Ask Amy: After Five Years, I Need My Brother to Move Out


dear Amy: My brother just got divorced.

After he and his wife separated, I let him stay with me so he could save money, work things out, and get emotional support. He’s a good guy and he pays half the bills. He pays them late — but he pays them.

He is also sloppy and I constantly clean up after him. He’s aware of my annoyance at the idea of ​​cleaning up after an adult, but he doesn’t seem to care.

He’s lived with me for almost five years now – and I need my space. We are both middle aged and divorced. I am an empty nest and I want to live alone.

I’m annoyed by everything he does, but I feel bad for feeling that way.

Amy, there are times when I don’t want to go home because I know I’m going to encounter a mess. I yearn for space and alone time.

Am I selfish and indifferent to being annoyed just by his presence?

Sister: Five years later, your brother is no longer “freshly divorced”. (His divorce already lasted longer than my first marriage.)

He’s a middle-aged man living with a sister who treats him exactly how he wants to be treated: like a child. It sounds like such a nice and comfortable situation for him that of course he doesn’t want to leave!

It’s a wonder that you still think of your brother as a “good guy” because, according to you, he is completely uninterested in your discomfort. Instead, he seems to draw inspiration from your superior guarding abilities and your guilt over him.

Why do you feel guilty? It may be because you equate love with caring.

It might be time to prove to him that you love him enough to let him go.

I suggest that in order to salvage your relationship with your brother, it’s time for you to show him the door with certainty, calmly and kindly. Take this gentle push as a statement that it’s time for him to start his next chapter and that he’s ready.

Tell him, “It’s time for you to find your place. I need to live on my own, and so do you. Don’t be personal. Don’t question his past behavior or allow him to negotiate to stay.

You can set a timeline for her move and help her find affordable housing (possibly sharing a house with others).

Know that because he paid to live in your house, he could be considered a tenant. If he refuses to leave, you may need to start the eviction process. Check with your state and local eviction regulations in case this is the issue. I hope not.

dear Amy: I hope we finally come out of the pandemic in a real way. After so long of living in a vastly altered reality, I find myself struggling with how to get back there. I feel like my mood is somehow suppressed and I can’t figure out how to restart.

Tiredness: I’ll tell you what I did: I got out.

Call it vitamin D therapy, exercise therapy, or running away (!) – reconnecting with nature has been a game-changer for me.

Long walks, twice a day (or long periods of sitting outside, if walking is too difficult). Bird watching. Maintenance of flower beds or flower pots.

These are all things most people can do, and they are guaranteed mood boosters.

dear Amy: I was horrified by your response to “Mystified“, the husband who did not understand why his wife had lost a lot of weight and had become “more independent”.

Instead of praising her weight loss and independence, YOU suggested she might be having an affair!

Horrified: Many readers did not like my answer to this question. To recap: “Mystified” reported that his wife had recently lost a lot of weight, the intimacy of their marriage had changed, she had become more independent, and he thought his wife was “going through the stages” of their wedding. .

I suggested that a possible cause of these changes (there are other possibilities) could be “outside flirtation”, and that it should communicate about their relationship.

If the sexes had been reversed and the husband had lost a lot of weight, become more independent, stopped being intimate and “acted out”, I don’t believe we would be celebrating his independence, but assuming that the marriage might be in trouble.

©2022 by Amy Dickinson. Distributed by content agency Tribune.

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