Male perspective- I have my father in law living with us. When is enough enough?


I feel like I have no options. Or at least no good ones. Here's the back story. My MIL and FIL were living on their own doing fine (as far as we knew). They were almost done with their mortgage payments and would soon completely own their house. My wife's sister and her family moved in with them because basically they were evicted from their rental property for not paying. So my in-laws had themselves and now 2 adults and 3 kids living there. This arrangement went on for 2 or 3 years. In the meantime, my wife and I are living with my parents so that we could save money for a down payment on a house. I had never moved out of my parents before and they didn't want us to rent. It wasn't a perfect situation to say the least, but the end was in sight. We managed to save up enough money to buy our own place and were going to start looking soon. We went over to my in-laws for a coffee and a visit. Here we are told that they are losing the house and are being evicted. Nobody was making mortgage payments there?! There are 4 adults in the house and they didn't make a payment? Crazy right? They were all out of warnings and they showed us the final paper. The sister was all stressed out and decided to go camping with her family while this got sorted out. It didn't get sorted out and they lost the house of course. The sister and her husband's financial situation didn't change and somehow they managed to start over with another rental house in a different town. They left their oldest child (15) and her Mom and Dad to figure this out on their own. So, my in-laws who weren't working at this point went on welfare and found a cheap place to rent a short distance away. I should point out that my MIL was sick from cancer and wouldn't be able to work. My FIL was young and able, but never had to keep a steady job in his life. After a few months of them living there, it's clear that they are living in poverty (except for smokes.... there's always money for smokes), and that my MIL's health wasn't doing well there. My wife and I decided to look at places in the city and my wise idea was to see if her parent's wanted to move in with us so we could help look after MIL. ugh. I knew it wasn't a good idea, but my wife and I were on top of the world. We were so excited to be buying our own place and stepping up in the world. How could we share our excitement with her parents without feeling awful about what they lost? So, we move in together. Life is far from easy and we all have to adjust. And now that they were living with us... low and behold and look who finds a rental in the city? Yup, the sister. Just a block over from us to boot. At least she'll help with them right? LOL. Sadly after 5 years of them living with us, my MIL passed away from a surprise diagnosis of stage 4 cancer. It's been a year since then, and my FIL is still living with us. I wouldn't mind him living here, if he pitched in with things around the house. He pays $300 "rent" to us. Has virtually no bills and receives $1600 per month from old age monies. But somehow, the bank gave him credit cards and he wracked up $9000 in debt. When he first moved in with us, he got a job. He must have got tired of it, because he just quit going one day. They'd call and he would pretend to be sleeping and not get up. Once he did get up, he would act like what he was doing was normal. I'm sure I didn't explain everything quite right, but now you're all caught up. My MIL passed away, like I said, about a year ago. My FIL is only 67 and retired (good for him). Unfortunately, he doesn't do anything around the house as that was his wife's job. No, sweeping, dishes, cleaning, nothing. He will do outside work, like cut the grass and shovel snow. But it's winter, and we haven't had snow to shovel in weeks. We've asked him to help out with inside stuff and he simply refuses. He tells us that he can't afford to move out and he'd be homeless if we kicked him out. He's an opinionated hot head who starts talking loudly if he doesn't agree with something, which is often. I can't speak my mind around him, because it'll set him off which upsets my wife. My wife can't wait for him to be moved out too, but she refuses to have a rational conversation without becoming defensive for some reason. I want a game plane. He could live for another 20 years and do we really want the same thing for 20 more years? Something needs to change, I'm just not sure what. So, basically, my advice if you ever are thinking of moving your parents or in-laws in with you... don't. If they were sick and only had a few years to live, then yeah I would. But this guy could outlive me for all I know. And I don't mean to sound ungrateful. I know we're lucky to have been able to get to know them better and to improve their life style over the last few years. But when is enough, enough?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing


Right now is enough. I believe people here will know how to evict him, or you might get a lawyer. I think you and your wife might be helped by talking your feelings over guided by a therapist for a session or two. And what happened to the poor 15 year old?
Helpful Answer (8)

My mom only gets $700 per month social security and found a great two-bedroom apartment pegged to her income - she pays $350 per month. Your FIL can find something. You might need to formally evict him. This would be a deal breaker for me - as i have told my husband - In Laws move in, I move out. This is 1/2 of your house too - so your wife doesn't get to just say "He is living here" - you both have to agree & you have had enough. She can help FIL find a place. Good luck to you!
Helpful Answer (7)

I would say that "enough" was 5 years ago.

When my dad suggested he and mom move in with us as they "didn't have long to live" - I informed him, he had too long to live to live with us.

We found them a place they could afford and Mom lived another 16 years and Dad 7.5 more than Mom. So I was right - too long to live with us.

The last 3 years for Dad, we put a new mobile home in our front yard and he was able to live there with me being close enough for emergencies.

I can't tell you how sorry I am that you are now in this position. It's not an easy answer.
Helpful Answer (6)

Enough was yesterday, or last year or 5 years ago. You and your wife do need to sit down and talk about this, and come up with a plan that works for both of you. From the sound of it, counselling will be necessary. Go by yourself first if your wife won't go. You can help fil find low cost housing. If he refuses to move you can evict him. If he is a vet additional resources are available. Check with your local Agency for Aging and also Social Services. Let your wife know what options there are for her dad. If he does not leave now, you could be saddled with him for another 20+ years, and that would include caregiving as he gets older. There seems to be a history of dependency and irresponsibility in your wife's family which may be hard for her to overcome, but, the aternative is hardy acceptable. Good luck and let us know what happens.
Helpful Answer (6)

67 is NOT old. He's healthy enough to work, but chooses not to. He mooches off you and your wife...he has disrupted your family and caused a ton of heartache. Time to step up and invite him to leave.

Even with SS he can work and make a pretty decent "add on" salary. He doesn't need to be taken care of, love of heaven, my hubby is 66 and still works 70 hr weeks!

Sounds like you and wifey both need some counseling to grow backbones and get this moocher out of the house. You don't owe him anything!

I just had a conversation with a young newlywed neighbor of mine--his father has Alzheimer's and his mom just can't handle him alone. Sweet neighbor says "I think it would be fantastic to have my folks live with us! What a blessing!" I looked at him and said "You looking for validation? Because I will tell you right now--that is one terrible idea. Don't do it". I know of almost no families who have successfully negotiated having the "folks" move in with them. Unless your home is huge and everyone has plenty of space and you can establish and maintain boundaries--it pretty much ends in just what you're going through.

Get tough and get him gone!
Helpful Answer (6)

I don't know how exactly you get your FIL out of your house, but since I'm his age and I can't imagine behaving like him, don't use his age as an excuse. He's well able to take care of himself for many more years. You just have to work to get your wife on board. Go to couples counseling if you can get her to go. Your father is a deadbeat and needs to be out on his ear. Good luck and please keep us posted.
Helpful Answer (5)

Look on Craigslist for your city/town for rooms for rent. Here in San Diego area, they can go from $450.-$800./month. Usually the room includes use of a shared bath (or private bath), kitchen and living room privileges, occasionally washer and dryer privileges and possibly a parking place. Many times it is furnished. That certainly would be affordable on his $1600./mo.
It may be cheaper in your area.

Sit him down at the computer and tell him to "pick one" because he won't be living with you anymore. If he asks a reason, "We just can't possibly do this anymore."
(Heard THAT answer on this board before? ;)

To encourage him, let him have a "free" month of rent but have a date set and transportation available on that date to move his belongings.

It's tough to be a hard a** but you don't owe him anything and don't deserve to have him take advantage of your generosity. You need your married "alone time".
Helpful Answer (5)

Your FIL sounds like an entitled narcissist who has your wife cowed with FEAR, obligation and Guilt (FOG)
Look it up.

Get your wife to counseling to work on a plan to get dad out.

And get FIL on lists for every low income housing list in a 100 mile radius. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (5)

Enough happened back when the sister et al moved in with her mom and dad, with three? children and the ‘father’. The rest of the saga is astounding.

And yes, you pulled me into the story. There are so many details! But basically, how do you get your healthy deadbeat FIL out of your house.

Was he in the military? Or work in a capacity for the feds? That’s where a lot of older gents end up, many nice military homes around the US.

I’m sure others will have ideas.
Helpful Answer (4)

I must admit I am not amazed to hear that "sister and family" ended up on welfare etc. Also, I noted that MIL allowed the work issues w FIL to go unchallenged. As for what to do now. First I'd say find a therapist that you and your wife could enlist to help the two of you come up with a plan to get dad out of the house. Dad sounds like a narcissist and hoping that he will wake up one day and see that he needs to take responsibilities for his life will never come. Whatever course you take the most important thing is for you and your wife to "stand together" and proceed w the plan. Whatever plan that will be, I can guarantee Dad will have a cow and push all your wives buttons to evade proceeding with said plan. From what little you have told me another guarantee is that being able to reason with dad will be impossible. Will this transition be painful and fraught with pangs of guilt? Needless to say yes. But I assure you there is life after taking up for oneself and their marriage(s). With $1600.00 a month he might find an assisted living apt to live in. That way he doesn't have to deal with "women's work". The new independence may very well be appealing to him once he calms down and see's that you two are serious about the situation(s). For all those debts he has wrung up, I say - "bankruptcy". I so feel for yall. And by the way what the sister did to her on 15 yr old is "horrid" not surprising but still "horrid". I know yall have probably seen the deals on tv/movies where that parents/kids have been able live together and the kids even care for them after they get alz/dementia etc. And you walk away feeling all fuzzy inside. Let me tell you that is the exception not the rule. I wish to best for all concerned.
Helpful Answer (3)

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.