Housemate and I are making each other miserable. What are my options?
June 3, 2014 7:04 PM Subscribe
My housemate and I have reached the point where it's really, really clear we aren't going to be able to work things out and get along. Despite this, she is digging her heels in about moving out. Snowflakes inside.
posted by nonasuch to Human Relations (51 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I share a house just outside DC (on the MD side) with two people. One is moving out next month to get a place with his girlfriend in another city. The other seems determined to continue living here even though we have been getting along very poorly for some time. If I can get her to commit to leaving at the end of August, I have a good friend and her boyfriend who would happily move in (the boyfriend when Housemate #1 leaves in July, the friend when, God willing, Housemate #2 leaves in August).
I am not, admittedly, innocent here: our main point of contention is my lax housekeeping. But I've been making a concerted effort to do better on that front, and as far as I can tell it's made no difference in improving relations. Basically, it's a standards issue: by the time I look around and go 'oh, it's a bit cluttered' she's about to call in the Hoarders team. If I spend a day getting the house to what I consider ready-for-company condition, I'm still nowhere near reaching her minimum standards for cleanliness.
That said, feeling constantly guilty, stressed and anxious about the state of the common areas is actively harming my ability to do anything about it. Knowing I'm making her miserable is making me miserable. Given my limited reserves of energy and executive function, the extra stress and anxiety only make it harder to accomplish the tasks that will reduce my stress and anxiety.
But she won't fucking leave! She appears to feel that the low rent and other amenities (she has the upstairs of the house to herself, the neighborhood's quiet and convenient, etc) are worth sticking it out a while longer, perhaps for as long as another year, at which point she'll be leaving for a grad program in another city. There is no way in hell I can put up with another year of this, but if she stays past August she'll have trouble finding a lease that will allow her to relocate when she needs to.
That said, I really do not want to use the nuclear option and evict her, though I think I could if I had to. I'm the only name on the lease, and the sublease she signed with me was for the previous house we lived in (when our irreconcilable differences had not yet become so apparent). She does not actually have a sublease with me at this address, and she was month-to-month before. On the other hand, her boyfriend's a lawyer and has already implied that I'd have to take her to court to make her leave before she's good and ready.
I seriously cannot deal with another year of passive-aggressive notes and hiding in my bedroom. If I can get her out by the end of August, I'd be able to live with friends whose housekeeping standards are in line with my own. I've also really missed being able to socialize with the people I live with-- Housemate #1 is friendly but very introverted and nearly always working, and I have a vastly easier time getting shit done when I have other people around.
What are my options? Is the nuclear option more trouble than it's worth? What can I say to her that will convince her that moving out is the best option for everyone, herself included? Am I going to feel like an asshole if I actually do have to kick her out officially?