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Old 06-15-2011, 09:45 PM   #41
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A very dear friend of ours lived in England for a year and stored boxes with us until he came back. When he moved back he asked if he could come and stay with us and go through his boxes before he moved on to his next location. No problem, we always enjoyed his company.

He asked if his GF and their guinea pig could come with him, we said that was fine as we had a nice guest room and an extra bathroom. We had a one year old at the time and they enjoyed being around a little one.

The first week was fine, lots of late night talks, hanging out. The 2nd week was starting to wear on us, runs to the grocery store getting more frequent. The tipping point came when I found them brushing the guinea pig at my kitchen table while my kid sat in the high chair eating.

I don't remember how we told them we had enough but they left soon after that, no hard feelings. Our friend died suddenly a few years later so looking back I'm glad we had that block of time with him, guinea pig, GF and all.
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:58 PM   #42
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The first week was fine, lots of late night talks, hanging out. The 2nd week was starting to wear on us, runs to the grocery store getting more frequent.
As the saying goes: "Guest(s) are like fish - they stink after 3 days."
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:15 AM   #43
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...Our new policy:

If they ask to visit, we may or may not be available.
If we are available, they can chip in for food and buy any special stuff they want.
No more free handouts.

Bummer about this situation is we thought they had been our best friends for many years. We practically had to be hit in the heads with 2 x 4s to realize how they were taking advantage of our generosity. It really hurt us to realize this. Especially my husband who is such a sweet guy - you know - the kind of guy to helps strangers in snowstorms. Glad I'm married to him and not our "friend".

Lessons learned:

Moochers don't appreciate anything you do for them, so who bother?

We were partly to blame for allowing the relationship to develop to this point over the years - long ago we should have asked them to chip in for stuff or just say NO.
Our family visiting seems to be the major issue we have. Friends tend to appreciate the generosity and will either order in food or take us put for a meal or two. Family seems to expect us to pick up the tab because #1 we are the parent (step parent) and that is what parents do for their "kids" (grown adults). #2 We appear to be more financially secure than they are and we certainly can afford to pay the way from them. #3. They owe us money and don't want to appear to be spend-thrifts by offering to pay for anything. (We just want them to pay us back in our lifetime). #4. I guess this was my fault as I felt it appropriate for me to pick up the restaurant tab when we invited them all out for a family dinner (when we were both w*rking). Now is different as our income is actually lower than theirs. We have shared this with on daughter and they take it to heart and don't expect us to pay for them except in special circumstances.

When we go to visit our kids we have to either stay in a hotel or squeeze into a very small bed in house if the step son is not there. Usually, we just go with the hotel or RV for sanity and to take the dogs along. I do like my privacy and stress recuperative down time to recharge my anti-stress batteries. Drama and brats wear on me after a while.

We were just informed today that a recently remarried friend of DW wants to stay here a couple of days on their way home from Las Vegas so we can meet her new husband. We just had my brother and his wive, my youngest son and my oldest son with his live-in girl friend visit for 3 days. I feel like an inn keeper. All I seem to do is change sheets and buy groceries and run the BBQ.
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:57 AM   #44
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I feel like an inn keeper. All I seem to do is change sheets and buy groceries and run the BBQ.
I think it's time for a moratorium. Just inform everyone that you are both worn out from hosting guests and that you will be taking a break for at least the next six months.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:44 AM   #45
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I think it's time for a moratorium. Just inform everyone that you are both worn out from hosting guests and that you will be taking a break for at least the next six months.
Wait a minute!
They're ER, so what else could they possibly have to do besides hosting visitors?
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:52 AM   #46
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He lives hand to mouth, but he's a slick talker and always seems to manage somehow.
Sadly, he probably manages by depending on a series of people who help him for a while before getting wise. If you're good, it's possible to last a lifetime on handouts from a succession of different benefactors.

As frustrating as it is to see others seemingly getting by on the generosity of others, I don't think any of us would want that kind of a life for ourselves.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:01 AM   #47
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What would your answer be if your in-laws countered with something similar like making up for the taxes and such?
Before we were married, things were tough (financially) for my future DW and me, and we looked to our respective parents to help us out as to some minor expenses.

My parent’s response? You made your bed, now sleep in it.

My future DW's parents response? You're old enough to get married; you're old enough to make it on your own. In fact, my future FIL told my future DW "don't plan on coming back here (her parent’s home) if things don't turn out".

We learned quickly that our future life together was based upon our expectations, and decisions. Sometimes being "thrown in the water to learn to swim" is a form of tough love, but you learn early on not to depend on others, nor are willing to readily give assistance at every bump in the road to others, if it is asked of you. It gives others the opportunity to stretch their reach if it's "too easy" to just ask (and expect) others to help.

BTW, we survived - and did quite well in life by living our lives without financial support from our respective (long gone) parents. During the years they were alive, we knew not to ask since we learned early on what the response would be.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:01 AM   #48
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Sadly, he probably manages by depending on a series of people who help him for a while before getting wise. If you're good, it's possible to last a lifetime on handouts from a succession of different benefactors.

As frustrating as it is to see others seemingly getting by on the generosity of others, I don't think any of us would want that kind of a life for ourselves.
You're exactly right.

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Old 06-16-2011, 12:34 PM   #49
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I think you handled it perfectly and I would have done the same.
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:51 PM   #50
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Wow. My blood got heated a little just reading some of the stories about being taken advantage of. I hope DW and I never but heads over that kind of stuff!
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Old 06-20-2011, 09:52 PM   #51
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I found it's both what I say and how I say it. I took an assertive training class in my early 20s because I had difficulty saying no. Didn't work very well because others saw it as a technique and knew I'd cave. Wasn't until I had the presence to look upon them as attempting to take advantage of me and upon myself as someone who isn't taken advantage of that such assertive techniques worked. Kinda like someone with martial arts training almost never has to use it because his quiet confidence is enough to deter someone who wants to fight.

My stock phrases include "I'm sorry, I can't do X right now." or "I'm sorry, I can't do X this time." Repeat that a couple times, then if necessary, "Was there anything else?" If they keep trying I say "I'm sorry, I must be going now." then walk away or hang up.
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Old 06-21-2011, 02:19 PM   #52
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I found it's both what I say and how I say it. I took an assertive training class in my early 20s because I had difficulty saying no. Didn't work very well because others saw it as a technique and knew I'd cave. Wasn't until I had the presence to look upon them as attempting to take advantage of me and upon myself as someone who isn't taken advantage of that such assertive techniques worked. Kinda like someone with martial arts training almost never has to use it because his quiet confidence is enough to deter someone who wants to fight.

My stock phrases include "I'm sorry, I can't do X right now." or "I'm sorry, I can't do X this time." Repeat that a couple times, then if necessary, "Was there anything else?" If they keep trying I say "I'm sorry, I must be going now." then walk away or hang up.
Like you, I had to learn to say no. I've found it's better not to offer any excuses and be direct. "I'd rather not", "Sorry, but we'll be unavailable", and of course "No".
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Old 06-21-2011, 02:26 PM   #53
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I've found it's better not to offer any excuses and be direct. "I'd rather not", "Sorry, but we'll be unavailable", and of course "No".
Especially true if you never want to lay eyes on them again. IMO less suitable for relations with children, parents, and in some families, sibs.

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Old 06-21-2011, 02:43 PM   #54
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Like you, I had to learn to say no. I've found it's better not to offer any excuses and be direct. "I'd rather not", "Sorry, but we'll be unavailable", and of course "No".
That doesn't work with my sister . She will just hound me until I give in all the way or at least three quarters of the way . The dumbest thing she tries and she is ultra intelligent is when she says her husband thinks I should do it . As if that holds any weight with me .
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Old 06-21-2011, 02:45 PM   #55
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Especially true if you never want to lay eyes on them again. IMO less suitable for relations with children, parents, and in some families, sibs.

Ha
True. I'm lucky in that I have no moocher relatives - just moocher "friends".
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:01 PM   #56
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Especially true if you never want to lay eyes on them again. IMO less suitable for relations with children, parents, and in some families, sibs.
Very true. The simple "No" repeated ad infinitum and eventually hanging up on the caller would work on the long lost relative from Timbuktu. Not so well on siblings or siblings in law or parents that you see on a daily or weekly basis. At least if you want to maintain amicable relations with them...
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Old 06-21-2011, 05:30 PM   #57
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Very true. The simple "No" repeated ad infinitum and eventually hanging up on the caller would work on the long lost relative from Timbuktu. Not so well on siblings or siblings in law or parents that you see on a daily or weekly basis. At least if you want to maintain amicable relations with them...
Right. For family I've found "Hell no!" to work better.
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Old 06-21-2011, 06:26 PM   #58
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Another method that has worked well with one of our ne'er-do-well mooching relatives is to agree to help him, but put so many conditions on our help that he backs off and goes away. There is always someone out there who will be a softer touch.
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:39 PM   #59
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Very true. The simple "No" repeated ad infinitum and eventually hanging up on the caller would work on the long lost relative from Timbuktu. Not so well on siblings or siblings in law or parents that you see on a daily or weekly basis. At least if you want to maintain amicable relations with them...
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That doesn't work with my sister . She will just hound me until I give in all the way or at least three quarters of the way . The dumbest thing she tries and she is ultra intelligent is when she says her husband thinks I should do it . As if that holds any weight with me .
If that's the way they behave then I'm a little unclear on the concept of why anyone would want to maintain amicable relations.

No one takes advantage of you without your tacit consent.
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:31 PM   #60
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If that's the way they behave then I'm a little unclear on the concept of why anyone would want to maintain amicable relations.

No one takes advantage of you without your tacit consent.

I agree but sometimes with family it's very complicated !
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