When a Sister’s Out of Line
Dear Margo: My sister, “Jane,” is on the manic side. She is given to great enthusiasms (which fade) and often takes on more projects than she can manage. She does not work, but she is the uber-volunteer. She is one of those people of whom it is often said, “She means well…”
To cut to the chase, Jane volunteered me — without asking, of course — to head a committee at our church and to be a chaperone for a trip our kids’ high school is taking. What should I do about both Jane and these offers of my time?! — Cross Sister
Dear Cross: Jane erred. You also have no obligation to follow through on these “jobs.” First, you tell the people in charge of both the church and school events that your sister can’t speak for you, and if they imagined she could, they now need to make other arrangements. You need not be suckered into these things, so do not feel you are obligated. Then tell Jane she is not the authorized agent for your time, and that while she is certainly able to volunteer herself for anything she chooses, she may not do so for you. — Margo, determinedly
Life Is Choices
Dear Margo: I have a toddler and have been in a relationship with a man for more than a year. When he first moved in, I thought it would be a good chance to save some money and get ahead financially, in addition to taking our relationship to the next step. He has a daughter in fourth grade, so there are four of us. Then his job went down the drain, and he decided to go into business for himself, which he never discussed with me.
Needless to say, I now support us all. My life is work and cleaning. I never go out with my friends or have money to buy anything for myself. I am depressed, and that makes me short with my son. I feel I can’t break up with him, because then the last year of my life will have been wasted, and we do love each other. I don’t want to have wasted all the money I have invested in him and his business. I feel that if I leave this relationship, I will not be able to have a new one. There is no way I would have time to try to meet and get to know someone else.
What do I do? How do I make him see he has to get a job? He just waits for it to come to him, and it doesn’t. — Wavering
Dear Wave: I hope you will not shirk from acting in your own best interests because you’re afraid there will be no one else. Also, your idea that the last year of your life will have been wasted if you part from this man is not clear thinking. To hang on simply because of time already put in would be throwing good money after bad — literally and figuratively. While you say you love each other, if he does not get a grip (and a job), I promise you the love will turn into something else, which may already have begun.
I don’t think having a man around is worth your finances being shot to hell, keeping two people who are basically guests, and being depressed. For your peace of mind and future stability, you must tell him that he needs to bring in some income, or he must leave. You really can’t afford him. If you want to give him a deadline, the very least he can do to help you have a more relaxed life is to act as a househusband and relieve you of the cleaning, etc. — Margo, proactively
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Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via the online form at www.creators.com/dear-margo.html. Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.
COPYRIGHT 2012 MARGO HOWARD
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