Annie's Mailbox: Hubby helping family not worth destruction of marriageDear Annie: I have been married to “Kirk” for 23 years. The problem is my in-laws. They always come to us when they are in need, and this occurs on a routine basis.
By: Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, INFORUM
Dear Annie: I have been married to “Kirk” for 23 years. The problem is my in-laws. They always come to us when they are in need, and this occurs on a routine basis. I’m talking loans from $20 to $1,000 and borrowing cars, pressure washers, a carpet cleaner (that was returned broken) and everything in between.
Don’t get me wrong, I do not dislike them. But I resent the way they expect us to bail them out every time they can’t pay their water bill. They rarely pay us back. Kirk’s siblings treat us the same way.
Kirk says if we have it, we should be generous and we will receive a blessing for it. I am all for helping those in need, and I could certainly use the blessings, but I believe in helping those who help themselves. Only three out of 10 members of this family earn a living. The rest come to us or stay afloat through government assistance.
This is straining our marriage. Our biggest arguments are about his family. I would like Kirk to say “no” on occasion, letting them accept that he has a responsibility to our son and me, and as much as he would like to help, he simply cannot. Am I being unreasonable? – Exhausted in Ky.
Dear Exhausted: No, but try to understand that your husband doesn’t seem inclined to close the family bank. His generosity may be a blessing for him, but it’s a curse for his family members because it encourages them to be irresponsible. If you cannot convince him of this, ask him to put a portion of his paycheck in a separate account that will be used solely for your family, and let him do what he wants with the rest. It is not worth destroying your marriage over this.
Dear Annie: A woman in our subdivision is a hoarder. Her house is shuttered, but there is a crack in one window through which everyone can see the stacks of newspapers that reach the ceiling. The back seat of her car is crammed with debris, and there is probably clutter underneath the pedals. A neighbor contacted the police about it, but they said they had to catch her driving. The one time they did, she claimed she was having a garage sale and they let her go with a warning.
Not only is this woman a danger on the road, but she is missing out on so much. How can we help her? We’ve tried calling various local government agencies, but hoarding does not seem to fall into anyone’s area. – Jacksonville, Fla.
Dear Jacksonville: Hoarding is a mental health issue, possibly connected to obsessive-compulsive disorder. Does your neighbor have any family? If so, contact them and suggest they talk to the woman’s doctor. Also try local church and community groups, and contact the International OCD Foundation (ocfoundation.org). And if you have reason to believe your neighbor’s home is a health hazard, report it to your local public health officials and let them investigate.
Dear Annie: I want to affirm the comments from “Sevierville, Texas,” who said he and his wife have decided to leave their bodies to a medical school.
My sister attended medical school a few years ago. They were all assigned a cadaver to work on to learn anatomy. At the end of the semester, the body was returned to the family for a closed casket memorial service. Every student who worked on a particular cadaver was required to attend the memorial service to see who this person was in life. It helped remind them that they are working on real people who should be treated with respect. I’d like to thank all those who donate their bodies to science for their generosity. – Doc’s Sister
Dear Readers: Tomorrow is the Worldwide Candle Lighting. Please light a candle at 7 p.m. local time in remembrance of all the children who have died.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045.