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Slow Payment For Bookkeeping Is Costing Family Its Harmony

DEAR ABBY: I take care of my daughter-in-law’s taxes and have for the past 15 years. I have never charged her for it. When she brings me the paperwork, it is always a mess. I told her I would be her full-time bookkeeper and charge her $300 a month, but it’s like getting blood from a turnip. I have to beg her each month for my pay.

My husband said I should stop doing it for her. What should I do? I feel that this is driving a wedge between us. She owns a small construction cleaning service and makes good money. — GOOD WITH FIGURES IN FLORIDA

DEAR GOOD: Your daughter-in-law may resent the fact that you want payment for keeping her finances in order, but I’ll bet you’re charging far less than a nonfamily member would. It’s time to tell her that dunning her for money every month has become too stressful. Suggest that she set up an automatic fund transfer to your account to cover the monthly fee. If she’s unwilling to do that, then your husband has the right idea and it would be better for both of you if she hired someone else for these services.

DEAR ABBY: One of my dearest friends has a nasty habit of making snide comments about people who are overweight. We’ve been friends for more than 40 years, and she has always been this way.

Now that I’m older, I have packed on a few pounds myself, and when she says these things in a conversation, I’m like, “Hey, I’m overweight too! Am I disgusting?” I can’t seem to find the words to get her to think about what she says.

It doesn’t really hurt my feelings, but it makes her sound like a horrible person, and she really isn’t. She’s a dear in almost every other respect. I would like to get her to stop this, so what’s your advice? — FRIEND HAS A FAULT

DEAR FRIEND: The next time she does it, say out loud, “Hey, I’m overweight, too! Am I disgusting like you say about those other people? I have listened to this for 40 years and enough is enough! You are sweet, but when you say those things, you come across as nasty and judgmental. So cut it out!” (Better late than never.)

DEAR ABBY: I am 41, divorced for the second time, and I have fallen madly in love with a wonderful man. He got out of a 12-year relationship six months ago. Until just last week he still had ties with her, but he finally washed his hands of her. The only thing is, he lied to her to avoid a confrontation. He couldn’t bring himself to stand up to her and tell her the truth.

It hurts me deeply, and it has forced a wedge between us. He doesn’t understand why it hurts me so much, and he doesn’t seem to care. I’m trying to shake it, but it’s hard to do. I just need someone to help me get over it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. — HEARTBROKEN IN TENNESSEE

DEAR HEARTBROKEN: I wish you had revealed what this gentleman is afraid to tell his ex. Could it be that he is involved with you? If so, this is a red flag. His unwillingness or inability to tell the truth is a serious character flaw and not something you should ignore.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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