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by Abigail Van Buren

Wife Says Friend Living Upstairs Should Move On

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have a friend, "George," who rents our upstairs. Our home is large, and the second floor has all the amenities of a 2,500-square-foot house. He has his separate entrance and never has to come through our living space.

In the beginning, I agreed to the arrangement because he was going through a divorce and needed a place to live. Now, for the past several months, his ex has been spending nights upstairs. We just celebrated the holidays, and his family was here together.

I'm feeling very confused and uncomfortable having them both up there. Now that George seems to have worked through his marital problems, I feel it's time he moves out. My husband doesn't understand why I feel this way and can't understand why I want my house back! Please give me some insight on how to handle this. Or am I overreacting? Please tell me I'm not being selfish. -- BEING USED IN THE SOUTH

DEAR BEING USED: You are not selfish, and you're not overreacting. Refresh your husband's memory about how the arrangement began. It was a safe refuge for a friend going through a traumatic life change. Those circumstances no longer apply, and if you are not comfortable with George entertaining his ex under your roof, it is understandable. Communal living is not for everyone.

DEAR ABBY: Recently, my husband booked me and our infant son on a trip to visit some of his family in California. I didn't want to go in the first place because I was, and still am, struggling with postpartum depression, anxiety and stress in our relationship.

I had one request: Do not put me and our infant son in the head-of-the-household's car. My husband's father drives recklessly and shows no regard for human life. Well, of course my husband didn't speak up about it, and we ended up in Mr. Reckless' car. Now I look like "the difficult wife" because I'd rather catch a rideshare or fly back home. Am I being dramatic or overly concerned with safety? -- SAFE OR SORRY IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR SAFE OR SORRY: Overly concerned? It's your job to be concerned with safety. Because your husband failed to speak up didn't mean that you shouldn't have.

As a mother, you are responsible for your baby's safety. You should have expressed that if you and your little one -- in a child seat, I presume -- couldn't travel in someone else's vehicle, you would be taking other transportation. In the future, when visiting your in-laws, this is what you should do.

Man Gripes About Sharing a Public Park Bench

DEAR ABBY: Today was warm, so my friend and I went for a walk with my dog at a neighborhood park. We decided to rest on a park bench that was shaded by trees. A man was sitting there, and I asked if he would mind if we shared the bench with him. The man said he was waiting for a personal call. I told him we wouldn't listen and sat down. The man stood up and said angrily that we should have respected the fact he was there first and stalked off! Were we wrong to sit down? -- BAFFLED IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR BAFFLED: No, you were not wrong. It's a public park. If the man was uncomfortable talking in front of you, he should have taken his phone and talked elsewhere -- which he did.

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics

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