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Should I be more concerned?

  1. Oxemity profile image54
    Oxemityposted 8 years ago

    I'm a college level student working a full-time job. I moved out of my parent's house almost a year ago and I am rooming with a close, extended relative of mine who is from out of town.

    The relationship that we've had was on a healthy level and it wasn't until recently that I've started to regret my decision of living with her.

    Since we've moved in together I've always been the one who actually cleans up the apartment. I do the dishes, clean the kitchen, vaccum, pick up the living room and do all the laundry. I've cleaned both bathrooms when they needed it and I was always the one who took out the trash.

    Is this normal?

    I feel like I am babysitting my roommate.
    Just recently, we got into an argument because of a verbal outburst I had on a woman who I do not intend to associate myself with.

    I was accused of being a close-minded individual because I claimed that I would not put myself in position to be influenced by someone who cheats on her husband and get's drunk every night.
    We fought for around thirty minutes on the subject and I was never given the opportunity to really voice my opinion on the matter because every time I opened my mouth she would cut me off and tell me I had no idea what I was talking about.

    I am two and half years older than my roommate and we've lived apart from each other all of our lives. Yet, she claims that she knows exactly what I've experienced my life and that she's been much more exposed to the world than I ever will be.

    Since then, she's left and gone home for four weeks. I kept the apartment spotless the entire time as I am usually gone at work or school. The day she comes home it becomes trashed.

    Yesterday, I received an unnerving phone call from my mother about me being accused of asking my roommate for money. I immediately texted my roommate and asked her if she told her mom that. She denied it.
    I told her to clarify to her mother that I had done no such thing.
    This is turn starts a string of texts between us where she accuses me of using her and never giving anything in return for all the stuff she's bought me or all the food she's given me.

    She also says that I tried to force her to buy me a car and a house. None of the accusations were true.

    Of course, I defended myself, but it became so trivial that I ended the conversation by saying she could call my dad if she had anymore concerns.

    She's texted me several times since, calling me immature and childish for not talking to her like an adult and asking why I can never take responsibility for my actions. I did not respond.
    I am however slightly concerned for my well-being as my roommate owns a shotgun and a bee-bee gun. She has joked before about, "killing," me with one of my friends and after seeing the way she blew up about this problem should I be more concerned than I really am?

    Also, she stated that she will be leaving this weekend to go back home. However, the lease on our apartment is not up until September. If she does not pay her half of the rent, are there any legal gurus out there who could give me some advice on what to do??

    Thanks in advance for any feedback!

  2. bgpappa profile image81
    bgpappaposted 8 years ago

    Living with friends hardly ever works out.  Bills, rent, food, company all get in the way.

    She has to pay her share of the rent.  If you only pay your share, you could get evicted.  If you pay for all, you can sue her for what you are out.

  3. Marisa Wright profile image99
    Marisa Wrightposted 8 years ago

    When I read the first part of the original post, I was going to point out that different people have different standards of cleanliness, and that might be part of the problem.

    I know, for instance, that I could never share a flat with my niece.  Visit her house and you'll find everything neat, tidy and clean.  No mug rings on the coffee table, no spills in the fridge, no dust on the top of the TV, no stray hairs on the bathroom floor, no clothes strewn over the chair instead of hanging in the wardrobe.  You'll find all those things in my house! 

    She cleans every day, I clean once a week if you're very lucky. I'm sure she thinks I'm a slob, whereas I think she's obsessive (though I love her to death!).  We would drive each other mad.

    That's one possible contributor to the conflict you're experiencing. The other lies in the allegations that she's given you money or bought you things.  Has she bought you stuff?  Is she carrying more of bills (food, utilities etc) than you are? 

    If she is, she may see it as a fair bargain - she understands that as a student, you have less money available, but you still have to share the load equally.  Maybe she sees her financial contribution as equal to your labor contribution in doing the housework.   

    I saw this recently where a young woman was furious because her parents were "treating her like an unpaid babysitter" for her younger siblings.  Turned out she was 25 and still living at home, working but not paying a cent in board.  Her parents obviously saw the baby-sitting as a fair substitute for rental, but she couldn't see it that way!

    Now for the unfair and childish remarks - well, texting is an immature way to have an argument. 

    As for the murder threats - at this point, I started to wonder whether I had wandered into fiction and I must say, I have trouble taking that seriously.

    1. Oxemity profile image54
      Oxemityposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for the reply... !

      We walked into the situation with both sides agreeing to pay 50/50. She never had to foot the bill for me and I've never asked her too.

      She never bought me anything outside of concert tickets for my birthday. I in return bought her a $50.00 bottle of perfume.

      I actually have the documentation from facebook where she said she would kill me. I felt like it had started with a joke, involving another person, and then escalated into an obsession.

  4. SweetiePie profile image82
    SweetiePieposted 8 years ago

    I will never live with a friend after one experience I had.  I believe you when you say you did not borrow money from her, but for her to call your mom and make up a story shows she loves the drama.  It is time to move.  I know moving is horrible, but once I was roommates with a friend and we had too many problems.

    I am not quite as into cleaning as much as yourself, but let us just say my roommate was truly a pig pen.  She had trash, blankets, her laundry and hair clips all strewn across the living room, which to me is just way too much.  One time my sister came to visit and accidentally stepped on something sharp, which was a giant hair clip hidden under a blanket on the floor.  My sister felt bad about breaking it, but who knew it would be there.  Sadly I said I do not think my roommate would even notice because to be honest she did not until I told her.

    It finally got to the point she was so lax about making plans for when my other roommate moved out about getting a more affordable place that I finally realized that she could care less about me.  At the time she would have been happy with me paying four hundred dollars of rent when her and her boyfriend were splitting two hundred each.  We did not even like her boyfriend living there, but he had just sort of moved in without permission.  When my other roommate decided to move out I decided it was time to go myself.

    I went to the campus apartments and got a more affordable arrangement with a cleaner roommate.  If you are a student I suggest looking into campus apartments because not only are these affordable, but you can even get your own suite.  Yes some of the suites only have a bathroom and a bedroom, but you can buy a mini-fridge and not have to deal with any roommates that way.  Just a suggestion since you are a student and I imagine you have a fixed income.  Some campus apartments have plans where you share a kitchen, but that means sharing with people that might not clean as much as you would like.

    Now I will only live with my sister because she is the only person I trust.  I learned from previous roommate experiences it is just too much drama.

  5. profile image0
    Leta Sposted 8 years ago

    Living with room mates always seems to suck (sorry).  Living with a boyfriend is some better, but, oh, you know.  That can have some issues, too. 

    Living alone if you are single might be a more sane and peaceful approach.

    1. SweetiePie profile image82
      SweetiePieposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      At least your boyfriend cares about you.  When I lived with roommates I learned they could care less about me, and that was the girl who was my friend.  The roommate after that cared more about me and respected me more, and we were never really friends.  Still I am happier not living with people I do not know.  My sister only, but one day if I have enough money it will be just me again.

      1. profile image0
        Leta Sposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        I lived with my one sister for one year in college.  Nightmare.  But the two of us are total opposites. She was a complete--and I mean complete--slob.  I won't even repeat how bad.  My other sister?--maybe.  But for the most part, I've either lived with a boyfriend or alone.  Yes, with the bf you get many more benefits, smile.  And living alone, too, I found might cost a bit more, but I've found it is worth it.

        1. SweetiePie profile image82
          SweetiePieposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          I like living alone, but that was when I had a much better salary and lived in a cheap area.  I think I may end up living with my sister for awhile, but overall we get along okay.  She likes to clean and keep to herself, so most of the time the living room is all mine.  Overall it is not so bad.

  6. cksuralvo profile image59
    cksuralvoposted 8 years ago

    I think it's too easy to just say "living with other people sucks"

    Living with another person means you have to compromise, obviously.  You get to choose what is important to you and what is unacceptable-- and that goes beyond cleaning standards and money issues.  This girl is/was your friend... your mothers are obviously friends, there is more to this than who cleans the bathroom the most or who paid for the groceries last week.

    I've lived away from my parents since I was 18.  My first "bad roommate experience" focused a lot on different standards of cleaning and people owing people money.  As I changed my living situation (I moved every year between 18 and 23) I found that no matter how well I knew the people before hand; no matter how much I liked or disliked my roommates as people; no matter how many "contracts" and "agreements" we made about how we were going to live together the issues were still the same.

    I'm married now. I have been living with my husband for a little over two years.  I still get mad about cleaning and money and his friends, but we talk about it.  We share our different perspectives.  That's all you can do.  Say "this is how I feel when I come home to a messy apartment" and let your roommate share too.

    You get to choose if you want to write off your roommate as a bad apple, but I guarantee you the same problems will occur in some form with the next person you live with.  So, you can just say "living with people sucks" and suffer miserably, or you can remind yourself (as you're angrily scrubbing your roommates dishes) that there are more important things in life then an equal share in the chores.

    If anything you're actively training yourself for the future.  We all end up living with people eventually one day if we live long enough.  Find the positives in the situation and, more importantly, communicate with your roommate.  I'm sure she doesn't realize half of what you're feeling...

    1. Oxemity profile image54
      Oxemityposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you very much!! Your reply was incredibly insightful and it sounds like you have a lot of experience. I think my problem lies in the fact that I can't have a conversation with my cousin about anything. She always becomes incredibly defensive and ends up screaming at me. So, I usually tend to not approach her with concerns.

      1. cksuralvo profile image59
        cksuralvoposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        "In the family" makes things even more complicated.  Even though the whole thing starts as "general roommate issues," it becomes a lot more emotional a lot faster, essentially, because you are connected to each other not by choice (by blood/circumstance).  There are a lot more influences on your relationship with your cousin than if you were just friends or roommates.

        You get to choose what's acceptable in your life and what isn't.  You only have control over yourself and your own actions.  I find that when I get in an argument with someone it's because I'm not looking at the entire picture in that moment.  I'm focused on the one thing that just made me mad in the last few minutes.  On it's own, that thing is not fair; it's not right; it's an injustice against me.  In that one thing, I have been wronged.  Once I lose that tunnel vision (usually after the argument), that's when the issues can be actually be solved and points of view can be shared.  You can understand what someones reality is without agreeing with how they think; you can try to look at the situation with your biases removed-- sometimes the situation looks very different afterwards.

        I'm not saying you have to solve things with your cousin, or even trying to project that "it will be possible if you just try"-- this is on your cousin too.  I'm saying situations can be mended if anyone is willing to look beyond the past and focus on future goals for the relationship.

        You've received a lot of good feedback on this forum and I am presuming you have had suggestions outside of hubpages on how to handle the situation.  You're the one that, in your heart, knows whats right, whats easy, whats standing up for yourself, whats not...  You get to choose for you.  I hope whatever you choose works the best for you in the end. :-)

  7. LondonGirl profile image86
    LondonGirlposted 8 years ago

    Living with other people can be great. I flat-shared with my other half and a friend of mine for 5 years, and my other half and a friend of his for 3. Both worked fantastically well.

  8. SweetiePie profile image82
    SweetiePieposted 8 years ago

    I would never put it this way "living with other people sucks," because I think that word is negative.  People who have never had a problem roommate are very lucky.  I had about fifteen roommates through out college, and a few were okay.  At one time in the dorms I had a different roommate every month, but this was because they were foreign exchange students.  The international students were actually more respectful and kind.

    However, being the introvert that I am I really did not like putting up with partying, messes, and other issues that arose.  Often it is just happier and healthier to live alone, or with family that you trust.  Introverts often prefer their quiet time and space, and a roommate can cause too much tension.  It does not mean a person does not know how to compromise just because they do not like living with people. 

    Today many people are single for longer periods of their life, and I have actually known some people that live alone for long periods of time.  It does not make them weird or anything, this is just their preference.  Living alone is great because you get to do what you want when you want, but I am a very single person so some may not get what I am talking about.

    Personally my home life is just way too precious to chance or even deal with situations I find remotely stressful.  If I could do the college thing over again I would definitely have had a suite without roommates because it would have just been that much easier to concentrate on my studies.

  9. Colebabie profile image59
    Colebabieposted 8 years ago

    It sounds like your living arrangement just isn't working out. If she is on the lease (or you have a contract written up between the two of you) she legally has to pay her half. I've learned from having a lot of roommates, and I was a RA at my school, that there should be a thorough initial conversation about cleanliness, guests, money, food, bills, pets etc. before you decide to live together. I used to make my residents sign a "roommate agreement" at the beginning of each semester to initiate the conversation. But of course like cksuralvo said it is a matter of keeping up with it and holding to that agreement. Sometimes people are a match, sometimes people aren't. It is a combination of things that make a good roomie.

    1. Oxemity profile image54
      Oxemityposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Question. If she doesn't hold up her half of the rent (She's on the lease) and I have to pay her half, how is she held accountable? Is there any other way besides me suing her?