Slacker Housemate Ruining Friendship

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I moved into a house with a friend, who was supposed to set up an office in the house. He went through a breakup and a depression, and has not since worked. He has nowhere else to stay, but he hasn’t contributed to the bills in 7 months. I feel over whelmed by his mess and irresponsible nature. I cry almost every day in the house. When i ask him to move out or pitch in, i feel extreme guilt, and am afraid to lose a 4 yr friendship. I dont know which is worse, the stress or the guilt. How do i maintain my sanity and self respect without losing a friend??

A: Sadly, you are more concerned about losing a friend than your friend is. He has taken advantage of your friendship and your giving nature. Bad enough that he isn’t contributing financially, but he isn’t even cleaning up after himself! Really? Everyone is entitled to a little help from real friends. But 7 months?

From my point of view, you have already lost this friendship in important ways. How will you respect and trust him moving forward? How will he make it okay that he used your friendship so badly?

You aren’t doing either of you any favors by maintaining this situation. Apparently, he needs a dose of reality. Give him a month’s notice to either start sharing 50-50 or to move on. Meanwhile, start looking seriously for another place to live or for a new housemate. Spend some time with other people to develop other friendships that are based on healthy give and take.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Jan 2014

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2014). Slacker Housemate Ruining Friendship. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 25, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/01/30/slacker-housemate-ruining-friendship/