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by Abigail Van Buren

Wife Fed Up With Cousin's Invasion of Family Privacy

DEAR ABBY: My husband's cousin, "Suellen," spends at least five hours a day at our house. She's unemployed, unmarried, and has few of the social graces. She shows up without calling, often stays long past our bedtime, and even horns in on vacations with us.

I have a 3-year-old and am pregnant with our second child. I also work from 9 to 4 and am usually exhausted by the time I get home in the afternoon. None of this means anything to Suellen.

She refuses to take a hint. I have often told her I need peace and quiet in the evening and how much I enjoy being at home with my own little family.

Today I'm not going to go home, because she's already called to say she'll be there. How ridiculous is that?

My husband won't say anything to his cousin even though I complain to him all the time. I don't want to be rude, but I don't understand how anyone can be as oblivious as she is.

Abby, what can I do? -- DRIVEN CRAZY IN ALABAMA

DEAR DRIVEN CRAZY: Since your husband can't bring himself to do it, you must draw the line. It's possible that Suellen doesn't take the hint because she regards herself as family. Speaking out will not make you popular, but it may save your sanity. You have my sympathy.