Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Couple Feels Taken for a Ride by Free-Loading Friends

DEAR ABBY: I have been married to my husband for 11 years. We are financially and emotionally stable. We recently became friendly with another couple who are newly married and not as financially secure as we are. They spend frivolously.

When we go on vacation, they invite themselves along and assume they are staying in our travel trailer without asking (they have their own trailer they could bring). They don't offer to help pay for gas. The last trip we took, the wife cooked only one meal, while I prepared the rest for a three-day trip. This upcoming trip, they haven't offered to bring anything.

We don't mind sharing what we have and helping our friends out, but what we are starting to resent is the assumption that because we make more money, we'll pick up the tab for everything. Are we wrong to feel this way? My husband and I both see this the same way. -- STARTING TO RESENT THEM

DEAR STARTING TO RESENT THEM: It's not wrong to not want to be taken advantage of. This wouldn't be happening if you had established some rules in the beginning, but it isn't too late to do it now.

Call the wife. Tell her what you expect her and her husband to bring on the next trip, and what chores they will be expected to perform. It isn't fair that you are doing all the work and paying for everything while they are on your vacation.

They should provide -- or pay for -- half the groceries, half the gas, and share any housekeeping responsibilities. Ditto if you go to a restaurant. And the next time they tell you they are coming with you on your vacation, don't hesitate or feel guilty when you reply, "We'd like some privacy this time, so it will just be the two of us."

Read more in: Friends & Neighbors | Money