Longtime friendship entails frequent visits from couple

Published 8:03 am Thursday, March 28, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

DEAR ABBY: My husband is an outdoor enthusiast and has a group of guys he goes hunting with every year. One of them has started coming out west to vacation at our house twice a year and now has followed us to our warm-weather winter home. 

When he stays at our place, we fix all the meals and he uses our washer, dryer and detergent for several loads of laundry each time. He’s a longtime friend and brings his spouse, with whom I get along well. But as time goes on, their visits are becoming more frequent and longer in length. 

Always being the host and entertaining makes me anxious. My husband can’t seem to understand what my issue is when I try to talk with him about it, but I feel that seeing these folks a couple times a year is more than enough to keep the friendship going. How can I get my husband to understand my side without ruining the friendship? – HOSTED OUT 

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox


DEAR HOSTED OUT: These people may be friends, but your hospitality is being taken advantage of. Try once more to explain to your husband that their visits are happening too often. However, if he doesn’t accept it, then arrange a vacation for yourself the next time they are expected to arrive. By this I mean, pack a bag and go to a hotel. 

Perhaps, when your husband has to assume all the responsibility for these freeloading friends, he will see the light. I can’t believe the wife would let you do all the work by yourself. How lazy and insensitive of her not to volunteer.


DEAR ABBY: My sister “Maggie” has turned into one of those “crazy cat ladies.” We have been encouraging her to move into assisted living, but she says she’d rather be dead than give up her cats. When we visit her, we bring along air freshener. Maggie has gone nose-blind to the smell and argues her house does not stink. My wife will not walk in until after I have sprayed the house. 

Among Maggie’s other issues: Her children have abandoned her. We had to hire people to help her out because no one in her son’s family would take the job. When my mother got sick, my wife and I stepped up and gave her 24/7 care. Taking care of my sister was not part of my retirement plan. Her retired son and his family not doing their part has caused a rift between us. Please advise. – ABOVE & BEYOND IN THE SOUTH


DEAR A & B: What a caring and responsible brother you are. If there are no alternatives, it appears you may be taking care of Maggie until her passing. That her son has shirked his responsibility is disgraceful. (It may also be elder abuse.) 

Your sister may be unaware of the fact that some assisted living places DO allow residents to have pets. Maggie might be more amenable to moving if you can help her find one. However, if that isn’t feasible, consider discussing this with an attorney as well as adult protective services.


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.


For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447.