My brother recently passed away, leaving behind his 20-year-old girlfriend and their infant love child. Since she comes from a poor family and only finished high school, our family supports them both. She lives in my mother’s studio apartment, where they’ve stayed from pregnancy until now. We have tried to be kind and understanding to her for my brother’s sake.
However, a few months on, things have started to turn ugly. When she comes along on our dine-outs, she orders the more expensive food even when we offer her the same food we are ordering. She complains about being nauseous when I drive, saying she did not experience that when my brother drove. Also, she refers to our family in social media as her “in-laws,” which she should not, as my brother had a estranged wife he had not formally separated from (no kids).
When we talk about confidential family or financial matters that do not concern her, she does not excuse herself and sometimes butts in.
I don’t know how to approach this without offending her. But she has to know her place and how to treat people doing her favors. A simple thank-you will do, instead of giving negative comments. We don’t want to drive her away, but need to educate her for us to have a harmonious relationship. I don’t want to pass the task to my mom or siblings, as I am the one directly affected by her actions.—NOT HER BROTHER IN-LAW
You need tough love for this! You may have to muster enough civility to make this girlfriend—who has become the pebble in your shoe—understand the general lay of the land between her and your family. But more importantly, her child’s DNA must be tested to establish your dead brother’s paternity and avoid any problems later on.
You can talk to her and gently tell her your complaints about her—to bring peace to this family.
Though you don’t want to evict her from your mother’s place, this growing animosity between her and your family must stop. She must be educated on some rules of conduct and be told what you expect of her if she is to remain where she’s at. She has no relation to you and has no right to insinuate herself in anything your family does.
Getting herself pregnant is not the same as getting married! Your brother may have separated from his wife, but he was still very much married to her till his death! By law she has the right to inherit everything her husband had.
Suggest to her it may be better if she found a place of her own—to avoid further misunderstanding or future trouble. Assure her that pending the result of the child’s DNA test, she will be cared for by your family wherever she decides to live.
You’d know from your conversation if if she has the capacity to change for the better or if she should be asked to leave. Make your appeal to her short and sweet and totally understandable.