Problematic Rooming Arrangement


#1

My brother has invited me and some friends to join him on a trip that we have taken for several years. He booked the last two rooms available. He would like to bring his new girlfriend and has suggested that she will probably stay in his room. I am not comfortable with this arrangement. I will have one or two girlfriends travelling with me. There is room for the girlfriend in the "girls' room." I have never met this girlfriend.

I want to add that there have been some hard feelings between my brother and I that I have been glad to put behind us. With that in mind, should I put aside how I feel about the rooming arrangement and try to ignore the situation while on the trip?

Unfortunately, the chief reason for the hard feelings is related to some very devastating outcomes from his sexual behavior in the past. I am a little shocked that he is proposing this arrangement when we have only recently made progress in our relationship. I am inclined to say either he provide a girls' only room or decline the invitation altogether. He will be hurt if I don't go but I think we might be risking a much bigger disaster if I go and feel very disappointed for appearing to approve of his behavior that has caused a lot of pain in the recent past.

Please help!


#2

Is your brother also Catholic?

If he is not I don’t think you should expect him to change his values for you. If he is then he needs to look at his faith and think about whether or not he is making a good decision.


#3

I think the most you can really do is offer to have his girlfriend stay in your room. Tell him it would be nice to get to know her. He'll likely decline anyway, but ultimately if he's an adult then he is responsible for his own choices.

If it were me, I think I'd go anyway. He probably already knows you disapprove, but your positive example in his life might eventually begin to affect him.

Is your brother paying for all of the rooms? If he is, I would politely tell him that you and your friends would like to pay for the "girls' room", and that way it keeps things somewhat more separate. As long as you invite his girlfriend to join you, I don't think there's a problem with going unless you really will become so bothered that it will affect your relationship with your brother negatively.


#4

*Let him know how you feel and that you will be uncomfortable during the entrire trip if he decides to let his girlfriend stay with him.
He's your brother, so hopefully that comment alone will make him change his mind.

Or you can tell him in a "lighter" approach and say that you don't want to make his girlfriend feel left out and that she should come stay with the girls so you all can bond and chat.
Hopefully it works out!*


#5

:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

THis, 10000% this!


#6

I am inclined to say either he provide a girls' only room or decline the invitation altogether. He will be hurt if I don't go but I think we might be risking a much bigger disaster if I go and feel very disappointed for appearing to approve of his behavior that has caused a lot of pain in the recent past.

sophie, i think you may be acting untrue to yourself if you go on this trip under the circumstances of bro's temporary cohabitation. even without a painful past (which seems to have its foundations in your and bro's incompatable sexual morality) you would find yourself in a circumstance that, in the end, comes down to these choices: voice disapproval but make the trip (which, unless the trip is mandatory, is a form of approval) or disapprove and skip the trip (which seems to me to be the truest option. )

it looks like you're facing a moment of truth with your brother, whether he acknowledges it or not. when you mention your concerns to bro, if he belittles your perspective (even without malice) you will know the past situations hurt you way more than they bothered him. there is potential for you to be doubly hurt again by this.

so before you do anything, pray. ask God to put it in your heart to fogive your brother no matter what his response. ask God to give you the peace and courage that you should act in accordance with your true conscience.


#7

[quote="freethinker83, post:2, topic:228579"]
Is your brother also Catholic?

If he is not I don't think you should expect him to change his values for you. If he is then he needs to look at his faith and think about whether or not he is making a good decision.

[/quote]

The question is not whether she should expect him to change his values for her, the question is whether or not he has changed his in light of the past mistake. If he did change, all is well and good. If he did not, she does not want to change her values for him.

People often say this - that no one should expect someone to change for them. Yes that is true. People can act as they wish, but they cannot tell others how to feel about it, or how to act in return.


#8

[quote="monicatholic, post:6, topic:228579"]
sophie, i think you may be acting untrue to yourself if you go on this trip under the circumstances of bro's temporary cohabitation. even without a painful past (which seems to have its foundations in your and bro's incompatable sexual morality) you would find yourself in a circumstance that, in the end, comes down to these choices: voice disapproval but make the trip (which, unless the trip is mandatory, is a form of approval) or disapprove and skip the trip (which seems to me to be the truest option. )

[/quote]

I agree with this. He's asking you to tacitly approve of his shacking up with his girlfriend with you in the next room. You could just tell him you are not comfortable doing that.


#9

[quote="sophie71, post:1, topic:228579"]
My brother has invited me and some friends to join him on a trip that we have taken for several years. He booked the last two rooms available. He would like to bring his new girlfriend and has suggested that she will probably stay in his room. I am not comfortable with this arrangement. I will have one or two girlfriends travelling with me. There is room for the girlfriend in the "girls' room." I have never met this girlfriend.

I want to add that there have been some hard feelings between my brother and I that I have been glad to put behind us. With that in mind, should I put aside how I feel about the rooming arrangement and try to ignore the situation while on the trip?

Unfortunately, the chief reason for the hard feelings is related to some very devastating outcomes from his sexual behavior in the past. I am a little shocked that he is proposing this arrangement when we have only recently made progress in our relationship. I am inclined to say either he provide a girls' only room or decline the invitation altogether. He will be hurt if I don't go but I think we might be risking a much bigger disaster if I go and feel very disappointed for appearing to approve of his behavior that has caused a lot of pain in the recent past.

Please help!

[/quote]

I would not go on the trip under these conditions. Your brother has evidently not reached the same kinds of realizations about his sexual behavior that you have. He thinks he's OK to have his girlfriend stay with him in his hotel room. How are you going to feel/behave when they come down to breakfast together, after having spent the night together? How embarrassing for you and the other girls!

I think, from what you say, that having this illicit arrangement paraded in front of you is going to remind you of his past misbehavior or the consequences that caused pain. I would sit down with him and say that "shacking up" with his girlfriend for the duration of the trip is not acceptable and that you are sorry but you cannot go under these circumstances. And maybe describe the reverse, where you bring along a man and he spends the night in your room, and you turn up with him at breakfast. How would your brother feel about that? (That will only work if he is protective of you, not if he would immediately agree and say "Good idea! Why not?" You know your brother.)

I think you would end up with bad memories from this trip if you sell yourself out for the price of a hotel room.


#10

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:9, topic:228579"]
I would not go on the trip under these conditions. Your brother has evidently not reached the same kinds of realizations about his sexual behavior that you have. He thinks he's OK to have his girlfriend stay with him in his hotel room. How are you going to feel/behave when they come down to breakfast together, after having spent the night together? How embarrassing for you and the other girls!

I think, from what you say, that having this illicit arrangement paraded in front of you is going to remind you of his past misbehavior or the consequences that caused pain. I would sit down with him and say that "shacking up" with his girlfriend for the duration of the trip is not acceptable and that you are sorry but you cannot go under these circumstances. And maybe describe the reverse, where you bring along a man and he spends the night in your room, and you turn up with him at breakfast. How would your brother feel about that? (That will only work if he is protective of you, not if he would immediately agree and say "Good idea! Why not?" You know your brother.)

I think you would end up with bad memories from this trip if you sell yourself out for the price of a hotel room.

[/quote]

Why would she want to risk ruining a family relationship because she is uncomfortable with her brother doing something that doesn't affect her? It's not like she is being forced to witness it or share a room with a man.

I have lived with my partner for nearly 5 years and we are not quite married. We have slept togehter in my grandparent's house, parent's house, etc and no one seemed to care. Why should the OP worry about her brother's decision? It seems like a silly thing to get in the middle of their relationship.


#11

[quote="freethinker83, post:10, topic:228579"]
Why would she want to risk ruining a family relationship because she is uncomfortable with her brother doing something that doesn't affect her? It's not like she is being forced to witness it or share a room with a man.

I have lived with my partner for nearly 5 years and we are not quite married. We have slept togehter in my grandparent's house, parent's house, etc and no one seemed to care. Why should the OP worry about her brother's decision? It seems like a silly thing to get in the middle of their relationship.

[/quote]

The 'Catholic Living' forum is for Catholic opinions... it is likely the OP is not concerned with atheist opinions about morality.

Just saying.


#12

[quote="Loml, post:11, topic:228579"]
The 'Catholic Living' forum is for Catholic opinions... it is likely the OP is not concerned with atheist opinions about morality.

Just saying.

[/quote]

While this is true, she has not stated whether or not her brother is Catholic. As a non-Catholic, if my Catholic sibling tried to push her beliefs on me I would be annoyed.


#13

[quote="freethinker83, post:10, topic:228579"]
Why would she want to risk ruining a family relationship because she is uncomfortable with her brother doing something that doesn't affect her? It's not like she is being forced to witness it or share a room with a man.

I have lived with my partner for nearly 5 years and we are not quite married. We have slept togehter in my grandparent's house, parent's house, etc and no one seemed to care. Why should the OP worry about her brother's decision? It seems like a silly thing to get in the middle of their relationship.

[/quote]

She stated in her original post that her brother's choices had already affected their relationship adversely, and that there had been DEVASTATING consequences. That might mean a pregnancy out of wedlock, an abortion, an affair with someone married, etc. All of those would mean a LOT of affect on others. You believe that your own choices affect no one else; that is not how most of us experience life. We are members of the Body of Christ and what one member does affects ALL the other members. She has morals and to just turn the other way and ignore what her brother is doing means she would be using the same moral relativism that runs the world of atheists.


#14

[quote="freethinker83, post:12, topic:228579"]
While this is true, she has not stated whether or not her brother is Catholic. As a non-Catholic, if my Catholic sibling tried to push her beliefs on me I would be annoyed.

[/quote]

She would not be trying to push her beliefs on her brother if he is not Catholic. She has every right to decide what is acceptable to her and to decline an invitation when she will have to tacitly approve of her brother having his girlfriend in his hotel room. Setting a boundary for oneself is NOT pushing one's beliefs on anyone else.

I would never allow either of my sons to bring home a girlfriend and allow her to stay in his room with him. In fact, I would not allow her to sleep in our house, since the 2 of them could always sneak and be together after I had gone to sleep. If that is their desire, they can keep it out of my house. By even asking for such a thing to happen, they would be showing disrespect for my morals.


#15

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:14, topic:228579"]
I would never allow either of my sons to bring home a girlfriend and allow her to stay in his room with him. In fact, I would not allow her to sleep in our house, since the 2 of them could always sneak and be together after I had gone to sleep. If that is their desire, they can keep it out of my house. By even asking for such a thing to happen, they would be showing disrespect for my morals.

[/quote]

I can respect your position, but this is a different situation. This is a trip he is planning and I assume funding. They would be staying in a hotel room and not the OP's home.

Also, my mother did not let me do this when I was a teenager or while I still lived at home; I am referring to visits as an adult.


#16

[quote="freethinker83, post:15, topic:228579"]
I can respect your position, but this is a different situation. This is a trip he is planning and I assume funding. They would be staying in a hotel room and not the OP's home.

Also, my mother did not let me do this when I was a teenager or while I still lived at home; I am referring to visits as an adult.

[/quote]

And the OP has every right to decide not to participate. Whoever is funding the trip.

I gave that example because it won't matter if my sons are adults. If they are not married, they are not staying with a female in my house. Period.


#17

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:16, topic:228579"]
And the OP has every right to decide not to participate. Whoever is funding the trip.

[/quote]

She does have a right not to go, that is certain. Aren't there bigger things in life to worry about than whether or not her brother is sleeping in a hotel room with his girlfriend? I would assume he does this at home anyway. I just think there are much bigger problems in the world than this.

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:16, topic:228579"]
I gave that example because it won't matter if my sons are adults. If they are not married, they are not staying with a female in my house. Period.

[/quote]

And that is obviously your right. So theoretically if you're son moves away and wants to bring his new girlfriend home for Christmas she will have to stay in a hotel while he stays in your house? I'm not trying to antagonize you with this one, it is an honest question.


#18

Correct. I would explain to him that my morals have not changed over the course of his life. If he chooses to shack up with his girlfriend, that is his choice, but I will not support it nor allow it in my house. I suspect that he (I'm thinking of my younger son here) would either not come at all, or would stay in the hotel with the girlfriend. He would want to rub my nose in their choice, because that's just how he is, very confrontational and antagonistic. And I would not be as welcoming of him and his girlfriend nor would I treat them as I would if they were married. I will love him, forever, but I will not approve of choices like this.


#19

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:18, topic:228579"]
Correct. I would explain to him that my morals have not changed over the course of his life. If he chooses to shack up with his girlfriend, that is his choice, but I will not support it nor allow it in my house. I suspect that he (I'm thinking of my younger son here) would either not come at all, or would stay in the hotel with the girlfriend. He would want to rub my nose in their choice, because that's just how he is, very confrontational and antagonistic. And I would not be as welcoming of him and his girlfriend nor would I treat them as I would if they were married. I will love him, forever, but I will not approve of choices like this.

[/quote]

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply they were living together in that scenerio. I meant to imply that they didn't live together but travelled together from out of town to spend time with you and your family.


#20

[quote="freethinker83, post:19, topic:228579"]
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply they were living together in that scenerio. I meant to imply that they didn't live together but travelled together from out of town to spend time with you and your family.

[/quote]

OK, in that case...You see, if it were my older son, I would allow the girl to stay at our house in a separate room, because that son has not broken my trust nor violated his own moral code. But he would not ask for us to do such a thing, either. He knows it would be a possible temptation or near occasion of sin. The younger one...much harder to trust that he and the girl would not get together after hours, since he's already done that more than once. And he can certainly do anything he wants to do while he is out from under our roof, but he will have to live with the consequences of his choices. He already is, because my trust has been broken many times and will never reach the level it began on with him. I forgive him for those mistakes but I am still unsure whether he truly regrets what he did, even though it caused him great pain. Things could have been MUCH, much worse, and since he is young, he doesn't yet understand how much worse things could have gotten. He won't really understand until he has kids of his own.

well this is likely OT for the OP's thread, so...

:shrug:


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