Woman took in parents but now wants them out

Published 8:20 am Thursday, January 11, 2024

DEAR ABBY: I’m a single parent raising five young kids alone. I own my home, have a good job and have done well financially. Five years ago, after several years of making bad financial decisions, my parents showed up on my doorstep. Their house had been foreclosed on. I had given much advice leading up to it. I have also offered them advice since then to help get them on their feet. Little of it has been taken.
Living with them has triggered issues from my childhood, most of which they contributed to but take no responsibility for. They do pay a little to me in rent, help with housework and sometimes watch my children. But past issues are still evident, and I don’t want that example around my kids.
I have made clear for months that they have overstayed their welcome, but they argue with me and take no steps to get on their feet. I have tried having meetings with them and my siblings. These end in shouting matches, and nothing changes. I know if I evict them, it will likely sever the relationship. Is that my only option? – DISGRUNTLED DAUGHTER

DEAR DAUGHTER: You were kind to take your parents in, but you are being taken advantage of. This is a problem you should discuss with an attorney, because after having camped out in your home for the length of time your parents have, it may indeed take a formal eviction to get them out.
Do not expect to be thanked for the help you have given them all this time and, if I read your letter correctly, do not expect any assistance from your siblings. Do what you must for yourself and your children. You have given your parents enough.
DEAR ABBY: This morning, I found my husband has been chatting on his phone with a much younger woman. Since then, I have been wondering if I should ask him about it. He just retired, but I’m still working, and my job is in the afternoon and evening. He’s an extrovert who loves being around people. Should I be worried he’s cheating on me?
We’ve been married 30 years and have a grown child together. Our sex life isn’t good. For many years, we worked opposite shifts, so we didn’t go to bed and get up at the same time. Now we do, but he’s alone during the afternoon and evening. I don’t have any friends I trust enough to ask, and I’m certainly not saying anything to family. Can you help? – SUSPICIOUS IN NEW MEXICO

DEAR SUSPICIOUS: Because you know her age, I’m guessing you already know quite a bit about this much younger woman. If you ask your husband about this, you will have to disclose that you looked at his phone. Spouses don’t usually do that unless they are suspicious something might be going on.
If you think what he’s been doing could be a threat to your marriage, you are going to have to come clean and tell him you feel threatened by what you saw. Better to confront than to ignore and hope a problem will go away by itself.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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