IIN To Be Fighting over Lazy Bro in Law and If the Kids Should Watch Minions?

Updated on July 02, 2019
K.M. asks from Barnesville, MN
16 answers

My brother in law lost his job and now lives here. He has been here for over a year and still works sporadically. He pays for his own food usually but he owes me like 20 bucks right now .He says he is looking but I think he is lying. I could get him a job, but he will probably screw it up, because he screws everything up.

My husband thinks he helps a lot with the kids , I feel that he is pitting them against me. He stuck up for my daughter when I lectured her about her weight. He lets them watch the minions too many times.

Everytime they play in the pool I feel like I have to stand at the door and boss him around and freak out about how he is watching the kids. He lets them splash around and act too crazy in the pool.So we had a big fight about it and I hid the minions and Transylvania and Scooby doo. My kids are mad, my husband is mad because I keep redoing all the housework my brother in law does, because it does not look right. Also my husband and I had a big fight over whose fault it is our sons are acting out . I have been angry and more on edge since I started taking cholesterol meds. I al also on new antidepressants because my friend died. I am thinking of just leaving, I don't what to do.

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So What Happened?

I am closing my business for two weeks and going on vacation. My kids are going to camp.My brother said he can be moved out by mid aug.
Thanks for saying that about the antidepressants. I thought it was weird my therapist pushed them so fast.Thanks guys

More Answers


answers from Washington DC on


You are a control freak. Sorry. But you are.

Why can't the kids splash and play in the pool? WHAT else are they supposed to do??

WHY are you lecturing your daughter about her weight? WHY not just lead by example and make sure she has healthy choices? When we lecture kids about their weight? They become even MORE self-conscious and it leads down two paths - obesity or anorexia. Neither of which are good. Back off. Ensure healthy choices are given in the house. Stop badgering her about her weight.

What's WRONG with the minion movie? It's cute. It's funny. What is your problem with it?
HIDING movies? Come on. Grow up. Enough,

You don't like your BIL - got it. Have him move out. Tell him he has 30 days to find his own place. Make sure your husband is on board with this as well. You don't need to be fighting with your husband too.

Depending upon the STATIN you are taking? Yes, anger and outbursts are side affects. you need to talk with your doctor about the anger issues you are having. Personally? I don't like statins and would rather change my diet and lifestyle than take a statin medication.

___________original post has changed since I posted...added aout friend dying and anti-depressants

My brother in law lost his job and now lives here. He has been here for over a year and still works sporadically. He pays for his own food usually but he owes me like 20 bucks right now .He says he is looking but I think he is lying. I could get him a job, but he will probably screw it up, because he screws everything up.
My husband thinks he helps a lot with the kids , I feel that he is pitting them against me. He stuck up for my daughter when I lectured her about her weight. He lets them watch the minions too many times.
Everytime they play in the pool I feel like I have to stand at the door and boss him around and freak out about how he is watching the kids. He lets them splash around and act too crazy in the pool.So we had a big fight about it and I hid the minions and Transylvania and Scooby doo. My kids are mad, my husband is mad because I keep redoing all the housework my brother in law does, because it does not look right. Also my husband and I had a big fight over whose fault it is our sons are acting out . I have been angry and more on edge since I started taking cholesterol meds. I al also on new antidepressants because my friend died. I am thinking of just leaving, I don't what to do.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

okay, so basically you are feeling used and abused by your BIL, is that the jist of it?

Why not tell him he has to find another place to live?
You don't like him. That much is obvious and you probably aren't shy about letting it be known you don't like him. That doesn't help things much either.

I am not sure what the fuss is over the pool. kids are supposed to laugh, play and splash in a pool. that's what pools are for!

You're hiding movies that you bought so they can't watch them? Woah - that's just wrong. Get the kids out of the house if you don't want them watching movies all the time. I have no problem with my grandkids watching Minions or old Scooby Do movies (I do not like the bug-eyed new ones). RELAX!!

I'm sorry your friend died. I'm sorry you're taking meds for cholesterol.

I would stop hounding my daughter about her weight and start being the example I need her to see. If I'm on cholesterol meds? It usually means I've got some weight issues myself. So instead of harping on my child about weight? I would start giving the example. Exercising and eating right. That means making sure the "right" foods are in the house. There's nothing wrong with having ice cream and chocolate in the house, it's called moderation.

I would strongly suggest you talk with your husband and tell him you've had enough and that his brother needs to leave by a certain date.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I'm glad someone stuck up for your daughter when you "lectured" her about her weight. Now, she may have a serious weight problem. She might refuse to eat dinner and instead sneak candy into her room and eat that. She might be unhealthy. But you don't lecture your child. You show compassion. You reduce the amount of snacks in your house and serve wholesome meals. You possibly get her nutritional counseling. You go for a walk or bike ride with her if she is not active. You ask her doctor if your child has an issue with weight or eating and take appropriate medically-recommended action if necessary.

If your kids are running right next to the pool and diving into the shallow end and trying to hold each other under water until one panics, then you make some safety rules. You clearly establish the safety rules and the consequences. If your kids are acting like kids and splashing each other playfully, and if no one is upset or in danger, then you calm down.

If your kids are watching movies, and watching them too much (hours and hours of screen time every day), then you establish some common sense rules.

If you can get your brother-in-law a job, then do so. If he screws it up, what business is it of yours? Let his boss deal with him and either fine him or fire him or train him. My goodness, take your hand out of every single pot.

I'm sorry your friend died, but really, most people don't go right to medication like anti-depressants after a loss. Anti-depressants are for a chemical imbalance, a medical problem, not grief. You should be in grief counseling if the loss is still affecting your ability to make it through the day. And has a pharmacist advised you on whether your meds for cholesterol and depression are having negative effects, or possibly making one or the other worse or less effective?

You won't let your kids splash and play in the pool, you won't let them watch their favorite movies, you won't help your brother-in-law get a job because you're predicting that he'll screw that up, you're redoing housework because it doesn't "look" right, you're lecturing your daughter about a personal issue, you're medicating yourself when you should be getting counseling ... my goodness, I don't even know you and I feel mad at you. No wonder your family is mad and angry and acting out.

Please let go of some of the control reins you're holding on to so tightly. Get some counseling to learn how to cope with grief, and how to gently encourage someone who may be overweight, get a professional's advice about your daughter's weight and take it to heart, and try to create a peaceful home for your family. Don't leave. Change. Change yourself, not everybody else.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Sounds like having your out of work BIL living with your family for over a year is becoming too much of a strain.
No one should have ever moved in without an exit plan in place before he stepped in the door.
2 months would have been the most I would have given him - and I wouldn't have made it too comfortable for him either.
He needs to be working or looking for work every day - at the library so he's using their resources and internet and so he's out of the house while he's looking so he's not under foot and wasting his time by playing with the kids as an excuse.
Leave the house work alone for now.
Your friend passing away is another stress on you in addition to your BIL situation but there's nothing you could do about your friend.
If you don't want the kids watching a lot of tv then you plan outings and take the kids out on them - zoo, aquarium, museum, mini golf, play grounds, county fairs, firehouse open houses, etc - take the kids and go - separate the kids from BIL and have fun with them so they see that you are not always 'the bad guy' like BIL is making you out to be.

You and Hubby need to talk and decide when enough is enough.
Is there other family willing to take your BIL in?
I'd see about getting him the job with the understanding that he has a set time (like 30 days) to move out and he might not mess up if he knows he needs a paycheck to keep a roof over his head.
Job or no - when he leaves he's not moving back in.

I think having BIL living with you is affecting your health, marriage and kids.
While no parent is perfect - they are your kids and your BIL is interfering with your parenting.
If he doesn't like how you parent - he needs to butt out, go have some kids of his own and raise them as he sees fit.
I don't know how old your daughter is but if her weight is a concern, this is a discussion that should happen with you, Hubby, her and her pediatrician - your BIL doesn't have a say or get to express his opinion.
You married your Hubby not his brother - its past time for BIL to move out and stand on his own 2 feet.

You and Hubby need to work as a team and together come up with appropriate boundaries for BIL.
If working as a team is becoming difficult then you need marriage counseling so you and Hubby both realize who each is married to.

Cholesterol runs high in my family.
I tried statins for several years and had to stop taking them.
I had horrible joint pains and really bad memory problems that completely went away when I stopped taking the medication.
Doctors still nag me about my cholesterol but my moms numbers are similar to mine and she's 84.
They tell me 'all concerned' that my numbers are in the 300s and I laugh and tell them "Great! It's down from the 500s!".
High cholesterol is not a death sentence for everyone and I wish doctors would quit pushing the drugs like they were candy.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

There's a lot here.

I'm so sorry your friend died. It's normal to feel loss and sadness. And if taking anti-depressants helps, then do it. If they aren't working, you can talk to your doctor about an adjustment, either in the dosage or about an alternate drug. It takes time for them to kick in sometimes, so be nice to yourself during that time.

I'm sorry you need cholesterol drugs, but it may be the best way to take control of your health. Do you feel that these medications, or the anti-depressants, have changed you in a bad way, such as irritability or tension? Again, talk to your doctor.

Were you always upset about housework and pools and movies, or is this new? It could be due to the medications in some way, but it may also be a desire for control. When someone dies, we feel a loss of control and sometimes we combat it with more control in other areas. And is that the reason you are lecturing your daughter about her weight? Are you afraid for her health? I can understand the fear, but there is absolutely no theory of child development that says lecturing children works. You're just making her ashamed, and she's going to rebel against and retreat from you.

I think being owed $20 for food is a small thing. I feel watching a movie is a small thing, especially during summer vacation. I cannot imagine why splashing in a pool is a bad thing unless they are splashing water on someone sitting in dry clothes on the chairs nearby. In that case, I'd have the person move the chair a bit and have the kids compromise with just splashing where they are instead of sweeping the water out of the pool on purpose.

I can't imagine, though, why you don't want the children to have fun. I can't imagine why you would shame your daughter. And if your BIL is trying to "earn his keep" by doing housework, then perhaps you can relax your standards a little. Life is short, and worrying about whether something is dusted perfectly or a floor washed in a certain way is not a good use of your energy.

The bottom line is this: you and your husband do not agree. You are lashing out in anger at everyone and everything. And all you can say is that your BIL is lazy and a loser who cannot succeed at anything. And this is big part of the reason your kids are acting out - because there is chaos in the home and no respect among the adults. You get mad and hide things, you don't like how anyone does anything, you act all the time like you have no respect for your BIL, your husband fights with you, and you can figure out why the kids don't know what the rules are? So either your BIL moves out, or you and your husband get marriage counseling, or you get a better evaluation of your medications and their effect on your outlook. Running away is a natural reaction, to remove yourself from stress and chaos, and maybe a weekend away would be good for you - but it won't solve anything if you don't work on the other problems and just come home mad about movies and housework.

I am NOT saying you are causing these problems - but I'm saying your unhealthy reaction and your husband's lack of teamwork with you are a much bigger problem than pool rules and movies.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Talk to your dr. You need better solution if it is the meds causing your behavior.
Never yell at a child about weight. I will stick up for your daughter too.
Hiding movies is something my child would do and you a grown-up are the one doing that??? Not cool. Those are entertaining movies.
No splashing in the pool?? Um right. I have a pool. I don't tell my kids not to splash. I have rules in place so they are safe while playing in the pool but splashing totally ok. (I do tell them not to splash where I am at if I am not swimming with them. Like when I am in dry clothing and changing the spray nozzle so they can have a rainshower or waterfall from the filtration pump)
So please for the sake of anyone that has to deal with you talk to your dr about your meds making you so angry and get help for being so controlling.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I do not think your anger is really about pool play or movies. I think your title says it all with you calling BIL lazy. You don’t want him there and a year is way too long. Talk to your husband about giving him notice to move elsewhere. Start planning how you can help your family and yourself by relaxing and dealing with food and behavior issues in a positive way. Counseling sounds like a good way to sort out your life.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

"Leaving" is hardly the answer to your problems.

There is too much here for me to discuss right now, and I know this wasn't your question, but I really can't get past your lecturing your daughter on her weight. That is EXTREMELY harmful and not the way to go about dealing with your daughter's weight.

You are the adult who provides the food. If your daughter is overweight, then you need to adjust the food in your house. Only provide nutritious food and keep snacks and treats to a minimum. Don't offer large portions. Make sure your daughter is physically active by involving her in sports and other activities.

Any discussion about food should be framed around the topic of "health," not "weight" or "looks."

Please make these important adjustments now. If you "lecture" your daughter on this topic, she could develop eating disorders, hide food, gain more weight -- everything but your intended result.

And p.s. -- It might be really hard to listen to all of Elena's advice, but she's really spot on. We've probably all had some control issues to work on, so don't feel bad about yourself, but you do have some changes to make.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I'm sorry for all the things going on in your life right now.

The first thing you need to do is back off from badgering your daughter about her weight. You are NOT helping the situation. As others have pointed out, you are pushing her down one of two dangerous paths: obesity or anorexia. BACK OFF!!

The second thing you need to do is talk with your husband. Go our for a car ride, go out on a date, but be alone so no one can in your household can hear your conversation. You need to tell him how you are feeling about his brother and what you want done.

Third thing you need to do is stop showing your BIL the hostility you are showing him. It's only garnering him support from your husband and your children. remember you get more with honey than you do vinegar.

Forth thing you need to do is talk with your doctor about the medications you are on and the side affects they are having on you. You need to discuss the stress you are under at home as well.

Take a step back and see that your BIL IS trying to help. You just don't like the way he does it. He's doing housework but you go back and do it the way YOU like it. You negate that he IS doing work. He IS helping. You MUST acknowledge that and thank him. Try SHOWING him the way you would PREFER to have it done. Or just accept that he does it differently but he's DOING IT. He's NOT being lazy. He IS helping. He is building and making memories with his nieces and nephews. You can't put a price tag on that. He's having FUN with them not teaching them how to do drugs or break into houses.

Take a step back and look at what he IS doing. Help him find a job. STOP being so negative with him. You're only hurting yourself. Really. You are. Please see that.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

I think you should leave the house for a few days. Go take a trip somewhere and gain some perspective. Even if it’s in the same town, just get out of the house.

You are taking out your anger on small and petty things, and criticizing your child.
Having your brother in your home seems to be a scapegoat for you in many ways.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Stop lecturing your daughter about her weight (unless you are actually trying to give her an eating disorder) and take care of your own kids. If you were there with them they wouldn't be watching Minions all day.
(Or maybe they would...?)
Your brother in law may be annoying but he has nothing to do with how you are raising your children and running your home. Take responsibility for yourself.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Don't leave...CHILL. .Some of your expectations rival my own and my husbands and it got me into some serious health problems. Not worth the aggravation to fight because the left side of the cabinet wasn't completely dusted correctly and the dishes don't match in line with the cups. My husband and I painted the deck once and he insisted that it had to be painted sideways across in chunks and I insisted I learned it is done in a line all the way down. Just don't paint yourself in a corner. We agreed on that. So that be said let's pick this apart. Brother in law definitely needs a job but is probably looking real hard to not find one since he likes being the nanny. I would encourage a part time for sure. Do not loan him money. What does he need money for if he is getting everything free? As far as pitting your kids against you-they love you, they know you are the mom and he will forever be the fun uncle. Relax my friend. And you don't need to 100 percent blame the meds. You really ARE under stress but you can change that around with a little different reaction. And I don't know how much weight your daughter has on her, but having been told I was a two ton tuna...as I grew up- I think you might want to enjoy the fact that your daughter has someone behind her who is helping her feel more secure about herself with or without the weight. She can handle her health as she grows up feeling that support. You and your husband need to talk privately and redo the rules. I know it is hard and bless you, I would lose my mind if my brother in law were here a lot. But clearly I really don't understand the minion problem. And perhaps I never will.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

You are having a really tough time. I’m sure your depression is a part of it.

Bear with me here. I want to talk to you about a few different issues. First, your cholesterol meds. They shouldn’t be making you feel this way. More than that, it’s dangerous. I have been on these meds for a long time. I have had friends who had adverse reactions to them and it was very serious. Please get to the doctor and ask for testing. The people I know who could not tolerate statins had to have blood transfusions. If they hadn’t, they may have died. I am not kidding. I’m glad you added this to your post. It’s a red flag you just cannot ignore!

Next issue I want to bring up is that you may have some OCD going on. Have you and your doctor talked about that? Cleaning after someone because things don’t “look right” sounds like that. It’s important that you understand this issue. Not knowing it’s what is eating at you makes you feel worse than understanding what’s making you feel this way.

You should not be on your daughter about her weight. You are projecting your unhappiness into her, and it’s unhealthy for her emotionally. Instead, have healthy foods in the house- no junk. Cook healthy foods.

You have a say in this house about who lives there. It is time your BIL found another place to live. Even if he weren’t driving you crazy, you would have the right to demand it. Tell your husband point blank and don’t take no for an answer. Tell your BIL too.

You need to find in yourself a better way to deal with your children. They need love, understanding and respect from you so that they learn to mirror it to others. With the stress you are under having to compete with your BIL (and that is what you’re doing), you are shortchanging your kids. Get the BIL out. Figure out this thing with your statins IMMEDIATELY. Treat your children better. All of this is critical to the family’s health and welfare. Your BIL has overstayed his welcome.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Brooke is 100% spot-on. Your anger is an annoyance at your BIL and anything he may possibly be involved in. If you could, you'd even get angry and complain about his breathing, and the sound it makes. Everything is annoying, loud, wrong, bad, a burden. You're irritable. You're lashing out at everyone because you're feeling angry and broken inside and want to take it out on others, so you feel some relief and in the process, you're snapping at kids for being kids, and being grouchy all around, like RealityChick pointed out. I get it. I really do. A close friend of mine committed suicide and I went through a very rough time where I needed to be on my own and process everything. Then, not long after I was able to get over my survivor's guilt, my dad died, and again, the feelings re-emerged.

Currently, my best friend is dying, which is extremely hard for me, as he is everything to me, like a husband to me, minus the sex and romance. We share everything with each other, talk daily and have done so for 10+ years, and I am already dreading the day he is no longer by my side. I feel like being alone, running away (as in, a vacation), and I am short-tempered at times, like you. Sometimes, tears just come out of my eyes as I am driving. I'm sure as the date approaches and when he passes away, these feelings will be 100X worse. I am aware of my anger at the unfairness of the situation and make it a point to stop when things get ugly, I tell people I need a break, or just don't feel like talking or socializing, and retreat. I don't let myself yell or go off on people and I stop things in their tracks when I know it could take a negative turn due to bottled up feelings. At the same time, I try to find social activities when my friend is out of town, to distract myself and have some fun doing things I enjoy, meditate, and understand myself. I'm sure I will end up going to a support group when the time comes, because the loss will be immense due to our closeness. Maybe you need that too, rather than medications. I know I don't respond well to meds, some of which can cause weight gain or suicidal thoughts, the last thing a depressed person needs.

I think you need some time away from everything and everyone, go out of town on a weekend, maybe you need more than one weekend to feel more relaxed, but leaving a marriage over this is extremely petty and foolish, you just need to recharge a bit. Go with some friends, or your husband, or perhaps you want to vacation alone and process your feelings. Try seeing your BIL as a benefit, someone who can watch the kids and assist around the home while you try to process your grief and have some peace. Maybe that's his intent, to be like a sitter and care for the home, since he knows you're going through such strong emotions and may not be up to par to being a mother, doing housework, etc. Maybe you're burned out in other aspects of your life as well. Try to see him in a positive light, rather than saying he is a screw-up at everything. I know that's just your frustration talking. Give it some time, and if things don't get better and you think you can handle your feelings and the household work, speak to your husband about his brother at least getting a part-time job, so he can be out of your hair for part of the day, and contribute more, financially. Eventually, if things don't work out, a roommate situation may work better for him.

I would speak to the psychologist about these feelings, and see if he can recommend some grief support groups or a therapist, maybe a licensed social worker. You may even find some grief support groups online and I know anyone going through loss will understand your uncertain feelings, your tendency to snap at times, and just being mad at the world. Some people respond to death by becoming violent, others become withdrawn, and others get into destructive behaviors like drugs and drinking. I think your anger is a result of your grief and you're lashing out at your husband, kids, and anyone in your path. Do you work? Have hobbies? Keeping busy is a good way to deal with grief because your mind isn't fixating on your emotions. Try to keep a handle on your negative emotions, think before you speak and make negative, hurtful comments. It may feel good at the time, but you will feel crappy once you see the hurt and damage you leave behind and people start distancing themselves from you.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I’m sorry you are having such a rough time. You should definitely have a voice in who lives in your home. Sounds like you and your husband might benefit from counseling to figure out how to move forward in a way where you both get your needs met.

I would also consider whether your husband and his brother might be able to help you with things that are difficult for you. Sounds like you are very worried about your daughter’s weight, and your children’s television viewing and play habits. You might be right to be concerned, but your way of going about it sounds like it will do more harm than good. Kids do need limits, but they don’t need to be lectured about weight or expected to play quietly in a pool. Hiding their things is also a very immature way of approaching the situation. Maybe the whole family needs to develop some healthier routines around eating, exercise, and housecleaning. There isn’t a right and wrong way to live, we just all have our preferences, and within families we have to figure out how to negotiate and compromise, and always treat each other with kindness. You and your husband both share the responsibility for any acting out you are seeing from your son. He is letting you know the current situation is not working for him.

If you do not feel at all supported by your husband or his brother, then seek counseling for yourself so that you can get the support you need. Sounds like you are also grieving and dealing with some health issues, and counseling would be helpful for all of this.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I like Elena's advice.

I have lost loved one's and never gone on anti-depressants. I'm not trying to compare because everyone's different, but I have grieved - big time. So I want to say I am sorry for your loss and want to say, maybe let go of the anger and frustration and allow yourself to feel the sadness. Don't stuff it down.

Maybe you need a long weekend away, with some girlfriends (who also lost this friend), your hubby or even yourself ... and just remember your friend, and let it out. Go for walks, have some quiet time .. reflect .. whatever. Medication is not really the answer (long term).

The brother may not be someone you want to live with long term - so when you're less stressed, and in a better place, (hopefully soon) talk to your husband about a plan - but if you can help your BIL to find a way to get his life in order - help him to help himself. Then it's on him. A plan helps us to hand things over. You and hubby need to be on same page.

As for daughter and weight - c'mon, you know that's wrong. That's hurtful and damaging, and you don't need a bunch of moms telling you that.

The watching movies and having fun in pool .. again .. set limits for Movie watching and safety if needs be, but then loosen up. Set a rule once, and consequence (that's what we have), then you just parent. Surely this BIL can be on same page as you and hubby. If he's not respectful of you both as parents to that extreme, then he can't watch kids.

I have feeling though a lot of this is you are upset and stressed and you need some time to get yourself in a better place. Not through meds necessarily (not only at least) but talk to a counselor, maybe take time for yourself (a class, walks, whatever) and stop taking it out on others. Good luck

2 moms found this helpful
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