Awkward: My Au Pair Seems To Be Dating My StepSon

by cv harquail on September 2, 2016

It’s not “wrong”, necessarily. But it sure is awkward.

This Host Mom’s 22 year old au pair seems to be “dating” the 20 year old step son.

It’s awkward not just because the Host Mom’s pretty sure they’re intimate, but also because their relationship messes with the idea of the au pair being “part of the family”.

If the Au Pair is part of the family, then dating the step son is kind of like incest. Except it isn’t…

 because “part of the family” is a metaphor– a shorthand, if you will — for the closeness, type of concern, and equality of treatment that host parents should strive for with their au pairs.

au pair problems, au pair adviceThere’s a lot that’s kindof icky in the email, below, and in the situation overall.  Sorry about that, and not to be salacious, but I left in the details because they seem to matter.

How would you handle this situation? 

What would you say to the Au Pair, the StepSon, the Spouse?

Should this Host Mom be bothered by the relationship, if the Au Pair kept it out of the Master bedroom? 

I am writing you from really desperate position. I am host mum from Europe. I have two lovely kids and one step son, who is 20. My partner and I together for 8 years, so my step-son has been part of my life and my “family” for a long time.  My relationship with step son is quite neutral  —  he is adult,  he behaves nicely to his little siblings, he lives alone, and he visits often for weekends. He usually mostly spends time with the his sister and brother.  

I travel quite a bit because of work, so our au pair is often home with my husband and kids.

Now to the suspicion- Either I am crazy or my au pair is having affair with the son.  About a month ago, after a weekend when I was away for work, I was cleaning my bedroom and found used condoms in the trash basket.  More recently, I found used condoms in the bathroom trash.  Usually, it’s the au pair’s job to empty wastebaskets, but both times she was off duty.    

Several times when I have been at home and our au pair has been off duty, my step son has driven our au pair to some event or home from some event in middle of the night. (He borrows one of our cars for that.)  On her Facebook, she’s got many pictures of them together.  She left her account open once at our computer and messages from him popped up, him asking about when I’m expected to be away for work. 

On some of the mentioned pictures on facebook my husband has also been included, so I confronted him about the au pair’s relationship with my step son. My husband told me that they just seem like good friends and that he doesnt know any details.

What bothers me is that no one seems to be telling the truth. And I’m upset that they possibly had sex in my and my husband’s bedroom while kids were in house.

Should I confront our au pair? My stepson? Is this kind of relationship even appropriate?

Thank you   ~confused host mum

Image: Posy In The Wastepaper Basket, by Harry Rutherford on Flickr

{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennc September 2, 2016 at 4:10 pm

Yikes This is difficult . They aré adults and I guess what they do in off time OUT of your house is fine BUT finding used condoms in your bedroom is a big red flag and I would be figuring out away to find out what is going on asap ! If it’s not them then whose is it ?!? Instill a camera yikes it’s your house but geeze I don’t think I’d want hard evidence like that….. You could sit down and have a convo with both and say ” I know you guys are seeing each other and I have evidence that you have been sexually active on duty in my room or where else” if you present it as FACT they are less likely to deny it , then go into how you are going to deal with it a) fire her b) state that although you don’t like it you don care what they do on their off time BUT if this activity happens on duty again “fired” and let them know cameras are on site c) don’t say anything get cameras then react d) ignore and yuck

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German Au-Pair September 2, 2016 at 7:06 pm

Do NOT get cameras without telling them. While I’m pretty sure that’s not legal, it’s also absolutely wrong. Even if you fired her afterwards, you’d have to live with the step son…
I also don’t see where lying has occured? Has anyone asked them and they denied? (Even if that was the case…is it the son’s duty to report his sexual activities to his step mom? Is it the AP’s to report hers to her boss?)

I understand the initial confusion but I would work out an arrangement like an adult: talk to your AP, have the husband talk to his son and tell them both that it is absolitely NOT ever okay to have sex in your bedroom (That’s actually the most icky part for me…). It doesn’t matter with whom, they don’t belong in their period. Also, they shouldn’t leave condoms lying around where others can find them so their sex life can stay THEIRS.
Next step for YOu would be IMHO to try to take the awkward out. Make sure you want nothing to do with their exual activities (which I’m sure would be true if they both had other partners) and then talk about how things are supposed to go. Her work must stay her work but maybe spending time together, openly and non-sexually would make things much less akward?
Do make clear that her performance cannot suffer no matter what happens with their relationship.

I would also work very hard on wrapping my mind around the fact that this is not a situation in which the AP has an inappropriate relationship with a child living in the household. To the AP, this is a guys who shows up on the weekend -like any other guy her age. SHE is not like a child to you, HE is not like a child to her…where’s the issue?
Like I said, I do get the issue but rationally speaking there is non and firing someone or setting up cameras to spy on your step son’s and nanny’s sex life seems a tad extreme…like a really bad soap on TV :D

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New to This September 3, 2016 at 2:21 am

If we’re talking about cameras in the HPs’ bedroom, and if the AP and stepson aren’t supposed to be in there at all, then it’s probably not illegal — I’m not aware of any jurisdiction in which you have to provide notice to potential trespassers that you’re recording in the space where they might trespass. Overall, I agree that as far as the relationship itself, we’re talking about consenting adults who aren’t actually family to one another and have little reason to see each other that way, and it would be pretty harsh to decide now that the relationship is a deal breaker if there was no prior stance communicated on keeping work and personal life separated. I also think, though, that the HM’s interest in securing her own private space is legitimate, and a camera to detect intruders is a valid option there — but it’s not the one I’d probably choose — adding a lock to the door would be no more expense/effort, and wouldn’t put HM at risk of exposure to something that she’d end up wishing she could unsee. Honestly, though, I suspect if I felt like anything in that sort of authoritarian vein were necessary, it would mean the AP/HF relationship was already beyond redemption. My sense is that they’re not there yet, and that the present state of things calls for attempts at more conversation rather than more control…

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SA_Au Pair September 3, 2016 at 7:55 am

If the OP resorted to installing a camera in her own bedroom then I don’t see a problem with that; anywhere else inside the house would just be uncomfortable. I wouldn’t want to live in a house where I was constantly under video surveillance. I tend to find romantic relationships between au pairs and their host dads, host parents’ family members or anyone else that the family is good friends with weird mainly because the work situation between the host family and the au pair is unique; how those relationships turn out does/will affect them one way or another. With that said, they’re two consenting adults and there isn’t anything you can do to stop them from seeing each other; all you can do is set boundaries (she can’t be intimate with your step son-or anyone else-while she’s on duty and the children are around etc). It would also be a good idea to revisit a conversation about respecting other people’s private space; also have this conversation with your step son – having sex in someone else’s bedroom is NOT okay (I don’t understand why they’d even do that because the au pair has her own room).

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Jennc September 3, 2016 at 9:35 am

I’m sorry but having sex in the host parent bedroom while on duty IS grounds for being fired ….. For example IF I had sex on duty at my work place and was caught , I’d be fired !!!!! Who cares if she is dating him ….. it’s how inappropriate that she was supposed to be watching kids and was instead having sex in the host parent bedroom . There are many options of how to deal with this , it’s up to the host mom .

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German Au-Pair September 5, 2016 at 6:29 pm

The AP was NOT on duty while this occured.The OP specifically said so. The other thing is a boundary part about the bedroom is concerning yes, but IMHO can be addressed in a less drastic manner.
Had she been on duty, I’d be with you.

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TexasHM September 7, 2016 at 9:40 am

Actually the OP didn’t say that because she doesn’t appear to know. She said she found the trash when AP was off duty and that stepson often drives AP when she’s off duty but she never said the acts occurred while AP was off duty so there is a possibility it was while on duty until OP finds out when it happened.
If HM was away for work then either AP was on duty or it happened when DH was home and he’s either lying about knowing (let’s hope not) or oblivious. The trash in the master doesn’t make sense though if it happened when DH was home so I have the same concern. Maybe kids were asleep but still…WAY out of line…

AlwaysHopeful HM September 2, 2016 at 5:15 pm

I will start by saying that you know the personalities of your stepson and au pair (and husband) best, so if your gut says something is amiss, that’s probably right. I wonder though about the possibility that they ARE just good friends, and that perhaps the condoms were from some other guy. Do her Facebook photos show any other regularly featured guys? It just seems strange that they would use your home when stepson has his own place. What did your husband think about the condoms?

If they are having an “affair” it is inappropriate if it is inappropriate to you for the boundaries of your household. There are many layers… the initial “ick”, the step-relationship, the autonomy of the au pair, the need for you to feel comfortable in your home, the sneaking around and lying… quite honestly, I don’t think I could handle it. I would suggest talking to your husband frankly about the layers, and try to persuade him to discuss it with his son. You should also talk to the au pair about boundaries that are appropriate in your home.

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Frankfurt AP Boy September 2, 2016 at 5:34 pm

The lack of communication is a problem… Just tell them both that you realise that are seeing each other and would rather they not have sex in your house. It seems quite straight forward… You would get what you want (to the extent you can legitimately expect): that they wouldn’t have sex in your house.

In terms of them having a relationship, I don’t think there is anything you can do other than work on why it upsets you so. To me, there is nothing disgusting about two consenting adults being sexually intimate and I would find it sad if I were to know that the au pair would be penalised for it.

Just a note on putting cameras up to catch them in the act… in my view, the whole idea of secretly filming people is a dodgy area but doing so with the motive of viewing sexual conduct in a bedroom (i.e. a place with a high expectation of privacy) I find so incredibly wrong.

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NZ HM September 2, 2016 at 5:41 pm

I agree with AlwaysHopeful HM that there are many layers that you need to untangle and that can potentially be addressed separately.
I also suggest talking with your husband about your concerns, the condoms, and where the issues lie for you.
Decide what irks you most: the possible relationship with a family member? the secrecy / lying? the use of your house / bedroom? that she seems to be bringing ‘boys’ home (regardless of whether it is your stepson)? that she is leaving evidence lying around? Decide what your rules on all these will be. It might be worthwhile talking with the aupair about your general ‘dating’ rules (e.g. no boys in the house, condoms directly into the main trash outside, etc.) – it’s always easy to argue that it’s about setting examples and the welfare of the kids.

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LuckyHM#3 September 2, 2016 at 8:06 pm

Still thinking through this whole craziness but in the meantime, perhaps the folks here that are more knowledgable about legal stuff can educate me. A few people have said that its not legal to install a camera in YOUR bedroom. Not a lawyer but why is this illegal. It is OP’s bedroom. What if she and her husband want a camera for their personal viewing. It is THEIR bedroom. A 3rd party in this case, the AP or the step son should IMHO have zero expectation of privacy in the master bedroom of this house.

Now if they are installing cameras in other areas of the house where the AP expects to have reasonable access to then i can see the issues with that and they should definitely inform the AP since she lives there.

I do not have cameras in my house so i haven’t researched this subject matter in any detail so pardon my ignorance

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WarmStateMomma September 6, 2016 at 6:48 am

I’m a lawyer. The legality of using cameras is different everywhere. Secretly filming others having sex – even if it’s in your bedroom – could be a problem in many jurisdictions.

A camera at the front door would let you know who is coming and going, though. Same answers, less ick factor.

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TNHostmom September 2, 2016 at 8:11 pm

I really hate to put this out there but is there a possibility (no matter how unlikely) that it could be your husband who is having the affair with your AuPair? I’m a little confused as to why the used condoms would be in YOUR wastebasket in YOUR bedroom. Surely the AuPair is not being intimate in your bedroom and surely your stepson does not want to be intimate in his dad’s bed? Does she have a double/queen/king sized bed in the AuPair room? If it’s only a single or twin then I am more likely to believe this scenario. It’s also a little alarming that your husband doesn’t seem to be 100% honest with you on the relationship (if any) with your stepson. I feel for you as this is a very unenviable position to be in.

If I were you I would have a talk with my husband (did you tell him about the used condoms in your wastebasket?) besides the obvious from going off his reaction I think I would bring this up to the AuPair and say something like “I know you’re an adult so you’re going to engage in sex and I’m glad you are doing it safely but please dispose of your condoms more appropriately. I have seen some in our trash in the bedroom and I know you wouldn’t be so disrespectful to use our bed for your liaisons.” Uhhhh tough one!

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hOstCDmom September 2, 2016 at 10:53 pm

So, OP, with the huge caveat that I clearly don’t know more than is written in the post above, and I realize that this is a sensitive issues to raise, I am going to be the one that posits this question: could the condoms perhaps be your husband’s? Not necessarily in respect of anything with the AP (but that is also a possibility, I suppose) but perhaps with someone else? You mention that this happens when you go out of town. Your husband is the other adult male in your household, the condoms are in the master bedroom/bathroom trash, so it seems at least reasonable to consider if the condoms are his…

I realize that raises a whole host of questions, and I hope I am not overstepping to put this out there. You know the situation and your husband, so you know if this is a crazy idea, or whether you should at least give a moment’s consideration to this possibility.

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German Au-Pair September 3, 2016 at 6:00 am

I thought of this, too but since the OP said that she read questions about when she’s out of town written by the step son, I would say that’s more likely. Also it would be a special brand of stupid to cheat on your wife and leave several condoms in her trash can…

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TiredAuPair September 6, 2016 at 6:56 pm

I have to admit that I agree. I was wondering the same thing. Even if the HM is out of town and AP and step son sees one another. If I were to have sex, I would NEVER do it in my HP’s bedroom. Regardless if I have a single bed.

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Exaupair September 3, 2016 at 4:38 am

It is totally inappropriate for the au pair to be having sex with anyone in your bedroom. I would definitely address this aspect, and tell her that you will sack her if she does it again.
However, about the relationship, I don’t actually see anything wrong. They are both young adults, single and of a similar age. Au pairs are young adults, and like all young adults (as we were when we were that age!) will be attracted to the opposite six and want to date. I don’t see why this should be forbidden (or be seen as a host parent’s business), as long as duties are unaffected.

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DCBurbTwinMomma September 3, 2016 at 8:29 am

Confirm the condoms do indeed belong to your step son, address the issue with your husband and then have a mature sit-down with all parties involved. What I would consider “wrong” is their choice of venue, but everything else wouldn’t be disturbing to me: two consenting adults having an intimate relationship and being smart enough to use protection. You do not own her sexuality or love life and if she has found a partner that she enjoys and he enjoys him that is her off work time prerogative. What is controllable is again discussing their venue of choice and rules for their behavior around your children. Address that you acknowledge the relationship, but that your family comes first and if there happens to be a nasty breakup that upsets the dynamic or innapropriate behavior in front of kids then there will be ramifications. Those are appropriate concerns. Who she hooks up with – not.

Getting cameras in your own home is perfectly legal. It’s also a perfectly passive aggressive and an unethical approach if the purpose is just to catch the sex. Let’s say it plays out and you see them having sex. So what. You believe that now, it’s not as if you will believe it more. You’ve just unethically invaded a person’s privacy. Would you be recording? Then there may be some legalities. Is is accessible over the Internet and easily hacked? Problems. Most importantly, you would win this small unnecessary battle at the expense of someone you see as family. That’s a terrible trade and really not protecting your family unit but being willing to potentially destroy a relationship to be “right.” How about asking them and treating them like adults? That’s cheaper and a lot less damaging.

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Jennc September 3, 2016 at 9:45 am

Yeah that’s why I said , you could put in cameras but “yikes hard evidence I wouldn’t want to see ” ! The threat of cameras maybe a deterrent , I also wondered about husband too although no one wants to think that , but always possible . Good luck

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Aupair Paris September 3, 2016 at 2:44 pm

So many layers! Is your au pair having a relationship with your appropriately aged step son wrong? No. Is having sex in your room wrong? Absolutely, yes! I’m sure they know it too! Partly because anyone would, and partly because of the texts asking when you were out of town.

If you’re not already at “REMATCH”, then you need some serious, very clear boundaries to be drawn! I don’t think spying is the answer (and regardless of legality, come on, putting cameras, even in your own room, to catch people having sex? Creepy and not ok, regardless of how much “in the wrong” those people are). I think talking is. You need to sit your AP and Stepson down and tell them what you’ve noticed. Don’t ask them to deny or confirm, simply tell them that what you have perceived is unacceptable, and needs to stop. Draw boundaries for what you are comfortable with in your home, and tell them they need to go to your stepson’s home for anything else.

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WestMom September 3, 2016 at 6:32 pm

I am stuck at the condom part. 1) why would they have sex in your room? There are plenty of other places to have sex that would be less conspicuous, say… Her room? 2) if they did have sex in your room, are they that dumb that they don’t dispose of their condoms? If that’s what indeed happened, they are either pretty stupid or they want to get caught.
To me this is a simple discussion with AP (and your partner with his son). Everyone is fine with them seeing each other, but it should in no way impact her work. And remind her of whatever rule you may have about intimacy in your home.

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HappyHM September 3, 2016 at 9:03 pm

If both times this happened, the AP was off duty, who was watching the kids? Wouldn’t it have to be the husband? Wouldn’t he notice the son and AP retiring to the bedroom?

Hubby and AP are doing it in the bedroom while stepson plays with siblings. Husband assumes AP will have the sense to empty the trash because she always does, but she doesn’t because she’s not on duty. Stepson has a crush on AP but no relationship. (Why else would he be running out to pick her up instead of already out with her. He lives separately from the family so could easily just meet up with the AP.) AND why wouldn’t the AP just entertain in her own room or at the stepson’s place? Sorry to say, but when you hear hooves, think horses not zebras and the clip-clopping is not leading me to the stepson… And maybe not even to the AP… :(

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New to This September 4, 2016 at 6:07 pm

The kids may have been out with one or both parents. Our AP is often home alone when she’s off duty and I/we have taken our kid somewhere. That aspect of the OP’s account doesn’t seem at all fishy to me.

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TNHostmom September 4, 2016 at 6:43 pm

I tend to agree HappyHM.

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German Au-Pair September 5, 2016 at 6:34 pm

But REALLY which cheating husband wouldn’t check the trash?! Also all the photos and asking about when the HM is gone? Weird coincidence?

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hOstCDmom September 5, 2016 at 9:09 pm

Perhaps – just perhaps – HD and AP are having affair; stepson is FRIENDS with AP, and KNOWS about the affair. He may, or may not, feel allegiance to HM. He probably feels some allegiance to his father, HD. He might be asking AP about when HM is away because he is her confidante. He may be keeping HD and AP’s secret.

Just a point for consideration.

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TNHostmom September 6, 2016 at 4:20 am

GermanAP like someone else on here mentioned it could be that he assumed AP would empty the bins as she usually does but she didn’t this time because she wasn’t on duty and assumed he would. Either way whomever did leave it there I assume they did so because they had forgotten and not because they are careless and not to get caught. In all probability it probably is the stepson who the AP is seeing but there are also other possibilities that can’t be ruled out.

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German Au-Pair September 6, 2016 at 7:36 pm

Of course, you should never say never. It will probably be hard to figure out what’s actually going on but I would still argue that if I were to cheat on my wife with my caregiver I would doublecheck that the condoms are actually gone…Also I’d assume that the AP NEVER empties the trash can in the main bedroom…

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SA_Au Pair September 6, 2016 at 8:29 pm

Something about this situation just doesn’t make sense. The stepson has his own place, if the au pair was in a relationship with him the easier thing would be for her to go to his place when she’s not on duty. If the au pair was off duty and the OP was at work then it would mean that the husband was the one taking care of the kids…I don’t see how the au pair and stepson could have popped into the OP’s bedroom while the HD was in the house with the kids. If the HD decided to take the kids out for a walk, It’s weird that the au pair and stepson would decide to just head straight into the OP’s bedroom when the au pair has her own room and then leave evidence (again, she’s not on duty, why not just go to the stepson’s place?). The whole thing seems dodgy.

Schnitzelpizza September 7, 2016 at 5:27 am

But if it was AP having sex in her HP’s bed with the stepson (or her HD), why would she leave their used condoms in the trashcan? She would know that she was off duty and would not be the one to empty the trash. And I am sure she wouldn’t want to be found out no matter whom she has sex with.

It would be much easier if they just had sex in AP’s bedroom where HM wouldn’t be the one emptying the trash. Or in stepson’s bed (assuming they really have a sexual relationship). Anywhere but HM’s bed really. Who wants to have sex in somebody elses bed unless the bed belongs to the person they are sleeping with? Sex in my mom’s bed? Yuck! I can’t even have sex in my mom’s guest bed with the man I am married to. Yuckyuckyuck!

Not saying it might not be AP having sex with stepson but I really think mom needs to talk to dad again. Especially if he is so obviously not nonplussed about other people having sex in his bed…

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TNHostmom September 7, 2016 at 7:30 am

I suppose it can be argued who ever the guy is who was using the condom would be responsible for the disposal of it so AP may not have had a second thought. Either way this story doesn’t make a lot of sense and I feel more information is needed.

TNHostmom September 7, 2016 at 7:37 am

Forgot to add i think Op’s husband needs to be talked to again because it seems a bit fishy to me.

WarmStateMomma September 6, 2016 at 6:42 am

Someone other than the OP is having sex in her bed. Husband basically denied it, so I’d ask him if you need to confront the AP about the condoms or if there’s something he needs to say. Who in your home is the bonehead who wouldn’t think you’d notice used condoms in the trash? That’s the person who left them there.

The stepson sounds like he’s in the Friendzone. There are a million reasons why he’d ask when you’re out of town – using your bed seems rather low on that list as he and whomever is joining him presumably each have their own.

I’m so sorry. However this turns out, it must be horribly painful to entertain these ideas.

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HMAdvice September 6, 2016 at 5:30 pm

Oh man I am sorry you have to deal with this. What a weird situation to be in. I think first of all you need to figure out what exactly happened. If it were me, I would probably talk to my family members first to see if they would come clean about the act. Once you figure that out, then you can figure out how you want to deal with the au pair. If it was the au pair, in my house two infractions would have occurred. 1.) Being in my private space is absolutely unacceptable
2.) Boys are not allowed in my au pairs room overnight although I have allowed the occasional group sleep over. This is your house and your rules and you need to be clear about how you feel about these things. This person has agreed to live in your house with your rules so it doesn’t really matter if they agree or not. If you have communicated this previously, I think disciplinary action is in order if not then I would take this as an opportunity to communicate your wishes on these matters and give her a warning. As far as having a relationship with your step son yikes that is tricky. I mean you didn’t hire her to date your family members. In some companies it is against their policy for employees to date each other so I think this kind of falls in that category. Maybe this is a conversation you need to have with your step son and make sure your husband is on the same page about it? On the flip side, maybe that isn’t an issue as long as they are respectful of your space. Either way I think communication needs to happen.

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German Au-Pair September 6, 2016 at 7:47 pm

Well let’s assume it’s the step son and the AP…imagine you are the step son who has a relatively neutral relationship with the OP and Op came and told you, a 20 y/o grown man how appropriate she thinks your relationship with anyone is. How is that going to go over well?
On the other hand though, I would make it very very VERY clear that I NEVER want to have him in my bedroom again. THAT is so yucky.

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HMAdvice September 7, 2016 at 8:40 am

I don’t think there is anything in appropriate about discussion your feelings about a relationship that is happening that is affecting one of your employees and under your own roof. The host family has every right to set boundaries about what happens in their home and a discussion about those boundaries with their son is absolutely appropriate. It would be another thing if they had not been disrespectful of the host families property but this doesn’t seem like they have been very respectful to me. I also don’t think it is inappropriate for the host families to set boundaries on dating family members period. If I were the step son and I were serious about having a relationship with this girl, I would be treading pretty lightly about now to make sure my parents were happy about this because quite frankly if they aren’t then this isn’t going to end well for either the step son or the au pair.

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German Au-Pair September 7, 2016 at 4:48 pm

I think we are talking about two seperate event thoughs: having sex in her bed (or doing anything under their roof if your will) and having a relationship. The first part is incredibly weird and disgusting i the first place and they absolutely have a right to say something about that.
The latter…not so much. I’m not sure how appropriate it is to tell the AP family members (not living in the same house, single, same age) are off limits. That probably depends on your personal beliefs. Telling a step-kid your employee is off limits however…not appropriate in my book.

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HMAdvice September 8, 2016 at 12:25 pm

GAP I think you are correct that we aren’t quite on the same page with each other here. I think for you this is a personal belief system and I respect that however this has nothing to do with a relationship for me. I see what you are saying, love is love but I look at this more from an employer employee relationship. I get that an AP is a more than an “employee” but from my personal experience as a HM if the employee/ employer relationship isn’t working than the personal relationship won’t work either. From a standpoint of an employer, I would equate this to dating policies in a corporation. There are some corporations that do not allow employees to date while working together. I fail to see the difference. Is this a delicate conversation? Absolutely. I am not necessarily saying these two can’t ever date but where I disagree with you is that as a HM I think it is up to the HF’s personal choices to allow this to happen while the AP is employed with them. I think where I would be ok with this is if the AP is no longer under the employ of the HF.
Lets be realistic about this, there is a very small chance a relationship will continue once the AP’s time is up. If this is something real than it can exist when the time with the family is over.

HRHM September 12, 2016 at 1:04 pm

IMHO, I think it’s too late for OP to start laying down lines in the sand about who can date who. With a 20 year old stepson and hiring a 22 year old female AP, she should have thought of this and addressed it BEFORE it became a problem. Since she didn’t, I don’t see how she can reasonable start enacting “rules” retroactively. If she had told step son before they got involved “Please steer clear of the AP, don’t even become friends with her so we can keep a clear division of roles in our home” then he could be expected to respect that request. Same with the AP (never smart to $h!t where you eat). But she never seems to have made any intimation to either of them that a relationship would be upsetting to her and now it’s too late.

As for the condoms in the trash, I agree with many above that I find it hard to believe that the AP and the stepson are having sex in her bed when he has a place of his own and she has her own room.

German Au-Pair September 13, 2016 at 6:01 pm

@HM Advice
Sorry, didn’t read this before. I think we are misssunderstanding each other. i totally get the concept of telling the Ap that family members are off limits (even though whether or not this is considered reasonable is indeed a question of personal belief system), but I was refering to the suggestion that the OP should tell the step son who he can and cannot date and that’s simply not possible. If they had a close relationship, she could ask, but not request, but this way…she really cannot tell him anything 8except not to be in her bedroom).

HMAdvice September 15, 2016 at 12:47 pm

Telling her stepson how she is feeling about the situation and forbidding him to date their au pair are two different things. I am not suggesting that she forbids him to date anyone. However I am saying they could have a conversation about her feelings. It is about communication. On the other hand I am saying they can set rules for the AP.
Agreed HRHM, it would have been easier if it were in the manual. But lets get real we aren’t going think of every single thing before the situation hits.

NZ HM September 6, 2016 at 10:16 pm

I have to add that personally I find it strange that anyone would consider using someone else’s bed for anything (unless it’s freshly made with clean sheets and all)… smells all of bed smell and night sweat and whatever else has been going on in there… wouldn’t be my first choice of venue.

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Sydney mum September 7, 2016 at 6:33 am

The OP is possibly really freaked out by now.

Maybe you’re not keen on confronting this head on when it’s clearly complicated. Something I thought of would be if everyone was there at dinner you could just casually mention that you have found some unusual things in both the bedroom & bathroom trash & there have something else ready to talk about.
Eg: “I have a new rule for the whole family: I found something unusual in both my bedroom trash & the bathroom trash. Anything gross like that really should be emptied by the person who put it there & really should keep it out of my bedroom altogether, ok? Kids, are you excited about your next outing with AP? I hear they have animals there!”

It’s another approach & should at least get the message across. You MAY even get to find out what’s actually going on. If the kids ask about it, just confirm the new rule “if you think it’s gross, you don’t leave it for others to clean”

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HRHM September 12, 2016 at 1:06 pm

I was thinking she should sit DH, AP, AND step son down all together (without the kids around) and ask “OK, who had sex in my bedroom and left their used condoms in my trash?” If AP and stepson both deny, I’d start looking at HD…

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Fortysomething HM September 12, 2016 at 3:38 pm

OP, I am sorry you are dealing with this and hope that you have gotten to the bottom of it.

I know others are (reasonably) pondering why the AP and step son would be having sex in the master bedroom but to me the most likely scenario is: AP is on duty, HD is not home, host child is asleep, master bedroom is much farther in the house from host child’s bedroom than the AP room (and/or the step son’s room, if he has one in the house). AP assumes step son will clean up the evidence; step son assumes AP will do so.

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HappyHM September 13, 2016 at 2:04 pm

OP states both time condoms were found AP was off duty. But I like the farthest from kids or other part of the house explanation… Maybe OP will provide us with a Floorplan…

I bet the OP didn’t bargain for all the junior detectives. (shameface at self)

I seriously hope that we get some resolution on this now that I’ve gotten way too invested in this person’s private life!

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German Au-Pair September 13, 2016 at 6:04 pm

Or maybe the Ap bedroom only has a single bed? We are talking European here. Not everyone has those wonderful, giant, lovely queen beds in a regular room. Chances are the master bedroom is simply more comfortable.
I used my HM’s bathtub (with her permission of course) when they were out of town even though I had my own, simply because it was a wonderful bathtub. :D

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cv harquail September 22, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Yes, I’ve taken down the OPs most recent comment, and a few other comments, because I didn’t like where the conversation was going. Let it suffice to say – No one in the Host Family or living in the Host Family’s home should sleep with the au pair.

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