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Husband and his brother

(168 Posts)
OldOrMaybeNotThatOld Thu 03-Dec-20 05:20:32

Just a rant really.
My husband started a business many years ago and its turned into a success. I am an accountant by trade and so I work with him managing the finances.
My husband has one brother (my BIL) who is far less successful than he is and has always jumped from job to job, relationship to relationship, has been black listed for bad debt and just generally is a bit of a slack arse about life where even going for a walk around the block is too much effort for him. My husband on the other hand is driven, motivated, passionate about his business and is fit and looks after his health. So polar opposites with little in common except that they are brothers.
About 10 years ago my BIL just up and left his job with the usual excuse about how 'he just couldnt take it anymore' and got kicked out of his rental and landed up sleeping on our couch. Out of desperation my DH gave him a job. It was a position created for him just to get him off our couch and on his feet.
10 years later and his is still working for us, living in a house we have provided and driving a company vehicle. My DH has moved him around the business about 5 times because he just keeps failing by either not being capable or because his slack bulchy attitude affects the other staff who we cant afford to lose.
And so its rolled around again that BIL has to be moved out of his position because things are falling apart around him and staff are unhappy.
Im so fed up with it.
My DH has no respect for him and because of the family relations has no boundaries in how he talks to him so just ends up shouting at BIL all day because he is honestly so useless at his job.
BIL has no self respect and honestly just takes it all in as 'part of the job'. He has no drive and is in his late 40s so I think he just thinks we are his retirement plan so is prepared to just suck up a bad job because its comfortable and safe.
Im at my wits end with an unhappy DH who is resentful that his own brother (older by the way) has become his responsibility. Im pissed off at BIL who seems to have no desire to be better and I cant understand why someone would have so little self respect that they would get up everyday and go to a job that he knows he is not doing well in. And Im angry at both of them because one has gained an employee, the other an employer but both have lost a brother because we do not see each other outside of work because my DH just needs a break!
Our business does well enough financially and I feel like the best thing to do is to just pay BIL to do nothing for the sake of peace at home and at work.

OP’s posts: |
Shoxfordian Thu 03-Dec-20 05:52:12

I think you should have one conversation where you make it clear that this pissing about will have consequences and if it continues then you sack him.

liveitwell Thu 03-Dec-20 05:57:40

Performance management.

AlizarinRed Thu 03-Dec-20 05:59:12

Can you afford to pay his rent - so he moves there and loses his job so anything else he needs he has to get by working elsewhere.
If he is intelligent could it be worth getting some counselling for him to work out why he is a loser - it could be something happened in his childhood or youth that has messed him up.
Don't spose you can sell up the business and retire/start a new business somewhere else.

Bellag79 Thu 03-Dec-20 06:00:52

My brother in law had exactly the same issue but with 2 brothers. It got to a point where he was so stressed, it was affecting his home life with my sister and their children.
It took a few years but in the end he got rid of both of them.

The fallout at the time was huge and his entire family stopped talking to him.

Now, both brothers re-trained and they all have a good relationship.

I do appreciate how difficult it was but there really was no other option. They are now both doing really well in new careers. I can guarantee though, if he hadn't of gotten rid of them, they would still be working for him!

OldOrMaybeNotThatOld Thu 03-Dec-20 06:03:39

I forgot to say that both of the suggestions above have already been done. The family relationship (burden) makes it difficult in that my DH has a heart! He loves his brother and is so disappointed that things have to be this way.

He knows that if BIL didnt have a job with him, he would literally be out of the street. He would never kick him out of the house we provide because where would he go?
He feels responsible for him but so resentful that he is not getting a fair return for what he provides.

OP’s posts: |
OldOrMaybeNotThatOld Thu 03-Dec-20 06:07:59

AlizarinRed

Can you afford to pay his rent - so he moves there and loses his job so anything else he needs he has to get by working elsewhere.
If he is intelligent could it be worth getting some counselling for him to work out why he is a loser - it could be something happened in his childhood or youth that has messed him up.
Don't spose you can sell up the business and retire/start a new business somewhere else.

He lives in a house we own.
We have suggested counselling but he is not interested and quite honestly I dont think he believes there is anything wrong with the setup. When I say he has no self respect, that is just my opinion. In reality I think he probably has a heap of misguided self belief, he is one of those people who cannot self reflect. I think his life must be so miserable getting up every day and knowing that he is just going to get HELL from my DH at work everyday because he has done another thing wrong.
I think the misery at work is offset by the notion that he is getting looked after and has no financial stress.

OP’s posts: |
OldOrMaybeNotThatOld Thu 03-Dec-20 06:18:02

Bellag79

My brother in law had exactly the same issue but with 2 brothers. It got to a point where he was so stressed, it was affecting his home life with my sister and their children.
It took a few years but in the end he got rid of both of them.

The fallout at the time was huge and his entire family stopped talking to him.

Now, both brothers re-trained and they all have a good relationship.

I do appreciate how difficult it was but there really was no other option. They are now both doing really well in new careers. I can guarantee though, if he hadn't of gotten rid of them, they would still be working for him!

My DH and BIL parents have both passed on.
I think that is where a lot of the sense of responsibility to my BIL comes from. My MIL used to prop up my BIL emotionally and sometimes financially and now that she is gone the responsibility has fallen onto my DH and he has a sense of obligation.

I have to add that we dont live in the UK. We live in a country where jobs for people like my BIL who is essentially unskilled and has a poor job history are very very few.

I have a British passport and we often talk about moving to the UK once our current work contract has ended (6 years) but I shudder to think that my DH would have the guts to just leave his brother here. I dont think he has the heart to do it.
The only solution would be for us to suck up the financial burden and not be bothered with the rest. But that just doesnt seem fair.

OP’s posts: |
Shoxfordian Thu 03-Dec-20 06:28:00

You should sack him
He's not doing the job, if he was any other employee then he'd be fired so maybe one more chance if you really feel generous then done. Otherwise you will be paying for him for the rest of his life.

FourDecades Thu 03-Dec-20 06:47:36

Do you have children?

OldOrMaybeNotThatOld Thu 03-Dec-20 06:59:20

FourDecades

Do you have children?

My husband has two children from a previous marriage and we are TTC one of our own.
My BIL has one child (19) from a failed marriage.

OP’s posts: |
KatherineJaneway Thu 03-Dec-20 07:02:19

Maybe him facing life on the streets as a real reality would give him the kick up the bum he needed? So far he hasn't had to put in any effort as everyone has given him all he needs all his life from the sounds of it.

OldOrMaybeNotThatOld Thu 03-Dec-20 07:10:27

KatherineJaneway

Maybe him facing life on the streets as a real reality would give him the kick up the bum he needed? So far he hasn't had to put in any effort as everyone has given him all he needs all his life from the sounds of it.

You would think but its been 10 years of it and multiple blow ups and family rows and nothing has changed.

How is my DH supposed to just kick him out?
We can afford it so its not a financial decision. Its a moral decision and my DH just would never be able to live with himself knowing he could provide for his brother but didnt.
Obviously the basic issue is that we have been TRYING to make him earn his keep to alleviate us feeling like we are just paying for nothing.

OP’s posts: |
AlwaysCheddar Thu 03-Dec-20 07:14:30

Sack him. It must be affecting the success and reputation of your business.

thosetalesofunexpected Thu 03-Dec-20 07:20:50

Hi Op
I totally understand how, why you and your husband have got into this very stressful, Arkward situation with BIL.

In this situation to get some much needed perspective amagine if your to give sound advice to a good friend in the same situation as yours what would you say to your good friend!!??

My perspective of your situation with BIL is by helping him out financially, job wise,even his living arrangements though done with best intentions..

You are not reallying helping him, these are the reasons why I think this way as followsfollows

a) your kindness is "proping up" his bad habits to such a extent its encouraging him to continue his behaviour as their are no consequences for him to want to change such as being aware that discomfort could happen a reality check..

B) your are treating him like a spoilt child such as having everything he wants his own way in all aspects of his life he doesn't have to think for himself its catered for him

B)your kindness enables him your BIL to see himself as one of live's victim, poor me sort of mentality

The solutions to this problem are to treat your BIL like a friend, be supportive but stand back quite a bit emotionally, such as helping to get back standing on his feet again

Such as BIL visiting Citzens advice bureau or visiting/tel a supporting worker from a debts/money budget advice charity to have advice how to sort out his finances issue.

Also a there are charities that can help people find suitable accommodation for themselves such as flat etc,
Or

He BIL can go flat/ house hunting on the internet etc..

I am not surprised you are finding stressful living and working with a member of your husband family,

Its obviously will be put a strain on your relantship with your husband.
As this arrangement it all sounds to me as if there are hardly or not enough sound boundaries,for e.g boundaries if they are in place??they are so flimsy blown apart rusty that line btwn work/home life and space,time to be a couple are messily blurred, you proberly don't get enough space for to be a couple etc.
Its not healthy or sustainable this kind of living/working arrangement.

Major headache inducing situation really

Charleyhorses Thu 03-Dec-20 07:25:46

So what can he do, inside or outside the business that is within his capabilities? Start there. Forget about egos or expectations.

KatherineJaneway Thu 03-Dec-20 07:30:04

*How is my DH supposed to just kick him out?
We can afford it so its not a financial decision. Its a moral decision and my DH just would never be able to live with himself knowing he could provide for his brother but didnt.*
Obviously the basic issue is that we have been TRYING to make him earn his keep to alleviate us feeling like we are just paying for nothing.

Then you just have to live with the fact that you'll be paying for him for the rest of your lives which I suspect you already know hence the rant here.

Might help to stop trying to change him? Clearly nothing works and it just makes you angry which is wasted energy.

thosetalesofunexpected Thu 03-Dec-20 07:36:28

Op
Being both supportive to BIL , like a good friends, but at distance like cheer leaders is the way to move forward in this situation.

Also BIL may susprise you and husband and BIL stop his man child ways that you and your husband are enabling propping him to continue like this..

Obviously BIL to help to change proberly needs incentives,for motivation such as himself looking for a new job or going back to education,college Adult eduction he could have incentive of for e.g saving up money to go on a short break/location or Hol for himself or saving up to join a health spa/gym membership or etc.

I think you really need to sack him so he will have to find another job, (he might have to go on benefits briefly until he finds something better...

OldOrMaybeNotThatOld Thu 03-Dec-20 07:38:06

KatherineJaneway

*How is my DH supposed to just kick him out?
We can afford it so its not a financial decision. Its a moral decision and my DH just would never be able to live with himself knowing he could provide for his brother but didnt.*
Obviously the basic issue is that we have been TRYING to make him earn his keep to alleviate us feeling like we are just paying for nothing.

Then you just have to live with the fact that you'll be paying for him for the rest of your lives which I suspect you already know hence the rant here.

Might help to stop trying to change him? Clearly nothing works and it just makes you angry which is wasted energy.

Yes - A frustrating rant!

My DH used to think if he could elevate him and lift him up he would be able to change. We now know that we cannot change him. So when I say we have been TRYING to make him earn his keep what I mean is that we have been trying to find a place for him in our business that matches who he is and where he can cause the least damage. Unfortunately he has basically held every job except cleaner and has failed miserably at them all.

I am pretty self aware and I do recognise that my DH is so resentful at the situation and how far it has gone that even if my BIL were the cleaner, he wouldnt do a good job at that in my DH eyes.

Its so flipping difficult. I just wish my BIL could see the damage he has caused to a family relationship by not being a stand up adult on his own.

God knows what is going to happen when retirement comes around or when we want to move to the UK. I know that BIL has not provided for retirement out of his earnings and at nearly 50 its too late to make a meaningful contribution to any fund. So guess who the fund is going to be? Us!

OP’s posts: |
flaviaritt Thu 03-Dec-20 07:41:52

Realistically, if your DH isn’t going to kick him out (and I understand that), could you tell him you need him to start paying rent?

OldOrMaybeNotThatOld Thu 03-Dec-20 07:44:51

flaviaritt

Realistically, if your DH isn’t going to kick him out (and I understand that), could you tell him you need him to start paying rent?

He does pay rent ... Out of an elevated salary we provide him. I do salary payments every month and take a deduction off for rent. If he didnt have a job with us, that rent wouldnt get paid to us.

The house he lives in is the least of my concerns as it is a house on our business premises.

OP’s posts: |
flaviaritt Thu 03-Dec-20 07:47:32

Oh right, then he’s just a tenant, so could live somewhere else. Not really a house you’ve ‘provided’. Sorry, didn’t get that.

If he can pay rent, and has experience in your business, presumably he can get a job elsewhere? What’s he been doing for you?

icelollycraving Thu 03-Dec-20 07:49:14

I’d throw out the suggestion that you are considering either selling the home he lives in or performance managing him. What a miserable situation for all of you,
This man’s self esteem must be in the gutter to take being shouted at to hold onto a job (any job) because of your dh. Your dh must feel very resentful.
This situation must also affect the reputation of your dh as it shows a very difficult balance of trying to do the right thing whilst showing weakness. If there was no family connection, he’d not have the job.
I’d consider either, starting gradually to ask for rent and to start performance management at work. They may be brothers but this is too heavy an expectation from the older brother, I’m guessing he feels either a bit humiliated or completely entitled. Your dh must feel so overwhelmed with duty to tolerate this, Very tricky scenario.

flaviaritt Thu 03-Dec-20 07:50:03

If the house is on their business premises it might not be worth a huge amount as a residential dwelling.

OldOrMaybeNotThatOld Thu 03-Dec-20 07:54:54

flaviaritt

Oh right, then he’s just a tenant, so could live somewhere else. Not really a house you’ve ‘provided’. Sorry, didn’t get that.

If he can pay rent, and has experience in your business, presumably he can get a job elsewhere? What’s he been doing for you?

Well it is a house we have provided as part of his job with us. He got a salary increase from us to cover the rent we would need to get from the house.

You would think he would be able to get another job elsewhere... But he would have to leave this job first. How would my DH fire his only brother?

He has held a number of positions. Including spares manager, safety manager, workshop manager ... This latest blow up has resulted in him having the 'manager' part of his job taken away from him and now he is just my DH righ hand man. Ie he just does what he is told to do when my DH needs something done. He just cannot be trusted to 'manage' other staff as they leave and I cannot afford more unhappy staff.

OP’s posts: |

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