Dear Annie: My brother and his wife recently stayed with us for nine months. He did some part-time work every now and then. His wife refused to find a job and mostly stayed home.
My wife and I work long hours. We also then had to do the grocery shopping, cooking and taking care of our kids afterward. During this time, my brother and his wife never spent a penny on food or anything else. We politely said that we think it is time for them to find their own place and move out. A few hours later, they left screaming and shouting at us. We were speechless.
My brother says we are cheap because we asked them to leave. What do I tell him? Please help. -Cheap Brother
Dear Brother: Listen closely: You did nothing wrong. Your brother and his wife are first-class freeloaders. They took advantage of your generosity, making no effort to contribute to their upkeep. They would have allowed you to support them financially for the rest of their lives. They are angry because they couldn't bamboozle you longer than nine months, which is plenty long enough. People who take advantage of others are always the first to cry "foul" when things don't go their way.
We know you care about your relationship with your brother, but nothing will make him happy short of letting him move back in. Please ignore him. Do not defend yourself against his accusations. Do not, under any circumstances, let him guilt you into helping him out again unless it's to help him find a full-time job. Simply say as calmly as possible, "I'm sorry things didn't work out for you." Repeat as necessary.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.