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One Nice Turn Grows Awkward When Friend Asks Too Much

DEAR ABBY: About a year ago, a good friend, "Beth," went through a violent tragedy that destroyed her family. My husband and I own a small waterfront property, so during the months following, I took Beth away for the weekend to hopefully allow her some healing and emotional recovery. She then asked me to go again and, when I couldn't go, asked if she could go with her friend (whom I had met but don't know well). She asked again to go with her new boyfriend.

I agreed to both of these trips, even though this is our private vacation home. We never rent it. No one has ever used it without us, not even family. Now she's asking again to use our place with her friend.

I feel like a heel to refuse if we're not using the place, but I'm starting to feel a little used. Is it OK for me to tell her no because I am uncomfortable with her repeated requests, or am I just a bad friend? -- TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF?

DEAR T.A.O.: You have been generous to Beth. Unless you have explained it to her, she may not realize what a special favor you did her by letting her use your waterfront house. From what you have written, your friend appears to be getting on with her life, so if you decline now it shouldn't shatter her. To do so is not being a "bad friend."

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