Hax: Boyfriend won't kick friends out

The Washington PostJuly 13, 2013 

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Carolyn: Ever since my boyfriend and I moved in together earlier this year, I have been uncomfortable with the amount of time his friends "Jim" and "Dave" spend at our house. They come over anywhere from two to five nights EACH WEEK, often showing up unannounced. They will say they're just coming over to watch TV and have "a" beer, which usually turns into three, and don't leave till after I've gone to bed. This happens weekdays and weekends, whether or not my boyfriend and I already have plans with each other.

At first, my boyfriend acted helpless about it ("I can't stop them from coming over"), but when I called him on that, he switched to a new defense: "I shouldn't have to give up my friends just because we live together." I'm at the end of my rope. Any suggestions?

YOU, ME, JIM AND DAVE

One: www.realtor.com/rentals.

Carolyn: I appreciate your response, and I'm sure you're right - but assuming I do want to stay in the relationship, do you agree with me that it's reasonable to want a few nights a week with no drop-ins?

Also, I wonder whether the rules are any different since we are not married and hence my rights are more those of a roommate vs. wife. If I promise to check out rentals, will you please offer a tiny bit more guidance for the interim?

YOU, ME, JIM AND DAVE AGAIN

Oh all right.

First, the rules are not different with or without marriage, because this is about your consideration of each other's needs, and that would apply if you were 50 years' married or just good friends and roommates.

Next, his current defense cuts both ways: "I shouldn't have to give up my friends just because we live together" turns around nicely to, "OK. And I shouldn't have to give up my quiet time just because we live together. So doesn't it make sense that we both have to give a little, out of respect for each other?"

If he's a tool about it even after you put it that way, then: www.realtor.com/rentals.

Email tellme@washpost.com. Chat online at 10 a.m. Fridays at www.washingtonpost.com.

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