Sisters are on the outs since 'Gary' moved in
Dear Annie: I am a 40-something woman who has been divorced (and alone) for more than 10 years. Last year I met "Gary," and he has made me happier than I have been in years. He moved in six months ago.
The problem is my sisters, "Pam and Amy." Pam recently ended a bad relationship, and since I became involved with Gary, she has snubbed me. My younger sister, Amy, had lived with me, rent-free, for more than five years and was absolutely furious when she had to move out. She's barely spoken to me since. The only family I have left is my mother, and I cannot even visit her when my sisters are at her house because they refuse to see me.
This has been going on for six months, and I am at my wits' end about how to deal with them. I have tried placating them, ignoring their caustic remarks, trying to reason with them, all to no avail. They don't speak to Gary, except to say hello when they accidentally run into him, and have nothing but bad things to say about him behind his back.
I'd hate to lose my sisters completely. I used to think of them as my friends. What do I do now? Ostracized in Omaha
Dear Omaha: Do your sisters have any reason to dislike Gary? If not, they are being jealous and vindictive. In time, they should get past this, but the process can be unpleasant. Tell them how much you love them, and add, calmly, that their behavior will accomplish nothing but hard feelings. Meanwhile, visiting your mother should be up to Mom, not Pam and Amy. Enlist her help to make it clear to your sisters that you are welcome in her home. (If they don't like to see you there, they should leave.)
Dear Annie: My son is getting married next spring. The parents of the bride have already told us we are only obligated for the traditional items (flowers, rehearsal dinner, etc.). The bride's parents are paying for everything else.
The bride's parents initially said they would pay for individual hotel rooms for the entire wedding party, but I offered to cover the cost of the groomsmen's rooms. All eight groomsmen are from out of town (as are we). None of them are married, but almost all have steady girlfriends who will also be attending the wedding.
The amount of money for hotel rooms is substantial, and although we can afford it, my husband would like to use the money to do some remodeling on our house instead. Would it be selfish of us to ask the groomsmen to bunk together, even though they were originally told they'd have individual rooms? We absolutely love our future daughter-in-law and don't want anyone to be angry with us. Our son wants his groomsmen to have separate rooms. Your opinion? The Groom's Mom
Dear Mom: You can ask if any of the groomsmen would like to share a room, but since you can afford it and originally agreed to get separate rooms, you should keep your promise, even if it means postponing the work on the house. There's no point in creating ill will with the newlyweds.
Dear Annie: I read with interest the letter from the "Stressed-Out Parents" of the 35-year-old woman who is abusing drugs.
My 35-year-old daughter is serving her third prison term on drug-related charges. We are no longer in contact. I can't take the pain anymore. I can't stand around and watch her die and not be able to stop it. More than once, we gave her food, a home, bought her a car and gave her enough money to get back on her feet. She stole everything that wasn't nailed down, abandoned her children (we are raising them), and has caused so much anguish in our family that it may be beyond repair. I know I had to step back to salvage my own sanity. Don't sacrifice the rest of your family for the child who refuses to get well. Giving Up in South Dakota
Dear S.D.: Letters such as yours make us sad. We hope someday soon your daughter will get the help she needs.
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