‘My mate moved in after a breakup – now my wife has given me an ultimatum’

By Staff

Agony aunt Coleen Nolan has advice for a reader who let their friend move into their family home whilst going through a break up – but now his wife wants him out

Dear Coleen

I’ve been arguing with my wife a lot lately because my mate is currently living in our spare room. He’s had a rough few months – girlfriend dumped him and broke his heart, he lost his home after she chucked him out, and he wrote off his car.

I felt bad for him and wanted to help him out, so agreed with my wife that he could stay with us for a short time while he looked for somewhere to rent.

It’s been four-and-a-half months now, though, and my wife is doing her nut. She says she’s had enough and that she can’t relax in our own home, she’s starting to hate him (even though they used to be brilliant friends) and complains that we have no privacy.

I don’t want to tell him to go, but she’s given me an ­ultimatum – either I tell him he needs to speed up his search for his own place or she will.

I know he would have done the same for me if I’d been in his situation and I don’t want to ask him to leave until he’s got himself together and feels stronger. What can I do?

Coleen says

Well, your wife isn’t so attached to him and cares less about what he thinks, so maybe she ought to be the one to tell him! But ask her to do it nicely.

And, if she does talk to him, don’t be saying to your mate that you don’t agree with her and making it her fault. ­Alternatively, you could both sit down with him and explain that while you really care about him, you’d like to get your house back soon. You could maybe even ask if there’s anything you can do to help him with his search.

I’m probably the wrong person to ask about house guests as I’ve had every waif and stray living with me over the years.

I’ve always had an open house – my kids’ friends and bandmates have lived with me. In fact, Rob, a drummer, a friend of
my daughter, Ciara, and her boyfriend Max, is currently living with me and when I got home from working last week, he’d cleaned the entire house! However, I think it really depends on what stage you’re at in your life.

I was single for a few years, so it was great having young people around, as they were brilliant company. But it sounds like you’re a young couple with plans, so your mate being there is not ideal.

Maybe your wife is self-conscious having sex when your mate is in the room next door or would like to have the freedom to walk around naked, or she’s sick of sharing the bathroom and so on.

All that stuff is important, and the stress is taking a toll on your relationship. I think he needs a reminder not to outstay his welcome.

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