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AIBU to not want BIL staying here?

(119 Posts)
ijustdontknowanymore Mon 23-May-16 20:03:58

This is my first post and feeling a bit sensitive so please be kind.

This is quite a long story but here goes .... My DH & I are in our late 20s/early 30s. DH has a much younger half brother who is in his early 20s, who moved to the same city as us last last year to go to uni. DH's family live in another country.

BIL has been experiencing some quite serious issues with anxiety and depression, and has been staying with us for the last 6 weeks so that we can try to support him as best as we can. He can become very anxious and has panic attacks which are terrifying to witness, and occasionally has been angry. There's been very little support from the NHS, despite a history of the same illness and the only counselling they can offer is in 12 weeks time and will only be for 6 weeks. He has been seeing his GP regularly but counselling is really the only option.

DH is due to leave next week for a 12 week overseas job in a very dangerous country, which I'm absolutely dreading. BIL has now finished uni for the summer, and I think it would be sensible if he went back to his home country where there is better access to private healthcare and he could be with his family. At the moment he won't commit to any kind of plan for the future, and won't discuss going back to his home country. To be honest I don't think that I can cope with being the only person he has to rely on here when he has a bad turn. I'm working a fairly full on job (which I've had to leave a couple of times to support BIL), and without my husband here it is just too much strain. I grew up in a very volatile family and never knowing what I'm going to come home to is bringing back some fairly painful emotions.

DH and his family are anxious to avoid putting any pressure on BIL as to what he is going to do, which I understand, but AIBU to want them to consider it from my POV?

BlackVelvet1 Mon 23-May-16 20:41:23

I think you are right that he'd be better off home with his family and friends.

FlopIsMyParentingGuru Mon 23-May-16 21:39:00

I think you're well within your rights to say you can't cope with BIL on your own. Your DP needs to liaise with his family to sort it out.

redexpat Tue 24-May-16 05:44:53

YANBU. Are you in the UK? Can't BIL access at uni?

Brekekekex Tue 24-May-16 06:34:48

YANBU. I was also going to make the same point as redexpat - both universities I went to had excellent counselling services for students, offering CBT among other things. Has he tried to access these resources?

Chocolatethief Tue 24-May-16 06:53:17

YANBU While I understand you not needing anymore stress and im not saying you should have him continuing staying with you, is it possible that he will not discuss going home because he does not get on with people there and he feels that it would make him worse. I am not saying you are wrong in how you feel I am just trying to see it from his point, he may feel that he has let his parents down and so not want to see them yet. I think you need to sit him down and get him to talk to you about his plans.

Becky546 Tue 24-May-16 07:05:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BillSykesDog Tue 24-May-16 09:00:02

YANBU, mental healthcare here is shit, and if he has an opportunity of accessing better help elsewhere he should take it.

BillBrysonsBeard Tue 24-May-16 10:47:03


ijustdontknowanymore Tue 24-May-16 13:15:44

Thanks for your replies everyone. I was starting to think that I was just being selfish. BIL has accessed his uni counselling service, but doesn't feel it is effective or helping him. He's missed a few appointments and I just don't think he is invested into it. He'd previously seen a private psychiatrist in his home city which he said was the first appointment with a mental health practitioner that actually made him feel a little better.

The main reason he doesn't want to go back is because his ex is there (the relationship ending was a catalyst for him developing such severe symptoms), although it's a big city he is worried about being in the same place and how it will make him feel. He gets on well with his family and they all want to support him as much as they can.

The problem is that he just won't engage in any kind of conversation about what his plans are and what might be best for him going forwards. He gets incredibly upset and refuses to talk about it, and his family (DH included) won't push him on it because they obviously don't want him to be upset. DH says to me that we can't make him do anything he doesn't want to (which is true) and it needs to be up to him, but I'm so frustrated because at the moment there is no long term plan for his healthcare, and I feel that someone needs to take control and manage the situation. To be honest I think BIl is too ill to make any decisions for himself. Meanwhile from next week I'm faced with being left on my own to look after him working in a stressful job (which is being affected by BIL staying with us because I work from home). I've told my DH that I just can't cope with it but I think he's at a loss as to what to do, and just doesn't want to upset his brother any more.

I don't want to sound like a total cow, but I'm getting to the point where I feel I have to say he can't stay, even if only to prompt DH & family to make some decisions?

ChicRock Tue 24-May-16 13:21:11


I'd insist that either BIL leaves, or DH cancels his 12 week overseas job and stays at home to look after him.

Gazelda Tue 24-May-16 13:22:14

Can you talk to your DH and his family from the angle that you're struggling to provide BIL with the support he needs, and will find it too much to do so while your DH is away. Your stress levels are high and the worry about your DHs placement will increase your worries. You don't feel strong enough to provide the support BIL needs.
Although part of me would resent having to lay bare your own vulnerabilities when the truth is that BILs family should have gently taken control by coming to collect him.

mummytime Tue 24-May-16 13:32:39

I think part of the problem is that your BIL's family is waiting for him to make the decision BUT he may well not be able to make any decision because of his anxiety and depression. They need to take charge of this situation, maybe someone needs to fly over and escort him home (that's what I would do if it was one of my children).

You are going to have to be cruel to be kind, you don't need your mental health to be damaged in trying to care for BIL. And I'm sure he'd be better off with his own family.

RaspberryOverload Tue 24-May-16 13:45:09

There's also another issue.

While you are there, BIL's family can convince themselves everything is okay and they need do nothing. They are convincing themselves everything is fine and are not listening to you saying it's too much, because they are doing the equivalent of stuffing their fingers in their ears and saying "la-la-la, I can't hear you.

Your DH and his family will not make any changes until you issue an ultimatum. Perhaps put it to your DH that either he cancels his placement to care for his brother, or something else is sorted out. Everyone else is okay with the status quo.

BillSykesDog Tue 24-May-16 14:33:49

You don't sound like a total cow at all. Aside from the fact you're just having everything dumped on you, it doesn't sound like BIL will have the appropriate support in place to make sure he is okay if he's just on his own while you are out at work and he's got very limited input from MH professionals. That is not selfish, it's a very valid concern for both of you.

whois Tue 24-May-16 14:51:52

I think you're well within your rights to say you can't cope with BIL on your own. Your DP needs to liaise with his family to sort it out.

^ This.

BiL can't stay without DP there. No way.

whois Tue 24-May-16 14:52:44

Call his mum. Get his mum to fly over and take him home.

ijustdontknowanymore Tue 24-May-16 17:40:24

Thanks all, I feel much better after reading your replies. I'm going to speak to DH tonight and insist that plans are put in place for BIL to go by the end of this week. Feel like a total b*tch but I genuinely think it's best for everyone! Wish me luck :-)

TizzyTime Tue 24-May-16 17:45:30

You aren't responsible for his welfare and have done a lot already.

You can't make him go home but that doesn't equate to having to live with him.

The problem is not you BIL, it's your DH who expects you to shoulder this in his absence.

Inertia Tue 24-May-16 18:52:27

Yanbu. It's totally unfair for your H to go away for months and leave you to pick up the pieces.

Far better for your Bil to have a managed move back to his own family than to be thrown out or have the police called on him because his behaviour is not manageable.

TheVillageTaxpayer Tue 24-May-16 18:57:58

YA definitely NBU.

No way is it fair to stick you alone with a volatile, mentally ill young man. I can't believe any of them are even contemplating this.

Tell you DH either his brother leaves or he stays home. If he refuses to do either, then insist that his family pay for an alternative dwelling for you until your husband comes back. This is just so unfair to you, I can't believe it.

I have sympathy for mental illness but not wanting to be in the same city as an ex-girlfriend is self-indulgent to the extreme. Especially when there is caring family and mental heath assistance/care available there. What does he expect to do, sit around feeling sorry for himself & surf the web or watch TV at your place indefinitely?

rollonthesummer Tue 24-May-16 19:01:00

I'd insist that either BIL leaves, or DH cancels his 12 week overseas job and stays at home to look after him.

This. It's totally unfair of his family to land the problem solely at your door. Tell him either one of those two things happen or you'll tell him to leave yourself.

leelu66 Tue 24-May-16 19:19:23

YANBU, your BIL's family need to take action instead of just wringing their hands and everything defaulting on to your shoulders.

AyeAmarok Tue 24-May-16 19:26:41

Does he have any support network in place there (aside from you and your DH)?

RiverCambs Tue 24-May-16 19:28:01


Stayed with you for six weeks already? Holy smokes! I couldn't cope with that at all grin

Your OH needs to take control of the situation. It's not fair that you're stressed because of your BIL and it's unreasonable for your OH to let him stay when he's not there.

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