Brother-in-Law

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by Flyboy, Mar 3, 2016.

  1. So, something's been on my mind lately.
    My brother-in-law is 25. He's very friendly, fun to hang out around, and generally very willing to help out when asked and everything like that.
    But I'm pretty worried about his future.
    Thing is, he's 25, a high school graduate, but he has almost no motivation to do anything with himself. His only job experience is McDonald's, which we pretty much had to press him into. Otherwise, he spends literally all day and night playing computer games (he once stayed up 24 hours just gaming).
    He lived with us for almost a year and a half. Originally, it was my wife who told me, and the purpose was so he could get a job on the British market (since they pay more here) and get a place of his own after a few months. Well, he pretty much just settled into our guest bedroom for a while until he even started looking for a job. Originally he just took temp jobs for a while before we finally managed to convince him to apply at McDonald's. And admittedly, he flourished well enough there; he was a model employee, covered other people's shifts that couldn't for whatever reason, never took a sick day, never complained about his schedule or hours, etc. But then decided he was gonna up and quit (he simply told my wife while we were back home at Christmas that he was quitting and moving back to Bulgaria). So he quit and moved back to Bulgaria back in January where, you guessed it, he is allegedly job-hunting (applied at McDonald's), but I can only hazard a guess that he's spending his days much like he did while he was with us.
    His overall state of health I can't comment on, but he's about 300 pounds and hasn't seen a dentist in Lord knows how long. His father is about the same weight, and is a chain-smoking diabetic. I'm not sure how my wife made it out of there at 5'7" and 110 lbs with a very healthy diet outlook (she's a veggie and lean meat nut)...or maybe that's exactly why. I don't know.
    The issue is, my in-laws enable him to no end. They supply him with money whenever he asks for it. My mother-in-law bought him (through us) a $1,500 Alienware gaming laptop. I mean, I THINK they mean well; it was them that forced him to come live with us (which pissed me off to no end since they never ran it by me before my wife basically said, "He's coming to live with us.").

    So of course my worry is that if something happens to their Dad, which, and I hate saying it because I love the guy, is pretty likely, it will likely mean he will either be homeless or we'll be having to take care of him. I've discussed this with my wife, and she's more or less on the same page as me.

    And another issue is that we can't really FIND motivation for him. He doesn't care about women (or guys). He doesn't want to be in a relationship because they "cost too much money." Games? He's not playing Fallout 4 or Destiny. He's playing Settlers 3, GTA, etc. Games released 10-20 years ago that he is addicted to, and that are open-source, free-to-play, hackable, etc. This is a guy who, as much as it pains me to say it, I can very sadly easily see living the same day over and over again until the day he dies, and not being discovered for a month. Food is cheap and plentiful in Bulgaria; I can walk into any store with a $20 and walk out with half the damn inventory. Internet is free in his city, and electricity is cheap. So as long as he's doing the bare minimum, he's good to go.

    Maybe I just needed to vent, but jeeeeesus, I feel bad for him and wanna help him, but at the same time feel that he's 25 and at this point he should be on his own with the consequences of his decisions.
     
  2. MarkWS

    MarkWS Member

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    So many in similar situations. I can't imagine the pressure on your marriage. Stay strong. Focus on what you can control.
     

  3. Actually there's almost no pressure to be honest. Seeing as we're due to go back to the States in January, and her brother is Bulgarian, he would be required to jump through all sorts of legal hoops to be able to come over and stay with us in the U.S. And she for the most part feels the same as me; we'd love to help him the best we can, but he's an adult who has to live with his own decisions. It's one of those cases where you hope for the best but can't help but see the worst coming. It's more frustrating than anything else.
     
  4. TNTRAILERTRASH

    TNTRAILERTRASH Supporting Member

    You can pick your friends, can't pick your relatives.

    Does Dave Ramsey's books translate to Bulgarian?
     
  5. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    My experience is that you can't. You can't motivate someone else who has no desire, regardless of what the Motivational Speakers claim. You just can't do it. You can't succeed for him.

    Sorta, mostly. Here's what you can do. Accept that he's a big boy now and will run his life the way he sees fit. He'll succeed or fail based on what he decides. You can help him by being encouraging and positive. If he'll let you, encourage him to find jobs and get education and to, in general, be responsible for himself. Don't enable him. Don't give him money or free stuff. Have a polite chat with your in-laws and explain to them that you're the head of your own household and you have a wife and child to think of first before a brother-in-law. If they want him to live with you, they MUST ask you. If you ever decide to allow him to live with you again, you must set ground rules for him (and explain to the in-laws what these ground rules are). One of these ground rules is that he must have a job within X months. Once he has a job, he must pay Y in rent. I also suggest "part of the household" ground rules such as keeping his room neat and tidy (making bed, etc.), and giving him a list of chores such as washing dishes every other night, cleaning the bathroom, and vacuuming every other week (or whatever). If he doesn't agree to these, then say, "no, you can't live with us." If he stops doing these, then give him one warning then kick him back to Bulgaria. You will almost certainly get pushback from him and his parents over this. Fortunately for you, he's back in Bulgaria right now.

    Because he's back in Bulgaria, you have almost zero influence over him or how he chooses to live his life.

    That you are worried for him demonstrates that you are a compassionate and empathetic person. But you have to know your limitations.

    This is me speaking from experience. I've seen similar from both sides of my family, my extended family, and my wife's family. I've had an extended-house-guest family member. I watch as members of my extended-family just do the minimum to get by and I've seen their parents (and grandparents) continue to treat them like children, which, frustratingly, enables them to remain children.

    Another note from experience, referring back to the "pushback" I mentioned; if you refuse to help enable childish, life-wasting behavior, this will almost certainly create extended-family friction and you may be branded a selfish, uncaring, greedy, jerk. Again, experience talking. :(

    However, if he ever has an epiphany about his life, you can still be there to help guide him, point him to jobs, help "train" him in habits of success, etc.

    The short version is, you can't fix dysfunctional unless dysfunctional wants to be fixed.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  6. MachoMelvin

    MachoMelvin Well-Known Member


    There you go, just PRAY for him!
    It don't cost anything, but your time?
    It doesn't hurt, unless you PRAY on your knees for a long time. But that is how most of my PRAYERS get answered?
    Start a PRAYER chain, ask others to also PRAY for his soon to be awakening. Who knows this time next year he may be a
    FULL BLOWN JESUS FREAK?
    Then ALL your prayers will have been answered!!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016
  7. lsi1

    lsi1 Member

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    My brother in law sticks his man bits in any female bits that they can find their way into and as a result he has 4 children 3 different women.He's got a decent job making good money which he goes to every day and takes all the overtime he can grab because he pays out a massive amount of money in child support. He can't put together enough money to get a decent place to live or even a half way decent car to drive.

    My wife and him had some trouble a couple years back when her grandfather gave her A s&w model 28 because it went to her instead of her brother. The grandfathers reasoning was so that it wasn't sold to get his next baby's mother drunk enough to put out.
     
  8. TNTRAILERTRASH

    TNTRAILERTRASH Supporting Member

    Most recent ex had 3 kids. All grown up and married. I told her not to lend them money, don't cosign loans etc. When they do stupid things, or make bad decisions they need to get their "nose broke." If mommy is there with her check book every time they screw up they never learn. Eventually they will figure out (if they have a brain) that what they are doing ain't working? They will change what they are doing. One son after paying off a cosigned loan got another one to get flooring and other things. Her daughter in law accidentally mentioned how they were paying it off. I called her on it because she had promised not to. I asked WTF was wrong with cash? Save his money and pay cash.

    Did I tell you I enjoy being single? :p
     
  9. TNTRAILERTRASH

    TNTRAILERTRASH Supporting Member

    Which trailer park does he live in? I'm glad I haven't had that kind of drama in my life.
     
  10. lsi1

    lsi1 Member

    1,644
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    not a trailer park currently living with baby mama number 3 in her house.
     
  11. SWAGA

    SWAGA No longer broke... Lifetime Supporter

    @ Flyboy:

    Dr. Swagz diagnosis is he's clinically depressed.
    Scared of life and 'running' away by hiding from it in his game world.
    Shamed and embarrassed by his weights so much he 'doesn't care' anymore and just living groundhog day.
    He wants to change but knows he is too weak and the threshold is too high.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016
  12. My ex was clinically depressed, and I gotta say I disagree. He just truly doesn't care.
    You have to understand how he grew up; in an old Soviet-style apartment that's square footage is about equal to the average porch, with three other people. His bedroom was also his sister's bedroom, family dining room, and living room. No privacy; there is two doors in the place, one to the actual apartment, another to their parents' bedroom. They never had any real TV to speak of, but due to their Dad being a computer tech, always had computers to mess around with, so only thing to really do was play games. I mean, when I was younger, I wasn't allowed to watch TV until my parents got home, so I read books. I still read books because of it. It's just something I came up with, I can't imagine not doing that. My wife plays games at the same volume he does; but she is far from depressed.
    And remember, this is Bulgaria. Fat shaming just doesn't exist there. It's actually still somewhat something to be proud of; during communism, weight=influence/class. Means you did really good, got more food than other people, were more proactive, worked harder, etc. Oh sure, it's the 21st century, so it's not seen as healthy, but it's also not seen as something to even really be talked about in a negative light either due to the older generations still being in charge of things. Hell, my wife is fit and trim as Hell; they keep telling her to eat more, always telling me to get more food for her, I need to fatten her up, etc. etc.

    So I don't think it's that. I mean, he is truly the epitome of "I don't care."