Problems with my Sister-In-Law's Boyfriend Help Please...

G’Day all, I’m needing some advice so please help me out, pretty please.

Apologies in advance for the length of this OP.

So problem is as follows – I don’t like my Sister-in-Law’s (SIL) new boyfriend. This wouldn’t be such a huge issue except that we (Leechboy and I) share a house with SIL and her two teenagers.

The first time I met him I thought he was a creep, he came across as a nice guy on the surface, he’s polite, can hold an intelligent conversation and everyone else liked him – there was no obvious reason for my dislike, just some gut feeling that he’s not quite right. When he shook my hand I was just all ick – kinda instant revulsion, like when you accidentally stand on a cockroach and it pops.

That was about a month ago. Since then he and my SIL have gone on dates at least twice a week and he’s been over to visit frequently. There have also been numerous family outings were he has taken her and the kids out. Try as I might I still can’t get over that initial reaction to him and now that he’s around the house more often it’s getting worse.

I really like my SIL (wouldn’t share a house with her otherwise) and whilst we sometimes disagree its usually over trivial things – two women sharing a kitchen is always fun :). When I first met the guy and before I knew she was interested in him I did mention the creepy ick factor but since then have kept my mouth shut.

He is over a lot and I can’t keep hiding in my bedroom when he comes to visit, not only is that a bit juvenile but it’s also really boring. I haven’t told my SIL how feel since that first night as I don’t want to rain on her parade. She really likes him and has told me often over the last year how she misses having a man in her life. The kids love him because he takes them out to fancy restaurants and brings over pirated movies from overseas that haven’t been release in Oz yet.

I know its early days yet but they are getting serious really quickly and he’s always around. So do I say something or not? Should I just keep quite and hope that he really is a nice guy and my instincts are wrong? I thought about maybe approaching it another way and saying that I’m missing my personal space now that she has visitors around so often. But this may be too oblique and not have the desired effect because she could take it to mean I don’t want her having visitors at all. :frowning: I really don’t know what to do.

Help me please ……….

This sounds good to me. Just explain that he’s over too much, and it would be nice if they could go to his place now and then.

As far as your creep factor, I’d keep it to myself unless my SIL asked, unless you have some REASON behind the creep factor other than a gut feeling that you should disclose.

No good news here; nothing you can do, really. Except move out of the house if he becomes too frequent a guest (or ask her to move out, depending on whose house it is). She’s an adult, and unless she asks for your opinion of him, or he does something obviously wrong, your feeling of general creepiness is not something you should discuss with her (IMO, of course). I do feel for you, though; I’ve had instant dislikes in the past, too, and they were usually on the mark. Maybe he’ll do something pretty foul soon, and tip his hand. You can always hope. :slight_smile:

So he’s attentive to her, good with the kids and she likes him?

I say MYOB. Unless he’s being a jerk and endangering people, you have NO say in the matter. If all you have to go on is gut instinct, you are out of line.

Difficult situation. You may have to rethink the house-sharing situation. Could you and Leechboy find another place?

Leechbabe, I’m assuming she shares the bills, etc… and her and her kids aren’t sponging off you. If this is the case, I think you have to just bite your tongue. There isn’t ANY good way that I know of to tell her how you feel about him, and if she’s sharing in the expenses, one guest isn’t excessive.

If she is sponging off you, I think you and the lovely Leechboy need to give her a date by which her and herkids have to find somewhere else to live.

Not very helpful, I know, but I really don’t think any good would come out of saying anything. Share your feelings with Leechboy, by all means, but shut up around SIL. Women can be very protective/defensive/irrational about their men, especially if the man has just ended a dry spell.

Good luck, sharing can be such fun :frowning:

I’m going to take a different viewpoint here than some previous respondents.

I think it is quite reasonable for you to point out to your SIL that you feel you have to retreat to your bedroom quite often in order to grant her and her new b/f any kind of privacy, and that as a full rent-paying and contributing member of the household you don’t really feel comfortable about that.

Many of us can be quite inconsiderate of others when we are in a brand new relationship, and whether or not your “gut reaction” to this guy turns out to be warranted, there is still something wrong with you feeling that you have to make yourself scarce in your own home.

I’d approach the SIL on that basis, and not say anything about your gut feelings about this guy.

It’s tough sharing adult space with family - really tough - but it is also not unreasonable to set some ground rules about shared space.

If he’s staying at your home more than a couple of nights per week, then it’s reasonable that either he or the SIL should contribute something towards the extra costs involved in having another adult present in the household.

Having some idea of how your household operated before the introduction of this particular male, I’d say that it’s time you and SIL had a really honest talk about how you anticipate it working in the future, and that you make your boundaries very clear in that discussion.

You’re adults now, and you all have a right to be respected and an obligation to treat other people with whom you share a house with respect.
Really, all of you adults who share this house need to sit down at the kitchen table and discuss where the house goes from here and what the obligations of every rent-payer in that house. You need to have those discussions without boyfriends, girlfriends, teenage children, or any other people who are not financially or physically contributing to the household being present.

You can always PM me through G’Dope if you need someone to listen, but right now I don’t have any better suggestion than re-negotiating the terms of your current living arrangements.

I agree that you shouldn’t tell the SIL about your feelings towards her fella. Unless you have something specific to go on, I would bet dollars to doughnuts that she will just get mad at you and maybe accuse you of not wanting her to be happy. . .

“I don’t have any real reason, but I want you to stop seeing this guy that you really like and who is great with your children.”

As for him coming over a lot, does he do anything other than be there that makes you feel like hiding in your room? Do they hog the couch and kissy face all evening? Does he eat all your Fruit Loops? Again, unless you have specific reasons for not wanting him there that much, there’s not much you can say without risking the aforementioned hurt feelings.

Of course, this comes from a guy who has only had one adult roomate post college (neither of us having girlfriends at the time) and didn’t live with a chick until moving in with my then-future wife.

The thing about the pirated videos jumped out at me. Do you think the guy is dishonest/unethical in general? Where is he getting these illegal goods? Do you think he hangs out with unsavory characters? Does he do other things that suggest that he is not quite on the right side of the law? Could this be part of the reason for your discomfort?

[ul]…Yeah, hire a private detective. ;)[/ul]

Thanks all for your comments and feedback, its given me much food for thought. The more I think about the more confused I get – isn’t that always the way :slight_smile:

I decided at this point I will keep my thoughts to myself about the creep factor. SIL doesn’t need me being negative when her son is doing a great job all by himself (I think he might be jealous).

I probably should clarify why I have continued to dislike the guy since the first encounter. He constantly talks about how much he earns, which I would have passed of as some sort of thing to impress SIL - look at how bright my feathers are don’t you want to mate with me? But he keeps returning to the topic, broken record anyone?

He has a brother who works for the Australia Customs Dept. and the brother brings home confiscated pirate movies which they copy overnight and then return. He’s been passing these onto my SIL and the kids to watch. To me this is stealing and makes me very uncomfortable – Leechboy actually spoke to SIL about this as he has very strong opinions on the topic but she chose not to listen. This has got to be my A++++ reason for the dislike, not only is he stealing but he’s involving my family.

Also he gave the kids a playstation 2, which is really cool of him but he has only been dating my SIL for a month now and that seems a bit soon for expensive gifts for her kids.

Anyways I have to approach this very carefully - family being what it is I have a feeling that no matter what I do it will come back at me later. I did try to work the personal space angle but SIL said that if they went to his place more often she would want me to look after her kids whilst she was out. As I have already refused to look after my niece after learning from experience that I can’t control her that’s not an option either. So I act like an adult, buy a large amount of good books and hide in my room and read when he’s over. Unless Leechboy’s home and then we both hide in the room and pretend we are on our honeymoon again :slight_smile:

NB – suggestions for good reading material welcome.

Is your SIL your BROTHERS ex by any chance? and could this have something to do with the ‘ick’ factor? Has she had other BF’s recently that you have approved of, and only this one not passing muster?
This is not meant to be a negation of your feelings, just an exploration of where they might be coming from. You seemed to indicate that the animosity was from the first handshake, and apart from perhaps being clairvoyant :wink: , I would think it doubtful that he had done anything by that stage to get your hackles up. Is there some sense of family loyalty/protectiveness towards your SIL that may be having some influence here?

Hope you’ve recovered from the Show Leechy!

I’ve experienced similar feelings about a SIL’s BF, for similar reasons - making a big deal about his business/money, repeatedly pushing questionable ethical viewpoints (like wanting to us to get a second cable box and run cable up to her apartment, since you “won’t get in trouble unless you’re caught”) even after we said no, and that kind of thing. The worst part is, a couple months ago she broke up with him and it seemed for good, and we went out to drink and talk. She was venting about him and went into a few more somewhat shady (ethical issues, regarding his business) things about him; my husband and I were talking about how we didn’t like him for certain reasons. Now, of course - they’re back together. Talk about being on edge.

Okay, leechbabe, that makes things a little bit clearer (I wouldn’t like someone like that, either -he would offend my sense of integrity with his petty crimes), but you still really don’t have a leg to stand on with confronting SIL about him. You may end up moving away from this situation eventually; you’re not responsible for babysitting your niece if you want a little privacy in your own home.
As for reading material, John Varley has done some very nice, thick Sci-fi novels, anything by Robert Silverberg (and he’s very prolific, too!), John Grisham, and John Irving make good, thick reads, IMO.