Move on out, Brother!

Erica says her brother's been living with her for 22 months. They had a verbal agreement that he would pay rent. Erica has only received about $3,000, which is a lot less than she should have been receiving.

QUESTION: Erica in Nashville says her brother’s been living with her for 22 months. They had a verbal agreement that he would pay rent. Erica has only received about $3,000, which is a lot less than she should have been receiving. Dave says it’s time for her brother to move.

ANSWER: I’d feel taken advantage of. I think it’s time for him to move. He has a job—it’s not like he can’t go get a rental or find a roommate. It’s time for him to be a man. Tell him he needs to be gone by January 15. Through the holidays is fine, but this was not a permanent thing. You didn’t expect him to die here in your home when he’s 84.

This was a temporary thing for him to do to get on his feet. He needs to make plans through the holidays and be gone by January 15. Even if he decides to start paying, he needs to go. It’s not good for you guys anymore. Your marriage is more important. You need to take care of that, and he has not followed through. He has taken advantage of you, and you feel taken advantage of, because he has done that.

This is not a bad thing, it’s a good thing. It’s good for him. You were more than generous while he was there, and you got a little bit of money, but you didn’t get everything. I wouldn’t worry about the money—just let it go. This will be a very simple and clean conversation. Say this has gone on longer than you thought it was going to go, and you thought he’d be gone by now. So tell him where you stand on this.

You expect him to start looking for a place and to be gone by January 15. We aren’t going to push you out at Christmas, but you need to be gone by January 15. It’s not about pay, it’s time for us to have our life, and you to have your life. You guys are still friends, and he can come eat at your house, but it’s time for him to be on his own. It will be good for him. It really will. He’ll have more dignity. What kind of 28-year-old man has dignity living in his sister’s bedroom? For a little while is fine, but 22 months is a long time.

I’m thinking this is going to send a little shockwave through him too, because I think he kind of kicks back and just coasts a lot. This will put him into gear, which is good for him.

What I’m trying to plant firmly in your mind is you’re not doing a mean thing, you are giving him a gift. You’re giving your marriage a gift, too. Don’t let anything else get between you and your husband—ever. No family member, under any circumstances, ever.