Dear Abby: I am a platonic friend and part-time caregiver of a wealthy gentleman. I now reside in his residence out of necessity. We respect each other, and neither of us intends to be anything more than friends.
My problem is his family. They know I exist, but refuse to get to know me. They do not allow me to accompany him to holiday events at their homes, even at his request. His sister, the matriarch and a devout Catholic, has been verbally and emotionally abusive to me. My friend believes it's all about his money, and they consider me a threat.
I always feel hurt and rejected on these special occasions. I have no family of my own, and I'm alone on holidays most of the time. How can I overcome this hurtful situation? His nieces and nephews never call him or invite him to dinner in between holidays. Neither of us has children, so he is loyal to his relatives above all else. How do I get past the rejection? — MORE THAN A CAREGIVER
Dear More: Unless your friend has made a point of remembering you in his will, I hope you realize that when he passes, all you will receive from his family is a wave goodbye — if that. The disrespect and lack of empathy "the matriarch" has shown you is shameful. That your friend/patient lacks the backbone to insist you be included suggests to me that your relationship appears to be a one-way street.
The way to get past this would be to make sure you are saving enough money to tide you over until you find a job after his death. In the meantime, allow yourself enough personal time to cultivate relationships with people who won't ignore you during holidays. If you are religious, your own church might be a place to start.
Dear Abby: My husband is the biggest procrastinator I have ever known. He has piles of things lying around that need his attention and projects that need to be finished. When I remind him of what needs doing, he accuses me of nagging, so I have stopped reminding him. But it's boiling inside of me. It has gotten worse since he retired. Also, there are the hours he spends on his iPad.
If I handled things the way he does, nothing would get done, and our house would be a pig pen. I'm frustrated and need some advice. — BEYOND FRUSTRATED IN OHIO
Dear Beyond: What's going on is unfair to you; he needs to know how angry you are about it. That isn't nagging; it is venting. Because he has gotten worse since his retirement, he may need to be seen by his doctor to ensure it isn't caused by a health problem.
I'm sorry you didn't mention what kinds of projects your husband is procrastinating about finishing. If they are minor repairs or handyman things, consider hiring someone to finish them. If they are financial, your accountant may be able to recommend someone.
The only thing you shouldn't do is continue to tolerate this.