SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

February 12, 2014

Dear Abby: Girlfriend staying as family’s guest deserves more respect

Dear Abby: Last August, my husband and I allowed our son’s 17-year-old girlfriend, “Lindsay,” to move into our home from out of state because she needs to live here for a year to establish residency for school. She’s a wonderful girl, mature, social and helpful.

My problem is my other sons (ages 18 and 14) are very angry that we have allowed a “stranger” to move in. My 18-year-old is a college student who lives on campus an hour away but comes home on weekends. He and his younger brother feel I show favoritism to Lindsay and make frequent comments about the non-family member. They worry that I’m spending money on her, even though they know her mom sends her money.

I’ll admit it has been nice to have a girl around. My boys sleep half the day away on weekends, but she gets up and is happy to run errands with me. I still include my sons in many activities without Lindsay, as I always have, and I did not anticipate this hostility. I feel bad for her because they make little attempt to hide it. My son loves his girlfriend, and I want her to feel comfortable and welcome without alienating my other sons. Help!

Mom Of Three Sons

Dear Mom: You and your husband are the parents, which means you are supposed to be running this “asylum” — not the inmates. The decision about who should or should not be a guest in your home is not up to your jealous older and younger boys, who appear to be suffering from a form of “sibling” rivalry.

As a guest in your home, Lindsay should be treated with respect, and it’s not happening. You should insist upon it, and if your wishes are not complied with, there should be consequences.

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