DEAR AMY: My 30-year-old nephew, who lives abroad, called me three years ago. He told me that he was planning to buy a house and needed money for a down payment. He was calling all family members (his father, brothers and so on) asking for money from everyone.
I wired him some money shortly afterward to help him out, and so did everyone else in the family.
As it turned out, the money collected helped to purchase a plot of land, but it has been three years and there is still no house on the horizon. I’ve asked my nephew on some occasions about the house, and his response is always that there have been bureaucratic hurdles along the way.
Somehow I feel I’m being taken for a ride and sort of used. What is your advice to set my mind at ease and not be upset about this whole episode? I would like to keep in good contact with my nephew. -- Uncle in America
DEAR UNCLE: Here’s my advice. Let it go, with love. You don’t mention that this was a loan but a gift of money, solicited by your nephew from lots of family members. The fact is, the whole enterprise might be a phantom. Your nephew might have taken this money and spent it all on women and playing the ponies.
Unless you want this money back, you are going to have to face the reality that your nephew is somewhat shameless (in soliciting donations) and also possibly unreliable.
Make no assumptions. At some point you might receive a photo of his wonderful house, along with a check for repayment and/or a gracious and grateful thank you. Until that day, consider this donation a loss and also a lesson: When you give money to family members, you should gain the most pleasure from your own generosity — otherwise it’s a drawn-out exercise in frustration.
DEAR AMY: I have a question about marriage. I have been married for 12 1 / 2 years and am still pretty young at 33. I love my husband dearly and I think we have a pretty good life. We don’t have any big issues, just a couple of small ones.
He doesn’t like Facebook or any type of social media. He will only let me use Twitter if no one is following me and I am not tweeting.
He says Facebook brings up people or old friends from the past, and it’s better to leave it in the past. I understand this, but I feel as if we are also missing a connection with family and friends that live far away, and there are friends from the past I would like to be in touch with.
He also gets jealous sometimes of people at work. Can’t a person work with the opposite gender and get along with no hidden agenda? I have to deal with this so as to not cause a bigger issue at home. Is this just an example of compromise within marriage? -- Tired of the Insecurity
DEAR TIRED: Compromise in marriage is: “We’ll visit your folks at Christmas this year because we saw mine last year” or “I’ll walk the dog so you can sleep in.”
What’s happening in your household is your husband’s insecurities are running the show. He is controlling you, and you are limiting your activities in order to avoid having a bigger problem at home.
This is not a small matter. This is important. You two should work on this with the help of a marriage counselor. Otherwise, over time, your marriage itself will be compromised. I think it already is.
DEAR AMY: I didn’t like your advice to “Worried Neighbors,” the busybodies who wanted to interfere when they heard fighting at their neighbor’s house.
The only answer here from you should have been MYOB! People who interfere where they don’t belong create all sorts of problems, and they should just mind their own business. -- Good Neighbor
DEAR NEIGHBOR: These neighbors heard daily yelling and screaming at an elderly resident. They were worried. The essence of being a good neighbor is to try to help people who can’t advocate for themselves.