Uninvited houseguest

Hello everyone,

I am having a problem with a person in my life, my father and I need good advice about how to deal with the situation…

I try to be brief. My father has sold his house 900 miles away and has turned up at my door. He has been using my guest room on and off for 2 months now. He has forwarded his mail to my house without asking me permission… These are the basics.

Now the complications. I have a very superficial relationship with my father. He abandoned our family when I was a teen and left us in poverty for many years. He ran off with a woman who he married and started a whole new life with her and her children. For many years , I had no contact with him. Now the woman he left us for has died, so he sold his house and is in the process of pursuing relationship with another woman who lives in the West Virginia. The woman seems to be only casually interested in him so in between visit sto his girlfriend he is invited himself to stay at my house.

This is causing me extreme distress. I feel drawn into a obligation that I am not psychologically able to handle.

To complicate matters further my husband has been very accommodating to my father because my father has been helping him with many household repairs that we have not been able to afford to hire people to do.

I am unable to deal with him because he has not changed in any way and I feel I am being used because he doesn’t know where to go and he doesn’t like to be alone. He is basically following me around all day, he even shows up at my office to bother me there. Last week he called my office to ask me if I was busy. I said yes and he proceeded to ask me if I would go on the internet and shop for a TV for his girlfriend. I was at work! I have no escape from him. I feel like I am being stalked.

You already know what you need to do, it is just hard to do it, you have to ask him to leave. Tell him it would be best if he was gone in a week, no need to be nasty, just say it kindly and mean it.
Please be assured of my prayers.

This is an opportunity to repair your relationship.

If it is an “opportunity to repair a relationship” it seems pretty one side or expected to be, to me. I would not expect the poster to endure this. This seems to be an ongoing abuse of family, hearth and heart. Shopping for the girlfriend? No way. Respect for the father , yes. Prayers for the father, yes. Make the guest room unavailable for future use. If the father is “young enough” willing and able to have a girl friend, then he is in need of an apartment of his own. I will pray for a healthy resolve for this situation.

bad blood. Can it be fixed? hmmm…



I am sorry this is happening to you. I agree that I think you know what to do, but it is not something that will be pleasant. You must first make your feelings known to your husband. You must be united on this.

For those that say that this is an opportunity to repair their relationship: if the relationship is able to be repaired, it can be done with her father living elsewhere. I am not sure how anyone thinks this father forcing his way into his estranged daughter’s life suddenly can bring healing. That is Hollywood, not real life.

“Dad, it’s been nice having you with us for a while, but it is time for you to find a permanent home elsewhere. My husband and I need to get back to our life together and you need to decide where yours is going to take you.”

Offer to help him find an apartment or house and settle him in. He has money if he sold his house.

Invite a friend to come visit and tell your father that you will need the guest room back in a week.


Thank you all.

I read your advice and decided that what I needed was to stop worrying about my father’s feelings and reclaim my right to my personal space. I have my hands full with my husband. I love him but he is a challenge to be married to most times and I don’t have the resources to meet the challenges in my marriage and deal with a person (my father) who impresses me (like I said I don’t really know him) as morally disorded and psychologically harmful to me.

So I called my husband and told him to tell my father that he needs to move on. I did it this way because it is my husband who has given him a house key (without my permission), allowed him to bring some things to store in my garage(without my permission) and keeps encouraging him to return after each visit to his girlfriend. (without asking me first) so the way I see it my husband who has open the door by being overly solicitous to my father.

My husband tried to guilt me into letting him stay longer but I held my ground. He then called my father and told him but my father told him that he still needs to stay 2 more times for a day or two to settle his affairs. Why not stay at a hotel? I am not happy about him dropping in for 2 more visits but I think if the end is in sight that I can handle this. I hope this is the end to this.

Well good for you that you made your husband do it! After all, it was his idea.

Not sure what your dad means by needing to stay 2 more times. He could stay in a motel and just visit… But yes, the end is in sight for you at least! :slight_smile:

I would have one more conversation with your husband. Thank him for taking care of this, but let him know that he is not to do anything like this on his own ever again.

God bless you and thank you for sharing.

I appreciate that you are in a difficult marriage, I know what that can be like so please be assured of my prayers. However with all Christian charity please reconsider that you have perhaps taken what should probably be your responsibility and given it to your husband.

It is not right that your husband gave your father a key without asking you, and it is probably not right that your husband allowed your father to store things in the garage. Unfortunately, to be fair your husband is probably feeling awkward and uneasy because of the past relationship between you and your father and may be trying to smooth things over in some way? What I am saying is that I don’t think your husband was being intentionally malicious towards you and he may have been trying to make the best of a very difficult situation.

It seems that you may have been dodging the situation, so your husband stepped in. You cannot fault him for that or the decisions that he made. From the very beginning if you didn’t want your father to stay there you could have (or should have) stood up. Unfortunately because of his past abandonment, treatment of you and lack of relationship you don’t feel comfortable doing so.

God is good, God has known from the beginning of time that you would be in this situation. Please sit down with your father and tell him face-to-face that he has to leave. As a parent I want to hear things from my own child, not their “spokesman” and this is a good opportunity for you to calmly discuss these things with your father, it is well past time. God bless.

It is my father who has used my husbands good will to get his way. My father has chosen to use my husband because he is weak when it comes to saying no to people. I want minimal with my father. My husband knows this full well but he is easily manipulated. My husband needs to learn to stop letting other people obligate him for things that are not good for our family. I have rules in my house and one is that a person who is fornicating doesn’t get to live here. (my sons know this one well and respect it) My husband needs to be respectful of my feelings and sensitive to what I can and can’t not handle. I will handle my relationship with my father (who has never admitted wrong or asked for forgiveness) without my husband’s goodwill mediation. My husband is a do what ever makes you feel good person, that 's his credo and he has very poor moral judgment, so if what my father did doesn’t affect him personally, he is Ok with my dad. My husband admits that he has a very hard time with emotional empathy.not just with me but with everyone. We have begun to work on this so that if he can’t understand my feelings that he will at least stop trying to pretend that they don’t exist or that they are not valid.
I know that putting distance between me and my father is what is best. He hasn’t changed and he is not looking for my forgiveness because he did nothing wrong in his eyes. I am interested in feeding his fantasy that nothing ever happened that needs to be addressed/

As a side note all three of my siblings are basically no contact with my father. They are all in very poor psychological condition , 2 have attempted suicide, none have intact families
Our family or origin was devastated by this man. His only justification was that he needed to be happy and that that woman made him happy. He didn’t care what happened to us. And many terrible things did happen. He has no interest in hearing about them either. Once I was so desperate I had to ask him for money , he had it but he turned me down because his wife said that if I needed it badly enough I would find a way. I was supporting myself at 16 and living in a house with no heat. i needed that money (age 18 then) to continue at community college and I didn’t have enough from my job so i had to drop out.

Do I forgive him yes, seriously yes, I feel terribly sorry for him and I wish him peace. But I not going back for more of his abuse. He is a user. He wants he wants and doesn’t care who he hurts to get it. He is a sad unremorseful man and should be pitied. But that can be no reconciliation until he changes and he won’t.

As I have been taught, forgiveness takes one. Reconciliation takes two. It takes two for the same reason that a relationship takes two: that is, because it depends on mutual trust.

Unfortunately, in your place I think I’d feel forced to take this into my own hands: that is, call ol’ Dad and say, “I hear you’ve told John that you have to stay with us a few more times. The answer is ‘no.’ You have a week* to get your stuff out of my garage. Oh, and you also have a week to give me a forwarding address to write on the mail that I’ll be sending back to the post office. You came uninvited and you’re being asked to leave. How did Alice put it? Whatever you need, if you need it badly enough, you will find a way. That’s what you taught me, I did it, and so can you.”

*Check the law in your local jurisdiction, and find out what sort of legal hoops you have to go through to get rid of someone else’s stuff when you’ve agreed to let them store it with you. Do that and give him the amount of time the law requires as his timeline. This man is not above suing you for liability, we all know that. He has the parental attachment capacity of a lizard.

You have done the right thing and don’t feel guilty at all about this. In a way your father is indulging in emotional blackmail and just using you for his own purposes. In my mind you have honored your father above and beyond and honestly don’t owe him anything at this point.

You are doing better with this situation, but one needs to be stronger than the other. If it isn’t your husband then it must be you. Don’t start WW!!!, but stand your ground. If your father sold his house then he must have enough money for a hotel/motel and traveling. Peace and prayers for you.

Thank you all.
I know I should say no more visits. I am too weak. I didn’t know that I was still this messed up until my father showed up for these visits. The mail forwarding I can handle.
And I know that if he goes past this last arrangement, I will be forced to make him leave.
I will do is because then I will be forced into a situation where it is him or me.

I am very upset with my husband. He knows how upset, depressed and afraid I have been. Instead he has added to my distress by trying to make me feel guilty. He has failed the protector part of husbandly duties as leader, protector and provider. He is a very weak person and he is also damaged from his family of origin so I have to forgive him a lot. I know he doesn’t mean to harm me but he often does impulsive things based on what feels good at the moment. My father seduced him with his steaks and handyman help. I always laugh because my husband is so easy to manipulate - if I wanted to. I don’t manipulate him that would be a horrible thing to do to someone. I am very straight with my husband but my husband doesn’t want to hear the hard stuff. My children have a name for his avoidant behavior, it’s a silly name but they came up with it on their own to deal with his inability to give support in hard times.

Again ,thanks for your support. It means a lot to me.

I am glad to hear that things have kind of settled down.

I am not sure there is much you can do about your husband’s behavior. I am glad to see that you realize that he was damaged in his past. It can help you to be understanding of his flaws, and not take what he does personally.

Since you said he is easily manipulated, perhaps you can instead lead him to make the right choices, or direct him in ways that would be helpful to both of you.

I wish you peace.

Thank you so much for sharing, I am so very sorry you are going through this.

I still believe it would be best for you to stand your ground with your father, and not ask your husband to do it. However admittedly I don’t have the full picture, a few paragraphs on a website cannot do that so I am just guessing my best.

Your husband is weak as you say, and has trouble standing up to people and is easily manipulated. I would be concerned that your father, who is an experienced manipulator would talk your husband into still living there. While I understand that you want your husband to be the protector in this situation, none of us can realistically expect someone to give us what they do not have. Currently, your husband may not have it in him to stand up, he may just not be able to do it.

Therefore, I humbly suggest that you speak with your father. I would hope that the experience would be empowering for you! You are an adult, this is your home! This is your chance to not be intimidated by your father but to ask him to leave, right to his face. Your husband is not as motivated as you to have him gone, however you have lots of motivation. I would hope that the experience of telling him he has to leave would be unpleasant at first but then you would feel glad that you finally stood up to him after all these years? Please be assured of my prayers and again I am very sorry for you in this situation.

Good luck with these family problems. I humbly suggest you try to use “we” and “our” more as opposed to “I”, “me” and “my” when discussing your home and family - or you will be facing more issues down the road.

I’d respectfully suggest that whether the OP uses “I” instead of “we” when talking about her father and her relationship with her father is between her and her husband. Her husband may actually prefer to tell her father that she will not have him as a house guest again, thereby keeping himself out of the conflict altogether. He may also be quite willing to defer to her wish to talk about her decisions with this parent in the first person and to exercise a right to make those decisions entirely by herself, since her father’s offenses against her a) were both habitual and gravely serious and b) predate her relationship with her husband. Her husband did not develop a relationship with her father independent of her father’s attempt to use his daughter for his own gain.

Different couples and different families handle these things in different ways. There is no single right way to do it or one single wrong way that always causes “issues.”

I reread my post and I can’t find any place where we instead of I would apply. My husband does not share my pain in my relationship with my father. My fathers visits have occupied my husbands little free time so much that we have had zero private time. We (my husband and I) have a very demanding business that WE run together. Our private time is precious. My father has even invaded our work space by inviting himself daily to drop by our office. My husband (who takes the primary roll at our office, has allowed him to be a distraction at work) I can’t function at work when someone is talking in my ear.

We are also in the process of trying to get our home ready for sale. We are selling our home because of financial problems. My husband doesn’t seem to care much about the pain that losing our home is causing me either. If we can’t sell this house, and 4 others in our neighborhood are not selling, we will be in serious financial trouble. At home my husband handles to bills and I stay on budget. Knowing that things have been tight I put away some money for emergencies over the past 5 years. We cannot afford health insurance so this is a necessary stash, well my husband borrowed it to pay April bills, now we have no saving except a minimal retirement account and the equity in our home.

My husband is responsible for our financial failure. He had a bad employee that did things that he needed to be fired for doing. That was WWIII when I realized that we had to fire this guy and my husband still would not do it.( the structure of our business puts him directly in charge of employees, I am back office operations only) We fought for a week, still he wouldn’t do it. Finally, two of our biggest clients who where 45% of our business fired us because we wouldn’t fire the rouge employee.

We have never recovered from that loss, we lost our heath insurance, we had to let go of a good employee and now we must let go of our home.

As a side note, I did step in and fire one of his employees once. That ended so badly we had to call the police and have the man removed. the man needed to be fired he was not doing his job, my husband wouldn’t do it so he said I could. I did and the man refused to acknowledge my authority to fire him and got very belligerent. I called the police. The man left.

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