DEAR ABBY: I have been with my wife for 16 years. She has a grown daughter who's the mother of eight kids, but she only has five with her at this time.
My problem is, the daughter got evicted, and all of a sudden she brought her belongings to the house. She didn't ask or anything, she just showed up with the five kids and they are driving me up the wall. I already have two adolescent kids, so seven ain't heaven.
I have tried to talk with my wife, but she doesn't listen. I'm fed up, Abby, and I'm looking for other accommodations. They have been here for two weeks and -- by the way -- my sons are now in school while her five are running wild in the house. Am I wrong for leaving? -- NEEDS MY OWN SPACE
DEAR NEEDS: Not in my book. Your mistake was in letting your wife's daughter's eviction become your problem. I don't know whose name is on the lease or title to your place, but it's time to discuss this with an attorney. If you don't, you may have more trouble getting the woman and her brood out of there in the future.
DEAR ABBY: My friend whom I have known since we were 8-year-olds (we're now in our 50s) is driving me bonkers. She has started drinking a lot and hanging out with younger people and dating younger guys. I have loaned her quite a bit of money because she can barely get by. I don't drink, and I hate seeing what she's doing to herself. I think she is having trouble with the aging process.
She has now started to embarrass me when she drinks in public. She doesn't handle it well and relies on me to get her out of sticky situations. I'm really tired of all this. I have told her how I feel, but she knows I'll come to her rescue. -- TIRED GUARDIAN ANGEL
DEAR TIRED: Draw the line. Tell her you are her friend, but not her chaperone, and you will socialize with her only if she limits her intake to nonalcoholic beverages. One of the signs of alcoholism is when the drinking interferes with the drinker's relationships -- and clearly, this is what's happening. Do not allow her to continue making her drinking your problem because you cannot control it. Only she can do that.
DEAR ABBY: At holiday time, my husband's family takes a photo of all the brothers and sisters and insists that the spouses not be included in the photo. The first time it happened, I thought it was rude, but after 40 years, I have gotten used to it. However, my daughter-in-law, who is new to the family, was hurt by it. Am I wrong in thinking this is rude? -- IN OR OUT OF THE PICTURE
DEAR IN OR OUT: I don't think you're wrong. When people are excluded, they don't feel accepted as part of the family -- and they're right. Are more photos taken that include all family members including husbands, wives and children? And if not, why would the spouses tolerate it for 40 years without speaking up?
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