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Ask Amy: Country living was great, until brother arrived

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: Our five family members share ownership of a remote rural summer home.

By agreement, each member can stay there up to two weeks a year.

Eighteen months ago, our brother became unemployed, unhoused, and has been staying in this house year-round, reluctantly leaving (late) when the other partners go for their annual vacation time.

Our brother has three dogs that are not house trained.

When we go down “to open the cabin for the season” we end up throwing away rugs, pillows, deodorizing furniture, and cleaning up our brother and his dog’s messes. Our brother has hoarding tendencies.

He has not offered to do maintenance projects in lieu of rent, and the house and grounds have fallen into disrepair.

 

He does not reply to our emails or phone calls and when we try to deal with him in person, he becomes very defensive and brings up childhood slights rather than discuss the current situation.

Our stepmother gave up her share of the partnership in order not to have to deal with our brother. No one wants to have a family meeting to sort this out. It is so stressful that we can’t have a conversation.

We are almost at the point of wanting to sell the summer cabin, so we don’t have to take on our brother’s messes and behavior.

But, it would be a shame to lose our summer vacation cabin that we and our children have enjoyed for over 60 years.

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