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home : columns : dear harriette February 25, 2021

1/4/2021 9:16:00 AM
Friend tired of paying for mooching woman

DEAR HARRIETTE: I need help saying no to my best friend. She stays over at my house all the time, eats my food and uses my car whenever she gets a chance. She can't hold a job if she doesn't "love" it. When we go out, she always has an excuse not to pay, and she orders the most expensive bill while the rest of her friends pay for her.  

My friends and I juggle taking care of her, and I am ready to cut off any sort of help. She's taking it too far, and I'm ready to explode. She's a mooch, and we aren't her parents. I don't want her to fail in life, but she needs to take care of herself. What do we do? -- Mooching Friend  

DEAR MOOCHING FRIEND: It's time for you to rethink what "best friend" means. It should mean that you look out for each other. It should not be a one-way street. You are not doing either her or yourself any favors by bailing her out all the time. You are not responsible for your friend's survival. She is.

Sit down and talk to her. Tell her how disappointed you are that she still does not take care of herself. Explain that you will no longer be able to support her and that it's time for her to take care of herself. You may want to stage this as an intervention with your other friends so that she is clear that this is serious and includes your whole friend group. Then -- the tough part -- you have to let her fall and pick herself up.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend and I live with another couple. We moved in, and three months later the other couple started traveling; they haven't been back to the apartment since August. We had maybe two or three disagreements that required a house meeting, but I didn't think it was bad enough for them to want to move out.  

Last week, one of them texted me and said that they were both off the lease -- just like that. All four of us have been trying to terminate the lease with this landlord for poor upkeep of our home, so I was confused that they took only the other couple off the lease and told us nothing. I contacted the landlord to figure out what was going on, and he said that no one is off the lease and they have not contacted him at all. Now I'm just confused. What is going on? They left for several months, haven't made contact and now they say they are off the lease. I feel like they are trying to manipulate us, but for what? What do I do from here in this strange situation? -- Lying Couple

DEAR LYING COUPLE: It is time for legal intervention. To get out of your lease, you have to follow certain procedures. Gather your paperwork in support of why you want to leave your home. Gather proof of the other couple's negligence as well as the landlord's. Hire a lawyer if you can. Go to housing court and file a suit against your landlord, your roommates, or all of the above.

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