Roommate Problems


#1

I’m a single 24 year old female and have been rooming with a 26 year old female for about a year now. My roommate sometimes appears to have the desire to be a good Catholic and has recently been going to daily mass and regular confession. However, she is very negative in her speech and seems always ready to seize the opportunity to criticize someone or something (though she never turns her negativity towards me- she knows I wouldn’t stand for that.) I think this negativity is slowly rubbing off on me, though it’s hard to tell. She is very dishonest- mostly in inconsequential things, but it is the frequency of the dishonesty that is disturbing. She has also committed sexual sins on more than one occasion in the apartment. To her credit, after every instance, she has gone to confession and broken off the relationship. The fact that she has done those two things after every encounter is really the only reason we’re still living together.
She is a very confused person and keeps going back and forth between one extreme and the other. Everytime I am about to kick her out, she shows signs that she’s going to change, goes to confession, Mass, etc. and this gives me hope that it’s a permanent change for the better. But then every so often she makes a huge mistake (most recently a month ago) and I’m back to questioning whether I should room with her.
There have been so many times when I had resolved to find different living arrangements. However, there are a few things holding me back. One is financial- there are still about 9 months left on the apartment lease. I also don’t have anyone right now I could room with, and I can’t afford to live by myself. She doesn’t have anyone she could live with either. I also am not sure how it would sit in my conscience if we went out separate ways, and she lived in a one bedroom apartment and kept going down the path of sin she keeps flirting with. She tends to be very self-absorbed and spends most of her free time either in front of the computer or TV. Living by herself would be the worst living arrangement for her. I don’t think she is a good influence on me, but it is hard to know how much of her actions are influencing me. If I can do more good by continuing to live with her and being a good example for her, then I will.
I have spent so much time being upset about and analyzing her actions. I can’t help but compare myself to her, which of course isn’t healthy. It only makes me resent her and make me prideful as I think "I’m so much better than her!"
I have had one good talk with her about her actions. Some of her close friends have also voiced their concerns on several occasions. She always resolves to do better, and she does for a time. It’s just seems to be a recurring cycle- mortal sin, confession, repeat. I have had the opportunity for only one good talk for several reasons- one is that I am so busy that it’s rare I have enough free time to have a heart to heart talk with her. Another is that it’s incredibly difficult for me to talk to her. Her ego is extremely fragile and I get the feeling that a few harsh words could crush her. So, I force myself to never accuse, but to talk to her by asking questions and trying to steer her towards admitting that the things she has done are wrong. This takes a lot of time and patience- two things I am very short on at the moment. We also are not very close and as of right now don’t speak much at all. This doesn’t sit with me well at all. A person living under the same roof as me should not be a stranger to me. However, it has been very difficult for me to have the stomach for any kind of conversation with her. Even looking at her is difficult for me. This can’t be a Christian response. I keep thinking in my mind of all the terrible things she has done. She also never initiates conversation with me- preferring to stay glued to a glowing screen.
Any advice would be appreciated. Most everyone I have talked to about this has encouraged me to find another living situation- but I have already outlined the reasons holding me back. Not only that, but something about leaving her just doesn’t feel right. I’m not sure what it is. Maybe I have a “savior” complex. But what if I feel this way out of true Christian charity and the reluctance I feel is God telling me to give her some more time? I don’t really know what answer I’m looking for, but if anything else, prayers would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


#2

You are not responsible for her. You are trying to take too much responsibility on yourself. You are not going to live with her forever.

If you are unhappy with your living arrangements then make plans to change them. You have 9 months. Start looking for another roommate and tell her that you will be moving out when the lease is up.


#3

I lived with a woman for several years after college in an apartment. We got along just fine. We were never close, but we were cordial. It was great! She lived her life, and I lived mine. Our lives were not entwined. Sometimes we shared a meal or went out socially together, but most of the time we lived separate lives. It was just fine. We parted amicably; it was a great living situation. Don’t get too caught up in her life! You are not married; you are not family.


#4

Um…wow. Let the roomate live her life, you live yours. If your not happy, move on out.


#5

I do understand why would want to be friends with your room-mate, but it doesn’t always work out that way. I think you need to take the time left on your lease to find another living situation. Let her know that you will be moving out (or asking her to leave if the apartment is in your name) so that she can plan also.

Pray for her, but don’t micro-manage her life.


#6

When I had roommates, there were only three things that I cared about: 1. that they paid the rent on time, 2. that they didn’t steal, damage, or eat any of my stuff, 3. that they weren’t too loud at night. I wasn’t friends with any of my roommates - just cordial, and that work out the best - we never fought and it was never awkward.

A roommate situation is, at it’s core, a financial arrangement. Mixing friends/family and finances never turns out to be positive.


#7

I agree with the others, you aren’t her mother or spouse. This is just a suggestion, but perhaps you need to spend some time considering why you feel you have to be so concerned with her life.

You are young! Go out and live your life and let her live hers. If she asks you for advice give it but otherwise I would let her do her own thing as long as there is nothing illegal (that could cause you to loose your place) going on. (like drugs etc…).

Joe


#8

You’re too focused on her life. You should be more concerned with whose week it is to clean the bathroom and who left the dirty pan in the sink.

Do you have other friends who can help you take your mind on what your roommate is up to? You need to step back from her. Why is it that you are keeping tabs on when and why she is going to confession?


#9

Perhaps I should have mentioned that we had been close friends and used to spend a lot of time together. She isn’t someone I’ve just recently met. This is part of the reason why I’m having trouble detaching. I suppose more than anything I was looking for advice on how to detach with love. I also wanted to know how much I am obligated to do for someone who used to be a good friend and is living under the same roof as me. I do realize that her life is affecting me too much and that I am not responsible for her actions. However, knowing that is one thing. Controlling pesky emotions is quite another.

You should be more concerned with whose week it is to clean the bathroom and who left the dirty pan in the sink.

As far as I’m concerned, those things are trivial and shouldn’t bother me. I don’t think they deserve more of my attention than the state of her well-being. She is much more important than a clean apartment.

Why is it that you are keeping tabs on when and why she is going to confession?

I’m not interrogating her on her sins or making her tell me how often she goes to confession. I’ve only had one talk with her about this. The only reason why I had that talk with her was because I heard her having sex on more than one occasion and I couldn’t deal with that in the apartment. I only know when she goes to confession because we frequently go to Mass/confession together. I only mentioned that she goes to confession in my post to indicate that she seems to know that having premarital sex is wrong and resolves not to do it again. That was important for me to know, because if she hadn’t gone to confession after every sexual episode, it would indicate to me that she would continue going down that path. If that were the case, I would have changed roommates immediately because I could not handle hearing sex going on in the apartment on a regular basis.

As far as I’m concerned, the state of her soul is of the utmost importance. I think that that should be our primary concern with everyone we know. Our earthly life only lasts for a little bit, and then we more on to our eternal life. Which one is more important?

If I knew that my roommate was in her room trying to kill herself, few would think I’m overstepping my bounds if I were to go in and try to stop her.

Why is it different with her soul? If I know that she’s killing her soul, why shouldn’t I be concerned and do what I can to help save her soul? After all, no misery here on earth can compare with the eternal misery of hell. Now, I do realize that everyone has free will and can choose to do what they want. I am not making her confess her sins to me nor am I condemning her. When I talked to her after I knew she had had sex (the one real heart to heart I’ve had with her on these things that are troubling me), I never directly asked her if she did, or told her I knew what had happened. She didn’t admit it either, but she knew that I knew. I just had a general discussion with her about not being so desperate for love that she thinks she’s forced to settle for less than she’s worth. I also tried to remind her that this life is not all there is and no matter how lonely we feel here on earth, someday in heaven we will never feel that way again. I encouraged her to go to daily Mass and frequent the chapel, but didn’t even mention confession.
Frankly, I’ve always been a little uneasy when I hear the bible passage about how God will judge us according to how well we served our brothers and sisters here on earth. I don’t want to hear from Him “I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink.”


#10

The additional information helps quite a bit. I know it can be hard to move on from friends, even when you aren’t living in the same apartment.

It stills seems as though it would be healthier for both of you to move away from sharing an apartment. Tell her how worried you are about her, but let her know that you plan to leave when the lease is out.

Hopefully, when you are not quite so close physically you can become good friends again.

I will be praying for both of you.


#11

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