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by Abigail Van Buren

Wife Is Sick of Houseguest Who's Regained His Health

DEAR ABBY: My husband gave a friend of his -- I'll call him "Fred" -- a place to stay and nursed him back to health after Fred was critically injured while driving an ATV. Fred was drunk at the time.

That was six years ago, and Fred is still here. While he has helped my husband with a few chores, he does not work. My husband provides him with a travel trailer, utilities, food and beer money. Fred is 47 years old and perfectly capable of working. I feel he is being disrespectful, and I want to set some ground rules -- getting a job and staying out of our house when we are not home, for starters.

My husband doesn't seem able to have a discussion with Fred. Am I selfish and un-Christian? This is straining my marriage. Please help. -- FEELING USED IN ARIZONA

DEAR FEELING USED: I'll try. Although your husband may have had the noblest of motives in taking his injured friend in after his injury and nursing him back to health, he's doing the man no favors by continuing to foster his dependence. While I can see what Fred is getting out of this, it's time your husband explained to you what HE is getting out of it.

Under the circumstances, your feelings of being encroached upon are 100 percent valid. And unless you want the rest of your married life to be a family of three, you will have to draw the line.