Maybe it’s time to learn to say no

Problem: We are in a town where we have a lot of events, and my family in particular seems to take advantage of our home as their personal bed and breakfast. My husband has begun to complain of my family being here so often. His family really does not have the option of staying because my family seems to call and almost invite themselves. In fact it kind of gets on my nerves as well.

I love my family and do not know what to say to them. I appreciate what my husband is saying but I do not know how to remedy the situation.

I think we both feel taken advantage of so we need to come up with something that will work.

Discussion: I would guess that there is no easy solution, because it could be that you are a hub for family coming in and spending time with their friends in the community and with you. I take it that they are from there and moved away. I can see how it would be convenient to have a place to stay.

You could sit down with your family and say they are welcome to spend time with you, but since your husband has family that likes to come in around the same time you are going to have to come up with a plan to be fair to the other members of the family. You and your husband could make a plan to have only one family at a time stay with you depending on what is going on. You could say that you and your husband have to talk and check in with each other so that everyone gets a chance to stay. In other words you are trying to be fair.

It could be that family is family, and sometimes they take advantage without thinking. The benefit of the doubt is appropriate here. Since it is your home you have to have a plan anyway, sit down with your husband and make a plan that you can live with. It could be that family is taking advantage and you have allowed it, so they continue.

P.S. Maybe it is time to learn to say no.

To submit problems, contact Juanita Sanchez, psychotherapist, by email at [email protected] or through High Plains Journal.