It’s time to talk tur­key to freeload­ing rel­a­tives

The Washington Times Daily - - LIFE - ABI­GAIL VAN BUREN

DEAR ABBY: It has hap­pened again, an­other stress­ful, un­pleas­ant Thanks­giv­ing for me. My hus­band has out-of-town rel­a­tives who fly in us­ing fre­quent flier miles. They get picked up from the air­port on ar­rival and re­turned to the air­port for de­par­ture. They spend a week here eat­ing, drink­ing and be­ing en­ter­tained. NEVER ONCE have they of­fered to buy any food, help with meals or take us out for din­ner. If we go out for a meal, it is al­ways our treat.

They brag non­stop about how much money they are sav­ing, and they could well af­ford to be gra­cious. This has been hap­pen­ing for 15 years. They in­vite them­selves. I do NOT en­joy their com­pany. My hus­band is aware of how I feel, but has asked me to tol­er­ate them be­cause they are the only blood rel­a­tives he’s in con­tact with out­side of our fam­ily.

I am left to do the laun­dry and clean­ing af­ter they leave. They have a nice va­ca­tion, and I feel used and abused. How can I get rid of them and still keep peace in the fam­ily? — FED UP WITH FREELOAD­ERS

DEAR FED UP: If your hus­band in­sists on en­ter­tain­ing these users be­cause of his blood re­la­tion­ship, you should al­low him to do it. If you’re feel­ing mag­nan­i­mous, wel­come them warmly and tell them you’re sorry you can’t spend more time with them, but you are leav­ing to visit: your grown chil­dren, your par­ents, your dear old school chum(s).

Per­haps when your hus­band has to shoul­der all of the re­spon­si­bil­ity for those aw­ful peo­ple, he will re­al­ize the ex­tent to which he is be­ing used and find the courage to tell them what he ex­pects of them the next time they visit. You have suf­fered enough.

DEAR ABBY: My fi­ance and I have been plan­ning our wed­ding for two years. Both of us are work­ing our butts off at two jobs to pay for all the elab­o­rate de­tails. It will, af­ter all, be the most beau­ti­ful day of my life.

My fi­ance’s sis­ter just got en­gaged and I’m happy for her. But now she’s talk­ing about hav­ing her wed­ding “around the same time as ours” to make it con­ve­nient for our dis­tant rel­a­tives. My con­cern is that they’re go­ing to “steal our mo­ment.”

I feel very hurt, but I’m not sure how to ap­proach her be­cause I don’t want to cause con­flict. It would make so much more sense for them to be mar­ried the fol­low­ing year. On the other hand, it’s their pre­rog­a­tive to do it when­ever they want. Am I be­ing un­rea­son­able? — UN­REA­SON­ABLE IN NEW HAMP­SHIRE

DEAR UN­REA­SON­ABLE: Every bride — or al­most every bride — fan­ta­sizes that her wed­ding day will be the most beau­ti­ful day of her life. Whether or not your fi­ance’s sis­ter has her wed­ding around that time will not de­tract from yours in the slight­est — and it shouldn’t be a con­test any­way.

Frankly, the idea of spar­ing the rel­a­tives the ex­pense of trav­el­ing to a sec­ond wed­ding makes sense. How­ever, if you can­not ac­cept this, then per­haps you should con­sider post­pon­ing your wed­ding for an­other year. Look at the bright side: If you do, you will have 12 months of ex­tra in­come, and your wed­ding can be even more elab­o­rate.

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