment, and have somewhere to go after so she can't trail home behind you.

shovetheholly Mon 23-May-16 10:54:50

Gosh, I feel your pain.

I have a sibling who is tremendously dependent on parents, to the point of lying about a lot of stuff in order to stay at home. She is now in her mid 30s! There's not much you can do about their dysfunctional relationship with parents, but you can deal out a bit of tough love yourself and encourage her to stand on her own feet. In the long run, she's going to have to go it alone at some point and the sooner she starts developing a bit of independence the better for her own wellbeing, as well as everyone else's.

Be prepared for the shit to hit the fan when you tell her though - with your parents as well as her personally.

BarbarianMum Mon 23-May-16 10:57:05

YANBU to not let her stay over.

Separately to that - your dsis has had copious amounts of support over the years and still can't really cope with independently managing the rigors of daily life. It sounds to me that she has issues beyond needing to "get a grip". Is she speaking to anyone about her mental health?

RiverCambs Mon 23-May-16 11:15:01

Be prepared for the shit to hit the fan when you tell her though - with your parents as well as her personally.

This is a bit of an issue for us as a family. There's only me, my sis, and my parents. We've always been close-knit (bar the scraps between me and sister) and my parents really want me to always be there for her. When I say 'She's not my responsibility' they give it 'But she's your SISTER. She would always be there for you'. Which is true, but I have never asked her for anything. I don't like feeling dependent on people and prefer to deal with things on my own - complete opposite of her.

It sounds to me that she has issues beyond needing to "get a grip".

I think you're right. She has no social skills really - she comes across as patronising and fake a lot of the time when she's talking to new people. She doesn't have any friends because they are all 'weird' or 'not able to talk about meaningful things' (she is an INCREDIBLY emotional person).

She also doesn't really understand basic social etiquette - she will answer her phone on dates and think nothing of having a full-blown convo with someone then and there, and when I tell her that's rude she'll say "But they called ME! It would be rude to ignore the call".


ipsogenix Mon 23-May-16 11:17:06

Her sleeping naked on your bed is quite odd. Do you have any idea of what's going on there?

RiverCambs Mon 23-May-16 11:19:44

Her sleeping naked on your bed is quite odd. Do you have any idea of what's going on there?

She said she can't sleep with PJs/she ends up taking them off when she gets hot in the night or whatever. Which I get cause I hate wearing them too. But seeing someone other than an OH naked on your sofa or bed is just grin

oliviaclottedcream Mon 23-May-16 11:20:39

I've a sister like this...It doesn't matter how much you do for her. In fact the more you do for her, the less likely she'll take command of her own life, and continue blaming everyone around her.


harshbuttrue1980 Mon 23-May-16 11:22:07

YANBU. Let her stay once in a while, but other than that she can come round and then go home to sleep. When she does stay, set your boundaries - she must wear nightclothes, the curtains get opened etc. These are all totally reasonable and normal boundaries!

Inertia Mon 23-May-16 11:22:21

I would completely reframe how you interact with your sister- don't stick to staying at your house. I think you'd more than fulfil your sisterly duties if you said that you didn't want to be stuck indoors, but you'll meet her for lunch/ dinner/ cinema visit and then go back to your own houses.

BarbarianMum Mon 23-May-16 11:22:50

I think you would be wise to lay out your boundaries clearly and defend them both to your sister and parents when necessary. If you are going to be needed to provide support / friendship long term then it needs to be on terms you can sustain.

Would she talk to a doctor about her emotional turmoil?

KittensandKnitting Mon 23-May-16 11:24:39


It sounds to me like you have lots of good reasons to say no.

BTW - Do you live on your own at the moment? As would be even more inclined to say no if she's lounging about naked on your bed if you have a BF/DP

shovetheholly Mon 23-May-16 11:31:02

Rivercambs - Yes, I get that line about reciprocity too. And I think it's bollocks! The fact of the matter is that it's not good for a healthy adult to be utterly dependent on family for their entire social wellbeing (and no amount of tantrums, crying, and emotional overreaction will alter that fact). If there are problems with someone reaching independence - practical, financial or psychological - they are only going to get better if acknowledged and confronted. I know it sounds incredibly tough, but sometimes if you want someone to grow up, you have to let them make and live with the consequences of minor mistakes. Equally, while someone is shielded from the need to develop good social skills by a suffocatingly protective family environment, they will never reach a point where they can talk to strangers with honesty and ease.

EssentialHummus Mon 23-May-16 11:31:43

When I say 'She's not my responsibility' they give it 'But she's your SISTER. She would always be there for you'.

As someone with a dysfunctional family member - firstly, your sister is not your responsibility. Secondly, however much you take responsibility / make her your problem / try to sort her out and include her, she will likely not resolve her issues until she is ready to - everything else will just enable her to continue the way she is.

If there are mental health issues here you and your parents may want to steer her in the direction of appropriate support.

Sorry to sound harsh, and aware that I may be projecting from my own experience, but if her life is a pattern of fucking up and then relying on her family to fix her up, most support will just be part of this pattern imo.

shovetheholly Mon 23-May-16 11:32:48

Oh, and I also think that in a just world (and family life is anything but just in many cases) your parents ought to do some soul-searching about why you have to rough it all the time and suffer the usual knocks of life on your own, but why your sister gets protected from all of that.

RiverCambs Mon 23-May-16 11:35:09

Would she talk to a doctor about her emotional turmoil?

Yes and no. She says she will but then generally doesn't bother. She's actually going today, so fingers X she follows through with it. I've offered to pay for private counseling for her before but she didn't take me up on it. She has various issues that she needs to address (VV insecure, up and down, clingy and not able to control her anger - all of the reasons her long term BF left her in the end).

BTW - Do you live on your own at the moment? As would be even more inclined to say no if she's lounging about naked on your bed if you have a BF/DP

I live alone but BF stays over 3/4 nights a week. I usually tell her she can't stay on these occasions.

I am painting her out to be a complete monstrosity which isn't the case entirely. She has good points - she's emotionally supportive if I ever feel down and want to chat with her, she would do anything for family etc. She's just a royal pain in the bum at times and has the mentality of a 15 year old.

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