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Father in law overstaying welcome. It's been months now and I'm hating it.(90 Posts)
I'm not too sure what I want from this thread - perhaps just an outside view to spur me to action.
Will try to keep this short. DH's father arrived to see us from abroad in the first week of January. He said he was staying for 10 days but he has never left. He hasn't been staying with us all that time - he stayed January, February and half of March. Then left to stay with a friend at the other end of the country only to appear back at the beginning of May.
The situation is driving me up the wall. He has told us that he is not going back to the county he was living in and that he is moving back to his home country for good. He has mentioned looking for a flat to rent but isn't doing anything about it and although I think he will eventually sort something out I want him to do it sooner rather than later.
We don't have a spare room, he is sleeping in the living room and just sits in there all day (dressed and on the sofa, not in bed) on his computer. He contributes nothing other than walking the dog sometimes. No shopping, no cooking, no washing up, nothing.
We work full time and have 2 DC. I want to scream when I come home in the evening and he hasn't even been arsed to wash a steeping pot or set the table. He likes his food and is there for every sodding meal yet has never offered to cook. He has offered shopping but doesn't actually buy proper food, he buys ice cream because he likes it and wants to eat it (he will offer us some though).
I can hardly bear to be around him as I feel so resentful of his presence.
Background is he and DH have never been close, his parents divorced when he was 7, his father moved away and they only really saw each other in the summer holidays (I think for 3 weeks to a month so not nothing). His dad never paid child support or helped DH in any way with education or whatever. He is a deeply selfish man (although not actually nasty or deliberately unkind). A few years ago he fell on hard times and we were worried about him, we lost all contact for a while and didn't even know if he was alive, we wonder if he may have been homeless for a short while around this time. Once he got back in touch DH suggested that he come back to his home country and said that we would help him get back on his feet. I feel that we have done that now and I want him to leave. He has a very modest pension but it is enough to live on.
DH has said (kindly but perfectly firmly) a few times that he needs to look for somewhere to stay but he isn't looking and mentions some vague plan to house sit for a friend who is abroad. I'm worried this won't come to anything and he will still be here in a few months time.
I want my home back and I think we have done enough by giving him bed and board for months (plus offers to help with finding somewhere, help with bits of furniture, etc).
I have days off from work during the week sometimes as sometimes work weekends and I'm sitting upstairs in my bedroom because I don't want to be around him (downstairs of house is only kitchen and living room and they lead into each other).
I think he feels a bit awkward about being here (he is very discreet although unfortunately not great at cleaning up after himself when he uses the toilet and so on) but he seems perfectly happy to just sit in our house all day everyday, shuffle to the table for every meal, never give us any space, etc.
I'm so done now but don't know what to do. We can't just turf him out. I suspect he wants to stay with us and he will try to drag this out for as long as possible. I think the bit that gets to me the most is I feel like he is an emotional parasite, he has never contributed to our family (never given our DC birthday or Xmas cards or presents for example) and now he wants to have a family like situation because he has suddenly realised that he is a lonely old (ish) man. He is leeching off us and I feel used.
DH is finding it just as hard. Thankfully we are on the same page with this but it does sometimes make us moody and snappy with each other.
All and any advice welcome...
So difficult...I think maybe your DH tells him that it can't be easy for him camping out in the living room, so he's going to take the morning off work so they can go to Council/Citizens Advice/wherever to start the ball rolling on getting him a proper place of his own. I am a soft-hearted thing and hate the idea of people feeling lonely or pushed out, but having him at your place with no end date must be driving you crazy...it would me ! Best of luck.
Oh bloody hell. I feel for you!
And the cheek of him doing this when he was an absent and dead beat father when your DH was younger too is just shocking.
I don't think you can drop anymore hints, or any more vague suggestions. I think it needs a "we need our home and living room back, there isn't enough space for us all here. You need to move out by 15th June [or whenever]."
If you're DH has tried to do it politely, then you need to be the bad guy. No nonsense, straight talking.
He'll take the piss for as long as you let him away with it.
Can you have a mythical relative of yours that you promised to come and stay, so you need him out by xxx date. Then I think you and DH will have to make a concerted effort to find somewhere for him to live, cos I don't think he will do it for himself its far too comfortable (and cheap) at yours.
He is taking HUGE advantage of your hospitality and he KNOWS it.
Research flats for him.
Find out what help he will get with regard to rent and present information to him.
Explain it is not convenient for you to have someone camped on your sofa nor is it hygienic.
Be firm you have more than accommodated him and he is now taking the
"DH has said (kindly but perfectly firmly) a few times that he needs to look for somewhere to stay"
You feel used because you are indeed being used. I would present him with a bill for the food and utilities he has used as well.
You are both going to have to present a united front and get this freeloader out of your home asap. He is taking the mickey big time here at your overall expense. Do not make any special effort to find him alternative accommodation either; he is perfectly capable of doing that by himself. You owe him nothing really.
Thank you for replying, I feel so down about it today.
We have 2 lots of (welcome!) visitors coming in July so I want to use this as an end date. I want him to understand that he must be out by then and not just to a temporary thing only to then appear back after they have gone.
I'm looking forward to these visitors but their visits are already being slightly tainted by his presence as we won't have had our own space for so long.
DH has suggested accompanying him to see CAB, a benefits officer to see what help he might be entitled to. We have already looked into housing benefit for him and he would get a small sum - his pension is a couple of hundred under a full time minimum wage and we don't live in an expensive place. His income is modest but manageable (thank God).
I feel for you.
It's down to your DH push it really otherwise you will get labelled as the nasty DIL.
If your DH could find some flats online and offer to view them with your dad that might help. Or if he asked your FIL what his budget was, so he can keep an eye out for anything that comes up.
You mentioned the FILs home country and I know this is harder for certain cultures . It's just not sustainable though .
You should want to get him out before July; as soon as possible is better for you and your H. Hand this person 3 days notice to leave. You really do owe his dad nothing; he is still a deadbeat dad to his son and he's been freeloading off him as well.
Go out this afternoon and get the local newspaper. When your husband's due home, put it on the table and say, "We need to look at flats for you, FIL - this place is too crowded for all of us." Then when your husband walks in, say "FIL is looking for flats at the moment."
Don't even think of giving him money to go. He's saved all his pension for the last four months. Don't talk about family visiting - he'll leave then come back.
He treated your husband badly when he was a child; he can take it in return.
And no it isn't hygienic. I got upset about it today because when I came back from the school run and let myself in I realised that the downstairs of the house smells of him.
He doesn't smell of BO or anything but there is a stale tobacco/not quite clean enough hair smell about him. He smokes outside but hangs his stale smoky jacket up at the front door. Plus the living room has a mild odour about it of stale sheets/not aired enough and it seeps into the kitchen. I refuse to wash his sheets but have shown him how to use the washing machine.
Imperial, you could be right about him leaving and then coming back if we talk about visitors.
He is not from a culture where it would be considered just dandy to expect your kids to take you in but he has been living abroad in a culture like that for the last 13 years.
It really helps to hear everyone's views. DH and I both know that he is taking the piss and using us but we are finding it hard to be tough on him. We have found out from other members of the family that he had interpreted our "we'll help you get back on your feet" as an offer to come and live with us. I feel really angry about that (and we have since made it clear that it was no such offer).
And ANYWAY even if there had been confusion about that you don't just show up, say you are coming for a holiday and just not leave / move in.
If his plan was to live with us then maybe he should have discussed that with us before turning up!
How old is he? Since he has a pension presumably old enough to fall into the "vulnerable" bracket? I think you and your DH need to find the new accommodation for him, whether that is through a housing association or with the help and guidance of the CAB or AGE UK etc
Tell him how it's making you feel and tell him what jobs you want doing during the day and you want him out by the end of the month. He can rent a hotel if he's arsed. He's taking the piss.
He hardy ever goes out. He takes the dog for a 15 minute walk most days and other than that only goes out to the garden to smoke.
He has maybe been into town 3 or 4 times in the whole time he has been here - each time for a very specific reason (eg to buy shoes). He has a friend in the area and has been twice to his for dinner.
Unbelievably he has bought a car (bought it a few weeks after he arrived) so he is perfectly mobile.
"He is not from a culture where it would be considered just dandy to expect your kids to take you in but he has been living abroad in a culture like that for the last 13 years.
It really helps to hear everyone's views. DH and I both know that he is taking the piss and using us but we are finding it hard to be tough on him. We have found out from other members of the family that he had interpreted our "we'll help you get back on your feet" as an offer to come and live with us. I feel really angry about that (and we have since made it clear that it was no such offer)".
Regardless of cultural differences he is still freeloading at your overall expense. You need to be tough on him to get your lives back to how it was. He will not go otherwise.
No-one except freeloaders do as he has done; he's basically moved into your home and will stay there till such time as you both find your inner tigers and get him out. He will simply continue to take advantage of your home. You owe this man nothing.
Give him a moving out date –before your visitors, so you have your space for a while.
Make clear that this is the final date and he will not be staying with you again.
In the meantime, make a list of chores/cooking and washing up rota/whatever and tell him he must follow it and pull his weight.
I think he is 66.
He is in ok health afaik.
Thank you for the link - we are not in the uk but live in a country with a good welfare system. He would qualify for council housing and waiting lists are months rather than years. I don't want him to wait here though!
I have a FIL who sounds very similar, though fortunately for me, not quite as extreme as yours!
Unfortunately there are some people you just can't be that subtle with so you're going to have to be blunt about the moving out date. That's what we did when my FIL was staying with us. We have also been pretty blunt that we aren't going to provide for him in his old age so he needs to think about sorting his affairs out (as hasn't got much pension and no assets at all) rather than continuing to live hand to mouth and expecting to retire at 65 with everyone else stepping in to take care of him.
I think your FIL would be defined as being homeless currently so that would probably push him up the ladder in terms of qualifying for housing.
"No-one except freeloaders do as he has done; he's basically moved into your home and will stay there till such time as you both find your inner tigers and get him out."
Yes, you are quite right. This is what I need to hear.
We know he is taking the piss and we are pretty sure that he will do it for as long as we allow it.
We are going to have to be blunt and tough. DH's kind but firm "you need to find someehere to live" isn't working. Unfortunately I think you are all right we need to say "enough now, we want you to out by x specific date".
It's a horrible position to be put in.
I feel your pain! I have just got rid of my brother who came "for a couple of weeks" in January and who left last week. It took a massive toll of us and the smell of downstairs is slowly starting to go yuk! Stale smoke and unwashed sheets her too!
I was just making him lots of appointments with estate agents to view houses and we had to pretty much stop talking to him in the end before he realised he had out stayed his welcome. It was mainly left to me as he is my brother but the awkwardness was paralysing for me and I was spending a lot of time in my bedroom too.
Just get him out ASAP, you may as well offend him now rather than later for your own mental health.
You need to act on this today. Don't leave it another day - he's completely taking advantage of your family and he's being unbelievably selfish. Tell him today that he has until the end of the month (ie one week) to find alternative accommodation as the place is too crowded. Tell him you were happy for him to visit initially as it was agreed that it was 10 days but that has turned into 4 months, during which time he hasn't contributed anything to the household so you feel he is taking advantage of your hospitality.
We can't just turf him out.
This is your problem.
As long as you think like this you won't get rid of him, that's clear.
He's not a child. He's not incapacitated or vulnerable and he's not your responsibility.
He's a selfish parasite who didn't even support his own son and contributes NOTHING to your lives or your family. Oh sorry, he does - a bit of ice cream.
He moved in by stealth and he won't go unless you make him, so if you want him gone - and I can really, really see why you want him gone!! - you're going to have to make him.
I'm sorry, it sounds like you and your DH are kind, reasonable people and you want to do it in a kind, reasonable way - but your FIL is not kind or reasonable so you're going to have to really rethink how you approach this and you need to start by getting rid of the idea that you "can't turf him out".
You can. And you should. Sounds like you're starting to see that now anyway - good!
If he's eligible for social housing I suggest you get him on the waiting list immediately, find a bedsit for him in the interim, and present him with a fait accompli citing impending visitors/overcrowding.
It seems to me that he'd be an ideal candidate for sheltered housing where residents are expected to be active, do their own shopping, cleaning, cooking etc, but a warden is on duty in case of emergency.
Sheltered housing would be advantageous for him as
male residents tend to be in short supply he'd have opportunity to meet others in his age group and some of these schemes organise social events for residents which may go some way to stop him turning up at your place at mealtimes if he's feeling lonely.
It would also be easier to move him from sheltered to a care home should he become less independent in later life.
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