- 5 years ago
- Wedding: September 2016
Here’s the skinny: Last fall, my Fiance and I moved into a three bedroom house, just the two of us and our cat. At the exact same time we were going to move, my little sister’s apartment lease was up. Little Sister’s room mate had stopped paying bills, started drinking a lot, and was having crazy loud parties, making it hard for Little Sister to get schoolwork or sleeping done. She couldn’t find a decent, affordable living situation at that time of year, and she didn’t want to have to move back in with our mother, who lives farther away from Little Sister’s university. I love my sister, and she and Fiance get along really well, so we invited her to live with us. We had more than enough space. Little Sister’s peformance in school had suffered due to lack of sleep, etc. Fiance and I were excited to be able to give her a cheap place to live where she could have her own space (she has her own bathroom, bedroom, and sitting room locatedon one end of the house, our mastersuite and the main living room at the other end), where there would be ample quiet time for studying (we are both students as well). Our house is in the same town as the local university as well, making it easier to get to and from classes.
Now, I understand that nothing is perfect, and I knew that we would get on each other’s nerves, fight about housework on occasion, etc. I knew that living with Little Sister wasn’t always going to be fun. I knew that we would be sacrificing some of our alone time, etc. But Little Sister is family, and we have do have fun together. We were willing to have her as a room mate because we wanted to help her through her last two semesters of school. She saves hundreds of dollars in gas/rent living with us, and we were all excited for her to have to opportunity to save some money for a security deposit/rent when the rental market got better in the summer. (For the record, our rent in this house is per person, so Fiance and do not save money by having her live with us).
HOWEVER, Little Sister is slowly starting to make me feel taken advantage of, and I can’t help wondering if I am doing something to enable her behavior.
Little Sister never recovered academically that fall, and failed all her classes despite telling me she had dropped them to avoid F’s on her transcript. Then, she registered part time for this spring semester, only to stop going to her classes. I did succeed in getting her to drop them instead of just failing because she didn’t attend or do the work. She could have completed her bachelors degree this year, but for reasons I can’t explain, she stopped trying. She’s always done very well in school, and she’s never done anything like this before. But the fact is that since she moved in with us, she’s failed or dropped out of every class she’s been in. We don’t understand. Fiance and I are quiet people who are constantly working on school work ourselves. It’s not the environment.
We have shared expenses that include electricity/gas, internet, Hulu account, and groceries. We split everything three ways equally. I do all of the grocery shopping/cooking. Little Sister hasn’t paid her share of bills all year. Last time she paid was early January, for December. I wrote out all of the expenses and explained them to her, and she keeps saying she’ll pay, and she keeps not paying. She doesn’t seem to have money problems, as she’s purchased clothes/acessories and such in the past couple weeks, but can’t be bothered to write a check or to transfer us the money we’ve been waiting months for. Meanwhile, we are still paying the bills and buying all of the groceries, so the amount just keeps going up. It’s not a life changing amount of money for us, but it’s enough that it is starting to irritate us. It would be one thing if she didn’t have the money and was upfront about that fact. But I helped her with her taxes. I know how much she makes. She has the money. She’s just being inconsiderate.
She has also stopped contributing to household chores, leaving me and Fiance to do all of the cooking and all of the cleaning. I’ve asked her to chip in more, and she said I should just ask her, because she doesn’t always think to clean. But when we ask her, she either says she’ll do it later and doesn’t get to it, or she doesn’t complete it. She’ll load the dishwasher half full even though there are plenty of dishes, and then she’ll retreat to her room to watch television. And besides, I am not her mother, and I do not want to constantly have to hound her to do her chores. I am not the boss here, nor to I desire to be, and I don’t want to engender animosity in the house by nagging others. I would be more understanding of this if Little Sister was in school, but she isn’t. She does work full time, but she has at least part of the day on days she works to help out, as well as two to three days off a week. She spends most of this time either sleeping, or in her room laying in bed on her tablet. She pretty much gets out of bed thirty minutes before she has to leave for work, hops in the shower, gets ready, and heads out the door.
Now, Little Sister has gone through a break up since she moved in with us. And I understand that it is hard to get back on track with school after falling off of the wagon. I understand that it is especially hard to do when one is working full time and making money. And I have spoken with her about this. I explained that we wanted to help her out, but that we felt like for some reason that we were enabling her in a negative way and we couldn’t figure out how it was happening. I also told her that if she wants to continue living with us, she has to get back in school and help out around the house a bit more. She has to pay her bills, and if she can’t pay them, to has to explain that to us. This was a couple of months ago. And she was better for bit, and now she’s picked up right where she left off.
Whew….this is long. I guess this has just been really bothering me. There are a lot of things I love about living with my sister. I love how close she and Fiance have become. I love that she was the first one to find out when we got engaged. We both really like having her around. She’s good company. And I don’t mind doing some extra work to help her out. I really don’t. But all of this combined feels like too much. Ideally, I’d like for her to get back in school and start living her life again. I told her that she can’t stay with us if she does’t go back to school to next semester. I worry that we’ve mad things too comfortable, and that if she moved back in with our mother that she would be more motivated. I guess I just needed to vent, and if anyone has any words of wisdom, it would be much appreciated.