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Still living at home with parents.


Family Parents too demanding? Sibling driving you mad? Tell us!

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Old 26th December 2017, 10:12 AM   #1
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Still living at home with parents.

Hi team,

My brother in law is 28, has a good paying job, yet still living at home with my wife's parents. He has no girlfriend, never had sex or kissed a girl. He doesn't Smoke or drink, no car and lives a recluse life in his room, playing video games, watching tv and afraid of letting go of his youth. His room is a shrine to his childhood. Old toys and games. It looks like a young teenagers room. Hes a good guy, gentle, good looking, but terrible outside his small social circle, which is very family based. Hes friends have moved on with their lives, he hasn't.

My wife and her parents are worried about him. While trying to gently tell him its time to move on with his life, he doesnt seem to have the mental capacity to understand how his selfish behaviour impacts his family, even if he doesnt think hes doing anything wrong. Im old school and if he was my brother, id kick his ass out the door, but i have to respect my wife and her families wishes. I dont know why hes dealt with so delicately. Hes not suicidal or suffering from depression.

Im not sure how to help him here. While he does i think want to meet somone, hes terrified and has social anxiety. I feel his family have been more than patient, but hes comfortably numb. He wastes his time locked in his room playing games, while missing out on life. Nothing changes. He told me he'd like a family or girlfriend one day. He has more than enough money saved, but wont spend. He has no desire to travel or see the world on his own.

Last edited by GaelicSoul; 26th December 2017 at 10:35 AM..
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Old 26th December 2017, 10:45 AM   #2
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Find something you two can do together to get him out of the house & enlarge his social circle. Talk to him. Be his big brother. Ask him about his aspirations. Does he want a GF? Encourage him.
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Old 26th December 2017, 10:52 AM   #3
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We have some similar interests, he does like girls, but we live far away from each other. Usually the conversation becomes awkward when i try and dig too much. He throws tantrums and sulks when pushed...
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Old 26th December 2017, 10:55 AM   #4
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It's called failure to launch. My older sister is at a near genius IQ and extremely highly educated that had position in her field. She was never required by my father to ever leave his side or his dependency to the day he died some thirty some years later when there was no other choice for her to do.

I don't see anything you can do to help him. Whether it's fear to move on or he is just good with his situation as is it's up to his parents that is aiding the codependency.
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Old 26th December 2017, 11:31 AM   #5
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Can you invite him to spend more weekends at your house?
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Old 26th December 2017, 11:54 AM   #6
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It's bad for everyone concerned.

If I was the parent, I'd have a talk with him, unpopular as it will be, and then help him find a place. Help him move.

He needs it if he's ever going to have a normal life.
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Old 26th December 2017, 12:26 PM   #7
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You can try and mentor/advise him, but to be perfectly honest there isn't too much that you can do as a brother-in-law. It certainly isn't your place to be telling his parents to kick him out or give him an ultimatum (though if I were his mom that's what I'd do too).
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Old 26th December 2017, 12:27 PM   #8
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In my opinion, as long as he is not inconveniencing everyone (aka, his parents have no real complaints against his physical presence), and he is contributing his fair share of housing and living expenses, such as paying bills and/or rent for the room, then he is fine. If he is not contributing to the financial costs, make him, else, kick him out. Do it the Spartan way. He has a good paying job, so he will be fine. lol

Seriously, you can slowly instill responsible adult behavior without trying to force him out of the house right away. Once he has better social skills, it is not to late to bring up that point then. Of course, by then, he might just want to leave on his own. The trick is to make him slightly uncomfortable staying the way he is without going overboard. Force him to change in such a way that he cannot avoid it, but do it slowly and ramp up over time.

You really cannot be too nice when you want people to change. Change only comes as a result of suffering and discomfort. If things are too comfortable, then they will just stay the way they are.
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Old 27th December 2017, 7:25 PM   #9
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Hello friend!
Thanks for sharing here! I see that you are at a difficult position here! You mention that his behavior is selfish and it is affecting his family! Does his family feel that way? Do his parents want him out? Is he contributing to the household? Maybe when you talk to your wife’s family about it you can make some of the suggestions shared in here, make him feel more like an adult and assume more responsibility! That might help him to change his status. You mention that you are far, but sharing with him and modeling might help him see how to change! Be wise and honest! If you really want to help him and the family, be a friend, an honest and caring one!
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Old 27th December 2017, 7:31 PM   #10
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Jesus wept. Leave the brother alone ffs. What is the matter with you people? He's happy doing his thing. I hate this attitude from 'do gooder' types. He will talk to you if he is not happy but as he is not then leave him to his business. Perhaps you need to sort your own life out.
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Old 27th December 2017, 8:55 PM   #11
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I am little confused as to why this is a problem at all.
He is content, living with his family and not being a nuisance. Has a good career and doesn't causes
Just because he isn't living the typical life doesn't mean there is anything wrong with it.
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Old 28th December 2017, 12:19 AM   #12
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It sounds like he might be on the autism spectrum. I would look around for programs in his area that serve adults on the spectrum and can help him socialize.
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Old 28th December 2017, 5:26 AM   #13
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He has no friends locally. They have all moved away and on with their lives. His job isnt far from his home. He never lived away from home, even when he attended college. While he does help at home, he lives a very frugal life and spends very little.

His family are worried about him. At 28 he can well afford to live away from home, buy a car and have a place of his own
He chooses not to. They're not pushing him out the door, but as parents they have their job done. It's time for him to get on with his own life and let his parents enjoy theirs now. He doesn't have any long term plans, or shows ambition to want to try new things. All his family have had heart to heart talks with him, yet nothing changes. He has admitted he is lonely and doesn't know what to do. When suggestions are made i.e go travelling for a few months, take up a class or hobby, online dating etc, he ignores them or just thinks its impossible. Unfortunately we live in different countries, so we see each other only a handful of times in the year. We all love the guy and he knows we're there for him, but his stuck in a never-ending loop of self pity and self exile which has prevented him from enjoying life to its full potential. You can say leave him alone and mind your own business, but his behaviour is having a negative impact on his family. They want him to be happy. But should that come always at their love/patience expense?

Last edited by GaelicSoul; 28th December 2017 at 5:38 AM..
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Old 28th December 2017, 5:39 AM   #14
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If he was my kid Id make therapy a condition of him staying. You say he's not depressed but I find that very hard to believe.
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Old 28th December 2017, 6:45 AM   #15
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You are likely describing how many of my son's friends will be at age 28. Their diagnosis is none of your business. If my son in law called them "selfish" or wanted to "kick their ass out the door" I'd rip son in law's head off his neck.

Unless you plan to get involved with kindness, compassion and make a real difference to his life, I suggest you mind your own business.
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