Alice, How Do I Keep My Relatives From Showing Up Unannounced (and Staying Forever)

updated May 4, 2019
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Dear HIWH,

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I gasped out loud when I read that these people — guests in your home —wedged a dirty diaper into your furniture and then left it there for you to find. Frankly, I’m surprised you were able to type such a restrained and calm question. If it were me, I’d be furious.

I think you need to worry less about creating a rift between your families and more about your own sanity. You need to stand up for yourself with these relatives. They obviously have no boundaries and will continue to take advantage of you (and your home) as long as you let them.

Get in touch with them today and tell them that while you love visiting with them, you need them to start respecting you, your time and your home if they want to be welcomed back. You mentioned they “don’t get the hint,” when you try to keep them from sleeping over. So don’t hint; be incredibly polite but clear. You need to spell if out for them: call first and ask IF it’s a good time for a visit then plan to make the (short!) 45-minute drive home because you simply can’t host them overnight anymore.

Good luck!



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