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by Abigail Van Buren

Son Pays His Parents Rent, but Refuses to Pay More for Girlfriend

DEAR ABBY: I am 60, and my husband is 64. We lost everything in the recession. A dear friend helped us get back on our feet, and my son and husband built a home on land we purchased with our last dollar. We have a mortgage and all the bills that come with it. We have no savings, pension or life insurance. I work 40 hours a week, and my husband is partially disabled from an autoimmune disease.

My son, who is studying to become an RN, is 33. He lives with us and pays $550 a month, which pays the property taxes. He has slowly brought his girlfriend into our home, whom we like, but she does not contribute financially. I have asked my son for some extra money, and he refused. We will always appreciate how he pitched in and helped us in creating a new home. What can I do without starting a family war? -- KEEPING THE PEACE

DEAR KEEPING: It would have been interesting to know what reason your son gave you for his refusal. Continue talking with him about it. Unless the girlfriend is unemployed, she should at least pay for her food and a share of the utilities if she is living in your home.

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