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House Guest or Is There Another Name

Updated on September 20, 2010

What Can I Do?

   Have you ever gotten yourself into a situation that started out one way, and before you knew it, the situation has taken on a life of it's own?

   I am going to pose a problem to you, and you will understand what I mean.  One day a very good friend of mine, a single female, who I have known for about ten years, showed up at my door.  She came to me very distraught, for her mother had gotten hit by a car a few weeks back, and she seemed to be getting better, then suddenly died. 

   Her mother was well off, and owned two houses, and my friend, who I will call Peg, had been living with her, along with her oldest daughter, and her three kids.  When Mom died, the daughter took over the house, and it all became a very sticky and messy situation, a lot of fighting, upset, power struggles, and Peg just wanted away from it all, so she asked me if it would be alright to stay with me for a little while until mom was buried, and all the complications with the houses got cleared up by way of the family lawyer.  We all got along very well in the past, and my husband and myself saw no problem with it.  Peg had stayed with us before, for she lived in the next town, and she had been a pleasure to have around.  I felt for her, for the family was just torn apart and really was having some ugly problems as far as who was going to get what, and that sort of thing.

   Well, mom got buried, and the family lawyer sold the houses, one in eleven days, and the other fortunately very shortly thereafter.  Peg was to receive money from an inheritance, and so she stayed a little longer so that she would have the finances to get a place to live.

   It has been about four months, going on five and we still have Peg as a houseguest.  Our house is small and even though we all do get along very well, I am looking forward to Peg finding her own life again, for the longer she stays with us, the more she is becoming not only a part of our lives, but has actually taken over parts of mine.  She has been through so much lately that I really do not want to cause her any more distress, but I like to do things my own way in my house, and the longer she stays, the more of a underlying confilct we seem to be having.  It is just over dumb things too, like how much soap to use, what kind of detergent we buy, what we watch on  TV, whether or not we are on the computer too much, who uses the phone more, and so on.

   I really do not want to lose a good friend, but all this conflict seemed to creep up on us so slowly, and I am afraid that one day soon somebody is going to have words over a problem, and feelings are going to be hurt.

   I don't want to be rude, but I really should not have let this get so far.  Now I do not know what to say, or how to change this situation without it becoming a bad scene.  If anybody has had a similiar situation, or has any suggestions or answers I am all ears.  I am afraid I have gotten myself into something that cannot be undone without hurt feelings and losing a friend.


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    Giselle Maine 6 years ago

    Hi, I just came here from visiting a similar hub (no, not my own!) you might want to check it out, it could help you. As for my own thoughts, I think the basic issue here is boundaries... when I have someone overstepping the boundaries, I usually deal with it by informing them nicely but clearly "I can do A, B, C, D and E, but not X or Y". It puts it in perspective for them, lets them kow you are helping but that you have your own limits. In your case you can say to Peg "We've been happy to have you stay with us after your mother passed away, and help talk over your grief with you, and make sure you're eating proper meals - you're my friend after all! Now, I realize that it must have all seemed like it happened yesterday to you, but it's been 5 months now, and that's actually a really long time for me. I'm simply not prepared to have anyone stay for longer than that. I'd love for us to talk now and decide together on a firm date about when you can leave. Any date within 2 weeks from now is fine by me. Not that I don't like you, but I just don't want to see our friendship suffer, or have things become strained between me and my husband." Even if she doesn't have anywhere set to go yet, remind her that it is the norm for people to find someplace to rent while they are still looking for somewhere more permanent. Remind her you're married to your husband, not to her!!! Good luck.... keep us posted in your comments, or make another hub when you get things sorted out, I'd love to hear how this pans out.

  • ddsurfsca profile image

    ddsurfsca 7 years ago from ventura., california

    Thanks you guys, this was right along my thinking too, but sometimes it is hard to see a problem when you are so close to it....again, thanks. oh, so far as the therapy group, she thinks that's what I am!!! oh noooo....

  • JY3502 profile image

    John Young 7 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

    Paradise is right. Your friend isn't being much of a friend. I'm sure she is aware of the situation. In fact I think there may be something more at play here. She's begging for attention. Not the best way of course, but still asking. I would suggest you get her into some type of group therapy dealing with grief. Good luck DD. BTW, very good topic and your writing is becoming top notch!

  • Paradise7 profile image

    Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

    Was it Benjamin Franklin who said, "Guests and fish stink after three days."????

    You need to suggest firmly but kindly to your friend to find another place to live, as it is cramping your home life with your husband. I'm sure your friend, if she is a true friend, and if you express yourself kindly, will understand and not be hurt.