Dear Abby: My husband, “Vinny,” and I were married 11 years when he left me for another woman. Eight months later he decided the grass wasn’t greener on that side of the fence and came back. Our marriage is better now than it was before the affair.
Seven months later, his younger brother, “Nicky,” got divorced and moved in with us. A short while after that, Vinny and Nicky joined a band.
It has been a year now, and my brother-in-law is still here. I am more than ready for him to move out, but every time I mention it, Vinny says Nicky has “just” gone through a divorce and “we’re all he has.”
I hate all the time Vinny devotes to the band. I try not to complain because I know how much he enjoys it, but I’m miserable. They practice in our basement on Mondays and Wednesdays, and every Friday and Saturday night is spent performing.
I have no privacy! How do I get Nicky out of here? Should I push the issue with the band or let it go? My parents are furious with Vinny. They say he’s reliving his childhood, Nicky is taking advantage and Vinny is taking me for granted. Any advice?
Hurting in New York
Dear Hurting: Your brother-in-law should have been out of your house a month after he moved in. Tell Vinny you’ve had it with this experiment in communal living, set an exit date for Nicky and stick to it. If your husband refuses to listen to reason, then he is sending you a strong message that your wishes are not important.
As for Vinny’s participation in the band, he and the other band members must be talented or they wouldn’t be booked every Friday and Saturday night. Look at the bright side: When they’re rehearsing in your basement, at least you know where your husband is and what he’s doing. Marriage is a compromise, so learn to enjoy the music, but cultivate interests and hobbies of your own.
And last but not least, stop involving your parents in your problems. You’re a big girl now. If you don’t tell all, they’ll have fewer negative feelings about your husband.
Dear Abby: I am a Brit, now living in the U.S. When, upon departing, someone says, “Have a good one!” what is the correct response?
Puzzled in Pennsylvania
Dear Puzzled: Some people respond, “Thanks, the same to you.” Others have been known to say, “Thanks, I’m already having one!”
The important thing is to always say “thank you.”
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