DEAR HARRIETTE: I recently got married, and I am still in the process of settling down with my wife. Before meeting her, I devoted my life to being a support system for my mother and sister after my father passed away. Sometimes I feel that they take advantage of me by taking money out of my account without alerting me, but it has never been a pressing matter until now. I am building a family of my own and have a child on the way, and I need to focus my attention on providing for us first. My mother and adult, employed sister just don’t want to let go of me. They also enter my home as they please, which makes my wife uncomfortable. How should I handle this? -- Torn
DEAR TORN: It’s time to change your bank account and prevent them from having direct access to it. You may need to change your locks, too.
This sounds extreme, but it may be necessary in order to wake up your family to what life is like for you now. Explain that you will never stop helping them, but your priorities have shifted and you must focus on your growing family first.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)