40 year old brother in law refuses to work

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Brotherinlaw, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. Brotherinlaw

    Brotherinlaw New Member

    My in laws moved to our town a year ago and the brought my brother in law with them. Since he's gotten here he's had about 10 days of work and has spent the rest of the time doing very little.

    My in laws are both retired and in somewhat poor health. My wife and I have our own kids that we are raising, and we do not want to take him in too when his parents pass away. His parents are not rich and they will definitely not have enough money for him to live on for the rest of his life. I think he is walking all over his parents and they are funding a lifestyle which must be boring and unsatisfying to say the least. And his mom(my mother in law) doesn't help when she gives him money for running errands, etc.

    We've tried to encourage him to get his life going by going back to school to finish college, reviewing his résumé or suggesting jobs, but all these ideas appear to go in one ear and out the other. He's full of excuses and stories but nothing seems to happen.

    The only type of job he wants is one " that will give him an income".

    He always has a reason why he's not working( getting settled, the job offer he got was too far away, he can't work and go to school if he takes that job( even though he's doing neither)). He keeps turning down jobs. I've never heard of someone turn down so many jobs. It makes me skeptical that is truly the case.

    Any ideas on how we can get him to get his act together? We've tried talking to my inlaws and that doesn't seem to go anywhere either. They know there's a problem, but they may have given up on finding a solution.
  2. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Hello, brother in law.
    What you can do is keep yourself removed as much as possible. He is not imposing on you, he is imposing on them. He is an adult, and so are they.
    Where does your wife stand on this? Does she see it as you do? I hope so...the danger I see is that she also feels that he needs to be supported in his lifestyle, and that that will come between you.
    Because, brother in law, you are right that it isn't OK for a 40 year old to live off his parents indefinitely.
    But for now, it is their triad, not yours. Especially if your wife agrees, I would stay out of it for now.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and welcome to the board, but I don't have good news for you.

    Your brother-in-law is forty. He isn't going to change and if I were you I wouldn't waste time trying to get him to do so nor wo9uld I EVER consider taking him in. That's baloney. He's beyond an adult...he is middle age and if he has nowhere to live, it's his own fault. I personally can't imagine why you'd house this slacker. Why on earth would you help him BE a slacker. I know you mean well, but it won't encourage him to get a job if he has a warm house, food, and a bed all for nothing.

    As for his elderly parents, this is a sad scenario we often see in those who don't understand codependency, detachment, and who have the mistaken feeling that they have to financially catch, hold onto and support their adult children even at their own expense. I agree that his parents should be enjoying their retirement years and should have pulled the plug on this person long ago. My guess is he is in some sort of recovery or has some mental illness or both so they feel sorry for him, but even those reasons.
  4. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    My sister in law has a brother who is at least 50. He still lives at home with his mother. My advice is remove yourself from the situation. TOTALLY. If this is how they have chosen to live...so be it. This is not your problem. Of course you are not taking him in!!!! So many people I know do this, and they "broke" their kids, living on the couch, etc...don't make this your problem, they would love that. Be strong, we are here for you also.
  5. UncleJuneBug

    UncleJuneBug New Member

    I have two dysfunctional adult siblings who live with my 82 year old parents.
    One is a 49 year old male with untreated Borderline Personality Disorder and Is a Schizophrenic, never worked a day in his life and my parents take care of everything in his life. Add to that a 52 year old divorced woman who has been an alcoholic since 17 and is now in end stage alcohlism. Soon we will be forced to sell my parents home so we can put them in assisted living. My parents do not want to sell but they have no other assets and have no choice. We will most likely have to have the two adult children physically thrown put in order to sell the home.
    I have done EVERYTHING possible to try and get my parents to face reality t no avail. We called the Florida Family Services and they investigated and recommended my two siblings be prosecuted for financial elder abuse but my parents refused to press charges. I have basically moved on and given up my family for dead and some day I expect TWO "cash calls" from my two siblings, when their gravy train is over.
  6. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    For both brother-in-law and June Bug, please read the article on detachment posted by Recovering Enabler at the very top of this site. This will help you begin to learn how to detach yourselves from the trap being set for you. Much as you think now that you can distance yourselves from the situation once the parents die or the money runs out, you are going to need to learn how to say no and mean it without feeling guilty. It will not be easy, unless you choose not to see these people at all, once the parents are gone.

    At the bottoms of my posts, there is a link for how to talk to adult kids having financial or other kinds of difficulties. (The McCoy link.) This link will give you kind ways to say what must be said, and the exact words to use to do that.

    The advice you have received already is good advice. Unless you are willing to try to gain control of your parents' finances to protect them, there is nothing you can do. While I know it is hard for you to see it, you cannot change it. You can, however, learn how to protect yourselves from the demands to take care of all of them ~ your parents included ~ when the money is gone.

    Mostly, what you need to learn is that it is not only okay, but imperative, that you speak your views loudly and clearly today and every day after that. Let there be no question about what you see or how you feel about what is happening, and that you plan to cut the freeloaders off without another dime, should that power of decision ever come to you.

  7. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is so familiar to me. From the last part of 2011 to July of 2013 I had my brother in law living in my house doing absolutely nothing. He was a lump in our recliner only trying to come between me and his brother. I cannot stand this man and no one better say he can come back because I will get a protective order on him. The rest of my family (2 youngest sons and my SO) feel I am being mean. My oldest son understands because he was here the entire time and heard the awful things brother in law said to us when my SO wasnt around. SO thinks his brother did nothing to me and I shouldnt feel this way.

    This man is a 54...oh wait, 55 now...grown man who has never taken care of himself in his life. He has always relied on the rest of his family to help him function. I think its absurd. Thankfully he now gets SSI so he can support himself in a very limited manner from now on. All I know is I will never let him rest his head in my house again even if he lets himself become homeless.
  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Brotherinlaw and UncleJuneBug, welcome. I'm sorry you are going through this with your families. Others have given you excellent advice. If you are interested that article Scent of Cedar mentioned is at the bottom of my post here as well.

    It is extremely difficult to watch family members abuse or get abused, however, if you have already voiced your concerns to little or no avail, then in order for you to enjoy your own lives, you have to learn detachment. Detachment is about giving up control over something you have no control over anyway. You have no control over what others in your family do and if it interferes in your lives in negative ways then YOU have to take hold of the situation and learn to let go. Ruminating over what others are doing or not doing can and will ruin your own lives when in reality you cannot do anything as long as the parties involved refuse to change. It is not easy but it is necessary to learn to detach from the choices others make and accept it as what is..........out of your control. Wishing you both peace............
  10. Brotherinlaw

    Brotherinlaw New Member

    Thanks for the tips everyone. Not quite the responses I expected. I was surprised that everyone largely said to butt out of his life for now but be clear that we won't be taking him in. Sounds like he won't be working anytime soon.

    I'm not sure if I'm in the same page as my wife, so I'll have to check into that. I think we're not satisfied with his progress, but I'll see about the rest.
  11. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    It isn't an easy situation, brother-in-law, no matter how you look at it. If your wife's brother cannot care for himself, then he should be looking into social services or disability. You do need to explore your wife's feelings on this issue. Try to get on the same page with your wife now, as far as what needs to happen with the brother as time passes. She will be more vulnerable to him than you are.

    Is drug use or alcohol an issue?

  12. Brotherinlaw

    Brotherinlaw New Member

    I'm not aware of drug or alcohol issues at this point. I'm thinking if I can put a label on it it might be aspd or more likely dis social, but I don't think he's ever been arrested.

    I did see another post on this site where they were going to give the person 7 days to get a job and they would have researched shelters for him in case he doesn't get a job. Seems like a smart idea, but not something I'd do as long as his parents are still around. He just needs some motivation.
  13. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My SO's son's wife's 2 brothers are in their early 50's and neither of them work, both live off of the parents who are in their 80's and always have. The parents are wonderful people, but major enablers. Nothing at this point is going to change that. Once the parents pass, the 3 kids will inherit a substantial amount of money, however, if both brothers don't work, their share will be gone in a few years if not sooner. We all know this. At some point in the future these, probably 60 year old men, will be homeless and unable to care for themselves. No one else in the family plans on helping them. They have been manipulators and lazy their entire lives and it isn't going to change until both the parents are dead and then reality will set in. It's really a shame because it's two wasted lives. Their sister knows that the brothers will likely come to her doorstep when all else fails, but knowing her, I doubt whether she will do anything but point them to the nearest shelter.