Dear Abby: My husband and I have been married for 16 years and have two teenagers. "Mom" died two years ago, and my husband is an only child. How can we tell my widowed father-in-law that we need a weekend to ourselves?
"Pop," who's 87, lives an hour away and drives to see us every weekend, staying until Monday afternoon. We love him dearly and would never want to hurt his feelings, but we long for a weekend for just us.
How do we ask Pop not to visit?
-- Torn in Texas
Dear Torn: You do need to talk to your father-in-law and set some boundaries. Accomplish it by setting a predetermined visitation schedule that allows you time alone with your husband and nuclear family without him being present. A way to get that message across would be to say: "Pop, we love you, but we need some time to ourselves, so let's schedule your visits for twice a month. YOU pick the weekends."
Snoring hampers sleep
Dear Abby: The neighbor above my apartment has a snoring problem. My bedroom is directly below his. Around 10 every night, he starts snoring to the point that it sounds like an elephant lives above me. I have to sleep with my TV on and sometimes the radio.
Please tell me what to do. Should I confront this neighbor? Should I complain to management?
-- Fed Up in New Jersey
Dear Fed Up: Write your neighbor a letter and explain to him there is a problem. He may not know that he snores. If he's snoring steadily, but stops for 20 or 30 seconds before starting again, it could indicate he has a medical condition that should be discussed with his doctor.
If the apartment above you has poor insulation, a carpet under his bed could muffle some of the sound. Playing "white noise" could block it out more restfully than your television or radio. Or, because adequate sleep is so important, you could ask a real estate lawyer about the possibility of breaking your lease and leaving without penalty.