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Wife sick of longtime houseguest

Dear Abby: My husband gave a friend of his -- I'll call him "Fred" -- a place to stay and nursed him back to health after Fred was critically injured while driving an ATV. Fred was drunk at the time. That was six years ago, and Fred is still here. While he has helped my husband with a few chores, he does not work. My husband provides him with a travel trailer, utilities, food and beer money. Fred is 47 years old and perfectly capable of working. This is straining my marriage. Please help.

-- Feeling Used in Arizona

Dear Feeling Used: I'll try. Although your husband may have had the noblest of motives in taking his injured friend in after his injury and nursing him back to health, he's doing the man no favors by continuing to foster his dependence. While I can see what Fred is getting out of this, it's time your husband explained to you what HE is getting out of it.

Unless you want the rest of your married life to be a family of three, you will have to draw the line.

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The rudeness of strangers

Dear Abby: I am a foster mother to four children of different races. We have two children of our own. My kids may have different colors and origins, but they are all our very own. We love them dearly.

When I am out with all six kids, I get nasty looks and nastier comments about them. One person even suggested that I get my tubes tied and stop sleeping around! Do I ignore these comments? I refuse to tell people that they are foster kids.

-- Foster Mom Amanda

Dear Amanda: A rainbow coalition of children is bound to draw a second look. That does not, however, justify the rude personal attack you received from the one person. In my opinion you should have shamed him or her by responding that you are a foster parent, because it happens to be the truth.

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