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. 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.
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 your husband will find the courage to tell them what he expects of them the next time they visit.
Dear Abby: My fiance and I have been planning our wedding for two years. 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 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.
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