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Amy: Request for cash rankles aunt

  • Article by: AMY DICKINSON
  • October 26, 2013 - 2:00 PM

Dear Amy: My 30-year-old nephew, who lives abroad, called me three years ago. He was planning to buy a house and needed money for a down payment. I wired him money, and so did everyone else in the family.

As it turned out, the money helped buy a plot of land, but it has been three years and there is still no house on the horizon. I’ve asked my nephew about it, and his response is always that there have been bureaucratic hurdles along the way.

I feel I’m being taken for a ride. What is your advice to set my mind at ease and not be upset about this whole episode?

Amy says: Here’s my advice: Let it go, with love. You don’t mention that this was a loan but a gift of money, solicited by your nephew from lots of family members. The fact is, your nephew might have taken this money and spent it all on women and playing the ponies. Unless you want this money back, you are going to have to face the reality your nephew is somewhat shameless (in soliciting donations) and possibly unreliable.

At some point you might receive a photo of his wonderful house, along with a check for repayment and/or a gracious and grateful thank you. Until that day, consider this donation a loss and also a lesson: When you give money to family members, you should gain the most pleasure from your generosity — otherwise it’s a drawn-out exercise in frustration.

Facebook is off limits

Dear Amy: I have been married for 12 ½ years and am still pretty young at 33. I love my husband dearly and I think we have a pretty good life. We don’t have any big issues — just a couple of small ones.

He doesn’t like Facebook or any type of social media. He will let me use Twitter only if no one is following me and I am not tweeting. He says Facebook brings up people or old friends from the past, and it’s better to leave it in the past. I feel as if we are missing a connection with family and friends who live far away — and there are old friends I would like to be in touch with. He also gets jealous sometimes of people at work. I have to deal with this so as to not cause a bigger issue at home. Is this just an example of compromise within marriage?

Amy says: Compromise in marriage is: “We’ll visit your folks at Christmas this year because we saw mine last year” or “I’ll walk the dog so you can sleep in.”

What’s happening in your household is your husband’s insecurities are running the show. He is controlling you, and you are limiting your activities.

You two should work on this with the help of a marriage counselor.

Send questions to Amy Dickinson via e-mail to askamy@tribune.com.

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