Blake’s Advice Column
I have a big problem — my father-in-law. He has lived with us more than eight years and has never contributed anything toward his keep. I asked him once to pay some rent, but he refused. This not only caused a rift between my wife and me, but her two siblings — who are well off — said their father was “living on the poverty line,” so we should keep him for nothing. I wouldn’t mind so much, but my wife has to clean up after him, do his laundry and take him to his medical appointments. More than that, having him underfoot all the time has completely destroyed our privacy. What do you suggest?
From Bismarck, North Dakota
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I can feel your frustration, and I don’t think it’s fair to you. The best way to deal with this is to encourage your wife to go out of town on a vacation for a couple of weeks, while you deal with that cheap old geyser. Ok, here are some of my suggestions for you in her a absence. Drop him off at a mental institution, and tell them you no longer can deal with listening to his ongoing fantasies about being a serial killer. Or, you can get him intoxicated, dress him up like a French maid, record him on video. When he becomes sober, tell him if he doesn’t start paying rent and helping out around the house, you’ll post the video on your Facebook page and Youtube. You can also do something just to irritate him, like change the locks on the doors, and give him a tent, informing him that he has to sleep in the backyard while your wife is gone… and do this in mid-January. But here is a permanent solution to this problem. Don’t feed him for a week or so, and then take him to the hospital explaining to the doctors that your wife was trying to starve him to death. After she gets arrested, pack up all the furniture, sell your home and leave town, starting your life all over. And when your wife finally gets released from jail, send a letter to her siblings regarding your father-in-law, informing them that they now have an opportunity to take care of both of them. I hope this helps.