I've been experiencing tension with my family over the last six months. I rent a three-bedroom house from my father, and when my brother moved back to Boise, he allowed my brother and his girlfriend to move into the house. Things were fine for the first month and a half, but then suddenly my brother reverted back to being the sophomoric jerk he was when were teenagers. We recently got into a big fight where he was incredibly demeaning and belittling of me, and we haven't spoken since. I know he knows what he said and did was wrong, but he hasn't apologized and we haven't spoken for three weeks. I feel very uncomfortable at the house and I try to minimize my time there. What should I do?
—Sincerely, Family Matters
Like it or not, some family members never jive. Neither of you are in ideal circumstances. You have the advantage of being able to rent from a property owning parent. While Blood is allegedly thicker than water, if your brother isn't financially invested in the situation, you have a legitimate tenant complaint. Have a tenant/landlord conversation with your father. Then bring it to your brother. Establish some house rules. Get a mediator if necessary, but be prepared to deal with the reality of a sibling who may never apologize for his ill-mannered behavior. If all else fails, save up to get out. It may cost more, but your self preservation is worth it.