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Publication: Dear Abby
Sister Burdened With Debt Has Only Herself To Blame

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       DEAR ABBY - April 18, 2008 
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SISTER BURDENED WITH DEBT HAS ONLY HERSELF TO BLAME

ABBY: My sister, "Ellie," and her husband, "Bill," have 
three lovely little girls. Both have good jobs and live in 
a pleasant neighborhood. However, neither one ever learned 
any life skills. Both worked and lived rent-free with their 
parents until they met and married in their late 20s. 
Consequently, they are up to their necks in credit card 
debt because of their need for instant gratification.

For the past year Ellie has called me almost daily, crying, 
asking for money "for the sake of the children." I have 
given them what we can spare, but I have three sons in 
college, and my husband may be facing a medical retirement, 
which would leave me the sole wage-earner.

I have told Ellie repeatedly that she and Bill must learn 
to budget and pay their bills, and advised them to seek 
professional debt and marriage counseling, neither of which 
they have done.

Several months ago, Ellie called to ask if the family could
move in with us until they got on their feet. My husband 
refused, telling her that without counseling their habits 
were not going to change, and we could not afford to support 
them short of a true emergency.

Ellie was furious. She joined a "swingers" club and began a 
series of love affairs. Ellie says her affairs are "the only 
comfort" she has now that I have failed to "rescue" her in 
her "hour of need."

I'm upset that I have made the girls' situation worse by 
refusing to provide for their parents. However, my husband 
is adamant that two working people should learn to manage 
their own lives. Am I injuring my nieces by refusing to 
rescue their parents? 
-- NON-ENABLER, OAK RIDGE, TENN.

NON-ENABLER: Your sister has made it your responsibility 
because she joined a swingers club, and you're accepting 
it? Wake up! You haven't made their situation worse, SHE 
has. Ellie is not only irresponsible, but also immature. 
Do not be bamboozled.

You are carrying a heavy enough load as it is. If you step 
in and try to rescue Ellie, you'll wind up carrying her 
until the stress makes you sick. The only person who can 
get her out of the mess she has created is herself.

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ABBY: Early in our marriage -- the second for both of us 
-- my husband suggested having my portrait painted in the 
nude. We found an artist we were comfortable with, and the 
painting turned out so beautiful, we decided to have my 
husband pose nude, too.

We keep these paintings in our bedroom and have never 
allowed anyone else to see them. We plan to cherish them 
for many years, but now realize we will need to make 
arrangements for their safekeeping after we're gone. They 
are tastefully positioned, beautifully framed and quite 
large. We do not want our children left with the task of 
finding a home for our "artwork."

How do we go about finding a gallery that will display them? 
-- PICTURE-PERFECT IN PENNSYLVANIA

PICTURE-PERFECT: Start calling the museums and art 
galleries in your area. Your success may depend upon the 
level of recognition the artist who painted your portraits 
has achieved. If that doesn't work, then contact the 
clothing-optional resorts in your area and ask if they 
would like to hang them in their clubhouse. 





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

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