January 16, 2007 3:01 PM   Subscribe

How do I deal with a roommate's SO?

I'm reaching my limit.

When my bf and I introduced our female-friend to our newly-single roommate last fall, we were certainly not looking for another roomie. Since their first date (Sept-Octoberish), she has literally slept over every night. This including nights during which they were officially 'broken up'.

It has gotten to the point where my friendship with her and our roommate has become strained.

It all started when she started borrowing clothes from me and amassing a pile until I demanded them back (after numerous polite requests). Since then she hasn't been the least bit shy to let her inner-bitch out in the form of rude comments and condescending tones.

To add injury to insult [sic], she makes no household contribution in the form of $Funds$ or Effort. She simply comes 'home' at midnight and stays until she has to get ready for work (she lives close enough to run home just before commuting). This includes a lot of time spent without our real roomate here, since he works regular 9-5 hours. Obviously, she needs a key for this freedom.

So, I've garnered some advice on the matter from friends which basically surmises that I should "confront the bitch, and make her pay bills, tell her to get the f*ck out, etc.".

I can understand why these is the only logical answers. but it really doesn't fit my needs. I need a solution that will not render my living situation tense, uncomfortable or otherwise unlivable. I am not a confrontational person, and I need some idea of how to maintain an amicable relationship with both roommate and not-so-roommate.

So, hivemind, give me suggestions that can make this happen. I'm sick tired of being taken advantage of by matters that are essentially beyond my control.

Help me avoid all-out war.
posted by sunshinesky to Human Relations (40 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
How do you figure it's out of your control? You pay the rent. It is fully in your control.
posted by tristeza at 3:07 PM on January 16, 2007

Do not talk to her. Talk to your roommate. Your issue is with him, and you and he need to set some house rules about sleepovers, long-term guests, borrowing of belongings, etc. It is then up to him to enforce said rules with his guests.

There's no guarantee that this won't be awkward (and in fact, it likely will be, since he'll realize that you're criticizing his and his girlfriends' current behavior), but you need to talk with him. Your situation is already tense and unlivable, but if he's a good guy, there's a good chance you'll be able to work something out with him that makes you both more comfortable.
posted by decathecting at 3:07 PM on January 16, 2007

There really aren't that many options. If you're unwilling to confront her/them, then you'll have to either get over it or move out.

If you change your mind about confrontations, then I agree with decathecting: talk to the roommate alone first.
posted by equalpants at 3:12 PM on January 16, 2007

I'm 'fraid war is unavoidable. If she's that big of a bitch I definitely wouldn't bother trying to discuss it with her. Tell your roomie you're going to have to hike his share of the rent (to cover him and his moocher) and let him and her duke it out. If he can't see the reasoning behind it, time to find another roommate. And the next one I'd discuss this sort of issue before ya moved him/her in. Everyone is entitled to a SO but not to let them move in rent-free.
posted by CwgrlUp at 3:17 PM on January 16, 2007

Your situation will not get better if you do not take some action. Your roommate and "friend" are not going to give you what you want unless you make it very clear what that is. Right now it costs them nothing to take advantage of you, so there's no motivation for them to stop. You can't avoid a conversation about this, though you can approach it as a negotiation instead of a fight.

I agree with the strategy of agreeing on house rules with your roommate first. His girlfriend is not a voting party in your household because she does not pay rent. Agree ahead of time with your boyfriend on what you want to ask for: how much time she can spend at your place, whether you want her to kick in money or not, whether you're OK with her having a key, etc. If you and your boyfriend present a unified front, you'll have an easier time getting what you want since you represent 2/3 of the people on the lease.
posted by rhiannon at 3:21 PM on January 16, 2007

I need a solution that will not render my living situation tense, uncomfortable or otherwise unlivable. Sounds like you are already there. Address this with your roommate, NOT with his gf, maybe at a "house meeting" to which she is not invited since she is not a contributing member. Be prepared for him to take her side, not yours, but remain firm and civil.
posted by Brittanie at 3:31 PM on January 16, 2007

I think it's time to grow a pair. It is precisely because you are unwilling to have a confrontation that you are in this situation. Stand up for yourself! Aren't you worth it?

The first step would be to talk to your roommate and put your foot down. If that person is there as much as you say she is, she needs to pay rent or get out. What is the split on the rent, anyway? Do you and your boyfriend pay 2/3rds, or do you pay half and the other guy pays half? If he's paying half, you don't have much leverage to complain beyond her encroachment into your personal space.

This is passive-aggressive, but perhaps you should look at your lease. It would kind of be a rat thing to do, but oftentimes leases will have specific language about guests, particularly with regards to the kind of extended, non-rent-paying guest you seem to be stuck with.
posted by MegoSteve at 3:32 PM on January 16, 2007

My instinct has always been that roommates always have the right to have their SOs over, even every night, at no additional cost. So it's not her responsibility to pay rent.

The clothes-borrowing thing is a personal issue, not a roommate issue. I'm not convinced that you need to talk with the roommate, or that you even have call to.
posted by solid-one-love at 3:32 PM on January 16, 2007

This situation seems very black and white, you pay rent, she does not. Your formerly single roommate who is allowing this woman to stay in your home day and night also sounds like someone you would probably be better without, as you make no mention if he asked your personal feelings about this "living" arrangement at all. Even though she was originally your friend, there are definitely lines being crossed here.

If it comes down to it, you and your boyfriend can present a united front and he will be the odd man out...without a place to live. Make no (or very, very few) compromises when it comes to being physically, emotionally and mentally comfortable in your own home.
posted by Asherah at 3:36 PM on January 16, 2007

Somehow it seems that escalating immediately to "SHE PAYS RENT OR YOU GET OUT" and whatnot is unnecessary. Couldn't you start with a simple "Hey, roommate? Um, this is sort of awkward, but... it's kind of cramped here with four people all the time. What do you think we can agree on as a happy medium in terms of how often guests stay over?" or similar?

I find that sometimes people are simply oblivious, not trying hard to be nefarious jerks. He's not psychic. Unless you've talked this over previously, he may just not know that this is upsetting you.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 3:38 PM on January 16, 2007

I was in a very similiar situation a few years ago with one of my roommates. His girlfriend stayed over for two weeks straight and she came and went as she pleased. We didn't like her but that wasn't the point - the point was that she was basically mooching off of us and that wasn't cool.

I try to avoid confrontation I was in a very similiar situation a few years ago with one of my roommates. His girlfriend stayed over for two weeks straight and she came and went as she pleased. We didn't like her but that wasn't the point - the point was that she was basically mooching off of us and that wasn't cool.

I try to avoid confrontation at all costs, so I wrote a letter to the offending roommate, outlining my problems with the situation, ok’d it with the other roommate, and we both signed it. We also put down a firm date and time to discuss this and other issues that we all had. We had the meeting and it was tense, but you really can’t avoid it.

The points that we tried to get across was that it was NOT about rent or money. Asking for her to pay her “share” was not what we wanted because we didn’t want a fourth roommate. I don’t think you should ask for rent or anything because that says that if she pays her way, you are ok with it.

We also stressed that our problem was the length of time she was staying over and her ability to freely come and go – not the fact that we didn’t like her. I’d try to avoid personal stuff like that and it is ok to refuse to get personal.

So I would say that you write her a letter and set a firm date when you both can discuss your issues.
posted by Diskeater at 3:39 PM on January 16, 2007

Are both you and your boyfriend paying rent / contributing to the household? Because if not, some of the answers above are less workable for pot/kettle reasons that you should consider before you start laying down ultimatums for your other roomate or his gf.

Also just be sure that you check the provisions of any contract you have for the apartment before you start asking roomate for more rent, etc.

I agree that it's best to keep things as impersonal as possible and avoid any discussion of how you don't really like gf -- the real issue is that can't keep adding people to the apartment without everyone agreeing (providing you and your bf didn't do this to the roomate), and is also a financial issue.

Good luck!
posted by onlyconnect at 3:55 PM on January 16, 2007

You say you are sick of being taken advantage of. You also say that you are a nonconfrontational person.
You say, "I need a solution that will not render my living situation tense, uncomfortable or otherwise unlivable."
It seems the only way to do that is to give her your checkbook, your clothes, your food and then everything will be great. So just relax and let her walk all over you. You are very used to it.
posted by JayRwv at 3:59 PM on January 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Yep, some clarification is in order, as that (it seems to me) affects just how you frame your next step.

1. How is the rent split? Do you, your bf, and your original roommate each pay 1/3? Or do you and your bf pay half, and your roommate pays half?

2. What does your lease say? Most leases have a clause about this sort of thing -- e.g, persons not stipulated in the lease may not stay overnight for a period exceeding 7 days (or whatever).

Either way, it comes down to the fact that you entered into this living arrangement with the understanding that you and your boyfriend were getting one roommate, not two. That's what's changed -- no doubt the fact that your new and unwanted roommate is so rude makes the situation feel even more intolerable, but as others have pointed out, it's not the core issue at hand. The fact is, you are being walked all over, and it's your original roommate, with whom you've made some sort of legal agreement, who's the one you have the real beef with. There's no way to alter the situation without some conflict entering into it.
posted by scody at 4:05 PM on January 16, 2007

Best answer: If you ask for money, either from your original roommate or from the moochy GF, you will be setting up the expectation that she has a right to be there all the time.

If she lives close enough to run home just before commuting, why can't they be at her place regularly? Can you set up some rules for the number of nights in a row (or per month, or whatever) that any one of you can have guests over? They'd be annoyed for sure if you had a moochy relative staying for months on end, even if that person hid in your room all the time - and probably even if they did all the dishes and dusted the tchotchkes and generally made themselves useful.
posted by expialidocious at 4:08 PM on January 16, 2007

Oh, I can soo relate to my college days. My roommate used to have her loser boyfriend stay with us during the entire summer. She offered to pay extra for him then changed her mind. I regret that I cared about being called a bitch to say something about it. He wasn't unpleasant as your roommate's bitch, but it's only because you don't say anything that he thinks it's ok with you guys for her to stay being that way.

If it's your place, then give him a month to move out. And that you only one one roommate. (I am guessing you don't want her to live there, no matter how much they're willing to pay) Say it's come to a point I can't be comfortable at my own place. You have to practice if you have to...do it in the car, and repeat and don't let them interrupt until you say what you want to say. Be business-like and don't let them make immature remarks...don't respond with emotions. If she says something afterwards, say talk to your boyfriend, this doesn't concern you. AND lock all your important stuff in your room and put a lock on it in case they turn trailer park trash on you. Good luck!
posted by icollectpurses at 4:17 PM on January 16, 2007

I would stress the issue of her coming and going as she pleases, even while her boyfriend isn't around and won't be for many hours. It seems reasonable for her to be there when he's there, but it's not as if you and his girlfriend are friends, so when he's gone, she needs to be gone as well, unless specific arrangements have previously been made. It's only polite, after all.

In an effort to get more of the sleeping over done at her place, I would mention that perhaps they could do some of their overnight sleeping there, instead of having what amounts to another roommate that you didn't sign up for.

As everyone else has said, this will not be resolved without a firm discussion, so you're going to have to tolerate some level of unpleasantness to get out of the situation you're in.
posted by wierdo at 4:18 PM on January 16, 2007

Miss Information recently responded to a similar situation (it's the third one down).

Setting aside issues of how the lease is set up, and how the finances are divided, I agree with comments above to the effect of speaking first with the roommate to whom she's attached herself. She may be the primary source of annoyance, but he's the "official" liaison and he needs to know it's not ok so that he starts dealing with it.
posted by metabrilliant at 4:26 PM on January 16, 2007

Here's my anecdotal contribution to this thread:

I was in a very similar situation once, when I was in school. I'm a guy, and I had a female roommate whose boyfriend started staying over all the freakin' time --- without contributing anything toward rent, utilities, etc. I had been on good terms with him, but my view was that he ought to contribute something, since he lived there almost as much as my roommate and I did. I talked to my roommate about it, and it essentially turned a very pleasant relationship into a very tense one. He got very pissy, started staying away from our apartment (he rented a room elsewhere in town, and claimed he couldn't pay rent for two places), was sullen whenever he was in my presence, and I never exchanged another pleasant word with him. It eventually escalated into "all out war" and almost became violent on one occasion.
posted by jayder at 4:43 PM on January 16, 2007

Best answer: Yes, this "coming and going as they please" aspect is what turned my situation ugly, too. I think having an SO coming and going as they please, when their lover is not present, is where the situation ceases to be equitable to the other roommate.
posted by jayder at 4:47 PM on January 16, 2007

Before any conversation, I'd know exactly what you want. Would money make it okay? Is it that you don't want her around at all?

Then just talk about your problem with him (if it's house policy) and/or her (if it's the way she's actually treating you). But you don't have to be confrontational. It's completely fair to say things like:

"Hey, Joe, it's a little bit odd having Suzanne here when you're not. She's a good person and all, but I didn't exactly sign up to be roommates with her. And if something happened, like the stove exploded, while she was here alone, it wouldn't be covered by our landlord's insurance since she's not on the lease. So, do you think you could be here when she's here?"

"Hey, Joe, I've been feeling like things are really crowded -- this house just really wasn't made for four people to share. It's cool for you guys to be here sometimes, but do you think you could spend some of your time together at her house? Say... three or four nights a week?"

"Hey, Suzanne, I really need my clothes for work. If I wake up and go to get ready to go to class and my jeans aren't where I thought they'd be, I end up getting there late. So, could you please not borrow my stuff without asking?"

"Suzanne, is something wrong? It seems like you're upset about something by the way you're talking to me. No? Well, then, could you please not be sarcastic with me? My mind is just a little too slow sometimes to pick up sarcasm and then I end up really confused about what you're trying to say to me."

Some people aren't good at picking up on hints so you need to ask directly.
posted by salvia at 5:29 PM on January 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Who pays rent for this place? Is it you and your roommate? Or you, your bf and your roommate?
posted by dgeiser13 at 5:33 PM on January 16, 2007

yeeks, that is annoying. having had my share of roommate problems, i sympathize. my advice:

don't talk to her, talk to your roommate.

make sure you and your boyfriend know what you both want: be a united front. but don't gang up.

don't criticize the girlfriend in any objective sense, at all. remember, your actual problem is with her behavour, not with her. if it's gotten to the point where you dislike her, remember that that's *your* fault, not hers, because you left it too long. so don't take that frustration out on her.
just fix the problem, don't get into a flame war.

the borrowing clothing issue is defintitely annoying, but it's between the two women, so address it separately- leave the menfolks out of it. also, i'd wait til later to bring it up- it sounds like you've temporarily solved the prob by getting the stuff back for the time being, so pick your battles.

but really? maybe you four should split and become two couples in two seperate apartments.
posted by twistofrhyme at 5:38 PM on January 16, 2007

one more thing: when people are rude and condescending to me, i've had excellent results with this assertive, yet non-confrontational, technique:

(pause) (blank eye contact) (polite voice)
"please don't speak to me like that. yes, those are my clothes in the dryer."

you gently but explicitly check her rude behaviour, without reciprocating her tone.
then continue as if nothing is wrong. works like a charm. good luck!
posted by twistofrhyme at 5:44 PM on January 16, 2007 [2 favorites]

I was in a situation like this in college. When it came time to pay utilities, I divided them up so that my roommate's girlfriend had an equal share, and I gave her a bill.

She had a screaming, crying fit. But she also started to spend a lot less time there.
posted by bingo at 6:06 PM on January 16, 2007

Everyone else is addressing other aspects, so I'm going to discuss the weird personal boundaries thing with you: Why and how is she borrowing your clothes?

If she's asking, you have to put your foot down and say no. Why not, she asks? Sorry, no. They're mine. So no. Just no. No. Noooo. Sorry, no.

If, gods forbid, she is taking them from your room, you should put a lock on your door and lock it when you leave the house. If she asks why the door is locked, tell her you locked it. Why, she asks? I locked it. Why? It's a door. I locked the lock...on the locking door. Repeat quizzically.

You do not need to deliver these answers unkindly. But pretend she's a complete stranger when she brings this up, and remind yourself how weird it would be if the lady sitting next to you on the bus suddenly removed your sweater from your person in order to borrow it.

Where does she amass this pile? Because if it's in your roommate bedroom, you simply march in there and reclaim your possessions matter-of-factly, whether she's there or not. If, gods forbid, she leaves your clothes at her house, ask her for a key.
posted by desuetude at 6:53 PM on January 16, 2007

I agree that SO privileges are pretty standard behavior among roomates. However, this typically extends only to times when the roomate is home. The fact that she has a key and hangs out there all the time is an issue, for both personal and legal reasons. If your landlord finds out that other people have keys, that could put you in violation of the lease (which opens up a whole other set of problems).

So, talk with the roomate and tell him that you're cool with her spending the night, but that she has to clear out when he isn't home. You'll get your personal space, and if he's a reasonable guy, hopefully he can help negotiate a peace that doesn't leave anyone feeling shitty.
posted by chrisamiller at 7:02 PM on January 16, 2007

Dasein: they might be paying an equal amount per person, rather than just paying for a room. Our share households always divvied the rent up by number of people in the house, no matter how many people might've occupied a room.

sunshinesky, how is the rent divided? Do you pay a third each, or is it, as Dasein suggests, by room?

If you're paying a third each, then I'd sugest to the roomie that you're feeling the informal arrangements are a bit unsettled, and you'd like to work out the new rent agreements and put girlfriend's name on the lease, since she's taking up the equivalent of a fourth roommate. If you're paying per room it makes things a bit trickier.
posted by andraste at 7:37 PM on January 16, 2007

Best answer: sunshinesky, the Ground Rules for this sort of thing have been worked out by thousands upon thousands of Roommates Through The Ages, precisely to deal with jerks like The Thoughtless Rent-Payer and his/her EverPresent FuckNut (a combination that, sadly, is common enough to be a running joke to Those Of Us Who Spend Most Of Our Lives With Roommates).

Rest assured the following are tried and true norms for Happy Roommate Existence; don't feel bad for politely telling them to stick to them, and don't consider any resulting tension your fault - that you are placed in the position of reminding them about the Timeless Roommate Ground Rules is entirely their fault and there's absolutely no debate about that:

1. She is only allowed to be there when he is. End of story.
2. She either goes home 4 nights a week or (and only if you choose to allow her to stay over more than 3 nights a week) starts paying rent and a fair share of utilities.
3. If you do not want her over more than 3 nights a week, say so and - poof! - she is not allowed to stay over more than 3 nights a week.
4. She is not allowed to borrow anything without express permission.
5. She is not allowed to be rude. She is a guest and rude guests are asked to leave immediately.
6. Enjoy your resulting peace of mind and let them stew and bitch to each other.

That's it. That's your solution. You will be surprised at how powerful is the magic of simply *stating out loud* the Timeless Roommate Ground Rules. It's some serious mojo right there, instantly recognized as Truth by all rentpayers within earshot.

I'm serious. Try it, it works.

If, for some confused reason, you *don't* want to follow the Timeless Roommate Ground Rules, established eons ago to battle the horrible evil that continually spawns the Eternal Roommate Dilemmas, fine. Don't. But those rules are the Age-Old Solution, and you should start living by them or reconcile yourself to a life of getting walked all over by asshole roommates.
posted by mediareport at 8:10 PM on January 16, 2007 [40 favorites]

Your roommate's GF isn't the problem.

It's the "I am not a confrontational person" thing that's problem. The whole thing about who's paying rent and how much and what not just minute details for people to argue or obsess about.

She's borrowing your clothes, keeping them until you have to demand them back and then getting an attitude with you in your house and you still want to keep an "amicable relationship" ? There can't be such a thing if one person doesn't respect the other.

Long term you need to work on being able to stick up for yourself, ask and sometimes demand what you want and how to keep the bitches and assholes of the world in check.

Short term, establish some ground rules like mediareport suggested. 'Cause the roomate's GF has you pegged as someone she can use, abuse and walk over and she will continue to do so as long as you allow it.

Good luck.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:59 AM on January 17, 2007

Going to go against the general mood and suggest some consideration of your roommate and the pseudo-roommate.

* Is there anything going on in pseudo-roommate's life which is stopping her from living at her real house? Nutcase co-habiter? Financial problems? Unlivable accommodation?

* If the answer to the above is yes, are her circumstances making her into a stressed-out and difficult person when she isn't normally?

If, in fact, the pseudo-roommate is going through some crazy shit, you mind find yourself sympathetic and thus more able to tolerate her presence. Discussing her situation with her might make her feel more welcome and like someone cares and thus might make her a better roommate and willing to contribute to the household in either a financial or housework capacity.

In short, don't go in guns blazing. There might be a peaceful and considerate solution that will make everyone happy.
posted by pollystark at 4:18 AM on January 17, 2007

There might be a peaceful and considerate solution that will make everyone happy.

Yeah, like not letting someone spend most of her life in your house without chipping in something for rent and utilities. sunshinesky doesn't have to "go in with guns blazing," but being firm enough to get some basic human respect from the EverPresent Fucknut is absolutely mandatory.
posted by mediareport at 4:54 AM on January 17, 2007

Having been in a similar situation with my roommate's boyfriend but also sympathetic to your non-confrontational nature, here's my two cents:

You do have a right to request that she not stay over more than three or four nights per week and that she not be around when her boyfriend isn't. As mediareport said, it's pretty much a universally acknowledged rule in the roommate universe, and they are the ones in breach. Just sit him down, tell him nicely that four people in a three-person apartment full-time is too many, and you guys are starting to feel crowded. Nothing personal, just the simple physics of too many bodies being in too small of a space. Personally, I wouldn't ask her to pay anything for the reasons others mentioned above: if she pays, she might feel entitled to do the things she's doing now, and also your landlord might not appreciate it (extra renter not on the lease, could raise some issues).

If you succeed in getting her to come over less, I would guess that the rudeness and the clothes-borrowing would diminish proportionally as well. If it persists, deal with them as you would with anyone else: when she's rude, stunned silence followed by changing the conversation or leaving the room works wonders. If she asks to borrow something, just decline. If she asks why, "I need to have my stuff where I can find it and get to it easily. It would just be easier if we didn't borrow from each other." Again, nothing personal.

And yes, pollystark's suggestion of taking her situation into context is a good one. A little empathy never hurts. (But in my situation, the ubiquitous boyfriend was just at our place because ours wasn't a mess and he didn't feel like cleaning his. Because I really enjoyed cleaning up after my roomate and him...)
posted by AV at 5:14 AM on January 17, 2007

Best answer: Boo on Pollystark's empathy suggestion. Even if she is having a rough time of it, she has no right to act bitchy when she's a guest in your house. You don't need to discuss a thing with her, that point is over. She's walking all over you and you need to put a stop to it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:56 AM on January 17, 2007

Just curious, do you and your BF pay half the rent or 2/3 of the rent? If you pay 2/3 of the rent you may have a better case for demanding extra rent from the other roomie.
posted by JJ86 at 6:08 AM on January 17, 2007

Best answer: The girl has her own house. Probably the only thing that will come out of complaining is that you'll make your living situation more tense and they'll start hanging out at her place instead. Having said that, it sounds like your friendship with her has already become quite rocky.

I don't know why you even bother to mention that she doesn't pay bills, because it seems like that's really not the point. If she paid money, would it make you any less annoyed? I doubt it. I know that whenever I throw something like that in, it's just another thing to complain about.

I think the real issue is that she's there when your roommate isn't, which is shady (except maybe if she's just sleeping in during the morning because he has to be to work earlier or something, which is a situation I've been in several times) and that she's become a shitty friend.

I would probably talk to the roommate about the whole key thing if it's really a big issue, but I wouldn't push it too far, because that's usually a slippery slope that turns into "well if you're going to nitpick about this roommate thing then I'm going to do this" and pretty soon televisions and dishes are being kept in bedrooms.

The real heart of the matter is that she's turned into a bitch. If she were a total sweetheart that was a delight to be around, nothing else would be an issue. Talk to her about why she has become cruel to you. Don't bring up her "spending every night over" or anything to that effect. Frame it in terms of your friendship, because that's really the issue.
posted by atomly at 7:01 AM on January 17, 2007

I need a solution that will not render my living situation tense, uncomfortable or otherwise unlivable.

If you've come to AskMe, it's already at least two of those things. ;)

I had this happen to me not that long ago. One of our roommates (there are three of us) had his SO over from... mmm, late October until early December. Not once did she pay the rent, behave considerately towards any of the other two of us, or basically contribute to the house in any way. Once she got her own living space, she moved out and still hasn't said so much as 'thanks' to the other two of us.

That's unrelated. Just remember: you ARE in control, because you pay part of the rent. Why not suggest that they go to HER place once in a while? (That's what we did, and we haven't seen our third roommate since. Hmm.)
posted by philulrich at 7:32 AM on January 17, 2007

Response by poster: Wow. First of all I would like to thank you all so much for your wonderul suggestions. I'm overwhelmed with the prospect of writing this reply... but onwards and upwards-

First I'll cover some of your question:
There is in fact another roommate living here in our 3 bedroom house. The rent is split kind of oddly- BF and I pay more than a third of the rent, but not quite half. So obviously my case, while not shattered, is kind of questionable.
It is NOT money that's the issue. I am simply tired of having her saunter around my house being a bitch 24/7.
I stopped lending her clothes immediately after my forced demand. I have politely declined any further requests of the like. She hasn't once taken something from my room (thankfully she is not that bad).
She is not having any trouble at home. Her original excuse was that she had no (read: actually did have a shitty) bed. She has since had a good bed for months...
I can't stress enough that this is not a money issue. Her paying for anything would not make me feel better. It would be nice though if she'd clean up after herself, and maybe... buy TP?
Daesin, you are probably somewhat right about my friends' thirst for drama. However, I should point out that that's exactly why I've come to Mefi for a [relatively] unbiased opinion.

solid-one-love It has also always been my instinct that roommates have rights to have their SOs over, but in this case, she has exhausted my patience with her attitude, and inattention to the effect her evepresence has. She is a guest, and should act accordingly.
Again, I'd like to thank you all. It is hard to choose the best answers, but I will do so according to those that covered issues most accurate to my situation. Even those critical of my 'issues' made valid and articulate points.
posted by sunshinesky at 2:40 PM on January 17, 2007

Good luck, sunshinesky. They've rudely put you in the awkward position of having to be firm, but you can do it. If you're looking to ease into it, start by telling your roommate that his girlfriend really shouldn't be in the apartment without him there, and you're going to insist on that point, not just because there's likely a lease/landlord issue but also because it's the right thing to do. She does not have the run of the place when he's gone, ever, period, nor should she have her own key. If they resist, smile and say, "OK, we'll ask the landlord about the key thing."

That might actually be enough to spark some thought about how much time she's spending there, but don't count on it. The next step is: "we really didn't sign up for four roommates, and have you considered occasionally spending the night at her place? I'd appreciate it if she was gone occasionally, so we could enjoy the place without her every once in a while. And, you know, really, since she's not paying rent, she shouldn't be spending the majority of her time here, so let's try a few weeks with three nights each week as the limit, just to see what that feels like.

Thanks for understanding."

Then walk away, smiling, and continue to be polite. How they react is entirely up to them, but just stating the new expectations should shake things up in the right direction.
posted by mediareport at 3:07 PM on January 17, 2007

Response by poster: It all went to hell.

Telling him is logically the right idea, since he invited her.. but this was the wrong approach with him. He feigned concern and understanding with me and misrepresented my position to his girlfriend.

After, she told me she wished I had spoken to her first, since we were friends.

And in the end, they broke up and there were a few extra holes in the wall. It just took about 3 months.
posted by sunshinesky at 12:26 PM on June 8, 2007 [4 favorites]

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