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by Abigail Van Buren

Sister Sacrifices Sleep to Accommodate Visiting Brother

DEAR ABBY: My brother lives in a different state, and every year he comes "home" for a week. I'm one of six siblings who live in the area, but "Jim" always stays with us. After the first time he stayed here he said, "I'll just keep your key for next year."

I love my brother, but this means giving him my bedroom for a week or more. We have no other bedrooms, so I have to share with my husband and get no sleep. I'm in my 70s, and after a week with no sleep I feel awful.

I have hinted to Jim about him staying with his son, but he says "no." The other siblings don't offer because he is so critical. Everything we do has to be his way.

I really need to tell him he must stay elsewhere, but I can't seem to find the right words. My siblings say just tell him. What should I do? -- NEEDS MY SLEEP

DEAR NEEDS SLEEP: Just tell him! Permit me to suggest a few phrases: "Jim, you will have to make other arrangements when you come to town because you can no longer stay with us. Going without sleep for a week while you use my bed is affecting my health, so please return our house key. We love you and would like to visit with you while you're here, and we hope you understand."

Do not feel guilty for saying any of it because you have been more than generous to your brother.

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