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need advice, I'm desparate!!



New member
Oct 7, 2008
Hi there, sorry its a bit of an essay.

I'm hoping someone here can help me to deal with the situation I am in....My boyfriend and I have recently emigrated back to my bf's home town in Germany. We are staying with his father (Adi) while we get our feet on the ground.....

My bf's father has a long term girlfriend, lets call her Demi. Demi has been living with Adi for 13 years, but they never married.

I believe that Demi has got a serious problem, and I am really not sure how to cope with living in the same house as her.

Demi has an obsession with cleaning, but at the same time, hates cleaning and constantly complains that she has to do everything in the house, in spite of the fact that we do everything we can to help her. When we do help her she will critisise everything we have done....down to ridiculous things like how far we leave the chairs away from the table in the kitchen. If we put something in the dishwasher or up on the clothes line she will take everything out, or off, and rearrange it how she likes it....She goes into our room and moves things....she once chucked my things I had left on the bed onto the floor so she could make a point of washing our sheet while we were away for the night. What was she doing in there in the first place? We are an adult couple and I find it terribly invasive that she goes into our space like that.

When she critisises us she will not do it directly untill we confront her. She will first storm around the house shouting and swearing and mumbling to herself, slamming doors and generally having a temper tantrum. If we ask her what is wrong she blows up in our faces and screams personal attacks at us, telling us our parents clearly didn't raise us properly, that "normal people" don't do it that way. When we try to defend ourselves and point out that it really doesnt make a difference if the glasses are on the left or the right of the dishwasher, she will storm out the room, slam the door as hard as she can, run to her room or into the cellar and scream obscenities to herself untill she eventually calms down. She will then come out and proceed to not talk to us or make eye contact with us for at least a day or two.

If we do not catch her in the middle of an tantrum over something we have done or not done, she will rectify whatever it is before coming to us and having a go at us for it and making it our fault that she does everything. We have explained to her several times that if there is something she wants doing in a certain way and we do not do it as such, all she has to do is ask.

She has never asked. She always deals with it in the ways described above.

She gets up every morning at around six thirty. Typically she will stomp down the stairs, mumbling and moaning, then it usually ends up being a temper tantrum in the kitchen over something irrelevant, and she will usually have a go at Adi the minute he wakes up and goes downstairs. Clearly the relationship between Adi and Demi is seriously flawed but neither do anything to sort it out. Demi is unflinching......If Adi retorts and gets angry with her, to the point of losing it completely, she will show no emotion afterward to indicate that she feels regret or sadness or anything but anger perhaps.

When she is not having a tantrum she can be quite nice....she has opened up to me and told me that she is always alone (which I don't deny, no-one stays around her because of her behavioural issues), and that she is terribly unhappy and depressed. She knows she has unrealistic expectations of herself and everyone around her, but when she is losing it she doesn't see that she is being unreasonable, she believes completely that she is in the right. She tells me that she doesn't like the way she behaves but finds that it is the only way she can deal with her anger, and that she only ever gets her way when she is like that....she also tells me that after an episode, when she is up in her room or down in the cellar she is tyically shouting at herself for having behaved like that....but she will never show remorse or be apolagetic in any open way.

I have noticed that she spends a lot of money on things....Appearances are very important to her and she will buy the best of everything for herself. The lounge has a 42 inch tv in it and a €2000 surround system....no-one but her is allowed to use the lounge because the lounge is HERS. A lot of things in this house are HERS and no-one elses. She is adamant about this. If we use something incorrectly (I once put a knife the wrong way up in the dishwasher) she will take it away and hide it, not say one word, but we will never see that thing again (the following morning she denied flatly any knowledge of the knife's whereabouts). My bf left his Ipod downstairs. It disappeared completely. We have searched every nook and cranny of the places here where we are allowed to go....My bf does not lose things like that.....She denies any knowledge of it.

Now I am a respectful person, I am thankful that we have a place in this house. I have tried my best to live to her standards and to keep the peace, but it never works. Nothing we do is right. We are never shown appreciation for anything even when we specially make an effort in front of her so she can SEE we are trying. We have been here six weeks and I have been upset by her behaviour almost daily. I am quite sensitive and do not find aggression easy to deal with. It seems no matter what we do her behaviour will not change. I feel very awkward here, I do not know her very well, I am living in her house and have nowhere else to go untill we are sorted with jobs ect (we are trying to start our own business, hence why it has taken so long). I want to be respectful and to be a guest in her house who causes no stress or irritation....I like to keep the peace but i believe there is no way of doing that here. She has already been in two rather nasty arguements with my boyfriend......now they are not talking. We cannot live like this. I am losing all respect for her.

It has occurred to me that it may be useful to purposely not do what she wants us to do when she approaches us in a negative manner, and only give her what she wants when she learns to treat us like normal human beings. It is clear that no amount of shouting back, or trying to do what she wants to keep her satisfied does anything to alleviate the situation.

Please can someone advise me on how to survive this till we can move out....It is only temporary but I cannot go on living in a warzone. I honestly do not know how to deal with this.....

I would like to point out that she was previously in therapy, but stopped going for reasons unknown to me....She refuses to go back.

Many thanks,


She's very territorial and having you there seems to have shaken her certainty a great deal. She may feel as though her privacy and security has been invaded. She may not even have been consulted at to whether you and your boyfriend should be invited to stay.

As for her relationship with her partner - it's best to keep out of it and really relationships tend to be the business of those in them.

I used to let people wash up after they'd been round for a meal and then wash it all again when they'd gone. Sometimes home is the only place where you do feel in control.

If it really is bothering you, why not try and find somewhere else to stay? I wouldn't be comfortable in such circumstances whatever the reason.

Good luck


New member
Oct 7, 2008
From what I understand she has been like this for years....Since well before we came along. Us arriving hasn't changed her for the worse, she is as she has always been. I've spoken to many people who have known her for years and they all say the same thing.

As for finding another place, we will move out as soon as possible.....but until we have the business going we have no money to spend on rent. We have no choice but to stay here for a little while longer.....

Washing up again after people have gone is one thing....doing it infront of them while cursing and critising everything they had done is something else.


New member
Oct 7, 2008
The thing is, to all intents and purposes this woman is going to be a member of my family for an extended period of time. I need to get on with her one way or another, I need to understand what I am dealing with...I'm just looking for some advice on how to approach her, how to keep things easy...

I would like to help her really but I have no idea where to start....

I'm just worried....and very stressed. I'm paranoid about so much as crossing paths with her in the house because I don't know when she is going to blow up next. I spend most of my time here in my room or outside....I think she hates me a lot of the time....Then other times I think she likes me. It's difficult cause I don't knwo where I stand, and I don't know how to treat her...

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