Arts & Leisure

Time for sleeper to awake and leave

ALL HOUSE guest does is work and sleep.

ALL HOUSE guest does is work and sleep.

Dear Marilyn,

For the past year I feel as though my family has been put into a corner. My cousin from Guatemala came to the United States (legally). He stayed with our aunt for a few months.

His mother, (my mom’s other sister) contacted my mother and asked if my cousin could come and stay with us for a while. My mom agreed, of course.

DearMarilogo We picked him up from our aunt’s house, and he hasn’t left us since. He has never properly asked if he could live with us.

He doesn’t pay any rent, and he doesn’t help around the house. He does work full time. He works three days a week with 12-hour shifts.

I can understand that he is very tired on his days off, but all that he seems to do is sleep. Sometimes he sleeps for 13 hours straight!

My parents and I feel that one year is enough time for him to get established and get on his feet. We just don’t know how to tell him so.

We feel as though he has taken advantage of our kindness. However, we don’t know how to tell him, without offending him or his mom.

We need some serious advice. We don’t think that we are being selfish, but we aren’t really sure. After all, he is family.

Signed, Tired Cousin

Dear Tired Cousin,

   Wow. No, you are not being selfish. It is time for a very overdue talk with both your cousin and your aunt. Since you never set any limits on the time he is to stay with you, they both apparently view this as a permanent arrangement.

   It is time to set them straight.

   Since he is working full time, and has been paying no rent to your folks, he hopefully has quite a nest egg saved. But, whether he has been saving or not, it’s time for him to move out on his own.

   There is no approach that is easier on everyone than the truth. Have a family meeting, and let him know that it is time for him to start thinking about other living arrangements.

   Give him a specific target date, such as a month. Volunteer to assist him in finding a place of his own.

   Then, your mom needs to call her sister and let her know the same thing. If your cousin or aunt are upset, that is honestly their issue, not your family’s. You have been very supportive and loving for a year.

   Now it’s time for him to be on his own.

Dear Marilyn,

Lately I have been noticing that my girlfriend is acting differently. In the past, we have been very open and honest with each other. Now it seems as if she is hiding something.

Maybe I am over analyzing this, but she seems to be changing. When I ask her what is going on, she says “nothing.”

Every time I walk by her computer, she turns the screen away from me, or quickly closes the screen so that I can’t see what she has been doing.

Another thing that I have noticed, is that she is on the phone A LOT. When I ask her about it, she says she was just talking to a friend that I don’t know.

I try not to be nosy, because I feel that a relationship need trust to survive. But I am feeling very suspicious.

My birthday is coming up in two weeks, and it has crossed my mind that maybe she is shopping for me. I really want to believe that is the reason for her new secrecy and lack of communication, but I just don’t think that’s it.

Is there something that I should ask her? Or should I just wait and see what happens next? Please help.

Signed, Suspicious

Dear Suspicious,

   I recommend that you trust your instincts. She probably is hiding something from you.  

If she were shopping for your birthday, or setting up a surprise party, it would seem as she would be a lot more discreet.

   However, since your birthday is only two weeks away, it certainly won’t hurt anything to wait until then to confront her. I hope that we are both surprised, and that is the reason for her current secrecy.

   If your birthday comes and goes, and the behavior continues, it will be time to have the talk. Let her know that you need to know what is going on with the secretive phone calls, and the on line behavior that you have been observing.

   If she basically blows you off, and you sense she is not being honest, then she isn’t. It will be a time for you to end this relationship.

If she does tell you what she has been up to, it will be time to discuss the issue together, and determine what is best for you and the relationship.

Dear Readers, please send your questions to Please put Dear Marilyn in the subject line. I would love to hear from you!



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