Radio Show

Fatherly Advice: How to Ask Your Roommate to Move Out


A listener calls into the Busted Halo Show looking for some of Father Dave’s Fatherly Advice about a tricky housing situation: “My husband and I need to ask our roommate to move out. … So, we have been living together for about a year, and the way that it happened is that he is a missionary, and so he needed a cheap place to live, and so we offered him [an inexpensive] room. … It’s been great — my husband and he get along really well. But recently, there’s just been some really tough stuff happening in his life, and he’s brought it into our home, and so at this point, we are taking on mom and dad roles, and we’ve seen it take a toll on our marriage. … So, we’re kind of thinking we need to have this hard conversation [in which we ask him to move], but how do we approach it in a way that creates unity and doesn’t say, ‘Get out, we don’t want to talk to you again?’”

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Father Dave clarifies what kind of missionary the roommate is, as there are various things that could mean. By missionary, the caller says, she means he is employed by a local ministry — not that he’s temporarily come to her town from a church or ministry in a far-off place. Her anxiety about asking him to move out is compounded by the fact that she will still see him around her community and in church, and she doesn’t want there to be any bad blood between them.

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Father Dave says that the most pressing factor in asking him to move — and what they should lead with in their conversation — is the fact that these external factors have been “having an effect on [the] marriage. It’s not so much casting down heaps of judgment on [the roommate] — it is ‘We really sympathize that you’re going through this, and we support you, and we’re going to pray for you, and we’ve noticed that this is happening to us.’ … If [this roommate] is part of your church, he’ll appreciate the lifetime commitment you’ve made [to your husband] in the sacrament of matrimony. [So, essentially you’re saying], ‘We’re happy to be hospitable, but our top commitment in the world is to one another, and if anything begins to threaten that, we need to safeguard that relationship and that commitment. We love you and will still support you another way.’” (Original Air 08-16-17)