Annie's Mailbox for Jan. 21, 2011: Husband's generosity an inconvenience

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Dear Annie: I have been in a relationship with a wonderful man for four years. Six months ago, we were blessed with a little boy who has become our world.

The problem is, "Greg" is constantly going out of his way for his family. Recently, his sister was in a car accident, and her husband refused to give her the money to pay the deductible for repairs, so Greg gave her his car to use. This has left us in a rough spot. I work from home but still need to run occasional errands, and Greg now uses my car. The only solution is for me to drive him to and from his job, which is a huge inconvenience. I don't see why I have to do that for his sister's sake.

When I talk to Greg about this, all I get is an argument. I understand he loves his family and wants to help, but it's always one thing after another, and I'm at my wits' end. How can I help him understand that it's time to let them handle their own problems? I'm tired of feeling like my son and I are on the back burner.

— Burning Up in Vermont

Dear Vermont: Greg wants to be the hero, the one everyone relies on. To him, your "inconvenience" at not having a car is outranked by his sister's "need." Try to make Greg realize that too much help can cripple someone — if his sister knows she can have his car indefinitely, she will make no effort to repair hers. You also could tell him that it was his choice to give up his car, and now he can take the bus. But we caution you not to make this a greater problem than it is. Greg sounds generous to a fault, but we assume that is one of the reasons you love him.

Dear Annie: My husband and I hosted our son's wedding at our large home. We worked hard to be sure everything was exactly as the couple wanted.

So what went wrong? We were not included in any preliminary plans — where the tent and portable bathrooms would go, where the caterer would set up, when the rehearsal dinner would be. I knew the bridesmaids would dress at our house, but they also brought their friends along. The morning of the wedding, the groomsmen unexpectedly showed up to change here, as well.

These people treated our home as if it were a luxury hotel with a full-time maid. Furniture was rearranged for pictures, and water bottles were tossed hither and yon. We had a catered brunch for out-of-town guests the next morning. Imagine my surprise when I discovered there were 60 guests instead of the 30 I had invited. Several weeks after the wedding, there was a viewing party to look at pictures, and we were not invited.

Just a word of advice to any bride and groom: Please do not take the parents' giving for granted. We are happy for you, but remember to say "thank you." That, and some hugs and kisses, will do wonders.

— Parents of the Groom

Dear Parents: It's unfortunate that many young people have no idea of the sacrifice, effort and money involved in these endeavors. They are so wrapped up in their own world that it doesn't occur to them to consult the parents or show their appreciation. Thanks for letting them know.

Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Sensitive Soul in Canada," whose father had a fight with his sister three years ago. The stress caused an ulcer and high blood pressure. It reminded me of a quote: "Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die." That about sums it up.

— South Dakota

Dear S.D.: We've printed that quote before. We find it accurate, as well as amusing, and it should be attributed to actress and author Carrie Fisher.

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