Be it with a roommate or your family, in a studio apartment or a four bedroom house, and no matter the number of people, sharing a home is never easy.
There will always be a moment where two people will want to use the same room, or the same thing, more often than not, the TV.
And even when everyone in the house has their own room which is theirs, and theirs alone, having complete privacy is still not guaranteed.
Redditor scottaparty didn’t have to worry about this at first, as he happily lived alone in a one-bedroom apartment.
Until the original poster (OP) opened up his small home to his brother and sister-in-law, both of whom had fallen on hard times.
Though their move was intended to be temporary, they slowly began to plant what seemed like permanent roots, with the OP eventually feeling as if he’d lost control of his own home.
Leaving him no other choice but to speak up.
Wondering if he handled the situation as well as he could have, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole”, (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for not giving my brother and his wife any privacy?”
The OP explained how after allowing his brother and sister-in-law to temporarily move in, he began to feel that his generosity was being taken advantage of.
“My brother lost his job along with all his savings several months ago, and soon after he asked me if it would be okay if he (28 M[ale]) and his wife (30 F[emale]) stayed with me until they could afford their own place again.”
“I hesitated at first, considering I only have a 1 bedroom apartment, but according to them they had ‘no other options’ so of course I invited them over and bought a blow-up mattress for the living room.”
“For the first month things were manageable, although admittedly cramped.”
“Then my brother told me that sleeping on the mattress was giving him back pains, so he asked if he could buy a small double bed for the living room.”
“The living room is by far the biggest room I have, so I told him that would be fine as long as there was still room for my couch/TV/bookshelves.”
“The living room is also connected to my kitchen in an open plan style, so I reminded my brother to leave walking space around the bed.”
“It’s now been 2+ months and things have gotten a lot worse.”
“When they first moved in, I would still use the living room every day to unwind on the couch after work.”
“Now whenever I go in, there’s a strange vibe like I’m intruding.”
“My brother and his wife are often sitting in bed together when I go in, I always knock, and stare at me pointedly until I leave.”
“Sometimes when I sit down they will directly ask me for some ‘alone time’ and say they would like the room to themselves.”
“This came to a head yesterday when my sister-in-law messaged me with a ‘timetable’ she’d made of when it would be ‘a good time’ for me to use the living room.”
“The timetable basically says that they will allow me into the room for an hour each evening, plus 20 minutes around mealtimes.”
“I basically shut her down instantly and told her there was no WAY I’d be following the timetable since in the end it’s my apartment.”
“She sent me back a HUGE message with a dozen paragraphs about how my constant presence was ‘ruining’ her marriage with my brother and they feel like they have no privacy.”
“I tried to talk this over with my brother that night, but when I got home neither my brother/SIL were talking to me, so he’s clearly just as pissed.”
“Today an Amazon parcel arrived for my brother with a lock for the living room door, which I told him there’s ‘absolutely no way’ I will allow him to install.”
“My brother says I’m ‘creepy’ for wanting constant access to where they sleep and he’s insisting on installing the lock anyway.”
“AITA for not giving my brother and his wife their privacy?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community wholeheartedly agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for refusing to make his living room his brother and sister-in-law’s designated bedroom space.
Everyone agreed that the OP’s brother and sister-in-law were, indeed, being presumptuous, agreeing with him that they had no right to tell him what he could and couldn’t do in his own house.
“They don’t get to dictate when you use your living room in your apartment and if they have a problem with you being in there then kick them out.”- JackBauer74
“You should never never have let them get a bed.”
“I had a colleague lose his job and his apartment.”
“I was a 20 year old kid and he was 50 so I felt bad for him and said yes when he asked if he could stay on my couch for a week or two.”
“One day I came home from work and he had dragged a mattress into my living room.”
“I don’t even know where he found it.”
“He said his back was killing him.”
“I woke up and realized I was about to have an unwanted roommate and threw out the mattress and told him he had a week to find a new place.”
“Tell them you did them a favor and they walked all over you.”
“In the end, this is YOUR apartment.”
“It’s a 1 bedroom apartment and it will stay a 1 bedroom apartment.”
“You are out of the apartment for 12 hours a day.”
“They can manipulate their private time while you are out.”
“NOT when you come home from a long day of work that pays for the apartment.”
“You get to enjoy YOUR living room.”
“If they need privacy so much, they can get their own place.”
“Tell them they have two weeks to get their own place.”
“In the meantime, move the tv and your stuff to your bedroom.”
“They don’t get to sit at home and watch TV.”
“They need to look for a new place.”
‘Do not let them install a lock.”
“Remove it if they do.”
“Call the police if they try and stop you.”
“They are not allowed to change your apartment.”- EvanWasHere
“They are staying rent free in your one bedroom apartment, possibly in violation of your lease, btw, and they want you to spend all but an hour a day locked away in your bedroom?”
“I don’t think so.”
“That’s an absurd level of entitlement.”
“If they asked for a couple of hours here and there where they could have some guaranteed alone time, I think that would be a reasonable request that you could respect.”
“But essentially all day every day is crazy.”
“It sucks that this is hard on their marriage, but that’s not your fault.”
“You’re being generous by letting them stay in the first place.”- Jaded_Cryptographer
“Kick them out.”
“Brother or not, he does not deserve you.”- Miss_Skooter
“That’s really a lot they’re asking for.”
“This is a temporary arrangement and favor.”
“Imho it’s up to them to be good guests.”
“If I were them I’d get out of bed at a reasonable time that you don’t feel uncomfortable getting to your living room and kitchen.”
“I’d hold all cuddly in bed stuff during the day and evening so you can access your space.”
“At most I may read in bed as you watch TV, but fully clothed and on top of the bed.”
“So on and so forth.”
“In my mind being a good longer term guest means leaving your host to not feel intruded upon.”
“They seem to have flipped the script imho.”
“If you were there until 4 AM daily etc. I’d get it, but if you’re reasonable and they can sleep, well that’s all you offered them was a place to sleep.”- pluralexistence
“I would totally give them two weeks to vacate if they are going to be like this.”
“It’s too much.”
“OP, look into your state’s tenant/landlord laws.”
“If they have been with you x amount of days/months, they may have legal rights depending on if you own or rent your place.”
“You may be required to give them notice for a certain period of time.”
“In my home state, it is 7 days.”- shaka0903
Kicking someone out of their home, no matter the circumstances or who they are, is never fun or pleasant.
Another thing the OP might consider, now that his brother and sister-in-law have shown that they intend to stay for the foreseeable future, is to insist they start paying rent.
A demand which one can only imagine will make them reflect upon their behavior, and possibly start more actively looking for a new job, not to mention a place of their own.